offcntr: (be right back)
2016 was a busy year for Off Center Ceramics.

In addition to the usual--three galleries, Saturday Market and Holiday Market--we had eight other shows, my second most ever (2015 I did nine. What was I thinking?).

Ceramic Showcase in Portland in May, Umpqua Valley Arts Festival in Roseburg in June, Salem Art Fair in July. August brought both Anacortes and Silverton Arts Festivals, Corvallis Fall Festival in September. Clay Fest, in October, was in Eugene, but still a whole load of extra work. In addition to setting up, selling pots and demonstrating, I was responsible for all the graphics--bookmark, postcard, poster, ads, map handout--and took on the extra job of Registrar to try and sort out the mess left by the previous occupant. Clayfolk in Medford the weekend before Thanksgiving closed out my road season. The only show we didn't decide to do--Edmonds in June--accepted us off the waiting list too late, I'd already planned a trip back to Minnesota for my sister-in-law's ordination.

In addition to shows, I got a lot of orders last year. Special orders taken at, or following shows. Contacts through the internet, people who'd found my website somehow. Fresh orders from long-time customers, even a few corporate orders from a realtor and a money manager buying presents for clients. I won't know for sure until I do my taxes next month, but this may well have been my best year ever.

2017's going to be a little different.

When we weren't working shows, we spent a lot of last year in Wisconsin. Denise and I both flew back in February and October; she also made a solo trip in July. Her dad had died in the fall of 2015, and we spent a bunch of time helping her mother, making the house safe and clearing 50 years accumulation of way-too-much out of the basement. We thought we'd be able to relax a little this year, when Mary decided in October that she was in no hurry to leave after all. With the RV sold, the storage unit and half the basement cleared, she was ready to stay in her home until they carried her out. Which they did, on Christmas morning.

Denise is an only child; she's also one of two successor trustees in the family trust. There's a thorny snarl of legal and banking paperwork to untangle, more still to clear from the house, and a lot of legal jiggery-pokery that just can't be done from 2000 miles away. I've got some family commitments in Wisconsin as well, and at least one cross-country road trip I'll need to do, bringing home the car she's inherited from her mom.

So we're probably going to be taking turns being gone this summer (someone's gotta stay home with the kitties) for much more than pottery shows. And that means I've got to clear the decks a little.

As of now, we're planning on dropping three shows this summer. I have conflicts with Roseburg in Wisconsin, we'll need July off from Salem just because, and Corvallis, though a lovely show, is just too close to Clay Fest for my time and energy levels to handle this year.

I'll still be doing the three pottery-only shows: Showcase, Clay Fest and Clayfolk. I'll be at Saturday Market as much as is possible, and doing my usual Thanksgiving-to-Christmas run of Holiday Market. Other than that, I've applied to two shows so far, Edmonds and Anacortes. When applications are available, I'll put one in for Silverton.

I hate to do this. I have people who expect us, who come looking for us. I don't want to disappoint them. But there's only so much of us to go around. I'm hoping things will be settled enough by 2018 that we can go back on the road again.

In the meantime, if you don't see us at your favorite show, don't be distressed. We still care about you; we'll be back as soon as we can. In the meantime, drop us an email, poke around the website, look for pretty new works-in-progress here at the blog, ask us to ship something special your way.

And don't forget us.


Oct. 6th, 2015 09:11 am
offcntr: (spacebear)
Too busy to write much, packing special orders to ship and getting ready for Clay Fest, so I'll just leave some pictures of new work from my last firing: Carolina wrens, arctic foxes, familiar wild horses and a slightly different approach to french butter dish decoration. Enjoy!


Sep. 18th, 2015 10:46 am
offcntr: (be right back)
Posting is going to be a little sparse for a bit. Denise is back in Wisconsin for a family emergency, and between dealing with the emotional fallout, picking up day-to-day chores (astonishingly, cats don't take care of themselves. Nor do houseplantsā€¦), and getting ready for a firing, a fair, and and the deadlines involved in getting Clay Fest ads and map handout done, I won't be having much fun on the internets for a bit. Hoping things will settle down enough that I can live-blog the Corvallis Fall Festival, coming up next weekend.

Meanwhile, keep Denise's Dad in your thoughts and prayer. Also, before I go, here's a partial set of dishes going into the next firing, bound to be a wedding present in Ireland.

How cool is that? I can hardly bear it.
offcntr: (rocket)
Just been glazing frenetically all week. Pictures to follow, once I get them uploaded. Which might not be until Tuesday, at this rate.
offcntr: (radiobear)
I always get a little crazy when glazing. I'm in a shared studio, and there never seems to be enough time or space, so I'm on a crash schedule, eight or nine hour days. All on my feet, pot held in one hand, brush in the other. Makes for a sore, tired bear, not inclined to reflect on, much less type in a blog post.

Throw in my final radio show, live music, a rather nice going-away party at the station (cake!), and suddenly it's nearly the end of the month. So I didn't think to take any pictures of new patterns as I painted them (a new version of the Cardinal. Also baby Opossums.) I'll have to remember to shoot 'em as they come out of the kiln.

Meanwhile, here's a pic from the final Saturday Cafeā€¦

photo-bombing radio

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