Slowly, but surely, we’re getting things moved into the new house. Finding things we’d forgotten we even had. We were moving along at a pretty good clip when The Crud hit us hard and we were down for a full week last week, recovering. Feeling much better now and we’re ready to get back at it.
Has been a busy last few months around here. I haven’t been good about posting photos of the progress on the new house and studio, but here a few I took last week. We’re hoping to be finished in just a week, with final inspection on or around December 19. YAY!!!
Can’t wait to see swings on each end of the front porch.
Those 2 double windows on this end of the house are in my new studio.
The antique wood floors are so beautiful! This is the master bedroom floor shortly after the stain was finished. The stain is still wet.
I’m not getting much creative work done since the house building was started, but that will be a temporary thing (I hope!). We now have a slab, a storm room and a wastewater treatment plant. Framing materials were delivered yesterday and the framers rolled in this morning.
Can’t wait to see walls going up!
I’ve been snapping a few photos as we’re preparing to build our new house and studio. I want to share them here on my blog to keep a record of the process.
My husband, Danny, spent 40 years as a heavy equipment operator before he retired a few years ago. He loves running equipment and I know he misses it more than he will admit. He got the chance to climb back on a dozer for a couple days while the dirt was being hauled in for our house pad. As the trucks were dumping dirt, he was spreading and packing it and shaping the pad. It was fun watching him doing something he loves so much and does so well.
He says he’s “old school” and that operators like him are a dying breed. He scoffs when we drive by a construction site and see a dozer equipped with GPS units that control the positioning of the blade. He’s proud of the fact that he has the skill to grade “by eye” and have it be near perfect.
It’s a good thing when a man is proud of his work.
I am blessed to have space in my home for 2 separate studios. The one in my walk-out basement is my “dirty” studio, where I work with clay, glass, metal. It doesn’t matter in this space if I splatter mud, and I can cut glass and metal with no worries if bits fall on the concrete floor. The materials kept in this studio can tolerate a light dusting of clay dust with no ill effects.
Then there’s the “clean” studio which is on the main level, in a spare bedroom. Here, I can sew, draw, paint and work on craft projects and know I can leave them out and not find them covered in clay dust or glass shards when I get back to them. Here, this table, which was passed to us from Danny’s mother, holds some of my favorite things.
The angel on the left was found at a flea market during one of our junkin’ trips down south of Birmingham, as were the plaster tiles underneath the table. Sitting in front of the stained glass mirror is a box full of buttons, some of which came from my maternal grandmother’s stash after she passed away. She still was using a treadle sewing machine when she passed away.
The little girl in the photo is me, many moons ago. I like that a hand can be seen on the bench beside me. I think that hand belonged to my sweet dad. I’ll have to ask my mom to be sure.
The baby shoe is not one I wore as a baby. I found it at an estate sale and couldn’t find the mate, so I brought home the lone, well-worn little shoe and I just enjoy looking at it, often wondering how old that “baby” is now, if, in fact, he or she is still living.
The little handmade figure sitting beside the shoe has clothing, hat and shoes made of dried orange peel. Uh-huh, orange peel. I can’t remember where I picked up this little gem, but I’ve had her a very long time.
Driftwood pieces gathered from a northern California beach sit in a beautiful handmade wooden bowl Danny gave me. I’m not sure where he got the bowl, but I love the way the craftsman left the bark around the rim. The driftwood reminds me of our favorite trip out West.
This sweet little French artist was brought to me when I was teaching high school art at Brandon High School in Brandon, MS. A lovely friend, who had accompanied the school kids on a trip to Europe, said it reminded her of me and she had to bring it back. I’m so glad she did! I have cherished it over the years.
And lastly, some old keys that were my dad’s and some baling wire. Most of these keys belong to now-defunct vehicles and farm equipment. I enjoy looking through them.
The keys bring back memories of pickup trucks and tractors and being surrounded by cotton and soybean fields. I still remember my dad coming home from the fields in the evenings, his tanned skin and blue jeans covered in the sandy, white dust that flew everywhere in the wake of the tractors. Mom would have supper ready and we’d all sit down together to eat and talk about the day. What a wonderful way to grow up. How blessed I am to have had parents who worked hard, but still knew how to laugh and enjoy life. Such beautiful memories I have hid in my heart.
Have been so busy the last few months that I’ve only passed through the upstairs studio, grabbing this or that and laying down one thing or another on the table instead of putting it away where it belongs. It was a mess!
Finally took time recently while I was off work to put things back in place and to clean off my table so I can get back to some drawing and painting.
I uncovered a sketchbook with lots of yet to be filled pages and pulled out my old, old Winsor & Newton pan watercolors. I don’t think they even make this particular box any more. I bought it when I was in college and I graduated in Dec 1989. That gives you some idea how old it is. It’s been refilled a few times over the years and is still going strong.
I even found my box of Ebony pencils and my white plastic eraser. I love Ebony pencils.
Now I have no excuse not to sketch. I even found one of my small sketchbooks I can stick in my purse. Some women love shoes and clothes…..I love sketchbooks and art supplies!
Will be hard starting up because it’s been years since I sketched with any regularity. Not since college, as a matter of fact. Just getting started is the hard part. I know this is the only way to take my art (and my pottery) to the next level. Let the sketching begin!
Whew! The Mac is back and we’re back on track. I’ve almost recovered from my first hard drive crash. Thank you Carbonite! Still have tons of photos to download, but was waiting to get my UVerse service up and running because my DSL kept having hiccups right in the middle of a download. Now, crossing my fingers & toes that the UVerse will be a better vehicle for downloading photo files.
Just returned from a 4-day trip home to MS. Mom cooked us some good ole MS-grown vegetables. Was good to see her doing well, waiting on the rain to stop and the weather to warm up. Danny got a good report from his cardiologist. Was wonderful seeing our son, Chance, and his beautiful wife, Sara. The 2 grandsons seem to have grown a foot since we saw them last. Hope to soon go to AR to see the other three grandkids and daughter, Summer, and her awesome hubby, Phillip. We’re so blessed.
So ready to get back in the studio. Will be hard to go back to the “other” job in the morning. Love my job, but I’d rather be making pottery! Monday isn’t even here yet and I’m ready for next weekend. I’ve been experimenting with casserole lid handles. This is one from the last batch:
I also have been doing some carving into some of my tiny bud vases. These are carved and ready for the drying rack:
Looooving my new Shimpo banding wheel I picked up at Atlanta Clay on my last supply run. Used it several times already. Really want to try it out with some face jugs once I work up the courage.
Next adventure – RAKU! More about that in a later post. The excitement is mounting!
Monday is a holiday, so headed to the studio for a 3-day marathon of pottery making. Can’t wait to muddy up the wheel…
Working with my favorite studio buddy, Danny. Hoping someday to get him on the wheel or at least to do some handbuilding, but for now he’s content building his bottle trees and windchimes. He makes up a pretty mean ball of clay, too, and is pretty handy with a brush and some wax.
That’s it for now. Gotta get busy churning out some orders and stocking my booth for next weekend at Tannehill Trade Days – the last Trade Days of the season. New items coming to the Etsy shop soon!
So, I’ve been a little neglectful of the blog lately. I forget to take photos when I’m doing something interesting in the studio. In a pitiful attempt to rectify this, I snapped a few photos with my iPhone in order to have something to show you. One of the newest additions to the studio is a drying table for reclaiming clay. Danny built it with a Hardie Board top, which is a near-perfect drying surface. I love this table!
It has casters and easily rolls out of the way, under one of our worktables, when it’s filled with reclaimed clay. Once the clay is dry enough, Danny rolls it right over to the pugmill and processes it. So, what am I working on at the moment? Have had several custom orders lately that have taken up quite a lot of time because I can’t get into production mode when I’m making so many different pieces . Not complaining, though! Here’s a pic of the wall crosses I’m working on…
Haven’t yet decided on a finish for the crosses. Need to think about that for awhile. In the meantime, I’m exploring designs for ornaments and some handbuilt slab pieces. Made a neat handbuilt spaghetti holder that I’m hoping will fire tall enough to actually hold spaghetti AND have a cork top. The last one I made was about 1/2″ too short for the spaghetti. Danny said it could be a macaroni holder instead. I like the way he thinks.