offcntr: (snoozin')
Up at Ceramic Showcase, in our new old location--back in the Oregon Convention Center, but sharing a hall with the other guilds. We're in the opposite end of Hall A than we used to be, a smaller, more compact show, but it's a nice layout, and easier, I think, to get around in than last years long narrow venue.

I also like being back in the same building on the same date as the other craft guilds. More people come out for the combined event, and we spend free time cruising each other's shows, occasionally with intent to buy.

I don't have a work shift until 1 pm, so spend the morning in the booth, talking to customers, restocking pots and discussing pottery with the high school students who come in by the busload. Explain my decorating process to one pair, who take copious notes and wonder between them which of their shop glazes would make the best base for over-glazing. When another girl tells me she's only managed bowls on the wheel so far, I tell her how to make a canteen-style bottle by joining two bowls together, tipping it vertical and adding a coiled foot and neck. And make her promise to email me a picture if she makes one.

Baba Yaga Takes An Apprentice (I changed the title, after I glazed striped "witchy sox" in red and white on the little girl. Figured she's trying to make a good first impression.) gets a lot of favorable comments, both from customers and other potters, many of whom said they voted for me in the awards poll. So I guess I shouldn't be too surprised when the gallery host comes by mid-morning, says do I know that my piece is getting an award. They've moved it onto the front pedestals, and do I have anything else to put in the gallery? I don't have another sculpture, so give them a big oval platter.

Later, when I walk by the gallery, I see that Ginger Steele has a teapot on the spot, and Terry Axness has a beautiful big sculpture, featuring a crab, a pelican and a giant tortoise. I figure Ginger for the Bennett Welsh (surface decoration) award. Since Terry's piece is on the highest pedestal, I figure me for second place, which is still pretty nice; highest I ever did before was Honorable Mention, two votes below the third place winner.

Comes six o'clock, and Dawn announces that Ginger, indeed, has won the Bennett Welsh award. Then she announces second place to… Terry Axness!

Guys, I won Best of Show. Serious bragging rights, and a $250 prize. Also? While I was on sales shift this afternoon, I met the people who bought the sculpture.

Oh. My.
offcntr: (snoozin')

Stegosaur bank in peril!

...from someone publicizing Jurassic World at a local casino.

ETA: Don't worry, Steggie is safe. Arms were too short to reach his mouth...
offcntr: (be right back)
My first big road show of 2016 is less than two weeks away. The Oregon Potters Association Ceramic Showcase will be Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1 at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Portland. We'll be in space 122.

For more information, check out the postcard below, or visit the Ceramic Showcase website.
offcntr: (rainyday)
Holiday Market's annual Charity Pottery Auction with Percussive Interludes
(aka Pottery Smash) happened yesterday morning before opening. More than 20 vendors donated ware, lots of pottery, but also glass, mosaic, t-shirts, needle felt, canned albacore tuna, cameos and catnip mice. Turnout was a little smaller than previous years, but we still raised nearly $3000 for the Kareng Fund, our emergency relief fund for distressed crafters. We also broke a lot of bad pottery, shards of which were carted away to make mosaics at a birthing center. Here's some scenes from a smash.

As one of the three auctioneers, I was too busy to get any shots of the event itself, but Tara brought a proper camera, and promises me pictures; I'll post them when I receive them.

Good news!

Dec. 7th, 2015 08:47 pm
offcntr: (bella)
Hooray! Opened the kiln this morning, and everything looked great! Even atmosphere throughout, though I might have overdone the reduction a tiny bit, in my attempt not to oxidize. A smidge of oxidation along the left front corner, where we can't seem to make it go away, but otherwise, an excellent firing. I now have pots for the rest of Christmas!
offcntr: (rocket)
Had a customer and his little boy in my Saturday Market booth this weekend, admiring the animal banks. Dad picks up the pig and hands it to his son, saying Would you like me to buy you this? and son says Yes, please.

So Dad peels off the price sticker and hands it to me, and I record the sale and take his credit card and it says Casey Affleck. So while my brain says Pull the other one, it's got bells on it, I calmly ask, Can I see a picture ID? Sure, he says, and gives me his California driver's license, and sure enough, that's who he is. So I swipe the card and he signs the phone and I offer to wrap up the pig and we thank each other and after they leave, I think Holy Crap.

I'm two degrees of separation from Batman.


Aug. 1st, 2015 09:41 pm
offcntr: (spacebear)
Slightly Off Center is one year old today! Have some (virtual) cake!
offcntr: (radiobear)
We had an earthquake this morning.

We were at the Saturday Market, already set up, sitting in the booth because it was too early to go over to the Farmer's Market, when the ground suddenly wobbled. Not really shook, not even vibrated; it felt like a big truck had gone by, lasted about that long, and I actually looked up to see the traffic on Oak Street. (Pick-ups, cars and SUVs, nothing nearly big enough.) I turned to Denise and said, "Did you feel that?"

Turns out it was a tiny thing, 4.2 magnitude, with the epicenter across the river in Springfield, and about 6 miles down. Didn't even rattle the pots.

That doesn't mean I didn't stress all day about aftershocks.
offcntr: (vendor)
Just got an email from the Corvallis Fall Festival offering us a booth off the waiting list. I have literally gotten into every show I applied to this year, except for one back-up show that I couldn't have done because my first choice came through.

I quit my radio program so I could devote more time to traveling to art shows. I'd say the art shows have come through big time.

Late news

Jun. 12th, 2015 08:28 am
offcntr: (vendor)
Just got a phone call from the Silverton Fine Arts Festival offering me a booth off the waiting list. Fool me, I said yes.

My busy summer just got busier.
offcntr: (radiobear)
I first tried out for KLCC in 1987. The station was planning to add a new folk show to the line-up, and was also hoping to get another folk substitute on the roster. Three of us trained in and submitted demo tapes. Pete Lavelle got the new show, The Back Porch; Neil Bjorklund became the new sub, and eventually, host of Friends and Neighbors. I got my radio operator's license.

Instead of doing radio that fall, I joined the UO Cultural Forum, where I produced concerts by Garnet Rogers, Greg Brown, the Red Clay Ramblers, Doc Watson, and brought Rosalie Sorrels to the Willamette Valley Folk Festival.

In 1990, I got a call from Diane Sontag, then host of the Saturday Cafe. She needed a substitute for St. Patrick's Day weekend, and no one else was available. Was I still interested? I recorded a new demo tape that passed muster with the Music Director, and the next weekend--25 years ago this week--I was on the air, KLCC's newest volunteer. Seven months later, Diane moved to Japan to teach English, and I took over the Cafe. I've been here ever since.
It's been a wonderful 25 years. I've heard--and played--a vast amount of great music over the years, met many wonderful musicians. A daytime show on Saturday is the perfect opportunity for live guests, and I've had more than four hundred of them in my time on the radio. I've also enjoyed so much support from listeners, by phone, mail, email, or in person everywhere I've been in our listening area all these years.

But it's always been in conflict with my day job. Balancing my living--which I love--and radio--which I also love--has never been easy. I have art shows to attend many weekends, and Saturday Market when I'm home. And while radio has been a lot of fun, it's also been a lot of work: previewing music, updating the calendar, picking and playing and filing, researching and recording and archiving interviews, posting playlists to the website and the internet. And oh-so-many radiothons...

So last December at Holiday Market, I found myself thinking, "Twenty five years is a nice round number. I think it might be time to retire." I sat on that decision for a month or two, waiting for second thoughts, regrets, but all I felt was relief. Last month, I told my colleagues at KLCC, and today, I'm telling you.

March 28 will be my last day as regular host of the Saturday Cafe. To counter any tendency to get maudlin and weepy, Denise and I will celebrate the last weekend of March as we have for so many years now, with humorous songs for April Fools Eve (Eve, Eve, Eve…) After that, I'm off the weekly grind, though I'll probably stick around for the occasional substitute stint on the folk shows.

I didn't create the Saturday Cafe, though I did manage the place for a good long time. Though the name will retire with me, I expect whoever takes over the time slot to leave their mark on this radio station, just as I and Diane and Jamie May and Charlie Akers did.

I feel lucky to have been a fixture in so many homes all these years. It's been an honor and a privilege.
offcntr: (vendor)
Moments captured from a Pottery Smash--er, Charity Auction with Percussive Interludes. Alex, Jon and I are auctioneers; Claire volunteered to "Vanna"--hold up auction items for us. Market assistant manager Kim also got drafted to help select auction combinations.

Featured was a lot of pottery, baskets, canvas bags, some gorgeous woodwork. Also a couple of cases of albacore and chinook salmon, which we split up to offer such items as a tuna-casserole baking dish, complete with tuna.

Jon throws out the first pot--too fast to photograph. Here, he repeats for the camera, in slow motion.

Alex explains the rules, while I wait with my first auction item, a fistful of coffee mugs.

Claire demonstrates the fine art of Vannaing as Jon gets the bidding started.

sales table
The business end: Elise and Deborah take cash payment, while Market manager emeritus Bill runs the Square pad.

Market assistant manager and fashion goddess Kim shows how to smash pots stylishly.

Jon cruises the stock tables, putting together his next auction package.

Tiny treasures hide in the bottom of larger ones.

aftermathafter aftermath
In less than an hour, everything is gone. Some to the smash bin, far more to happy vendors, staff and friends of the Market. And we raised over $4200 for the Kareng Fund, Saturday Market's vendor emergency relief program.

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