"The chief source of art is man's pleasure in his daily work, which expresses itself and is embodied in that art itself."
William Morris (1834-1896)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Best Wishes to you all.....

The Christmas Song

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose 

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe 

Help to make the season bright. 

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, 

Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Santa's on his way; 

He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh. 

And every mother's child is going to spy, 

To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase, 

To kids from one to ninety-two, 

Although its been said many times, many ways,
A very Merry Christmas to you 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Last two kilns of 2010

As we start into December, we head into our R & R time laced with holiday trappings, of course. From now until the ACC Baltimore show in mid February, we get to make pretty much what we want. Yea!
 Here are some parting shots:

Unloaded kiln

Pine cone Umbrella Stand

Gorgeous White Pines

First look into the second kiln
Kiln unloaded

138P... what a beauty!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pining Away Thanksgiving.....

We have a great order for several of the pine cone pieces we make and have been busy making them.
The first group of photos show Steve's application of pine cones onto an umbrella stand he is making for a customer. The second group of photos shows my work on a special order for my 'White Pines' piece.

 I forgot to photograph the throwing which was done in several pieces but here is the umbrella stand ready to decorate followed by some photos of Steve adding the detail.

With the  backup... on plaster bats first to facilitate the drying of the bottoms.

then the 'White Pines'

Finished and under cover!

BTW if any of you are in the Catskills or Adirondacks, you may be able to find a copy of the Winter 2010 issue of 'Kaatskill Life'. It is a beautiful magazine highlighting areas and people of interest here in Eastern New York. They do have a website www.kaatslife.com but the most current issue isn't up yet. Besides which you may not be able to access the interior anyway. Keep your eye out for the magazine in local bookstores throughout the region. There is an incredible article in this issue on Steve and I titled 'Claymates' !!

 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Deja Vu all over again!

 400 minis! wow! FED EX picked them up today......they are on their way. We feel like we should be able to go home now, our job finished but of course, there are a few more orders to complete before the holiday rush is over. Here are some snapshots:

Seems FED EX had to rent an Xtra Truck to hold them!! Ha!
Buy Buy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

MAG Fine Craft Show

We did get that final firing in before leaving last Thursday.

glazed and ready to load

We set up in a beautiful spot in the Atrium of the Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester (fondly called MAG)on Friday for the preview that night.
The show itself was both Saturday and Sunday. While sales were poor, it would be difficult to understand the reason. Steve and I and all other craftspeople could write a couple of books on possible reasons one show is successful and the next is not. It seemed to be location, location, location but it is hard to tell for sure. Our display looked great!

 We did enjoy ourselves. After working so hard in the studio, it was delightful to stay with volunteer hosts in Rochester. The Salesins were absolutely great. They had enough room to accommodate both Steve and I and another couple for the duration of the show. What hospitality!
Rudy & Gene Salesin

 The Gallery also offered all the artists a free dinner on Saturday at another host's house as well as a Chili dinner in the Gallery before the opening preview on Friday and a wrap up Brunch on Sunday before the last day of the show.
All in all we were disappointed that the sales didn't equal the hospitality. We were, however, able to convince the Gallery's store to try some of our work in their shop. Our presence there should help acquaint gallery supporters with our work. We are hoping that we will be able to return to their Clothesline Festival in September of 2011. That show was fabulous!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Turning the corner on the MET order

minis glazed above; dried below
minis dried waiting to be bisqued
1st firing
ready to fire

glazed and ready to load again
2nd firing

loaded ready to fire

Drying on top of cooling kiln

lid opened

large pieces of the third firing
3rd firing

4th firing
4th firing

 October was a busy month filled with firings of all the pots we've been making madly. Looks like we  now have over 300 of the 400 minis for the MET order plus a few nice things to take to the show in Rochester this coming weekend.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's all in the Game

We so often find that just when we are at peak production we'll get hit with a big slowdown.
That's what happen this last week with both kilns demanding repair. New elements, new relays, new thermocouples... the works, everything but the switches had to be replaced. Our kilns work hard though so it is understandable; it's also understandable that we don't like to take unnecessary chances and fix them asap.
After the fix, we fired during the day so we could be sure it was working well. It is difficult to make important decisions about the firing when you are half asleep which is the case when we fire overnight.
Of course, we couldn't use the studio while it was firing so we lost a half day but it was worth it to be sure the kilns were working properly. Though these kilns have a digital programmer, Steve checks the kilns 3-4 times during the firing. Problems that can arise like uneven temperatures top to bottom are then controlled manually as well as possible.

loading the glaze kiln
Continuing to glaze


Again with a little bit of feeling!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Virtual Studio Tour

loading the bisque

301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310....

Steve's ready for Halloween....