Monday, March 22, 2010

I Need A Weekend To Recover From My Weekend...

Thursday - M got here, landlord started fixing the fence that's been broken for 2.5 years - with much banging and bothering of the cats. As soon as she got out of the car, I dragged her off on a walk / geocaching adventure and we found two caches less than half a mile from my house that I've been meaning to find for over a year.

Friday - she wandered - and found a zoo nearby that no one here even knew existed - while I worked. After work, to the studio! For wine! And painting! Then to dinner, where we froze in a draft and had to send dinner back 3 times before they finally got it right.

Saturday - breakfast WAY too early at IHOP (I'm convinced that a single molecule of syrup can - and does - make an entire building sticky. How does that work, physics??) then to Shackleford Island. We were here last year as well. I love the beach and the water, she loves the wild horses.

I found toadstools growing in the sand on the beach - which seemed very strange to me.

Why am I so attracted to dead things on the beach?

I am fascinated with visual textures. Sooo cool.

And why can't I just enjoy the place without even noticing all of the detris that no one else seems to pay any attention to? Witness - hauling 3 trash bags of litter and sand out with us. A best friend is someone who thinks what you're doing is probably pointless and stupid and STILL brings another trash bag and pitches in... on her vacation. Seriously people, plastic beverage containers are EVIL and must be stopped. Also, keep better track of your flip flops.

I took the opportunity to chase some birds around. I took two pictures of the pelican, so close together that they're the same picture except for wing position, so now I can flip back and forth between the pictures on my computer and make the pelican fly!

We ate at Finz - food and bait in one convenient location! - and then headed home for Parcheesi, wine and her fudge. She makes the best fudge ever. Yummy!

Sunday - another day of up-too-damn-early and then to the store and then off to go horseback riding on the beach. It was wonderful but my horse was slow as molasses in January and wouldn't move for anything. A N Y T H I N G. Made me slightly nuts. If you go, do not request Sarah - the rest of your party will be miles ahead of you. It's a beautiful ride, but really quite desolate.

There are also wild horses roaming around at Cedar Island. They let us get pretty close, all things considered.

Also? Saw dead dolphin on the beach. If I hadn't have been about 400 feet off the ground, I would have investigated further.

(When we got back, I dismounded onto the tailgate of a full size truck, and it was a large step down from the horse to the truck. The mare was half Belgian and HUGE.)

To get to Cedar Island, you drive FOREVER and then, in the middle of nowhere, there's this huge, beautiful bridge. It was surreal.

Then we headed to Texas Steakhouse for dinner, primarily because they were open in my small Southern town on a Sunday and headed for home. M needed to replenish her stock of Spanish moss, so we ventured out to the cemetary and found fireworks! We zipped over to watch them then came back and fell asleep.

Today - she left at 7:00 am. I zoned on the couch until I was late for work. So very tired... So far, not as sore as I thought I'd be, but things are a bit uncomfortable. Now, to bed to try to recooperate enough to make it through the rest of the week.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pots, Bowls & Mugs - Part 2: Incoming

The latest finished stuff is here, in part 1.

These are my shelves at the studio. Note all of the stuff in process on the top shelf.

I've been on a mug kick lately. These four are ready to glaze. I had a bit of a problem with the handle on the last one, so it went into a later bisque firing.

President's Day Weekend was a very good one for me - I got Monday off - yay! - AND Deb had things to do in the studio. (She's got a key and I can stay as late as she does - I like days when she has things to do.) So I spent all of the long weekend playing in the mud. A result of that - these bowls were thrown, trimmed, carved, sanded, painted and ready for bisque in one weekend. Next thing you know, I'll be a production potter!

As with the mugs, I've been playing with sets of things. This is my first attempt at a set of four bowls. If I glaze them all the same, they'll certainly look like a set, right?

My friend P has been fascinated lately with combining contrasting clays to get a marbled effect. These have the added benefit of easy glazing - dip it in clear and you're done. Of course, if you are like me and don't think to use a rib to clear the slip from the piece as you throw it, you get to spend about four years sanding to bring out the color variations. *sigh* Since she's been kind enough to actually wedge the clays together, I've played a bit too. It's interesting, but I'm not nearly as into it as she is.

And here is where I am now - I have so much to glaze that I've stolen another shelf. I'm not allowing myself to throw anything else until I get this under control.

(Of course, by the time I actually get this published, I'll hopefully have a bunch more in the pipeline. The never ending story...)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pots, Bowls & Mugs - Part 1: At Home

This is all the stuff I've finished recently. (Brace yourself - this is a bit overdue and things have piled up.)

Here are pieces that I carved and then painted:

Yeah, I started this one last year, got it finished and then forgot it on my shelf until nearly February. I'm not late, I'm early for next year!

I have a stamp with a similar image, and I ended up liking my hand carved version better than the stamp.

I did another bowl with similar squiggles, but I dyed them dark again a lighter clay. That was a huge amound of work. For this one, I painted a bowl with red underglaze and then carved the squiggles out. The clay is white, and it shows through quite nicely.

Lilies, also from before Christmas - the season was hectic and they got buried. I kept thinking I was forgetting something...

I'm pretty proud of the way this one turned out, so these pictures follow the pattern all the way around. I carved the ribbons over and under into the clay and then painted them once the clay dried. Then I bisqued it and clear glazed it.

This one is kind of a hybrid - I carved out the strip and then brush glazed it. The jasper and the deep firebrick react to each other in ways that are unexpected and pretty cool.

These are just bowls - most of them are color experiments with new glazes. I made most of them in one day during the empty bowls charity push. I'm a bit unhappy - these were all round when they went INTO the firing, but slightly warped when they came out. *grumble*

And these were thrown by another lady in the studio and she didn't like them. I rescued them from the trash can and played with the glaze a bit.

Next up: Part 2 - All of the stuff that is currently in progress.

My raku firing got postponed indefinitely due to a lack of people. *sigh* Sadness. But, I have finished all of the bisque for it and set it aside so I'm ready whenever the instructor is. Now totally works for me...