Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
My newest side-line product. A Christmas seed packet. I was answering phones at the plant company in my little cubicle when someone called to ask if we sell seeds. The woman wanted some special seeds to put into her husbands Christmas stocking.
Bing! Another great idea. This is a watercolor of my grandaughter, Isobel. The seeds are Scarlet Runner Beans. I printed them up at Staples and packaged up the beans for Christmas gifts to family and friends. I fell in love with Scarlet Runner Beans years ago. They grow 6-10 feet tall up trellises or houses or telephone poles. They have abundant bright red flowers. The flowers are edible in salads. The long string beans taste great and you can let them go to seed and make a nice chili next winter! What a beautiful and versatile plant.
How does this connect with pottery? My grampa was a florist and left me a house, barn and greenhouse parts. This may be the year I finally put up a makeshift greenhouse from the old redwood window panes he left behind to add to the ambiance in my yard. And, working at a plant company, I have access to some wonderful plants. This coming May, I will have my first May Day... Pottery with Plants Sale. I am designing some new pots for tulip, hyacinths and daffodil bulbs that can be grown on your back deck or porch. Buy a pot and get a free plant! Pottery and Plants are an obvious combination. And, you will be able to buy the new packets of Spring Magic Beans!
Happy New Year to you all!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Before the large factories took over the small potteries in the 1800s, plates were not made by small potteries because of the warping and complications in firing.
My plates have slightly raised and rounded rims, with a rolled edge. This keeps them from warping and mades them a little more durable. Hand thrown pottery plates are a little heavier than the pressed plates but they have their own charm. Visit my web site for more information on dinner ware. www.eastknollpottery.com
Friday, December 4, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I fired the pots yesterday. Being October, I was waiting for a day I had time to do this and dry enough. I started a fire in my grill the day before to heat up the wet bricks and had the fire blazing all day. The pots are made of local Red Clay. I had made some of them on my treadle wheel and some of them by coil. Most decorated with shells. They were plenty dry, but I placed them on the grill over new hot coals the next morning to heat them up and remove moisture. My bricks I had mortered with my stoneware clay earlier this summer and they have dried and heated up over the summer BBQ's to set the clay pretty well. I wanted the mortar to be temporary. I can easily knock these apart to make a new kiln or use them for something else.
When the coals yesterday were down to a small glowing log, I raked it around and set 3 inches of very dry sawdust on the bottom. I then carefully placed the pots about 2" apart, bigger ones on the bottom filled with sawdust and small pots or whimseys. 3 more inches of sawdust on top and then another layer of smaller pots. I kept them about 3 inches from the walls with 4 inches of sawdust on the very top, a layer of crumpled newspaper and my burning piece of log. Soon the paper caught on fire and the sawdust began to burn and smoke. I placed a tin lid on the top and left it to smolder.
16 hours later, the next morning at 8:00, the sawdust had burned down with only a dotting of hot sawdust embers and the pots were cool enough to handle. And here are the results.
The pots are still fragile. The smoke and carbon have turned most of them black, but the effect is quite pleasing. And they are hard.
The last photo has a spash of yellow. This is where I actually put a diagonal band of yellow vanadium slip. Most of any colors I applies has disapeared or turned black.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Little Isobel came along this year in her new dress I made (while at the fair). It's always nice to see my old friends, many who I only see once a year, both at the Village and the visitors.
Met many new, interesting folks this year. The kids had a great time making marbles. Marbles are so simple... easy to make with many games to make up... but they are also a history lesson too. Clay marbles have been made everywhere and from long, long ago. They are decorated with colored clays, fired and then make durable toys. Of course many have been lost during play and the old ones still turn up in peoples homes and yards.
This year, a source of fun and interest for our reenactor group was a box of buttons brought in by Guy. Yes, we had a great time sorting our hundreds of brass, bone, shell buttons, along with many other little oddities; hindges, pins, toys, clips, needles. Many were very old. Some of the buttons were very interesting. Not much source of fun for everyone, but for those of us interested in history, this little box brought on many a conversation about the old days. I made an impression of some of the buttons in a clay bat and will be used as stamps in my pottery in the future.
Now back at home, I am battening down the hatches for the upcoming snow and ice. Closing off the "Cellar Pottery Cave", getting out the quilts, cleaning out the pellet stove and buying some new thermals! Its going to be 30 degrees tomorrow morning!
I made over 700 mini pots at this fair alone. Now I have to sort, fire and glaze them all... with tweezers! Started potting in the "Cellar Pottery Cave" yesterday. I am working in the cellar of my old house this winter. Half the floor is still dirt. With the dirt and hugh stone walls it is like working in a cave.
Pottery classes start next week at Goshen Center School. We do an afterschool pottery project for one week each month. We have a great time and kids come up with some wonderful pottery. You can see some on my web site... http://www.eastknollpottery.com/id12.html
Monday, September 14, 2009
See you next year in Goshen!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Lots of mini pots were made and sold too. It was a good weekend for me with sales. I saw many old customers and crafters to catch up with. Talked to some other potters about our craft and ate lots of blueberry perogies.
Home again for the month of July to make some stock and teach children pottery making. And, I hope to finally get my greenhouse up.
My new Face Jug Birdhouses were a big hit also... adds a little fun to your yard and attracts the birds too!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Another great year at the Mercer Museum in Pennsylvania. This is a wonderful place to hang out for a weekend. The crafters are experts in their fields, fashioning with enthusiam furniture, baskets, pottery, weavings, soap, paintings, so much more and even home brewed beer over a wood fire.
The lifestyle of the traditional craftsmen are in a world of their own. They have studied and practiced their craft. They have sought the simpler way of making useful and decorative crafts.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I have moved on to experimenting with campfire cooking.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
After a cold winter, working in my Cellar Cave under my house, I am ready to move back into my Barn Workshop!
I have spread wood chips on my parking lot, they were free thanks to my son-in-law. Hopefully they will keep down the mud... we'll see how they work out.
Some new things I am working on are the marbled tiles and small trays. I was inspired by a friend, John Bielik (email@example.com) who does beautiful marbled paper. (You can see him and his work on my web site: http://www.eastknollpottery.com/id18.html.
Colored clay slips are placed on red clay tile and shaped into fields and flowers with the use of a pin. Also, I am working on a line of new Bird Houses. My face jugs were so popular last year, I decided to make some with a useful purpose and to help out the birds.