The Mission: to explore, create and inspire!

thePatientPotter is a blog that is designed to encourage and inspire fellow Potters and Entrepreneurs as it takes them through the challenges and triumphs of a 'potter on a mission'.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Day after Thanksgiving and back at work!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a wonderful day yesterday. It felt good to have a complete day off! We had no out-of-town guest this year so my family and I just ate all day and worked on a 1000 piece puzzle. My husband finished it this morning. It was very nice and relaxing and felt good to be with family all day.

Day after Thanksgiving and all but my husband is back at work. Me, I stained and glazed all day while babysitting my 1 year old grandson. He's a good boy so I did get a lot done. Tomorrow I will fire what I did today. It will take two loads to fire everything I have so I'm debating on whether to separate the special order of 5 jugs into two different kiln loads or to put them all together into one. I'm leaning more towards the two loads just in case there is a problem and I lose a load. Geez, I hope I just didn't jinx myself :o/

The day before Thanksgiving I spent the day throwing mini bread bakers. This is something new that I'm doing on the recommendation from the potterybasics yahoo group I belong to. Apparently these are very successful sellers around Christmas time. This being the first time I threw these, there was a long learning curve. Out of 22 thrown, I kept only 11. They are smaller than I thought they would be which was probably part of my problem. I kept wanting to make them different than they were suppose to be. Not having actually seen or held one before, and only going by a picture, my mind was thinking something different than the instructions were telling me. I did finally get the hang of it and the next group I throw should be better. I hope to make 30 total to take to Trade Days in 2 weeks.

I waited until today to trim them, not wanting to do any work on Thanksgiving but I should have trimmed them yesterday or at least covered them. Normally it takes two days to become leatherhard but it has been so dry in this neck of the woods lately that these were past the leatherhard stage when I went down to my studio to work today. I was bummed but went ahead and trimmed them anyway. They were too dry to stamp my company name like I normally do on the side, so I used black iron oxide as ink to stamp my name on the bottom. We will see if that works. I also lost 1 baker because it slipped out of my hands and broke, so now I'm down to 10. I also want to use one in my own kitchen to test, so really I only have 9 to left sell.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sanded, Rinsed and Ready to Glaze!

My special order customer came by today and ok'd my prototype for his 5 Grecian pots. Whew! I told him I would have all 5 of his finished by Saturday, or Monday the latest. So, here they are along with the dog bowls, and odds and ends I threw this week. They were bisque fired last night and were cooled down by 1pm today. I spent all afternoon sanding them smooth, blowing them clean with the air compressor and then rinsed each one so they are ready for staining and glazing tomorrow. I hope to fire them tomorrow night or possibly on Thanksgiving day.

This is the prototype that ok'd today.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It was a Doggie's world yesterday

Yesterday was supposed to be a mug day, but for the life of me I couldn't throw one - it's been a few weeks since I've been on the wheel. After the 10th failure with only a little 'vase' to show for my efforts (I know, a vase is not a mug - but that's what the mug ended up being), doggy bowls is what I ended up throwing. My Pekingnese Phoebe, has been complaining to my husband that her doggy bowl isn't big enough to comfortably fit her nose - she is a princess you know, so I decided to make a new bowl for her. Always good sellers, I made 7 of them, all different shapes and heights. Phoebe will be able to choose her favorite and life can go on.

"Thank you mommy."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Clay Buddy

Today my clay buddy is coming over - in 30 minutes actually. She comes over once a week to play in my studio. She has a kickwheel at home and has been dabbling in clay for about a year now. She started by taking a lesson in my studio and has been hooked ever since. We inspire each other and feed off of each others enthusiasm. It's a good shot in the arm for both of usI did a bisque fire last night to test one of my handled jugs. The rest of the kiln load was hers. She is going to be very excited. Oops! Actually she won't. I just ran out to the kiln to take a picture of its contents and this is what I saw ...

an exploded pot. Too thick on the bottom I would say. My clay buddy just arrived and is cleaning up the mess as we speak. Gotta go.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Trade Days and Special Orders

Well, I did it. I signed up to do Trade Days next month. I have 3 1/2 weeks to get enough inventory to set up a booth, luckily I am sharing the booth with my daughter, who makes jewelry, so really I only have to supply half the booth with inventory.

I don't have enough time to make a lot of my red clay - it takes about 10 days to get 40 lbs worth, so I am going to concentrate on my porcelain and stoneware items which means I'll be doing a lot of throwing this week. I think mugs and bowls mostly.

I also have to complete the two special orders I have going through my studio. 3 wheat serving bowls and 6 handled jugs. The serving bowls need to be sanded, stained, glazed and hi-fired, and the jugs are dry and ready to bisque fire.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Good Morning!

It is Monday, and on Mondays I do my office work. This includes any marketing I need to do, adding items to Etsy, updating my web page, anything my paying job requires, anything my volunteer job requires, my personal bills and any other office work my hubby can think of. It is also the day I do laundry and grocery shop. So, you can see my Mondays are very busy...but I plan it this way so that the rest of my week can be spent productively. This is the plan, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

My goal today is to add 4 items to my Etsy store. I would like to add 1 red clay item, 1 stoneware item, 1 porcelain item and 1 item of choice.

My goal for the week is to bisque fire every piece of greenware I have that is ready. This will probably take two loads. I have 2 special orders that need to go in and then items that my friend wants me to fire. She has been far more productive than I have lately rendering me very jealous.

For fun this week I purchased 3 bags of porcelain over the weekend that I want to make pendants with. The only cone 6 porcelain my supplier had in stock was these 3 bags that she received in error. They had been sitting around for a while and were quite stiff. She sold them to me for half price at $5 a bag. I will need to soften them up before I use them. My daughter makes beaded jewelry and is starting her own Etsy store and we would like to combine our two talents to create a different line of jewelry. She also is thinking of adding beads to some of my vases, maybe adding a beaded collar around the neck. This will be fun for both of us and I am looking forward to it.