Monday, February 28, 2011

Another day, another meeting. I am working on these oil jars today, the first photo is of the fatter bottom ones that are taking a bit longer to set up hard enough to handle, the second photo is of the trimmed ones with the beginning of the stoppers that are being built into the spout so that each one fits the opening/spout exactly, and the third one is of the almost finished oil/vinegar jars that I worked on a few days ago. They will need a little fine tuning around the stopper handle and then they take a couple of weeks to dry very slowly as they are a closed form with the lids in place. The tiny post handle would dry too quickly if seperated (trust me, i've tried it) so I leave them assembled in the damp cupboard for a week and then take them out to air dry for another long time before I bisque fire them.

Once this is done, I am going to ride over to the Muni Office and pick up the large banner that they put up on the highway for us, then to help a friend for three hours (bagging, don't ask) and then to a Board Meeting where I get to introduce the Market Manager that we interviewed for two weeks ago. She goes on the clock to start work for us tomorrow and I think that she is really the best organizational fit we could have hoped for! Also, we both think that when she and I have meetings to chat about how the Market needs to be handled, we will take our dogs out on the AMAZING new walking trail that our Regional District just built for us!! How much better a meeting can you get than out in nature letting the conversation flow??

I went to the Taxes for the Artist Workshop in Victoria yesterday and hit some of the heaviest snow and rain with 3-4 inches of slush on the highway one the drive home. The combo of huge snow flakes, thick fog (from sublimation) and heavy large bore rain smacking into the car made for a 30km/hour pace up the Malahat. Add in a few stupid people who think they should be ahead of you who pass and then realize that they can't see the road (or the lines or reflective bumpies) and then drive at 30km/hour too, and it was a fun drive home. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was one of the few artists that actually honours the tax system and my depth of understanding is from reading and preparing the tax stuff by hand and for myself. It was nice to be reminded what a little hard work and organization can do for one's peace of mind.

Thought of the day.... CBC had a description of the Libian military tanks being abandoned and spray painted with peace signs, painted pink and covered with flowers..... this warmed my soul.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hilary's Quote of the Day

I wrote something on my wall, not like a pretend fakebook wall but actually on the wall of my studio after a very long day of trimming and throwing and unloading the kiln.

Not fame, not fear, not money.......only passion burns hot enough to fuel the artists' life.....okay and maybe hunger for food contributes a little!

By the way, to any of my family up north, it's snowing, should be about a foot deep over the next three or four hours!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Customer Work to Finish

(((a photo of my spring primulas)))

Back to work and I threw a set of plates and a large casserole to get a little closer to the end of the orders that I have had sitting on the weekly organizer hanging over my wedging table. I loaded the kiln last night after glazing 65 pots yesterday and going to another meeting for the Farmers' Market hiring committee. I was the questioner of the 6 people that we interviewed and I was amazed by the quality of the people that applied, such wealth of experience and great personal strength, it made the decision to pick someone much harder.

The Market Manager that we decide on will interact with me at each market throughout the 35 weeks that they work for us and they really set the tone of the market for both vendors and customers. I had the privilege of calling the person that we did choose and couldn't bear the thought of calling each person that we interviewed and did not hire to let them know! (another board volounteer offered to call them and i was grateful to her).

This load in the kiln contained a lot of the work that I had been finishing from all the pottery people requested during the christmas season and from my Solo Show in November. I made a 8 mugs that are straight sided for someone who wanted 2 to fit under the spigots under her espresso machine, they were an experiment and they turned out really well but I have not had them in my hand yet so I don't know if they will contain the exact amount of coffee that this customer was looking for. I will take a photo of each of the pots that I made from orders and email them to each person to view before making an appointment to pick them up.

I am planning to attend a workshop about Taxe$ in relation to the Artist, it's in Victoria next sunday and I would be happy to take anyone along that would benefit from the course. The cost is $25 per person and I plan on driving the car down there so my offering a ride doesn't mean that you could ride on my bike trailer or sit on the handlebars!!

I was ranting on a recent blog about my blue that I was struggling with and now I have a few loads through the kiln with work dipped in this glaze and I am REALLY happy about it. The glaze was very nice last time and then yesterday it was a bit too thick so I added around a litre of water to the glaze and it went on a bit better. When you dip a pot at a normal speed and it comes out and dries into tiny cracks right away, it is too thick but a little water goes a long way and the one litre was plenty to correct a 20 kilogram batch!

I need another ball of wool for my latest knitting project, it is in a green blend and a blue blend but both of the other colours have a little purple splashes of colour and I am going to put a purple stripe down from under the arm that widens out as it gets further down. Maybe I'll put a photo of some of my knitting projects once they are done, usually I am wearing them though so we'll see if I really want a picture of my face on the blog. (hahaha)

We are having a lot of meetings about the Market in these first few months of the year and I am happy to say that a lot of the major projects I had wanted to get done first have been worked very hard on and were done well in time to be helpful to the Vendors. We have another Board meeting and then the General Meeting which I will chair and then I have to train the new Manager and meet with her several times and we will spend a sunny afternoon measuring and marking all the stalls for the season.

I am back at the Duncan Farmers' Market on March 19th as that is the first day we are back outside. I will have a lot of new work and have finally got the bike working well, I will take it out for a few long rides in the next weeks to make sure it is shifting perfectly as there is really no nice way to get home up the HILLS with a 225 pound trailer full of pots and tents etc on foot!!! Don't even go there, the bike will be shifting well on that day. When I took it to my bike mechanic today with support crew dave, Dale was just saying that he was waiting for me to come back in as the cables and housing he had put on was very new and will seat over the first few rides and start acting up....then there I was, back there with the bike in his repair stand. I took the old girl out for a spin and rally worked her hard to see if the shifting was jumping around like before and it seemed to work well on the flats there.

I also found a new blog for anyone who likes to peruse them, there is a woman in the Victoria area who makes lovely pots with very clean and simple elegant stencils and coloured slips. She operates as Dirty Girl Pottery and if you google "blogs" and then her pottery name she will turn up. That's all for now, back to work, as every good potter knows,,,,, after a long friday night of wiping the bottoms of the pots and loading the kiln with a thick sweater on, nothing goes as well with that as a saturday night of trimming!!

Thanks for reading, talk soon. hh

Saturday, February 12, 2011

back from a little time off ~~~LESSON INFO~~

Well, here I am back at home after a vacation where I worked hard to support Dave's training schedule and read an entire book. The days started off with checking online to see if our friend was going to ride with Dave and eating one of three optional breafasts (the highlight of which was being referred to as a hippie granola cruncher type for asking the meat required with the plate to be seperate so hungry dave could eat it) and then sitting by the pool for half an hour until it was time to start out. I would pack up the lunch and stuff for the car trip and make sure we had what we might need for clothes and swimsuits for the desire to just stop the car and dive into whatever body of water is closest.

The bike ride was usually around 4 plus hours and then clean up and decide what to do afterward which meant foraging for food and then the sun was down at 6pm and real dark was around 6:45. A few evenings we spent wandering around Lahania and Paia looking in stores and watching the carvers make their wares. We brought home a little stuff but mostly toasty colour in our skin which may fade in one day of the hard cold rain that we are back to.

Good news also on the bicycle side of things!!! I have been having a lot of trouble with the shifting of my (relatively) new bike and was almost resigned to putting up with it and then our bike mechanic Dale, suggested that I take it in and leave it there while we were away (so that he could have a bit more time to figure out the problem as I stand around like a vulture when it is in his bike stand) and he figured it out!!! It turns out that the gear rings had been bent under the strain of my legs pulling the trailer up the hills with that 225lb load!!!!!! hahahahahaha I twisted a bike cassette with my legs! hahahahahahahaahaha So he put a new stronger cassette and a new chain, cables and housing on it and it's ready to pick up today.

Now to unpack, do laundry, organize things, get the bike, decide which pots to make and get back to work.


While I was away I had a few calls about lessons and wanted to let people know that I do take students on for lessons. The studio is very small (also it is vary hard to tell people how to throw so I like to sit and work with them hands on) I only take on one person for a one hour lesson at a time. The cost is $25 which includes the use of my clay and tools ect. I don't have storage space for student clay but I also feel that it gets old and hard really quickly being opened and then only used once a week for months. This way the student gets the freshest clay and all the lumps of clay that they work with that don't turn out can be wedged back into the regular stream of studio clay. I usually ask students to sign up for four lessons to get a really good feel for the clay and that gives a little time for them to become successful.