Knitting · pottery

Picking It Up Again


 

That’s right,  the Insomniac Potter is back. It’s been a busy month, both craftwise and familywise.  My gray sweater is growing, but slowly, as expected.  I’ve started and and abandoned several pairs of socks and a scarf or two, but I think I’ve found THE sock pattern – at least for now. Have a look-

img_2299

This is the book-

img_2300

img_2526

My Gray Day Gansey

Like I said, this sweater is slow going, but is totally worth it, I really love cables. It’s definitely not portable or what I call cruise control knitting, though. It requires my full attention sort of like a toddler — take your eyes off it for one second and you’re in the weeds, at least I am! 😋

Then there’s the pottery. Here’s one of my newest pots –

FA22410C-0775-406C-9847-5328E050BCF6

This one’s a do over. The original glazing turned out to be so ugly, I immediately reglazed it.  I’m much much happier this time around!  It’ll be going up on ClayDreamsPottery on Etsy in the next few days.  If it floats your boat, let me know!

I have several pieces that are in that limbo between just thrown and dry enough to  trim and bisque. I learned the hard way not to fire anything I’m not totally sure is bone dry.  Nothing more discouraging than opening a kiln full of busted pots, but I’m also waiting for a couple of new glazes to come in before getting started on finishing them.

I always pass on good advice.  It is the only thing to do with it.  It is never of any use to oneself.  Oscar Wilde

B

pottery

Fired Up


FIRED

I had a great kiln firing this weekend – for a change.  I usually have a couple of successful pots out of each firing, but all of them turning out well feels like, well, a miracle.  One of the things I love about working with clay is that I’m constantly stretching myself creatively, either by learning new techniques or experimenting with different glazes and clays. I plan to list these new pots in my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery, but wanted to flash a sneak peek beforehand.

0192AECA-7F08-4B9F-B278-F5EC2CB252F7

That dark stripe there on the front isn’t really there, it’s a reflection.  The glaze, Amaco seaweed, just comes out super smooth and shiny – perfect except for the occasional pesky persistent reflection.

8D495BC0-2708-4516-AF2E-9DC583230BA3

4A3E9CC7-8B14-420E-BC22-061FF6CD2383

Working on my lid making skills

435F1E00-7ABB-4BAC-AFA4-0BD1713F6C57

50C77B16-C4DA-425B-8015-EE6D95FA4628

Not sister pots but maybe cousins

We must not say every mistake is a foolish one.  Cicero

B

 

 

 

pottery

Go Big or Go Home


Anyone else ever have kiln envy?  Not me…..at least not until about 30 minutes ago or so.

So.  Here I am, at home, minding my own business (sort of) and remembering that another potter friend told me about her new kiln that she bought off Craigslist.  I go to Craigslist – just to scope out if there are any kilns listed, mind you and find this:

 


B10F1219-F65A-4464-82F0-572E909F2EC0

No, I’m not Memphis bound with a wad of cash, but someday I’ll want need a bigger, fancier, shinier kiln and you can just bet I’ll be looking at Craigslist more often from now on! 🙂

He who talks more is sooner exhausted. Lao Tzu

B

Knitting · pottery

The Insomniac Potter Rides Again


Good morning everyone! As you can see, my sleep pattern seems to have reverted into the good old 2 a.m. internal alarm setting.  (heavy sigh)  One good thing about starting my day in the wee hours is that it’s a great time to run the kiln, long before the sun comes up, and the heat and humidity start to build.

Here’s a look at a few things I’ve been working on:

170191CF-8BAF-42FA-9BB6-A23C3FF8CA14

The start of a series of small bottles, all different

Glazes L to R

Blue Rutile, Textured Turquoise and Blue Rutile, Blueberry Spice, Textured Turquoise, Ancient Jasper

A pot I started yesterday waiting to dry enough to trim.

A bean pot that has been washed and reglazed several times. (I’m not usually this indecisive.) Final glaze is Textured Turquoise. (Probably)🤔

ON MY NEEDLES

The first five inches of the Gray Days sweater. Six more inches of stockinette to go then on to the best part – CABLES!  I absolutely LOVE cables!

A548AEFE-5DAD-4ECA-8861-BCA48AAA26C9

My Gray Days

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes

Haze Heather

Project notes can be found here.

There is no great genius without some touch of madness. Seneca

B

PS I’ve added some new pots to my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery.  I’d love to have you pay a visit!

Knitting · pottery

Woo-Hoo! I Have a FO!


 

Off My Needles

It’s official!  My Leksak Lady is finished, with ends woven, a nice Eucalan soak and ending with a good blocking and drying.  My project notes can be found here.

img_2238

My Leksak Lady

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Tweed Barn Door Heather

I’m ready for fall and cooler temps, could someone please get in touch with Mother Nature and pass that on?

In the hope that yes, fall is coming, I started a new sweater yesterday, Gray Days, a Knitpicks pattern.  I wish I could show you a photo, but nothing larger than a postage stamp will load. You can get a better look at it on the cover of the latest Knitpicks catalog.

Out of the Kiln

I’ve been working on a small bottle series and got the first bunch bisqued yesterday. Now comes the hard part – what glazes should I use?  Decisions, decisions. Here’s a photo –

 The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. Eden Phillpotts

B

Knitting · pottery

Almost Back to Normal


After being laid low last week from my shingles vaccine booster – think worst hangover ever accompanied by a temp of 102, I finally feel like I’m on the downside of this ugliness.  Jeez louise, I hate to be sick!

I’ve made what I consider great progress on Leksak Lady, with only one and one half sleeves and the crochet edging to be done.  I admit, I’m particularly proud of my edging as I rarely crochet (though I really do enjoy doing it) and am usually pleasantly surprised at how good it looks.

D99C1B28-635A-4C0E-988F-C232D503B292

14977EAD-684C-4085-B5F1-2EBA5592D1B5.jpeg

Leksak Lady

I’m going to try my hardest to remember to add project notes when a project is completed.  I find other knitter’s project notes really helpful and, well, turnabout is fair play my mama always said.

OK, that’s my string side.  Now, on to the mud…..

My new clay finally arrived and new clay is always cause for a celebration.  I threw a couple of chucks, which I sorely needed.  It seems like just about everything that comes off my wheel lately has some sort of neck and I find it impossible to trim without using one.  Granted, a chuck isn’t the most  exciting thing to come off my wheel, but it sure is nice to have one when I need it!

2738651B-C510-4771-B9D7-674BDA75CEA1.jpeg

Someday I’m going to learn how to level my shots. 🙂

B1396B2B-1C9C-4B7E-B11E-C7A8AFB085A1

E0B028E9-B330-432C-8956-E500D0D8D190

59BD21F6-E1FA-49BD-BF88-16E7B66E4074

I threw this vessel and stamped it as an experiment.  I like the way it turned out – what do you think?  Maybe my new glazes will have arrived  by the time it’s ready for glazing and it’s final firing.

FYI – Tomorrow is the first day of the fall session of pottery class.  It’s doubly exciting  because we’re in a new (to us) building as the Arkansas Art Center and Museum School is undergoing a facelift/remodel slated to take three years.  Exciting stuff!

One more thing – If you haven’t visited ClayDreamsPottery lately, go on over and take a look.  You never know what you might find!

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. Albert Einstein

B