Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Show and Tell

Last weekend marked my 14th year at Lloydminster's Christmas Craft Fair. 
( yeah, I know - not a very creative name for the show )
I have slowly been building a loyal clientele at this 3 day event. It is very gratifying that I have alot of repeat customers. They tell me that they love using my pots and the pots are standing up well to everyday use. That's what I am aiming for, function and enjoyment !

These photos were taken pretty quickly as I was packing to go.

1st version of this new design I was experimenting with. The edges of the inset design didn't really go with the shape of the cup so I made some changes...

I think this flowing edge works better.

not enough contrast here so I didn't make many of these

juice jug

handles are improving... on going project !

large gravy jug

handle on the same jug - I like the curve it has to it, but may not work for a lefty

squared 6" bowl
the contrast is too high in this picture - was better in person

baking dishes - always a good seller

really large casserole. 

I made several of these large bowls and they all sold. I had meant to keep one for myself !

large utensils container. I've been doing this glaze/deco for awhile now, even though it is quite finicky.
The brush work was done with one of Brandon Phillips brushes. If you need some new brushes I can recommend his !

levitating mug !

more baking dishes

large bowl
this one was better in person too.

hand built baking dishes

aprox. 4" square

aprox. 10" square by 4" deep hand built bowl.
It's always a big panic to get ready for this show. It comes so quickly after harvest that I am always promising myself to start earlier....
I have good intentions but I have things to get caught up with and,,, before you know it, it's christmas and then ... well, you know how it goes.

I go down to the "big city" tomorrow for some kind of neurology test on my wrists. It'll be good to know if it's carpal tunnel or not. I've been having trouble with my left shoulder and wrists for several years now and the MRI hasn't shown any rips or tears.
Wish me luck !
Happy Thanksgiving to all south of the 49th !

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bragging Rights

Our oldest daughter, Jenna, is away at University taking a degree in Business.
As part of the universities' Co-Operative Education program which ties business students with community partners she accepted a position with non-profit, Volunteer Alberta, this past January.
Jenna thoroughly enjoyed her work there. Karen, the dynamic executive director of Volunteer Alberta, pictured here standing to Jennas' left, recognized her abilities and work ethic and gave her lots of responsibility and challenges.
At a luncheon last week, Jennas' outstanding hard work and insightful contributions were recognized and she won Co-Op student of the year ! 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Studio Mates

My studio mates, Ziggy and Wilson were hard at work with me out in the studio. Here you see Ziggy keeping the handle plugs ready and moist for pulling handles.

Wilson fits snug around my right wrist as I am handling the mugs and keeps the excess water from running down my arm.
Don't you hate wet arm pits... I do, worst part about making mugs. Rather have a wet wrist band.

Mugs I've been working on... I think I'm going to have to re-name my studio to something more appropriate to the speed I've been working at "Sloth Potter Studio" comes to mind at the moment. 3 days to construct 32 mugs !

As you can probably see, I don't throw to a gage. I'll go through these mugs and sort them into like sizes and then group together a few 4 mug sets. The rest I will sell individually. I find most people like a collection of mugs as opposed to a matching set. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's in the Bag

Oct. 25, 2010

The thrills and drama of  harvest are over for another year and the 2010 crop is in the bag... literally !
We ran out of bin space and began bagging the grain. These bags come from Argentina and are especially made for grain storage. For those of you that like numbers - ours measure 9 feet in diameter and are 250 feet long with a 10,000 bushel capacity.

Oct. 25, 2010 grain bags beyond the beaver dam
We finished combining late Friday night. By Sunday the weather had turned wet and the snow began that evening.

Oct. 25, 2010

Saskatchewan had some great harvest weather this year. We had almost six weeks of mild, sunny, windy days. I'm sure it was the longest stretch of good weather we've had this year. We experienced very few breakdowns and the quality and quantity of the harvest was pretty good - all things considered.
We are truly thankful for that !

Sept. straight cutting wheat
precision operating required for "catching on the go"
 saves lots of time as the machinery doesn't stop while the grain is unloading

Sorry the above picture is a bit out of focus but I wasn't used to using my daughters' camera and was in a bit of a hurry to get out of the way !

Next post will be back to regular programing and clay related !

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My New Ride

If the skies clear up and the wind blows and the sun shines, this is where I'm going to be spending the next 8 - 10 weeks. Our new Case IH was delivered awhile back. It's got 485 hp under the hood and a 40 foot header. Lots of lights- gonna need them.

This years growing season has been really crappy. The spring was late, cold and wet.  Normally, about 32 million acres of land are seeded in the spring. This year, heavy rains in the spring made the soil too wet and prevented many farmers from getting out into their fields.The result was that about 10 million acres of Saskatchewan farmland went unseeded this spring.

Rains have continued and have flooded out many of the plants that did get started. We weren't as bad off as some of the farmers in the eastern side of the province. Our crops were late into the ground and now almost a month behind normal development. I'm surprised we haven't had a hard frost yet but that is a certainty sometime in the coming week.  It’s that time of year. The days are getting shorter and we can’t seem to get a sustained period of warm, dry weather. It’s been a difficult growing season and so far the same pattern is holding for harvest. 

Q: What it's going to take to make me happy?
A: These guys pulling onto our land.

photo credit to William Dekay

Do you think I'm asking for too much ?? 

Saturday, September 04, 2010

A large serving of Linda, please.

small bowl by Linda Arbuckle

Best Part of Wakin-Up is breakfast with Linda. 
What a great way to start my day! 

Does this lady know how to use a brush and a color wheel, or what ?

Here's a little P.S. to my last post: John Bauman has a terrific post on photographing pots on his blog. See the Aug. 28th post.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Recent pots out of the kiln

small Ikebana vase

O.K., these are lousy pictures, and I know it. I am trying to improve them and if anyone would like to put some pointers in the comment section, please feel free to do so. I need to buy some proper lights and background stuff but I don't have an endless supply of money and don't know what and where to buy. I live in the "great white north" and there is not a photo supply store on every grid road here !

small shallow bowl, split lip, 6" diameter

Heres a couple of decorative  shallow plates. They look quite flat but they actually have a nice shallow curve to them.

they are each aprox. 11 to 12" in diameter

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bowls, Bakers and Decorative dishes

It seems that my time has been burned away by the more mundane tasks of life on a farm lately but I have had some time in the studio and here is proof !

Flower ring in action. 
If you look closely, the round channel of the vessel can just be seen below the petals. These little items are fun to throw and have to be displayed in use or the customer usually can't imagine what they are for or how simple they are to arrange. Add candle in the center space.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Parting Shots

just a few architectural detail shots I thought were interesting and may, someday, leap out of my subconscious and throw themselves onto a pot in some form or another. Funny how that happens, eh ?

the craftsperson who did the above column had maaad skills !! I wish I knew more about it.

above and below - panels from the same set of doors each design measuring aprox. 8" x 14"

Monday, August 02, 2010

Supporting other potters

I don't know of any other potters who do not buy other peoples pots. 
I treasure my small pottery collection and pots by other potters far out number my own in my cupboard by a large percentage. There are some good reasons for that... the main one being that I am unusually severe in critiquing my own pots.  I have a hard time overlooking perceived flaws and certainly "see the next one" and how I would improve on certain aspects. I often have to put some time and space between what I have made in order to appreciate what is right about a certain pot.
With other peoples pots I am much less critical - don't have the baggage of intent and expectation that builds during the lengthy making process. They come into my hand standing on their own merit. They are usually put to use and remind me of the potter, circumstance and other details of how they came into my possession. I learn alot from other peoples pots while I use and admire them - technically and aesthetically... sometimes I will buy a pot or a friend will give me a pot and over time various qualities will become more apparent and that influences my own work in one way or another.

These are the pots  bought on our trip to Quebec:

platter by Jacques Marsot - Mystic, QC.
small bowl by Yukari Hazama Iverson, Montreal, QC.

ovaled, wood fired dish by Peter Hamilton, QC.

altered, salt glazed bowl by Robert Compton, Briston, Vermont, U.S.A.

yunomi by Catherine Auriol, Montreal, QC.
something I didn't know before... There are special pairs of yunomi called meoto yunomi (meoto means ‘married couple’). Meoto yunomi usually consist of two cups with the same pattern (sometimes in different colours) but different sizes and often slightly different shapes (the larger cup being the ‘husband’ and the smaller being the ‘wife’ cup).
and Japanese for Yunomi : 湯のみ

large colander, by Luc Archambault, Quebec City, QC.