Wednesday, August 20, 2014

So how do you sign your pots?

One of my students bought a plate from me last week. He said he really liked it, but why do I not sign my pots? I said that I do sign my pots, but I choose to use a chop mark as opposed to scrawling my really long signature all over the bottom of a piece. I usually put the mark on the bottom or near the bottom, sometimes I put it beside the bottom of handle attachment points, and sometimes I put it in a more visible spot, as with the two pictures below. I thought he was done with the topic, but this week he came back and said that the reason he, and possibly other students, buy my work is because I made it and in 10 years, he may not remember who the heck make that plate if all he had to go on was some little chop mark. I used to sign my work with a dull pencil, but I wanted something easier and smaller I explained and so I made myself this little stamp. It is unique to me, no other potter that I know of signs with a similar mark. I have never really had an issue with this method, most of the people that buy my work are unknown to me and they are not buying it because I made it (I'm not that famous yet) but because they like the piece. And I guess that is what it should be all about. It should be about the pot, not the potter so much.

So how do you sign your pots? with a flourish? a chop? or nothing at all?

Monday, August 18, 2014

The weekend was muggy (pardon the pun)

I was finally able to pick up a couple boxes of Bmix on Saturday. It has been a while since it has been in stock and I have had to resort to using clay I don't really like to throw and to reclaim all my scraps. I threw the last of my reclaim on Friday night and it was a bit wet, but I wedged it really well and went for a really big bowl. The problems started pretty much right away. I couldn't centre it for love 'nor money. I got it to a reasonably centered state, opened it up, and found a large sponge. It was really full of clay and I never saw it during wedging. I picked it out and continued to throw but there were all kinds of spongy bits still in there. The bowl survived, but it was a bit of a challenge. Saturday I opened up the new non-spongy bmix and threw these mugs. I threw another large bowl but managed to tip it onto the floor on Sunday, overall not a great weekend for productivity.

Friday, August 15, 2014


If you are a potter and you do not get regular massages, I would highly recommend it. It has been a while (3 months) since my last massage, so I took advantage of a free evening last night and had a 1.5 hour massage. I always go for the deep tissue, theraputic massage. Making pottery puts a lot of stress on your body, what with the bizarre contortions we put ourselves into with odd sitting postures, especially if you throw on the wheel sitting down. If you use a kick wheel, I am sure that adds another level of stress on your body too. We stand for long periods, we sit for long periods, we lift heavy kiln shelves in and out of tight spaces, the list of things we do to ourselves in the name of our art are endless. Then there are the sales, lifting boxes, setting up booths, the mad scramble to pack up etc.
I used to go to a spa for my massages as there was one therapist there that had the best hands. She knew just where all the aches and pains were, even when I didn't. After she quit working there, I was left high and dry without a good therapist. So, the search was on the find a suitable replacement. I am now a member at a local massage place, you pay a monthly fee that entitles you to one 1hour massage a month and you would pay for any additional massages on top of that as needed. The good thing with this is that if you can't make the time one month, it rolls over to the next month. There are a lot of therapists there and you can choose a different one each time or stick to just one if you think they are the right fit for you.
Before I went in last night, I could barely turn my head, shoulder checking was very painful, laying down was even more so. Sleep was not easy to come by and headaches were becoming more common. When I left last night, I was sore, but today I am a million times better. I slept really well, I can turn my head without the jabbing pains.
So I'll say it again, if you are a potter, you should get regular massages.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Condo still looks the same

They say I will be in by next Friday. Things are a bit jumbled in there, what with all the appliances sitting all over the place, but I have some confidence that I will be able to start moving stuff in over the weekend and cleaning it up. I know the contractor claims that they do a final clean, but I doubt their standards are compatible with mine. I'm no neat freak, but I am sure all they will do is vacuum up the sawdust and wipe down the obvious stuff.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Moving soon????

I have probably jinxed it by blogging about it, but I should be moving on the 26th of August. My condo will be ready (according to the new schedule) on August 22nd, but my schedule did not match up with that. So the 26th it is. This whole process will have taken exactly 1 year and 2 months, to the day. They could have built an entire new building in that time. It's been a crazy, stomach churning, nail biting, emotional roller coaster of a ride that I will be glad to finally be able to get off, just as soon as the carny comes back from his smoke/toke break...

Monday, August 11, 2014

New porcelain

I was not in the studio much over the weekend. I had a wedding to attend and was staying at the bride's house overnight on Friday to help set up her back yard on Saturday before the wedding. So Sunday was my only day to get muddy. I picked up a box of the new Polar Ice that is still the first formulation that does not throw well. (the new and improved batch will be coming soon). Regardless, I was able to throw a few bowls of a reasonable size. The biggest is shown above and measures about 14.5 inches in diameter. It got a bit wonky when I accidentally stopped the wheel just a little too fast and it was jerked out of round. I managed to "correct" it so that at least visually, it does not appear to bad. The others were of varying sizes ad I attempted to trim a couple after they had stiffened up a bit. This clay is deceiving in that when you think it is dry, it is NOT. I will be letting the remainder dry very slowly and will try not to get too impatient and attempt any more trimming until they are just right. I was supposed to move back into my condo this week, but that did not happen. They were installing carpet in the common hallways and stairs and that took up 3 whole days. The kitchens for all 4 units are supposed to be going in this week starting today, so I really really hope that next week will be the week. My fingers are crossed, but I'm not holding my breath.