Hi! I am back making again, and baking,the holidays were flurry of both, cliche but true. It seems to take most of January to recover and get back to pottery. When the group I am part of,Central Maine Clay Artist, got together to discuss mug season, one of the questions was, are you making anything? For most of us, the answers was either no or not much. We just needed a break.January has been cold, snowy and my cellar flooded briefly, nothing damaged. A good reason to take a brief break form clay. I needed time to regroup, look over what did and didn’t sell, housekeeping in the studio and finish up any last minute,(late) holiday presents. I have finally finished a bowl and planter for my daughter’s friends.
I’m trying out recipes from my cookbook collections and my internet searching. Some of it is pretty good. The cornmeal cookies are a definite repeat. Beef Madras was a hit at the school potluck!
Which brings me to Mug Season. A month long sale at selected coffee shops in the area of My groups mugs. It benefits both local schools, specifically the art departments and we , the local potters get a cut too. Our group has been doing this about 10 years now! I have made about 20 mugs, with the hope that at least 10 or more will survive and look good for the sale. Sometimes they look good, but since I still eyeball measure instead of weigh, some come out a little small. So hopefully more than half will be big and beautiful. I have even made some bowls for the empty bowls project, but they might not be ready for this one, so I will have to find another one.
Awkward segue way; This is a benefit for schools and I am a schoolteacher. Regarding recent events, this is my comment. Do you remember your teachers? Your classmates? What would have happened in your classroom if your teacher had a gun? Would one of your classmates look for it? Play a prank on the teacher? Was your teacher someone you would trust with a gun? And lastly, who’s paying for this? End rant.
Okay, now here are some pictures of my work in progress for WIP Wednesday, a chipped mug turned twine holder for mugshot Monday and a bread tray, with bread for throw back Thursday.
Hi! I’m back, sort of. Trying to start the new year with more creating. It’s a slow start. Lots of excuses not to make more pottery, it’s cold, the cellar flooded, it’s cold, and on.
Excuses, not really reasons, the cellar is dry, it’s winter, winter is cold and I do have supplemental heat now. The rush to make, bake and get ready for the holidays has left me a little, tired. That means time to recharge, to read, write and start getting ready to make. The mug season is coming and I do have some mugs made! Time to see if I can make them bigger and more consistent. I’m getting better about that, but weighing the clay would help. Must be time to get a scale. Also measure more accurately.
The pop up sale did well. I need to make more trays and bowls. My goddess cup sold, that was a surprise! I think I’m good on head cups, just need to display them with herbs and flowers. Give people some ideas of what to do with them. I had problems with making the chip and dips, so none to sell, that did hurt my overall sales. Now I know. Here are some old favorites to see until I make more pieces. Until then Happy holidays,Happy New year and stay warm!
Hi! I haven’t been all that busy, but some news. Mug season went well for me and the Central Maine Clay Artists! It was nice to see the art teacher’s happiness when receiving that check. I even participated in the Maine Pottery tour as a guest artist at Fine Mess Pottery. There was even some money made, to quote my fellow artist”it’s better than a stick in the eye!” Custom made butter dishes made their way out of state to happy recipients. The plant pots for my husband grave are planted and in place with geraniums and thyme. A little bittersweet, a successful project but the reason why a bit off.
Now I am trying to get ready for craft fairs and Etsy. Some pieces have been made, soon to be photographed. Then my Etsy will be back up. It will have the shop name of DitchLilly Pottery instead of Ditch Lily Pottery. A typo years ago is now my business name to be consistent and easier to find. I am trying(yes I know:) ) to be a little more professional. It is a work in progress. Anyhey, some pictures to tide you over while I start creating again.
Spring will soon be sprung! We hope. Winter here has been odd. There was a warm week in February, but march has been cold. Both months have dumped snow on us. It reached a point where I couldn’t shovel out anymore and had to call someone to plow. This was a letdown for me. I had been able to shovel or depend on the kindness of neighbors. This year there was too much. Nice young man came in and did it same day without breaking the bank. Though it was an expense I had been trying to avoid. Looks like another expense, buying a snowblower, will have to be faced this year. Didn’t want it, but my driveway has to be cleared when the snow is over a foot. I did manage to plow through with my car, but I won’t get that lucky twice. Now things are melting, Snow is falling off the roof with a bang! I bought heating oil, of course a strain on the budget but I managed. And the Republicans want me to pay more for insurance because a black man put together a beginning solution that helped my fellow artists and my daughter and parents of other young adults have some kind of insurance. My rant.
So since spring is here, Mug season is also here. Our group sells mugs at coffee shops to help local schools and let people know we are out here. I manged to produce enough mugs to participate and they survived the firing. The weather and colds, flu and general blah feelings, along with financial tightness,slowed me down but I did it! This isn’t the most productive time of year for many of us but, we did it and now are doing more. I will be putting my Etsy back up soon. It’s been a drag for the beginning of the year, now to pick up and get things done! Some pictures for your perusal.
Mugs for the mug sale and my attempt at making vessels with lids that fit.
It’s been a while but I have been working, slowly. I participated in a seconds sale that helped the local library and left me with cash in pocket and some nice feedback. I bought some new glazes that I hope to try(one of them is gold!) Also finishing up a project.
I don’t get to personal on this blog(in spite of all the I’s),don’t know who might be reading it. Some things family and friends don’t need to hear. Obviously I like some attention or I wouldn’t be maintaining a public blog in the first place.
A project i am finishing up has been a little sad. Potters get them. Cremation urns for example. Did not have to do that but I did promise my daughter I would make plant pots for the flowers around her father’s grave.
I was widowed a little over 2 years ago. He had some medical problems that didn’t get better. It escalated quickly and at 55 for me and 22 for my daughter, he died. I couldn’t come up with the words for the eulogy so my daughter did it. It all went well, for a funeral.
Since then we have been maintaining his grave and the flowers, geraniums and thyme have done well. So I have been making pots for them. It has been interesting. I found with large pots, soft clay is better. I was able to get the walls thinner. Firing was itself an adventure since sometimes the pots were neither thin enough or dry enough.Once firing while a useful tool, doesn’t wok if there is an air pocket or slight dampness. It was explosive! Here are the examples of my progress. Haven’t done the next firing yet,
Hi; finished up the old year on a good note. The Holiday Pop up Shoppe did very well. I found that having five and 10 dollar items in addition to some bigger ticket items helped my sales greatly. Something to remember for future sales. Sometimes people just don’t have or are afraid to spend a lot of money but they want to buy something.
I did of course have ornaments at 3.00. Those sold very well. Definitely making more of those for the impulse shoppers. It seems people really want to buy local and handmade but don’t want to spend a lot of money, but are willing to spend some.
I found trying to save time by doing a once fire only works some of the time. The pieces really have to be dry, almost doesn’t cut it with explosive results. I will have to find a way to slow down the cooling process since that seemed to be part of the problem. At lower temperature the once fire wasn’t bad. So onward, more learning and more doing. Until next post!
I felt really successful the other day. I sold two chip and dip sets! Then i realized i didn’t take any pictures. Not my best move. I need to remember to take pictures. Anyhow, here are some pictures i did remember. Some are from my Etsy shop.