Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pottery Studio Tour, Part 1

Another week is almost over. With each passing day on the calender I feel more pressure. More stress. The burdensome weight of my ToDo list bearing down on me. As much as I long for Spring- the sunshine, flowers and twittering birds- I know that tagging along with it will be a mile-long list of chores. Most of the chores on the list I love, like working in the flower beds, pruning the shrubs and planting the lettuce and peas. The problem is there are so many chores on the list! It takes the fun out of it when there's so much to do but so little daylight.

One thing weighing on my mind is the Open Studio Tour. Thank goodness it's been pushed a few more weeks into Spring. The previous tours have been in April. This year it's in May. That gives me a little more time to prepare. Or to procrastinate while I bite my nails.

The Tour is a weekend when about thirty artists open their studios to the public to show their work, do demonstrations, meet their buyers and sell their art. This will be the third year.

The first year was a great success. Fabulous weather and a good turn out of people.

Hearth and Home Studio

I had lots of inventory from my new gas kiln. I really enjoyed having the customers come to me, rather than having to haul my pots to a venue somewhere and sit for a weekend.

We have had a long cold winter. My studio is drafty and not a fun place to spend a cold day. Since I have thick sluggish blood, the idea of the cold clay in my hands and the freezing chair under my butt doesn't motivate or inspire me very well. Consequently I wasn't in the studio at all in January and only a few days in February.

This is the sum total of the work I managed to make in February.


These are the products of one fun afternoon throwing what I like to throw- challenging, curvy, closed forms. But they didn't help much in filling out the inventory needs.

This piece is sitting in my studio from last fall. I made it for myself. It is large and I imagine it baking in the oven filled with bubbly scalloped potatoes or lasagna. It's waiting to be fired. I'm procrastinating because...

...this is what happened to the last one I fired.

Potters have to develop a very thick skin.

So here's a mini studio tour. My work space in all it's winter glory. Neglected. Just another place I need to clean up before I can be productive.

My sink. I went outside to turn on the main water valve. It has to be off for the winter so the pipe's don't freeze. Guess what? Yep. I turned it on and had water gush out from the walls. GGRRR!! It happens every stinkin' year! Mr. Dirtywrench will be thrilled that he gets to open the wall again and repair the pipes. It's a good thing he eats well around here.

My trusty Shimpo wheel. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

I always have to start a session by using up any scrap clay sitting around and throw it into bowls so none gets dried out and wasted. I'm kinda OCD like that.

On my way out to the studio today I got side-tracked by the brief appearance of the sun. And the fact that it wasn't 23 degrees. So I grabbed my pruners and went to work on some blueberry bushes. I got about a third of them done. And the butterfly bush, and a bit of the apple trees. I had to make myself stop and get into the studio.

So this is all I managed to do in about forty-five minutes of wheel time.
If all goes well (i.e. no cracking, warping or blistering) these wall plates will be decorated with slips and glazes that evoke Mt. Hood and the forested foothills.

I plan to post pictures over the next few weeks of the other stages of my prep for the tour. Including glazing and firing.

So if you are interested, stay tuned.


  1. Hi, Pam!

    I love seeing your pottery. Makes me wish I could find a wheel somewhere and start throwing (and maybe take a lesson or two from you) :) Looking forward to seeing the glazing and firing!

    Great blog!

  2. Wow. Wow. Wow.
    I don't know if I'll ever have the time to get back to a class, so I'll have to live through you for now. Great studio, I envision the back of my barn looking like that......but I think it will be used to house baby pigs in the future.

  3. I don't know if you'll want to use it for a studio after the pigs have been there!

  4. That chair in the background behind your wheel IS VERY old!


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