Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sucking is good

This is so true and applies to all things in pottery. I find that most new students have an expectation of perfection that is dashed quite quickly. If they can accept the element of suck, they usually can stick it out and become sorta good. It then follows that being sorta good is the first step towards being great (hopefully).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Zombies are Coming, The Zombies are Coming...

I woke up with a start at 6:30 this morning. In my dream I was running away from zombies. They looked pretty fresh, no body parts falling off yet. But they were after me, so in my dream wisdom, I hopped into an elevator to get away from them. There was one woman who was not a zombie, and we got in the elevator together. As the doors closed, that is when I woke up with a jack hammer in my chest. The Zombie Apocalypse is not the best way to start the day. I wonder what the shelf life of the average zombie is? I mean, they are the walking dead. Bits are going to fall off. Eventually they would just be a non threatening (albeit disgusting) torso. Easy to run away from a torso I bet.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Biding my time

As of yesterday there are only 4 more weeks to go until I pack it all up to go to Medalta for a salt and soda firing and I have 1 more load to bisque before then. I am also still teaching on Thursday nights, in addition to my regular Tuesday nights. I have been doing so since mid February and will be until April 18th. As yesterday was Thursday, I was teaching, but only 3 students showed, so I did manage to get some work done. I have been fooling around with hand build platters made on an oval hump mold. I have been extruding long fat coils of clay and creating abstract patterns on the mold and then smoothing the backside with ribs and or paddling with sticks. I took down the first one I made as it was the driest of the 2 that I have made so far and began slathering on some underglazes. As these are very experimental for me, I thought what the heck, I will throw some caution up into the wind and see where the pieces fall. My plan was to apply different layers of colour and then erode through them once dry to reveal the different layers as I artificially weather the piece. Like layers of paint on old furniture, or those gobstopper candy's with the multi-coloured layers that slowly reveal themselves as you suck on them. I do remember trying to fit one of those into my 6 year old mouth once and it got kinda stuck. I had to suck my way to freedom or risk suffocation by choking the stupid thing.

Anyway, back to the pot. I opened up my pint of red velvet underglaze that I had purchased in Lexington back in October and to my horror, there was a big glob of green mold sitting on top. And the was definitely gag inducing. Seeing as how it cost me a bit of money, and I can't readily acquire these underglazes here, I used it, but man was it stinky. The other colours were OK. The yellow had a mild fishy smell, but no mold.

In other studio related news, the Fairview Spring Sale is swiftly approaching. It is on Saturday, May 4th this year and as always, it runs from 9am to Noon at the Canyon Meadows Community Centre. Fairview Studios is also going to have it's first ever (that I know of) Open House. I think I somehow got elected leader for this one. I will be sending out more information as it becomes available, but I can tell you that if you show up on Saturday, June 8th between 11am and 3pm (5650 C Burbank Rd. S.E.), the studio will be open to the public to check it out and see what we do. There will be a raku firing with little take away tea bowls for those that show (first come first served), coffee and snacks will also be available. The volunteer students for this event will also be selling a few pieces of their work. The idea behind this event is to make more people aware of our existence and hopefully attract new students. It is tucked away in a little industrial area and doesn't get any foot traffic. So if you have ever wanted to try pottery but did not know where to go, or if you would even enjoy it, this would be the perfect opportunity to see the studio, meet the instructors and students and ask questions. Any and all are welcome to attend this event. More deets to follow.   It has been snowing on and off for the past 2 days. We reached 12 above on Tuesday, but then plumeted down to -11 on Wednesday. I will be really glad with spring finally takes hold and doesn't let go. Hopefully before I go to the Hat.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Just a little snow

Well, I guess March decided to come in like a lion. This was the view outside the studio yesterday at around 11 am. I got up early and left my house at 8:00 to go pick up some stuff I had in the wee little test kiln at Ceramics Canada and the snow was not too bad. When I got to the studio at 9 I shoveled the entrance but within a few minutes you could not tell. I packed it in shortly after taking this picture and just went home and watched movies instead.