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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tired tonight

It's been a long day glazing and loading kilns. I am almost done..just a few more pieces. But I already have one kiln out and these are some of the more interesting pieces. I think I finally have the ash glaze worked out. It's looking pretty good, especially on the cereal and wee bowls.

Sneak Peek

Pulled a few pieces from the top of the glaze kiln last night

Also came home to do a couple hours work...butter keepers!

More glazing and then loading 2 kilns today!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A visit to Kevin Lehman's Studio

Ro and I took our trip to Lancaster today to see the Strictly Functional National show today. We got more than expected. The show was great..many really good pots, I am sure the juror had a hard time making the awards. The guy who owns the studio, Kevin Lehman was a great host, we spoke a little bit despite his busy schedule. He's running a complicated one man show with a little help from family and those who rent studio space from him. There are a few potters in small rented spaces, but there is also a glass blowing duo, Ben Ahigtrim and Jeremy Friedly who were giving a glass lesson to a young woman. Ro and I watched the glasswork and enjoyed the dog Maggie's antics.

It seems that these two glassblowers may actually have the closest glass studio to State College so we promised we'd spread the word they give lessons and as part of Lancaster's First Friday Arts promotion they will allow you to make a piece for a small fee (with their expert guidance and assistance of course) on any first Friday. Those who are interested in checking it out visit Kevin Lehman's website.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Kick Butt Day

Ro didn't have to go into the Oasis today so she helped me in the studio. I signed, waxed and glazed and she loaded and unloaded kilns as was needed. We had everything wrapped up by about 4:00PM, both kilns firing, one a bisc and one a glaze. Morgan came home from school about that time and got the last of the previous clay order unloaded from the truck and we all went to The Arena for Pizza, Wings and Nachos. We skipped the beer. When we got back I went back to the basement and waxed more pots for the next kiln, mixed up another batch of Sunny Day and glazed a few pieces to get a head start on the next load while Ro put away MORE is apparently never done..

I had some plans to make more butter keepers tonight but I was done in. Maybe tomorrow night. Tomorrow is going to be a day mostly off. We're heading to Lancaster to see a gallery show called The Strictly Functional National click ->HERE<- to see last years accepted pieces online. Many gorgeous pieces for sure!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another full day

Ro and I both worked our tushes off today. All day and apparently into tomorrow as it is now 1AM.

I broke down all the boxes in the studio..discovered 2 more boxes of clay I didn't even know I had under the pile. Found this nifty giant cricket. Then I did some reclaim and some sweeping of trimmings and then mixed up two batches of glaze.

While I was doing this, Ro had completely cleaned the porch, decorated for fall and now wanted to install a new light we had bought over a year ago and never gotten around to installing. She did the work, I was the helper, then we went to the basement to install a new 2 way halogen light over the kiln and washer. It was a pain in the ass didn't work out as well as expected. Apparently it is part of the kitchen circuit and we left two wires which had no current unattached. Now the kitchen lights don't work. Tomorrow we'll correct the situation. The basement lights work just fine!

After the installation partial-fail I moved a freestanding lamp to the kitchen so Ro could work her Italian magic in the Kitchen. She made homemade Manicotti and served up a delicious dinner to me, Catherine and her newish boyfriend Reid. Morgan was supposed to be there too but he apparently fell asleep at a friend house and arrived just after Cath and Reid left. I believe his story is suspect.

After the marvelous dinner I washed a load of dishes and went back to the studio and trimmed and assembled goblets and started waxing pieces to be glazed. Ro put away a ton of laundry and stored a bunch of blankets and stuff we don't normally used in some of those giant vacuum bags. It worked out very well!

It's been a very productive day. Tomorrow I glaze and load, then load another bisque and then perhaps start on the mugs I need to throw. Somewhere in the morning I believe we'll also be fixing that light. I think we may take a break on Tuesday and take a short trip to see the Strictly functional pottery show in Lancaster, PA. Always good to see what people are doing and what the state of the craft is.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Better Day

I can't say I got a lot of work done today, but it was steady. I took some time today to trim up pieces I had in progress, assemble a Teapot, wedged 50 lbs of clay for goblets and eventually did a little cleanup. I have a massive pile of clayboxes and bags piling up. I also added some more pieces to a bisc kiln that Ro started to load yesterday. Ultimately I feel pretty good about the days work.

I am hoping I feel tired again soon because I am substituting for Randy at TCO in the morning. There are a lot of students..I always feel uncomfortable with a full class, especially of beginners, they take so much more individual attention. Randy says they are doing very well and to teach them trimming and so I will :) After teaching I plan on coming home and getting to those goblets and butterkeepers and maybe mixing up a glaze or two,

Always a lot on the list. I still need that apprentice..anyone good for about 10 hours a week? No pay, but I'll teach you how do do this on 3000 pot a year level,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Low Energy

No real pictures of today's work, so here is an old one of what I hope to accomplish tomorrow.

Today was a low energy kind of day for me. I had a few pinched nerve type physical problems pop up for me while I was just starting to work today and it kind of drained me for the whole day. I made a couple more largish platters, a ginormous T pot and a few bowls, but essentially I couldn't really get into the groove and get started. I'll try to get good rest tonight and start fresh in the morning. I want to do more of the travel type mugs, goblets and butter keepers tomorrow..perhaps rice bowls too. We will see :)

After I had dinner with Ro I tried to go back, but succeeded in only trimming a few things and making a couple of leaf and acorn sprig molds to make future decoration easier. Ro unloaded and rinsed off the biscware. and did a little organization. It seems she also has a pinched nerve in her neck somewhere so she couldn't do a lot either. I need to get back to the Chiropractor asap.

It looks like despite our best intentions Jessa is not going to make it to the Cloister's event this year, but she is still planning on Vegas, so I am going to send a selection of work with her, probably a basic selection..goblets, tankards, mugs and bowls and see how it goes. I hope well.

We have the Way Fruit Farm event coming up on the 12th and I want to be sure we are well stocked for it, as well as making sure PARF has an adequate selection. October is always our boom month at PARF and it would be a bad move on our part to neglect keeping it well stocked to overflowing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Moment to Plan

This morning I am sitting at the "50's and Fabulous" event sponsored by Forever Broadcasting. I'm here passing out informational brochures and recruiting volunteers for The Creative Oasis. So far it has been pretty quiet. There are a few of the vendors wandering around, but no one else is here yet. I am sure at some point there will be an influx. Conveniently, the place has WiFi so I have been able to read my morning news consisting of about 100 different pottery blogs I follow, update Facebook and have my coffee. Thankfully I stopped at Sheetz, because there is no coffee to be found here..and I was not in any condition to be without caffeine this morning.

I finished up a series of tankards last night as well as a series of a new style of mug for me people have been calling 'the afternoon coffee mug' which other people call 'the Fran mug' and I was considering my open-face 'travel mug' no lid, but it'll fit nicely into the cup holders in cars. People have been very enthusiastic to get them. I may need to throw more tonight to meet the pre-sold demand.

So here's my throwing plan:

2 ginormous pasta Serving bowls
6 Pasta Bowls
2 Lg Pitchers
1 Sm Pitcher
10 Large Bowls
2 Crocks
10 Sugar Bowls
10 Creamers
10 Large T Pots
10 Butter Keepers
100 Mugs for Webster's
20 Goblets

The work is progressing nicely. I have a kiln full of cereal bowls, tumblers and wee bowls now. By tomorrow night I'll have another load of mugs and bowls to go in. Looks like I'll be tied to the studio all weekend, but there's a lot of beautiful work coming out so it's worth every minute of the beautiful fall sunshine I've missed so far.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Settle down, back to work

I have been on a political rant lately. I need to stop following the stories as they break and get back to the important things. Family, Friends and our never ending quest to get a Hughes Pottery piece in every home in Centre County and across the country.

Our Schedule:

PA Renaissance Faire till the end of October
New order of 100 Webster's mugs
A full round of pieces for Ways Fall Festival, 2nd and 3rd weekend in October
The Cloister's Renaissance Faire Las Vegas Renaissance Faire

I think this is going to involve about 300-400 pieces..I am feeling tired already.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trying to Clarify for the Right

Dear Victims of the Right Wing Media,

Before you go to any more rallies or town hall meetings, there are a few things you should know.

I have noticed that most of you are tossing around several words that as Americans, we're all afraid of .You are getting together and claiming our elected President is espousing each of these mutually exclusive forms of government. Some of you are combining them creating powerful, yet impossible koans of political theory.

Lets start with the types of government from:

Socialism: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Communism: a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.

Republic: a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

Democracy: government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

Theocracy: a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God's or deity's laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.

You'll note that I have included another term you might not know, like Theocracy. While most of you are yelling about being a Republic or Democracy and are most strongly against Socialism you are also spouting the rhetoric of a Theocracy. Theocracy is one of those things outlawed by our constitution. Under our Constitution, which most of you are yelling about defending, The United States of America can NEVER be a Christian Nation.

Examples of modern day Theocracies include:

The Vatican, Iran, Saudi Arabia, England, Norway, Israel, Nepal, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan (from wiki-answers)

Contrary to what you say, our country was not founded on Christianity, nor were many of our founding fathers Christian. Go ahead, look it up. You'll find many were Deists.

Deism: belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation.

Did you know Thomas Jefferson actually wrote and edited his own version of the Bible? For that matter, I am sure all of you know the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church is the original Christian Church? Protestantism didn't come around for another 1000 years. Evangelical and Baptists didn't exist before the 16th century.

Freedom of religion means any religion. under our Constitution Christians, Muslims, Jews and any other religion all have the right to exist without interference from our government . Here are the exact words of our first amendment ratified by congress on December 15 1791:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

All of you need to calm down and start doing your own research. Turn off the Radio and TV and think about what our Constitution means to EVERYONE.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Way Fruit Farm

It's official, Hughes Pottery is now available at Way Fruit Farm. Rt 550 in Stormstown. Earlier today I dropped off Apple Bakers, Butter Keepers, Soup Mugs and Coffee Mugs. Stop by and check it out!

Erie Pagan Pride Day

Rowan and I had a lovely time visiting with old friends and selling our wares in Erie this past weekend. Here are a few pictures of Pagan Pride Day in Erie. The Weather was beautiful, sales were good and our friends were friendly..what more could we ask for?

Every year the sponsoring organization picks a charity to raise money for, this year they picked the Erie Zoo. This Oak Leaf and Acorn bowl was our donation to the silent auction.

We also did a few of our favorite things while in Erie, such as visiting El Canelo for a post event meal, then spent the night in the home of friends Margo and Chris. I was too wiped out at that point to enjoy much socializing, but the next morning was lovely. We slept in, then lingered lazily in bed before coming downstairs to coffee and toast. It was the first lazy morning we have had together since before Pennsic. We really need more of that to happen.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple Bakers in action

After much research, and making of Apple Bakers, we decided to try them out before we put them out for sale to the general public. I actually had someone else bake some apples in them a few weeks ago with no problems, but I figure it is best to do your own testing.

I bought some Rambo Apples from Way Fruit Farm, cored them with a paring knife, placed them on the spikes. Then I slapped a TBS of butter on each one, dumped on some brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice, and a few cashews we had in the cupboard. Then I added a TBS of water to the baker and put it into the oven at 350 for about 40 minutes. Here are the pictures.

Here are the results: YUM!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

12:30 AM Eastern Time

Good Morning Everyone,

I just finished loading two bisc kilns, I thought I would have one, but apparently I have been moire productive than I thought. Before this I loaded a glaze kiln at the Oasis and before that I had a lovely dinner with my brother and his family who were in town for the weekend.

It was kind of a long day. It was one of those days where I started out tired and became more so as the day wore on. Ro and I got up around 8, planning on leaving to go to the salt kiln around 9 or 10 after stopping for breakfast out. Since it was a football weekend here in State College we decided to go out to a little place on the way to the salt kiln site called "Rony's Place" it's a family style restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, dinner includes pizza. Apparently the wife and husband had separate businesses, one was a family restaurant and the other was a pizzeria and eventually they combined the businesses.I love stopping there. I've had lunch twice and breakfast once. It was thoughtfully prepared food, very fresh and tasty. Sometime soon I'd like to try the pizza.

After Rony's place we went to the salt kiln, I had 3 plates and about 8 tankards, 2 of which had cracked..apparently the clay body I use don't always respond well to the salt..but honestly these are the first problems I've had. Overall I am very pleased. There was a lot of good work in the kiln. I am happy to have so many talented friends and associates.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Settling in

Being back in the studio all day yesterday was nice. It has been difficult to get started after taking so long off. I had some cleanup to do, a lot of wedging to do and I just had to let go and get into the groove. I did that yesterday :) I am feeling much better about things. Today I have 28 goblets to assemble first, then perhaps trimming the mugs I threw yesterday, but I doubt if they will be ready, so I am planning on throwing more. On the list for this week are:

20 Tankards
20 soup mugs
5 big bowls
5 pie plates
50 more round mugs
perhaps a tagine :) we'll see

There's so much I want to get done, but I have to have enough for a basic setup at PPD in Erie next weekend, so instead of throwing hundreds of one item then moving on I am having to cut it short and just fill a table.

I have a 2000 pot goal by Dec 1 we'll see if I can come close :) trying to get ahead on production so rushing doesn't happen.

I kind of want to take some time and make more things to feed my soul, but I have to get going on the list :) One of the soul feeding things I want to make are some decorative vases, like the one in front in the picture :)

Maybe I can squeeze a couple in :) at least they don't require a lot of trimming or long pulled handles. They might require some small ones though.Hmmmmmm. After I get done with this weeks list I'll get started on a new round of mugs for Webster's. 100 of those :) as well as a couple of special orders. I love walking in to Webster's and seeing my mugs in use. It's very fulfilling.

I am also thinking of reviving the oil candles I used to make. I stopped making them after I read about a potter getting sued out of existence when a customers cat knocked one over and burned down their house. Scary stuff, but mine are a very stable and safe design. I might even make them from porcelain.

Much to think about, but even more to do.