Saturday, November 29

Di-saur Moomi


I'm having some crazing problems with the blue glaze I've been using on the inside of my pots. It's not severe, and sometimes not there at all, but just the fact that there are a few tells me it's a problem I have to deal with. So, my first line of attack is to alter the glaze a little. The original recipe calls for Soda Feldspar, so I made a test with Custer Feldspar, and Nepheline Syenite. I then made a test with the original recipe, increasing the Silica by five percent in three increments. I then did the same using the Custer substitute and the Neph Sye substitute. If the crazing isn't too bad, it is my understanding that an increase in Silica may solve the problem. Of course, I need for the problem to be solved without significantly changing the appearance of the glaze, which I happen to like. So I threw some test cups today and we'll see. I personnally am not overly concerned with a few random craze lines, but I can just hear the same question being asked over and over again by customers about it. In theory it could mean the pot is weakened as well, so might be good to deal with for that reason. I am typing with my grandson on my lap so kind of hard to focus my thoughts. I just put in Ghostbusters for him, and he's holding Jurassic Park going "dinosaur movie, dinosaur movie" (he's actually saying Di-saur moomi). Well, chow for now.

Friday, November 28

Latte lunatics


I'm sitting at the coffee shop. I had to come and get a lb. of coffee for Adam and ordered a coffee for me. I am one of those people who has a very long order-and I want what I order. Unfortunately, I often don't get it, and will just drink it grudgingly. Today is not one of those days. What I ordered was: a double decafinated soy cappacinno (spell?). What I got was a raging hot latte-that is usually the offense-I receive a latte instead of a cap. To me this is a huge difference. I do not like lattes. I like a strong, bitter cappacinno. I'm not a fan of milk-although I do love my cheese. So, I have to stand there-like some militant-so I can correct several mistakes along the way. The first is that they often grab the regular coffee instead of decaf. Second is using regular milk (like today) and the third is making me a latte. The last mistake is hard to catch though until the heavy cup is placed into my hand. Today I asked for a remake and when she placed that light as air cup into my hand and I took a sip of it's bitterness I was at last happy-except I don't know if it's decaf ... yet. Oh, here's a little bead I put on a cord. I took off my hope bead and put this on instead. Hope is overrated. Just kidding.

Thursday, November 27

Thanksgiving chicken

Well it's Thanksgiving. I will be spending some of the day glazing. I don't want to make the three hour drive to where some of my family is getting together and so opted out, Adam is working until five or six and the kids have gone elsewhere. I had already ordered a very expensive free range turkey thinking we might be doing a dinner here, so I popped it in the freezer for Christmas instead. Who wants turkey twice in a month anyway? I am making a tiny dinner for tonight though. I got a very expensive (like how I always throw that in) free range chicken and am making pumpkin pie, chicken, home made stuffing, gravy and rice for dinner. I am too lazy to peel potatoes.

Yesterday I made bread. I try and make all our bread now. I've had the same sourdough starter going for some time now. Anyway, I put the loaves in the oven and promptly forgot they were there until I came upstairs sometime later for a drink. They were a tad overdone. Amazingly though they still taste good, and after some amount of effort in getting the nuclear charred crusts off I have plenty of bread cubes for my stuffing, so it worked out after all.

My pots up above are slipped and glaze lined. Just drying overnight so I can glaze the outside. I made a bunch more mugs. I wish you all could feel how these cups fit in your hand. The handles really are awesome. It's like an extension of your hand. I made a new stamp to sign my pots. Since I may be glazing so simply now, I thought it might add a touch of visual interest. I've always liked signature stamps. Well, that's enough of that nonsense. Everyone enjoy your turkeys and vegetarian loaves.

Monday, November 24

Kalifornia and Kashmir

I'm very happy with the results from this second test firing. I didn't get as much variation as I had hoped for, but I think that's a result of the glaze still being a little too thick, and the slip I sprayed not being thick enough. One more test and then I'm doing a large firing. There was one cup that had some variation and Adam said it was his favorite because of the variation, so I think I'll be onto something once I get the hang of it. The photos look a lot flatter and uniform in color than the pots do in person. This cup below is another glaze I have that I have a full five gallon bucket of but haven't been using much, so I thought I'd test it out as well and I think it looks really nice. Great interaction between the liner and the exterior glaze. Well-I picked Adam up from the airport yesterday. I had been flying solo since Thursday. He flew out of Boston so it was a long drive to bring him and pick him up, but it's nice to get out of the area sometimes. He was in North Carolina somewhere. Can't remember the city. I know he flew into Washington/Dulles. Oh my god, the best part of the drive yesterday was that on channel 33-the bridge-on Sirius they were playing all Led Zeppelin. I listened to it for four hours. I'll be flying out of Boston myself in about two weeks. I'll be going to sunny, southern California . Even if it's not sunny, it should be a lot warmer than it's been around here lately. Brrr-it's been windy and #$!#& cold.

Wednesday, November 19

K.I.S.S.

So I'm off on another idea. Not sure how it's going to work out, but I'm going to do a couple of tests and see where it goes. I am disillusioned with the work I've been doing. Way too high of a failure rate and too many results I just don't like. I'm just not willing to invest the time into work that I am so often unhappy with. While I know there is always going to be some uncertainty and risk involved, I at least think I'd like to drive wearing a seat belt. So, I am making an effort to simplify things. This cup is a little washed out in the photo, but gives an idea of where I am heading. When I begin my next round of pots I might try and add some texture of some kind to the outside for the glaze to pick up. Keepin it very simple. Two glazes (this cup is two) Maybe three max if it keeps it simple with a little bumping up. It's been fun trying different things, but too much going on. Don't try and talk me down, cause I'm not coming off the ledge.

Monday, November 17

Bakasana

video

I don't know if this is going to work. I don't know how to compress video. Maybe I need to film it compressed or with lower resolution. Anyway ... this is a pose I am working on. It is called Bakasana, or Crane pose. I'm not exactly good at it yet but I am noticeably stronger in it and have much better balance. I find that arm balances are some of my favorite poses, so I imagine I will focus on them a lot. Well, let's give it a shot shall we and see if it plays.

Saturday, November 15

Crack!!

Well, my two low stonepools have developed s-cracks on the inside. Bummer. I kinda liked them. Sooo hard to keep the faith sometimes. Working for free is not my thing. Speaking of working. I'm thinking about getting another job for a while. I need some money. Absolutely sick of not having any and would like to be able to be a little more self-reliant. I answered this ad for this production pottery in Dover. I should have checked the map first, cause it's an hour 1/2 drive from here. He said it pays really well though. The company is like 30 years old or something. Salmon Falls. I used to have a little soap pump of theirs. We'll see. Gotta go pick up the little gran-boy soon. I am noticeably improved in health today. Just a lot more of hacking up of unmentionables. I got into my studio but used the time to finish insulating. God I hate doing that. But at least it's done now. I kinda like this posting without photos thing, but, I will put some up when I have some new work. I think we're going to see the new James Bond flick tomorrow. Always good to have something to look forward to in my wretched life ... just kidding ... kind of.

Friday, November 14

Ladies and Germs

"All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays"-Cathy Ladman

I'll get back to that funny quote in a sec. Blah-so I'm up and sort of about. I feel very lightheaded when vertical so don't feel comfortable spending much time that way. But, I made myself get out of my sick bed today, wash the sick sheets, and put real clothes on. I am actually sitting on the couch as I type this. I've gone into my studio a couple of times and it just feels like this cold, alien environment. Not hospitable to my life form at the moment. So, I've been reading this book for about a year now. Put it down for a while and so re-read from the beginning again. It is really hard for me to absorb as it's written by a very intelligent person, with the assumption that those reading it are highly intelligent, but I am giving it my best shot. Some of you may wish to cover your eyes for a moment. The book is, The God Dellusion, by Richard Dawkins. It's quite interesting, if difficult to absorb. I actually brought it up in relation to my cold, and not religion.

I recently responded to some comments on my last post, that I wonder if now that I have the luxury of being sick and laying around, if that is good or bad for the cold. I know that I seem to stay sicker longer now than I used to. Some of this may just be age, but I do wonder about the effect of just lying there, letting the germs have a party in your body. Lo and behold, a few minutes ago I read this line in the book which I thought was appropro (spell and definition?I'll try and check on it). The line is in the context of a discussion in the chapter in which Dawkins is considering how religion could be seen as having any evolutionary benefit for humans. So, I will quote from there.

"Dan Dennett reminds us that the common cold is universal to all human peoples in much the same way as religion is, yet we would not want to suggest that colds benefit us. Plenty of examples are known of animals manipulated into behaving in such a way as to benefit the transmission of a parasite to its next host ... an animals behavior tends to maximize the survival of the genes "for" that that behavior, whether or not those genes happen to be in the body of the particular animal performing it."


So this brings me right back around to my comment this morning. I don't know the answer, but the question is this: who or what is benefiting from my laying there? Is this a response of my body's immune system trying to conserve energy and resources to fight off this parasite or is it the parasite who disables my body so as to be able to inhabit it more fully and therefor pass itself on to it's next host? Same can be said about sneezing or coughing. Is it the host trying to rid itself of the parasite or a mechanism used by the parasite (virus) to spread itself? All very fascinating food for thought.

Wednesday, November 12

Liquid Chocolate . . . kind of

This might be one of the most significant posts I've ever put up. You have to try this tea. Still stuck in bed. I guess stuck may not be the most accurate word. I could get up and work but I would be miserable. Woke up this morning at 8:30. After a couple of cups of tea (so far: Orange Dulce, Chocolate Mint and Amazon Citrus or something like that). I'm so dehydrated! I can't seem to get enough to drink. Anyway, after hanging out and drinking for a while I looked at the clock and it was 10:30 and I was just like who cares. I know when I am really not feeling up to anything when watching brainless stuff on t.v. becomes appealing. That's not usually too much like me. It's too challenging to process anything much more complex than that. So anyhow. I tried to photograph the tea Space Odyssey style but couldn't really get the perspective I wanted. Well, hopefully tomorrow there will be potting.

Tuesday, November 11

Sniffles and Sneakers


Well, I just want to thank everyone who left a comment on my last post. I feel really lucky to have such great virtual friends. Thanks to everyone else for your encouraging words on other days and those who just take the time to read what I put up every day. I took Jeff's advice, put on several layers, my sneakers and went for a ride. A no pressure ride. Threw my backpack on my shoulders, headed to the grocery store for tea and napkins. My next stop was the local healthfood store where I put in my order for a free range turkey for Thanksgiving. Then I stopped at the coffee shop and enjoyed a nice tepid cup of chai tea. So I got a little exercise and had a little guilt free R&R. I'm not well though. Headache, sniffles, sneezes and sore throat. Not exactly helping my energy level. But I HAVE to trim some bowls I threw the other day and unload my bisque, wipe it down and wax it. If I can accomplish those two goals then I will deem my workday successful. This morning when I woke up I was in bad shape and instantly ruled out my yoga tonight, but I think I'm feeling up to it now; plus I think it will be good for my cold and mind.

Oh, about these pots. These two pieces were in my scrap pile for at least a year. I went digging through the piles this summer and came across them. I originally hated them. I had a preconceived idea of what they were supposed to look like. I slipped the pots so this "celadon" I use would look blue against the white of the slip. They came out blotchy and drippy and rough looking. When I saw them this time, I saw them in a different light. So it's got me thinking about revisiting this idea. Oh, the M stamp on the side is because I originally called my pottery Mad Mud Pottery. I still can't settle on what I should name it, or if I even should. I maybe should just be Deborah Woods Pottery. Who knows.

Monday, November 10

Feel like I'm stuck in a jar

I've been not feeling very talkative lately. Life is a downer sometimes. I have no idea if I ever put this photo up before-I don't think I did. From one of my last firings. Let's see, what's going on with me? I recently got older. Some friends threw me an impromptu party which was really nice and a lot of fun. I got a little hammered. I had to have Adam come pick me up after work. I think he was actually in bed by then. Oh well. At least I didn't drive. What else? I'll be going on a trip in about a month. Going to visit the old man. I'll be gone for about 9 days. I need a break from my surroundings. The walls are closing in.

Friday, November 7

Cupcake Obama

Zilly Rosen of ZILLYCAKES in Buffalo, NY, builds a likeness of presidential candidate Barack Obama using 1240 cupcakes. by shastio.

This is pretty cool. It's made with over a thousand cupcakes. I follow this blog called cakewrecks. You see some pretty awful stuff on there, and occasionally something pretty spectacular.

Thursday, November 6

Chirp, chirp, chirp



Hmmm. I thought I'd try this new format of posting photos, but it didn't quite work the way I thought it would. How does this qualify as






left? Oh well. Here are my stonepools, pretty much finished. Now they have to dry and all that jazz. Maybe within a month they will be done? I bet they'll take a month to dry actually, so probably longer. It was hard making birds at first, but I finally started to get the hang of it. I actually went to the pet store and stared at the birds for like fifteen minutes. That helped quite a bit actually. Well, the prodigal son returns today. I don't know if he's actually prodigal, I'd have to look it up to know if I used the word correctly, but it has a nice ring to it. He is coming back by bus and assuming he didn't sleep through his last transfer in NY, I should be meeting him in Concord today at 2:30. It will be nice to see him. It's been about six months he's been gone. Chow for now.

Wednesday, November 5

Yikes. Two steps forward, one step back. I just wish we could follow our own

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/us/politics/06marriage.html?ref=politics

Proud to be an American

OBAMA!

Awesome, awesome, awesome. What a moment. I hope whether or not you supported him that you can find some joy in the significance of this moment. This is hugely historical and says a lot about our country and it's people to ourselves, and to the rest of the world. I was really moved watching the joy of total strangers, and I just can't imagine the pride that blacks must have felt-and feel. It must feel like a whole new world. I know it does to me. I don't know. I know all the problems we have gotten ourselves into, and the terrible image we have become to the rest of the world will not disppear overnight, but it truly does feel to me like disinfectant has doused our country. It feels renewed and fresh, and I feel very proud.


On another note. I need some help. I have been considering for some time now, getting my MFA. I am doing my research to find schools to consider, but I would really appreciate you throwing some names my way. Especially if you have heard good things about the school, and doubly especially if they operate in a way that they wave tuition for their grad students. I'm probably too late for spring, although, you never know, but I can definitely make fall if I move now. Thank you, and
CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!
(sorry for the big print, but I can't get it small)

Saturday, November 1

Jesus ate cookies too

This is outrageous. Guess what happened at a school somewhere yesterday? A kid was sent home from school for dressing up like Jesus. It's not like he just showed up one day like that. I can see a legitamite issue with that. But it was Halloween, and EVERYONE was dressed up. The school "official" that they interviewed was dressed like a little cowboy-bang-bang. She told the camera that his costume was distracting to education.

Now, I am not a religious person. I am, quite contentedly, rather agnostic. I have no desire to be saved again (yes I've been down that scary road before) so please, no prayers for me after this declaration. I am also a HUGE believer in separation of church and state. The idea of teaching "intelligent design" in the science room is as preposterous as churches being forced to teach evolution in Sunday school.

Should a child be allowed to stand in the cafeteria at lunchtime preaching the gospel and casting out demons from the kids? I really don't think so, anymore than I should be tolerated doing that at work. Should they be allowed to wear a crucifix around their necks? Of course. If they are given a writing assignment with the subject of who is my favorite person should they be allowed to write about Jesus? Sure. There are probably a lot of grey areas, and a lot that are likely to be agreed on as being black and white. But I just think telling this kid to go home because his costume was "distracting" is outrageous and makes me really angry. What next?

NO COOKIE MONSTERS! They are distracting because they make kids think of cookies when they should be thinking of math!


NO DRACULAS! This is one violent dude!


AND PIRATES? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Look what carnage they have created upon our beautiful seas! Dressing up as a pirate is celebrating theft! I personally find that very distracting.

This one is just plain cute. BUT IT COULD BE DISTRACTING BECAUSE IT WILL REMIND ALL THE OTHER KIDS HOW LESS CLEVER THEY WERE WITH THEIR COSTUMES!



Now when my kids were little there was a rule about excessively violent and bloody costumes at school. No bloody eyeballs hanging out, no one carrying decapitated heads etc... I could kind of accept that, although it did have the effect of cutinizing the day to the extreme. I mean how many princesses and kittens can one really take?

This thing with Jesus is just wrong. I wonder if they sent home all the little boys dressed up like devils? What if someone dressed up as the Flying Spagetti Monster? Where does it end? I don't need Jesus in my heart to feel this is really wrong.