Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Like a Heat Wave

The last time I looked at the weather forecast for this weekend showed 106 degrees Fahrenheit.  I'm glad we did the raku firing last weekend when it was only in the 90's.

I am a gardener as well as a potter.  I'm not really good at it all the time but I do enjoy growing some pretty flowers and my own vegetables.   With this kind of heat I'm going to be making a lot of trips to the rain barrels trying to keep my plants from experiencing too much damage. I guess most of the well established ones will survive but I do have some that are still newish and a bit weak, they will need care.

Plants aren't the only things that will need care.  The pets will all spend most of the weekend indoors in the air conditioning.  I'll also try to keep some tabs on my friends and neighbors.  This type of heat can kill someone who doesn't have a/c (and an old a/c unit may break down under the strain).  If you live in an area that is being hit with this heat wave please check on people.  If your a/c breaks go to the library or  to the mall (the one time I'll tell someone to go the the mall but you could spend a few hours reading in a big box book store, you don't have to buy anything), spend the afternoon in a museum or theater.  Take care of yourselves, your people and your pets.

Other Stuff:

Heat Wave Safety Checklist
During a Heat Wave
Pet Hot Weather Tips

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Put a Goddess On It

I've been making these Goddess mugs for a little while now, they are very popular.  Last year I had an order for 30 of them from 50cents period.  They were red but still, essentially the same mug.  They were also a nice item to have in the Mugs For Jugs benefit sale last October (look for info on this years bigger and better event this year).  I really like making them but lately have thought that the Goddess should not be kept only on a mug.  I made a covered jar with her and it sold pretty quickly at Charis Books and More.  I'm also thinking about putting her around the outside of a bowl.  I'd actually make a ring of Goddesses in rainbow colors.

Goddess Mug

I'm inspired to make more Goddess-ware but I'm not sure what else she should adorne.  What do you think would be great with a Goddess on it?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Card Readers

Yesterday I wrote about the fun of business accounting software and I got some pretty interesting answers thank you. Today I'm wondering what you think about credit card readers. Ever since square started advertising I've noticed that there are a few more on the market, PayPal is coming out with one and Intuit of course has one also. Those of us that he shows festivals will probably find these very handy. So I was wondering what you think of them. Have you used one? Which one have you used? What do you think of it? What do your customers think of it? And have you had any problems with it and what happened?

Thank you I really appreciate your comments.

 Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, June 25, 2012

Money, Money, Money

Sometimes we like to forget certain parts of the job of being an artist.   We are also small business owners and with that comes everything that goes into running a business.  Sales, marketing, and bookkeeping are a few of those tasks.  I've written a few blog articles about marketing but I don't think I've written any about bookkeeping and accounting.  Why?  Well, because I'm not really good at it.  I find it boring.  I'm not sure what to do to make it more fun and interesting but I imagine having an easy to use bookkeeping software would be helpful in keeping me on track.

I use Turbo Tax and Mint.com and think they are excellent products (mint.com is free, check them out) so my first thought was to look into Quicken or Quickbooks since all of these products are made by Intuit.  Of course they have various different flavors of Quickbooks and Quicken even has a home and small business addition to help add to the choices, and confusion.  I know I don't need something that will do payroll and I don't see that in my near future so I can eliminate that but that still leaves lots of choices.  So I'll ask you.  What, if any, bookkeeping software do you use?  What do you like about it and what do you dislike?  I'd live to get some feedback from artists and non-artists.


Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunflower And Sunshine Award

I hope this seeing this makes you smile.

Linda Starr  has honored me with a Sunshine Award. Here's my list of questions and answers and below are the ten blogs I'm sending a Sunshine Award. Please answer the ten questions on your blog and pass along the Sunshine Award to ten more folks.
 1. Favorite color: depends on my mood
2. Favorite animal: dog
3. Favorite number: 9
4. Favorite drink: coffee
5. Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
6. Good Book or a Good Movie: good book
7. My Passion: clay, gardening, reading, music, learning...
8. Giving or getting presents: giving
9. Favorite day of the year: the happy ones
10. Favorite flowers: daisy types, Black Eyed Susans, Echinacia, blanket flowers...

 Here are my Sunshine Awards in no particular order:
1. Walking Spirals
2. Gary Rith's Pottery Blog
3.The Fifth Floor
4. The Smart Cat
5. Sue Pariseau Pottery
6. Greta Michelle Joachim
7. Nora MacPhail - Artist
8. Risk a Day - Laura O. Biering
9. The Zen of Road Rage
10.  Whynot Pottery Blog

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Degenerates Art Show

Fun show on Saturday night with some really fun and talented folks at Hodgepodge Coffee House and Gallery! June 23rd 7pm-11pm Don't miss it!

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Friday, June 22, 2012

Atlanta Clay 3rd Anniversary Party


Revenge of the Nerds - Atlanta Clay Turns 3!!!

It's time to party!!! Join us on Saturday, June 23rd for a huge celebration. First, we're having demos from our favorite companies.  Denise from Mayco will show off their line of cone 6 glazes, Link from Dirty Girl Tools will be here with her incredible tools and Karen from Shimpo Ceramics will have all our favorite equipment! Next, we'll have a robot building demo - cause nerds love robots! You can get in on the action too - bring your own robotic creation (clay of course) 'cause we're having a robot contest! Drop your robot off by the 23rd and everyone at the party will have a chance to vote for their favorite! And the winner will get 20 free tickets into our Shimpo Slabroller Raffle! Stick around for all the games, food, booze and more - lots, lots more!
The Break Down!

noon - 6pm

Demos! All supplies will be provided - then we'll fire your pieces!


Pizza arrives! You can't have a frat house party without pizza! Also, check out Robot Man, Mike Klapthor, who will be slinging bots and showing you how to build your own mechanical friend!

6pm - 8pm

Let the games begin! Get your teams together because we're rolling out the tricycles and getting our relays ready! We've got some super fun games and some even better prizes lined up. Winners of each game will recieve raffle tickets and the the team with the most wins will win a huge gift bag, more raffle tickets AND the street cred to say they're the champs! Then we'll crown our winners and raffle off that Shimpo 30" X 50" Slabroller!
We can't wait to see you there!
Follow on Twitter | Friend on Facebook | Forward to Friend 
Copyright © 2012 Atlanta Clay, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Atlanta Clay
3131 Presidential Drive
Atlanta, GA 30340

Add us to your address book

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Second Anniversary Sale

Spring Place Pottery and Artists Gallery in Cartersville, GA has turned two years old and is having a party to celebrate.  This is one of the galleries that carries my pottery, it's a very supportive place with lots of great art, not just pots.

I enjoy going there to deliver pots because it's nice to visit with Gail (the owner) and because I can always find something else that's fun to do while I'm there.  The Tellus Science Museum, Booth Western Museum, and the Etowa Indian Mounds are a few of my favorites.

The celebration is this Friday and Saturday, June 22nd and 23rd with extended shopping hours of 10:30am - 7pm both days.  Many of the artists are offering 10% discounts plus there will be door prizes and demonstrations.  It sounds like a good time to me.

15 East Main St.
Cartersville, GA 30120
June 22nd and 23rd, 2012
10:30am - 7pm

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One of Those Days

I've been commissioned to make a companion pot to a piece that already exists.  I know I shouldn't have agreed to do this but the woman is very sweet and it did seem like a fun project at the time.  She also has no time expectation which makes life easier for me too and it has taken me many weekes to find the time and inspiration.

Yesterday I was inspired to start working on the piece.  So I headed to the studio with that in mind.  For some reason I was thinking the piece was supposed to be about 20 inches tall so I set about wedging up two good size balls of clay, one was about 8 pounds, the other 5 pounds.  I threw the large piece as the bottom of the pot then the smaller as the top.  I then put the base back on the wheel and inverted the top of the piece and joined them together.  When I felt like they were attached well enough I started the wheel spinning slowly and put a large fan on low in front of the studio door to blow a breeze across the pot as it was making it's rounds.  This would dry it a bit while I went and had a relaxing lunch.  I would shape the pot after lunch when it was a little firmer.

Wood Fired Vase

After eating I decided to take another look at the pot and get some clarity on dimensions.  This was a good idea that I should have done much earlier.  My 20 inch pot only needed to be about 12 inches!  Opps.  Okay, no big deal, I'll just finish the big pot and then throw the other one.

I don't often throw really big like this so I'm not the most skilled at this.  The pot I made proved that, it was really lopsided.  I figured I might be able to fix that after a day of rest for the pot and me but I put a gouge in the side while I was putting it up on the shelf so I balled it up and put it back into the bag of clay so it can be a good pot on another day.

Sadly, I wasn't able to make something that I liked in the 12 inch size either.  Thankfully I don't feel any pressure about making the pots so it was just a day of playing in the studio.  I feel like I was stretching and growing rather than getting frustrated.  That's the way an unsuccessful pot should feel.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, June 18, 2012

Old Work

For the past few of months I've spent less time concerning myself with making a lot of pots, I've got plenty of inventory so I've started playing more with surface decoration.  I've been carving, exploring Mishima, painting with underglaze and terra sig.  I'm really having fun and I'm loving the results.  I'm excited about the shows I'll be in after the summer is over because I want to put this stuff out there and see what happens with it.  I want to know what other people think of what I'm doing.

Acorn Casserole

That creates a little bit of a problem for me.  What about the older stuff.  The pieces that are sitting in bins in the kiln shed waiting for their turn.  The one's that are no longer new and exciting to me.  Most of them are beautiful pots that I do love, they just are not representative of the work I'm doing right now.   So what do I do with them?  I'm trying to make displays that show a cohesive body of work and some of these pieces no longer fit in.  What do you do with your oldies but goodies?
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Exciting Workshop for all Growing Businesses

Take Your Business to the Next Level!
Hello Everyone!!

At The Collective is proud to host the exciting workshop by Atlanta Artist, Kathleen Plate, "Take Your Business to the Next Level". Kathleen has taken her business from the local to national level. Join us for a wonderful evening of information and proven knowledge by one of Atlanta's own.

Kathleen Plate

Take Your Business To The Next Level 

A Workshop with Kathleen Plate, founder, Entrepreneur-U
Are you ready to expand your Atlanta-based business and take it to the next level? Kathleen Plate, founder of Smart Glass Jewelry and the Smart Glass Art Collection has grown her creative business from a kitchen table to a nationally recognized company. Kathleen will host an exclusive workshop to help identify the 5 key areas of business growth for any creative business. The workshop also includes a Q&A session where you can ask Kathleen specific questions about your business. From festivals, marketing and national accounts to branding, wholesaling and catalog sales, you won't want to miss this opportunity to learn from Kathleen's 19 years of experience in the creative marketplace.

Workshop highlights include:
  • Turning your local product into a national product line
  • Branding 101
  • Wholesaling
  • Marketing, Publicity and Advertising
  • Catalog Sales
  • Working with the Big Guys 
When:  Thursday June 21st, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Where:  At the Collective, 280 Elizabeth St NE # B103, 
Atlanta, GA 30307
Cost:  $25.00

For more information, please visit: http://www.entrepreneur-u.com

To sign reserve your spot today, pay with debit orcredit card by contacting:
At The Collective

See you soon!!!!
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What is This?

The other day I was looking through some old travel photos when I came across this one from Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, IT.  I love the old building but I don't know what that statue like thing on the corner of the building is.  It looks like it might be some navigation device but I'm making that up.  I really don't know.  Do you? What's it look like to you?

Palazzo Vecchio Florence, IT
I think we had gelato at the stand you can just see in the lower right corner of the picture.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Grate Plate

Two foods I love are garlic and ginger. That's really fortunate because they're also very healthy foods. Many of my favorite recipes call for grated ginger. As much as I love eating them I don't really enjoy grating the ginger. That is I didn't enjoy grating the ginger until I made my first grate plate. Now I just peel the ginger root and rub it on the center of the great plate and the ginger is grated without scratching my knuckles. I love that.
Grate Plate

The other thing that I love is making garlic in oil on the grate plate. For this I peel the garlic and then rub the cloves over the rough area in the center of the great plate then I add some olive oil. This makes a delicious and healthy dipping sauce. You can serve this right on the grate plate with a loaf of crusty bread. Add a bottle of your favorite wine and invite a few good friends over, it's good times.

Ready to Grate Some Garlic

The secret behind the grate plate is that the design in the center of the plate is rough enough to grate the garlic or the ginger and even some cheeses but you're not going to cut your hands on it like you would the traditional metal cheese grater. You should try one you'll find out why I really like this piece of pottery.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jenny Mendes Workshop Review

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a workshop by Jenny Mendes at Mudfire.  If I had to choose only one word for this workshop I would choose "inspiring."  Each day of this three day workshop she did something to help us be inspired including showing us a slide show of some images that help to inspire her work.

One of the things she said that stuck me was when she was taking about her process she said "sometimes that feels bad, but I just keep going and it works out."  Of course that's not just a pottery lesson but a life lesson.  Her process is really to work the piece until it is right and that normally means a lot of layers and taking advantage of mistakes.

The workshop had a lot of hands on time, which the participants seemed to love.  Jenny took lots of time talking to people about what they were doing as well as discussions on her process, making and using terra sigillata, and even how she does Etsy with success.
Jenny Mendes Ceramics

If you haven't seen her artwork on the cover of Ceramics Monthly or in Lark Books 500 Tiles you should go look for them, or check out her pins on Pintrest for more inspiration.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Little Sadness

This was a great weekend for me, it was very inspiring and full of really good stuff that I'll tell you about later in other blog posts.  I even woke up this morning with an idea in my head that I'm really excited about doing.  My plans for today were to go to the studio and throw a piece for a commission and some pieces for a raku firing and some pieces for a show we Pottery Pals are doing in Aug.  But my heart went out of it when I called my dogs into the house for breakfast and found one of them with a little bird in her mouth.

Little Bird on a Plate
I'm not mad at the dog at all, she was just doing what animals do.  She also dropped the bird as soon as she was told to, which is good behavior.  Sadly, the bird had already lost a wing and a lot of it's tail feathers but was still alive.  I knew the little bird was suffering but I can't bring my self to euthanize it as I have no way of doing that non-violently.  When I volunteered at the Animal Shelter we could give an animal an injection and it would quickly and quietly drift off.  Naturally I have nothing like that here.  The best I could do was to move the bird to a safe, quiet bed of leaves and hope it passed away quickly.

I know this is how nature works, it just makes me feel sad and helpless sometimes.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery