offcntr: (maggie)
You're eating off of too-small paper plates at the wedding reception, knowing that there's four full-size dinner plates in the package you gave the bride & groom. 
offcntr: (rainyday)
The digital readout of my kiln pyrometer reads 56°.

It's taking twice as long for things to get to leather-hard, not to say dry. Raining outside, humid as all get-out, and kinda chilly in the studio. I keep a couple of old sweat shirts in the studio, arms cut off short so the sleeves don't get sloppy, and they get heavy use. Also my $5 Goodwill hotpot, which preheats water for throwing and pulling handles.

And yesterday? I had to turn on the heater.
offcntr: (chinatown bear)
Just a few photos from last night, of Clever Girl in her natural setting: the Clay Fest gallery. She looks good on a pedestal...

put on a pedestalreading over her shoulder
Oh, and did I mention? She won Second Prize.
we're number two!

offcntr: (be right back)
3:30 pm on Friday afternoon. Clay Fest doesn't open until five, and a few potters are still sorting, pricing, stocking their booths. Far more are talking, wandering the show, grazing the remains of the lunch potluck, or filling out last-minute ballots for Best Booth or Best in Show.


I'm exhausted, of course, from finishing up my booth, hearing sales training for the umpty-umpth time, hanging previous year's posters at the information booth, dashing home to print up gift certificates for the garden club ladies who do flower arranging for us. This is the point where I normally fidget, walk the aisles checking in with friends and checking out pots. This year I'm sitting down and writing; hopefully, I'll have some energy back when we finally open the doors to the public.

Who persist in trying to get in early. But the flyer said Friday through Sunday. Yes, and it also said "5-8 pm." Can't we just go in for a minute to see the show? No, really, you can't. We're still concentrating on getting our work out of boxes and safely arranged or hung, without tripping over each other, much less spectators. It's amazing how many people asked to come in, assuming, I guess, that they were the only ones--about 20 so far. Not to mention the ones who just stroll through the open door (past the sign that says, in 5-inch letters, "Clay Fest opens at 5 pm Friday and closes at 8 pm") and make themselves at home.

I've gotten tired of being polite and appealing to their sense of fairness and appropriate behavior. I tell them that our insurance won't permit non-participants on-site outside of open hours.

Who knows? It might even be true.
offcntr: (live 2)
While talking with a woman who bought my octopus teapot Saturday, I was reminded of a work-in-progress that's been in progress for a number of years: a tile-topped table that's been waiting for a table, for a long time. It's four tiles, 16-1/2 inches across altogether, and decorated with marine life.

I call it Tide Table.

People...

Sep. 30th, 2017 03:44 pm
offcntr: (Default)
It was last month in Silverton when they came into the booth. Their twelve-year-old kingfisher platter had finally surrendered to age and use, cracked clean across, and they needed a new one.

I had only one round platter at all, at the time, a nice one with lions, male and female together, him licking her ear.

Husband liked it just fine; wife wanted a hummingbird, which I had in an oval platter, but not round. My next firing would be in six weeks  (hey, it's a 50 cubic-foot kiln), if they wanted to special order. She did, so I took her card, added her to the special orders list, and in due time called them to say their platter was ready.

They arranged for husband to come down to Eugene Friday to pick it up, then rescheduled to Saturday at Market. I'd brought the hummingbird, as well as the lion platter; she'd told him to pick whichever he liked better.

He took the lions, of course. I peeled off the price sticker, stuck it on the hummingbird platter and set it out in the booth, and wrapped up his purchase.

Which he could have had six weeks ago.

I don't understand people sometimes.
offcntr: (vendor)

Celebrating a better-than-predicted Saturday at the Market. Looks like its gonna be a nice day...
sunshine!
ETA: And then of course the rains came, on and off from from just after noon until nearly four. But saleswise,  we had a great day, and we loaded out in the sun and dry, so I'm happy,

offcntr: (maggie)
I've picked out the best-matched set of altar ware for Central Lutheran's order, reconstructed the estimate I promised them and lost in a computer crash, and now I just have to wait for the ladies of the altar guild to come by and tell me what they think.
the full setan exemplar of the chaliceary art 
offcntr: (rocket)
And the piece-de-resistance, the piece I was stressing most about: Clever Girl, ready to come out of the kiln.

And then there's this picture. Think I should send it to Denise's book arts group.

offcntr: (bella)
Some pictures Denise took as we unloaded the kiln Friday night. A generally very good firing, though we're still bothered by a streak of oxidation, this time along the left door jamb, and extending across the door at the level of the thermocouple. Fewer pots lost than last time, but, frustratingly, three of five colanders. I'm gonna be drilling holes again soon.



offcntr: (Default)
Clever Girl prepares to take a ride in the car kiln.

offcntr: (Default)
So I had a fellow stop by my booth last Saturday, asking what used potter's wheels were selling for these days? He'd picked one up somewhere, was thinking of posting it on CraigsList. I said with new wheels were going for over a thousand bucks, good used ones could easily get five hundred. An older wheel might still bring a couple hundred bucks.

I've got it right here in the car, he says. Want to take a look? It's a slow day, so I walk over to see this...

It's old, like really old. I suspect it's a first-generation Brent from the mustard-yellow formica top, but don't see any sign of a maker's mark. The speed control pedal is attached to the far side of the frame, and rigged through a series of springs to the motor (which may or may not work; he hasn't plugged it in yet). The splash pan is missing, and the bushing that keeps water and slip out of the axle has detached from the wheel table, so the top bearing is frozen.

I tell him he'll be lucky if he gets fifty bucks. He seems happy with that, so I wonder how much he paid for it?

Every bowl

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:44 am
offcntr: (live 2)
This is what 13 quarts of tomatoey goodness looks like--30 pounds of tomatoes, 3 pounds of mushrooms, four big bunches of green onions, plus basil, oregano, bay leaves, olive oil.

I think we filled every serving bowl in the house. 
offcntr: (vendor)
Just so you know, this is what I've been so busy making pots (and doing publicity) for:



If you're not familiar with Clay Fest, it's a pottery-only show/sale we've been putting on at the Lane County Fairgrounds for 19 years. In addition to individual potters' booths, there's a gallery, demonstration area and kids clay play space. Free admission, and centralized checkout--you can pick up pottery from any booth in the show (including gallery) and only have to take out your wallet once.
offcntr: (live 1)
More pictures from the most recent glazing sessions. Finished up with glazing today, but don't load the kiln until Tuesday, so I guess I get a day off...

Just kidding. Tomorrow I cook and can 30 lbs. of romas into tomato sauce.
offcntr: (rocket)
Continuing on the African wildlife theme, here's a pair of mugs for a couple we met in Silverton. If they look enormous, it's because they are. Intended to be 6 inches high and 4 across when finished.
africups
offcntr: (snoozin')
More special orders for my upcoming firing: a set of hippopottery for a hippopotamus collector. I've done things for her before for her own collection; I think some of these are going to a convention. Yes, there are conventions for hippopotamus collectors. Who knew?

offcntr: (maggie)
The chalice set I made for my sister-in-law's ordination isn't the first I've done; I've been making liturgical ware for years.

It started back in my Craft Center days, when fellow potter Kathy Lee was approached by her church about doing some specialized ware, chalices with a divided reservoir that could hold both wine and grape juice. The communicant would take the grape via intinction, dipping the communion bread into the preferred side. Kathy had done some altar ware in the past--her late husband Clarence was a Lutheran minister--but really didn't want the assignment, so introduced them to me.

I took a lot of interesting projects back in the day, before Off Center Ceramics started selling regularly: KLCC mugs, Saint Vincent de Paul bowls, a table-top fountain basins for Craft Warehouse. This project was more complicated than any of those. The intinction chalices, which were actually attached to a paten (bread plate) in the manner of chip'n'dip servers, were by far the worst, five different pieces--plate, stem, bowl, extra piece of bowl for the divider, and a sprigged disk in the form of a host, with a Jerusalem cross--that needed to be fitted together at the perfect stage of moisture, else they'd crack apart in drying.

I enjoyed the challenge, though, and definitely appreciated the pay: specialized altar ware sells well above the wholesale prices I made for most of the other projects. What I didn't realize was that I'd signed on for a lifetime commitment.

Things break, you see. Congregations grow, and the number of service pieces needed increases. New celebrants have new ideas for the design of a particular item. So I've been making chalices, patens, ciboria and cruets for Central Lutheran Church (and also, via their referral, Springfield Lutheran) for a good twenty years now.

The latest order is big, and complex. I need to make five large chalices, single-chamber, and three saucer-style patens, to match an existing set. Also a large wine cruet with stopper.

I also need to make six smaller, intinction-style chalices--fortunately without the attached paten--and three bowl-style patens, in the same glaze, but on a darker clay body, to match a different original set.

Fortunately, I've got a long timeline; they want them for Christmas. Knowing how busy the holiday season is for me, though, I've made and glazed the entire set to fit into my September firing. That way, if anything goes wrong, I'll have at least two more firings to make the sets good.
offcntr: (maggie)
 A few commemorative photos from the first firing of the new kiln.

fully loadeda beacon in darknesscplt
The first one is the full stack, before firing. Second, the computer display, diligently firing through the night--currently just passing 1130° F. The last is the following morning, with the display flashing between temperature, time fired (11.49 hours) and CPLT. Complete!

Studio still very warm, despite the half-doors open and the fan running. The EnviroVent seems to have completely removed kiln fumes, though. No smell of sulfur at all.

Aftermath

Sep. 7th, 2017 09:53 pm
offcntr: (Default)
 I have so many tools to put away.

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