Try, try, try again

One reoccurring problem I have had was making large pet dishes (7+ inches or larger in diameter). In almost every single instance, I would ruin the pet dish when taking it off the bat.

I hate it when this happens.

I had some extra time over the winter to research alternative ways of taking large pots off of the bat.  I came across a discussion thread on potters.org: “How to get it off the bat?” . In short, the brilliant solution was to use a piece of canvas or heavy denim on the bat.  Throw the pot on top of the canvas then . . .

. . . let it air dry to the appropriate hardness . . .

. . . place a bat on top of the pot and flip it over.

Take the ‘top’ bat off (which used to be the original bat plus canvas) then . . .

. . . peel the canvas off the bottom of the pot!

This works WONDERFULLY! No more wiring through my bottoms!

Success! I can now make larger pet dishes due to this new technique 🙂

‘Tis a lesson you should heed:

Try, try, try again.

If at first you don’t succeed,

Try, try, try again

~ William Edward Hickson

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SNAKE!

Okay, yes.  The title of this post is a little dramatic but are not snakes dramatic when you are not expecting them.

So, I’m blissfully throwing pots on my back porch today when I notice our cat following something through the yard. I didn’t think anything of it after all it is bug and butterfly season both of which she likes to chase. A few seconds later, I saw something YUGE slither in and out of the raised garden bed with our cat right on its tail. It was then I grabbed my camera and snapped! (To be honest, I wanted to take a picture for identification purposes…to make sure it was only a garter snake. And it is…or was…just hope I don’t find it on our back porch welcome mat compliments of our cat – the snake chaser).

Feeling a little

If you look carefully, you can see the garter snakes little red forked tongue! Thank goodness for zoom lens because I would NOT have stood THAT close! LOL

It was about 1.5 feet long but who’s measuring! NOT ME! LOL

Back In Production!

We had so much fun at the pottery supply store this week!  So many wonderful and pretty things to look at including a huge turquoise ceramic bowl filled with MKM small circular wooden stamps. The wooden stamp filled bowl was right at  our grandson’s reach.  He relished the feel and look of each and every stamp.

I whispered, “Would you like to pick one out to take home?”

He looked up at me with big excited eyes and answered, “Yes!”

And so, the search began for THE lucky wooden stamp that would come home with us.

He picked the dragonfly stamp!  (Ever since we read the book In The Small Small Pond by Denise Fleming , an Ohio native by the way, our grandson has been enchanted with dragonflies. 😀  )

On our way home, I explained to him what we could do with the stamp and clay we just purchased.  He was eager to get started once out of the car!

We rolled little balls of clay with our hands and he cut them in half with a wire cheese cutter.  He flattened the half balls of clay into a nice round disk . . . or what I called little stones.  And he set out to stamp each one with the dragonfly stamp.

Using his new adorable wooden dragonfly stamp to make dragonfly medallions . . . or dragonfly stones.

Dragonfly medallions. Dragonfly stones. I know we are going to have many more by summer’s end!

Meanwhile, I had a productive day despite the rain, tornado and earthquake!

Top Left: 5 ” pet dish. Top Right: 5″ pet dish. Center: Nesting organically shaped bowls and Dragonfly stones. Center Left and Right: 5″ pet dishes. Bottom Left and Right: 4″ pet bowls (new shape this year!).

All for now!  Looking forward to making more bowls for humans and pets and helping our little potter in training make more Dragonfly stones!

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Today was Moving Day!

This is an annual move from the basement to the back porch.  Luckily, this year I didn’t have too many loads to lug up the stairs (12 steps).  My pottery wheel stayed under wraps on the back porch over the winter.  I was happy to unwrap it, clean it off and set it up!

The Before Photo: Every thing unwrapped and unpacked.

The After Photo: Everything cleaned off, put away and ready for production!

After I set up my studio, I set to work on wedging recycled clay to complete my nesting bowl mold collection. (I’m making bisque molds of a set of nesting bowls in which I plan to make nesting bowls sets to sell

Wedged recycled clay.

After wedging the clay, I shaped the clay into a ball. Next step . . .to make a slab.

The ball of clay is now a slab.

I draped the slab over a metal bowl, cut off the excess and let the clay slowly harden. This will become a bisque mold for “mass” producing bowls.

So happy warmer weather is here!  Our garden is finally planted.  Weeds are under control, somewhat.  And my Back Porch Studio is set up and ready for playing in the mud!

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In My Back Yard

Blackberries blooming already!

Purple Columbine swaying in the wind. The picture is a little blurry. It was windy that day but I love the color composition in this photo. I increased the contrast just a tad to bring out the details.

Unfired bowls (greenware). The two large bowls will become molds for large serving bowls.

The first bisque firing of the year! The two large bowls will serve as molds for large bowls I plan to make this summer. The smaller bowls are now ready to for glaze.

Planting sunflowers!