Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October Studio Schedule

As always, subject to tweaking along the way (it's already changed twice and it's not even October!), but for students who will lose the copy I give them and visitors interested in dropping by, here's the studio schedule for October. If you'd like to visit the studio outside these hours, just get in touch with me - I'm usually here long before and after the posted hours!

Since it's still just me here for the most part, I have to 'close' whenever I fire the reduction kiln, but I'll be close by if anyone needs to come on those days. In the next few months I'll be working on having a regular studio assistant to keep the doors open when I have to be someplace else...well, regular in a nicely weird way of course!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Empty Bowls Monday!

Another stellar bowl project class today with a great demo from Gay Smith. We're starting to see bowls coming out of glaze now and shelves are getting fuller, so it looks to be another good year for the Odyssey contribution to the Empty Bowls event.

Gay did demos on throwing and trimming, really giving a full days workshop of information in about an hour and a half, and we'll be saving the bowls she left us to add to the next soda firing. As with all the other great guest teachers we've had in this year's class, I got a lot of good information from Gay's demos and can't wait to play with some decorating and altering ideas when I get back on the wheel tomorrow.

I also got to show off the bowls that were decorated at the open house, and stashed my other bisque bowls at Odyssey for a glazing session in a couple of weeks for our big firing.

Tomorrow starts some serious throwing to fill a few more bisques for my firing mid-October. It'll be busy leading up to it, then one crazy week glazing/prepping for both the Empty Bowls firing and my own firing, plus the Empty Bowls event then unloading my kiln - all before heading down to Atlanta for the Art Walk/Spirit Talk event in Smyrna GA - I'll add that link in my next post, but now I'm going to prep some clay for tomorrow and give the dog a stroll. peace.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Open House, pt.1

Well the house is open, it's official! We had great weather for the open house on Saturday, and a nice stream of friends old and new come check out the new studio. This is part one of my report, as I took a couple of shots when I finished setting up, then promptly forgot the camera but for a few other random shots. Luckily, dear friends Anne & Steve drove up from Atlanta for the event, and I think it's a safe bet that Anne-the-professional-photographer got a few shots herself. I'll post those as soon as she sends them to me when she returns to the big ATL.

The studio cleaned up nicely, with all the elements working together: things on wheels pushed out of the way, new, portable slab roller (thanks Dan!) to easily roll out slabs for the tile project then move into a corner, fabulous risers and ware shelves (thanks Alex!) to use 101 ways and another fabulous table (thanks Annie & Dan!) to help show off the working space and still have a party feel.

I'm between firings, so there was probably more bisque ware out than finished!

The slab roller becomes a bar, wheels become welcome tables, toss a nice cover on the work table for the knosh and we're ready to go!

Thanks to good help from all corners for the big day: Heather and Michael who brought the flowers and the food processor for the dip, Judith who picked up the figs from Clingman, Cynthia who brought the platter just perfect for the truffles. My mom who sent me these fabulous white bread cloths that turned out to be just perfect for display and table covers before they forever become clay-spattered. And huge thanks to Anne & Steve who came early, brought the new stools, helped set up, helped throughout and helped shut it down. Going far above and beyond the call, they even came back this afternoon to help drink up some of the leftover beer!

The bowl decorating table got a lot of action from visitors - it was so cool to go out later in the afternoon and find so many beautifully decorated bowls. Hopefully Anne has some more pictures of artists from earlier in the day, but I'm glad I remembered my camera at least to capture some of the great work:

Busy at work: Anne and Teva on the left, Steve taking a break at the top,
and that's Karen Etheredge from Manna Food Bank herself making some gorgeous bowls!

A glimpse at some of the great works produced. All of these bowls will be available
at the Empty Bowls event on October 16.

Special kudos to our youngest artist, 3 year old Sam Rattigan, for his beautiful bowl that will be,
as he hopes, a 'nice surprise for somebody':

There were also a few hearty souls who took up the challenge to decorate tile pieces for the future 'Crazy Green Studios' mosaic sign. I think they'll be very nice as background pieces, although the 'nose' mold may be a bit of a challenge.

can you see the nose?

So now the studio is pretty much back in working order, and now that the opening is done, it's back to the calendar crunch! There are more bowls to make for the Empty Bowls firing, plus more of everything to make for my own firing to fill orders and for the Resident exhibit and the holiday art walk. And I'll be adding an evening hand building class in October, running down to Atlanta to do a show...much more to report, but right now the official dog of Crazy Green Studios is wanting a walk, so more reports and pictures to come from a very grateful girl! peace.

Monday, September 22, 2008

happy monday!

Having done my time in an office and even a brief stint in an actual cubicle, I approach Mondays now with glee. Even now, having a 9am class which is in truth earlier than I prefer teaching, but still not the 5:30am wake up call from the days of Innkeeping. And more important, it's not the Monday-morning-time-to-get-up-and-join-the-office-drones-on-the-bus/train/traffic-lane. Happy Monday indeed!

This morning Chuck and Patsy, my Monday Morning star students, returned with vigor and having no ill effects from not getting in to open studio during the week.

Chuck & Patsy, getting some pots made! For Chuck, this is just lesson #2, so his motivation is showing!

Before and after class, I was trimming more of the bowls for Empty Bowls, then took a break to head over to Odyssey for the Bowl Project class. I was completely remiss over the past two weeks in taking my camera, so there's no pics from the great classes that Becca Floyd and Heather Tinnaro led, but there will be plenty of other chances in the future to feature them here, have no fear.

This week we had the very wonderful treat of a visit from Michael Kline, who did a demo on trimming and brush work decorations. His pots have been a big inspiration for me as I start to explore my own brush work with colors and wax under and on glazes, and it was very cool to watch him work. It's not an aspect of the process that gets a lot of time in classes - the brush work - and I think it could be the source for a whole series of classes...hmmm...perhaps a future class for Crazy Green...

I meant to take a picture of the beautiful bowl he donated to the Empty Bowls "Collectors Corner", which would I'm sure guarantee an extra long line at the door, but you'll just have to take my word for it and hope you get there in time to snap it up!

Back at the ranch, I'm trimming the last of the current batch of bowls then heading out for a meeting with the Odyssey RAs about our upcoming show at the Odyssey gallery.

What a lovely Monday!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

lunch break

It's a quiet day in Crazy Green-land. My students haven't yet gotten into the habit of coming in outside of class, and while I always welcome the fellowship of others in the studio, I am enjoying some quiet time as well, although I am also ready to get some more classes going. That will happen, and this weekend my mantra is to be in the moment and be grateful, and not dwell too much in what's ahead. Yesterday morning I made a quick trip up to Weaverville and walked through the Art in Autumn show. I had to be back at the studio by noon just in case students came, so I didn't have time to linger. I also forgot my camera, which was sitting here still charging, so no pictures of friends who had set up booth there. Several potters there, and a few I didn't get a chance to go see up close after spending a little time chatting up friends. It was a bigger show than I had imagined, and I didn't give myself much time to make the rounds. Back at the ranch, it was time to clean and unload a bisque. Later in the afternoon, Helen came by to help me pug another batch of clay, and I started on a few bowls for Empty Bowls with a short evening beverage break when friend Holly stopped by.

So today, after a nice leisurely Sunday hike with Lissa and a trip to stock up vittles to make for the week, I hit the bowls again.

These are for the Empty Bowls event in October. Since I'm only at Odyssey on Mondays for the class itself, I'm making all my bowls here. These bowls will be bisqued in time for the opening party next weekend for decorating, with hopeful help from folks who come to the party, then either shuttled back to Odyssey for firing or fired here. Or maybe I'll get my next cone 10 kiln scheduled so I can fire before the event as well.

One visitor bowl in the mix - the finished bowl on the right side of the second shelf down is actually lunch. Today's rice cooker melange of quinoa, greens, winter squash, garlic and seasonings is in a Shawn Ireland bowl that is one of my favorite stew bowls. Even though I have no lack of pots here to use for meals, I still bring in my favorites from others hands. I have a small handful of those pots that I kept out of storage, and since my 'temporary' moving status has stretched into its 5th month, I am very happy to have these friendly faces around to make me feel at home. As the seasons change, though, I am more motivated to find a spot to unpack a bit more...maybe have a yard sale or two to scale down...but definitely to get the rest of my friends out of boxes and back into the mix for my own meals and those with friends.

Lunch is over, back to the bowls!

Friday, September 19, 2008

week-ending rambles

I'm reminded that it's the week-end only because someone asked me what my weekend plans were. I did have plans for a 'girls night out' with some friends, one of whom is carrying crazy toxic germs and needs to rest for an upcoming firing, but hopefully the other will still come by for a cool beverage and to sit and enjoy the waning garden with me.

Week 2 of classes-in-action was good. Students didn't get into the studio between classes, but in spite of that they all had good progress. Emily joined the Thursday class, and even though it's been a good break since she was last on the wheel, she got right into it and had good results. Just two weeks in, and they're just about at the point where they can work without my hovering about. I still hover, but now at least they know when they need help, and if they can't get in much between classes, I want to make sure they spend as much time working when they're here as possible. Perhaps we'll have pictures of first works to share after the trimming lesson next week!

Emily getting reacquainted with the wheel

This week I really learned how valuable my little rice cooker is. With just a few dry goods stocked and a weekly visit to the City Market for veggies, I can put together a lovely pot of soup or stew in the morning and have a hot lunch (or warm if I want it later) in no time. Today's pot of brown rice, kale, garlic, leeks, veggie broth and other things from the fridge (a wee bit of leftover lentil stew was tossed in for texture) smelled up the studio good and tasted even better.

All hail the rice cooker, giver of good things to eat that don't HAVE to include peanut butter (unless it's for the thai noodle dish...)

I missed it yesterday - even with the convenience of having it here, it doesn't quite yet fill itself and cook for me, and when I don't do that part, oddly, I don't eat! Luckily, last night after class I cleaned up a bit and dashed down to the Orange Peel for the Mountain Biz Works benefit 'ShowBiz' and was able to get some tasty morsels from Sugo, and Jael from French Broad Chocolates had a box of dairy-free truffles stashed just for people like me! It was quite a crowd, and while I didn't stay till the end, it seemed the many, many auction items were getting good play. I didn't see how my lessons package faired, but I did see a small plate I donated that was paired with a gift certificate for a cake, and I got a nice thank you from the high bidder today. Hopefully it raised a good amount for all the good works they do, and it sure seemed like everyone was having a great time when I was there!

Finally, I'm just about caught up on back orders, with a few more throwing sessions for stragglers, but now I'm starting to work ahead a bit, and today saw the first signs of that with cleaning up a small batch of diffusers. I'm getting good interest from some galleries, and while I'm keeping just one Asheville outlet, I am entertaining the thought of entering the Etsy marketplace with this item...

sun-dried diffusers, playing with some new patterns

Looking ahead to the weekend, there's another batch of clay to pug, another batch to lay out for future pugging, more pots to make, bisque that'll be ready to unload in the morning...and between that hopefully I'll squeeze out a quick trip up to Weaverville for the Art in Autumn festivities - several friends will have booths there and it's going to be a beautiful weekend to be outside a little. Not sure I'll have the time and/or gas to make it up to Bakersville, but the Creek Walk is also this weekend, and several other friends will be there and it would be a gorgeous weekend to get up further into the mountains...

Final random thought before my lunch break is over...I've had some good chats with my studio neighbor/landlord Mimi about classes and workshops here, and she's given me some good ideas and motivation to get back to work on the "Art Bus". The state of arts and arts funding is looking like schools are going to have less and less, and while my little studio can only handle so many bodies at once, the art bus can go TO groups and I can easily organize other artists to participate. More active ruminating on that one to come, and if you're reading this and thinking 'hey, I'd like to know more....' well let me know! Ok - back to work! Happy Friday...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

is this fall?!?!?

it was actually worthy of a sweatshirt this morning, and it feels like it might be again tonight. Today is scheduled as a day off, which means that while I'm not on the wheel, I'm getting done a lot of the little things that don't get done when I'm on the wheel every other day in some way. Eventually it may actually mean a day off, but this felt like one to me even if I spent most of it at the studio!

Had a leisurely start, a nice, long walk with Lissa jumping in every available mini-pond in the park, then ran some errands. Got some work done on some admin/marketing stuff, got the phone line put in so the studio phone is now in the office area, jotted down some more glaze recipes to be tested, sent off materials for a show, answered emails and packed up a couple of pots for shipping.

I'm still working on a press release for the holiday show and I admit, did load part of a kiln, but now I'm sitting outside the studio, soaking up the cooling afternoon sun and occasional light breezes...listening to a Pandora mix on the computer and loving that there still are blooms around me. I even got Lissa outside for a little stroll around the grounds! Could be fall, could be a FALLse start, but it sure do feel good!

I think it must almost be time to go home, as I'm starting to look into the studio at work to be done, and I am commited to taking some time away, so perhaps it's time to take another walk...tomorrow is another teaching day, and then tomorrow night is the big ShowBiz benefit for Mtn Biz Works...gotta find some clean clothes that don't actually have clay stains as a part of their pattern! peace

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Upcoming Events, pt 2


Upcoming Events, pt 1

Mountain Biz Works is having it's first ever fund raising event, and it's going to be a great party that will benefit a really great resource for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Asheville.

The party is next Thursday, September 18 at The Orange Peel from 6:30 - 10:00pm, and will feature music by MBW alum Kat Williams, Jason Pogue and Virginia Waite. Other MBW alums will satisfy the tastebuds with yummies from Sugo, The French Broad Chocolate Lounge and Heinzelmannchen Brewery.

AND - as if that's not enough - there will be a silent auction featuring donated work and services from all over Asheville, including yours truly who donated a piece of pottery and a month of private lessons at the new studio. Bid early, bid often!

Tickets are onsale online, at the Orange Peel box office or from any MBW location. Tickets are $35 for general admission, $25 for MBW alum.

Come get up close and personal with some of Asheville's thriving small businesses, and the help support the organization that supports us so well!

Friday, September 12, 2008

back to school...

It is that time of year, isn't it? I'm usually oblivious to days of the week, much less the seasons, but I do like the serendipity of starting classes at Crazy Green with all the other studious souls going back to their desks.

classroom all ready and waiting!

Miranda and Scott, members of the Thursday afternoon class gettin' down and dirty on the first day.

For any locals watching, there's still room in the Thursday afternoon and Monday morning class, and a third class will be forming soon - the votes are still coming in for the day/time, so if you have an opinion there too be sure to be heard!

I am happy to report, for anyone keeping score, that I managed to teach the entire class on Thursday, not kicking anyone out early. This was a great first week of class - everyone here so far is brand new to clay, but unafraid to dig in and they all have great attitudes toward having fun in the process. Emily joins the Thursday crowd next week, and she may even be brave enough to tackle the kick wheel!

Preparations are underway for the Grand-Open-House on the 27th, stay tuned for more details and if you're not already on the mailing list let me know and you'll get all the info.

As for me, back to the wheel to fill the next kiln. I'm actually looking forward to the glazing portion of the process this time, having had such good and interesting results with new combinations in the last load. It's not that I don't enjoy the glazing portion, but usually it's just what I gotta do to get back on the wheel. The slab roller will be housed in the next week or two, and then I can start the tile series I've been making notes about for a while. Just a little of everything going on here at Crazy Green! Stay tuned for more class updates and other events brewing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

gotta love all the parts...

This week really launched the studio into it's 'regular' schedule...regular as in it may change week to week in some respects, but as regular as I can be and still be a good clay weirdo.

Classes started this week, and I have new students that started Monday and more starting on Thursday! I've had other interest, and I'm polling prospective students for the third class time slot.

I meant to capture the Kodak moment with my Monday students, but in the excitement of getting them registered, touring them through the east and west wing of Crazy Green Studios and then actually getting them on the wheel, I forgot all about the camera. My brain continued to speed ahead of all ourselves and I actually...yes I did this and I'm admitting it here ... misread the clock and ended their class an hour early. None of us caught it in time, and I didn't notice till after they left. Oy, no wonder it seemed to go so fast! I'll introduce you to Chuck and Pat in the blog next week with their permission, but they did beautifully on the wheel their first time out!

I intended to get back on the wheel and get the rest of my waiting orders finished and start some new things, but administrative duties were calling. My accounting goddess Glenda did her magic last night until my brain melted, and today I dug in and got the books caught up. Nah, it's not the way I would have planned my day, but I really do embrace every aspect of this experience. I'm still much happier with anything I do here every day than any other place I could be, and I'm grateful if the biggest grumble I have for the day is that I gotta do the book work. I also met another new student who will start Thursday, and had a visit from Fransien Schuller from Kala Gallery in Lenoir to pick up some work. They're having a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new gallery coming up, and I'll of course feature it here, even though I'll be teaching when it happens.

I also met with neighbors in the 'hood to plan the East West Holiday Art Sale - celebrating the cluster of creative enterprises in a very small nook of 'East' West Asheville. And of course you know you'll read more about THAT here soon! So it was a good day that got a lot of good things done, even with eye-crossing, butt-numbing amounts of time in front of the computer. Tonight I'll relax while I update my 'clay-do' list. There's clay to pug so I can have clay to throw! peace.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lovely time in Asheville

It was gorgeous weather in Asheville for a day outside with OrganicFest. Thanks to everyone who stopped by - saw some friends, met lots of great folks, have some new interest in classes and got to take a nice look at all the work from the last kiln under the sunlight.

I didn't get many pictures taken - it was a crunch to get up by the opening bell and then I just didn't remember between all the booth chatting. My roommates did remember when they stopped by and made me pose for a shot. I took just a couple more before it got busy again.

The crowds were good, and it was an interesting difference being out there representing myself as someone who's just opened a studio vs. a resident artist at someone else's studio. A nice difference!

I was going to put the back flap down on the tent to show the work off better, but the breezes were so nice coming from all directions I left it up. Plus, the tree bark on this tree gave a much more interesting backdrop and blended nicely with the table covers and rug.

Free with purchase - I made a bunch of magnets to give as thank you gifts with purchase - and I think a few people got through their transactions without claiming their 'prize'. If you read this and can identify your purchase, I'll send you a magnet! Also gave out many 'save the date' cards for the Empty Bowls event in Asheville in October.

Today the studio gets put back in order - classes start tomorrow morning!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

pots from kiln #1

ah...I know I must be avoiding the yard-long task list I have before OrganicFest, otherwise I wouldn't be stopping to post these now. But I just got back from taking the pictures, so I'm still in that mode.

To recap, I took pots over to Krug Creative, where Emily Krug has set up a small photo studio and is making it available to area artists to shoot their work at a very reasonable fee.

Above: the photo studio set up and Emily!

Here are some of the results of my little shoot. I'm still playing with the camera to find the best settings. The white balance is still doing what ever it wants...but I shall eventually prevail!!

This is a series I did on some cups to test a new glaze combo with brush work, wax work and brush AND wax work. They were a bit dark for all the shots, but I really just wanted them as a reminder.

These bowls were testing both a new glaze, new brushwork and a new application of using wax with oxide. I'm having fun with the flower, as it lets me be a lot more free with the brush without worrying so much about where the line goes. I try not to worry about that in the cornflower motifs, but sometimes it gets a bit spazzy.

These two are the same glaze combo, different thickness on the cover glaze. I did a couple of platters with the cornflower brushwork, but the wax didn't hold its line as well. Even the glazes want me to do this one more!

This one was a bit of a leap of faith. I wondered what the combo would do with a tenmoku glaze as the cover, being reasonably sure it would be alright. The brushwork was more abstract and 'let the wax flow' kind of thing that when I was doing it gave me great pause. But a little voice told me to keep going and let the kiln to the rest, and I'm glad I did. Awfully darn shiny for pictures, but oh so nice to fondle!

Part of the new series of fluted mugs. Overall, the copper green glaze was pretty gnarly in this kiln, not doing what I'd hoped. These mugs had the most interesting action on them. I'm going to make another copper green recipe to test for the next kiln, but I think if I get the kiln placement right I can get what I want out of the Willie Hillix still.

I made several yunomi/tea bowls, partially to work on the fluting technique with trimming and partially just for the fun, since I hadn't made any in a good while. I used oribe as the cover glaze over a shino, and I don't think this picture shows just how blue it went.

I'm just getting back into my sake sets, and I'm looking forward to doing more tray sets of all kinds. This tray didn't exactly go with this set, until I decided it did when I was glazing. These are the only pieces I remembered to use my 'magic wash' on. It hadn't been coming out very well in the last Odyssey firings, so I thinned it out and played with a different application, but then forgot all about it when I was glazing and decorating the tumblers. It looks a lot more like it should on this, and it certainly makes the tray go with the set now!

I was bummed on a couple of levels that I forgot to go by the Chocolate Lounge to get some truffles this morning. I wanted to do a shot with them in the picture, and then have myself a little post-photo shoot treat! But I remembered only as I unpacked the mug...I may still have to go later today to get that truffle. Dan and Jael were as happy with them as I was when I opened the kiln, which is always what you want in client reaction! The time we took to test forms, try glaze combos and refine the look really helped me know what they wanted, and it gave them a lot more security in knowing they'd get what they wanted. Can't wait to go try them out...guess it's more of a business trip now...quality control and all...do I really need to rationalize a truffle trip?!

And finally, not from my kiln #1, but Akira's kiln #2. I didn't remember to bring the box of pots I picked up, but I was drinking out of this one so I was happy to be able to get it as well. It was one of the best of my grouping - I only had time to glaze or put flashing slip on a handful of pieces, but this one I dipped in shino. I'll have to check my notes to see if I wrote down which one, but shino is definitely the way for me to go in his kiln. This has some nice shino-y stuff going on in the glaze, a nice little crawl just inside the lip, and I like the way the fluting gives a visual texture behind the texture of the glaze.

Oh, and if you won't be in the Asheville area to come by OrganicFest on Saturday, maybe you want to head over to Charlotte for the Potters Market Invitational at the Mint Museum. Akira will be there, as will Kyle Carpenter and many other talented folk.

Ok, my little break has gone on long enough. Time to clean the studio, inventory the pots, price them, pack them and start putting together the booth for Saturday. Oh but first perhaps I'll just have a little chocolate...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


As the official potter of OrganicFest (my own title...I may get there and find out it's a shared title this year!), I'm happy to return for the 3rd year to OrganicFest. When I first moved to Asheville, I signed up for it (then just in it's own second year) as a way to give me a goal to make work in my first six months. I'll keep doing it as long as they'll have me, and I'm happy to promote sustainability through offering locally made, reusable ware that holds organic foods beautifully and is made using recycled materials with my own local-artist hands!

OrganicFest will be downtown Asheville this Saturday, September 6, on the streets around Grove Arcade. My booth is #18 (one of my very favorite numbers) on Battery Park Avenue, toward Page Street. If you're in the area please come by and say hello! I'll have work out of the kiln that's cooling today, plus some fun treats to take away with your purchases. I'll also have brochures about classes and workshops, and information about the upcoming Empty Bowls event benefitting Manna Food Bank. All that in one little booth and the whole rest of the festival to enjoy! Hope to see you there....

firing #1 away...

So many times during the past few days I wanted to post and update here, but alas I just couldn't make the trip all the way down to the end of the driveway to get online. I started out thinking I had a luxurious amount of time to prep and glaze my load...this would be my first kiln load that's mostly mine at the WestFire kiln, so I'm calling it #1. It was made rather quick and dirty over the past few weeks so I could catch up on orders and have something for OrganicFest next weekend, but somehow I fear those kinds of deadlines are always going to sneak up on me!

Anyway, started out leisurely enough, moving pots to the studio on Friday to get them prepped for a Sunday load and Monday fire. I mean that's two days! I was rather self-congratulatory I think I was...

But as with all good intentions...Friday first started, after a nice urban hike with Lissa and taking her back to the house, at my studio, loading the car with everything I'd need for the glaze session. WestFire is only about five blocks from my studio, but I still don't have the bike serviced and at any rate I didn't want to waste time buzzing back and forth for things forgotten. So pots and brushes and washes and underglazes and scales and gloves and respirators and stools and fans were loaded. This indeed can take longer than you think! I got everything unloaded at WestFire and set up my work area just in time to head back to Odyssey for a very lovely little 'good bye and good luck' party that some of the renting studio artists put together for me and another artist who is leaving Odyssey. Peter had a huge cake, and finding out that I can't eat dairy only after he ordered it, he even picked me up a slice of vegan chocolate/peanut butter cake! Just the right amount, and considering I hadn't had breakfast yet by the time I got there, all the appropriate food groups to go with my coffee.

So finally to WestFire, after a quick run to pick up a sandwich so I might actually eat something out of the sugar/caffeine group (that's the bottom 2/3's of the food pyramid, isn't it?). Back at the studio, the first order was to mix up a glaze I need for the Chocolate Lounge mugs. Lo and behold, in spite of recently buying a load of glaze chems for the studio, my chosen glaze calls for Wollastonite ... and only a little bag of dregs here to be found! So back to Crazy Green where fortunately I had plenty, back to WestFire and finally the glaze got mixed! Then it was on to wiping dust off all the bisque that had been stacked in the studio for the past weeks, and setting up the space to wax bottoms.

Joey and Julie were firing their kiln, which you can see glowing in the back of the picture. You can also see that in spite of taking over just about every surface, I still needed to work and shift and move ware around to get to it all. Got the ChoLo mugs lined just as Melissa Weiss, who also makes ware for the Chocolate Lounge, dropped off some work to add to the firing. And then I had just enough time to put the glaze on the logo stamps and wax over them before Holly came to get me for the funeral march and celebration for John Payne. I was gone a lot longer than I thought I'd be, but I'm so glad I went. I didn't get to know John as well as a lot of people, but being in that group of friends, family and colleagues Friday night I got to know him better, and the love and respect that buzzed through the crowd echoed the reach he had into this community. I forgot to take my camera for the LaZoom bus ride to the parade start, the march across the bridge and the great party, incredible puppet presentation and dove release, but I know there are lots of pictures of the event floating on the internet airwaves.

Back at the studio, I managed to get the ChoLo mugs done, diffusers base glazed and most of the rest of the load logged so I wouldn't have to spend hours wondering what I was about to do on Saturday. Saturday is market day, and I hadn't been for the past couple of weeks and I had a jones for some fresh market veggies, so had to make that diversion. Back in the studio, the first group got base glazed and then brush work began. There are a lot of new things I want to try, and I have to keep reminding myself to pace it out - it's so tempting to try a little of this and that on mugs and tumblers, but I don't want to end up at OrganicFest so much variety that it looks like a garage sale. But it's been a while since I glazed at this studio and had the variety of glazes available that weren't at Odyssey, so I had to play a little.

So underglazing and waxing ensued, and that took me through the day and into the evening. I finished the diffusers, glazed a few other commission pieces and got my self to a point where Sunday would be all about my work. I still felt I had plenty of time, since I couldn't start loading until Julie unloaded her kiln on Sunday. I did go home Saturday night and cook up some of my market veggies so I'd have good eats on Sunday, and it was late but not too late getting to bed.

All this and it's only Sunday? I babble too much....but Sunday had it's own delays. Got a nice romp in the park with Lissa, then had to go by Odyssey and finish cleaning out my studio. Those boxes (how much stuff I had in that tiny space!!) are all shoved into the new studio, on top of the lovely new display boxes and risers that Alex delivered on Friday. Today is gonna be fun putting the studio back in order, which is why I'm writing this from home to avoid yet one more distraction!

So back to Sunday, finally getting to the studio and back to finishing brush work and shifting ware to glaze more pieces.

some new brush work...not sure if I saw this flower somewhere or if it's just an invention of a sleep-deprived mind, but I'm likin' it so far...

Julie came to unload, so of course there were breaks in work to look at her kiln results, check out Joey's work and talk about the firing.
Julie had work that didn't make it into her kiln, so she stayed to glaze it for my kiln. I had plenty to load from my work, but because of the inventory I needed to throw for this load, most of it was on the shorter side, so her addition of pitchers and big bowls gave me some stacking options and let the load be tighter than it would have been.

The downside, as pleasant as it was, was learning that I really get a lot more done when I glaze alone! We were both working away, but I noticed after she left around 8pm that I started getting a lot more done...and I also learned I had a lot more to do than I realized. I got down to a smaller grouping of teabowls and cups, so I decided to start loading what I had done as a way to clear some of the tables and shelves. A little loading, a little brushing, a little glazing, a little more loading. I'm not gonna say just how late it was when I finished, but some could say it wasn't late at all, it was early...early the next morning.

So the kiln got a shorter candle and I got a shorter nap...but all in all I had a good, if not caffeinated, energy level. Monday was firing, cleaning the studio and taking some time to work on studio forms for the classes that will start next week.

Anne and Steve were in town camping, and they came by during some earlier hours and gave me a nice break with a quick trip to the Chocolate Lounge for some yummy truffles (client research, of course!), then a bit later treated me to dinner at the Noodle Shop. And I had been worried that since I worked so late the night before I'd be eating peanut butter sammies all day and night!

The firing seemed to go okay, but it stalled a bit around cone 6. I have dozens of theories on the stall, but all in all with the later start it was maybe an hour and a half longer than I thought it would be.So the kiln went to bed around midnight, then me a couple of hours later after catching up on emails, and today as the kiln cools I'll get Crazy Green looking like a studio again. Kiln opens on Wednesday, so send a nice thought out to the universe for pretty pots!

ok, enough babble, I slept in a bit and now it's time to dig out of the boxes and get the studio back in order...more later! peace.