Thursday, January 29, 2009

the batch

Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
It felt like there were oodles of these guys when I was glazing them. Turns out that there were only 14. One that was cracked that is mine, one that slid into a berry bowl during firing. The berry bowls were the big casualty in this load. I didn't make sure my shelves were properly stilted so the bottom shelf fell down on top of two berry bowls and stuck. The the shelf on top of that dropped. Nothing shifted there. The next shelf played nicely and didn't shift as it dropped. The top shelf dropped and everything shifted. Three berry bowls stuck to the side of the kiln. One honeypot slid over and stuck to a berry bowl. I pried the pieces apart and hope that I can refire the honeypot (it was my favorite, with a bird on top) and the stuck-on piece will fall off. The non-broken bowls will be sanded down and re-fired. They'll be fine. Under normal circumstances I'd be torn up about this turn of events, but a) it was my fault and b) I don't "need" the pieces until April at the earliest. I'm still learning- basics, like how to set up kiln furniture, apparently.

Have a good weekend, everyone. I'm leaving town for the weekend but will post some of these on etsy next week.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


in use
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
This may be the year of the honeypot. Wouldn't that be nice? Here's the first one out of the kiln- it's mine all mine- because, actually, it is a second. Since I knew it had a slight defect I glazed it my favorite cobalt blue. I have about 14 more to photograph and list on etsy. I have them in yellow, green, blue, and white. They'll come with the honey dipper stick, too. I'll let you all know when I'm ready to list them, and, as always, I'm happy to take special orders.

I have a new mac! It came home last night! And I have a USB cord to my camera! And it's a snow day! And last night I got an offer from a friend to help me the next time I have a million pieces to glaze! Little boy got to play in the snow for a bit, but now we're cozied up with PBS, resting, learning how this new mac works, knititng socks, and drinking lots of hot tea and cocoa. The snow is still falling. Many of you are used to snow, but we only see it in Memphis once or twice a year. If we're lucky, it sticks around for more than 30 minutes, so we think it's pretty magical.

Happy day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

a lot on my plate

Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
sorry for the radio silence, but my mac died peacefully in its sleep Thursday night. No signs of illness, just a sudden "won't start." So we spent the weekend getting a loaner, shopping for a new macbook, trying to stay warm, an, ah, not glazing pottery. I've got a kitchen counter full of pottery that needs to be glazed, a full teaching week, a sick kiddo, a husband getting ready for a big out-of-town annual meeting, and a possible snow day coming. Sick kiddo means no teaching, hard to work at home, too, but if it's a snow day anyway, well. They're saying freezing rain is on the way, but it's been said before. Although it certainly looks like snow, and smells a bit like snow, too.

All of this equates to not much getting done, somehow. So I'm glazing in bits and pieces, taking temperatures, learning the loaner mac, figuring out financing the new one. My brain is full, friends. I see the stress coming, but I don't feel it yet. Send patient thoughts my way so that I can resist when it hits!

Good news, though, I got a new usb cord for the camera, so at least I can update photos to flickr more regularly again.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

what a week!

I can't believe how fast the week has flown by. Thursday? Already? Monday was hugely busy- filled with pottery making and trimming, teaching knitting to a friend's daughter, a playdate, and bitter cold. Tuesday we had snow! Not much, but snow! On top of such an exciting, historic day. We watched the inauguration over and over and over again- while it was happening, over supper with friends. President Obama: it is an amazing moment in our history. Wednesday was a working day again- I had wonderful classes, more knitting, meeting a new knitting friend, more playdating after school, making catechesis materials for my little lambs, and talking with my family about how we would fulfill our obligation to serve in our community. Again it is Thursday, another teaching day, and hopefully a day to fire the kiln full of last week's work. Friday, a bush weekend ahead. Today, tomorrow, full of promise, activity, responsibility.

I feel both inspired and exhausted.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

some of the week's work

some of the week's work
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
All in all, I got 14 honeypots and 7 berry bowls made. I may have one or two more to trim from yesterday. I'm excited about my progress on these and excited about your response to them, too! Thank you for your enthusiasm.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's day off- we have play dates, studio time, and an early knit night planned. I am looking VERY forward to Tuesday- I'm even considering keeping little boy home to see the swearing-in ceremony and the address. I'm very, very hopeful for our future.

I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

productive week

hobnail meets handmade
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
this week was full of studio time for me. It was wonderful. Over the past 3 days I've made 14 honeypots, eight berry bowls, and a half-dozen covered butter dishes. I also did a micro glaze and fire session- this little hobnail-y bud vase was part of that load. Yesterday and today, while I was busy upstairs my friend and neighbor Kristen was busily scrubbing down the house and leaving it smelling like a lavender field. I am one happy camper.

Those of you who live in older homes know how dirty they get- does dust come out of pores in the walls? We have a 1922 bungalow, two boys, a potter mama who makes dusty work in the house (yes, this is 75% of our problem), and until this summer, we've always had two shedding labs. I like to clean. I like to declutter and organize. But I can't clean like I want (because it takes me all day) and work in the studio. I'm rationalizing that if I sell just four of my honeypots, I've paid to have the house cleaned. By someone FAR more efficient than I, to boot.

Tomorrow I teach again in the morning and will trim today's work in the afternoon.

Now I've got a huge pot of chicken dumplings bubbling on the stove to combat the 9 degree night, mid-90s jangly North Carolina pop on iTunes, and knitting ready to hop into my lap as soon as the laptop leaves it.

Have a happy weekend, all. Stay warm!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
I was supposed to work (teach) all this week but had some schedule changes that opened up some good studio time from now 'til thursday. A friend has been asking about honeypots, as have my favorite local honey vendors, so that's what I'm doing with today's studio time. I just threw 3, plus this one that I trimmed last night, and I'd like to make a minimum of 3 more this afternoon before it's time to pick up little boy.

I'm shakin' and makin'. And if you have any specific requests, my friends and pottery customers, I'll be happy to *try* my very best to fulfill them!

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

erin's bowls

This beautiful photo was taken by Erin, a fabulously talented photographer and very creative lady. The bowls are a nesting set from Williams-Sonoma, but they're pricey and they're pottery, so that means that I really can't buy them. Whenever I see pottery I admire and could possibly duplicate, I just HAVE to try. All bets are off if the pottery is made by someone I admire or is completely different from my own style, but most people who know me know that I definitely like a challenge.

I saw a photo of this set, nested, on Erin's flickr page a few days ago and admired them, but this photo really stuck in the creative corners of my brain and wouldn't let go. I think that I'm going to try to make my own set of rainbow nesting bowls- definitely not this many (because my price for seven nesting bowls would make the W-S price look like a bargain, and I'd only be able to make a single set, to boot.), not quite the same (maybe white exteriors, colored interiors?), but it will be nice to have an idea to play around with in between the making of berry bowls this winter and spring. Thanks, Erin, for the inspiration, and for so generously allowing me to use your photo. If you'd like to see more of Erin's photographic genius, check out her flickr page.

Oh, we still don't have a data cord for the camera. Eventually (when we find the cord or get a new one) I'll start posting my own photos again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

King Cakes

King Cakes, finished
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
I made king cakes for epiphany. They were SO good. the little one in the back was for little boy's playschool class. The big one in the front was for me. Um, I mean, my family. Yes, yesterday was epiphany, and you'd think that we'd have a lot of a 14" round bread left, but we don't. We like bread. A lot. There are maybe 3 pieces left, because it makes fabulous toast and if I keep going the way I have been, I'll LOOK like this king cake!

I used a basic challah recipe (this from the wonderful book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day ), braided it to represent the three kings, formed it into a circle to represent a crown, and filled it with raisins, honey, sugar, and a touch of cinnamon to represent the gifts brought to the Christ child. I stuck a bean in for the "baby," but no one has claimed it yet.

I am still without the data cord for my camera, so my posts here and on flickr will be sporadic until we either find it or get a new one.

I hope your week has been bright- we are finally in for a spate of sunny days for the rest of the week- we've all been craving the light, if not the warmth.

Monday, January 5, 2009

monday workday, a year later

monday workday
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
I used this picture about this time last year. I'm using it again because while we've found the missing camera, its case and data cord thing are not with it, possibly left somewhere, and the day is dark and cold and drear, and today's pile of papers is much uglier than this idyllic "working" scene.

Today was the first day back to school- we're easing back into the routine. I go to "work" tomorrow, but today I chose to tackle my sales tax form. I spent the morning with my 2008 receipt book, a calculator, pages of reports from etsy and paypal, and plenty of coffee. I had good intentions of organizing everything quarterly but stopped after the second quarter of 2008. I dreaded this task, but happily, it's all done.

This was my best year for pottery since I began keeping records in 2001. I am so grateful to you all for buying my wares. Now I 'm more than half-way through my income tax organizing, and my check for the Tennessee Department of Revenue is signed and sealed in its envelope, ready to go to Nashville.

I also got my calendar (both the wall version and my new happy moleskine pocket calendar) updated with birthdays, working days, and holidays for 2009, and in the very few minutes I have left before school pickup, I have a large mess of papers to clear off the dining room table.

It's cold today- 32 and raining intermittently. I'm thinking about making a steamy curried coconut/shrimp noodle soup for supper. I made dough for a king cake this morning and need to bake it (tomorrow is epiphany!) soon.

Maybe I'll learn how to upload photos without a cord this week. . . .

Friday, January 2, 2009

new new new

ladybug detail
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
hello. I don't really have much to say, and I don't have any new photos because I seem to have misplaced my camera since Tuesday, but I wanted to pop in and say hello! Happy 2009! This has been the best holiday season I've had in a long time- full of nice gatherings with family and friends. I skipped several things that I didn't feel up to and enjoyed some quiet time with my boys and by myself.

Next week promises to bring a couple of months of busy again, but I'm planning and making and clearing spaces for new things and ideas.

Have a great weekend!