Before Yule I fired one last load for 2014 and took a few photos recently. I love this blue. It’s a recipe of Val Cushing’s that I call VCAA Blue. Cushing passed away in November of 2013 and Ceramics Monthly featured him in the magazine in April 2014. On page 68 of that issue there are recipes for many of Cushing’s glazes including the one in this photo. It’s the first recipe listed on the page and is called V.C.A.A. Copper. If you want blue just substitute cobalt carbonate for the copper carbonate. I ran out of cobalt carb though and had cobalt oxide on hand so use that at half the amount.
Last week was very busy. I had some rehearsals with Chris for Friday night’s performance, my truck broke down, and both JF and I are still sick with what is probably the one type of flu that wasn’t covered in our yearly flu shot. He’s coughing a lot and needs rest. The weekend was good for getting some rest.
I had a workshop on Saturday with two 11 year old girls from the ‘hood. It was great fun! I took them on a tour of the house, we made tea and then we went for a tour in the pottery gallery so they could pick colours for their projects. We then got down to making some pottery. If the moms agree I will post photos from the workshop in a future blog.
I spent some time in the pottery on Monday and Tuesday working with a lovely dark stoneware called Dark Cal 5 made by Tucker’s. Luckily the weather warmed a bit to allow me to work plus I put the clay up on the work table to warm so the cold, wet clay doesn’t make my hands ache after I work with it. I also limit my time with my hands on wet clay or in the water bucket. The pain I get in my hands after working with the clay is really not fun. It keeps me awake at night and that’s not productive at all.
I love how my shiny white, 50/50, and blue-semi gloss glazes look on Dark Cal 5. I’m excited to be making some large pieces right now. In Saturday’s workshop one of my students wanted to make a snake because she wasn’t really into functional pottery. She said she wanted to create a sculpture. Okay. No problem. Let me think (fast on my feet) for a minute. One requirement was that the snake be no longer than 18″ because that is the shelf size of the big kiln. I usually bisque fire in my 3 cu. ft. kiln but once in a while, when the diameter or length of a piece exceeds 12″ I need to fire it in the 7 cu. ft. kiln which then requires me to produce a HUGE load of green-ware to fill that space.
Here’s a short list of the things that are filling my days…and nights!
*Making a large load of big pots and small pots too, but large centerpiece pots too.
*Making music with Chris. Last night we got together for the first time after our Friday night performance. Our partnership works and we have similar tastes in music. We spent an hour choosing new material and then I taught him a couple of my original songs, one of which is on my CD, “Following Instinct.”
*Blogging – this blog was written in short spurts over the past 3 days. I’m finding it tough to find the time to write more often. I’m doing what I can though. 🙂
*Cleaning up my email inbox, printing out receipts that I need for tax purposes, printing out songs for choir (Thursday nights), and answering email from last year!
*Cooking – Roast chicken on Friday. Big pot of chicken soup on Monday. Today: Quick Rye Bread.
*Working out – walking when weather permits and yoga daily
*Errands and appointments- grocery shopping, banking, eye glass repairs, dentist.
*New job? I need cash flow so I decided to make it known that I darn socks. A neighbourhood friend tells me that people would pay me money to repair their socks. I hear that people just throw their socks out these days. What if they’re really good socks like expensive merino wool thermal socks? Or wool socks grandma made? You should mend those. Don’t know how? I do. Bring me your socks and I will extend their life. My friend Suzanne (see her blog “Womangue” posted on the side bar to the right…scroll up a bit) did the art work for the Darn It! poster. I just sent her the “copy” (words) for the poster today, so I don’t know when I’ll have the finished product, but I’ll post a copy of it here when I do.