This summer is what followed the spring. I say this by way of explaining the following rantless rant.
This spring was quite fruitless on the creating front. I was only able to spend a few days total in my studio. The summer we are almost through has not been terribly more productive. The air conditioner was put in place late (just in time for the studio sale) and our schedule was not conducive to working in earnest in the studio. In July we went as a family to Mo Ranch for the ART at MO conference which was perfect and extremely needed. We met some great people and had a great time at a great place. I also learned Kumihimo (Japanese braiding) which has changed quite a bit for me. We will definitely be back for this week of creativity next year.
I am not ready for the fall – or at least not as ready as I would really like to be. I have a cargo trailer now – with two new wheels and tires – which still needs electrical work so the lights will function and a bit of paint work on the rear before I can get the lettering done. The trailer will be great because I will be able to load for the fall show season and hook up before taking off followed by unhooking upon return with no frenzied loading/unloading of the truck in between.
Regardless of readiness fall is here. Show season is beginning – this very weekend with a new for me and a brand new show in Littleton, CO called the Affordable Arts Festival.
Up next: more about the Affordable Arts Festival and thoughts on its premise.
I just found out some very good news from the guy in Commerce where I get cabinet scrap wood. When we started getting wood from him a little over a year ago it made quite a bit of sense. He had been having his employees take the scraps in big trash cans out to a pair of dumpsters several times a week. This took their time, made them have to dump the heavy cans up high into a dumpster, and also filled the dumpster and landfill on the other end. I brought extra cans for them to fill and I also toted the filled cans out to load into my vehicle. The wood then went into Lynda to make beautiful pots which reduced how much cut tree wood we needed. We had a difficult time figuring out an efficient way to utilize the cabinet scraps but once we did I feel confident in saying our firings are actually more efficient than they would be without the cabinet wood.
Now, a year and change later, Danny told me it saves him $44 each month because he only needs one dumpster instead of two. It seems that we have also found an economic reason to add to the environmental, occupational, and common sensical motivations for this relationship to be so good. It really feels good to help other people out whenever you can. It feels great when the things we do because they are right spawn extremely positive unintended consequences.
I never thought I would be so happy to have time to work on the computer. I would really prefer to be in the studio but right now that isn’t an option so I have been spending time working to understand how my pots fit into the world wide web. It is a strange and wonderful place filled with all kinds of crazy stuff. And it is also really foreign to me even though I have spent most of my adult life plugged in. Maybe that is what the problem is … it has been my adult life instead of the all encompassing world of reality my kids have had since birth.
Anyway, I have been rediscovering how much fun (even though it takes me quite a bit of time) it is to use the many features available on the web. I remember when we used to have to go to the computer store to buy a piece of software in order to actually do something on the computer besides turn it on. Now everything is literally available at your fingertips – and a bunch of it is free. And instant. And actually good. And relatively easy – this means no 250 page users manual. Too cool.
Enough rambling … I have figured out/remembered how to do some things on this site as well as get some things ready to post here and on FB and Etsy. I am going to say the bit about putting up new pieces everyday sometime soon. And this time it is quite likely to happen. With the help of the interwebs.
Come on out and check out a bunch of new pots. Wood fires, electric, and some really awesome new soda fired pots. The sale starts at 10 am and will run until at least 6pm. Of course we will have some spectacular yummies from Sonja so your belly wont be empty and you can test drive your new mug with some hot chocolate or tea. You might even be able to find something for that perfect stein you have been searching for which suds when poured.
I can’t believe I haven’t posted since June. They say time flies when you are having fun. I must have been having a blast. We fired Wonder Woman twice in September and we are gearing up to load her again in about a week and a half. This is the time of year wood firing is greatest in Texas. The air just feels like the only way to make life better is to fire a wood kiln.
This pic is from one of the firings in September. The sculpture up front was one in the tree series made from Amador. As you can see it didn’t survive the process so we take this and learn from it. The clay body still loves the wood … I just need to learn how to handle it.
On the fuel front: Charley and I have collected almost all of the fuel we will need to get through next year. I will post pics and tell a couple stories. Stay tuned.
We are gearing up and getting ready to welcome everyone to the Tree on the Hill Pottery Studio for our 2nd Annual Father’s Day Studio Sale and Kiln Opening. We should have another great time Saturday, June 18, from 10am until 6pm-ish. Charley will be here from Sea Bear Pots and there be be a couple other folks hanging about with great pots.
Everybody is welcome to bring their kids or come alone and check out the Pottery and the pots as we come yet even closer to completing the big projects and embark on new adventures. Refreshments by Sonja will be on hand as always.
We will have at least one kiln unloading with Wonder Woman being fired on Tuesday before the big event. She should be ready to unload by about 11am the morning of the the sale. If you haven’t been present for a kiln unloading before you really don’t want to miss out. If you have seen one before, we will see you there the morning of the 18th because I know you will want to share in the fun!
Just holler if you have any questions. We will be busy but never too busy to visit a bit.
I know it has been a long time since this was supposed to get done. I hope you share my philosophy of better late than never. I am (no, really I am!) going to be posting new items everyday for the next couple of weeks in our Etsy shop and if you stay tuned here you will come across special deals all along the way.
Let me know if you like something. let me know if you want to see something in particular. Let me know if you don’t quite see wha you need and I will do my best to make it! Just click the link on the right side of this page and it will take you straight to the shop.
I survived and had a wonderful week at the same time. Two wood firings, began teaching a wheel throwing class, suzuki workshop, cubscout campout, and two unloadings intermingled with some wood gathering … indeed it was busy but everything went together and everything went pretty well. When am I going to do it again? Plan for never and prepare for next month. That’s life! Smile!!
We just unloaded Wonder Woman after our April firing and we are even happier about the results than before. I guess the third time is truly something of a charm. I should have some pictures up in the next two or three weeks. It takes time to get the pictures taken and get them back to be posted. Pictures from the previous firings will be up in the next week. Anytime you are interested in coming by the studio to visit or look at pots just give me a call or swing by. We have been working diligently to get the studio in order and we also have a handmade display case which is new to the studio made by my granddad many years ago. I will be keeping some select items in it for sale so there should always be something new to see whenever you come by.
I got my first steroid shot today. I was forced to take the dreaded action because of the spreading bloom occurring behind my right knee. If only it would have taken the track of the many other places the lovely contact dermatitis is occurring on my body (you know the sprinkling here and there) I could have just endured like the thousand times before. But alas it was not to be. Lost days in the studio and minor disruptions aside, this episode has been enlightening. Wear pants when you go to the woods to collect fuel for the kiln.