Thursday, May 27, 2010

the week ends

and it has whipped me. After I finally got the kiln loaded, I crawled in the bed. I am beyond tired. Six months of striving, toiling, getting no. where. I'm not upset, I'm not depressed, nothing catastrophic has happened. I'm just worn slap out.

So last night I looked over in the dim, whole-house-asleep-I'm-still-working-kitchen, took this photo (have I mentioned how I hate CFLS and the light they cast with regards to the camera?) of work being reglazed and started shedding.   I've postponed my sale at home.  Felt immediately better.  Today I was midway through finishing glazing (To be ready for saturday it has to fire on wednesday.  Today is not Wednesday.  My kiln's size requires 24 hours cool-down, and if I leave the house at 5:40 to go to the market, it would mean 4:40 unloading and pricing, and I'm not up for all of that) when I canceled this weekend's scheduled appearance at the market.  I sent the boys to an IMAX movie, finished loading, showered, and crawled into bed.

So.  I may reschedule my sale.  I may not.  I may sell it online.  I don't know.  I have a lot of work but no energy to do anything to promote it, smile, explain it, market it.  I'm sapped.  I'll be quiet around here for a while until I have something to say again.  Right now I'm just going to rest.  See you when I get back.

Monday, May 24, 2010

the week begins

good morning!  I hope you had a good weekend.  It got almost blistering hot here- may is dancing happily along and suddenly it is august- full force heat and humidity.  When I came home from walking my boy to school (it was before 8)  I checked the temperature- 85 degrees, 75% humidity, 93 degree heat index.  Wow.
Only one more day of walking to school- tomorrow is the last day of school, less than a half-day.  We'll be taking the rest of the day to play in the scale model of the Mississippi River at Mud Island a free riverpark downtown on the Mississippi River.

So I've done my outdoor work- hanging laundry, watering the garden, posted a few photos from the weekend, and now I'm going upstairs to work on some orders that I need to have finished by the weekend and more work for my home sale.  Because summer begins tomorrow on when little boy isn't at camps, he'll be at home.  Fitting work time in gets harder.  Not impossible, but our pace certainly changes.  We've all worked hard this year and are looking forward to a rest during our summer break.

These ladybug bowls came out of my last kiln load- they belong with the platters I made for a wedding.  I think the flowergirls are getting these.  I've been making them since the winter of 2001 when we had a ladybug invasion in the house.  We lived in the country and they were on EVERYTHING.  I've been making them ever since- they're my favorite baby gift, especially paired with a book like Eric Caryle's The Grouchy Ladybug.  I have a few friends in blogland who've recently had babies- their cups are on the way!

I hope you have a great week!

Friday, May 21, 2010

living local

Good morning!  I hope you're well and that Friday day starts your weekend off on a good note.  I'm finishing up some glazing today- yesterday my glaze assistant came and put in a good three hours of mixing, cleaning/prep, and dipping my pieces for me while I painted ferns on a bunch of mugs, bowls, and serving pieces.  I am so so grateful to have such a meticulous helper who does the work I'm less crazy about so I can focus on the details.  Today I have a few ladybug pieces left to finish and several dozen pieces to speckle before loading the kiln and firing it.  I'd also like to put some time in the studio at the wheel, but the garden's been singing a siren song and I find myself whiling away the hours pulling weeds, moving plants that have outgrown their space, turning compost and generally working my way back to peace puttering in the garden.

I took this photo on Wednesday- I swung by the produce store to get some things for a fish taco supper we'd been planning and could. not. resist. the cherries.  So so good.  These days most of our produce is local- like these beet greens beside the bowl- I used local onions, baby turnips and their greens, beet greens and swiss chard, local bacon and new potatoes from our CSA with some farm fresh eggs from my favorite dairy farm to make a hash (cooked veggies and a tiny bit of meat with eggs fried (more like steamed, in our case) on top, served with brown rice.  I can take any normally-refused vegetable and serve it this way and my family will eat it.  There are never leftovers. 

So many of our meals look like this- 90% or more local produce, supplemented occasionally with non-local avocados, mangoes, grapes, or a cherry splurge.  Eating local has become a habit for us.  So much so that I'm not planning to do the One Local Summer challenge this year.   This week I've had a delicious raw beet and carrot salad with feta for lunch almost every day.  All of the ingredients except for the olive oil, salt, and lemon juice came from the farmers market (where beets were $1 for a tray of 3 or 4.  I'll be buying more tomorrow!).  The lemon juice  was a gift (in the form of a 15 lb box of lemons!) from a friend.  The little meat (but sadly, not the fish, and I'll admit to hoarding gulf shrimp, which is as local as I can get) that we eat (or rather, that the boys eat, I'm still on fish but nothing else) is local and mostly organic and humanely raised and processed.  We're still eating the last of the beef and pork I bought last summer. 

My freezer is nearly emptied from last year's CSA saved veggies and farmers market supply- I have a few bags of ladypeas left and about a half-gallon of frozen cherry/grape tomatoes, plus one or two cans of tomatoes left.  More peaches and applesauce, very little jam, and I ran out of potatoes in January.  I'll buy more and plant a second potato crop as soon as I can find the space to plant!   Even though my summer preserving obsession was time-consuming, I was so grateful that we were able to eat fresh-frozen local produce all winter long, and especially grateful for the savings in light of our reduced financial circumstances.  I hope that this year my own garden will produce more - I've planted scads of green beans and my tomato plants are looking really happy.  My burgundy okra is just coming up and the leeks are fattening up- I'll need to thin them out soon.  And those potatoes- I'm just gleeful about their growth and potential (I planted two giant planters with french fingerlings!)

OK.  So, enough food and garden talk for now.   I hope by the end of the weekend to have another batch of berry bowls up in the shop. 

Y'all have a lovely weekend!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Annual Summer Sale

This weekend my market sales were sluggish enough that I realized I still have enough inventory to have a home sale without killing myself making new work.  SO!  Friday, June 4 after work/early evening and Saturday June 5 10:30-5:30 I'm opening up for my semi-annual move-the-living-room-furniture home sale.  Berry bowls, mugs, platters, egg vases, serving pieces, herb markers, honey pots- I'll have it. 
More details on my Bridgman Pottery Facebook page as the date nears.

Have a great week, y'all.  I've got work to do!

Friday, May 14, 2010

to market to market

to buy a fat pig- no some pottery!  I hope.  I'm praying, meditating, doing anti-rain dances and tying my shoelaces in special knots - anything  so long as it doesn't rain on  Saturday during the market!  I'm bringing lots of ferny pieces- bowls and cups and mugs and platters- some speckled ware- and a new selection of butter crocks and honey pots.  I'm really excited about these two butter crocks- I have more like these in the works.  And is it vain of me to tell you that this honey pot makes me squee just a little?  I was really tickled with these- I can see a set of canisters in this design in my immediate future!  I'll definitely be making more of these- in all sizes.    There are lots of pieces that I made that are staying at home- they were bisqued, but because of my focus on the platters, I didn't get all of the glazing I'd planned to do done.  In fact, I didn't run my kiln at all this week- but there are several new things coming to the market with me.

. . . Including some of these HOPE pieces!  I have a handful that I've made recently to bring to the market.  60% of the price of these pieces goes to support the recovery efforts of the West TN Haiti Partnership, which specifically serves St. Vincent's Hospital, Orphanage, and School in Port-au-Prince Haiti.  You can check my shop for more information, pieces, and sizes.  My selection on Saturday will be limited, but they will be there!  I do appreciate your help in raising money for the desperately poor and handicapped in Haiti.

So.  I hope that the rain comes tonight and stays away Saturday day.  And I hope your weekend is beautiful.  Have a good one!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


a long time ago I told someone that I wanted to be a production potter. I haven't quite gotten my wish, but I do find myself in production mode more often than not. Last year I made berry bowls. And more berry bowls. And more berry bowls. This year I have a small stash ready so that I don't have to make nothing but berry bowls. A week or so ago I made nothing but honeypots. Yesterday I made sets of tumblers. It's easy (easier) to get matching pieces if you make several (dozens) at the same time. Monotony does set in- I like to start off my throwing session with making several small bowls and vases- do my production work- then end with some larger serving pieces. It helps to break the time up somewhat.

This photo is the end result of a long line of production- I made ten platters decorated with my favorite (but difficult to find) Japanese Climbing Fern (Lygodium japonicum) for a wedding. One cracked after I dropped an egg cup on it*. I am very relieved to be finished with this project and happy with the results. I hope the bride who ordered them is equally happy!

I'll be at the Memphis Farmers Market this weekend with fewer speckled pieces than I had last time but more ferny pieces. I'm looking forward to good weather and to seeing market friends again. Have a good week! I'm going back up to making multiples.

*I glazed the platter anyway and will hang it in my studio. There are several pieces that I've made with flaws that render them unsellable but that still speak to me- cracks down the center, chips on the side (I am a lazy packer when I'm not shipping, and my inventory suffers for it). I'm thinking of a hanging arrangement in my studio that looks something like this.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

working merrily along

 I disappeared for a moment, didn't I?  I've been working steadily to build my inventory, working to expand my repertoire- both in terms of forms and glaze applications.  Several people have asked me about other "eggshell" glazes- specifically brown speckled chickens' eggs.  I tried my speckles on white and was pleased, but I really like it on the creamy reduction-style glaze at top.  The brown holds a lot of potential, I think, but I am not where I'd like to be with it yet.  I only have these two eggs right now, but I'm working on more for the shop

The weather in Memphis has alternated between fabulous and horrid- I stayed home from the  Memphis Farmers Market this past week- we had torrential rains and flooding.  All is well in my house and in my city, but Nashville was hit hard.  Lots of familiar and famous places are under water.  My family and friends are safe; I am grateful that they live in areas that weren't hit by the flooding Harpeth and Cumberland Rivers.

My chickens are outside, the garden is wearing its spring party dress, we're all healthy, and I'm grateful.  I'll have more of my work to show you this weekend.  Hope your week is productive and happy.