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
Good Morning To The Friends I Cannot See,
Yes, it is really me. I have put off writing a new blog all summer–for lots of reasons, busy with grandchildren, busy with grandchildren, busy with grandchildren—oh wait, I have already said that (3 times it seems) The other reason is/was I said to myself “self, what do you have to say that is fresh & new & you have not said before?” Actually nothing but for some reason today that doesn’t matter. I will keep saying the same thing over & over but perhaps with a new twist. I did get some studio time in this summer, did workshops, fired pots, had glazes run on the shelf ( I hate it when that happens & it seemed to happen with each firing this summer) & got lots of exercise carrying pots from one place to another. I hosted 22 school children in May. They made pinch pots & played tag in the back yard, ate their lunch everywhere, cleaned up after themselves, boarded their bus & left. I just looked on in awe. I hosted a grandparent/grandchildren workshop in August. That was a hoot. After being introduced to the clay via a pinch pot, each person (10 in all) took their turn at the wheel. Wheel throwing is not easy. It looks easy but the clay seems to fly in all directions until the art of centering is learned. That was the favorite thing of the workshop they said even though they got dirty, laughed at each other & made memories that will last a lifetime. One thing I did not do this summer is clean the studio. The dust bunnies have definitely made their home apparent so that task in on the calendar for next week.
Festival events are coming up for this month: I will be showing at The Bungalow Boutique this Sat & Sun Sept 13th & 14th in Louisburg, Ks–just south of KC. Then I was invited to show at the Louisburg Cider Mill on Sept 27th & 28 for their apple fest. I have never attended this event. I thought parents took their kids to find a pumpkin. That does happen, however, I am being told that this is the largest vendor event in our area & tons of people come to start their Christmas shopping, always on the look out for hand crafted, unusual wares to give as that perfect gift. So I am going to be ready for those shoppers. Hope you will be one of them.
My kiln seems to be working right, I finally remembered to put a big cone in this week to make sure it was firing to temp. The cone bended as it was supposed to so I was happy about that. I even sprayed glazes last week, something I have not done for a long time. I love the look of spraying glazes. It allows for the feathering of multiple colors of glazes which make a totally different look on the work.
O K–enough for now. Please mark your calendars for the upcoming festivals & see my new work. Daughter Jill suggested that I make some star picture frames for the holidays so I have 12. At least 3 will break in the loading so you do the math of how many will be available. They will hang on the tree & you can tape a picture of your children, husband, you or your pet in the middle so that image will smile from the tree this year. Then when Christmas is over, you can hang it on a dresser pull, cabinet pull or where ever you want to keep the smiles always on hand.
Till we visit again
Good Morning to the friends I cannot see,
Winter may just be fading out. I sure hope so. I must admit that I did not brave the ice & snow much this winter to get to the rock house. I looked at it from the window & dreamed of clay turning into something beautiful. However, last week I did get busy since shows are now ready for an entry form. It was like an old friend giving me a big hug when I sat down in the studio. That is the effect that the clay has on me. I also turned on the kiln for a bisque firing last week. About time since CW is waiting for his work to get finished. He has lots of patience & I thank him for that. So now I am pumped about what the clay will do for me this year. Workshops are being scheduled, art events are calling for me to enter, people are coming to buy that special gift, life is good. And the sunshine is working a miracle on my attitude. ATTITUDE—must have it. I am planning to spray glaze on Monday. It is supposed to be warm & I hope not too windy. So stay tuned for the results of the first glaze firing of 2014. I also am looking for new glazes for this season. I plan to make more myself instead of buying glazes already made. I have lots of chemicals so it is time to try new things. I am finding that getting older makes it easier to go out on a limb & try new things. So what if it doesn’t work. Just try again. So if any of you are needing an “attitude fix” come to the magical rock house, make a pot, or just sit on the porch swing. You will leave feeling much better. Until we visit again——————–
Hello to the friends I cannot see,
Thank you weather man–he is predicting a wonderful week full of sunshine & no storms in sight.
So with that knowledge, I just finished loading the kiln with the final glaze load before Christmas.
Against my better judgment, I did glaze a piece that has a big hunk of copper wire on the front & will fire to a cone 6. I know that wire will melt & run–question is–will it stop before it reaches the shelf. I sure hope so. It is not a pretty sight when glaze or other objects melt & run off the pot. In fact, the sight will haunt you forever & cause you to lose sleep. I keep thinking I should pull the pot out before turning on the kiln. Then I say “go for it–it’s only mud”. I have till morning to see which voice wins.
CW came today for a clay fix. He had two masterpieces in mind when he came this summer. Only time for one then so he came today to create the other vision. In fact, he made 2 kick (you know) pieces that are really good. I can’t wait for them to get finished.
Christmas is almost here. All of my children & families will gather as we do every year. Second Christmas without Harry. It has been a long journey without him. So I take this time to wish all of you that have played such an important part in our lives a VERRY BLESSED HOLIDAY.
I plan to offer workshops again this year–difference will be some trips with the kids—so as the airlines say “blackout days will be in play this year”. Call if you want to spend some time in the magical rock house playing in the mud this year.
Till we visit again————
Good Morning To The Friends I cannot See,
CLAY, CLAY, CLAY—most people go on a trip & buy postcards. I go on a trip & buy clay & glazes. Just returned from my annual trek to Melbourne Florida & Biloxi Miss. As like last year my children shared in the journey. Lots of bonding. A month of walking the beach, feeling the lapping water on my feet, reading several books, & yes, taking the clay to the beach. I had lots of curious lookers but I sensed that they knew that I needed to be in my own mental space & did not engage in meaningless chatter. Later heard the locals say “I saw you making pots”. A George Orr I am not but was fortunate to place my work in 2 galleries–Bay St Louis & Biloxi. So, if they sell out guess I will have an excuse to make another trip sooner than later next year.
I love the white stoneware clay that I found in Miss. It does not give me the iron brown dots found in Nixa’s clay but does do a great job on making the glazes pop in a different way. And I started experimenting with some underglazes before I left. With help from one of my clay friends, actually got a couple of really cool pieces. Normally underglazes are covered with a clear glaze. Perfect if you want that glossy look. Sometimes I am just in the mood for a matt finish. So I am going to work on underglazes more this winter.
I have a workshop & a glaze session waiting for me. Guess it is time to get back to work.
I will set up in the middle school for the homes tour event Dec 7th & 8th. For those of you that follow this blog, I am going to have bowls for $10, Christmas ornaments for $10 (made them on the beach) & other “orphans”. Hope to see you there. Just another way to support our local historical town.
Till we visit again—-
Good morning to the friends I cannot see,
What an awesome show that Nature put on for us this morning. I stood in awe at the window at 2am. Thunder, lightening, heavy rain, some wind (the tree limbs were dancing to the beat of the thunder) absolutely awesome. Hope most of you were able to enjoy the show also. However, I DO NOT fire the kiln when I know a storm is coming so the kiln has sat idle for several days now. I do have a glaze load ready & am going to at least load the kiln when I finish this. HR came yesterday to glaze her last piece before leaving for college in a couple of weeks. She said ” I can still come back next summer to make pots can’t I?” Absolutely I said.
Fair week came–always a very busy time for 4-H potters. I am proud to announce that all of my masterpiece makers won purples & 2 grand champions (in both age groups). A grandmother is bringing her 8 year old granddaughter tomorrow to play in the clay. I was able to try my new glazes that I found in Houston at the clay conference in March. In fact, it was nice to be able to show ND (who came to glaze this morning) what the glazes actually look like when fired. Ice Blue from Coyotte Clay is very nice. It breaks, meaning two or more variations of color show up on the pot with just one dip in the glaze. I am focused on making inventory for my trip to the art festival In Melbourne, Fla in the fall. OH, & I am showing at our local farmers market on Tues & Sat this year. Mz Phyliss is back here from Naples, Fla with the same invitation to me to come to Naples to showcase my work this fall. Oh my, talking about clay, pots, festivals, my hands are itching so I must get back to the studio. Till we visit again
ft. scott potter
Good Morning To The Friends I Cannot See,
Well, the weatherman says it is officially SUMMER. Finally they have said something I believe!
I got up early this morning & started the kiln for a bisque firing. It holds some masterpiece pots made by 2 boys in 4-H. These boys have spent time in the rock house for several years now & always win top ribbons at the fair. This year may be a tough one for the judges because every 4-H pot maker has said “I know this will win big time at the fair this year”. I totally agree. I am just blown away at the level of artistic ability I am seeing from the young people. So I say THANK YOU to the parents that have trusted their young people to be a part of my life. We will glaze next week so all of the work will be ready in plenty of time for the fair.
My new kiln is just great. I doubt that it is making a difference in the finished product but I am happy. I found some brown cone 6 clay last week in the studio so sat down with it yesterday & made a few handbuilt pieces. Not all glazes look good on the brown clay so I must remember that when it’s time to glaze. Blues are usually very pretty. Green looks horrid. I have several pots hidden in the closet that look like that. Horrid that is. The orphans that I placed on the front porch of the rock house have all gone to new homes. In fact, I visited someone last week & saw flowers planted in a pot of mine in their flower garden. Most of you remember that the orphans do have a crack in the bottom (perfect for water drainage) or missing a handle or in some way not one that I can sell in the gallery. So another THANK YOU for giving the not so perfect or pretty pots another lease on life. Until we glaze———-
Good Morning to the friends I cannot see,
Boy do I have a lot of news today. Where to start????? Of course we had a horrid hail storm which did a lot of damage to a lot of homes in ft. scott–I fared better than most–must replace 3 roofs, fix siding, screens, ect but no broken windows. And the shed that houses the kiln & lots of clay work drying was undamaged. That was a blessing. That was the bad news–the good news is MY NEW KILN IS ARRIVING IN 2 HOURS. More energy efficient, faster, bigger–all of those things will help me in firing the many masterpieces that are being created in the magical rock house. On Tues & Wed this week I played hostess to 160 kindergarden children. They learned how to make a pinch pot & texture their pot. What an exciting & fun time I had. The new kiln will quickly get a good workout firing those pinch pots. Three home schooled young people that had done a workshop last week agreed to be my helpers with this project. Let me tell you, It would have been much more difficult without them. So thank you to Gabe,Megan & Christin–you rock. I also worked with 3 young people last week getting their fair projects done. Each year my 4-H students win top honors at the fair. That makes me happy & proud. Last year one girl made an awesome mother whale & a baby whale. It won the highest honor given. What really blew my mind was that when I went to the clay conference in Houston last month, displayed in the K-12 exhibit was a blue whale similar to my students. Glazed in blue–same, same. That blew my mind & I thought “wow, artist minds thinking alike”. That’s it for today. My kiln is here. So until we visit again, STAY CENTERED. bobbi kemna