Sunday, January 22, 2017

Making Work For Raku

I am still making things for a raku firing. Switching to hand building is an adjustment for me. It seems like it takes for ever to finish things. I am sure if I had a slab roller, and hand built more often, I would become more efficient.

For now I continue to slog along. I will roll more slabs out tomorrow and there are always piggy banks to assemble while waiting.

On the home front, Jeff and I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and grill pizza. The crust came out amazing! I decided to finally take other baker's advice and buy King Arthur bread flour. Why didn't I listen to them years ago? It's more expensive, but not outrageuos, and definitely worth it. Now I can't wait to bake some more bread.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Don't let your head swell...

This was blogger awards week. No one told me, and I didn't even buy a dress to wear to either party. Heck, I didn't even have time to wash my apron.

The first award bestowed to me was from Feedspot's Top 50 Pottery Blogs, where I ranked #16. A few days later, Pottery Making Info announced their list of Top Pottery Blogs of 2016, this year I moved up in the ranks from #11 to #9.

Award Acceptance Speech:
I would like to thank all my readers for hanging in with me through the exciting times, as well as the mundane and often boring times. Thank you to Feedspot and Pottery Making Info, for spreading the good word of pottery bloggers everywhere. Most of all I would like to thank Jeff Brown for all of his support and creative encouragement. You push me to the next level in creativity, and encourage me to continue with all this blogging stuff. 

and now it's back to work...
Jeff and I are planning to do a raku firing in the spring. In between making work for orders, we will be making things for raku. This week I worked on a tile with ginkgo leaves. I finished carving yesterday. It will get cleaned up once it's dry. Carving on this groggy clay is a little challenging. The carving tool doesn't flow easily through the clay. Next on the "making" list is orbs. We should have our new raku work available for the Celebration of Spring Studio Tour - April 22nd & 23rd.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Work Cycles

I am feeling good that we have completed the first work cycle of 2017. The first glaze firing of the year is cooling. Today we are back to making pots. The last few days were a whirlwind of activity. On day one the bisque kiln was unloaded (while it was still quite warm!), pots were rinsed, waxed, and under-glazed as needed. The next day we glazed and loaded. We worked into the the night, with me leaving for a couple of hours for a town zoning board meeting. I am not sure how that happened, by I have been on the board since last summer. After a quick dinner break, Jeff finished up with the kiln and bricked up the door. He decided to light it and fire overnight.

I went to bed at 12:30.
He's a night shift sort of guy... I am not.

During the less intense cycles of pottery making, I try to cook things that will feed us for a couple of meals, ideally something I can freeze for later. Last night it was great to heat a baking dish of stuffed shells for dinner. We were both too pooped to cook! On the weekend we enjoyed chicken tikka masala, that was leftover from earlier in the week.

Sophie cat takes it all in stride. As long as she gets her three meals a day and has Jeff's lap for a few minutes in the morning, she's a happy girl.