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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kiln loading troubles!

This is all the space we have left! 

and all these pots to load (scroll down)
And these

And these are going in the glaze kiln

Am I done yet?

This is the kind of week where I have a lot of conflicting feelings about what I do for a living. I feel rushed. Very rushed. Summers are brutal for us. There is something to be said for a 9-5 with a regular paycheck.and paid vacations. That said..I wouldn't give this up, it's not just a job.

This is our current situation, and it makes me sad to know that by the time I can think clearly again summer will be over.

Last week we had The Celtic Fling at The PA Renaissance Fairgrounds..  We were fully stocked, we had the event and left our work there..about 160 pieces or so. Why did we leave the pieces? Because The PA Renaissance Faire starts before we will be able to come back with even more pieces. So we decided this year to leave our stock so we won't have to do a crazy mad dash back from Pennsic in the middle of the night like we did last year. Instead we're doing a crazy mad dash to create even more work for the other events we're selling at, plus enough to keep the Hughes Pottery Etsy shop stocked and fulfill the special orders that have been coming in.

On a related note...Catherine just came back from Ocean City again. She brought back the same boy as she did last year.. As a friend. he's helping her move. She's decided to move to Baltimore. She got hired at a car dealership, has an apartment lined up. She broke up with her current BF, ditched the sublet she had lined up here in State College. She and her moving buddy left yesterday. We wish her well..and she is well warned there can be no rescues if it doesn't work out.

Over the last 2 weeks we've made about 200 pieces. Over the next week while I am firing all those I hope to get another 100 made even though it will be as hot as 7 hells in the studio with all the firing.

In a few days we'll be headed for an event in ME, The Great Northeastern war. From there we'll head to NY for Sirius Rising at The Brushwood Folklore Center, and then we'll be home for about 2 weeks, but our stock will stay at Brushwood with Jessa and Sarasvatis's Call  for Summer Fest.

While Summerfest is happening, we'll be home doing another mad dash to get even more pottery made, then Jessa will bring stock to Pennsic, and we will also bring stock to Pennsic and we'll be there for about 2 weeks.

Then I hope to have a few days vacation. Each year I say this, and each year something has happened to squash my hopes. I had my first vacation as an adult as a was our honeymoon. We went to Ireland. I'm hoping for something a little less extravagant...maybe a cabin in the woods with a lake nearby. Something. peaceful that doesn't involve us working 18 hour days.

Friday, June 24, 2011

2 shots of the setup for Celtic Fling

 Pottery and clothing are all in place. Just a bit of the ceiling cloth to staple up before the patrons arrive :) Big thanks to Jessa for doing the setup and making this happen!

Much New Work

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Supplies and Scheduling.

Quite an adventure around here the last couple days. Ro had been at an event close by so I picked her up then we went into Bernville, PA to R.I.C.H. Inc and saw the new facilities  and picked up 2300lbs of goodness. We got home late Monday night just catching a buckets-drenching downpour which of course also soaked some of my bags of glaze materials. We tarped the back of the truck and hoped for sun the next day to dry the bags before we tried to move them.It almost worked. By the time I had found my son AKA "The Forklift" and friend Troy to move the materials the bags were mostly dry, but one of them had split, so I practically made a new bag out of packing tape.

It took those two 19 year old men 18 minutes to get everything into the basement. Then we spent the next hour putting things away.

I got some trimming done later that evening but most of the work was still too wet to finish, so today I'll start out trimming and handling, then later on I'll start another round of throwing.

There is a lot on the list for the next couple weeks. We don't have a lot of time to stock up for the rest of the summer's  events, so they essentially must be made over the next few weeks.

Our Schedule:
July 8-10th  The Great Northeastern War in Hebron ME
July 11-17th Sirius Rising in Sherman NY
July 18-24th Summerfest in Sherman NY
Aug 2-14th The Pennsic War near Slippery Rock PA
overlapping one weekend with
Then The PA Renaissance Faire Aug 13- Oct 30th

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bumping around the house

It's been a quiet couple of days. Ro has been out of town since Tuesday and I have been left to my own devices. I've been working in the studio, cleaning up the house, ordering supplies, packing Etsy orders and sitting with the forlorn Pepper who misses his best Mistress, but will put up with his Master. Poor Puppy.

So I did get into the studio and make a whole bunch of stuff yesterday, today I spent trimming and adding handles. I only have bowls left to trim for the morning.

I'm pretty pleased with both the Teapots and the Pitchers. I'm looking forward to finishing them.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

a BIG oops

Usually things run pretty smoothly around here. We're busy, I rarely take a break for more than a few hours. Work happens everyday and the biggest problem we have is selling more and keeping stocked and remembering to get to bed by midnight. (1:20AM).

Today was a slow day for me. I sent out some packages from yesterday. No sales today at all, but suddenly around 5PM I got emails and phone calls from customers.

I had screwed up. I put the labels on the wrong packages. So Ohio's purchase went to Virginia...Virginia went to Ohio.

The worst part was knowing I had screwed up. The best part is they were exceptionally gracious about it. To solve the problem they will be relabeling the boxes and shipping to each other. I will pay the shipping. As a gesture of goodwill I also refunded their original shipping charges. They'll probably also get a nice fat coupon soon for a percentage off.

How would you have handled it?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Penn Mo Firebrick to Rich Inc, Clay Supplier moving

For the last 5 years or so my clay supplier has been John Fulton of Penn Mo Firebrick in Harrisburg, PA.

He won me over with very personalized service, providing me with both Miller and Standard Ceramics clays and he was close enough I could pick up some tools and a pallet of clay and glaze supplies in the back of my pickup while running back and forth from either the PA Renaissance Faire or dropping work off with one of my associates who would take the pieces out to various shows and conventions.

A couple weeks ago I got a call from John saying he was going to be moving the business and operating under new ownership, Rich Inc, they specialize in refractory and furnace supplies and now clay and pottery supplies and  operate out of Bernville PA. They're almost done with the move and I'll be picking up my first ton of clay from them next Friday. If anyone in eastern PA is looking for supplies, this is the man to call. He'll hook you up and get you what you need.

John Fulton Sales Rep (610) 488-1052 
You can also email  him

Unfortunately they don't have a website yet, but they are friendly and helpful and the call won't be as painful as you might think :)