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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back to the Drawing Board

Have you ever been asked to create something and suddenly your mind goes blank like you have never had a creative moment in your life?  That happens to me all the time.  I can think of a million different ideas in my sleep but ask me to come up with an idea and my mind goes mute.  That's what has happened since I was invited to participate in a show that Kathy King is curating at Mudfire.  I'm honored and I am planning to do something really great just as soon as I know what that is.  Oh, I've had some ideas but I can't see them in my mind's eye.  I've even tried something but the prototype proved to be too ugly.

My solution is usually to relax and stop thinking about this so that something will come to me, but that's not happening this time.  What do you do when you've got a show theme to fulfill but your mind is drawing a blank?

FUNky Casserole


Speaking of shows, Michele Hastings, Gary Rith and I are getting the next Pottery Pals show together right now.  We'll let you know when it's all together, it's been fun.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dog Dog Goose

We took Rainier and Jolie to the park this weekend. We all had a great time but Rainier didn't want to swim, he didn't even notice the ducks and he never wants to play fetch. Essentially you can say he has failed his Lab test.
Jolie, the Austrian Cattle Dog did go swimming with the geese.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Prototype

This mug is a prototype for the mugs that I'm going to be entering into the Mugs For Jugs fundraiser at Mudfire Gallery. The show is a way to raise money for breast cancer research and a lot of fun. It's scheduled for October, I'll post more details as we get closer to the date of the show.

Mugs For Jugs Prototype
You may have noticed that this mug is not my typical style, it's actually the first time I've ever added lace to a pot.  It may actually be the first time I've ever purchased lace in my life.  As a kid my grandmother always wanted to make or buy me dresses with lace.  Yuk, I was a tomboy who was (still is) much more comfortable in blue jeans.  Grandma did buy me my first pair of jeans so I guess she was also fairly tolerant of me.  Ever since then I've said I am allergic to lace.

The lace on this mug was dipped in slip than attached to the pot when the clay was leather hard.  It was actually pretty fun but quite messy.  What potter really minds a mess?  It was just getting the extra slip cleaned up that was any kind of a problem with the lace.

This one lives with me now but I've got some others for the show in October.  What do you think?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Washing Bowls

A recent post on the wonderful blog zenhabits was about ways to simplify our lives.  The post gives several wonderful suggestions but the one that resonated the most with me was to wash your bowl.  My kitchen has a dishwasher and it gets used.  I am very happy to finish my meal and toss the bowl or dish into the dishwasher.  I even tell my customers that all of my functional pots are dishwasher safe because I'm not going to be hand washing my dishes, I use them everyday.

Serving Bowl
So why did this resonate with lazy me?  Because I use handmade bowls, we have quite a collection of great pottery bowls from lots of different artist, and my rejects (yes, I keep many of my 2nds and use them).  By taking a moment and mindfully washing the bowl, feeling the finger marks, touching the lip and the foot, thinking about the artist that made it I feel even more connected to the piece and the artists, which is weird when the artists is me but you get the idea.  Try it.


Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pet CPR

This weekend we almost lost Ginger, the little Miniature Pincher we rescued from the interstate's HOV lane a little over a year ago.  She was playing with her best friend Rainier when her collar got caught on one of his teeth.  He's a lab mix so he's much bigger than she is and when they both attempted to get free from each other the collar only got tighter.  Janet and I struggled for what seemed like an eternity to try to free Ginger from his mouth or the collar but nothing we did worked.  We were panicing and everyone was struggling, finally Janet was able to cut through the rolled leather collar with a scissors while I supported Ginger and helped to keep Rainier still.

I ran outside with Ginger the second she was free, it just seemed like their was no air in the room and the cool, fresh air of the morning seemed a better place but she was just not breathing.  I laid her down on the deck and gave her a few rescue breaths until she started breathing on her own.  I honestly could not remember how to check her pulse let alone give chest compressions but, luckily, I did not have to do that, she started breathing on her own.  We rushed her to the vet who checked her out and said she'd be fine.

Happy Ginger

The dogs seem to have recovered quickly from the event but we have been feeling quite traumatized.  I'm glad we were able to save her and that I at least remembered the rescue breaths.  The dogs are now all running around the house collarless (they are micro chipped for identification) and I'm reviewing my pet first aid.  If you have any animals please do the same, it's a good idea to know how to handle emergencies for every member of your family.

Other Stuff:

How-to-Perform-Canine-CPR

Dog CPR Video
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Artist Interview

This summer I'm taking some classes at Emory University.  I love learning new things and they have some great offerings.

I have an assignment for one of the classes to interview several other artists about the art business.  So I started compiling a list of artists that I'd like to interview and the list got pretty long.  I'd love to chat with so many of you.  The alternative was to put it into your hands.  So I created a survey which you can see below and fill out on line if you are so inclined OR you can email me directly (lori at Future Relics Gallery (dot) com) and let me know your phone number and a good time to call you.  I would love to chat with you but I will also be respectful of your time.

I promise I'm not interested in selling your phone number or email address.  All of the questions are optional but I'd really appreciate it if you'd answer as many as you can.

Thanks in advance.

Thank you, I really appreciate your help.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bash Bish Falls

On Sunday my friend Frank and I went for a drive up to New York state to go hiking. We knew where we were going and what we were going to see. We've both been going there for decades, literally. The forecasted threatened rain but we were not deterred, we had our cameras and expectations of having a good hike and a nice visit together.  Frank is an awesome architect and the type of person that subtly reminds you that architecture is very much an art form.

The first trail we hiked was pretty easy, we knew it would be, we've been on it many times, it's a good warm up.  At the end of the trail we are rewarded with this.

Bash Bish Falls
This is Bash Bish Falls, it's in Massachusetts, we hiked there from New York.  This idea used to tickle us as kids, it still does to a certain degree now.  The falls are about 200 feet high which makes them the largest cascading falls in Massachusetts.  Many years ago a famous tight rope walker performed his stunt over these falls and remarked that it was more frightening than Niagara Falls, probably due to all the gorges.  When we were kids we did a lot of climbing around and above the falls but we also knew to respect them.  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Taconic Mountain Region

Today my parents and I took a drive around the scenic Taconic Region along the eastern side of New York state. This is the place we went to vacation from about 1976 until long after I left school. It's one of those places that feels like home so I try to visit whenever I'm up here.
I took a lot of pictures with my good camera. I'll share some of them with you when I get them downloaded on my computer. For now I'm blogging on my iPod so please forgive the quality of the pictures and the post.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Get Out of the Studio

Remember summer when you where a kid?  We used to spend countless hours swimming or riding our bicycles or just playing.  We were outside all summer, I doubt we even really noticed it was hot because we were acclimated.  I do remember my bare feet feeling the hot of the sand or the street but we always found cool water or grass near by.  We played, we had fun, and we still grew.

Now it's a summer of my adulthood and I'm prone to wanting to go from the cool of the house to the cool of the studio.  I visit the garden in the morning but not at noon.  I'm acclimated to the AC.  I do love air conditioning, I don't care to live without it even though I am not a person that likes to be cold.  However, I don't like to be too hot either.  I guess I'm just particular about these things.



A hot summer also makes me a bit lazy.  I'm not as motivated to run down to the studio and spend all day there, it just means I'll have a lot of pots that I'll have to store until September when it cools off enough for people to go shopping again.  Maybe this is a time to do some playing and growing.  I've been doing some experimenting with decorating the pots and I really like the results, this keeps things fresh and interesting for me.  But I know growth can also be found outside of the studio so I'm going to leave it for a few days and let the world outside inspire me.  One way of doing that will be by taking a trip up north to visit my parents.  I'm not sure what inspiration will come from that, I'll let you know.

What are you doing this summer?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blog Roll

What makes you add someone to your blogroll?  It seems like mine is often changing or is in need of updating because it's missing a blogger that I am following or his a blog that isn't being updated enough  for me to be watching.  I do know how difficult it can be sometimes to write fresh content everyday.  I don't consider myself a writer, I'm a potter who blogs about it and other things whenever I can but writing is really not my passion like creating pottery.  However, if someone hasn't updated a blog in a few months it should really fall off my blog list.

It seems that some people are going for the instant gratification of facebook and abandoning blogs for this.  I don't think that is anything I want to do.  I don't have anything against facebook, the people that want to post about every cup of coffee they drink are hidden or removed from my friend list, I'll catch up with those people in person, probably over a cup of joe.  But I do think the conversation is lost a bit on facebook.  Twitter is worse, you can't possibly get to know someone in 140 characters or less, but it can be interesting and enjoyable.  With blogs I get to share a chunk of your life and I enjoy that.  Sometimes I'm traveling vicariously with someone, sometimes I'm saddened by someone's loss of a pet, sometimes I'm inspired by what they are doing.

Garlic Trio

The trouble is that I don't have enough time in the day to read all the blogs that I want to read, so who goes on my blogroll?  It's mostly either people who are frequent commentors on my blog or who write blogs that I think my readers would find interesting.  I often look at the comments or blogrolls of the writers I follow and explore other blogs.  I've made a few friends in the community this way since we start with something in common.

What inspires you to add someone to your blogroll?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tie Dye Fun

Many of the festivals I show my pottery at give exhibitors t-shirts.  I've got quite a collection from the past few years.  That's fine, I collect t-shirts, they make nice travel souvenirs.  The t-shirt from the Inman Park Festival this year was white with an orange butterfly which is the logo for the neighborhood.  I seem to have a lot of white t-shirts.  Actually, they should be called dingy not white, I'm not a fan of using bleach.  It'a chemical I think we can live without but throwing pots and gardening can make white shirts a little less than bright.

My plan with this white shirt was to brighten it up a bit with some tie dye.  I've not tie dyed anything since the 70's.  Yes, I was young but I was still old enough to make art projects out of my clothing (intentionally, I've always been an expert at making art projects out of my clothing with food, another reason why my whites are not so white).
Dying the Shirt

Dying the shirts was fun.  It was easy but a bit messy, the kit came with gloves and I wore a shirt that was already stained.  I find that is the best defense against getting stuff on my clothes.  If you're going to do this I highly recommend you cover the work surface well and be prepared to clean up floors & such.  It wasn't too bad, but that dye will stain anything it touches.
The Finished Shirt

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Raku

A couple of weeks ago, before it got to 106 degrees in Atlanta I did a raku firing with a few other brave souls at Mudfire.  This was an experimental firing for me, sometimes they all seem like an experiment.  For this firing I had three pots that I made using High Water's Phoenix Clay, this is the clay body that I normally use for raku and for cookware because it's designed to withstand thermal shock.  The experiment was with the surface.  After taking the workshop with Jenny Mendes I decided to have some fun with the terra sigilata and try to do some interesting colors for the background of the horse carving.  I really liked the way these pieces came out.



I also tried using High Water's Stans Red, it's an earthenware clay that we used in the workshop.  It's rated for ^02 - ^06 so I thought that the pieces might be able to hold water even with the low temperature of the Raku firing.  The problem is that the clay has very little grog which I thought might not handle the thermal shock too well.  I was right, all three pieces cracked a lot.  It could be because they weren't thrown very well.  I didn't find the Stans Red to be very fun to throw, it didn't seem to be as plastic as the clay bodies that I'm used to using.  I know Ron Philbeck uses Stans so it's possible to throw nice pots with it, I might just need more practice.

I loved the way these looked, the red clay is pretty and I enjoyed the carving, both doing it into a non-groggy clay and the way the caving looked unfilled.  I normally inlay a black slip into the carving on the white pots.  Now I'm thinking about inlaying other colored slips into my carvings.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Passwords on Mac

After reading Whynot Pottery's article about her late brother's website going away I started really thinking about computer passwords and what to do about them in case of emergency.  I don't know about you but I have a terrible time remembering passwords and usernames.  The good news for me is that I'm on a mac and it does a lot of the work for me.  If you're a windows user please just take this time to look at the pretty pottery pictures.  I'll try to make this brief and not too dull.

When you've entered a password into a website or email your mac will often ask you if you want to save the password in your keychain.  Always answer "yes."  That way when you forget the password it's saved somewhere.  When you have forgotten the password you just go to applications (or launchpad depending on your computer) then to utilities then click on Keychain Access.  You'll see a window that looks sort of like this.
Keychain Access

In the list you should find the website you want to access, double click on it and a dialoge box will pop up and tell you some stuff about the page.  You'll see a box that says "Show Password" put a tick mark in there.  Another window will pop up asking you for your system password.  Yes, sorry, you'll have to know this one, it's for your own good, besides, it's easier to remember one password than 100.  After you enter your computer's password you'll be given the password for the website in question.  Yay!  Keychain will also store your network password if you use one of those and if you're really advanced you can add stuff like your bank pin into the keychain.

I hope that wasn't too boring or geeky and I hope it helps make someone's life easier.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gratitude

After a weekend of really hot weather and horrible storms across much of the north eastern United States I was really happy when got up this morning to discover it was 75 degrees outside.  I was able to sit on the deck and write my morning pages then I dashed down to the studio so I could throw some pots with the door open, enjoying the fresh air.  I was so thankful for the cool breezes.

When the mail came I had a letter from my health insurance telling me that I will now get well woman health exams and more covered 100%.  Thank you President Obama everyone else that helped to make this possible for me and for all of the people that really need these changes.

While I'm in an attitude of gratitude let me thank you all for reading and commenting on this blog and on my facebook page.  It's really nice to know that people are reading what I'm writing, that people are interested in my pottery and in me.  I am feeling a sense of community with the frequent commenters and I love that.  I consider you friends who I just haven't met face to face.  I'd be happy to do that one day.
Horse Hair Raku Covered Jar

I thankful for many more things than this but I'm not going to write them all out for you.  I simply wanted to take a few minutes and express some thanks.

What are you grateful for?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery