Category Archives: Studio

Progress in the Studio

Has been a loooong 2 weeks spent cleaning and rearranging the studio and garage.  We recently happened upon someone wanting to sell their pottery studio equipment and supplies and the price was just too good to pass up.  Included in the equipment was an L&L Easy-Fire kiln, which is a bit larger than my Evenheat kiln.  Bringing home another kiln meant something had to go to make room for it and wiring had to be run.  We had already discussed moving the Evenheat near a window for easier venting, so we decided it was time to pull everything out into the garage and rearrange the whole studio to make it more production friendly. First, the kilns were moved to the area near a window. They both are now wired and ready to go.

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Christmas decorations and stored housewares were culled and whittled down.  They now take up 2 shelves instead of 6 and I moved the glass kiln and metalworking tools to this area…hey, is that an empty shelf down there???

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The metalworking tools are now near the stained glass workspace. I’ve been wanting to experiment with some projects incorporating copper and stained glass.  This arrangement will make that lots easier.  That wonderful new 4′ x 8′ worktable is compliments of my son, Chance.  Ready to start a new project now.  Wait, is that MORE bare shelves I see???

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The glazing area was moved to the front of the studio, closer to the outdoors and to water.  See all those Coyote and Stone Mountain and Amaco glazes on the top shelf?  All but 3-4 jars were a part of the studio buyout.  I don’t use brush-on glazes, so not sure what I’ll do with these, but I see some serious glaze testing in my future.

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Next to the glazing area is the glaze mixing area, where all the raw materials are neatly labeled and arranged.  The clay is now near the table where Danny likes to sit while balling it up and it’s also near the slab roller, which makes perfect sense.

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And lastly, the wheel throwing part of the studio was cleaned and tidied.  Well, it WAS clean and tidy until I started another round of throwing yesterday.

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But look what that round of throwing produced!

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Finally, progress is being made.  Orders are being filled and inventory is being built for the next Trade Days at Tannehill State Park.  I need to be starting on Christmas pieces, too!  Danny will be glad that I’m going back to work tomorrow so he can get some much needed rest.  Thanks for all your help, Danny ‘Mar!

Handmade Deer Tail Brushes

Artisans love handmade tools.  Creating handmade items using handmade tools is just the best.  While I’ve been making pottery, Danny has been experimenting with handmade brushes made from whitetail deer hair.  Thanks to nephew Tracy for providing the deer tails!

Buffing the handles up a bit.

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So far, I’ve only tried these brushes using water on newspaper, but they feel really good, hold loads of liquid, and come to an awesome, sharp point.  Can’t wait to try them with some oxides and some slip. These have bamboo handles…

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and these have deer horn handles, cut from some horns Danny found in a creek.  Did you know that deer horn smells really nasty when it’s cut with a saw?  I’m here to tell ya, it does.  I think a little sanding would make these look as good as they feel.

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All that’s left now is to get some pots thrown so I can experiment with my new brushes.  Thank you, dear hubby!

 

Lennon’s Gift to Grammy

My granddaughter, Lennon, is 9.  She is the oldest and the only girl out of five grandkids.  This photo is a couple years old, but it’s so like her, always smiling and happy.

Last time I was home in Mississippi, Lennon gave me an early Christmas present – a tray to use on my desk in my studio.

It’s one of those styrofoam meat trays, covered in cut up pieces of a map.  She explained that since I work for the Postal Service, the map made her think of me.

As soon as I get back to Alabama after Christmas, I’ll be Mod Podge-ing her sweet note to the back of the tray, rag-tags and all, so I can have the tray and the note together.

 

Then I will make good use of my little tray in my studio and I will smile every time I see it.  These are the very BEST gifts, don’t you think?

Wishing all my friends and family a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and all the best for the coming new year.

God bless.

Triumph and Tragedy

OK, so it was a very small tragedy, well, not really even a tragedy, maybe more an incident.  Anyway, it forced me to change my plans for the 3-day Memorial Day weekend.  I had big plans to throw lots of pots so as to get my Etsy shop re-stocked, but that was not to be, at least for now.  I also have requests from 4-5 folks for specific pieces and I have a couple donations I promised and I need those in a couple weeks.  If I don’t throw them this weekend, they won’t have time to dry! First thing yesterday morning, I decided to pull out the pug mill, take it apart, and clean it up so I could use it to pug my newest favorite clay, Standard 378.  Quite a lot of my old favorite clay, Standard 225, was still in the pug mill, so it had to be dismantled and cleaned before I started with a different clay.

 Took awhile to get this thing apart because of the old clay still in it that was preventing the housing from coming off easily, but finally it was stripped down to the augers and they were scraped clean.  I took the outer housings outside and sprayed them down with my trusty jet spray hose nozzle.  Then a quick brushing with Danny’s big brush he uses for washing his truck, and they were good to go.  (Yes dear, I rinsed the brush very well so the grit from the clay won’t scratch your truck next time you wash it. <wink, wink>)

All was clean and ready to re-assemble.  Things were going well…..then “the incident” happened. I reached up to brush off the area where the housing was to sit, to rid it of any residual grit, and 2 sweet little metal burs caught the palm of my hand and ripped a couple strips of my skin right off.  Not deep cuts; no stitches required.  Just the removal of enough skin that I knew I wouldn’t be throwing pots this weekend and grinding all sorts of grit and grime into the cuts. Yes, I could gauze up my hand and go into town searching for some tight-fitting surgical gloves, but no, I have stained glass and metal and beads to work with, so I’ll give the cuts 2-3 days and see how they look then.  After a thorough washing and a slathering of Neosporin, I got back to work and finished up the pug.  Wow, does it look clean!

 I did go ahead and pug my clay so it sits ready to use when I get back to it in a few days.

In the meantime, the drying shelves are still a bit bare as all I have there for now are a few mugs and some spoon rests. Hopefully, that will change really soon!