Friday, March 29, 2013

Winter to Spring

Last weekend it was cold. Rain turned to snow, snow to slush, shush to ice, back to snow, and finally back to rain. What a mess. People all over Warren County were hunting groundhogs. Hunting for revenge, not for dinner.Today is Friday. There is no snow and it is expected to hit 60 this afternoon. It's time to get outside where I can spray glazes on some of those jugs. Here is part of what needs to be glazed. Did I tell you I am one of those potters who hates glazing? Can't put it off much longer.

As if I don't have enough stuff already, I also started some fishy looking soap dishes this week.
Finally, here is verse one of a work in progress.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bad Blogger

This weekend I had the good fortune to help out at the Baum Pottery/Joe Frank McKee/Glenda Suttman Spring Kiln Opening sale. Joe Frank had come up from North Carolina to do Raku Demos and I was his assistant. He has been doing raku for over 20 years and does some wonderful things with horsehair, alcohol reduced matt copper glazes, and saggar fumed pots.This had been planned for months so I was glad that even with his studio fire a few weeks ago he was able to get away for the weekend. He sends his thanks to everyone for their help and good wishes.The generosity of folks in the broader clay community has been a God send to him and his family. They are not out of the woods yet but they are moving forward. Insurance should settle this week for the structure of the building and some relatively minor damage to the back of the house. A big part of the damage was his kiln which was not even involved in the fire but was in a structure directly behind the studio. It was destroyed by some overzealous firemen who blasted it with high pressure hoses. Not covered. Minerals and chemicals. Not covered. Hand tools some coverage but try to list every tool you had and produce a dated receipt for it. And so it goes. The crowd was good. Sales were strong. Everyone was happy with how well they did. The bad blogger part is that I did not have time to take any pictures. I also have trouble splitting my focus. When I go somewhere to take pictures, that's what I do. When I go somewhere to help that's what I do. I will try to gather some shots from other sources and get them up soon. Here is.the one picture I did get thank goodness this didn't show up until the day after the sale.

In other news, I am still enjoying Sunday night jam sessions with the Queen City Balladeers. I am even trying to join a couple of bands. I talked to Noah and the Counts but they already had enough no account pickers. My next try is going to be with Minnie Moore.She's always at the bottom of the program but she must play every festival in the country! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Most Popular Blogger in Town

I really appreciate the suggestions some of you made last time. I'm hoping for more input but I will let you know if I decide on a pitch to use. You know that we bloggers love comments, any comments. I thought today I would share some of the more flattering comments that I have received lately that did not show up on your screen. I saved them for a few weeks but they are just too good to keep to myself. They have all been submitted by "Anonymous " and they all invited me to visit their web sites. It's nice to be loved.

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Between this and the recent proposal from Tony Clennell, I really do feel like the most popular guy in town.Thanks for stopping by.  You be readers of best ever nature. You betcha!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Couple of Things

Regular readers ( not the "I eat Activia kind ") may recall that Tina gave me some branding for Christmas. Thanks for weighing in on what to choose. I have ordered a banner for the booth, some logo modifications, a new clay stamp,and some hats. I am also considering including some "care and use" cards or maybe a sign that includes the Logo, The subtitle  "'Traditional Country Pottery" and 4 descriptors.  I'm starting the brainstorm with Beautiful, Versatile, Durable.... I would really like for each of you to add at least one word to the pool then I will try to list them all for voting in another post. Who knows we might something you can use too, just not around Cincinnati.

Part, the second, a not really partisan political rant. Doing the right thing for the wrong reason or the wrong thing for the wrong reason depending on your point of view. Ohio Senator Rob Portman came out in favor of Marriage Equality this morning. Senator Portman is not the worst his party has to offer. He does no foam at the mouth and rewrite history to support his agenda. I have met him and he is actually a pretty nice guy. It is a pretty big deal for him to go against the party line and support this kind of social agenda. BUT...Did he do it because it was right for America? Did he do it because he felt the Constitution demanded it? Was he overwhelmed by his sense of fairness? Did he do it to stimulate the economy by increasing the number of weddings? No. His statement explained his change of heart was because last year he found out his son was gay and he wanted him to be allowed to marry. It makes me wonder. If his kids couldn't afford health insurance, would he be supportive of Obamacare? If they couldn't afford to go to college would he increase student loans? If the kids were environmentalists would Dad drop his support of Fracking ? We have a huge problem when right and wrong depends only on whose ox is getting gored. We need to remember to ask what we can do for our country as a whole instead of what can I do for those close to me.

Thank you. Now go back. Re-read the first part of this post and add a word in the comments section.I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Here is my bid in Michael Kline's 12X12 challenge.
Large cereal bowls and medium bakers

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Just for Fun

I'm still trying to achieve that harmonic perfection where my pickin' and voice cancel each other out. In the mean time I'm taking this fun little tune to Sunday night's jam session.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thank You!

A big thanks to everyone who has responded to the last post about helping Joe Frank McKee and his family recover from his studio fire. Extra thanks to John Britt for Sharing on the CLAY CLUB Blog and to Meredith Heywood and Tracy Broome for spreading it through their Blogs. Joe Frank's wife Kelly has posted about the fire here In addition to helping the family directly, the lovely and talented Alysha Baier is running an online auction to help out. You can view and bid at

Here is a quick photo update of what has been going on here.

Blondie is not intimidated by the return of the red menace.

 Six inches of the early spring that the Groundhog promised.

Turns out Brenda from Liberty Stoneware grew up near us.
This is for her to see how the river looks today. If you don't 
follow her blog you should.It's not big on daily doings but
when she publishes, she is very informative about kiln site
excavations and early firing practices. She also makes very 
nice traditional country stoneware.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Friend in Need...

Joe Frank McKee is a potter and gallery owner in Dillsboro N.C. You may know him through his work or because he puts on THE WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA POTTERY FESTIVAL in Dillsboro every November. Last night, his studio at his home burned to the ground. The fire did not reach the house and everyone is fine but the studio is a total loss. He is scheduled to do Raku and Demos at Mike and Karen Baum's Studio sale in Lebanon, Ohio in a couple of weeks and says he still plans to attend. Here is the letter I got from Mike and Karen...

Clay Alliance Members:

We just heard some really bad news. Our good friend and potter, Joe Frank McKee, of Dillsboro, NC, lost his entire studio in an electrical fire last night. Luckily, no one was hurt. As many of you know, Joe Frank is the guest artist at our upcoming open house, March 22 & 23. Trooper that he is, he is still coming but he and his family need our help to rebuild. The scope of his loss is incomprehensible.
If you can please send a check to:

148 Front St
P.O. BOX 253

You can also show your appreciation and support by purchasing his pottery at the openhouse.

Joe Frank is one of the hardest working potters that we know; please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.


Karen & Mike Baum

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tool Time

Meredith Heywood recently posted about her favorite tools and inspired me to do the same. When I first started potting, I bought a lot of tools. Their most important function is to cover up the few tools that I really do use. Many of the tools I like best, I make myself. . One of the materials I really like is scrap plastic from old Rubbermaid tubs or trashcans.You can cut it with scissors and quickly smooth the edges with sandpaper.Here are a few tools that I made for special purposes that I keep reaching for.
The outer legs are fixed, the center one slides
The exposed section of the center dowel shows 
the thickness of the bottom and leaves no hole.

The dowel has a 5/16 long brad in the end. Stick it in the center of the 
plate you are throwing and it imprints the depth you need to open to.
the big rib flattens the bottom of the plate ,sets the radius of the bottom,
 and sets the curve that transitions the bottom to the sidewall.

Special purpose ribs and my "chop"

This one is really handy.