Making Asparagus Trays

I call these Asparagus trays, but the reality is that they can be used for anything from fresh cut bread to clementines.

I thought it would be nice to share some photos of how I make these oval, long handled trays!

Freshly made.

Freshly made.

 

Block Printing Tool from India

Block Printing Tool from India

Circles becoming Ovals

Thrown bottomless, then made into oval.

Cut Bottoms to Fit the Oval

Joining the top to the bottom.

 

Asparagus Trays Drying

With handles, drying on worktable

 

 

 

Getting Pots Made for the Pottery Trail

The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail is coming up in six short weeks!  Our date this year is April 25th-26th.  In between getting pots made for that, I am spending time getting all of my information and photos to my web designer for my new website!  Hopefully it will be all up and running before the Trail.  My current website was made in 2010, even though it’s nice, it is antiquated.  It’s time for me to have a responsive website since a good percentage people use mobile devices to search sites.  Maybe I will share some sneak peeks of the website soon, but for now I will give you a peek of the mugs that will be ready for the Pottery Trail.

Last week I was working on mugs and cups, I was getting tired of trimming the same old foot. I was also dreaming of warm weather and flowers… zinnias to be exact, in the studio garden to be more exact.  So before I knew it these happy feet started to appear!  I always like to have texture on the bottom of my mugs (usually made with a wiggle type wire).  I think it’s fun to hold a mug and have something different to feel on different parts of the piece, and you can’t leave out the bottom!  We will see if this foot design becomes part of my repertoire or if it’s just something to get me through till the zinnia’s are in bloom.

Mugs DryingDetail of flower footHappy Feet

Patterns and Optical Illusions

Patterns, just love what they can do.  Repetition, movement, optical illusions.

I have been making these little treasure boxes with different patterns and glazes… here are some of the blue ones.  I have included the images of the process… how I draw the pattern using a square grid, then apply wax resist to the pattern.  I love the way they look glazed but not fired.  But what I really want you to look at is the optical illusion that occurs on the finished blue piece.  Do you see a leaf/petal or a diamond shape?  I see one first, then the other after awhile.

These will be available soon on my new updated website, and in my etsy shops… I need to have a long photo session, and get all the new stuff up!

DSC_0008 DSC_0015 DSC_0022

Taking Time Today for Photography

It seems that the past year or so I have been photographing my work mainly for etsy and my facebook page which tends to be in an informal setting.  I like to photo my work in this way for two reasons… one, because I love working with natural light in my photography… two, because it allows the viewer to see it in a way that is real to them, rather than a pot sitting on a white/grey/black background.  There comes a time though when you need some new work formally photographed for shows, so this morning was that time.

lucyfagellacup2lucyfagellacupdetail

Berry Baskets and Berry Bowls

The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail is two weeks away!  One of the items (a customer favorite) that I have been making are berry bowls and baskets.  Here are some drying on my work table, and a couple of finished ones. 

Berry Season is almost upon us!

Berry baskets and plates dryingdetail handle drying

cranberrybasketdetail

two split rim berry bowls

In Yankee Magazine

If you live in the Northeast you probably have heard of  Yankee Magazine.  It has been a mainstay in New England since 1935!

I am honored to be in the current issue, March/April 2013.

yankeemagNew England’s Finest.  The Made-in-New England Kitchen, tools and serving pieces from local artisans.

Teaching my Apprentice about Kiln Repair

Today my apprentice Gemma Farrell got her first look inside of the control panel of my L&L Kiln. I really feel it’s important that my apprentices know every aspect of the pottery business, plus walk away from the two years with great pots.  Gemma already has the great pots, (which I will show off in the next post.)  She just needs the biz end of it… the part they don’t teach you in art school.

Repairing an electric kiln

 

Gemma learning how to fix a kiln

It was definitely time to change the element wires and the thermocouples.  How did I know this you might ask…  well the first sign is that the element wires are starting to grey and flatten in areas… but still work.  The most notable reason to change them now, is that the kiln is taking longer and longer to fire… a sure sign it’s going to break down soon.  The other reason to really, really change them now is that I do not have a big show coming up this month. It seems that kilns tend to break down in the middle of a firing, right before an important show or the holiday season!   My next big show is the pottery trail at the end of April… and I better have the kiln heathly for all the firings coming up!

Whew, take a look at that old thermocouple compared to what it looks like new… won’t be long before that’s a goner.  It’s been over a hundred firings… when that time comes along I know it’s time to take a look at them!

therrmocouple new and old