20 September 2011

Pots and Peeves and the Natural world

Small mugs - 3/4lb.

The air is cool and clear and my energy  is high. I had a 'stay-cation' last week...spending a lot of my time in the studio instead at the beach house that I rented at Buxton on the Outer Banks. Hurricane Irene removed serious chunks of the rather delicate road leading there, so, no holiday at the beach. I would most certainly have enjoyed myself, but I was completely happy to make lots and lots of pots and stay away from LibertyTown. I aim to keep up the pace as I'm hoping to fill the kiln twice before the year passes.
Large mugs - 1 1/2lb.

So, I have more pottery pet peeves than I would ever admit, but here's one I've probably blogged about before. As Hollis recently referenced, I call the little ball of clay that I place at the apex of the handle of a mug a "dustcatcher". I think that the phrase comes from an old college professor. I like both the look and the feel of this, but it drives me crazy when potters put a great big honking ball of clay at that point. I admire subtlety on this subject! Here below is another way to accomplish the same idea. Instead of a little ball of clay, I place a tiny coil across the width of the handle, then blend it in with three strokes of my thumb.
I've been giving the bees their space for a while. After losing the old queen and observing as a new one slowly re-envigorated the hive, I then learned that they got a lot meaner in the heat of the summer and suffered from a few (maybe more than a few) stings. I'm not overly allergic, but I certainly have a strong reaction! This is the hive with the top 'super' set aside. You can see all the bees down the middle...I'm waiting for the autumn honey flow and hoping that they will eventually spread out towards the edges, storing more honey for the winter.
Look real close to see two young deer. I got to watch them for a long time.
The woods as I drive in to the studio are full of these mushrooms. I've no idea what they are, but it's almost spooky! If you look closely below, you can see them spread all over. These woods were logged about 10 years ago and there are stumps at the base of all of them. We' have had some serious rain for this time of year... 
For those of you have stayed with me here to the end, I'm pleased to announce that Ryan Poe has completed the film about me and my kiln and pots etc. and he has entered it in the film festival held in France every other year. We are planning the world premier for later this fall. Stay tuned!!!


Anna M. Branner said...

Film? How did I miss that?

Hollis Engley said...

First, congrats on the film. It's about time.
Second, a man came into my booth the other day and was looking for a mug with that same big, honking lump of clay up where your (and my) more subtle dustcatcher sits. He explained to me that for older people with arthritic hands, the big lump, properly designed, gave extra assurance that the mug would be held securely. I know potters who put that big lump up there, and I always thought it looked dumb and amateurish. I still think that, actually, and I won't change the way I make handles. But he gave me pause for a moment, because he was ready to buy three or four such mugs, and because he had a function in mind for them.

cookingwithgas said...

I am alway somewhat amused at what a potter peeves about. What gets one persons goat can be the love of another.
Lately - or as of late - I just tend to let these things go.
I know what I like and what I don't but pots are like children.
I don't want to tell someone how to raise theirs if they don't point out how badly I raised mine.
Cheers to your stay at home vacation and many pots!

Tracey Broome said...

Ahhhhh, Buxton, one of my very favorite places on Earth! Too bad about your trip. We used to go there every October and fish for the blues. I heard a story on NPR about the huge amounts of mushrooms in Mass. this year because of Irene, more than they have ever seen there. Congrats on the film!

gz said...

I asked about the fungi on www.downsizer.net forum (for sustainable living) one of the foragers said-
"it looks to me like it could be Armillaria tabescens - ringless honey fungus - although I can't see the stems clearly enough to be really sure.
judging by the rest of the woods it is pretty likely to be a honey fungus - spreads like wildfire and is very destructive."
I think you can eat them, I haven't had a reply to that question yet! Not good news for any trees and shrubs there unfortunately

gz said...

and the reply was..
I have had A. tabescens before - it was quite good - meaty and full flavoured, airc. Think we blanched then fried it. worth a second opinion tho, especially if this isn't uk woodland..."

John Bauman said...

I like the dainty dustcatcher. I made a series of pitchers the same way (tiny coil) last year. Then I mad a series with a tiny coil smoothed one direction and another tiny coil smoothed the other direction. I'm easily amused.

doug Fitch said...

Do you think you'll make it to the film festival in Montpellier? Alex and Hannah and I are thinking we might get there next year, time and money permitting, it would be amazing if you were there too