In the home stretch

This past weekend we had our last event at the Lanesboro studio and have official closed the studio for the winter.  Having received our first significant snow for the season, I’m busy getting indoor things done today.

Like addressing post cards for my last sale of the season, photographing pots for my Etsy shop, and anything else I can think of to avoid having to shovel the driveway.  Maybe while I’m doing this, the sun will come up and melt everything so I won’t have to shovel.  It could happen.  

Anyway… also getting some glazing done for my next wood firing coming up in a couple weeks.  Lots of mugs in this load because I always seem to be short on mugs.  

Dots, stripes, swirls and panels – the most popular designs.

Thanks so much to everyone who has served or is serving.  Your sacrifices are greatly appreciate.  Have a great Veterans Day.

February 2013 Wood fire

Last weekend Becky Brandow from Willow Avenue Pottery joined me for a wintery wood fire.  Yesterday, I unloaded the kiln and spent a little time taking photos. 

Every firing has it’s good and bad outcomes – here are some of my favorites pieces. 

A couple slip decorated bowls glazed with amber celadon.

Snowflake impressed tile with turquoise glass


Random other things

And my favorite Becky item… you’ll have to watch her blog 
for more of her work from this firing.
As I mentioned, not everything turns out as you’d hoped and I’ll discuss those in my next post after I’ve had a little time to explore the hows and whys of my disappointment in them as well as what can be learned and improved.  
Have a great week.

New Mugs

I’ve been putting it off for a while, but this morning I finally got out and put up flyers for my wood-fire workshop in May so that’s getting closer to done.  Still have a few places I haven’t gotten to yet, but took a giant step forward today.  

After all that running around town in the snow, I settled in to throwing a couple dozen mugs, and a couple oblong vases.  I really enjoy making the oblong vases.  And I decided to make a very different style mug that my usual cooling tower shape.  These new mugs are very narrow at the bottom and have a very round, robust shape.  I really like them and think they’ll look great wood-fired with some dots or patterns on them. 

Tomorrow, I think I’ll make some salt and pepper shakers… maybe.  We’ll see what I feel like making then I guess. 

A Little Texture

The extra day this holiday weekend was great for getting some extra pottery done and enjoying a nice weekend at the farm studio. Among other things there are a couple dozen mugs on drying boards with a little bit of texture around the base. No two are alike and some of the textures worked better than others. It’s all part of the learning to try many different tools and stamps to see which achieve the look you seek. I think the simplest may be my favorite – the mug below was textured with a piece of dowel.

I’m hoping to put them through the next woodfire (targeting July 4th weekend) – can’t wait to see how they turn out.

Have a great week.

I’m lovin’ it

Well, maybe not all of it. But definitely some of it.

After our second day of snow and a sort of frustrating day at work, I arrived home to a kiln that was cool enough to unload (it’s a little unusual for me to wait that long). This load had several sample place setting that will be going to Stones Throw Gallery in St. Peter. The yellow one was a little disappointing, but the other three look great. The yellow glaze looks great on a white clay, but on the buff colored clay this place setting is made from it isn’t as appealing to me.

There were also several mugs in this load. A few weeks ago, I showed these mugs after they’d been thrown and I was putting the slip stripes on them. The green one is gorgeous (except for the part where the glaze ran onto the shelf). You can still see the slip is white compared to the buff of the mug body. The one on the right is Iron Red with Sky Blue on the upper portion. It’s great too, but if you remember, I was going to try to bring more color into my cone 6 work rather than my typical earthy tones.

What do you think?

New cups

Last weekend I mentioned I’d made some mugs in a new design. I hadn’t put handles on yet so I didn’t photograph them. Well, they’ve gotten handles and I spent some time yesterday adding decorative details. Several received these slip stripes and others were stamped on the lower section. Now I can hardly wait to see how they look glazed.

Have a great week.


I’ve notice that I tend to always use my Brandon Phillips mugs out of the cupboards first. The wide handles feel great in my hand. So when making my own mugs lately, I’ve focused on making much wider handles than I’ve made in the past. And I really like the results.

Our styles are very different, but I really like the adaptation of the wider handle on mugs. There are a couple dozen mugs on drying boards and hopefully, I’ll have a couple dozen more after this weekend.

New from the Kiln this Morning

I was up bright and early this morning to unload a kiln full of glazed pieces. Didn’t even wait until I had breakfast first!! There were some very fun pieces in there and I couldn’t wait to see how they turned out. I’ve very pleased. Check them out…

Iron Red oblong vase with slip design
Glossy Green and Black reed diffuser
Glossy Green and White handled bowl
Glossy Green and Black Mugs
Sapphire Blue and White oblong platter

Most of these pieces will be available at the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour next weekend. Later, anything that hasn’t sold will make it’s way to my Etsy shop.

The kiln has been reloaded and I hope the things in this load will turn out as well as the one this morning.

Mugs & stuff

I spent a little time this morning pulling handles for a couple dozen mugs I made earlier this week. Many potters hate making mugs because they don’t like making handles. It’s definitely not my favorite thing to do, but I’ve got a process now that works better for me so I don’t hate making them.

Because it’s about -14 outside today (that’s said 14 below if your from a place that doesn’t see temps like that), I’ve got my faithful companion Snuffles in the studio for the day. She’s a funny dog, but very demanding of attention. Silly puppy.

This afternoon, I’m working a shift at the Market on Oak with my friend Janie. It’s a little slow after the holidays but we have fun and there are delicious chocolates to snack on!! Stop in and see us if you out and about in the frigid Minnesota weather. There are lots of new Spring items to help you forget the cold and snow.

Be well and keep warm.

Glaze Load

I opened the kiln to empty a glaze load today. As so often happens, some pieces are just OK and others exceeded my expectations. Maybe my expectations are too low, but it saves being overly disappointed if things don’t go as expected. This load had a couple shelves of mugs which I’d been running dangerously low on. Here is a pair I really liked from this load.

This load also had several wine bottle coasters which is something fairly new in my line. They are slightly larger around than a wine bottle and keep the drips that run down the bottle from staining your table. I hate when that happens and I’m banking on other people do too. They are also good fillers between larger things in the kiln. Check this one out. It’s kinda hard to see the design on the coaster, but it is the same beige color as the mugs with iron red dots around the rim.

Well, back to glazing for me. Visit again soon.