February 5, 2014

Slackin' Pottery Bum and Self/Studio Improvement

As the saying goes, sometimes you just have to remount the horse. My 500 word a day goal must have short circuited the wiring in my bloghead. It appears that despite my best efforts to NOT make any New Year's resolutions, I swung for the fences (or the stars, or the tree tops), and imploded.

I guess I could play the weather card or the snow-day-kids-at-home-almost-all-month-card. But let me just play the January card. I read that several other potters seem to experience the same thing last month. Click here for one such story. But, in defense of getting (some) things done, for the January scorecard:

1. I  managed to make my yunomi for the annual AKAR Yunomi show and  Kyle Carpenter was kind enough to include them in his recent firing. Thanks KC!  Check out Kyle's beautiful pots that are now available for purchase.

2. After 6 years I finally have a supplementary heat source! I hooked up the propane heater in my studio with the help of my farming friend Ronnie B. This is a really big deal for me, especially in the month of January when it gets really cold and I'm not always in the studio to keep the wood stove going.  I can check that one off the punch list towards my official C.O. Now if I can just get my outdoor wiring redone I will give the inspector a call.

3. And finally, I have my Peter Pugger pug mill/extruder is back in working order, thanks to the Loafer's Glory Sandblaster and Spruce Pine's Superior Construction's fine welding! The pug mill repair was another one of those projects that seemed impossible. I mean, the thing is heavy! and although it has wheels it's not easy to get in the truck without help.

So I'm really happy to have it back. The soft reclaimed clay that I have been running through it is is like a high octane boost to my February pottery fuel tank. I've discussed this before and I think there are definitely two camps. There's the "reclaim your precious clay trimmings and scraps against all odds and all costs" camp and the "are you stupid, ain't nobody got time for that" (reclaim) camp.

I guess this old dog stands stubbornly and firmly in the former. There's just something really nice about that reclaim and it is a very old habit to break. I have missed that old Peter Pugger. Pugging my clay is part of my potter DNA or something. I just wasn't feeling 100% without it.

Check this page out. Don't you think mine looks a lot like this one? (aside from my paint job)

4. (Dis)Honorable Mention: almost forgot this rabbit hole.  I opened a can of worms with my need to compile the "FB Ceramic Index" thingy. If you haven't heard, in the past couple of weeks, I've put together a list of Facebook Pottery/Ceramics Pages. You, (yes you!) can check it for the latest by clicking on the tab at the top of this page  or here. ;) I personally wanted to have an easy way to track my favorite FB potters pages and thought there might be others like me. So i dug my teeth into some FB developer code and came up with this "beta" facebook Index.  The total list is at about 300 now and growing but I've only had time to list 10I'm not sure I will be able to keep up with the research or fairly curate it but I'll keep trying. Hopefully Scott can come to my rescue and help out with his mad developer skillz.

The current "Index" is a top 10 (w/ highest followers) FB Pages. It's a great way to find clay artists. More and more are coming in every day and I'll try to update every week on Saturday. It's a live updating kind of FB "blog roll" of sorts, kinda. Not really sure. I'm hoping to find time to curate different lists. I had a suggestion to Index university clay programs, for example. Any suggestions are welcome. It's a work in progress.

So, now here I sit, humbled and sheepishly tapping at the clickety clackety keys. Trying to get a feel for that writing thing while I should be chained to the wheel to get pots made for my upcoming foiring in about 10 days!

I just wanted to check in and let you know that I didn't fall off the face of the earth, it's just that January happened and I'm back, I hope. Now it's time to fall INTO the face of the earth and my Shimpo Scream. (not the actual brand name of my 1972 vintage pottery wheel, just the sound it kinda makes)

I love your comments and feedback, so let me know what's up.