29 December 2009

More Handmade Goodness

This has been quite the season for generous friends and Xmas continued that trend. I've never had a 'secret santa' before so I was excited to be invited by a certain red-headed blogger to join in her reindeer games this year.

This wonderful pot arrived Xmas eve and there's no need to tell you who made it, do I?! In fact, I'm certain that I recognize it from one of Michael's previous posts! From my seat here in front of the computer I think of Michael as the king of pottery bloggers...fearless in the face of technology, he is blazing a trail across international boundries with his charming words and images.

More importantly, he makes fabulous pots...Michael's ability to unite form, decoration and surface in his work is masterly and I really think he's one of the best. I'm so happy to add this pot to my collection and it was my favorite gift this year...until...

...Susan Wyatt gave me this beautiful 'charger' made by my main man, Ray Finch! I was flabbergasted and I'm still not sure how she obtained it, but it is a classic and unlike other pots of Ray's that I own. I'll try to take some photos of the others I have and show you. (Ray was glazing some of these back in 1978 when I asked him for a job).
I've been saying 'thanks' a lot these days...and I mean it!
3 days until I plan to return to my studio...

26 December 2009

Legless and Fingerless

For more than 30 years the Christmas season has been a frantic time of making, firing and selling for me so it has been odd to spend this season so sedately. Several of the wonderful gifts I received yesterday seemed to have a theme that I will call "Yes You Had Surgery, Now Get Back In The Studio and Fire That Kiln". And gifts came in unique pairs this year.
Below are the two pairs of hand knitted fingerless gloves I was given. Both are intended for loading wood-fired kilns in the winter. I was hoping to wait until the spring, but how can I delay when I now have the perfect equipment?
I also received two different night shirts! Having been a patient for the first time in my life I took to wearing an ancient one I owned. My friends are making some sort of statement that I'd rather not interpret! My legs dangling at the bottom of a nightshirt is not a pretty sight!

I also got two amazing pots and I'll give you a gander at them tomorrow.

These are Susan Wyatt's very first effort to make gloves and they are tres' cool. All cotton (I can't bear scratchy wool) and illustrated with flickering flames of fire and the words 'WOOD FIRE' written across the knuckles like a prison tattoo. I do have pinkey fingers, by the way. We've agreed that I have to grow them longer or Susan has to make them shorter...

Anna Branner's have a new wrinkle that I've never seen before...no fingers at all. The yarn is hand spun but I haven't had the chance to ask her if it was spun by herself. My guess is yes...she, like Susan, does many things well. Including her new blog which we have yet to discuss, but I encourage you to take a look. I'm not always easy to give gifts to as I'm a bit particular, but this was a stellar year. Yet another reason to be thankful!

21 December 2009

Winter Wallop

Usually I'm irritated by the instantaneous title awarded by the TV media to every storm that comes our way...it makes each event seem like a chapter in a rather lurid romance novel after a while. But the Weather Channel has called the lovely snowfall that we just got a 'Wallop' and I like that word plenty. It has a great sound...wallop. I even looked it up...it has to do with great force.
I've been taking it easy for 6 weeks now, but with 12"-18" in our part of the world this weekend, everyone else has had to slow down , too. It has hurt our business in a big way, but Nature has spoken and I've been enjoying this taste of serious winter just the same.
I miss writing here but my days have been pretty event free. I'm feeling much improved, though, and even did a little shoveling which was fine.
I have been doing some serious baking and liked this funny pattern of cookies over a teatowel.

The cutouts in the foreground have anise and sesame...subtle and perfect with tea.
The round ones in the background are peanut butter with chocolate kisses.

My sweet home in the snow...the fireplace has been cranking thanks to Tom and Shannon and Michael!

Miss Moneypenny.

Great drifts of snow.

Herself in silhouette, trying to figure it out.

02 December 2009

Our December Extravaganza!

Everyone at LibertyTown has been busy preparing for the last of our First Friday openings of the year (everyone, that is, but me!). Susan Wyatt spent days rearranging the Emporium with a new (for us) idea and it looks great. Elizabeth, Beth and Aline are putting up the "Small Works" exhibition by our very own artists and our 5th?/6th? annual student pottery sale commences on Friday evening as well. I was 'under the knife' last month and this will be my first public appearance since then.
I have a lot of pots from last May's firing which I'm showing for the first time. Some have been to England and back, some were made in England this summer, and some spent a couple of months in West Virginia. Oh, and a whole bunch went to NY and back as well. Think of the stories they have to tell!!!

Nicky Cymrot

Stephanie Tomkins

Fredericksburg Spinners and Weavers

Jonathan's Spoons

Chris Light - woodturning