Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Peek In The Studio

Bisqued and ready for the next step

Pots ready for waxing and glazing

Next for the bisque kiln

Just finished and ready for a quick dry
I am getting ready to glaze for the next 
load for the wood kiln- I was hoping to have 
the new gas kiln ready to go, but
hopefully that will happen soon.  Shortly, I
will be going to 2 shows- the Old Church 
Show in Demarest, NJ- curated by
Karen Karnes, and then to Boston 
for the CraftBoston Show organized 
by Society of Arts and Crafts.  I'm 
looking forward to a great firing...hoping
also that this mild weather lasts another week
to see me through this next work period!

More box shapes drying quickly!
Drying here is one of my favorite, classic box shapes-
 I'm also hoping that you'll  notice my heavy
duty banding wheel!  It was made for me by a very
talented and close friend.
I love it and use it all the time!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Old is New Again!!!

The small shed where the kiln was housed

The amazing feat-2000+pounds of kiln!

    I am very excited about a "new" old kiln I recently is smaller than anything I have used in the past, but I'm sure I will adjust to a new and different cycle of making work and firing it.  Instead of working and waiting sometimes for months to fire new pieces, I will be able to fire and see results in 7-10 days...if not sooner.  I rented a u-haul and drove down to Cape Cod, had a forklift pick the kiln up (all 2000+pounds of it) and load it into the truck.  I drove the 6 hours back to Maine, where I hired another couple of guys with tractor and forks, along with a lift truck to pull it off the truck and position it on the concrete pad!  It was all very exciting, and a bit anxiety producing at the same time.  Alas, now I need to build a roof to protect the kiln from the elements, and I will be off and running!  It is a small alpine- with a swing need to brick the door up after each load!  I am anxious to fire it, but am running out of time before winter.  So, I may have to wait- we'll see!  Here are a few photos of getting the kiln onto the u-haul-
Moving down the alley

On the truck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Wyatt the Penguin!
 A Halloween greeting from my house to yours!  I hope everyone had fun and enjoyed the creepiness of it all!  I enjoy making my son's costume each year...this one did double duty in keeping him warm on the chilly trick-or -treat eve.  

Now for the fun stuff...

Various clays ready for mixing
 All the clay potters use comes from our beautiful earth.  How it gets from the ground to the studio is more complicated, and potters from around the world deal with this part of the process in many different ways.  Many years ago I was a resident artist at the Baltimore Clayworks.  When I was there, I met a great Jamaican potter who used to go to Baltimore-Washington airport to dig his clay (among other places).  He would come back to the studio, and spend many hours cleaning and screening the clay to make it workable.  It was labor intensive, but he yielded beautiful results.  Many others (myself included) bought our clay from a supply company in 50 pound boxes- it was wonderfully de-aired, and ready to use.  These days, my husband and I buy our clay dry, in powdered form, and mix it together to achieve the character and properties we want.  Things we consider are temperature, color, plasticity, strength, shrinkage and coarseness.  We recently had over 5000 pounds of 50 pound bags delivered- it was then hauled down to our basement for storage- and slowly over the next 8-10 months we will use it all up!  Here are some photos to visually explain some of the process:
The dry stuff in the mixer

Clay and Water

Ready for the pugmill


Monday, June 13, 2011

Good-bye Old Sign

I am saying good-bye to our old road sign that we have had advertising our pottery for the past 7 years.  While it has served us well, it is time for a new one...Here are a few photos of the old sign, along with some of the spring flowers that grace our gardens.  I have also included a few shots of the gallery, showing my wood-fired pots, along with those of my husband, Rob Sieminski.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring Visitors...

Stopping to snack
Gallery Visitor

Did I hear Sale???

Summer in our gallery here at the pottery is a busy time, with many people visiting.  We are open most days from 10-5, or by appointment.  People come from all over the country and often stop in on their travels around the state.We never quite know when someone will come walking up our driveway, but it is always a welcome sight and we have met many wonderful people since our gallery opened 7 years ago.  We look forward to the coming gallery season as it is a time filled with great anticipation of who may come and what will be sold- we always have high hopes!  While the first visitors of the season were a welcome bunch, they were not much in the pottery buying mood.  They were more interested in the young birch and apple tree leaves that were just budding.  For us, however, they are always the most welcome of visitors.  They stop by often, sometimes even spending the night just outside our sun porch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Is Here

One of the many things I love about living is Maine is the intensity of every season of the year.  Each one has it's special beauty, and they all are equally vocal in announcing their arrival.  Spring is no and furious, it is sometimes here and gone before we even had time to blink!  My family and I took a short trip up the road today to spend a little time at one of our favorite spots- Small's Falls.  It is a series of cascading water falls hemmed in by colorful and magnificent rocks.  This time of year the water is especially high.  In the summer months it is a great place to picnic or swim, with many people coming from afar to jump off the high rocky cliffs for a refreshing dunk in the deep pool just below the middle fall. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Finally...A New Post!!!

Icicles threatening the window-what a sight-some more than 4 feet in length

CraftBoston Spring 2011

It has been a VERY busy winter...we have had lots of snow here in Western Maine.  I have been busy making new work, with a firing completed a few weeks ago.  It was a tough one- due to circumstances beyond our control (i.e. "the flu")  we were unable to maintain a path up to the kiln throughout the entire winter.  All it took was not clearing the snow after one storm, and it was too late!  The next time we tried we could not break through---aaaaaargh!  SO, when it came time to fire, part of the prep time was spent shoveling, and shoveling , and shoveling....the firing took longer than usual- 20 hours, but the results were great.  Then it was off to CraftBoston Spring down at the Seaport of Boston.  A wonderful and fun show hosted by the Society of Arts and Crafts. 

Faceted Jar with Flashing Slip and Copper Glaze
Box with Crater Glaze
Faceted bowl with crater glaze
Box with crater glaze
Jar with Dimpled Top
I was especially pleased with the way the cratered glazes I have been experimenting with turned out in this firing.