Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I have spent the last two studio days working on throwing a second batch of mugs for the cafe that I am working for. The first batch was thrown at 454grams (a pound) of clay and I test fired two of them to see how much they would shrink in size and weight. I discovered with this test that I had indeed made them too small (out of an estimation based on the work I am trying to emulate) so I had a few choices. I could try to sell them the way they were, too small and not what I was trying to do, I could throw them again and try to make them bigger with the same weight of clay or I could use the experiment and start again.

So, I have started again. This batch of clay is weighed at 500 grams and I threw a dozen of them yesterday and then 20 more today. I am still working against the clock as the cafe wants them soon and race dave and I are going away next month to Utah (iron--man--st--george) and I would really like to have them done before we go away.

The shape is not a natural for me so there is a bit more concentration to get there (or close like pots and horseshoes go) and it is quite a step away from my regular work trying to throw the same pot over and over because my work is quite free from form to form.

It looks like the second batch of mugs will be a lot closer to the previous potter's mug that I am using as an example. There is a bit of shrinkage in the wet to dry stage and a lot more lost in the bisque fire then finally with the glaze fire causing the clay to melt into that glassy matrix that I am always chatting about.

Another thing that I am working through is a gig moonlighting as a bike shop girl. It is two four hour morning shifts and gets me some SWEET deals there. My second passion after pottery is definitely (welcome to the blog newbies, read on, hahahahaaa) cycling and bikes in general. The people who run this new bike shop are the most warm and happy couple that I have met in several years.

The issue is that I have gotten my pottery business to a very healthy, self-sustaining creature. Strangely, one that consumes all of the skin on my hands and requires me to bike, run and practice yoga to keep strong and balanced enough to handle the donkey work required. To take a one day a week job seems like letting the side down and that could turn things sour in the studio.
Again with the choices! I think that it is a moonlighting gig that has many benefits. I really enjoy being in the company of the store owners. I thirst to learn more about bicycles and their technology. I have felt like the time can seem to pour out of the house all over my ideas, like there is time everywhere and I find myself standing in a mental pause in the kitchen more than I am comfortable with. I have lessons on Mondays and Fridays, the Duncan Farmer's Market on Saturdays and for jun/jul/aug I am in Sidney Market on Thursdays which can leave me with some healthy parameters.

I think it is really important to have an awareness of the time you spend each day. I re-potted two flats of peppers and tomatoes yesterday before throwing and I am making plans to spend time each week in the garden as I have big plans for growing even more food this year (we ate the end of the rhubarb last week). I want the job to focus me a bit and be a possible a reason to get out to Black Coffee every week.

I will seek to see this opportunity as a chance to snug up the schedule that has been seeping into and out of each day like the summer nights used to when I was a child up north. The dusk was setting and the first star of the night was showing over the lake to the west from the yard and a few minutes later (time wasn't static back then either) the dawn was warming the night sky over the backyard with a peachy summer colour that I will never forget.

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