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-
This is the book-
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 –
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
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.
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.
Working on my lid making skills
Not sister pots but maybe cousins
We must not say every mistake is a foolish one. Cicero
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:
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
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:
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!
My Gray Days
Knitpicks Wool of the Andes
Project notes can be found here.
There is no great genius without some touch of madness. Seneca
PS I’ve added some new pots to my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery. I’d love to have you pay a visit!
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.
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
After taking what felt like the Grand Tour of Dallas and the surrounding area, I’m FINALLY home, safe and sound. This trip had a little something for everyone, lost luggage, missed connections, airport closings, stormy weather and about a thousand unhappy passengers, hoping against hope that their connecting flight was still on the ground, just waiting to be reboarded to take their passengers to their final destinations. Unfortunately, I was not part of this happy group, having missed my connecting flight home, giving me the privilege of spending the night at DFW and catching the first plane that was pointed in Little Rock’s direction. The stars aligned, I boarded the first plane out and was home within the hour.
After my spouse and my dog, I was most happy to see my pottery wheel and studio. After some breakfast and a nap, I spent some QT getting my hands back into clay and starting on a small project that had been percolating in the back of my mind for a while — a set of small bottles, all different, but glazed in a similar way. I haven’t even given much thought to how many I should throw or how many bottles will make a set.
Here’s a look at my project progress so far –
Last, but most certainly not least, I scored a couple of tickets to the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsberg lecture/interview last evening and was so happy to have Cindy to go with. RBG was amazing and was sharp as a whole truckload of tacks. Don’t let the librarian bun and her super petite frame fool you, I don’t doubt that she can go toe to toe with any of the big, well fed (her words, not mine) male Justices that occupy the bench with her, leaving them in the dust and wondering what just happened.
I want her to stay on the bench forever!
ON MY NEEDLES
So far, the Ariel socks are playing nice, but they’ve been slow going. Things are looking up since I purchased a nice, bright headlamp at Decathlon, a store similar to Academy Sports. I actually was at Decathlon to get a new water bottle, which I did, but apparently the placement of impulse items is universal – right next to the cash register. That bit of extra light has made a big difference, I got through the first pattern repeat last night without problems.
I’m also working on a Leksak sweater, though I find the rows and rows of stockinette boring. It makes for great plane knitting, I’ll give it that.
ON THE WHEEL
Not a thing. While I’m in Bangkok, I have to be satisfied with surfing Pinterest and making endless lists in my head of glazes and techniques to try. That reminds me, I need to order clay. I’m thinking that if I order now, it will arrive in Little Rock about the same time I do.
Here are a few photos of Iconsiam, a new mall here in Bangkok that has a replica of a floating market on the bottom floor, with traditional Thai food and crafts vendors, most wearing traditional Thai clothing. Really, the photos don’t do it justice………..
FYI – This is an escalator!
Action is the foundational key to all success. Pablo Picasso