Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The lovely muddy season has returned!

I did not realize how spoiled I became last year, having my little garage studio up and running. All through the spring, summer and fall, I had a wonderfully productive pattern:
1. Throw a bunch of pots at the Monday night class at Beech Grove Clay Works, bring them home, and let them start to dry over night. Stumble to bed because I didn't leave the studio until 2 hours after class ended.
2. After dragging myself awake the next morning but before I left the garage, I realized that the pots weren't covered. I'd flip them over, so the bases could dry, maybe drape some plastic around the portions that were nearly leather hard, vainly try to remember that I was in work clothes and I shouldn't wipe my clayey hands off on my pants as I headed to the office.
3. When I got home from work on Tuesday, the pots were nearly ready to trim, so I'd cover them all the way in plastic and try to convince myself to go inside to change out of my work clothes before trimming anything. Sometimes it worked. 
4. Before I headed back to BGCW to monitor open studio on Wednesday evenings, I'd manage to trim the pots. I would bring them with me to the studio to dry all the way and then they could go into the kiln. 
5. While I was at open studio, I'd throw a bunch more pots...and the whole cycle repeated over and over. Nearly every Monday and Wednesday, I would bring at least a few trimmed pots in to be fired.

This all came to a screeching halt when winter actually came to central Indiana last year. My freshly thrown pots would take days to dry when the temperature got cooler and once the freezing temperatures hit, I could no longer leave bags of clay or unfired pots (greenware) out in the garage. The moisure in the clay freezes and separates out, leaving a big mushy mess. 

So all winter felt like a failure to me.  I was still throwing and building pieces, but at what felt like a staggeringly slow pace. And in December, my folks downsized from a house with a big garage to an apartment--and I was the grateful recipient of most of my dad tools.  In fact, I even got to take home his old work bench, made from the same hardwood that the floors of my childhood home had. Unfortunately, the tool bench and all the wonderful tools and a half century of bits of hardware ended up piled on top of my little garage studio. I spent many many days (weeks?) organizing everything back into sanity this spring. 

Wahoo!  So clean and organized!!!

And now, I'm back to my old routine! 

The back of the photo shows a few of the things I threw in the last month--a stack of spoon rests, some little heart shaped mixing bowls, mugs, a honey pot. And in front and on the wheel are the things I threw tonight at open studio--a few bathroom sets (toothbrush holders or drinking glasses and soap dishes) and luminaries. 

I am so excited!!! And productive!!!  Will have awesome pretty pots for my next appearance at the Greenwood Farmer's Market on June 14th!!!

And to close, a fun tidbit to entertain and/or gross you joy of have a pottery studio in a garage is suicidal insects. As I was throwing one of these very soap dishes tonight, I noticed a lumpy in the clay. I stopped the wheel and used my pin tool to tease it out. It was the crunchy body of some critter that crawled into my bag of clay. While I was reasonably unfazed by this, I did have to giggle and squeal a few seconds later as I got poked with a very pointy insect leg. And then dug out several more before I started the wheel again. <shudder>

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