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'.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tour Bus Update

The barn has been built and Guy is almost finished laying down the gravel drive to it. This gravel will become a semi-hard surface after it has been wet a few times. Every night he brings home a truck load from work and unloads it before dinner. He has it all inside the barn too because this is where our vehicles will be parked. Once the vehicles can park in the barn then I get to transform the garage into an easy accessible studio. Can't wait!

Quick Tool

I saw a 3"x5" rubber stamp at Hobby Lobby a couple weeks ago that was not glued to any wood or holder and was on clearance. Because I liked the design, I bought it knowing I could use it on my pottery somehow. After playing with it for a few days, this is what I came up with.

A stamp tool that will put a neat round design anywhere I want one. All I did was cut a circle from the rubber design that fit perfectly on top of a 1" dowel I had laying around. I then glued it using Elmer's glue (which is my favorite glue in the studio) to the top of the dowel.

You'll start seeing this stamp show up on my pieces here and there.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fresh from vacation and a new routine!

Fresh from vacation, I am anxious to work in my studio. I don't know about you, but vacations always make me creative.

Working at home, with distractions and too much accessibility for the family, becoming diligent in my work is a constant quest. I have found over the years that the best time to work in my studio is when the family, animals and the world is sleeping. Yes, sleeping. So, this week I adjusted my routine to start my workday at 5:00 am Monday - Friday. I get up, throw on some work clothes, grab a cup of hot tea and work in the studio until 9:00 am. That gives me 4 hours of uninterrupted production time. Nice. Going to bed at 9:30 pm is fast becoming my other routine. The next routine I want to incorporate into my work week is this blog. I am thinking that maybe once a week, at the end of the week, would be a good time to sit down and analyze the week.

I made a discovery this week. For the past 10 or so years I have used faithfully, glass Starbucks mugs to drink my hot tea from. In my studio, I have one of those electric hot plates for mugs that you plug in to keep your beverage hot. Although my tea when using this has never been hot, it will keep it warm throughout the day. Two weeks ago, I started using some of my stoneware mugs to drink my tea out of. Side note: In my home I use my reject pieces daily to test them out. I can't believe the difference in the temperature of my tea when using the stoneware versus the glass mug! My tea stays hot, not warm, but hot - all day long when sitting on the hot plate. What a treat!

I started this week on Tuesday instead of Monday so production was minimal. I also didn't have any red clay to throw so I mainly worked on the slab roller. I needed to add more crosses to my inventory and I wanted to come up with a small piece that would appeal to a Brownie Troop that is coming to tour my studio in April.

This is my slab roller setup. It includes a Northstar slab roller and a table with a drying rack. On the right side I have a shelf where my stamps and texture tools reside. It's a nice setup although the lighting is bad. When I move upstairs to the garage, lighting will hopefully improve.

This is what I came up with for the Brownie Troop. My daughter who makes jewelry said these would make nice key chains. I made a few batches stamping 4 of each letter up to 'm'. The last batch I forgot to add the hole, so this morning was spent using a dremel tool. When these are finished I will give them to my daughter to work up as she sees fit. We want to keep them under $5 a piece if we can.

We have had wonderful Spring weather this week which makes for speedy drying of my pieces. The best place to dry outside is in my East courtyard on the patio table. Perfect drying conditions.
Last but not least, I am trying a new drying method for my mug handles. Bonnie Staffel, one of my favorite potters, applies wax resist to her mug handles when leather hard. This slows the process of the drying on the handle letting the rest of the mug catch up. I am trying it for the first time and will let you know how it goes. This is what I managed to get out of the studio this week. Mugs, crosses, hearts and two test bowls for next weeks production.