Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dinnerware Order

This past weekend I went to the Clay Matters Winter Workshop.  The presenter was Ellen Shankin.  She was a very interesting woman, telling great stories.  Her love of clay was very obvious.  The photo shows Ellen and I with the pitcher I purchased.  In a few days I will post photos on the Clay Matters website of the workshop.

This week I started an order for 150 plates, 75 round and 75 rectangular for a restaurant in Memphis.

The deadline is the beginning of April and I knew that I would be working fast and firing often with my 7 cu. ft. kiln but I didn't think about the space issue.  There are plates everywhere and I am only two days into a week of throwing.

Because I haven't been throwing lately my body wasn't ready for long days. My hands are like sandpaper, my shoulders and back are aching and I do not have time for other things.  Once all the throwing is done I will have more time for other things.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Finally got my new glaze scale

Over the past five years I have been using commercial glazes.  This happened because the classes I took at a local studio did not teach us how to formulate glazes and when I decided to make pottery full time I was still learning other aspects of the business that I guess I was afraid to mess things up.  There was also a space issue since I only had a one car garage space and didn't feel that there was room for a shelving unit dedicated to glaze materials.  Well since then the space has doubled (and sometimes tripled when I am super busy, which means all four cars are outside)

Anyway, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and give it a try.  First I attended a basic glaze class given by Sylvia Coppola.  Next I ordered the scale and chemicals.  They came in this week so I purchased a small book case from Walmart ($15)  The scale goes on top and the chemicals down below.  The photo shows the test buckets and test tiles but they won't stay there.  My large glaze buckets go under my glazing table in the middle of the space, so once I have settled on 5 or 6 favorites there shouldn't be small containers laying all over the place.  Below are the first five colors I tried.  The white one was Red Iron Oxide which should be brown, but guess I didn't use enough.  I am not keen on the dark green in the middle but the other colors have possibilities.  Over the next month or so I will test some more colors.  I am exited about glazing the pieces I have been making lately but will have to do more testing on smaller pieces before I am ready to trust my formulas.

Meanwhile there was a full load of pots with the commercial glazes so once my good cameras battery charges there will be new pots added to the Etsy store.  If you want one of my current pieces, now is the time to get it, because in a few months they will be fazed out and I am not sure what direction I will be going in the future.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Twitter and yarn bowls

Today I decided to join twitter.  According to my son, Twitter just got good.  Whatever that means?  Anyway you can find me at www.twitter.com/newdaypottery

Last week I made these yarn bowls and today I glazed them. They are made with the Speckled Brownstone clay.  I am thinking of changing back to this clay.  In a few days I hope to do some test tiles for some new glazes and it will all be fired later in the week.

Lately the weather has been cold on and off, so I have not been working as much.  Even though I have a space heater, when it's below 50 degrees the space heater just doesn't quite do it.

I have not signed up for any shows yet this year since I am planning a huge change in my work. More hand building and new glazes with an emphasis on high-end pieces.  This is a scary prospect since most customers seem to want functional and affordable.  I found that I was getting very bored with doing hundreds of the same item and my creative soul was dying.  Once I have a new body of work I will start applying for some shows, but most of the good shows have already hit the deadline for this year.