Odin is in the house!

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Well it had to happen someday. It will probably happen again (with twists and turns I’m sure).

Our Grandson, Odin, found some interesting little pieces and got into them…they must have felt good as he walked on them…into the lawn some of them…onto the patio some of them…half of the messed up ones we’ll never find. Lucky for me (and TNNA folks :-) ) his Mommy was not that far behind.

It would seem that he needs to start understanding where the things come from. He probably can’t “get it” yet…maybe if I have him sponge a few hundred and see how painfully boring that work can be…Boy was I pissed off. Grampie’s bad.

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VKL Pasadena Was A Great Time

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Vogue Knitting LIVE in Pasadena was the first time (in over 40 years) that we set up in a corner booth. We liked it. Enrique (RADecals.net) did a great job on the display stands…logos in all the right places.

Vogue asked us if we would lend them 20 yarns bowls for the “try it” area. It’s a very cool idea…providing a space for folks to come up and actually knit a bit with yarns that are available at the show. Of course some of those folks absolutely needed to buy yarns bowls (break my heart).

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We met some of the nicest people at this show…vendors and shoppers. Folks were so very appreciative of the marketplace, but when I spoke with them about the classes I found that they really got a lot out of those too. Good to see friends from other shows again…and take down was such a mellow affair…now that’s something I could enjoy at every show :-) .

Fresh From The Kiln

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Every so often when I get a piece finished, I just need to sit and hold it for a while. This is one of those pieces. The depth of the surface is just unbelievable. I know what I did to get all this to happen, but still it’s a wonderful surprise.

There is no glaze on these two pieces…the clay is polished when damp and additional layers of colored clay are added and polished also. The pieces are bisqued and then fired in a saggar technique with three chemicals that provide gases (and why I wear a full face respirator) for more color and horsehair just because it’s cool.

Not only does the combination of techniques create some pretty cool eye candy…these pieces feel great! They are smooth like a satin and not as “mechanical” as with a glaze. One can almost translate the glow into the feel.

Very labor intensive…but still we’re showing them at TNNA in Columbus to fiber shop buyers across the nation. Very labor intensive is generally translated to also mean…very limited availability.

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TNNA!

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This next week I will have completed every item that could be making the trek to Columbus. I will make no new anythings until June. Impressed? Well for a creative person that reality is actually somewhat depressing. Luckily there are a number of kiln days in between now and the 15th of May (about the last days to fire anything to get it detailed out in time) and each of those days is preceded by some of the most creative days of my cycle. I just need to think about those creative days and forget that I will not be making new things. I also could use the room for new things…so firing bits actually allows me to have room to make more. Now that I’ve talked about all the work…I’m tired and need a nap.

Not The Best of Starts

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This is what greeted me when I opened my little kiln this morning. There was a pot in there…really…just one…but it was in one piece. Move on Jim…move on.

Of course I could always have the day my wife, Brenda, is having and have the takeoff from Phoenix aborted…and then on the way back to the terminal…oh, we’re so sorry but you have no gate. She’s on standby and then a confirmed. Should be in Des Moines late late this evening.

A big saggar kiln load was torched off today…should be a good one. Pictures will follow :-)

Busy Busy Busy

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With the TNNA show coming up in a couple of months, I am busy getting special items made for that event. Because I make many form months in advance of firing (and need), I am also forming “stuff” for STITCHES Midwest and STITCHES Texas in August and September respectfully.

Earlier in the week I had trays of pieces spread all around the kiln patio so they could dry in the breeze and sun. Then (and no complaints mind you) Mother Nature decided we needed some rain (ya think?!)…so yesterday I had to find places and nooks and crannies for all of the little trays of bits. I didn’t have room for the pots in the bisque kiln so I just shrouded that in plastic and will deal with the pieces when the weather turns “better” (although, rain is better right now). The raku kiln was rolled up under the covered patio…everything found a place to hang out. However, there is no place left to work and make more…yet. I’ll be stacking items this afternoon to make room to prep work for the saggar/obvara firing later in the week…the last firing before I pack it all up and head to Pasadena for the Vogue Knitting Live event.

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Of course with the “rain” outside, the girls are in doors and napping between playing. Why did we buy the beds anyway? Just try to negotiate the maze of dogs and dog stuff in out office :-) .

Too Good Not To Share

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This yarn bowl came out yesterday also. It’s been fired three times and I really need to stop.

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…also from yesterday. It’s straight up obvara with a little control twist. I prefer the work to have a good amount of white on it. I think it shows off the patterning…so I dip it slowly to about 1/2 way and then plunge it into the goo. I remove it quickly, watching for the pattern development. When the pattern is about where I think I like it, I drop it into the water bath to stop the process. Okay so maybe I don’t drop it into the water but you get the idea.

Today Was Mind Blowing Cool

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Today was a lot of experimental stuff…gas mask type of stuff. It’s the kind of day where you spend an hour prepping the space…water hose on…second set of tongs nearby…gas lines away from walking spaces…extra gloves for chemicals and so on.

I’m pretty happy with the results. The pictures are from four kiln loads. That answers that question I always have, “Will I be able to make this happen again?” “I think so is” about as good an answer as it gets…and these pieces can lead me in solid technical directions.

Brenda is away for the day…good thing. I “borrowed” a couple items from the kitchen for an experiment. Great idea…but not so good with “her stuff.” Luckily nothing was damaged (as in the normal result of my “great ideas”). I think she’ll let me use my “Get Out of Jail” card today :-)

I’m really diggin’ the obvara concept. It dovetails nicely with other families of techniques that I like. Today I started with obvara and branched out a bit from there…a little horsehair…a little feather work…some saggar techniques without the saggars. Blowin my own mind.

One Week with Kylie

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These are my girls. Montana is the orange and white one…an American Brittany and the Golden is named Kylie. Kylie is a recent “senior” rescue/adoption. She has been with us a week…been to the vet to get poked…to groomer to get a bath. She sleeps right by my bed, behind the office chair…whines when I leave her behind to run an errand. The two of them are getting along (for the most part) and that’s a good thing. Funny? Well…Kylie is the first puppy we’ve had in some 35 years with a long tail…and before that one 35 years ago, I can’t remember ever having a family dog with a long tail. Weird…about as weird as watching a 77 lb. Golden Retriever decide to chase that tale.

Oh well…life’s different. She hasn’t smashed up any pots yet so she can stay. :-)