Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'll have a slow Christmas, plates by the dozen and finally finishing this post...

I'm not sure this guy has real vocal cords.  He may have had them removed in favor of a small speaker attached to a synthesizer in his brain.  That, however, is just a guess.  Check out some of his work (here) for a dose of aural delight.
Now there are other people out there who can do this, and maybe just as well, but I have never heard of them, so today you get Kenny Muhammad.

Editors Note:  This post was actually written last week (or two weeks ago maybe?), but I never got around to posting it.  Everything still applies...not that it makes it any more interesting or exciting.  Oh well.  Enjoy if you dare!

As far as studio news goes...not really a lot to report.  I have not been extremely busy lately.  Last week I was tied up with Thanksgiving related activities most of the week.  Now I have a freezer full of frozen pig!  Sorry to those folks who are not big on producing their own food or are put off by meat production.  I have nothing against you but, yeah for butchering!

This week I am working on getting stuff decorated for a final firing before Christmas.  I have a number of special orders that need to go out for the holiday.  That being said, I am not super busy like I am sure a lot of other people are.  I have not had a show in a little while so...out of sight out of mind which means fewer orders.  I wish it weren't so, but...oh well.

Actually I did have a show just this past weekend, but it was not a typical "set up your booth and hock your wares" kind of show.  It was a department store style show, so all I had to do was drop off my inventory and work a shift over the weekend.  Good in that I was not tied up all weekend.  Bad in that my work was intermingled with other work and I was not there to talk it up or anything.  Financially it was not a rousing success, but I may give it another shot next year to see how it shakes out.

It is terribly confusing and frustrating.  I usually get a very positive response to my work, whether it be at a show, online or wherever.  It seldom translates into much of anything in sales though.  I guess there cold be a few explanations for this.  A: My prices are just to high...but I have seen other folks' prices and I do not think that is the case.

This just in...I just, as I was typing, received notification that I got the bid on a large order I was shooting for.  Sweet!  This will hopefully go a long way to financing a new studio.

Random vase
Ok, everything up until this point was written a while back and I really don't remember what I was saying or where I was  going with it, so...new content!

I got a big order for plates that will be used as awards early next year.  This means that over the next couple months I will be makes hundred, no thousands, no dozens of plates!  Time to go into mass production mode.  Thankfully this will be made easier by the plaster bats that I made a while back.  And really it is not the throwing that will be a harrowing experience.  Rather it will be decorating dozens of plates with the same design.  That is not how I usually work, so it will be an interesting experience.
Air Whales!
I almost, almost got a new studio this past week.  A local company was having a sale on portable storage barns and I had my eye on a 12 x 24 foot one.  After checking it out a bit though, and not wanting to make a rushed decision (it was an auction type deal), I passed on it. Instead I will be working on plans for building a new studio next spring.  More on that as the story develops. 

And since this post is stretching over a couple weeks and getting kind of long, I will wrap things up.  So long for now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am not a business man, office supplies, and the loose reputation of decals...

Oh sure, it might be small, but tell me that isn't a dragon!  You know what?  You can't!  That is a dragon, wings and all!  And it flies!  Well, glides really; falls with style. Still, freaking cool.

In case you didn't know, today was Tuesday.  For me that means cleaning and paper work.  I am not a fan of paper work.  I am not a fan of the whole business side of running a business actually.  Order sheets and spread sheets and taxes and dealing with customers...that is not my idea of fun.  I would much rather be in the studio.  Unfortunately I have not yet convinced my wife to take care of all that for me.

Today also included packing up a few pots to ship.  This I do not mind as much, especially since it means I am selling pots.  I did not actually get the pots shipped due to a lack of the properly sized boxes, but that situation has since been rectified.  Thus tomorrow shipping pots is item one on the agenda.

How do you all deal with the acquisition of shipping materials?  I have quite a few previously used boxes sitting in my closet, patiently waiting to be filled with purchased pots.  Unfortunately they are seldom the correct size for what I need to ship.  Likewise with packing material I prefer to recycle newspapers and such as opposed to buying massive amounts of packing peanuts and bubble wrap.  This means my packing jobs often look rather messy.  I would like to say this is because I am earth conscious and all that, but really I am just cheap.  It keeps the shipping costs down for customers too, so...there's that.

A week or so ago I made a not so major purchase for the studio, that may (or may not) change how my work looks to some degree.  What is this not so major device you ask?  

I am the major of not so.
 This is a pictorial representation of my new HP laser jet printer.  Why did I purchase this item and how will it change (perhaps) how my work looks?  Any modern potter worth their salt knows that this device, plus magic paper, can be used to create ceramic decals!  For example...

This is a trio of objects I used to test out my new tool.  The plates are for a possible order and the cup is just because squirrels are kind of cool.  Not "awesome" or even "great", but kind of cool.
The decals were ridiculously easy to put on and fire.  That's right decals!  I ridicule you for being so easy!  AND...with a little testing I think I may be able to work decal firings in with bisque firings, so no extra firing just for decals.  This will save time and energy!!  

Here is a close up of the cup before firing.

And here is after.
Every chipmunk finds a squirrel...

...or something like that.

"It tastes a bit nutty..."
Now that I look at them I almost prefer the decals before they were fired.  The sepia tone the iron leaves (let's hear it for iron laden toner for making all this possible!  Thanks iron, your...scratch that, you're the best!) is ok, but the black would tie in better with the black underglaze pencil.  Oh well.  There is still much to be played around with.

And now I must find a book that will teach me how to go potty.

Up next...beat-boxing is awesome!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kicks, bats and geeze those suck!


The dugong is a sea faring mammal  that is pretty darn ugly.  In this picture for instance, it looks like a cross between a rock and a vacuum cleaner.

And now for a quick update on Battlestar Galactica.  The original 1978 series is complete.  Despite the sometimes simple story lines and the rather crude 70's production value, it was a good show.  Season one left off with what would have been a nice segue into season two...if there was a season two.  Instead it picked back up in 1980... and was terrible.  All kinds of weird stuff going on, like super powered boy scouts.  I stopped watching it.

Now, for studio news.
I got a new pair of kicks for the studio...do the kids still says "kicks"?
I finally wore a hole through the Croc type sandals that I had been wearing, so it was time to get a new pair of something to cover my feet. 
Originally I was looking at legitimate Crocs, but apparently they cost a little more than I was willing to spend.  I even looked for off-brand Crocs, but to no avail.  I finally settled on this pair of...whatever you want to call them.  Shoes would be good I guess.  The only problem was that they were not water proof.  Were I said.  I also purchased a can of spray on water-proofer and sprayed the curse word out of them.  Now I can saunter in and out of the studio without soiling my socks.  Huzzah.

I also recently got a nifty little plaster bat system.  What's that you say, a system of bats made of plaster?!  That's right friend!  I now have an entire system with which I can create bats made of plaster for mere pennies!
I got molds for a 13" flat bat and a 14" plate.  Here are a couple of the plate bats patiently drying.
And here they are after using them to throw a couple 10" lunch plates.
Roll out a slab, throw it on the plaster bat, rib it smooth and add/throw a coil on the bottom for a foot ring.  No struggle centering large amounts of clay; no trimming; these things save a vast amount of time.  The plates actually turned out a lot flatter than I thought they would.  I was able to put them back on the wheel right side up and pull the rim up a bit though.  They are not perfect.  It will just take a little practice figuring out how to get these things right. 

And here we have a bird-man-thing.
I am trying to make more of these things.  I have plans for them...maybe...maybe.  I think this guy still needs something, though.  I was toying around with wings, but I'm not sure if that is right.  Any suggestions?

And finally, I have been playing around with the rims on my ice bucket/wine cooler things.  Apparently I get bored rather easily, so I have decided to change things up a bit.
They have a wavy, undulating, asymmetrical thing going on.  They are loosely based on the work/techniques of Martha Grover.  I am not very happy with them so far.  The forms are weak to be sure, and the alteration needs a little more symmetry, but there is definitely potential. 

Ok, that is all for now.  Up next...dragons are real!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Custom geekery, the big restock and a surprising lack of content...

I recently started watching the  cult sci-fi classic Battlestar Galactica.  Not the newer version, but the original 1978 series.  I am not really sure why I started watching this, but it has been mildly amusing.  Imagine a Star Wars TV show.  The production is pretty disappointing though.  I know, it is from 1978, but once you have seen what is possible it is hard to go back to 70's production value.
Right now I am slogging through the last 11 episodes of the original series so I am caught up before I start in on the 2004 continuation of the series, which (I hope) will surely be made better.

On to the surprising lack of content, especially for a two week hiatus.
 The sell-out pumpkins are all finished up.  Well, mostly.  The bottoms still need to be sanded and such, but they are out of the kiln. 
I like how the brown ones turned out but I wish I would have added some color to the white ones.  They are just a tad too...sterile?  sparse?  I don't know; something is just not quite there.  No mishaps or stuck lids or anything though, so that is good.

 And here we have a few planters I have been working on lately.  They bear a more folk-y style in their decoration...a bleed over from the red earthenware cups I have been making.  And I just realized that I never took any pictures of the cups after they were decorated!  Well, suffice it to say the decoration theme was more folk/traditional than what I usually do.  And now that is starting to influence my other work apparently.

Below is a picture of some custom geekery.  Not sure if it is really evident through the blog, but every now and then I get a little geeky.  Not in the biting the heads off chickens sort of way (although I can't say I have ruled that out yet), but in the gadgets, comics, sci-fi sort of way.  That is why it was kind of fun to get an order for a computer geeky, fortress of solitude surprise mug.  It would be better if I knew exactly what kind of geeky this individual was, but I guess a computer is as good a start as any.
And in the background you may spy a custom oval planter featuring a pheasant.  Quite a bit of detail going into that one what with the feathers and all.

This past Saturday I made a run up to Krueger Pottery in St. Louis to get more clay.  I was down to my last 25 lbs then...
...Shazam!  1100 pounds of fresh clay!  1000 of the utility Laguna B mix for the regular ware, then an extra 100 lbs of L & R Red Earth for further explorations into the earthenware genre.  I am always surprised at how little space one thousand pounds of clay takes up.  

And finally, something completely unrelated to pots.  
For a while we have had a small fire pit thing on the back patio.  I have spent many hours on many brisk spring or fall evenings enjoying the fires it contained.  The only problem was that it was completely contained by metal mesh lattice stuff; top, bottom and all four sides.  This meant that the heat was also somewhat contained and any wood used had to be cut pretty small to fit in.
So this past weekend I got a wild hair and decided to build a new fire pit out of a pile of extra patio bricks that has been sitting around for the past 4 years or so.  
I think I will end up buying a few more bricks to even out the top.  The barrel will be cut down so it is shorter than the bricks...or I could build bricks up around it and make a mini barrel kiln!  No...no I am probably not going to do that...yet.  Either way, I have already spent a few hours enjoying the warmth emanating from the fiery barrel.  And with pieces of wood as tall as me!  No more cutting wood into bite sized pieces! 

And with that I am done.  Up next...dugong!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stuff that doesn't sell, stuff I've never made and selling out...but not really...

 El Chupacabra!  The nefarious goat sucker!  Most sightings of this cryto-zoological oddity come from central and south America.  Quite a few of the sightings have also been attributed to unidentifiable canines with a severe case of mange.  Still, makes for a pretty cool folk tale. 

This past week has seen the beginning of the various orders received at the last show.  While these orders were not quite enough to get me a wee bit tipsy, they are certainly much appreciated.  Let's start with bowls.
Part of one of the orders was for a couple bowls to be used as awards.  I do not generally make a lot of bowls because, well, they just do not sell.  Large and small alike sit in the booth show after show and very rarely make it to a new home.  The bowls in question, though, were quite enjoyable to work on, being larger serving/mixing type bowls.  This is a shot after throwing.  They weigh in at (going counter clockwise from the left) 4, 4, 7 and 10.
Another shot of the 10 pounder.   I do not usually make stuff this big (although I have been doing so more lately), but I was really happy with how this turned out.  I did not measure it, but I would guess it is roughly 7-8 inches tall and 12 or so inches in diameter.  A good size for mixing or serving.

Here is a fancy lighting shot of them after trimming.  Next (probably next week if I am being honest) comes deco...yippy ska-doo!

Another part of the same order was for oval planters...another item I do not sell a lot of.  I don't think people really know what they are for.  And it has been my experience that if people do not know what exactly they are going to use an item for, they tend not to buy it.  I am considering retooling the design to turn it into some sort of bread pan/casserole.  Anyway, here are some planters.  Not the ones for the order but made in the same batch.
Despite the fact that they will probably not sell worth a damn, I like the way they turned out.  They are sporting a fancy new rim and ears.  I'm not sure exactly what it is about them, but they have a kind of boat-y feel to them. 

Another order was for dog bowls.  I have never made dog bowls before, but I have seen dog bowls before, so I figured I could give it a go.
 The customer said they had a medium sized dog and that the bowl probably needed to be 7-8 inches across.  After throwing them that looked a bit big, but who am I to judge?  I am not sure these will become a production item, but I am not ruling it out.  I did see an awful (Editors note: I just got totally mixed up by the spelling of the word "awful"...that just doesn't look right...) lot of dogs at the last show.  Some were in coats and such so I know people will spend money on stuff their pets do not really need.

I am also working up a load for my next show.  It is a one day deal at a living history/historic site kind of thing.  The Saxon Lutheran Memorial (opperated by my mother, conveniently enough) is having their annual fall festival on the 13th of October.  I will have a pared down booth and be demonstrating.  It is a pretty cool to do.  Check it out if you are in the area.
Terra cotta tea bowls with white slip, soon to be decorated.
And here I sold out just a little bit.  I decided to make pumpkins for the fall/Halloween season...I am slightly dissapointed with myself.
Before:  hollow forms fresh off the wheel.
After: scary cute pumpkins.
More scary cute pumpkins.
I actually had a good time making these.  Is it really selling out if you enjoy what you are doing?  I say no.  I am not sure how well these will go over, but they will probably become an annual offering either way.

And with that I have run out of steam.  I am sure I can conjure up something more for next week.

Up next...Battlestar Gallactica!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Show notes, drinking games and something sketchy this way comes...

The capybara is a big freakin' rodent, the largest in the world in fact.  Some people keep them as pets.  Others hunt them for their hide and meat.

By all accounts this night is a four star success so far.  I am sitting here listening to Saint Vitus and sipping a Cuvee Ange.  St. Vitus is a bad [spousal censorship] doom metal band from the 80's.  Cuvee Ange is a rather tasty saison beer aged in wine barrels from 4 Hands Brewery is St. Louis, MO.  Good times.

And since it worked so well last time, this post will consist largely of notes I jotted down while hocking my wares at the Mosaics Art Festival in St. Charles, MO this past weekend.  All in all it was a decent show; one of the best I have had so far...which still isn't saying much.  I would tell myself not to quit my day job just yet, but it is a little late for that.  Let's go!


  • Set up was stressful as usual.  Now I have a PBR in my belly and just want to go home and take a nap.
  • I am not an especially social person.  I do not like small talk and selling is not exactly my strong suit.  I am still trying to figure out a way to just make stuff and let Alicia do all the selling.
  • Just blasted out the details for a big order!  That calls for another beer and some jerky!
  • This is going to be the new art fair drinking game.  Every time I get a custom order I drink, got it?  Then drink, fool!  That is order number two!
  • It is difficult having a conversation with someone who does not really speak English.


  • I do not want to get my hopes up, but the weather is great and there are already people here before the opening bell...promising...[Editor's note:  I should not have gotten my hopes up...]
  • Order up! And it is only 11:30! Drink! 
  • Things have been moving little by little, and I think the crowds may be picking up.  And I got another order...drink!  [Editor's note:  This was the last order received and thus the end of the drinking game.]
  • I am so glad the drum and fife troop is marching up and down the street making conversation (and sales) impossible and scaring the piss out of dogs!
  • [Editor's note:  At this point I ran out of business cards (because I did not bring enough) and spent the rest of the day making more out of sketchbook paper.]


  • A few people have taken the make-shift business cards so far...I don't think everyone really gets my sense of humor.
  • A dragonfly just landed in my booth.  A lady standing there said it was supposed to be good luck...then left without buying anything.  The dragonfly left pretty quick too, so I may well be screwed.
  • I think I just saw the Rocketeer!  Padded leather jacket and an angular back pack that definitely could have contained a rocket pack...are super heroes real?!
  • I believe I may be slipping in and out of this dimension...or maybe time is slowing down or something.  Everything looks washed out and slow and just a little bit off.  It is ok though.  There are only 15 minutes left before closing time and no one is buying anything, so I don't really have anything better to do than slip in and out of dimensions.  [Editor's note:  I now believe this altered state of consciousness was due to wearing sunglasses while it was cloudy and extreme boredom.]

Shortly there after I repacked more work than I was hoping to and headed home.  Again, all in all not a bad show, but it could always be better.

And so there are more pictures in this blog than just a capybara...

This is a page out of one of my sketchbooks.  I always enjoy seeing other people's process drawings and such.  I may start doing two blog posts each week, one regular and one sketchbook post.  Yes, I realize that there are probably very few people in my massive very tiny audience that are interested in the average ramblings of my mind, but it will provide an impetus to catalog and create a back up of my sketchbooks.  They are getting a bit tattered with use.

Up next...I don't know yet, but I'll think of something.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tragedy, figuring it out and come buy my pots!

When I searched the google for "Timmy Tabasco" this was the second image that came up.  I assure you this is not Timmy Tabasco.
My senior year of high school one of the last projects we tackled in my speech class was to write and produce a short television program.  The show my group developed was a situational comedy about a guy who gets put in the witness protection program.  I believe it was called "Where's Walter?" or something like that.  The plot went something like this.
One day as Walter is walking down the street some mob thugs drop a guy on his dog.  (I was that guy dropped on a dog.  They actually threw me off the roof of the school...onto padding of course.  It was pretty freaking cool.)  After witnessing this mob murder Walter testifies to put Jimmy the Squid (the mob boss) in jail and is put in the witness protection program.  For some reason he has to share a room with someone else in the witness protection program.  This new room mate is none other than Timmy Tabasco, a ex-GI red neck on the run from the Chinese mafia.  I was also Timmy Tabasco.  Wackiness ensues.  There are candy-grams, slow speed foot chases and probably not that much oh so much more.
Granted this was only a crappy high school project, but it was awesome...or at least we thought so.  You are no doubt exceedingly disappointed after three weeks of build up, and I don't blame you.
There is probably still a tape of that spectacular show pilot floating around somewhere.  If Dan, Aaron or Steve happen to have a copy of it (or, even less likely, if they happen to read this), I will give you a large Fortel's pizza for a copy of it.

And now that that foolishness is out of the way...
There are few things sadder than a broken coffee mug.
The other day my son knocked my Brandon Phillips coffee mug off the table and broke it.  It was probably the mug I used most often...the perfect size for a cup of coffee or whiskey.  And a freaking fantastic handle that was just about perfect for how I hold a coffee cup.  Oh well, so it goes.

For something a little less tragic, here are the results of the red clay experiment.
Wishy-washy spoon rests
Wishy-washy sheep
Wishy-washy wheat
There are obviously a few problems here, beside the collapsible handles.  I think the slip was a bit too thin to begin with.  Combine that with them being over fired and you get a washy, thin look that is not all together pleasing.  Due to the over firing the lids also stuck on the jars.  Luckily I only mangled one while knocking them loose.  Most of the batch ended up on the shard pile. 
I did have a couple that did not make it into that first round, though, so I tossed them in with the next bisque firing.
Add caption
"I pour poorly!"

Neither will be sold due to cracks (not sure why/how those showed up), but they are still structurally sound, so I will  probably hold onto them for a while.  At least the platter.  The lid of the teapot fits a little too snug and traps air when pouring, so it is kind of a pain to use.
I will probably pursue this style again soon, but not until I do a little more research.

Finally, a few shots of the glaze load I just unloaded this morning.
Collaborative piece with my 2 year old son.
This is another piece my wife has been bugging me to make for a while.  One of the custom items I make is a "surprise" mug; personalized on the outside with a figurine on the inside.  Now I will always have an example on hand that I can take to shows.  I would actually like to make a catalog to take instead of just examples, but that is still in the works.

Whiskey cups, lidded jars, bottles...and balloons!
The mark of the werewolf!
It was a pretty small load because I had to get some custom orders done, but I was happy with how everything turned out, especially the reds.  I had been having some trouble with getting the color I wanted, but I think I have the formula figured out now.

And finally (again), if anyone is in the St. Louis region, I will be at a show in St. Charles this weekend.  Mosaics goes from 4pm Friday to 5pm Sunday.  It looks like the weather is going to cooperate, so come up and see me!

Up next...capybara! 

Friday, August 31, 2012

AFQotD, random notes and financial cuisine...

I was going to put a little review type thing on here about the show I did last weekend in Fairview Heights, IL, but it is getting kind of late.  Therefore, in the interest of brevity, I will simply transcribe the hand full of notes I scribbled down during the show.  These come to you more or less as I originally thought them.

  •  Art Fair Quote of the day #1: two 20-something women
               "Hey Lindsey, there's a butter dish!"
               (What in the world could have transpired that would make the sight of a butter dish so funny?)
  • All the tent poles, stakes and ropes make it feel like we are on display at some sort of circus or people zoo or something.
  • A little bit of wiggle room between tents would be nice.  They practically have us stacked on top of each other.  Twice already I have knocked paintings off the wall in the booth next to me by bumping into their display.
  • Have you ever seen someone so tall you thought to yourself, "What the hell happened to that guy?"
  • I have had a number of people give my work the stink eye already.
  • Art Fair Quote of the Day #2:  Mother & 4-5 year old daughter
               "No no, don't touch Gabby"
               "You touched!"
  •  Art Fair Quote of the Day #3:  3 year old boy
               "Follow Simon!  He knows where the didgeridoos are!"
  • I don't make pretty pots
  • I think I have the most expensive mugs at the show.  The average looks to be about $30.  My average is closer to $40.
  • It is slow like a...like something that is really slow.
  • I think it is funny when parents dress their kids so the whole family matches.  I can understand if it is for family pictures, but I don't think these folks were having family pictures taken.  "I still think there's too much green..."  "I told you, it's a motif!"
  • I love it when people give me lengthy, unsolicited advice about what I need to change on my pots to make them better.  Excuse me sir, but...go away!
  • There are just shy of three hours left for this show and the crowds (and I use the word "crowds"
    in the very loosest sense of the word) are pretty much gone.
  • I love it (really) when people smile, or even better, when they laugh at my work.  Sometimes I laugh when I am making it.
Overall it was a very well organized show, just not very profitable.  Depending on how I decide to cook the books, I covered expenses.

And so this post is not completely devoid of pictures...
...a custom platter for my wife.  She has been wanting me to make a name, wedding, anniversary, whatever you want to call it platter for a while now.  Partly because she wants one to hang on the wall, but mostly because she wants me to hock them as a "custom order" item at shows and such.  Either way we were both pretty happy with how it turned out.

Up next...Timmy Tabasco! 
(I know I said that last time, but this time I mean it...but it will not be for another week and a half as I will be gone all next week.  I know you are all waiting on pins and needles to find out what "Timmy Tabasco" is, but keep your pants on.  You will find out soon enough...and you will undoubtedly be exceedingly disappointed when you do.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pickles, ruination and a dog...

According to this page, that may or may not be reputable,  the world record for the largest potato is 8 pounds, but an unconfirmed contender may have topped it with a 25 pound behemoth that looks like Slimer,

Now, pots and such.  Actually we are going to start off this week with a bit of putting by.
What are these?  Why pickles, of course.  I planted some cucumbers in the garden this year for the specific purpose of making pickles.  This is only the second batch as I only put in four plants and it has been pretty dry, so not many cucumbers.  These are freaking delicious though, and ridiculously easy to make.  I heard about it on the Survival Podcast, or you can check out the recipe here.

In studios news, I got a load of stuff glazed and fired.  Here are some before and after pictures of the top shelf.  I am really digging the tall oval vase forms.  They are fun to make and create a very nice "canvas" for decoration.  Now I just hope they sell so I can make more.
There were also a couple other new forms in this load...small planters, small lidded jars and garlic keepers.  The small jars are possibly one of my favorite forms thus far.

And the culmination of the red clay (again with these references to stuff I put on Facebook!)...

This teapot and all the other red ware got a nice coat of white slip before decoration.  It worked out much better for some pieces than it did for others.
Alas!  I shall be resting no spoons!
This spoon rest, for example, I tried to move too soon after dipping it in the slip.  Did you know that if you dip a leather hard pot in slip it will rehydrate and become soft again?  Good, because that is just plain common sense!  Only a foolish individual like myself would forget this and ruin a good pot because of it.

 But wait...there's more...
One of these things is not like the other one... some on, sing!
These mugs looked great after I dipped them, all slippy and just waiting for some sgraffito.  When I came back to check on them though, the handle had broken off every single one.  Not sure why. 

Not all of the red ware broke though; and I really dig how the survivors turned out...more folky than my usual stuff.  I definitely want to give this stuff another shot, but without all the ruination.  If anyone out there has any experience with this sort of work and knows what I may have done wrong, or even if you just have any tips in this area, please give me a shout.

As for the stuff that did make it...
The aforementioned small lidded jars and a couple of spoon rests immediately post dipping.

Jars and teapot after being decorated.

Large (16-17 inch) platter with a crane.

The larger pieces (platter and teapot) were sprayed with slip as they would not fit in the bucket, and that seemed to help the breakage problem, but the handle of the teapot still cracked at the bottom.  Knackers.  
These are all in a bisque firing right now.  I am quite anxious to get them glazed and see what they will look like all finished up.  
Actually I would really like to go to it on these things with an underglaze pencil since the experiments and the stuff in the last kiln load came out so well.  Unfortunately my underglaze pencil is almost used up.  And even if it wasn't, my electric pencils sharpener (which is apparently the only way this pencil likes to be sharpened) is jammed, so I cannot even sharpen what is left of it sufficiently.  Oh well, next time.

Speaking of platters, (We weren't really speaking of platters.  That was just a nice way to switch to a different subject.  It's called a transition; I learned about those in English class.  And even though that was a pretty poor transition, we are going to roll with it.) the platters I have been working on are all scratched up (decorated, that is) and in the kiln.  No pictures yet, other than this one.
The platters were too large to fit in the make-shift spray booth that I normally use, so I had to move operations outside.  Luckily it was not windy at all, so the spraying of slips went off without a hitch...the dog helped.  I enjoyed it so much in fact that I may (weather permitting) continue spraying work out of doors.

And last but not least...Saint Vitus!
Old school doom metal band ala Black Sabbath. 

Up next...Timmy Tabasco!

Post Script:  I have a show coming up this weekend in Belleville, IL.  Midwest salute to the Arts.  It kind of sneaked up on me, so I have been rushing to get some stuff done this week.  If you happen to be in the area feel free to stop by and say hi!