I really need to practice throwing after being out of the game for a few months. I am getting used to my wheel and the bat I have really bug me, but I'm going to make due. An old teacher of mine wanted me to do an exercise; 100 cylinders. I blew it off at the time b/c I had x-mas presents to make and grand plans for some great designs....yeah they never came about and in the meantime I've picked up a bunch of bad habits. So, this week is 100 cylinders week. Back to the basics. I am concentrating on 3 real problems; s-cracks, I pull too thin in the middle of the pull so I usually torque the piece, and always have a warped rim. I'll post how I fixed those issues. Any suggestions are welcome as well! Oh and I always crush my piece getting it off the wheel, so I rely on bats. Maybe I should not use bats for this exercise...that may be too much for me to handle.
Next week I'm moving to the west side of the Hudson River to a small town called High Falls. I will be between two cute little towns; Stone Ridge and High Falls. Over the Gunks (pictured above) is New Paltz and the Catskills are to the North and West. It's a beautiful location.
I can't wait to get into my new studio space! The hard thing about being a potter is finding space to work. Over the years I've taken classes at studios that allow you to work, but you are limited in many ways to thier clay, glazes, schedule and shelf space. I finally got a studio space and started buying equipment only to lose it because the landlord wanted to expand his workspace. For the past few months I've set up a "studio" space in my apartment. My dining table is always covered, I'm constantly cleaning the dust, and I can't fire anything over a few inches in my test kiln. But I'm makin' it work. I look at alot of the "Featured Sellers" on Etsy.com (one of my favorite sections) and see I'm not alone, almost everyone has set up some kind of makeshift studio. I love to see how people have full screen printing studios in their garage, welding equipment in their city apartments, or CNC machines in their parents basements. But there all doin' it, and seem really, really happy!
I do my high fire stoneware at a studio in Rhinebeck called Hudson Valley Pottery. Along with trying to find a style that I can call my own this year, I have been getting used to their glazes. I think I finally found a glaze combination that I really like. This cup has some amazing things going on. I dipped half in clear glaze which crackled, and half in shino. Then I painted a pattern on one side with wax resist and did a half dip in Oribe. Only this time I rotated it so that the dip caught some shino and some clear. The result is a matalic where the Oribe is over the Shino, and a red where it caught the clear. Yeah :O)
I love opening the kiln, it's such a great Christmas-morning-what-did-I-get feeling. Most of the time it's a multicolored turtleneck similar to the one you get every year, but SOMETIMES there are some really lovely gifts!
Keep buying local this winter at the Red Hook Winter Farmer's Market.
The CSA I belong to is joining forces with local farmers and producers to open a Winter Market, yay. It will be hosted by the Elmendorph Inn, right next door to the Red Hook Tiberio IGA.They will have all local fruit, cider and produce from Migliorelli's and Hearty Roots, meat and dairy products from Northwind, Hudson Valley Fresh and Awesome Farm, woolen fiber from Hudson Valley Sheep & Wool Co., hot soup and prepared foods from Gigi Market, jams and jellies from Montgomery Place Orchard, fresh bread from Tivoli Bakery. It will be at the Elmendorph every second Saturday in winter: December 13, January 10 and February 14. Doors will be open from 10am-2:00pm.
A few years ago I found an article on Nancy Bauch of White Forest Pottery in Martha Stewart Magazine. To say I was inspired was an understatement. Her work is sublime and I want one of everything. It is obviously handmade and has the imperfections to show it. But what really hooked me was her lifestyle. I'm not sure if I had already decided to move to the Hudson Valley yet, but I think seeing her studio, her home, her garden, and her great style made me want to have it all. I have lived in so many different places and didn't know if I'd ever find a place where I felt completely at ease. When I saw her lifestyle I realized the Hudson Valley is somewhere I would feel at home, and I do. I guess vision boards really do work because I am in the Hudson Valley, starting my own pottery business, and starting to piece together a studio, the home and garden will have to wait.
They are not really featured on her website but Nancy has a new line of crocheted paperweight rocks and her vessels are at Hammertown in Rhinebeck. They are georgous objects and I hope to get one from Santa.