Friday, June 30, 2017

Life with a Puppy

Life with a new puppy can be very educational. I've taught my Owner quite a few things in the last couple of weeks.

For example, we now have a much better idea of how many small pieces of lumber and other sticks were tucked away under the counters in the Studio. Quite a few. This is something we were wondering about.

When done properly, a spot of digging can make dirt fly into the Studio, covering the entrance, the shelf of old pots beside the door, the buckets waiting to be washed, even the foot pedals on the wheels. The 600-lb rock step at the door might not get dislodged, but you can make a new and exciting gap between it and the threshold.

A bag of Styrofoam cups, when chewed and shaken by an expert, can cover a large territory. Half the driveway in front of the house, in fact. It will take Her 15 minutes of bending and scrabbling in the mud (it's been raining for 39 days so far...) to pick up most of the bits. The rest can wait. If it rains another day, it may not matter.

Bees are tasty. If you chomp them fast, they don't sting. But you may throw up later.

If you see a lovely small sponge you want, and She drops it into a slip bucket and it sinks, you can dive in after it. She might yell, but you've got the sponge.

Mosquitoes aren't much bothered by being barked at.

Turtles, on the other hand, don't care for it and tend to turn into small round things a lot like rocks, very hard to pick up and carry in your mouth. And they pee on you. Yuck.

Speaking of water, dropping large sticks into the dog water bowl is pretty cool. It makes a big splash and then you can lick the water off the wall. And you can get wet and then play in the mud from the hole you're working on as a surprise for your Owner, making it a double surprise.

Clay boxes are really fun to chew and rip. Newspapers are even better but they don't get soggy nearly as well. But if you chew on the corners of boxes with stuff in them, she makes with that 'No, Rosie, Bad Girl' routine. Does this make sense to you?

Don't chew on pin tools, ballpoint pens, or $90 red-handled secateurs. This makes her shriek.

But you can grab them and run. And leave them under various rose bushes... oh, gardening is so much fun.

Being  a puppy is fun!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New Puppy!!!

Drum roll, please!

Introducing: the world's cutest, smartest and most lovable puppy, Elphin Rosie.

Here she is sitting and considering her new world:

It's a strange one, and a wet one, as you can see! But after a bit of thought, she sets out to explore. Clearly, she's a true Border Collie, she already has 'the stare' down pat, all she needs is some sheep.

 Or a juniper that smells interesting:

Today the sun came out and we worked in the garden for a while. Rosie helped by dragging the trowel about 100' down the driveway, then making off with my phone (No, Rosie, bad girl....). After all that, a rest is in order!

So far, Rosie has managed to make Pepper the cat decide that she (Pepper) is never going into the kitchen again, has adopted an old oven mitt as her favourite toy, has raced a dangerous tea towel all around the Studio, and has taken on re-modeling one of the kitchen chairs. Yesterday in the Studio she did something I have never seen a dog do before. She found an old masking tape core in a box of empty clay bags and grabbed it for some serious and vigorous playing. It rolled, it bounced... she raced it around the tables. She growled at it, pawed at it, and raced it around some more. Then she walked over to the box, and dropped the tape back in.

Welcome home, Rosie!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Catching Up

Can hardly believe I haven't posted for so long... must have been busy! Let's catch up.

January, well, January was there. Not too sure what I did, shoveled snow, made stews and soups for dinners, tried to organize my paperwork...

February, shoveled snow, made soups and stews, tried to organize my pottery year.

March, shoveled snow, contemplated salads, made pots for the Maple Run Studio Tour and the Easter Market in April.

April, did the Tour (went very well, thank you to everyone who came and the organizers who did a fantastic job, you guys rock) and the Easter Market in Carp. Also went well although the space I was given had me stumped for a few minutes. Luckily a neighbouring vendor had a good idea and I put together the world's first V-shaped display booth. Having a pillar smack dab in the middle of my space forced creativity! It worked and again a big grateful 'thank you' to the organizers and our customers. Went home and shoveled snow.

May. So far, practically no snow, but dreadful floods in the Valley. So much rain and snow melting up north that the Ottawa River and it's tributaries rose to 100-year levels. I feel very sorry to all the people affected. I know houses and possessions are only things, but when you've worked hard to get them and keep them nice it's heart breaking to lose them like that. Water levels are now falling and soon the clean up can begin. I really would rather shovel snow.

So. I've been working hard in the Studio the last month or so, making what I think of as Spring pots. Pansies, tulips, Bird designs. I didn't get to making any Bird pieces before the Maple Run Tour, so I told anybody who asked that Bird had gone South and wasn't back yet. Now they're back, and when the Carp Market opens this Saturday, there will be lots of Bird pots!
collage of pottery
I'm looking forward to seeing my booth at the Carp Farmers' Market this Saturday. I've made and collected a bunch of things to decorate for Mother's Day:  cards, pillows, things-painted-turquoise and a fabulous turquoise chair. It should be a fine day!

And no snow.

Friday, January 6, 2017

On the Constant Migration of Objects

I don't know about you, but I find myself spending a fair amount of time moving things around. I really became aware of this this past week as I put my studio back together after my Christmas sale.

For the sale, I have to move all my pots into the studio. I am not able to heat the half-garage (which I call Crabapple Gallery) where I store my pottery. That's fine most of the year, but not so fine in December when it is apt to be well below freezing. I usually invite a few friends to join me with their art work, and they get the house. So all pots have to move into the studio. I carry my pots around in those Rubbermaid containers, more-or-less cushioned by pieces of bubblewrap. I think this year it was about 20 trips to bring them all in. Of course, there were also things in the studio which had to go in the garbage - trip to the garage- and things that had to be washed - trip to the house, trip back.

After the sale, things had to be put away again so I could have my work space back. So 4 tubs back to Crabapple, several trips to carry the tablecloths, left-over wrapping paper and bags and such, several trips to take my Christmas decorations back to the garage where they can get lost for another year...

So it took me about two days to move objects to get ready for my sale, and the better part of a day to move objects back to where they came from so I could get back to work. And this goes on all the time. This morning I planned to make small plates, but before I could start I had to carry water to the studio because the pail was empty, take the bowl of washing water in to the house and clean that up, then take the bowl and the washed things back to the studio. Then I noticed that the last firing had left several seconds sitting on my table, so they had to go to Crabapple, and while I was there I picked up some bags because my small stack of bags in the studio was depleted.

Seems I'm always moving objects around. Maybe I'm not a potter, just a clay-based beast of burden. Years ago, going canoe camping, I used to measure all trips in the number of portages involved. Maybe nothing has changed... or maybe we humans are only here to serve all those objects that want to move from place to place but lack the feet to do it with.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Stuff

Well, folks, you'll all be thrilled to hear that I am now caught up to Tuesday. Hmmm, yes, I know it's actually Thursday, but that's the way it goes here. Worked like a demon from early this morning (still dark out...) and got the Studio tidied up to the point that I can now bring in all the pots that will be for sale on Saturday and Sunday.

Yes, my 1/2 price is this weekend. Both days, 10am to 4pm.  All Pine Ridge Studio pottery on 1/2 price. And some seconds, too, all of them at $1 each. Whoo hoo!

Just so you have it handy, the official address is 6114 Carp Road. That is North of the Village of Carp. Long driveway, watch the bumps and go right through the puddles. I promise the puddles are solid rock at the bottom and not very deep.

A few friends are joining me in the house, with paintings, jewelry, soaps, preserves and more. They have custody of the cider and cookies, so you have to go in the house to get some! Tricky, eh!!

We all hope very much to see you!

Oh, and do have a Merry Christmas and a very Bright New Year!

raven and crabapples Christmas card

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Why I Never Get Ahead

It's no wonder I never get caught up. I started tthree weeks ago to make some Fairy Houses. Several people had asked for them, and I was down to 3 and these 3 are not the coziest nests in the woods. So my plan was to make a dozen new ones and have them ready for the second Saturday (Market Day) in October.

Threw a dozen small cylinders for the bases. Then I started press-molding the roofs. While doing them I got a bit bored so I thought of other things to do. Took a break and washed the floor. Put the mop, an old stringy number, outside to dry. Went back to making roofs. Somehow it became the next day and I trimmed the cylinders and started to fit the roofs to the bases. I don't attach them, because the roofs are glazed in different colours and it is too hard to keep the colours from getting on to the bases... you know what I mean here. Seemed to have some extra roofs... plus I got the idea that a mushroom shape would be fun.

old string mop wetSo back to the wheel to make another 6 bases. While there I threw a dozen or so mini vases, the kind that people want to put brown weeds in every fall. About 2" high, any shape I felt like, some carving, some poking to make off-centre shapes. Fun to throw, fun to glaze, hell to trim.

It poured rain and the mop is soaked.

Had to make more roofs as the new bases didn't fit the ones I had. Made some very small ones and more bases to fit them.

Then I had to go do other stuff - shopping, banking, cooking, even a little cleaning because someone was coming.

 Got back to the houses on Monday. Painted some of the bases, then got tired and spent an hour watering my geraniums - here are a few in the Studio window. I don't have nearly enough room for them for the winter so I took some cuttings and got them set up in little pots under a plastic dome. You can just see the end of the dome on the left.
geraniums in the Studio window for the winter

In front of the Geraniums you see some of the colours I use to paint my pots. I've started giving each colour its own small tile palette and leaving them out. Messy but efficient, sort of.

After that I had to check my fern seedlings. They live in a shelf unit I made, under flourescent lights, until they get too big. Then they have to go outside. Going to be a bit of a problem this time as it's almost winter. Bad planning!
lights setup for growing ferns from spores

Went to get a lid for a small plastic container and the whole mess of lids stored on a certain shelf crashed down around my ears. Picked them all up, brushed off the dead spiders, sorted out the unusual ones and put the rest in a blue bag for re-cycling. Why do I have 396 lids and 3 containers without lids?

Back to the Fairy Houses. Had fun getting out buckets of glaze in neat colours for the roofs. Dipped all the bases in clear. Finally, two weeks after I started, the houses went into the kiln. Here are a few:
small pottery houses for Fairies in the garden
In all, I ended up with 25 Fairy Houses and one tiny weed vase.

small brown mottled glazed weed vase
That's a semi-matte white glaze over a shiny black glaze - an old and hackneyed idea but still effective. It's only a weed vase.

Only 2 weeks late and not really suitable for fall (the weed vase is, not the houses) but hey, I did them.

The mop may dry sometime this month, or else if I wait until it gets really cold, maybe it'll freeze dry.