Monday, December 31, 2007

Good News...and Bad

I got some more dishes made today, a few bowls and five pitchers. I also got the plates from last week slipped and flipped to dry. So that 's the good news...some work completed.
Now the bad news....the Direct TV guy just left from hooking up our new satellite tv receiver.
We have 200+ channels which is definitely against my religion. Ha. I'll never get anything done and will probably turn into a mindless zombie. Oh, well.

Off for dinner with some friends soon (I'll have to leave my precious new channels). Have a safe New Years Eve!

2007 Almost Over

Hey folks. It's been a pretty good year. Hard to believe 2008 is here. I logged 285 posts this year, that's up from last year. What a geek. Ha. It's been really great connecting with so many people via this blog. I look forward to seeing what we all do in the next year. Andrew has a new home and potter's shed, Gay a new home and studio, Matt is getting engaged and following in his great grandfather's footsteps, and Doug, well Doug is having a show in London in the Spring and becoming more famous by the day. Brandon's new kiln is doing well, and all my clayworks pals are making great pots. Tom is raising chickens, making pots, and working on a community garden. Jen will probably have her soda kiln going soon. Amy is expecting and having fun working on a brand new body of work. There are plenty more of you out there to add to that list, all the best in 2008. Lets all keep having fun and doing what we love...making pots. And as Simon would say "Keep practicing."

Thanks for checking in to my blog, I will try to keep it fresh and interesting and updated. Please feel free to comment or better yet drop by for a visit.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back at it.

In for lunch . I made it out to the shop this morning and got some dishes thrown. I spend most of my time getting my clay through the pugmill a couple times to soften it up . That's what I get for neglecting it for so long. I will make a couple boards of bowls this afternoon.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Warm and Toasty

I went out yesterday into the Madness and did quite well. It's good to be at home this morning with the woodstove going and thousands of raindrops pounding on our tin roof. We have had no rain all summer. Literally. So this is very welcome, even if it does mean a messy and soggy front yard and dirty dog paw prints on the floors.

We visited with Sarah's niece and her boyfriend last night at Sarah's parent's house. It has begun, the influx of the Nantz clan. It will continue for a week or ten days with us going over and back for visits and meals and good times.

It's almost time for brunch. French toast and bacon, coffee, and juice. Sunday mornings are my favorite of the week.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday Morning

Hey folks. Hope everyone is doing well out there in computer land. I am feeling quite well this morning (going on noon). It being Saturday and I have no obligations today I feel content and open. Right now in the distance I hear a freight train rolling through town, sounding it's whistle at a crossing somewhere. Sarah is home and out playing with Karma in the yard. I am having a nice cup of black tea, Baker Street Afternoon Blend. Fitting since I am still reading Sherlock's adventures. I got a shipment of various teas recently and had ordered some loose black teas. I usually get my black from the grocery in teabags. I have to say this is much, much better. I have it with a little local honey. No milk. I am not sure of the proper English way to have black tea, maybe Andrew or Doug could let me know.

Here's a journal page from a few days ago. I am still having fun with the Wreck This Journal journal. I found out my friend Elaine is working through hers also. It will be fun to get together sometime and share our experiences.

Good luck with any last minute shopping this weekend. I'll be out sometime in the crowds, practicing compassion and patience.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another Post From Thursday

I am trying my best to fight off this cold. I've been dosing up on vitamin C, zinc, ban lan gen, and I made myself a gigantic bowl of homemade chicken soup for lunch. Other than hanging out reading and drawing I have done very little today. Well, and surfing the web.

I think I came across a little Scrooge-like in that early post about receiving gifts. I've actually already given some gifts and what they say is true, "it's better to give than to receive."

Every year I leave my postal carrier a piece of pottery in the mail box. I need to pick out something to put in there tomorrow or Saturday. He is a great guy, his name is Larry and like most carriers he drives this old beat up car. He wears one of those hats kinda like John Leach wears. He pulled up in the drive today and layed down on the horn. Twice. That's his way of saying "Get out here and get this package!!!" I was napping but jumped up and ran out. Larry handed over a beat up box with a royal mail stamp on it. Thanks Doug!

So I am feeling a little more Christmas-y and looking forward to seeing all of Sarah's family and having some time with my folks and my sister's family. I'll be 100 % in a day for sure. Okay so that's it for today probably, two posts in one day, what a geek.

What Day Is It Anyhow?

I keep asking Sarah, "When is Christmas?" As in what day? How soon? When? I haven't looked at a calender in weeks and I am at a loss for 'When'. So it's Tuesday right? Right. Well okay, that's fine I guess. I have to say I don't feel at all in the spirit. Maybe that will change as soon as someone gives me a gift. Ha, ha.

I have a bit of a head cold. I want to make some plates but have no desire to go out to the workshop. What I really want to do is go to Cheap Joes and get some art supplies and then go have a bowl of Pho. I could justify that.

I guess I'm feeling a bit rough around the edges. Rough is good. Okay, so that's it for now. I'm off to play ball with Karma for a little while, which is fun, she never fails to make me smile and laugh and run around and act goofy. Goofy is good.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rock Creek Pottery. On the Move

I went up to Rock Creek Pottery on Monday to help as Will and Douglass prepare to move to New Mexico. As I drove up the driveway I came upon Will on the tractor clearing the road. There had been a light snow the night before. It was really beautiful...the snow...not Will on the tractor.Here is a shot of the moving truck on Tuesday morning. There was a good crew up at the Creek to help with the move and it was fun to be part of that. We put a lot of pottery into this moving truck along with all the household furniture and stuff that has been in the barn. The contents of the pottery workshop was going to get loaded on Wednesday.
Here we see Shawn Ireland (in red) loading Will into a trunk. We all agreed this would be the best way to get him to New Mexico. This way he didn't have to deal with the hassle of finishing the packing and loading, and he could lay down and relax during the trip.
Actually this trunk got filled with Advancer silicon carbide kiln shelves, so in the end Will is going to have to ride up front.
Here is a shot of Roan mountain from the front porch of Will and Douglass's home. They have lived here for over 25 years. New Mexico will be more than a change of scenery for them.
Douglass and Will have inspired many potters in this area and folks have came from all over to visit them, buy pots, and enjoy their hospitality. North Carolina is losing two valuable assets this week, but I think that all of us who know them wish them all the best on their new adventure out west. They will certainly continue to produce wonderful pots and inspire and educate many people in the years to come.
These two kitties seemed to be quite comfortable and happy to spent a few hours under the warm stove Monday. They will be making the move too.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Off For a Couple Days

I am leaving in the morning for the mountains. So I'll be away from the computer for two days. I'll check back in late Tuesday or early Wednesday with a new post. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

The Circle of Eight crew came over Friday night for dinner. It was good to see them and have a visit. We have our sale dates set for next year (I'll post them soon). Also we are looking for some exhibition opportunities.

Two family get togethers over the weekend= way too much food consumed.

I will get some pots made when I get back from the mountains!

Later. Ron

Friday, December 14, 2007

This and That. Friday

Boy, I really got caught up in those Simon Leach clips yesterday. He's a very personable guy. Great videos, very educational.

Some of the Circle of Eight crew are coming over for dinner tonight. I am excited to have some company. I need more good socialization opportunities. I'll be cooking pasta puttanesca for the main course. We'll be discussing some exhibition opportunities for 2008 as well as getting some dates nailed down for our spring and fall shows.

My dad's family is getting together for their Christmas dinner tomorrow night and I have a couple side dishes to make for that. I may knock out one today, just to be ahead of the game.

I am getting antsy, having not made any pots in the past couple weeks. My red clay mixing is still on hold. So I may get in the workshop and make some plates and serving bowls next week. I am all stocked up on stoneware till spring.

I think I am going to try and do a demonstration type workshop here at the studio in '08. I did one a few years ago and it went well. If you think you may be interested let me know. I have no idea when I'll do it, probably late spring or early fall.

Well that's it for now. I am still playing around with some paper art, and working in the Wreck this Journal, and doing some drawings.

Catch ya later. Ron

Thursday, December 13, 2007


My friend Andrew turned me on to some YouTube videos by the potter Simon Leach (Bernard's grandson). There are about 100 videos. Here's a good one on handling a beer mug. Good stuff.


I have been going through the Simon Leach videos on YouTube. There are some good ones. Check them out.
Thanks Andrew for putting this info out on your blog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Making Room

I came home from the grocery Monday and found once again that I had hardly any cabinet space to store food. It's all full of pots!! Granted we could do with a few more cabinets but what really needs to happen is for me to stop buying pots. Easier said than done. Anyhow, yesterday after a frustrating dig though the cabinet looking for a jar of capers I decided it was time to pack up some pots that are not used so often. I ended up boxing up about 45 pots from various locations in the kitchen and upstairs. It helped a little and I did find the capers.

Once that was done I climbed up to the attic to store the box. The attic is a mess too and so I spent about an hour up there throwing things down to take to the landfill or recycling center. Old books, some hats, lots of empty boxes (I thought I could use them for shipping pots), a lamp, and many other things not worth mentioning got ditched. That done, I had room to store yet another box of pots in the attic. At some point I'll have to go through these pottery boxes and decide what what I'll keep or sale. For now, "out of sight, out of mind" and more room for groceries.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Trying New Things

Sarah and I finally had a weekend together that did not involve any kind of work, or pottery show or prior obligations. We went out to Charlotte on Saturday and had all kinds of fun. We had a great lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant near Sarah's acupuncturist's office. Of course, I had the Pho Ga, which was delicious. Anyhow we hit a couple book stores, an art supply store, and went by Bluegill Pottery to see my pal Vicki Gill. We did some other stuff too and I made a journal entry on it later. So I am tinkering around with my journaling. From the above drawing to this entry below which just came about from preparing the page with watercolor and lines and then just filling in. It's something different for me, not a blank white page. I am inspired to just play and see what happens but I find that The Judge inside my head is quite loud and wants to keep me down or worried or insecure. So putting this out there is an attempt to quiet him down and just let it go.
Of course after posting about Keri Smith last week I had to get this Journal. Talk about loosening you up. Anything goes in this book. It's really been fun so far. I've burned a page, poked holes in another and started a fruit sticker collection on another page. I'm just gonna let go and see how it feels. I think I often worry about ruining my daily journals or maybe I just stay stuck in a rut of recording events and ideas and feelings. When I got this journal I decided to leave all that at the curb and just take it for a fast test drive, anything goes. If I crash it, so be it. Hey, it's called Wreck this journal so that works right?!
Here's the start of a spread where I covered my hands in ash from the wood stove and made a mark. I'll probably come back and do something else to it later.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Catch Up

No posts in a few days so I'll do a bit of catching up here. I have been doing stuff, no pots as of yet but I am trying some collage. Here is my first one which I am self conscience of since I feel like I have no idea much about composition and like I've said before color scares me. But who cares right!? Here it is. I stacked a couple truck loads of wood yesterday for the woodheater. Looks nice, eh. Still, I don't want a wood kiln.
A cereal and banana drawing from my square journal.
I hit the library on Monday and checked out The Complete Sherlock Holmes again. I had read all of the Adventures and most of the Memoirs last time. I finished them up and now I'm on to the Return of Sherlock Holmes stories. I love this copy. It's over 1100 pages and hardback but I can pick it up in one hand and flop it back and forth like a phone directory. It's pages are stained and discolored from years of reading and spilled coffee.

I am also re-reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I love Anne's writing. She really just puts herself out there. I think it must be very liberating to do that, especially in print. I am thinking of her book Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year or any of her books on faith. I love that she is honest, selfish, caring, afraid, faithful, unsure, searching, compassionate, opinionated, loving, and full of humor. I guess I just see her as a writer who keeps it real and that speaks to me. Especially in this day when there's so much spin and cover up and junk on television and in print.
Well that's it for now. Have a great Friday! I am hoping to get some Christmas shopping done over the weekend....maybe.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cups & Soup

Here are the 40 remaining yunomis that I will deliver this week. The order was for 60 so it's nice to have them all finished. I tried to make them all different although there are a few that repeat. This was a fun exercise and I'd like to give myself permission to do it more with other simple forms like bowls and mugs. While I was making them I felt like I was reaching into my 'pottery brain' for all the yunomi information I've gotten over the years. I also tried to just let go and let the form take shape. Of course in doing that I was making minute decisions all along the way that I may or may not have been aware of. Last night for supper I made Pho Ga. Basically this is Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. I'd never made chicken stock before and had always thought it was too much trouble. Not anymore! I followed the recipes from Andrea Nguyen and Jaden. It came out great. I froze the remaining stock and will probably have this again next week.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thoughts on Journaling/ Keri Smith

The chart to the left was taken from Keri Smith's website. I usually check into to Keri's blog, The Wishjar, everyday. I often find inspiring words or activities or book recommendations there.

Today there is a link to an interview with Keri that was great to hear. She talks about one of her books, Wreck this Journal, as well as inspiration from John Cage, and her "extremely informative period chart".

Anyhow, I mention all this because I have been wanting to expand my journaling experience for quite some time now and I am beginning to make that happen.

I have been journaling since high school. It has been especially helpful to me during difficult periods in my life, mainly during college and later when I was dealing with depression, anxiety, self hate, and self destruction. (Hope that's not too personal, not to worry as I am doing much better these days). Anyhow what I want from my journals now is to make them more of a creative, expressive, artistic, and risk-taking adventure. I have started to draw more in my journals but I would like to really be writing much less and doing more experimentation. If you listen to Keri's interview you will hear that this is what she promotes folks to do in Wreck this Journal. You can see some examples here.

So we'll see where that goes. One thing I realize I need to do less (and Keri has mentioned this in a blog post of her own), is to spend less time on the computer. I would like to set two times a day when I actually check email, blog, or do whatever I need to and then let it go. Maybe one 30 minute session in the morning and one 15 minute session in the evening.

So with that said I am off to do other things. Keep checking in as I plan on posting some new things from my journal soon.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Update

Thanks to everyone who came out for my Sale weekends. It was successful again this year with many good pots leaving the showroom for new homes. I do still have plenty of work, so if you need gifts please call or come by. Today I went back to Clayworks and picked up my pots there. This year was a repeat of last year with me only selling a few things. My pots are so quiet and understated that they seem to get lost in the crowd. It bothers me for about an hour after I leave the reception and then I get over it.
I began bringing in my stoneware out of the racks this afternoon. I'll probably get it all in over the next 3 days. Some of it is still quite mushy. I have a few dinnerware orders that I am looking forward to getting started on. I will also be delivering my big yunomi order this week.
I talked to the studio manager today at Clayworks and hopefully I'll be able to mix my red clay there next week sometime.
So that's my little update. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Holiday Sale/ Winter Arts Tour

My Holiday Sale continues this weekend in conjunction with the Cleveland Country Winter Arts Tour.
Saturday Dec. 1st 10 am until 5pm
Sunday Dec. 2nd Noon until 4 pm

I still have a great selection of pottery including bowls, bakers, mugs, teapots, plates and much more. I hope you'll make it out to see me.

I'll be open until the end of Dec. by chance or appointment. Call 704 480 6046 or email
ronpots2 at yahoo dot com.