Ode to a Cup

I sent a mug out to a customer last week, this is what I received in return… I absolutely love it!

A Cup

So here we are, this first morning.
Waiting in the sunrise.
The hearth is warm and the dogs dream by the fire.
There is a silent solitude, intimate, complete.
I do not possess you.
Rather I am graced with a glimpse
of the creative passion that crafted you.
Your size, your shape, the colors of your adornment,
the way you feel when I hold you, the way I feel.
This is perfection.
Thank you for being here with me.

Lucy, Thanks for the opportunity to experience your creative side.

Best Regards,
Ray
In case I haven’t been clear, THIS CUP IS GREAT!

Winter Months in my Massachusetts Studio

The long winter is almost over.  It’s been a busy one… a time of stocking up, and getting ready for wholesale orders, and spring shows.  Two big shows are coming soon… first the Worcester Pottery Invitational, and then the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail.  Both in April!

Here are some photos of what’s been going on in and around the studio these past couple of months.

mug order, ready for the kiln

mug order, ready for the kiln

mug order, fresh out of the kin.

mug order, fresh out of the kiln.

Owl in our field

Owl in our field

winter woods at dusk

winter woods at dusk

batter bowls drying

batter bowls drying

finished batter bowls

finished batter bowls

spoons for sugar jars

spoons for sugar jars

one of our hens flew the coop

one of our hens flew the coop

holiday sale

Studio entrance, winter welcome

Blindfolded Pottery

Put on the blindfolds, turn on the potters wheels… this is “Big Girl Pottery class” (as my students call it!)

Mind you, I do not do this every class, just once a year or so.  The blindfold class is to remind them the importance of listening to the clay.  In losing our sense of sight, our sense of touch becomes heightened.  It’s a real good reminder to focus only on the way that clay feels in our hands.

It’s also a lot of fun.  Plus with a bunch of middle-aged women I of course hear the comments… like, what is this 50 Shades of Clay?  Ooh, I wish Patrick Swayze were here… is that Unchained Melody I hear?

you're not really gonna make me throw blindfolded are youHere we go blindfolded potteryyes I can make a pot without lookingBlind Pots

Wall Salt Box with Lid

As promised from the last post… wall salt boxes with a sit-in lid.  These seem to be a cross from my table salt cellar pictured below, and the antique french salt box I fell in love with over the summer.  The degree of difficulty is far less than the hinged lid salt box.  I am liking the form, and the challenge it brings.  I will do more after the holidays.

Two lidded salt boxes

Salt box open

My original salt cellars…

red dot salt 3

I haven’t finished my explorations with the hinged lid yet,  A couple of new ones came out of the kiln nearly perfect… so more to come on those too, after the busy season.

French Salt Boxes and Ceramic Wall Baskets

A French Salt box that hangs on the wall, with a hinged lid, made of ceramic… what am I nuts!

When I was on vacation this summer I saw a french salt box (metal) in an antique shop. I knew at that moment I had to try making one in ceramic.  After a little research and many attempts, I have a couple worth sharing.  This whole endeavor has been quite the challenge… but I need to be challenged with new forms, I’d go crazy if I were making just cups, bowls, plates and vases.  Give me some technical thing and I’m happy to see what I can do with it.

One of the reasons this salt box is challenging is because I work in porcelain.  I am dealing with warping of the body, sagging of the lid, then trying to get the holes for the hinged lid lined up after this warping and sagging.  I am no where near satisfied with the end result.  I like many aspects of the form, but I have not had one come out of the kiln 100%, working technically correct.  I have fired about six of them.  I have about three more to fire.  I will learn what I can from those, and make some others in my spare time… which is non-existent now with the all the holiday shows.

A bonus of working on this form is that it spurred on a couple of other nice forms , some wall baskets, and salt cellars with sit-in lids.  Creative mistakes really don’t exist… they just make you think more.

salt box with red dotssalt box with red dots open

Salt Box Drying

The top red dot one is almost there, just some slight warping on the lid.  The two above drying did not make it through the glaze firing… too much warping, so the lids did not fit.  Below are a couple of wall baskets that worked out very nicely.  More salt boxes to come soon, with the sit-in lids.

ceramic wall basketRed Dot Wall Basket