Almost Spring!

It’s hard to believe that it is almost spring. We are just 17 days from spring equinox and there is so much snow it could be July before it all melts.

Things have been going great the pottery for over a year now which is the reason I have little time to write blogs, but I regularly post photos of works in progress as well as finished work on my pottery Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/PoterieLmSerafinPottery
It would be great to have a few more fans or “likes” and get the word out about LM Serafin Pottery!

When I last wrote I had just documented the making of my new sign that now is hung at the top of our road on Hwy 315. We’ve had so much snow this winter that it’s nearly buried there by the side of the road and each time the snow plow comes by, shooting it’s gigantic snow waves off the road, my poor sign gets turned sideways and the pot gets filled up with dirty snow. People have remarked that they’ve nearly missed the turn off because the sign is not very visible right now being practically buried or hanging sideways and behind a huge snow bank, but with some melting of the snow this week, maybe the sign will be more visible soon.

This winter has been hard on everyone across Canada and the U.S. health-wise, including me. As I write my ears are almost completely plugged up with an ear infection. I feel like I’m wearing ear muffs. I’ve been hearing so much about people getting sick with influenza that it has become daily news.

Before Christmas I had a few days of a gastrointestinal thing but it was over before I even realized what had happened, luckily for me. On New Year’s Eve I came down with influenza and it took me about 3 weeks to recover. I had a blissfully healthy three weeks following that before influenza part deux hit and now 12 days later, after two days of the worst body aches I have ever endured in recent memory, I am on Day 5 of antibiotics that were prescribed for “the worst ear infection ever seen in an adult” so said my nurse practioner. Hence the feeling of wearing ear muffs. But I shall survive! And pottery making will go on. I can feel it in my bones. I’m starting to miss the slippery mud between my fingers. I’m flipping through the latest issue of Ceramics Monthly totally craving getting back into the studio. I have orders to finish up too and would like to get those orders to my customers as soon as possible!

If you’ve been following my blogs then you know that pottery making is a long process. Along the way you learn that in order to have nice results in the glaze firings you must load your kiln so that there is little congestion and lots of air flow throughout. Staggering shelves if you have half shelves instead of full shelves is one way to do it, but also limiting the number of flat things you fire in each load is essential.

I have had quite a few orders for plates in the past two years and can only fire about 4-8 at a time depending on the size of plates – saucers, luncheon, dinner and charger plates, platters and square plates have all been ordered by several customers during this time. Glaze colour matters too. Some glazes fire better in the hot spots while some fire better in the cool spots in the kiln. Knowing thy kiln and how it fires best is a part of the puzzle that often takes the longest to figure out when you are new to firing a kiln. It’s a learning curve that often results in lost pots due to over firing and pots that need to be re-fired because where they were just wasn’t hot enough for the glaze to melt properly. But how else will you know unless you make those mistakes? Some mistakes can only be corrected by re-firing and other mistakes need a hammer.

To compensate for all the plates that have been ordered, I’ve been making lots of tall mugs, beer steins, pitchers, teapots and goblets. I’ve also had to make a lot of soup bowls and while they are not especially tall, they are in demand and I always seem to need them. Mugs and bowls are the most popular items that are purchased in my little gallery. They make great gifts. They are the least expensive items that I make and can be very personal.

I’ve really had to step up production this past year to get my orders out in a timely fashion so imagine my disappointment catching yet another flu bug over a week ago. When you are sick, the last thing you want to do is wedge clay or have your hands in water all day long throwing pots on the wheel. This particular flu bug (part deux) really knocked me for a loop. I had to cancel so many plans! I had tickets!

I haven’t worked out for almost 2 weeks and I’ve barely left the house except to go get medicine for my ear infection and get the tailpipe fixed on the Jeep. I have read three novels, taken lots of naps (or just slept really late in the morning), watched a dozen movies or more, made three large pots of soup and thankfully I’ve managed to keep up with the housework although vacuuming is off the list right now because it hurts my ears.

I’m just itching to get out for a walk. I need to get back to my daily yoga practise. I guess I am on the mend if I’m talking this way. 🙂

Well, the chicken broth smells delicious and I can hardly wait for more homemade soup. Last week it was Smokey Tomato soup. This week I think I will make Potato, Kale and Leek soup. Hey, did I tell you that I’m writing a cookbook? It’s an idea that’s been rolling around in my head for a while now. I’m focusing on quick, healthy dishes served up in lovely pottery. I think the photos of the food in my pottery are going to be the best part of the cookbook! 😉

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4 Responses to Almost Spring!

  1. Toni Serofin says:

    I want to consult on your book project!

  2. bobi says:

    love the idea of combining the cookbook and the pottery, you are a genius!

    • potbelly@lablanchepoterie.com says:

      Ha ha!! I don’t know if I’m a genius or not, but I’ll take the compliment. Thanks Bobi. Because I make functional pottery, love to take photos and love to cook (once when breaking up with an old boyfriend he said to me, “You can’t break up with me! Who will cook for me?!”) it seems like a natural progression to next try my hand at a cookbook. Pure eye candy!

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