Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Back to work

At last I got back to claywork! Seems like I've been walking thrugh mud with all the other demands on time. A while back, I found two plaster molds for plates that were used to make ceramics plates by pouring liquid clay inside, allowing it to set up then unmolding the form. I usually throw plates on the wheel, but this time, I used a half of one of the the molds - the part that would make the inside half of a large plate - rolled out a large slab of clay about 3/8 inch thick to drape over the plaster and create a plate form. It turned out well, although I have my doubts if it was any easier or quicker than just throwing on the wheel. I cut the rim off at angles using a fettling knife. The inside of the plate is round, the rim is angular. I like the way it looks. Think I'll make a batch and experiment with glazes playing with different glaze layers and the angular rims. We'll see.

Here's a photo of the back of the new Tucson house from the 18th hole. The vegetation on the fence is bougianvillaea. Can't wait to see it in all it's glory. The house has a Tuscan feel with stucco walls, cornices at roof edge, red tile roof, tall windows and doors; a feeling of coolness and space. It will be nice to be there.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Back from Tucson

Just returned from Tucson after taking a sun-break from the dreariness of the Northwest. Not that I don't love it here, you just need to feel some warm sun and soak up some D once in a while.

My cousin Beverly and her husband Andy, bookending us in front of a great steak house, were a welcome sight. It's been too many years since we last saw them. We visited two of my favorite potters in the world as well as Realtor friends that we know from Jim, my husband's, business. Two weeks went so very quickly!

We did a blitz check of the house market there and found a lovely place to escape to when the rain gets to us. To be able to go somewhere with special friends there too is icing on the cake.

The clay scene is well-established with many choices of work areas and markets. There exists there a fine appreciation of the potter's art and I will look forward to working there.

We returned home only to find that the electrical work we had done resulted in no water in the house (we learned this only after we had emptied the storage tank) so a call to the electritian was the priority this morning. Everything is working now, thank heavens, and life can get back to normal. We are looking at a very busy end of the month as well as a full March, so it's good that these kinds of problems can get taken care of in a hurry.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Bulwer-Lytton Contest

"It was a dark and stormy night", so begins the first paragraph or rather the sentence that identifies this yearly contest of really bad writing known as the Bulwer-Lytton contest, hosted each year by the San Jose State University Department of English. It is the brainchild of Professor Scott Rice. Examples of entries can be found at the official website, A visit is well worth your idle time and a great source of amusement, nay even possibly an inspiration to lower to the depth of your worst writing efforts. It certainly has done that for me. The deadline is April 15th.

Yesterday I polished up six of my worst gems and sped them on their way.

Here's a sampling: "But I'm NOT a 2-dimensional person," insisted Sylvia as she tossed down the last shot of vodka and glared at her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend, continuing "I have lots of interests," she added flatly; a little too flatly, she thought as her mouth became difficult to work, her features begin to cave in, her dress loosen and her hair crinkle and she felt herself suddenly lifted up, swung horizontally under his arm and carried from the bar to her apartment where he ever-so-carefully slid her under the door.