I’m not in a hurry to get my latest project completed for the client, but as we get closer to shipping the pieces, I’m feeling a bit pressed against the wall. The project is a week ahead of schedule but…when it’s shipped I loose access to the pieces for the video I’m working on. So all raw video and stills of the pieces needs to be completed before they are shipped.
This is one of those videos where the ending is captured before the beginning…well sort of. I decided to do a video on the project as I was coloring the pieces…so I did that, then clean the edges and then fired them in obvara…having enough foresight to capture the obvara process for the project. This week will be coating them with acrylic and they’ll be finished.
But what about the forming of the pieces from the bag of clay. Well as luck would have it, I need to make more of the form in question. So, if I remember, I’ll set up to capture the forming and the rounding the edges and then I can edit that part of the process into the front of the video.
I’ve been wanting to do work on a new lead in for the video projects…we’ll see if this one gets that treatment or it’s re-edited at a date in the future…but in any event, I’ll edit the video with stills and motion, a few strategic text graphics…oh and the music, got to have music. If I had guts I’d use the Finale from the Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”…but it’s typically only 3 minutes long anyway. So my excuse is that it’s too short for the video.
If I’m lucky…the two hours of footage and a couple of more hours of editing will result in a video of about 8 minutes or so.
So if you have ever wondered what happens “between the lines” around the pottery…it’s all about…sweeping the floor. I could make it sound glamorous (or at least fun) but at times it’s much more routine, perhaps even mundane.
When I started in clay 45 years ago, I think I always thought of the fun of working with the ooey-gooey clay and the kiln openings…never really thought about the time and energy of cleaning the floors, the scraping of glaze from the shelves, rewiring the kilns and on and one. There’s really a whole lot of grind behind the wheel. Of course I share all the good-bad-ugly-boring-interesting (the whole bucket of stew) every Wednesday LIVE on FB…5-6 PM Pacific.
Well we did get the vaccine on Tuesday. We also did not have any sort of reaction. My arm didn’t even get sore…well not that sore anyway. “Piece of cake!”
Most difficult part of the process is just finding an appointment. That was about a week of checking with the various possibilities. California screwed our health care provider (actually did a number on a couple of them) and pushed the vaccines into the super sites and local pharmacy delivery. But way out here in the sticks…our local CVS is not on the list…and super sites? Hahaha But we have them in the arms and we have appointments for the 2nd.
We are working through details for our sale on the 25th of the month. We’re going to start the sale at 5:00 PM Pacific and run about an hour (not less than, but it might run a tad over…that’s a detail we’re working on) . We did decide to announce the discount code through our newsletter which will go out on the 22nd. At the very least it will be larger than any discount we announce “on air” during the show. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Now that we’ve done a bunch of virtual sales, we’re kind of getting to understand what is fun and what really falls flat…like some of my jokes.
So put the 25th on your calendar and spend some time with Brenda and I as we muddle through yet another show and sale. Couple of new products will be shared…new glazes as well as new pots to put them on.
...and thus the pictures today. These and others are being uploaded to the site in advance of the sale on the 25th.
I’d promise to put Madison the Black Lab on camera…after all she is cute…but I can’t really lift her any more (45 pounds of pure squirm). She is at a stage were if it can go in the mouth, she will probably try to do so. Electrical cords are always in jeopardy. She just does not care if those electrical cords are 110 volts live or “dead”, HDMI, Ethernet, USB or just a string that looks like a power cord. Cute…yes…distracting (and easily distracted)…also yes (and yes).
Last week was all about…well it was about all, as in everything. We did a four part video gig with Vogue Knitting Virtual, fired off two bisque kilns, a load of raku, glued, packed, shipped…and I went to Auburn (about 35 miles down the hill) to get printed cards. On Wednesday, Brenda and I combined to do FIVE Zoom meetings or streams…FIVE…a serious crazy day. But that trip to Auburn was a big deal. It was the first trip off the property in four weeks. I’m basically a hermit with a friend.
And I return to Auburn this week...well almost to Auburn. Lake of the Pines actually to a CVS pharmacy...you guessed it...Brenda and I are going in to get vaccinated! It was a stroke of luck to find the open appointments but we found them and booked them. I'm hoping that I'll get a sucker if I don't carry on too much.
I was presented with a new color matching project that will be very challenging. Its three colors, two of which should be pretty straightforward…but that third one…yikes. I’ll start on that this coming week…but will be hampered by my crossed fingers. Perhaps I’ll be able to uncross them to use the brushes. The preliminary tests look promising, but it will still be a challenge.
Last week’s color project worked as I had hoped and was well received. I thought it was appropriate that I was working with pink colors on the week leading into St. Valentines Day. We’ll produce the pieces this week to ship the following week.
Since we’re running low on the number of yarn bowls and rockin’ diddys that are in stock in carbon painting and obvara, those need to be color and re-fired soon…like also this week. Of course, since I'll be firing up the kiln, why not throw in shawl pins and such...the load went from a couple dozen pieces to about 250. Perhaps I should check the propane content of the tank…as I write this I’m thinking that we’ll be burning the propane on both ends the next couple of weeks.
Don’t boo hoo for me…I like what’s on the “honey do” list. Should be fun.
Last week was just a ton-o-fun…seriously. I’m not kidding. It’s all in how you define fun.
I once had a Pastor tell me that the way to build a successful Church was to set low expectations. I chuckle when I remember that conversation. I now apply that philosophy to other areas of my existence…like defining fun…fun is a low threshold to cross. Low expectations…that’s the secret.
But it was a fun week in a potterly, covidly, I’m-really-tired-of-being-cooped-up kind of way. We had a hauler come by and take away a bunch of “stuff” and that cleared the way for a kiln to be moved this week. Worked on a new way of trimming smaller pots and really enjoyed the results. Wrestled with some faulty WiFi nodes…and we ended the week with four successful show and tells with STITCHES at Home. We’re really enjoying the virtual shows lately.
I began the season of weed pulling last week. It’s all about timing. The soil has be saturated to that the weeds can be pulled. Too dry and the stem snaps and the weed is harder to pull next year…too wet and the puller gets cold and grumpy. There is no more than a 2 ½ month window to do the work so I try to put is an hour each day…then I’m grumpy, even when it’s dry.
Big news this week is the virtual studio tour. We doing a virtual tour of the studio starting in the mudroom and working our way through the kiln yard to the workshop and ending with a behind the camera tour of the video set up. It’s part of the SuperPass program for Vogue Knitting’s virtual show…this week Thurs-Sunday…we do the tour twice.
But in every time frame there is usually an event you can highlight as “special” and last week it was finding a stick. Yep a stick. Of course it wasn’t just any old stick…it was a length of oak that was custom milled for me years ago to frame some of my tile pictures. That stick will be cut to frame a couple of samples for show applications. I’m thrilled…seriously…I found a stick.
Felt like Madison must feel when she finds a stick in the yard and carries it around like a princess with her tiara. It’s the best thing ever and she flaunts it. Of course I won’t be carrying the stick in my mouth like she carries hers and I don’t see any reason to try to sneak mine into the house like you know who tries with hers…but I found a stick and I’m stoked.
Our healthcare provider, Kaiser Permanente, has a few hundred thousand more than 9 MILLION members here in California. That’s about ¼ of the entire state. They are prepared to stick it to us (in the arms). But they have been given about 300,000 doses of vaccine so far…not 9.3 MILLION…just .3 million, less than 4% of the number of members. Why?…government allocation. It’s a bit messed up. So we wait as patiently as we can.
I worked a bit on three new products this last week…a small jewelry box, a ramin bowl and a pour over for coffee. It was fun. I don’t normally do but one or two new products a year and to be able to sit down with wads of different sizes of clay and play with three new forms on the same day was a lot of fun…and without the pressures of needing an item, it was relaxing.
The website (www.lickinflames.com) has had a pretty hefty update. I made hundreds of additions and edits over the course of three days. My vision was blurred by the hours in front of the screen. I’m glad I have done his before as I learned from my past experiences that keeping notes on the pad of paper next to me is a great thing. I know…a paper trail for digital work seems counter intuitive…but it worked. As the nights got later on…the writing got a bit difficult to read. It wasn’t those blurry eyes as much as the horrible hand writing. Seems my brain was going a bit faster than the pen. I might have combined three words into a brand new one…maybe…can’t read it so I’ll really never know.
The website has a few holes in it. It’s never really finished. It reflects the fluidity of our studio. Products come and go and grow…and the website does too. So as I sit here and gloat a bit having “finished” the update, I know it’s just one more step in the process.
In news from the puppy (Madison the Black Lab)…she’s got “sit” down pretty well…”down” (lay down) is right behind the “sit”…and then there is “no biting” which is huge and Brenda made a comment on how much Maddie has improved in that category. I’ve been taking her for walks with lead so that she can travel with us…and her big crate has been washed and sits next to her pen for her to feel more comfortable…why crate her? We will not be able to travel without her being comfortable in a crate. She’ll do fine. Anyway, she’s making good progress with everything we throw at her…throw at her? She’s decided that balls are her thing…well balls and rocks…well balls and rocks and cardboard boxes…but rocks don’t bounce as well and boxes just get smaller. Balls are the gift that keeps on giving.
We should all be able enjoy life as much as Madison...life really is that simple.