Sunday, April 19, 2009

Goodbye to Spring Break !

Before I talk about anything else, I feel a need to show this picture of my friend, John, with the five pound large-mouthed bass he caught the other day while we were fishing. Although I am not a very good fisherman, John continues to take me out on the lakes in the area in his boat, hoping I will catch a big fish. For me, it is just a joy to be outside on the lake and watch his excitement as he reels in fish. He said this is probably the biggest bass he has caught in the lakes here around Roanoke Rapids.

Despite not catching any fish of my own, this was a productive week! Not only was I able to spend time daily at the wheel, but I was able to finalize my choices of pieces that will go to the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove for the Finch Potters exhibition. One of the pieces, I was able to see for the first time since it was glaze-fired and, since I did not have my camera with me, will not be able to show on this blog until I can take a picture of it at the exhibition. But, it was the urn on which I had carved a door and spots that looked like bricks behind peeling stucco. Mason stains were used to color it and then it was sprayed clear glaze - I was very happy with the results.

I spent time working on larger pieces, trying to get the height without having to use a torch and without the piece weighing a ton. I am not going to set any records as far as working quickly, but I am getting better at it. I have a few projects in mind that I want to try, but need to hone my skills on smaller chunks of clay first.

This week I go back to teaching - Spring Break is over - but I will be leaving for Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to attend the national math conference. That means I will not be back at the studio for two weeks to glaze or see what I glazed last week. I am hoping in that time to make a few more large pieces and do some handbuilding and carving. The Smithsonian is having its annual craft show at the same time I will be in D.C., so I hope to be able to sneak away for at least one afternoon and see some potters demonstrating. It would also be nice to visit the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria again since I will be up there. Maybe I will have some pictures from D.C. to share next weekend!

Below are pictures from this week. The pieces drying are two of my latest creations. The larger piece, which looks crooked (it's just the angle of the camera - I promise), is about 10 inches tall right now. I imagine it will end up being about 9 inches tall after drying. The face jug is just under 5 inches tall. I have had to start making face jugs on a regular basis to restock my shelves. I sold every face jug I had at the Halifax Market Day and could have sold more! These are small jugs, some no more than 3 inches tall. Not bad for something I started doing with the scraps at the end of a throwing session! The glazed pieces are all I have left from the last two weeks of glazing - I have sold everything else and the two bowls here are already sold! My overall inventory is down to these pieces, some rice bowls, about three or four bud vases, and a few egg separators. Time to work on restocking shelves for the next possible craft sale!

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