Happy Halloween

Kiln number 2 loaded today, kiln one unloaded and dinnerware set number 2 complete and ready to be shipped. Onto to small gallery order and throwing like a mad women for show the weekend of the 11th!

This evening a rest to play and be a purple Witch~ Hope you all got to eat lots of pumkin seeds and candy bars....what combo could be better!


Monday evening

Yet another start to another week and its Halloween week, my favorite week of the year! I'm sure to have lots of photo's of my kids on here in the next few days. I love to see them dressed up and I love to dress them up. I only wish more adults around here would get into the act so I could be as goofy as I wanted to as well. Last year I dressed up like a purple devil and went to an annual kids party at a friends house. Needless to say I was about the only one dressed in full costume besides a handful of mom's with a few witches hats on. ( Lame) This year I bought a blinking purple spider to put on my head and I guess that is all I'm going to do. My mother in law came to visit today and she has gone all out for this kids with a witch costume. She is a great person and wonderful grandmother. Today Quaid was just loving all over her with no inhibitions whats so ever. He is such and effectionite boy, which he gets from his Dad I'm sure.

Yesturday I got my glaze kiln all loaded. I spent so much time cleaning my shelves, mixing up the glazes and waxing everything very carefully. This is the second dinnerware I'm doing for a customer so I have my fingers crossed it comes out. Tomarrow I'll crack and it and see in the morning. This evening I worked on some new trays and threw so more big bowls and olive dishes.

We managed to carve our pumkins yesturday and today the girls and I roasted the seeds. I'm about the only one who eats them but the girls enjoyed mixing them in butter, honey and seasoning salt. I managed today to figure out our movie camera and got the girls singing this funny Duck song on it. Aydan was coloring and singing "Quack, Quack, Quack" at the top of her lungs today. She and I have had some more hard days together. She is very hard for me to understand and when I can not understand what she wants she gets fustrated and acts out. I have a special little place for her in my heart because I fear she may have some of the same reading and learning issues that I had growing up. ( I have dyslexsia). Anyways, here is a photo of the her and I at the Ranch last weekend.


Saturday with Beethoven

I did accomplish pretty much everything I wanted to today beside throw some trays for my sets. It is 8:40 and we had a late dinner because I was out with Quaid buying the rest of his Halloween costume. I had told myself this evening I was going to throw since this afternoon I got the rest of my pieces stained and in the kiln. Unforcuently I am to beat to work out in the cold this evening. I'm granting myself a break( even though I'm sure I will regret this next week when I get back into panice mode about all I need to get done).

Anyways, I had a very relaxing and reflective day in my studio. I was by myself with no interuptions and I felt I really needed the peace to concentrate and just be with my thoughts. I was thinking while I was selecting my music for the day that I use to listen to classical music whenever I was writing a big paper. When I was working on my thesis in grad school I had a routine of putting on one of my favorite CD's called Immortal Beloved. It is the soundtrack to a movie about Ludwig Van Beethoven. (If you have'nt seen it, Gary Oldman in fantastic in it! )After listening to this today after many months of it gathering dust I fell in love with it again. It very funny to me that I find this music soothing, comforting and very effective when I need to really think. When I was little classical music was a big part of my life. My mother played it alot and my sister and I took piano lessons. I also pretty much HATED classical music as a child. My mother once told a funny story of riding in the car with myself and one of my young girl friends and me saying to my friend" you'll get use to the music after a while". In otherwords, I was lucky if my mom put a rock and roll station on for me for more than maybe 15 minutes on a long car ride. While I was taking piano lessons I did have to play alot of classical music and always snuck off to find "pop music" books. I think I must of played "Band on the Run" by Wings a million times when I was sapose to be practicing Bach or something like that.

In my reflective mind today while listening to "Fur Elise" I thought how important it is that one day Joey and I buy a used piano for the kids so they can take lessons. I think music is so important for the mind and soul. I pretty much have to have some sort of music going on through most of my day to keep me up beat. I guess I have to thank my parents and mostly my mother for all those times I was stuck listening to public radio.


Thursday Night and mind struggles

I managed to get out to my studio at 7:30 this evening. Lately I've been doing something with the kids, going for a walk or doing my "computer work" at this time. This evening I was ready to work. I got some last things trimmed and started doing my stain work on the dinnerware I'm finishing up. I'm starting to get a little bit tired of my leaf decoration and long to do something different. Maybe since I've been doing so many of these plates the repatition is getting to me. All in all I did get a lot done which is good because I'm planning on loading a bisque kiln this weekend and firing a glaze next week. I have a few more trays to finish up for my cruet sets and salt and pepper sets that are going to a gallery. I'm also in search of a new design for both of those items but at the moment I'm drawing a blank.

I mentioned "mind struggles" in my heading. Sometimes I get bogged down with my career thoughts and today/this evening was one of those days. I go over and over in my mind all the things career wise I would like to have the opportunity to do but just at the moment can't. Those thoughts alway lead to the next one that.... I'm not getting any younger and so many younger potters have such great resumes these days that do and will surpass mine. When I wrote to Lana Wilson I sort of stated this point in my letter. I'm not trying to say"oh poor me, stuck home with kids" but what I am saying that I have a fear of getting behind the pack and not having a diverse enough resume' for jobs, grants and invitational shows. Also since I'm not one to "network" I also don't have the resources for things to , lets say " fall in my lap" so I guess I kind of feel on the outskirts of things going on sometimes. Anyways, these thoughts bogged me down this evening so I had to get them off my chest and just.....keep on pluggin' along. Ok.....enough with the deepness, time to go jump into bed and start another day.
Tomorrow I won't have time to work in my studio. I plan on doing housework, taking the girls to the library and shopping during the day. Than tomorrow evening Quaid's school in having a big Fall Festival that we are volunteering at so its a full day of being a mom.


Slow week

Here a photo of my heater....and very messy studio

It been slow going in my studio due to the cold. I have been working but just not at the pace I'm use to. I have lots of things coming up and due so hopefully this weekend I'll get a burst of energy and gets tons of stuff done. I'm anxious to get some orders out of the way and concentrate on new stuff.
My friend Ron Philbeck sent me some website of a group of female potters from a variety of places. The two of us where trying to figure out a "tricks" that one of them used on her pieces. I guess we all have tricks that we don't want to share. Its hard to give people information when you have spent so long coming up with stuff yourself. Of course I'm one of the first ones there when I can find out how someone did something.....and of course I want to try it. Anyways, I'm going to post those website for all to look at. You can give your thoughts. I pretty much saw something in all of them I liked but I did have my favorites. I am intrigued at potters who just make a few things over and over again and that is all they sell. I get bored to easily to stay on that track and I guess some part of me( even though I suspect it is smart for selling your stuff and taking orders from) find this way of making pots a bit uncreative or stifling, but that is just me. I guess it really shows what an intuitive person I am with a bit of ADD thrown in.


The weekend

(I'm having trouble keeping up with my blog this month!)
Re-cap of the weekend*
We took the kids Saturday to a place called the Lazy 5 ranch in Moorseville NC. Its this place that has all these animals like buffalo, pot-belly-pigs, zebra's, lamas ect. They take you around in a horse drawn wagon so you can feed the animals out of your hand. Its pretty cool and the animals are beautiful to look at. They all looked well cared for and happy or else I would not go. ( on a side note I'm not a big fan of the circus or "fair animals" because they just always look sad to me............plus I have a phobia against clowns. You can laugh now........maybe another time I'll talk about that) Anyways, Joey got some cool photo's I'll post on here and it was worth the money to go just to hear the kids squeal.
Studio Work *
My studio is freezing! Joey only got half of my plastic walls up this weekend because we ran out of plastic and staples. For some reason we are having a cold October and it is just killing me to be out there in the cold. I've grown into such a whimp!! Of course, I did make myself get out there and trim some things, finished up salt and pepper sets ect. Things are also drying slowly because of the moisture in the air. Last night one of the cats drug in a skin of a squirrel and left it for me under my wheel. What a treat! We have an 80 year old neighbor across the street that likes to shot squirrels and pretty much lets his gun go off all day long. Its crazy but that is what you get living in a small town. He told me one day (after one of my cat had drug a dead squirrel into my studio and I was to chicken to get it out and asked for his help) that after he shots them and finds them he gives them to some guy who lives behind us and he eats them! Isn't that great!!!!!! Anyways, I'm telling you all this because I guess someone had squirrel for dinner and my cats found the remains.
Well, so much about talking pots............sorry.


Claytimes/Weather and Monks

Clay Times
I just found some exciting news on my email account this evening. Seems the letter I wrote to Lana Wilson is going to be published in the next claytimes that comes out. WOW, I'm feeling pretty good and a little geeky I guess. I do love to read those little snip-its they put at the beginning of the magazine where everyone either complains or talks about how good an article was. In Ceramics Monthly sometime people can get down right nasty with letter. I guess that is what free speech is all about. Anyways, if you get the magazine search for my comment to the "Mud Mama's" section.

The weather
The weather is really slowing me down this week. Its been damp and rainy. I love days like this for the most part because it makes my gardens look nice, I love to listen to the rain and it gives me an excuse to be lazy and just roll around in bed with my kids and keep my PJ's on for the good part of the day. BUT...my pots won't dry. I have no bats, I can't trim anything or put anything together and my studio only has half the plastic up so I can't put on my heater without wasting the heat. Tomorrow night I have a meeting with my Circle of 8 folks so I won't be working in the studio. Lets hope things get dry in one day so Saturday I can be somewhat productive! As a potter you are always at the mercy of so many other factors then just you.

The Monks
Today on the radio I heard this cool story about a new reality show on TLC. I guess it takes very cynical people or people who don't really enjoy other human contact and they make them live 40 days at a monastery. They interviewed one of the guys who had all these bad feelings toward religion and just trusting people period. It sounded very cool and it also talked about what monasteries in the country specialize in bread, wine or even the recycling of ink cartridges. Anyways, if I had cable in my studio, I'm sure I would be hooked on this show. Good thing I don't!


wed. log

Not a whole lot going on in the pottery world to really report. I've been throwing plates, bowls and salt and pepper shakers to fill some orders I have. I'm pretty eager to get these things done and move onto to working on my new stuff that I've been working on. I did get a call that my name finally came up and off the waiting list for a show in Shelby that I've done in the past. They've put me in a new building so I'm curious to see how my sales are. Most years I'm put between a lot of folks from the seagrove area and there pottery is pretty cheap so I think with my porcelain prices up against there stoneware stuff, I lose out a lot of times. But....We'll see.

On the mom front Quaid has been sick this week with yet another chest and throat thing. He was born with a collapsed lung so I think he tends to get these things a lot worse than most folks. Anyways, he's been home with the rest of the crew and we've just been lying low. I've been trying to work on Aydan tantrums this week. Today was a bad day for her. Nothing was going her way and she ended up in time out I think like 6 times. By the end of the day I just needed a break from her crying and screaming a called Joey to come home from the gym early. I figured she also needed a break from me. I think at bed time she tied a good one on for him as well. This age ( 3) just can be so trying on one's nerves.

So, tomorrow I'm off to teach my class in Charlotte and Friday I meet with my circle of 8 friends. Than on Saturday we are planning to take the kids to this exotic animal ranch in Moorseville;hope the weather holds out because I know they will love it!


Taking time to just be mom today.

I always give myself a day of rest after a show. What I like to do is unload pots and clean my studio to get ready for the next thing that I'm working on. Sometimes I do, but today......I didn't. In stead I spent time with the kids and planted bulbs. We put up Halloween decorations, they helped me dig and I played lego's and Playmobil with my son. I even made dinner tonight, which usually doesn't happen on the weekends because Joey has planned some elaborate dish he wants to try out. So, I had a good day just doing what most mom's do on Sundays, a lot of nothing that equals out to something for the kids.

Joey was nice enough to unload the car for me today and I had every intension of getting out to my studio this evening for "the clean-up", but here I sit and my bath and bed are telling me that , that is where I need to be, not out in the cold. For anyone who is not firmilar with my studio set-up( maybe I've talked about this before) I'm on our Back porch which is just screened in so in the winter we have to put on the thickest plastic one can buy and staple it all around my shop. It keeps the wind from blowing in and once I get my space heater cranking out there, it stays....Well atleast somewhat warm to work. I was telling Joey today that the older I get the more I just hate when winter comes and the thought of going out to work in the cold. When it get super cold I usually buddle up like I'm going out into a snow storm with hats and long-johns; the whole nine yards. I get a bucket of hot water to throw with and the tips of my fingers sometimes crack in the winter due to the cold and hot that I expose them to out there. I also take my space heater and sit it up on a chair aimed right at my hips for warmth. That is how I get through the winter months. You can bet that if I do ever get a real studio it will have a biggest heater money can buy! Tomarrow night the plastic goes up!


On to the next

I'm enjoying the relaxing Saturday evening tonight. I did the Barn Sale in Mathews today so its time for sleep and relaxing and start back in the studio tomorrow for the next thing that is due. The show was pretty good, but I think numbers where done from last year. I sold some big new pieces which of course really excites me but I was wondering if maybe I didn't have enough mid-range priced things for everyone that was looking. After every show I have to sit down and analyze what I think worked and what I didn't. You learn so much and then other times you have no clue how to call it. Anyways, everyone who came out to say Hi, I really appreciate the firmilar faces and encouragement. It makes those long days and short nights worth while.

I think I'll sign off and take a nice hot bath and get my book. Peace!


A feeling of peace

Here are the twins, it just so happens when this photo was taken they where back to being best friends and the fighting had stopped for a little while.

Today I feel pretty relaxed and peaceful. I have a kiln cooling and I'm ready for tomorrow. The stress is gone for a little while, I think Wednesday I was buzzing I was so wound up from all I felt like I had to get done. What a mess I make myself sometimes and wonder why I don't just get a regular job. But then I have a pretty good kiln come out and I'm back at peace with everything. Its sapose to be cool this weekend so I'm hoping that will make people think about Christmas gifts and my sales will be good. I'm not sure if I mentioned or not but our SUV( the Montero) started to die on us two weeks ago so we had to put a new engine in it because a car payment was out of the question at this time in our lives. So I'm in search of the big bucks to pay that off. My car is old but I really don't care as long as it runs. My priorities for things have totally changed and I know I don't need a new fancy car to make me happy, just one that doesn't smoke in the car pool line!
My parents are taking the kids for the night since we have to get up so early to set up the show. We are planning to go out to dinner and celebrate our anniversary that was on Monday. Both of us are looking forward to a bit or peace from the children. Have a good one!

Excitement on Wright Ave

We're having a movie filmed here in little old York and its on our street! A neighbor on the other side of the street a few houses down is getting paid $15,000 a day for filming in his home. The same director that did "Snakes On A Plane" is making a movie about an Asylum and I guess its a teen flick starring the kids that plays the creepy role in desperate Housewives( I have yet to see him around but I haven't been lurking outside that much). You wouldn't get over all the trailers and stuff they have to bring to film one little scene from the movie. They also used a house on another street down the way for more small scenes. I also heard that they used a lot of Winthrop University for it as well. So, like a said, a bit of excitement. The funny story to the whole thing is that we had a former neighbor who likes to do pranks on people call us up and say that he was from the film and wanted to use my pottery and backyard for part of the movie. Naturally I was thinking what horrible timing it is since I have a show but..................FREE MONEY! The next day we found out it was a prank and he got another neighbor of ours as well. ( I'm trying to think of something I could pull one him!) I'll have to post some photo's from our street.


So much going on!

Boy, everyday I can think of at least 3 things I want to post on here but finding the time to do it is'nt always the case. So here it is at 11pm and once I again I need to go get some sleep but since I haven't posted in a few days I thought I should quickly sit down and "empty my thoughts", so to say.

Potter world~I have a show next weekend so I am racing the clock. We really need the money so I need to have a good show. Today I finished up throwing so I can start the process of finishing things up and mass firings. I'm getting really good a pacing myself with trying to do more involved pieces at the beginning of my throwing cycle and quick things like vases, bowls and cups towards the end. I can quick dry these things and it takes nothing for me to crank out a bunch in a day. I'm also getting pretty quick with my glazing. It usually takes me from 7pm to about 11 to glaze a kiln load, if I don't have to many tops and weird shapes So............These last two weeks I've been trying everything I can to do some nice new items and still have my tried and true sellers. We'll see how it goes. I'm prying I have no more issues with my kiln.

Home life~ Everyone is good ...For the most part. The girls are really starting to fight more, which is driving me crazy and I think I need to invest in some more twins books.We are having a lot of issues with Aydan lately. She's hitting a lot, saying the word" stupid" and running away and crying whenever one of her siblings looks at her cross eyed. Quiad and McKenna seem to get along really well together and leave Aydan out of playing sometimes. This brakes my heart because she is the sweetest of the three of them and I think these issues she is having with them is causing her I act out. Once again, I need a new twin book.

World matters~ Boy has the news/radio and Tv really gotten my down lately. Between all the Mark Foley thing and the recent school shooting that all involve some form of abusing a minor, it makes me want to lock my kids up. It horrible that pretty much everyone who comes in contact with my kids I have to wonder if there is something sinister about them lurking in there past. Then I was watching 60 minutes last week and they had this story on there about a video and trend called "Bum fight". It was a horrible story about how these teenage boys go out and find bums to beat up on. I felt sick after seeing the whole story. To end it all on the computer news I read how in some country they have this form of entertainment called "Kangaroo fighting". Literally humans put on boxing gloves along with the animal and get in a ring and fight. Once again I felt sick. I"m starting to understand why some people just want to drop out of society and live where no one else is around.

Joey and I~ Well tomorrow is our anniversary. We will have been married 7 years, which seems pretty fast. We have no big plans tomorrow but in a month we have tickets to go see something in Charlotte. ( Seems we never have money on our anniversary).Maybe one day we can actually get away somewhere together.


Who reads this anyways???

I just got a "comment" from my super cool pottery friend Ron Philbeck. You know, Ron is about the only person that leaves me little notes so I always wonder who is out there reading my blog? Lost of people say they keep up with it and tonight I was curious to see how many hits I've gotten and I'm over 1000...pretty cool~ Anyways, If you do read this just every now and then do like Ron does and throw me a hello, some days I could really use it!


Work in the studio

I got to back work last night. Boy, we had a good weekend visiting with friends and family but like I said before, I could not wait to get back in my studio. I was chompin' at the bit in the car about all the things I need to work on for this month. At one point on our ride Joey was playing a silly game with the kids and trying to get me involved, but I was " in my zone" as he noted, lost in my pottery thoughts.

Anyways, I worked on some urns last night, trimmed and threw some platters, made some larger clam boxes( I've got big idea's for those), and threw some more bowls for the dinnerware set I'm re-doing. It turned out that my customer was not 100% sure about how the dish color came out; not what she envisioned so I'm re-doing the set. The good news is that someone called me the other day and said that she is interested in the set! So...Barbara, if your out there reading "the Pottery blog", I'll have the set at the barn sale!

I also can't wait to do another glaze firing to see if my kiln is still being temperamental. I think I need to start making some kiln gods,even though my kiln is just electric. I've underestimated all the things that can go wrong with an electric kiln ever since I started doing this kind of firing 6 years ago. In school it seemed that everyone stuck there noses up at the electric kiln. It was considered a kiln for "hobbyist and old ladies". I too was included in this group! Well I have since learned ( and the kiln gods have thoughts me a lesson) that electric firing isn't as "girlie" as I once thought. I have had a lot of ugly pots come out of the kiln that have proven to me that I don't know everything about ceramics!


Honoring Sid

I feel really humbled after going and being in the show at NC State this weekend now that I am back from the event. I didn't have a real grasp of what kind of event this would be so like I said, I was humbled. I thought for sure there would be a bunch of artists in this show. All in all I think there where only about 25 people in it. After I saw the names of who they asked to be in it, I felt really honored that I was in the show. I could count at least 5 more artists that I think Sid mentored or did a lot for that where not shown in the group. Anyways, it was very nice. The work was very good and they had a video/interview with Sid that I believe runs the whole time you are in the exhibit. I personally think they should of had more of Sid's work in the show but I guess they just choose pieces that meant a lot to him and the family. I can still see a huge cabinet in there living room that was filled with his crystal vases. Usually he would pick the best one out of the kiln and take it down to the house to give to Pat, his wife. The more I read about Sid in the brochure they gave out, the more I wished I had spent more time talking to him and not so wrapped up in my little world as a worker at the shop. He was very generous to people and several times he bailed me out of money issues or situation I was in. He really did do a lot to help crafts people keep going. I think he knew being a artists/potter was hard so he looked out for his own. I'm glad Michael Sherrill suggested they do a show for Sid there, he really did warrant the honor.