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-

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This is the book-

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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 –

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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

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Everything Else

I’m Back!


Hey everyone! Remember me? Well, here I am, still an insomniac and getting over a back issue.  Actually, I developed back pain about a week ago that kept me from wheel and kiln until yesterday. Anyhow, I’m much better and eager to get back in the studio. 🙂

Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of things I was able to finish before my back turned on me.

First up is a  medium sized sized, textured vase –

Next, a sweet little ring bowl –

I especially love the green shades inside this little bowl!

These will be going up in my Etsy shop,ClayDreamsPottery in the next few days, as soon as I can take a breather from playing pottery catch up!

Knowledge is addictive. Keep it up.  Teresa Sjoquist

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This Week’s Sneak Peek


Here’s a look at a couple of projects I’ve been working on this past week………

 

I’ve added some high fire clay and glazes to my supply of low and mid fire glazes and such and am thoroughly enjoying playing around and experimenting with layering glazes. I think this little vase turned out really well, don’t you?

Miss Dixie got a shiny new bowl this past week, thanks to my glaze experiment.  I had marked the new bowl in my head as a new bowl for her, then, when I pulled it out of the kiln, I had second thoughts because of how pretty it was. In the end, though, I stuck to my original plan, and Dixie has a new, pretty bowl.

 

Meals are serious business in Dixieworld!

 

The pretty vase will be added to ClayDreamsPottery by the end of this week, along with some other beauties still in progress that I think will be a hit so keep an eye out for these newbies.

Nothing happens unless first a dream.  Carl Sandburg

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Well, It Held Together


WHAT I DID TODAY

Quite a while ago, think years, I came into possession of an old Hoosier cabinet which was just sort of pushed back against the wall and forgotten about. When I decided to set up my studio and started cleaning, guess what I found!!!!  That’s right, the old Hoosier came out of hiding.  It was a bit dirtier than before – it’s been in the garage after all and the evidence of a failed attempt to antique it was still there.  Whoever painted it painted EVERYTHING, the hinges, the latches, everything within reach.  Anyhow, I’ve decided to clean it up, repaint it and use it in my studio.  It has at least 50 years of grime built up – seriously – that has to go before I can start it on it’s road to recovery.  First things first…..knock as much gunk off as I can.  So, out comes the pressure washer, off come the doors, out come the drawers and off come what looks like 20 years of kitchen grease and grime.  Yay!  My biggest fear that it would explode into a million toothpicks didn’t happen.  Everything withstood the pressure washing with no problem.   Great – half the first step – done.  One more wash with a bit of Mean Green detergent should do the trick and I’ll be on to the second step – paint – soon.

Here’s a before photo –

Sorry for the bad focus,  but you can see the shape it’s in. Yuck!

After first pressure wash.

ON THE WHEEL

This week I threw a couple test batter bowls, one of which I promptly broke off the handle, I tried something new I saw in  Pottery Making Illustrated, Throwing in Two Parts and threw a sweet little rounded pitcher.

Crap

I threw a flashlight!!🔦🤨

Sweet

Be a good listener.  Your ears will never get you into trouble. Frank Tyger

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Lather Rinse Repeat/4 a.m. Is Better Than 2 a.m.


THURSDAY MORNING

So – it’s been a busy few weeks. I set up an Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery and have been putting a lot of hours writing and rewriting, tweaking and retweaking my shop stuff, working at getting more pots photographed and listed.  This is much harder than it should be since I’m a bit technophobic, computer illiterate and way out of my comfort zone when I encounter something unfamiliar computer wise. I have to reinvent the wheel over and over again. I’m figuring it out slowly but surely.

Today, I’m running a full bisque kiln this morning, then tomorrow or Saturday go into a glazing frenzy, then finally run a glaze kiln. I guess one good thing about insomnia is that I can start all this  2 a.m.

I’m anxious to see how the spiny things turn out.  I plan to stain them, fire them and then lace them back together with a thin leather thong.  I hope it’s going to match the picture I’ve been carrying around in my head for a long time.

FYI – The spiny things behaved exactly how I’d hoped (for once)!  The toothpicks burned away, leaving perfectly shaped holes for lacing them together later. I LOVE it when a plan comes together!

SATURDAY

Wow, I slept late this morning – til a whole 4 a.m.! If you guessed this week wasn’t exactly a good one sleepwise, in other ways it absolutely rocked. Let’s see. What happened this week? OK, got it.

  • Mr. Insomniac had cataract surgery on his right eye on Wednesday morning and is doing great! He is seeing better than he’s ever seen, 20/30 on the right about 24 hours after surgery.
  • I sold a pot in my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery
  • I’ve had time to work on several knitting projects that have been languishing for what seems like forever. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I also have a knitting blog.  You can check out this particular alter ego at http://iknead2knit.net.
  • Filled a pew at Mass last Sunday with nearly the entire fam, three grands, a son, a daughter in law that I love, my bestie, who happens to be dear d-i- l’s mother, me and Mr. Insomniac.
  • Successful glaze firing of pots to restock my Etsy shop.  Shop update is tentatively scheduled for April 22.

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on man unless they act. G. K. Chesterton

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When Good Pots Go Bad


I’m back after being under the weather for the last week or so – nothing serious, just a lot of sneezing and coughing, nose blowing and just generalized crankiness.  But I’m back!

Ran a combined glaze/bisque kiln today with a so-so result.  One of the bisque pots was perfect.

The other pot, well,  not so much as you can see.

 

I take full credit for this mishap, I can see that I left the bottom thicker than it should have been, hiding just enough moisture for a blow out. 😩

When the bottom blew out, I guess the small bowl wanted to get into the act and ended up with a few stray shards fused to its inside.

Better luck next time, I guess.

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.  John F. Kennedy

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FYI – I’m slowly but surely stocking my Etsy shop, Potshards. Come have a look around! 👀

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Fire When Ready


I hope to bisque fire these tomorrow.

 

 

I threw these using some clay I bought on sale at Hobby Lobby. I hope I’m not disappointed………

I have some glazed pieces ready to fire also, but I’m not sure they will fit into kiln.  Keeping my fingers crossed. 🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞

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