Best of Days

Good Evening to the friends I cannot see,
It’s been my experience that most people don’t care to hear about other peoples daily happenings. Well, this has been a great day & I am going to share it with you—like it or not.  Normally I only blog about the clay world, students in my workshops & their great creations, glazes that worked or didn’t work & ran all over the shelf & off of the pot they were on, upcoming art festivals, ect  ect  ect. This is a little bit about that cause I finally played in the mud long enough to fill the kiln for a bisque load last week, glazed all day mon, loaded the kiln on Tues & hit the start button on Wed (yesterday). Got up early this morning simply because it is just too hard to wait to open the kiln to see what is there. Still 250 degrees at 8 this morning so I just barely opened the lid to peek. Looked good what I could see. So put on my walking shoes & headed for the trail to put in my daily 2 miles of quietness.
Back up to yesterday–friend SP & I made a trip to the city for various things–at the top of the list was our usual thrift store visits. OMG–I found this amazing old wooden swimming pool chaise lounge with wheels on one end to move it around.  I was so excited but the price was $129.99. Too much I said, but then I saw in big numbers  50% off. Oh that’s doable I thought. Then I read the sign that said Senior Day 25 per cent off on Wed. Well, let me tell you being old doesn’t have many advantages but it sure worked in my favor yesterday.  It is now taking its Royal place in my living room. And yes, I do have to get rid of a chair but who else will have a swimming pool chaise in their living room but me. I was/am so excited over this.  Then I found this amazing wood desk, quickly sent a pic to friend ME (did she want it–Yes she said) so it too was loaded in my car.
Back to this morning–after my walk I delivered the desk to ME–stopped in at daughters hair salon–sit down she said & I will put some color on your hair. I did–she did–then said “I think you need a trim” Hummm–I thought my hair was just right. Guess not——did the post office, paid the city water bill, It was time to go home & check the kiln. For the first time in a long time I was happy with the whole load. Usually at least one piece doesn’t make me happy. But today everything looked great (in my opinion) which doesn’t always count for much–my opinion I mean.  I did post a couple of pictures on facebook, have gotten many positive responses & that, of course, makes the day even better.  My sister gave me some meat cause she was cleaning her freezer out so I even had steak for dinner tonight. And I heard from a dear friend that I had not heard from for a few months.  And I managed to make another pot this afternoon. Wow—What a day—–
This is the day the Lord has made
Let us rejoice & be glad.
Now if the royals could just win their ball game the day would end perfectly.

Until we visit again
Stay Centered

bobbi kemna
potter

By bobbikemnapottery

“Dang it”

Good morning to the friends I cannot see,
Remember how I have told you that not all kiln openings are like Christmas?  Disclaimer–sometimes there are some jewels hiding in the ugliness. Ugliness first–upon opening the lid I said “Dang it”.  Even though I had thought ahead & set my largest piece of work on wire stilts–the glaze had moved so far it was on the stilts & on the shelf. And not even the glaze that I had put on the top knowing it sometimes moved, it was the old reliable blue glaze that everyone loves. (thus my thought that piece would sell quickly). It’s OK I said–other pieces were nice. Remove the top shelves & look—“Dang it” came out again. There was a great mug glazed in white & at the last minute (not able to leave just one glaze on anything) I brushed some blue  lines plus some green dots on the blue lines. The overall look was stunning—on the mug but not so much as it reached the shelf.  I didn’t get mad, or upset & vow to stop making pots, I did continue to unload the kiln & did find some really nice pieces. They will be available at our art walk this Friday downtown.  Did I learn a lesson from this–yes & it was Everything does not go as planned so learn to deal with it & continue down the path of life. The shelves were grinded off (thanks to Mark) & I just put new kiln wash on all of them. I have a load almost ready to bisque fire next week–but as I glaze that load I will try to remember what glazes not to use. Oh wait, I never write anything down (as my teacher Sammie taught me) so perhaps I won’t remember this load & it will happen again.
The upside of this story is that all of this work was mine. It’s much harder for the students to lose a piece (especially on me) & that doesn’t happen often. Stress cracks, yes, but when that happened to a young girl she said “That’s OK Mz Bobbi—it is what it is”  I will remember her smile & upbeat manner forever.
Until we meet again
Stay centered
bobbi kemna
potter wantabe

By bobbikemnapottery

Busy, busy, busy!

To my friends I cannot see,
It’s been awhile since we have visited. You know, winter, yuck, & all that stuff gets in the way of happy vibes. But the sun is shining, the birds are singing, & the kiln has gifted me with some awesome pots. I did just now take a few pictures & with the help of my kids showing how easy it is to post them to facebook, that is what I did. I don’t know how to post them to my blog yet. Still working on that but visit my facebook if you want some happiness in your life today. Yesterday was the 4th anniversary of Harry’s death. Sad day for me. But a friend came to the rescue & we attended a house concert at Tony & Rhonda’s last night. Again awesome music & great food. So today I turned my music to full volume, danced on the rock house porch, & unpacked pots & unloaded my kiln. Both loads gave me joy.  The studio is filling up with 4-H work done by the young people, pots made by me & as soon as we get a full kiln load dried, the cycle starts again of creating work from clay (mud), firing the kiln, glazing, & the opening. Just like we humans in our circle of life–conception, birth, life, death & life everlasting.
So until we meet again
STAY CENTERED

bobbi kemna
potter

By bobbikemnapottery

Workshop: A great gift!

Good Morning to the friends I cannot see,
Whew, it has been a whirlwind 2 months. My heart is so heavy with gratitude for all of you that like my pottery & buy my pottery. I fired & unloaded yesterday the last kiln load before Christmas. One workshop & 2 special orders plus a few of my last minute creations.  On the spur of the moment I decided to do a random act of kindness & placed some of my pots at Carmen’s hair shop. Those sold almost completely out–made way for me to make more & hopefully gave joy & smiles to those that found them.
Lets talk workshops-I hosted a father/daughter (which they picked up yesterday) & that was so much fun. I expected some trash talk like–I can make a better pot than you or you are so slow Dad or you are going to glaze it what color?. But I heard none of that–they worked together, often in silence, always with a smile on their face & the love between them was so obvious.  Each made completely different work. The Dad had done some clay in college so tried his hand on the wheel and actually threw a really good mug. A little heavy but it did not blow up in the kiln & the handle stayed on. Wahooo— OW the daughter also threw a bowl on the wheel. That took several tries & it definitely was a little heavy but again, it stayed in one piece. She chose several bright colors for that piece. Her favorite she said.
If any of you are at a loss for a Christmas gift please consider a gift certificate to do a workshop in the magical rock house. Lasting memories are made there,
I have to go over & put magnets on the pieces with a special name on it–they will be frig magnets.  I am hearing that children & adults like to see their name on the frig. These hold that special picture on the frig–maybe their first school paper, their school picture, the dogs picture, their first deer kill picture (I have a grandson that has several of these even though he is now 21) oh & I made 2 for grandmas grandchildren plus a picture frame for that new born grandson.
Anyway, enough chatter. I am looking forward to a new year & all the blessings that will come. I hope to see new faces in the rock house plus all of you that have been a part of my clay world & given me so much encouragement—Thank You.
I wish for all of you a very Blessed & Merry Christmas.
Until we visit again
STAY CENTERED

bobbi kemna

By bobbikemnapottery

New pictures on the way

Good Morning to the friends I cannot see,

This is an awesome fall day full of sunshine & very nice pots just out of the kiln. Actually I fired two loads this week, one in the gas kiln & one in the electric kiln. One stuck to the shelf (but not bad) & I know why it did that–the glaze was applied too thick. But it looks really nice with a bronze outside glaze & a soft butter yellow on the inside. A cup actually & it says “I am ready for some beverage”. So I am fully stocked with pots for the festivals that are booked for the next 3 months.  This is not a sales pitch but I must tell you that shopping has begun today as my faithful pot lovers stop in to get first choice to fulfill their holiday gift giving.  I invite you to do the same—soon.
The great weather has allowed me to spray glaze the pots outside. This technique does use more glaze but I like the end result. I think I have talked about this before. In fact, I bet I have talked about just about everything before, but it all bears repeating.  A few workshop bisque pieces are left to glaze. Then its back to working hard to fill another kiln load.  My friend SP is coming tomorrow to take pictures of the new pieces so look for them on my website bobbikemnapottery.com.
The Royals are playing so I gotta go cheer them on. Till we visit again—
Stay Centered

bobbi kemna
potter

By bobbikemnapottery

Initials to protect the innocent?

Sep 9 at 9:08 AM
By bobbikemnapottery

Busy as usual.

Good Morning To The Friends I Cannot See,
Where to start??? Well I can tell you that this rain filled period that we are going through is not friendly to my clay work drying. Uggggh—- and the rain & wind does not allow me to spray on the glazes on the table outside the studio door. So that means I either have to dip or pour the glazes or wait for a better day to spray glazes. Of course I prefer to spray so I can control the over spray of different colors which makes my work different than other potters. However, I have willed myself to have some self control over what I cannot control. FYI–that isn’t working very well.
So, lets talk about something else. 140 kindergarten students & 11 teachers came mid April for a field trip here & made pinch pots with lots of texture. That took 2 days & 4 busses but it was a wonderful time had by all. Probably me most of all. The kids made pots, watched me throw on the wheel (lots of ahhhs & big eyes on that one) brought sack lunches which they ate in my back yard, played tag, pulled & pushed the wagon & vowed to come back again. One mother shared her son’s comments with me when he got home from school “Mom, when I grow up I am going to be a potter like Mz Bobbi for my whole life”  That was pretty special I thought.  If he were older I would tell him “don’t quit your day job just yet. (smile)” I bisque fired the pots then returned them to school where the kids painted them.
The kiln has been working overtime the past few weeks to finish up the 4-H projects & my festival dates inventory. I went to Parsons on Sat for their Katy Days celebration. What a great group to work with. They set up big tents for the vendors to show under & provide tables & chairs. Those of you that follow my blog know that I like color. Sat, there was an older couple that visited my space several times with their eye on a large piece that had lots of color (purple, red, black, brown crawl & red gold glazes). Finally they said they wanted to buy it.  They were consolidating  their homes, getting married & building a new home for themselves. Most of what they now owed was dark colors & dull. They wanted color in their lives now.  My piece is to set on the new fireplace & they promised to send me a picture. You also know that after Harry died I tried my hand at painting. They look like my pots, lots of splats, splashed, & unorganized colors. The gentleman said “how much for the painting” I said “make me an offer” He did, I stuck out my hand & said “you got a deal”. So one of my paintings plus one of my colorful pots now has a new home in Denver, Colorado. Yipeeee–When others like what I do it makes doing it so much more worthwhile.
I better get back to work. Oh, and thanks to all of you that “liked” my pottery site on facebook. I was so surprised to get that response (over 500 likes). I guess most do not know that I write these blogs to keep you connected to my pottery life & was gently encouraged by a friend D D to tell people about that. So, feel free to forward this to anyone you want to. Have a great day & until we visit again
STAY CENTERED
bobbi kemna

By bobbikemnapottery

Workshops

blog


Jan 31 at 10:18 AM
By bobbikemnapottery

Good Ending 2014

Good Morning to the friends I cannot see,
We had our first snow last night–a  beautiful sight if you like snow–I got over it years ago. Liking it that is.    A few years ago when Harry had to help me up from making snow angels I decided to gracefully let go of that part of winter. I just finished my walking workout with a DVD with Leslie Sansone.  An amazing workout–I encourage all of you to try it. Start with the power mile, then the power 2 mile, then the power 4 mile (which I do now). Leslie says if you do this workout, it equals losing one meal a day. During this marathon eating month I hope she is right.
Let’s talk about clay. After all, isn’t that what this blog is about. Each day in my life is full of “the clay”. I finished up the last glaze firing (mine & the rest of the workshops work) a couple of weeks ago. Just in time for the annual holiday festival here in ft. scott. Last week as I looked around the rock house I said to myself “bobbi, you have tons of clay here, how about you use it up before restocking” Over 10 years ago I purchased an awesome clay from Minn Clay Co. It has a lot of iron which makes those brown spots that I dearly love when glazed & fired to cone 10. I expected it to be hard & need to be soaked to make it moist & usable. When I poked the plastic bag, to my disbelief, the clay was as moist as the day it was packaged.  I laughed outloud, said a big thank you, opened the bag & began to create . If I do say so myself, there are some great pieces coming out of that clay. I can hardly wait for the finished work. I was going to say masterpiece, but that might be a little over the top. Workshops for the new year are already being booked. Working in the rock house is magical & all of us need magic during the dreary months of winter.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you that read my nonsense. I especially want to thank those of you that like my style of pottery making. The rock house has been busy this week with customers coming to choose that unique gift for that someone special in their life. I even received a picture on my phone yesterday with the message “just wanted to share this with you. I bought this pot in 1994 & it remains one of my favorites” Ahhhh—that started my day off HAPPY. So to all of you THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR INVESTING IN ME—–
And please remember that JESUS is the reason for the season. I wish all of you a blessed Christmas & a happy new year.
Till we visit again
STAY CENTERED

bobbi kemna

By bobbikemnapottery

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Oct 27 at 10:06 AM
 Good morning to the friends I cannot see,
How about we visit about something other than clay today. Well maybe just a little bit about clay since I did finally fire the big draped bowl last week. It turned out awesome if I might say so myself. I had spotted an old glass lamp shade (the kind that fits on the top of a lamp & has an open top) so I put clay on it & turned upside down it  became a bowl. I made a base for it so it would be quite sturdy. I am entering it in the Spivia Gallery show for Nov. Of course the piece flows, dips, & has a lot of spirit & I used some slip trail to make dots all over it–inside & out–quite lovely. Did I take a picture, nope–should have done that. Dang it———–
I hosted our Midwest Clay Artists group yesterday. Who would have thought we could picnic outside the end of Oct. Great day. We cooked on the fire ring, watched the leaves fall from the trees, had a short meeting since that was the purpose of the gathering, & enjoyed just being together sharing our clay stories. Justin & Randy stayed & we took a trip through the pasture. I showed them my “secret place” saw tons of hedgeballs but the big find was pile of cow bones. Justin was so excited as he is an artist of wood sculptures & immediately saw what he could do with the bones. I cannot wait to see what he does. There will be hanging art, bones included into the wood pieces, bones put together in a new way to look like something other than a cow–the final pieces will be amazing. It was a good day.
I have been busy with pears, apples, more tomatoes, & other late fall fruits. Like the squirrels, I am hording up for a long winter. For sure I will not go hungry. People have been generous with their produce this year & I thank them for thinking of me. I cannot stand for anything to go to waste. I drive my kids crazy making soup from the bones scrapes but it sure is good soup.
I do need to get back to the rock house this week & get busy—hope to fill one more kiln load before the holidays. I was invited to put some work in the Bungalow Boutique in Louisburg, Ks (just south of Kc on 69 hwy). Their holiday open house is Nov 7th-8th & 9th. So mark your calendar for that. Kim has so many incredible styles of clothes, bags, jewelry, lots of bling, & vintage furniture items. So much nicer that shopping at the mall where everything looks the same.  So do yourself a favor & join us for her open house.
Guess I better get on with this day. Till we visit again  STAY CENTERED.
bobbi kemna
By bobbikemnapottery