Friday, October 31, 2008

TRANSITIONS: An Odyssey Resident Exhibition

I've given myself the evening off to make soup and fend off a throat tickle, so while I'm catching up on catching up, I thought I'd throw a shout out for an event sure to be the highlight of the Studio Stroll kick-off! "Transistions: An Odyssey Resident Artist Exhibition" will have its opening reception on Friday, November 7 from 5-8pm at the Odyssey Studios Gallery. There are many very cool events in the 'hood on Friday to kick off Studio Stroll, but only this one will feature Joey's Pasta Salad (if you've been to one of our receptions, then you know you want to come!).

Once again, I'll be opening a kiln, unloading and taking pots directly to the show, so if you come early, you may still feel the warmth of the kiln! Along with me will be recently former Resident Artists Joey Sheehan and Suzanne Hobbs, and current 'senior' Residents Courtney Murphy, Sarah Danforth and Robert Francis. Rounding out the group is newer (but no longer even the newest!) Resident Artist Beth Flanagan. Together, we represent members of the Residency program over the past two years, and among us we well represent the theme of 'Transistions'.

If you'd like to see more information about each of the artists, along with event details, etc., you can check out the blog - go now and then go back as it's constantly being updated with new artist profiles.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

November Schedule

Click to enlarge for details, and if you want a copy, just drag the image to your desktop. As always, subject to change, but here's the class and open studio schedule for November. The TBA's will be filled in as soon as I know when I'll need to be at Odyssey as the Resident Artist show opens over Studio Stroll weekend. And of course, if you ever get here and I'm not here, you'll find my number on the door!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunny Sunday...

Another beautiful fall day in Asheville. This weekend was to be a final push to make ware to bisque for upcoming firings in both my kiln and the Westfire reducition kiln, but I found myself in kind of a haze getting as much done as I'd planned. The weekend's actual production output didn't match the list I made, but work did get done. It's still quite a dance to move from making work, teaching, keeping the studio in shape for which ever activity is next, keeping up with marketing & books, upcoming events, unknown opportunities. Still seems whenever I'm doing one thing, I'm thinking about something else, and distractions abound. Gotta work harder to stay in the present and give my attention to what I'm doing at the moment. Scheduling helps, but I gotta work harder to keep to my own schedule!

I set up a table outside to let the sun help my pots dry - after the rain earlier this weekend, nothing much was drying inside. The other plus to this method is it got me outside several times to take a stretch and soak up a bit of vitamin sun. Toward the end of the afternoon, I was chasing the last rays of sun by moving the wettest ware to the car. It's amazing how much faster the sun seems to go down these days!

This morning I took Lissa for a hike in the woods, and wished I had my camera to get some of the beautiful fall colors and morning rays of light through the diminishing tree cover. In lieu of that, on one of my outdoor stretches to check pot butts, I snapped a picture of the local fall color right outside my door.

And speaking of Lissa...all day I prodded her to get outside and enjoy the weather, but she was happy to snooze in her corner behind my wheel. When I finally dragged her out and shut the door behind us, she thanked me by finding every rotting, disgusting, thing-I-don't-even-want-to-know-what-it-was...and eating it. This is her defiant smilin' mug when we got back in the studio:

I have a feeling our walk later this evening may see some regurgitation of earlier events, one way or another!

Time to lay out clay for pugging, clean up the studio and get organized for class tomorrow morning. Oh and then maybe just throw a few more things....peace

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Workshop Series!

'Finding Your Own Voice' is a special series of workshops pairing some of the area's finest teaching professional potters with advanced-skill students and emerging artists for focused critique, discussion and development.

I'm very excited that our first workshop in this series will be lead by Mars Hill potter and extraordinary teacher Becca Floyd.

This intimate class of no more than five students will work as a group to help each other while each student will also be working on their own 'personal voice'. Students will bring work for an initial critique and group discussion, with an eye toward their own ideas on the forms they want to resolve. Becca will design the specific focus of the workshop based on a pre-registration questionnaire and what each student brings to the class. This workshop is designed for the advanced student, and prospective students will be screened to make sure they are up for the challenge. This is not a workshop about learning technique. It is assumed that each student has abilities in technique and is looking for a way to bring their work to another level through personal challenge and in a supportive group environment.

Based on interest by many students and emerging potters, we're trying to put a workshop together that will start in early November and run into December, taking a break over the Thanksgiving week holiday. If schedules don't work out for these dates, this workshop will be moved to a post-holiday start, but early registrations will be honored first.

So if you're interested or know a potter who would love this type of workshop, contact me right away!

Go Vote!


Third time's the charm. I tried to vote a couple of times last week, and while usually I'm happy to stand in line to vote, last week there were too many other deadlines pulling me. My first attempt, the line was out the door, the second time, I was in line for about 15 minutes and realized I had to duck out again. Back in town with far less time crunch, I went in and out in less than 20 minutes. It's great to see such a strong turn out early, and now I'm free to help out on election day.

A note about straight-ticket voting. Make sure you make your separate selection for President, even if you're voting straight ticket, or your Presidential vote may not count. The poll workers at my precinct were careful to point this out, but not all places in the states that have straight ticket voting are telling voters this, so to make sure all your votes count, vote each candidate, it doesn't take that much longer!

And another note - even if you're opting to vote on election day, take a few minutes and confirm your registration, that way you don't get stuck with a provisional ballot on the 4th.

back to the clay...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back from Atlanta

Feeling much more alert now that I've caught up on sleep, and ready to hit the studio and start another frenzied production schedule for another firing in a few weeks, but first a recap of the weekend's events!

Friday I opened the kiln and shot a few pictures of the new work as I unloaded, sorted for orders and packed for the show.

(some of the new tile tests)

The firing overall was great, although I still want to work on the copper green glaze and/or the application of those we have. The glory of that glaze for me is the range it gives in firings, depending on the clay body, place in kiln, firing, etc., but I want to set the parameters of that range a bit more to my liking. The new brush work and glaze combos were good again in this kiln, and again I ran out of time and wish I had done more, but it just gives me a good starting place for what I'm throwing when I get in the studio today!

Once loaded and deliveries made, I finally hit the road around 5pm. A few traffic slow downs and my usual confused navigation through I-285 and missing my exit, and I was finally at my host destination around 9:45. I did a little car re-arranging and organizing, but realized that I might as well just wait and price when I unloaded at the show. I did go through my tent-mate's goods to make sure I found everything she left for me, and got that packed into the car.

I meant to take some pictures of the town square that hosted the event - as much as the continued build up all around Atlanta always confuses and confounds me when I try to make my way around areas I used to know so well, the development of this little Village Market in Smyrna has the opposite effect - it's really lovely, and I think it has the potential of really being an event destination for this area if they can let more people know it's here.

The set up went pretty well, considering I'd never dealt much with gallery set up construction. I need to tell my potter friends who make wall hanging pieces that they should look into this for shows - the cables holding Anne's pictures hold up to 40 pounds each, and it's so much easier than transporting fake walls and dealing with hardware and tools! Luckily, the set up time 'officially' ended about two hours before the show started, so I made sure everything was out by the end of set up, but then spent a more leisurely time pricing and organizing back stock.

Crazy Green Studios with tent-partner Bark Photography

So all the elements of the show were in place for a great result - the backdrop of the Village Market was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the booth looked great. Now just for the people! Ah well, that's where the road takes a turn. From what I could gather from the people who did come through, nobody seemed to know about the event, other than those I had invited on my own mailing list and a few others attached to the other artists. Nearby Dobbins Air Base was having an air show that rattled the ware every few minutes, but it ended in the early portion of our show - only it didn't seem to bring any of that crowd our way. Based on the number of people who did come through the booth, sales were great, which does make me think that if people actually knew about the show, they would come and it could be a good show worth traveling for. Otherwise, it was just a nice vehicle to see old friends, but I'd rather do that without the hassle and stress of filling a kiln, loading ware and setting up a booth!

But friends did come! I didn't have my head on to get pictures of everyone again, but here's one gang of high school and college friends:

Good friends Anne, Ginny, Lee & Edie

It was so great to see everyone, and next time maybe no show so I can take more pictures and just hang out more!

Sunday I took some ware over to MudFire Gallery for their upcoming holiday show, and got to visit a bit with Erik and Luba while they were on a workshop break (and then Luba kindly let me steal her to go rummage through my boxes of pots!). Sunday night my hosts Anne & Steve joined me in meeting my 'god-family' Nancy, Gordon, Anna Lori & Alex for dinner (again forgot the camera!!!!), and yet another friend was dining a few tables away.

Monday, I was able to have a lovely brunch with more gal pals then hit the road back to the mountains. The colors are starting to show, and it was a gorgeous day for the drive. Now everything is dumped in the studio and waiting for my organizing and cleaning, so it's back to the daily show!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 16: World Food Day

I don't think this is in the official 'Hallmark' calendar of celebrated special events, but today is in fact World Food Day, and it's also the day of the annual Empty Bowls luncheon to benefit Manna Food Bank.

I got off a couple of snappy photos, but then the doors opened and it's all a fabulous blur of people streaming by and bowls streaming out. I'll report the official numbers once I get them, but we estimated starting the day with close to 800 bowls, and when I left the number of bowls left fit on one table, and the Collector's Corner had been run through faster than a blue light special.

Some quick highlights, then I'm off to bed for an early rise and packing. Tomorrow I open/unload/pack the kiln and head down to Atlanta. If you're in that area, come by and see me at the Smyrna Fine Arts Festival on Saturday!

Some of the day:

These sporty aprons feature artwork by Asheville potter Paul Frehe, who also donated many, many bowls with the same dancing bowls that quickly danced out of the room. A special note about the aprons - these aprons were given to the volunteers who helped keep the event running smoothly, and it was thought they had a sponsor to cover the costs, but as it turns out Manna will be billed for them. Because everything (bowls, food, space) is donated for this event, all proceeds go directly to Manna so they can do what they do at the food bank, and funds were not allocated for the aprons. So if you missed the event but still want to help out, you can send Manna a donation and designate it for the 'aprons' (you may even be able to buy one if you want, they're quite nice!) - if you do, Manna will send you a thank you letter for your donation. Bring it by my studio and you can pick out a bowl!

You may recognize this bowl from my open house, it's the one decorated by Sam Rattigan. I wanted to make sure his mom got the bowl, so I 'borrowed' it to have my lunch in before the doors opened. It nicely held the lentil soup from Corner Kitchen, and as the spoons weren't out yet, I can also attest to the slurping quality of the lip (she said with no modesty at all, realizing it's a bowl she made herself).

More pre-show slurping, with Heather Tinnaro, who was one of the Bowl Project guest potters as well as event day volunteer, and John Hartom, our fearless if not somewhat sleepy leader (both sporting much sought-after bowls by one J.Hartom).

In a rare, dual public appearance outside the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, both Dan and Jael Rattigan came to support Manna and claim their prize! This was pretty much the last picture I could take - the crowds just didn't stop and I didn't look up till it was time to go!

I left the lunch, sped downtown only to take a leisurely drive around the block several times to find a parking spot so I could run (almost literally) through the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands at the Civic Center. The Odyssey booth looks great, and while all too fast, I did get in quick hellos (but no pictures darn it!) with several friends and just enough time to wish them well before dashing back to the studio to get ready for the afternoon class. My students are most patient and accommodating as the studio continues through its growing pains and close quarters - today we did hand building demos and putting the slab roller together does all sorts of interesting things to the space! The poor studio does look a bit ransacked right now...and no there are no pictures of that, thank you! If you want to see nice studio shots, check out Kyle Carpenter's blog - he came to the open house and posted some pictures from his visit. While you're at it, hop down to Clingman Cafe to see Kyle and is Clay Space Coop (including the above mentioned Heather Tinnaro) studio mates in a wonderful show in the Cafe. I ran down tonight for the opening reception just before it closed - the show will be up for the rest of the month, and while you're there grab a bite, the food and coffee are great!

The laundry is churning and I'm soon to catch up on some sleep. Tomorrow has an ever-growing to-do list, but I'm only thinking about opening that kiln! peace.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

As the kiln fires...

It's time to take a breather. As much as I love LOVE love firing in wood kilns for all the atmospheric wonder and effect, this week I'm very happy to be firing the gas kiln as it's given me a slight break in a crazy busy week. I'm getting other work done, but the main job is to sit with the kiln and tweak the damper. Here's a catch up of life since the excitement of Saturday's car folly and missed trip to the Potter's Market...
(ok, this has nothing to do with the post, it's just a tile textured with couscous that was left in plastic too long and molded - just thought it looked cool!)

The problem with George turned out, thankfully, to be a blown fuse. As I mentioned before, I'm not one to know what's going on with the car (I used to know more when I had a '66 bug, but that was a loooooooong time ago!), and I didn't even know I had a fuse box, much less where it is OR the fact that I had a pack of new fuses in the glove box. So close!

But in the $$ department, that was very good news, and I dropped off a couple of tumblers of appreciation to Adam, my mechanic, for knowing about fuses! And to continue the grateful acknowledgments (I'd be in a ditch by the side of the road, almost literally, if it weren't for good friends this week!), many thanks to Courtney for ferrying me out to the shop to pick up the car bright and early on Tuesday.

But I got ahead of myself...Saturday night fun included packing up all bisque-ware and stuffing it into the fabulous yellow mercedes to go to the glaze studio.
My temp ride, loaded and ready to go!

Julie and Joey were still glazing and not quite loading yet, so I just stacked my boxes out of the way and took advantage of the chance to get some extra sleep for the week. Sunday was up early to kiln wash shelves at my studio in anticipation of the first glaze firing for the Empty Bowls load on Monday, then over to the glaze studio to set up my fun for the next few days of glazing.
the empty canvas

Once everything was out of boxes, it was back over to the Odyssey studio to unload a gas kiln to make it empty so we could load the Empty Bowls kiln there, but first there were some remaining bisque bowls to be glazed. I got some glazed, then Beth arrived and took over glazing while I started loading the kiln. We got it loaded and candled by late afternoon so I headed back over to the glaze studio to start waxing and prepping. Monday morning was early at Odyssey to get the kiln started, then back to my studio to glaze the bowls for the cone 7 kiln and get it started. While I was there, I also got a fabulous treat and surprise gift box from good friend Karen to celebrate the studio opening, with a basket full of yummy that I'll look forward to when I get back in town next week! Back to Odyssey to check on the kiln, which Beth had nicely in hand, so after the last Bowl Project class she took that through and I headed back to the glaze studio to keep going with the base glazes. John Hartom brought some of the Collector's Corner bowls to show the class, along with materials from the Empty Bowls archives to share how other artists and groups express their own sense of social justice around the world. It's a wonderful and inspiring collection.

John Hartom, the man behind the bowls...
Some of what you'll find at Thursdays event: offerings from Linda McFarling, MacKenzie Smith and many, many more

I even started some wax resist work but when I caught my self putting the wrong glaze on a commission piece I knew it was time to wash it off and head home for bed!

Tuesday morning I gassed up the mercedes, returned it to yet another much appreciated friend Melissa, and Courtney got me to the shop to pick up George and even stopped for her inspection while she was at it. Back to town and gave myself the luxury of a nice walk in the park with Lissa before heading back to the studio. It was a pretty busy day at the studio, not only for me, but in the traffic that came through. I stayed pretty well focused, but as I've mentioned before I'm learning more and more that I really prefer solitude when I'm glazing.

progress with the aid of my ipod

Things quieted down and I was making progress, but I could tell around 7:30 that if I didn't get some help in I'd be in for another 3am finish, and the week was still young with too much to do for that. So hitting the book o' dear friends yet again, Heather came to the rescue and headed over to start loading while I finished up glazing. Solitude is good for glazing, but it's always more fun to have a friend in the studio during other parts of the firing process. Heather got me caught up, so by the time she had to leave I was finished glazing and ready to take over the loading. Joey came back to get his pots and gave me a hand in the candling, and while still 1am, it's so much better than 3! The scene when I left:the scene after loading

This morning, yet another kindness done by Laura, kiln owner, who started the kiln for me at 7:30 which gave me time to give Lissa a walk and run by and unload the cone 7 kiln at my studio. I didn't have my camera, but I'll try to get shots at the event tomorrow - it looked good, although it seems to have gone quite firmly to cone 8 despite my programming. Something to tend to when I get back in town. The clear over the underglazes was very nice, and the cone 10 glazes on the exterior of a few bowls did some very nice things too - I hope I wrote down which ones I used because there's one I want to use again! Got back to the glaze studio to keep doing the turn ups and clean the mess, or at least make the place much more presentable:

cleaner and ready to unload the kiln...ooops, gotta fire it first!

And then kind Heather to the rescue again as I had to head over to Odyssey at noon to unload the cone 10 and cone 6 kilns that had been cooling.the Empty Bowls load
Gay Smith trimmed this bowl of hers during her demo, and the shino got a nice kiss from the kiln in this firing

The firings were all good, and with help from Bowl Project class members and studio assistants, we got both kiln loads packed in no time, and loaded those and the other bowls Beth had collected over the past months (total delivery, approximately 450 bowls!) and Celeste and I drove the bowls to the Doubletree Biltmore where we'll be back tomorrow morning to help set up for the luncheon. Back at the studio, the kiln is a cookin', I'm a chillin' and getting ready to listen to the debate. With a nod from the kiln gods, we'll be finished early enough to gain an hour or two on lost sleep and be up and fresh to set up the Empty Bowls lunch tomorrow morning, and then continue with the week's craziness (oh, it's not done yet, by any means!).

So if you're in the area, come to the Empty Bowls lunch - there are fabulous bowls to be had, delicious food to be eaten, and good information to be gained on how big an issue hunger is in our area, as well as the good work that Manna Food Bank does every day to combat it.

Time to check the kiln!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The first day in my Saturday...

You'd think that after I carefully laid out my plans for the next few days, it would be a done deal, but noooooooooooo.....

This morning was up and out almost on time, with a few diverted stops here and there and on the road to the Spruce Pine Potters Market only about 20 minutes later than I had planned. This was the first 'sign', that struck me as such to the point that I took a picture.

But I carried on, and even though there was more construction to navigate once I got off the highway and was headed toward Spruce Pine, when the radio said it was 10am I was maybe only about 10 miles away, so the schedule was lookin' good!

And then it happened:

(this is cropped not only for the drama of the moment, but also to mask the dog hair that has accumulated
on my dash and only noticed by me when I downloaded this shot...)

Or rather, it didn't happen. Accelerating up a small hill (relative to the hills we have here), George Bailey, my trusty Volvo, just stopped. Well, he lost power and I had enough momentum to pull off the road, thankfully, but then he stopped. And so did my plans for the rest of the morning, including most regrettably the trip to Spruce Pine.

And may I just add that to this point in the morning I had only consumed one rather large cup of coffee? I really wanted to look under the hood, knowing I know not much at all about what's under there but hopeful perhaps something popped loose and there was a label beneath the missing hose/plug that said "there should be a hose or plug here to run properly!" ... I couldn't concentrate because the coffee was, as a friend of mine was fond of saying about cheap lite beer, 'runnin' right thru me'. And no businesses (open ones) or accessible doors to knock on, so I could only focus my brain cells on THAT. While I was waiting for the tow, my next challenge was to figure out where to take the car. I was closest (oh, so close!) to Burnsville, and figured I'd find a shop there, so I also started trying to figure out how I'd get back to Asheville, assuming I'd have to leave the car. At this point, friend Melissa calls to coordinate getting some pots into my glaze kiln next week, and when I pour out my sob story to her, she offers me one of her cars to use for a few days while mine is in the shop - a glimmer of hope and a truckload of gratitude for something I hadn't gotten around to thinking about!

So I started checking shops in Burnsville and Spruce Pine given to me by my road assistance folks, only to find that they just don't work on cars on Saturdays in Burnsville. I called the next of several friends and Julie, who would ride to my rescue again later, looked up the shop where I take my car in Asheville and found it had Saturday hours till 3pm. A glow of hope and more gratefulness for friends near a computer! Julie was crazy busy getting her load glazed (she's firing tomorrow), so I opted to go down the list to see if I could find someone else to meet me at the shop and get me to Melissa's car. Melissa had offered, but she had to get to work. Holly was already on her way back from Madison County with her newly adopted dog, so I checked in with her to see if she might be able to help. She was willing, but on call as another friend was about to deliver a baby and Holly had promised to be there. I got through the list and back to dear Julie, who agreed to be a last resort, so I stowed that away and waited for the tow.

The tow actually made better time getting to me as well, and a very pleasant and talented driver (who's name has now dropped from my brain, sorry!) got George hooked up and on the truck in no time. Lissa got the rumble seat ride, and while she was very well behaved and laid back through the entire morning, I don't think she was pleased about it at all in spite of my cheery encouragements.

So we're back on the road, heading back the 35 miles or so to Asheville, and now I'm looking ahead again to getting picked up at the service station. Holly had said to check with her again, and when I did I found out she was a few miles ahead of us in a big accident-related traffic jam. Unfortunately, we didn't find this out in time to get off the highway as soon as we'd have liked, so we ended up in that jam and then in in-town traffic for the next 20 minutes or so. We even passed Holly on one of the town roads, so I got to see Chagall, her new pup, although I didn't have fast enough reflexes to get out the camera to capture the moment. Since she was still in traffic and trying to find out if she needed to go to the hospital, I called on Julie, and she agreed to meet me at the station.

We arrived at the station (and if you're keeping score, I still hadn't found a bathroom), and it was 2pm but the station was closed! Worse yet, the entire lot was locked behind a big fence with 'guard dog' warnings and tow signs on the outside. The glow of hope was starting to dim, but I decided to go into the business next door and ask if I could park the car in their lot till Monday morning. What did I find but the father of my mechanic running the store, and most willing to unlock the gate and let us put the car in the lot AND let me use the restroom in his shop. Hope is a flood light again (no pun intended)!

So Julie rescued me and took me to Melissa's, where I picked up the uber-Asheville-cool-yellow-diesel Mercedes, and I'm back at the studio ready to start making up for just a few hours of lost time.

I am very bummed that I didn't make it to the Market, and without my own ride and the lost time, seeing it tomorrow is definitely out of the question - but on the up side I have to say it is a beautiful day out (ie not raining), I got to see some early leaf changing, met very nice helpful people and while a car expense is not something I ever plan, much less right now, in the big scheme of things I still have nothing to complain about. Good friends and friendly strangers trump any inconvenience in my book, and while it seems far off right now, I'll just have to see the Market next year!

And now to the second day in my Saturday - time to get stuff over to the glaze studio and start mixing glazes. Photos from this point on will be far more interesting, appealing and if entertaining, it'll be in the way I intend! peace and safe travels...

Friday, October 10, 2008

a storm of calm...

Perhaps if I keep thinking I should be MORE freaked out by what I need to get done in the next week, I'll never get that freaked out, because things are still going along quite calmly. The last bisque is loaded - the picture is actually of Heather's load a couple of days ago, but I haven't had time to dig out the camera so no pictures probably till glazing begins. I forgot the camera again this morning when I went to the Very Special Arts Festival, which is a bummer as it was a lot of fun. I did take a picture with my phone of the ducks on the pond at Lake Julian, but I just learned I don't know how to get them off the phone! It's the third year I've been the guest clay artist at this festival that pairs special needs children with volunteer students from Asheville middle and high schools to experience a variety of art and performance activities, and this year was a banner year for the clay booth as we switched from using regular clay to using an air-drying clay. This is a big relief as the kids really want to take the work with them, and I'm not keen on letting raw clay go home with anyone who doesn't have a kiln. Last year we wrangled all the supporting high school art teachers to take charge of the work and bisque it, but this year was great as they each got to take their master pieces home on the spot.

Now I'm off to the glaze studio to mix glazes for the cone 10 reduction and the cone 7 oxidation firings to come, clean some shelves and start taking bisqued ware over to stash in a corner till the firing ahead of me is in the kiln (Julie & Joey right ahead of me again!).

Tomorrow I'm screaming up to Spruce Pine to see the Potter's Market dammit! It's too easy to blow off something that is essentially a treat, in particular when the gas is just coming back but is still pricey, and when there are just so many other things that need to be done. But the I don't want to miss this opportunity to see so many incredible potters in one place at one time, including friends I don't see all that often, and I'm charging my camera tonight for the event! I'm going first thing, not lingering much and screaming back (at a legal speed limit of course!) to unload the bisque and start making notes on this next firing and perhaps get the cone 7 glazing started.

Tomorrow night after Julie & Joey's kiln is loaded, I get to 'move' into the studio and set up for my own glaze party, then it's back to my studio to get what ever it is I will have forgotten before I start prepping pieces for glazing. Sunday I have open studio hours, so I'll get some throwing done for the firing I'll do with Julie just before the Resident Artist show at Odyssey and finish any cone 7 glazing, then back to the glaze studio to start the waxing and glazing. If I get just the waxing done by Sunday, I'll be in a good place, but I'm actually shooting for base glaze on at least a third of the pots BEFORE I head over to Odyssey Sunday night to help load that reduction kiln to fire for Empty Bowls. Monday we fire the Empty Bowls kiln, and if I can sneak away for a bit I'll get the rest of the base glazing done, along with sneaking back to my studio to start the cone 7 kiln, with any straggler pots that don't fit into the Odyssey cone 6 firing...and if the firing ends at a respectable hour maybe I'll go back to the glaze studio and do some wax and underglaze work. Tuesday will be all glaze, all the time! With a strong battery on my ipod and some space juggling as Julie and Joey unload their kiln, I plan to finish glazing by early if I get the kiln loaded by midnight I'll be happy.

That takes me through Tuesday night, which is plenty for the brain to ponder now (I'll gladly tell you on Tuesday, the schedule carnival in store for the rest of the week!). Off to find my respirator and some spodumene....peace.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

back to work...

It was really nice taking the day off on Sunday to enjoy the beautiful weather and the historic event in our little burg, but the clock's a tickin' and there are pots to be thrown, kilns to be fired, glazes to be mixed, classes to be taught and on and on and on.

If only I had my camera to record some of these riveting moments! I did enjoy some outside time sanding pots the other day, but those pictures are on the other computer, as are the pictures of my first students first work lined up and ready for the bisque. And yesterday at the Bowl Project class, we had John Britt in to dazzle us with not only bowl making but glazing tips. It was another great class - one of the things I enjoy the most about getting to see even a mini-workshop and/or demo is that I still get so much out of it, and this was the case again, thanks John! And in a supreme Tom Sawyer moment, we even used some of my bisqued bowls to test out some of his glazing techniques and suggestions, thank you for that too! Oh, but I forgot to take my camera, so no pictures there.

Which brings me to tonight - friend Heather came over with a load of pots to bisque for her next firing, and it being the first 'guest-bisque', of course I wanted to document it for the blog and all those twittering to see the next studio development! I mentioned it several times - we listened to the debate, she loaded and I was trimming bowls, saying how I was gonna get the camera and take pictures. Next thing I know, the kilns loaded. So faithful readers, what we have is my friend Heather, enjoying a lovely pear/ginger/almond bread I made with pears from my friend Cassie's tree. Heather's actually enjoying her tea in a rare wheel-thrown Cassie mug, as it happens!

And in case you're wondering, Heather's looking at Harvey, the big, invisible rabbit standing behind me. And yes, that's tea in the mug, it was just late and it certainly LOOKS like she's looking at a big, invisible rabbit!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

GObama in Asheville!

I'm taking a brief detour from posting updates on classes, student work and my own work to chronicle a little historic event that happened in our corner of the world. Barack Obama is in town, prepping for Tuesday's debate, and they threw together a rally today that seemed to hold the entire town, although reports are it was about 28,000 folks. It was a beautiful day, and even though my friend Holly and I went down several hours before the doors opened (which was two hours before the event), the line was already wrapped around the high school and into the adjoining parking lot. Thankfully, the event started almost on time, as we ended up on the football field in intimate quarters with several thousand other Obamaniacs. He talked healthcare and the economy, and it was good. I think most people I know are covered on this, but make sure you're registered and make sure you vote! If you can vote early, do that then help get others to the polls - no matter what your preference is in this election, it's time people started taking responsibility where they can, and voting is more than a big part of it.

And now for the photo album...

I lost all of my 'one-armed' photos in my computer crash of aught-7, so I had to start them up again. Holly and I teamed up for a nice walk on a gorgeous day to get to the stadium.

Crowds are always fun to watch, and Asheville crowds even moreso. This mom turned just as I was taking the picture, but if you click on it you can see it bigger - the baby has a mohawk, and Obama is written on the other side of his head.

These folks were just ahead of us in line, and unfortunately nobody was allowed to take in their own signs (although of course the pre-made signs were being handed out inside) so she had to ditch this before she got in.

When we got there, we had to follow a long line to find the end, but within about 30 minutes, this was the line behind us. About another 30 minutes later we started to move, and as we crested the top of the parking lot, people were jumping out of line to run and take pictures like it was a scenic outlook on the parkway:

'nuff said...

Once in, we ended up on about the fifty yard line, with the stage in one of the end zones. It would have been nice if the stage, or at least the podium, had been a bit higher, but I knew being that close I'd get SOME pictures if I raised the camera. For the most part, however, my direct view was this:

'nuff said, jr.

Being an old stage manager, I always get a kick out of the production values of live events. If you enlarge the picture, you can see the big blue curtain erected at the top of the hill, next to the bus. Between 2-2:30, as the crowd got warmer and more anxious, every little ripple of the curtain sent out a wave of psych-out applause.

This was the actual walk-in, and while I didn't expect to get the guest of honor in the shot, I thought the array of cameras, cell phones and blackberrys, blurred in the excitement of trying to take a picture and applaud and cheer, was also interesting.

For the most part, it was heads in front of me, but for a brief moment the sea parted and I had a direct shot...only to be thwarted by..
the teleprompter! Cursed again by technology!

ok, so I did get another shot!

Oh, and if you want to support Obama and get some cool pottery, check out Ayumi Horie's online show/fundraiser - the preview goes up on her site on October 13, and some wickedly talented potters are participating - check it out on her website.