There’s been lots of activity here, but not a lot that’s new. Winter in Minnesota (even though it’s been an incredibly mild one) usually involves lots of catching up on activities that get put off while the weather is nice. The past two weeks, we’ve gone to the movie theater twice and done dinner with friends numerous times. We never get to do much of that during the summer with sales, firings and other outdoor activities taking priority.
Along with all our socializing, I’ve been spending more time in the studio. Throw, throw, throw, trim, trim, trim, bisque and stack in a storage tub for upcoming firings this spring and summer. For the past few years I’ve been trying to make most of my work for summer shows during the winter so I can feel less stressed during the summers. So far, it’s been pretty successful and I’m planning to stick with it.
Hope your winter is going well and you too are able to spend some time catching up before busy spring and summer months.
Join me for a wood firing workshop in picturesque Lanesboro Minnesota. We’ll be glazing, loading and firing a bourry box wood-fired kiln over the weekend of May 25 – 27 and unloading the following Saturday, June 2.
It’s an excellent opportunity to try this dynamic firing method and enjoy the company of other potters at a quiet, beautiful location in SE Minnesota.
For more information about the workhop and how to register – CLICK HERE
Since there was an extreme lack of sunshine here in Minnesota today, I had to peek in the cooling kiln to get a glimpse of something bright. This large yellow bowl is the closest thing to sunshine I’m gonna see today. And its still warm enough to feel like sunshine (probably should have been a little more patient before unloading).
January, 2011 marks my third anniversary blogging. It sure doesn’t seem that long, but it’s been a very enjoyable activity. In honor of that anniversary, I’m hosting a giveaway event where the winner will receive this glossy black and green mug (highly recommended for hot chocolate on a cold winter night).
Here’s how it works – you basically have four opportunities to enter.
1. Visit my Etsy shop and leave a comment here on this blog post about your favorite item in the shop.
2. Become a follower of my blog (existing followers are automatically entered). In the right sidebar or at the very top of this page, you’ll find a button that says “Follow”. Leave a comment on this post indicated you’ve become a follower.
3. “Like” my Sue Pariseau Pottery Facebook page (again existing Facebook followers are automatically entered). Leave a comment on this post indicating you’ve “liked” my page.
4. Post on your blog or Facebook about the giveaway and put the link in the comments of this post to receive an additional entry.
On January 27th, the winner will be drawn and posted in my blog. That’s it – simple huh?
With a Minnesota winter arriving any day now, I needed to give up some of my studio space so it could go back to being the middle stall of our garage. Stupid winter!!
Just yesterday this space was taken up with glaze buckets and a work table covered with glaze drips and glazed pots.
I’m sure I’ll appreciate getting into a warm truck when it’s cold and snowy, but it was so nice to have the extra space to spread my mess out a bit. OK – bring on the snow… I’m ready.
The last few weeks I’ve spent catching up on custom orders. Some orders were for holiday gifts though many were not. I’m getting pretty close to done with most of my custom orders and that’s a pretty good feeling. One of the bigger orders was for 20 dinner plates. So far, 18 have been thrown and trimmed but I’ll make another 6 just in case some get damaged or don’t work out in some way. Making plates always creates so much trimming clay to recycle. After trimming the 18 plates I had a mountain of trimmings around the wheel.
I strongly dislike recycling clay. I just don’t enjoy the process and spending the time on this type of task takes away from the time I can throw new pieces. Fortunately for me, my husband (Kevin, aka my roadie) has a new project for next Spring. He’s going to be making a mud bread oven and needs a significant amount of clay to create the domed baking area. Awesome – it saves me from having to spend the time recycling it into throwing clay but it will still be used for a good purpose.
As he’s building the oven next Spring, I’ll have a few updates on his progress here. Stay tuned.
A while back I told you about a tall vase I’d custom made for a customer. She was looking for a tall vase to match the previous items she’d ordered and would fit in a perfect location in her home. I’d included a picture of the vase shortly after it had been thrown and while it was sitting drying. Well, that vase has been completed and it turned out gorgeous. Previously it was around 20″ tall, but after drying and firing, it is currently around 18″ tall.
Shrinkage is common in making pottery. When making an item, you always have to consider the size you want it to be when it is completed, know your clays shrinkage rate and then figure the size to make it while the clay is wet. This is also important in making pieces that need lids or other parts that fit together. Thanks for stopping by.
Tonight I did a pottery demonstration at St. Michael’s church. They set up tents in their gathering room and created a miniature market place like Bethlehem. Complete with arts and crafts for the kids.
It was great fun. The kids enjoyed touching the clay and using the tools. And they had a million questions. After watching me shape a piece, I let each of them take a turn at adding some texture or alternation.
I rarely work in front of other people so it was quite different to have people watching and asking questions. I’ll have to do it more frequently. Thanks for visiting.
Saturday I received the bisque fired pieces I’d made while attending a workshop on texturing wheel thrown pottery in Virginia . Seeing the boxes when I arrived home from a long day at a sale was kind of a cross between Christmas morning and exploring in the attic. My daughter and I sat on the floor in the dining room and ripped open the boxes. My husband teased us a bit about being like a couple little kids and then snapped this picture. We dug through the big boxes to find more boxes protecting the individual pots, which were all wrapped very carefully in several layers of newspaper. All the pots arrived in excellent condition thanks to the excellent packing skills of the workshop instructor Sarah McCarthy. Opening each small box was like opening presents on Christmas morning because I didn’t know what would be in the box. After unwrapping the item, it was like exploring in the attic and finding the thing would put up there and were now re-united with.
“Oh yeah, this was a cool piece” was said more than a couple times. Today, I’ll start preparing them to be glazed and put some more of those pictures out here for you. Check back soon to see what’s new. Be well.
In my last post, I showed you an oblong platter I’d made using a wooden bowl as a mold. The shape and process have really been speaking to me and I’ve made several more since that last post. They measure about 13″l x 9″w and about 1″ deep. The process of decorating them with trails for slip (thick liquid clay) is something I really enjoy. And if you don’t like how it’s turning out, you can just wipe it off with a sponge and start over. Here is one glazed in a rutile green glaze.
And the one below is glaze in deep iron red with one end dipped in sapphire blue which creates a mottled black appearance. The black end is also incised with a ribbon tool creating the subtle lines after it is glazed. I’ve also added three slip dots on the red end of the platter.
Right now the kiln is full of bisqued pieces and I’m waiting patiently for it to cool to an acceptable temperature so I can unload it. Patience is not one of my strong points. I’ll unload tomorrow and then will begin a weekend of glazing pieces from my last couple bisque loads. And then the cycle begins again. Throw, bisque, glaze, sell.
Take care and thanks for visiting.