Friday, April 30, 2010


This week, I am celebrating juice. Morning Sun, by briefmoments. Vintage Juice-O-Mat citrus juicer, TheFrontHouse. Vintage Aluminum juicer, RedHenStudios. Vintage glass juice reamer, TranquilityFarms.
White stoneware pitcher, TimeValley.
Pair of vintage juice glasses with wheat design, thesmittenmitten.
Set of four glasses, pocketvintage. Juice glasses, halcyon.
Bright Morning Print, jjmillustration.
Carrot juice print, dowellart.
Why juice, you ask? Because I finally got juice to the kiln. Don't get too excited, though, because I still have to have the vent installed. And then I have to work up the courage to actually fire it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today's Adventure

I locked myself out of the house today. I took both dogs out on their leashes, and when I returned, the door into the house from the garage was locked. I had no phone, no key. Anyone who I might have called (using a neighbor's phone, I suppose) to bring me a spare key was either very far away or unavailable. So I had to kick the door in. The good news is that the guy we had fix the door from the last time this happened did a great job. The bad news is that he will probably have to come back. You're probably thinking I need to keep a spare in the garage, since this has happened before. I do keep a spare in the garage, but last week when I rearranged the garage to prepare for the electrician coming to install the kiln, the spare wound up inside. Obviously I need a key storage solution like the key rack above from halfpintsalvage, and I should have been wearing boots like these from indai.
Instead I was wearing a business suit and these heels from Frye.
The dogs were just thrilled to wait for me to kick the door in. The routine is that they get their puppy chow as soon as we go back inside, and the big dog was pretty anxious to get inside. He didn't understand why I wouldn't just open the door, and stood there barking at me. The little dog happily snuffled around the garage eating bits of stick and leaves. The story has a happy ending, though. The spare key is back in the garage, and the dogs did get their puppy chow.

Ingenuity On Display

Recently one of the blogs I follow did a few posts on decorating with Mason jars (here and here). I thought this was a happy coincidence, since I had just re-done our mantle with Mason jars. I sent the author the picture, and what do you know, she posted it. Yay! Go check out Ingenuity On Display, she has lots of great ideas.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Starting Seeds

We recently started a bunch of seeds in little pots, and I've been very pleased with their progress. I've been less pleased with the delight our dogs have found in sneaking "dirt snacks." They seem to have especially enjoyed the hot pepper seeds... We have the pots set up on a few plastic trays, plus a galvanized garden tote, and inside a small greenhouse I bought at Ikea several years ago. If you want to join me in growing dirt snacks, I've found everything you'll need (excepting the dirt). Below is a seed starting tray from andrewsreclaimed.
This seed starting planner from aQuickStudy is just the thing to help figure out when to plant those green beans.
Dabble with planting with this garden dibble from woodenapple.
We planted mostly vegetables, but I couldn't resist starting some black eyed susans. Thebearfootshaman has black eyed susan seeds.
I adore these antique terra cotta garden pots from solsticehome.
MakeScentsWithNature has these wooden paper pot makers - I recently bought one from their shop and I love it. It's even easier to use than I thought it would be. Can't wait to make your own pots? RushofWings has newspaper pots already made for you.
You could also start your seeds in a sweet little vintage coffee cup from ARareThread. Don't forget to water your seeds regularly. It's very important. Remind yourself with this Water Me garden marker from monkeysalwayslook.
Once you've transplanted your plants outside, you'll need garden markers to keep track of which plant is which. MakeThyme has these copper garden markers that will do the trick.
Wish us luck that the seedlings continue to grow, and that the dogs don't indulge themselves too frequently. Are you starting seeds indoors this year?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Naked Pots

Lately I have been taking notice of unglazed pottery. Glaze offers infinite depths of color, but somehow the breadth of unglazed clay seems just as vast to me. The range may be more limited without glaze, but the soul of the clay is exposed. Perhaps my romanticizing bare pottery stems from the brain freeze I get every time I'm standing in the glaze kitchen at Manassas Clay, wondering how to glaze each piece. But I find it compelling, and as I begin to find my own voice as a potter, I think strategically unglazed pots will be an important part of my expression. I have already made a number of pots without glaze or only with soda ash, and they have been among my favorites. I have been collecting unglazed pots in my Etsy Favorites, and I wanted to put them all together for your viewing pleasure. The vintage ramekins above were in sevenpoppies' shop, but have sold. TheoHelmstadter's planter below has some glaze, but also has iron stain accenting the natural clay.
The vintage primitive vase below by puscake has a pleasant combination of glaze and bare clay.
The brown and green bowl below is from nestingemily. Earthy perfection.
Nanbanceramics has pots with great character, like this nanban tea bowl.
Simple perfection from lorikoop in her Hip bowl below.
I love how the unglazed clay of this fortune cookie mimics the texture of real fortune cookies. I found it at linzb's shop.
These bowls from JclayPottery have already sold, but I had to include them.
I love the subtle variation in color in this tea bowl from FredParkerPottery.
These sweet little white dandelion wall vases from eikcam have glazed interiors and designs, but an unglazed background.
I love this vessel from claynfiber's shop. The iron oxide showcases the naked clay perfectly.
The unglazed bonsai pot from clamalleypots below has great variation in color in the speckled clay.
ChrisGreenwood's shop has this lovely little unglazed cup.
I love this swirl tea set from amyhuntpottery - it has the perfect combination of bare clay and decoration.
If you're aware of other artists who leave their clay naked, let me know. I must feed this fixation!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I swept out the garage yesterday, preparing for the electrician's visit. Sweeping reminded me of these sweet little brooms I had recently noticed on Etsy. Above, witch hazel brooms by jasperjane, below, rust colored turkey wing broom by BROOMCHICK.

Either of these would make a fairly mundance chore a little special, no?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Treasury East

Etsy has introduced its new beta Treasury, Treasury East. I gathered 16 items that would create a perfect evening on the back deck. Unlike the original Treasury and Treasury West, the Treasury East doesn't expire. I could get used to this new feature...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm A Big Teapot

My teapot from the Kevin Crowe workshop in March is finished. I glazed it with Golden Luster and dripped some Opal, since lately I've been fascinated by the reaction between the two on the Miller 70 clay. (If you use Opal by itself, it's this yellow/gray yuck color, but it does incredible things when matched with other glazes.)
I was so happy that the lid came off; you fire them together to retain the shape of both the lid and the body of the piece so that they will still fit together. But sometimes the glaze fuses them together.
I am also happy to report that the holes on the inside were not filled in with glaze, so tea will actually come out of the vessel, and the teapot pours nicely.
My gigantic pot is still drying. I modified it slightly from the stage I last posted about, just refining the shape and the surface. It will have to dry for weeks and weeks before it's ready to go into the kiln. The wait is almost a good thing, though, because I'll need that long to choose a glazing scheme. I used the same clay as I did for the teapot, so I am tempted to do a similar glazing (it's been nice every time I have done it so far, giving me a small hope that it would turn out similarly on this "important" piece). But I think the girl next to me in class will slap me, as she seems tired of my boring glazing choices. As always, I think way too hard about these things. Pottery is supposed to be zen. Not stressful.