May 2014 Newsletter

It’s been a while since I have had any pieces to share.  This winter was very cold and my newer, energy efficient furnace doesn’t “leak” heat into the cellar like the old one did, making it too cold to sit in short sleeves with a pail of water trying to throw – especially during the Polar Vortex.  I think I’ll have a vent added before next winter. Winter was a challenge but we in the Northeast and Mid-West proved, once again, that we are made of strong stock – not that we had much choice!  Toward season’s end, the Middle Atlantic wasn’t spared either.  I think just about everybody is glad to see spring, including people in Florida who likely had a bumper crop of visitors this year.


I decided to be positive and think of warmer weather yet to come and made some berry bowls.  These are very popular and, though many potters make a two piece version by adding a drip plate, I prefer to just keep mine in the sink till all the drips are gone and refrigerate.  Seems simpler to me.


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With the gardeners out there chomping at the bit to plant and get things in order, I made some compost keepers.  They allow us to toss scraps in and keep it handy near the sink.  Holes in the charcoal-lined lid keep odors away till the scraps are tossed in the compost bin.  There are two sizes available, medium or large.  My neighbor has one and says that it’s working well and does not give off any odor, which concerned me.


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Another popular piece is the batter bowl.  I had a couple in this firing and one already sold from the picture on Facebook of all the pieces after the kiln was empty.




Mugs are always a favorite and I made a bunch.  They aren’t my favorite piece to make but it was a good form to make as I re-entered the world of clay after a season’s absence.


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I had success with the baking/roasting pans so I thought I’d expand the selection available by making a 9 x 13 pan.  This would work equally well whether making a larger cake or a batch of lasagna.   An oval roaster was also in this firing.  Unfortunately, these can’t be sold because the glaze separated but I thought I’d include the pictures so if anyone was interested I can make one to order.  I will likely make a couple for the next firing so if anyone wants one, please let me know and I’ll glaze it however you want. The cream colored areas are where the glazes “crawled” (or separated).


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Expanding my offerings, I decided to make some new (to me) pieces.  There are now citrus juicers, apple bakers and egg separators available.


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I didn’t like the diffuser bottles I had left so I made taller and narrower ones than what I’ve had in the past.  I think these will look better with the reeds in them.  I bought some Lily of the Valley oil and sit the diffuser on the kitchen window sill.  The breeze smells so nice.  I think I’ve had the window open once so far this spring.


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My “Iris” vases were a big hit so I had to make a few to have some available.  I envisioned them as bud vases but one customer thought they’d make nice candle holders.  It goes to show you that pieces can be versatile and the same piece can have several uses.   I’ve taken a bit of license and glazed some of them in colors I’ve never seen on an iris.  Only two survived because I knocked some over before they were fired and broke the leaves off.


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I threw a bowl-shaped casserole that didn’t make it to the firing.  I thought I’d carry my flower theme to other pieces.  For sure it will be in the next firing and I’m anxious to see how it looks glazed and ready to grace a dinner table.  It is an companion piece to my Rose Bowl that I made a while ago.  Also, I’m waiting for the wild dogwoods to bloom in my yard so I can get some pictures and see if I can replicate them in clay to embellish some pieces.  Such decoration is a bit removed from my typical contemporary, often Asian- inspired, work.  I shall call it “The Flower Series”.


Lastly, I would like to welcome the new readers who either signed up at the NYSEG Market Days or through Facebook.  Feel free to pass the newsletter on to friends.  I would like to expand the readership and any help is much appreciated.


Those readers who live in the Utica area, I’ll be participating in the Forge Festival of Arts and Crafts on July 4 in Old Forge.  If you’re in the area, stop in and say hi.


Enjoy what’s left of spring.  I plan to have another firing in June.