Hebrew Jars

 

I had the idea and process for creating the “Line Upon Line” collection of Hebrew jar type Dead Sea Scroll replicas for quite some time but needed to nail it down in some way. I also needed a good time to put the collection together. When I was invited by Gallery41 in Owego, New York to be a guest artist for July 2022 I took the opportunity.

In the past I used the iron oxide wash technique in small ways on the shave brush handles. Some time back I created a whole series of brushes, a collection on the topic of Ancient warriors found in the biblical literature. I enjoyed how the red iron oxide when fired brought out the texture patterns of the clay and sent the color to an ancient looking toasty brown. I thought that if this process and technique worked for small pieces, it may turn on great on somewhat larger.

For the project, I made up 20 pieces with about 5 ponds of clay each. I trimmed and dried them out and inscribed Hebrew out of the biblical texts of Isaiah. I always thought the verse of Isaiah 28:10 sounded beautiful when read in the Hebrew. I decided the body of work should be called “Line Upon Line.” I also wanted an inscribed text in Hebrew connecting all the pieces, and so used small quotes out of the texts of Isaiah on the topic of Justice to combine them all. Inscribing the Hebrew was a bit of a challenge as I have not practiced writing the letters for quite some time.

I was relived when all but one pot survived the firings and process, as I cut everything a bit close with the deadlines and getting the show set up by going for the idea and collection. I have always enjoyed the study of Ancient Near Eastern texts and Biblical literature, especially the Dead Sea Scrolls and their discovery. The ancient pottery jars the scrolls were found in are amazing to me, and I found the idea of pottery preserving literature and writings with the use of clay interesting. You may view an up close container of a dead sea scroll vessel here. Also, have a look for yourself at “The Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsa) by clicking here.

My next project I am thinking about will be to learn a bit of ancient Cuneiform and write in texts. I love both texture on pots, and texture that can be read would be even better. I would love to create a whole series with texts from the Baal Epic or that of Gilgamesh. Thanks to my good friend Richard I have all the material to start to learn the process, including the material on the epics.

You may view the “Line upon Line” collection of jars and vases if you wish by clicking here. The name of the piece is the name of the reference and both the Hebrew and English translation was provided along with the dimensions. This special collection of Isaiah “Line Upon Line” of jars and vases were made by my own hand on the pottery wheel and fired and refined in the gas kilns at Creek Road Pottery in Laceyville, PA along the cold Tuscarora creek. Special thanks to Rabbi John Herbert Ludemann for his guidance and advice with this project.


Hobo Smoky

 

It was about 2 am that the long train hauling loaded sand cars and 25 boxers came to a screeching halt just out back the Right Choice Diner. Hobo Smoky fell into the small town of Laceyville with the force of the stop and landed in a heap at the front of the empty car. His violent stop was padded in a small way by the pile of packing cardboard he had laid out to sleep on. The door of the Union Pacific boxer slid full open, then came crashing back closed against the rail spike Smoky had wedged into the door track to hold it open. At least he wasn’t locked in. Smoky groaned some from the pain of being thrown across the floor and into the wall of car when the air brakes kicked on. This had to be bad.

Smoky crawled sore to the door and took a look out into the dark night. He saw the soft glow of streetlights about a half mile up the tracks, and the sound of the fire whistle started its lonely cry to wake the sleepy town to the tragedy. “Awww shit.. I better get off here.” Smoky rolled up his sleep pad and found his pail of gear scattered about in the car in the dim glow of his flashlight, its batteries running low. Once everything was collected, he tossed the sleep pack and pail to the ground outside the train into the dark night and climbed down out of the car. As Smoky made his way up the tracks, he could make out the flashing lights of emergency vehicles arriving on the scene and could hear the sound of sirens. It was the length of about 35 cars to town, he guessed. 35 cars to walk off the pain. In all his days hopping trains, he could only remember one other time when an 90 car CSX train locked up on its way to Indiana when a dump truck ran the crossing. But that was only a near miss. Whatever happened up ahead had to be much worse. It seemed the whole town was waking up for a meeting at the tracks.

The track was just taken over by R.J. Corman which combined the Lehigh Railway, Owego & Harford Railway, and Luzerne & Susquehanna Railway. Smoky found an open boxer at the Reading & Northern interchange at Mehoopany while they hooked on to fifty sander cars. He was on the Lehigh Railway that heads through Laceyville and hoped for an easy trip on his way to see his new grand baby in Athens. Other than a heavy rainstorm pounding on the box car, things seemed to be quite peaceful until the violent stop after he just fell asleep. Smoky hid his gear and bedroll in some brush. As he neared the front of the train, he saw the crew standing together by the big engines. A sheet covered a body while emergency crews worked the scene and everyone waited on the county corner to arrive. A middle age woman sat on a large rock back some from train sobbing with her head in her hands and beside her sat a teenage boy staring blankly into the night and a big man was on the phone next to them making a call.

Hey Missy. This is Jimmy. I know it’s real late, but I was wondering if you could come down and open the Wright Choice. I would never ask, but we are having a real bad time here in town tonight and folks may need someplace to hold up.”

” Hey big Jimmy, what happened down there? I heard the train lock up clear here where I’m at! Everyone ok?”

“I’m afraid not. Terence Mott was hit on the tracks. Looks like the poor guy fell sleep there drinking, and the train didn’t see him until it was too late. Could you come down and open up and make up some coffee for the emergency crew and folks. I got Brenda Mott and Billy here. They are real shaken.”

”Okay Jimmy, I’m on my way down. Just let me get dressed and I’ll open up.”

” Thanks Miss, I owe you big time.”

Big Jimmy then put his phone in his back pocket and as he turned, saw the outline of Hobo Smoky.

“Smoky. How are things?”

”Hey Big Jimmy, sorry to see all of this. The brakes woke me up and it looks I’ll be in town for the night. You need help washing dishes up at the diner for a day or two?”

”You could not have asked at a better time. You can start right now. I got one of the girls stopping down to open and serve coffee and let everyone calm down some.”

Big Jimmy sat on the rock next to Mrs. Mott who was still sobbing and shaking uncontrollably. He put one big arm around her to try and comfort her some.

”Okay, I’ll head on up and get to work.” said Smoky

Smoky walked up the small hill, though the laundry on the line, to the rickety back steps of the Wright Choice and waited outside the screen door to be let in. He pulled a smoke from behind his ear and took off his cap and dirty red bandanna. There was something terribly beautiful about the scene from the back steps of the Wright Choice in the fog with the flashing lights. A fair and foul day for sure.

Now there may not be a hobo Smoky or a Wright Choice Diner, but somewhere, someplace, someone dropped by to help at the right times. This is my story about my town, so I get to tell it how I like.

Written By,

Al Wayman

Artist/Owner

Creek Road Pottery LLC

If you enjoyed this post and are a lover of pottery, sign up for our newsletter and become a raging fan.

Founder’s Day

I went to a show in my hometown to show up in my hometown to push the pots and say hello to folks. I had to do all of that after working all night at the paper factory. The night at the paper factory was a long one because nothing was running right. So I super rush home and showered and loaded the pots. My wife was a big help as she was so kind and had all the pots that came out of the kiln packed. I almost was late to the show from hugging her and all. So we packed everything in the car and went to the show 40 min away and followed the instructions..

So they had teams of folks there to help unload with set up, so we pull to our spot and unload, and they all help, and we move the car and then start the set-up. Now I don’t have a normal show tent but one that is 5 sided and once up it for sure did not fit in the 10×10 spot but was well over it and was all up in my neighbor’s biz and Even though I was exhausted I quickly realize I was becoming that guy by holding things up. So I say “Hey It’s not supposed to rain so we don’t need the tent, thanks everyone. ”

But the director of the show said to me “Well you might want shade from the sun.” and I said “I got nice trees here so I’m good thanks and I don’t want to be that guy and hold you all up.” So we wasted time and argued a bunch, but she was very kind and overly helpful. But after some thought she told me that she had 2 slots of folks who did not show, and I could move all the stuff to that spot and put up the tent. By this time things were very stressful as we just needed to get set up to look good and all

So we wasted more time and that of the helpers when the kind lady had us all move all the pots and the stuff to the other double space and us and them got the tent up thanks goodness and one helper dropped a container of pots and I told him not to worry as everything on the bottoms are always seconds anyway and all the million dollar pots were home and the ones here were just mugs and all. None of that was true, but I just didn’t want to waste time with him going on about how bad he felt and all and for sure I don’t have any million dollar pots. So we got set up and the work put out on the flip shelves that set up fast and my wife helped me put out all the pots she packed up so nice in nest format from the boxes, and before we knew it we were saying hi to folks who started to stop by and poke around.

After we got set up my wife said she would find me food and coffee while I did some pricing adjustments. She asked me what I wanted in my coffee and I say just cream because you’re helping me added the sweetness and I might have a mouth full of cavities, call the dentist. So after my wife came back with food and coffee, she thought maybe I should shoot a pic and post to social media, so the peeps could come say hi if they were in town. So after six shots of me not sure where my arms should go we finally got a nice one, and then we sat out there all day in the shade in the hot sun and had a nice time chatting with folks and talking about how pots are made .

I was able to sell quite a few pots and made back my booth fee and believe it or not a few hundred over. And I was relived that I had the right stuff for the right folks, as I always worry about it. I appreciated each and every sale as no one owes me anything and I had some strong interactions and also a lady who wanted to learn to fire gas kilns as she only does electric. So I told her to stop up sometime.

Then I walked around a bit to wake up while my wife watched the booth when things slowed and bought a mug off another local potter who had some real nice work and had nice hand-builds. So over all it was a nice time as I sold some work and got some money and a sunburn. We then went home and I went to bed then got up and worked on the Hebrew pots for the opening on Friday, July 1st. Twenty of those pots are drying now, flipped in the sun.

 

Clemmer’s Tractor

I was not the only one out in the sun that day. A cool breeze was mixed in with the heat, so it was a great day for drying hay. They had plenty cut up on the Clemmer place, and they needed to get the hay raked and baled due to threats of thunderstorms. Old man Clemmer was using his new Oliver tractor.

Old man Clemmer was able to purchase his new Oliver tractor with the insurance money he got from when his pole barn full of bedding straw burned down. After the big investigation of the burning hay pile they went with Clemmer’s theory that sunlight from his pickup truck mirror reflected into the barn and set the bedding straw on fire. It also helped out if you were good friends with the fire chief and those who worked the fire company as then there was no need to look deeper than you needed to into things.

Some at Millie’s bar thought the fire up at Clemmer’s was a bit strange, and they all were talking about how much young Davy Clemmer loved fire works. Every year when the night went warm, it would sound like Chinese new years up on the hill. Davy Clemmer would save all his money and have his older friends buy fireworks. Before Facebook, fire working was a form of entertainment for a lot of folks. When M80’s were no longer big enough, there was always quarter sticks to relive folk of the burden of having all 5 fingers. Davy Clemmer was down to three fingers now but was still going strong as he still had a thumb.

Davy Clemmer lost his second finger in a heroic effort to save a friend’s life. Somehow, a quarter stick that was lit got dropped on the floor of the side by side the friends were driving up on Turkey Trail road. And while they both in a panic tried to find a stick among the empty beer cans, the fuse was much shorter by the time Davy Clemmer came up with it. Davy for the better got the stick to the window as the side by side he was driving rolled into the ditch. Davy lost a finger and part of his hearing that day when they crawled out from under the vehicle and celebrated being alive in pain. “So I think Davy Clemmer set that fire up there, and you can’t tell me any different.” said Bob as he took a sip of his beer. “I don’t care what the investigation found. If Davy Clemmer was around the place and there was a fire, you can almost bet that kid was part of it all somehow.”

But Clemmer’s Oliver was real nice and worked much better than the last tractor he had. It always seemed he was working on the old one more than he was using it, and when you had nice days on the farm, it was time to get things done rather than mess around trying to be a mechanic. The rain held off for Clemmer and he was able to bag everything he had down. It was almost like a miracle happened as when the dark clouds gathered a hole seemed to open up over his field. “How lucky am I!” thought Clemmer as the rain went up the other side the road.

Now there may not be an old man Clemmer or an Oliver tractor, but somewhere, someplace, someone was forced to appreciate life a little more. This is my story about my town, so I get to tell it how I like.

Written By,

Al Wayman

Artist/Owner

Creek Road Pottery LLC

If you enjoyed this post and are a lover of pottery, sign up for our newsletter and become a raging fan.

 

It was a long month after my Spring show 2022. It was sure nice to see everyone out, and I very much appreciated the support. I was able to finish the candle project that ran long and all of that happened just before we got the big April snow storm, and we lost power for 3 days. Three days was not bad for us, as some were out for six or more days with trees on the lines.

No pots were made as I worked to file taxes and iron out the bookwork that seems to be tangled up like a box of Christmas lights. A friend who is an accountant and a fire brand Libertarian went through my books and made the crooked straight in no time flat. She had all kinds of hard conversations with me about my bookkeeping and financial management. So I had to make some tough changes to keep things moving along.


Burnout

Burnout happens slowly over time and is something that seems to run in cycles. After the Spring show, I did not want to see another pot and was happy to fire the kilns and finish things up with a load of dark rusty red iron glazed pieces. Most of those were for the wet shave community and work to update the shops. It was nice to make the rounds and see and talk with the shop owners. I took images of some work to load into my online shop.

When the snow came and the lights went out, My wife and I dug out the camping supplies, the old time Colman stove, oil lamps, and hooked up the propane heater to keep the place warm. Once the power was restored and things were back to normal, I intended to go back to the studio after a few folks sent me messages looking for work, but I was a bit too exhausted still.

To deal with burnout, I let it run its course. At many jobs, you get vacation time to work out such things. But for me personally, I spend most of my vacation making pots and take only a few days each year to go camping. Also, I try and balance life and work to maintain good relationships with family.

Reading books is also relaxing for me and also project planning, marketing, website updates, and cleaning the studio helps. It is ok to take breaks. It is ok to read books. It is ok to take time with loved ones and do other things you might enjoy, as time is limited, and you never get it back.

I always try and ask, “If I was living yesterday a second time, what would I do differently?” It seems to put things into perspective. If I live to be 86 from today, I only have 14, 168 days left to do all the things I wish to accomplish and to try new things. 14,168 days left to impact those around me in positive ways and create positive change if I can.

All of those things combined become who I am and come out in the work though my hands when I do come back to create once more. Even in the Hebrew biblical texts, the Creator rested after seven days.

Maybe he was a bit burned out after it all. Maybe he needed to create the man and the woman as a hobby to relax. Maybe the Creator did some gardening to relax some and see what would happen.

It seems that I was not the only one burned out. Even the preacher seemed to be stumped working his sermon Saturday morning down at the  Wright Choice Diner in town.


The Preacher

There was a worn bible, a few commentary books, and papers of handwritten notes all over table three in the corner where preacher Mansfield sat. It looked like he was having a real hard time working things out that Saturday morning as he attempted to write his Sunday sermon.

Poor guy looks a bit flustered today.” said big Jimmy, the owner and cook, as he brought out my eggs.

Yes Sir! He sure does.” I say.

Maybe folks will be lucky and get a short sermon tomorrow. Since he took over preaching, everyone’s Sunday dinner roasts have been burned, as he’s a bit long-winded. They all had to go out and buy crock pots.”

Haaa! Well that’s good for me here at the ol Best Choice. If they burn dinner, I might get to see everyone Sundays. Now if I was smart I would run a roast beef, potato and gravy special. I should go over there and see what’s on his mind.”

Now most of the time you would see the good Reverend Mansfield there at the corner table each Saturday morning writing away like his life depended on it.

He would be writing down the divine words that poured from the heavens, words that seeped out of the bible texts, though his hand, out his pen, and onto the notebook page. And if you knew any better, you did not disrupt such a process.

The waitress Missy would keep refilling his coffee for him as it seemed to be the fuel to the fire until he was finished around lunch. He would then collect all his notes and stuff them in his bible between the pages his sermon came from to save the spot.

The preacher would then pile up his commentaries and supporting materials and put them under his arm and head out the door. He always seemed to forget to leave a tip, a habit that put Missy over the edge, and also hampered her church attendance a bit, but we are all working on something.

How are things today, Reverend?”

Here is some toast on the house. Someone accidentally got rye but ordered wheat.”

Big Jimmy pulled up a chair while the preacher shoved his books and papers aside and made room for the plate.

I’m not sure what to preach on tomorrow, Jimmy. I usually have it all down by now, but today I got nothing.”

Well, I could get you some stronger coffee if you like?”

Naww, I’m okay for now..thanks anyway.”

I just think God’s people can do better. I am having a real bad time getting folks to follow the gospel teachings outside the church doors. It seems folks forget everything I told them once they get to the parking lot.”

Big Jimmy rubbed his chin in thought.

Well preacher, maybe you should get out more. I see plenty of folks who might not be all that Baptist and are a bit shady doing gospel things. I don’t attend and all, but as a kid I remember that story of Sampson, a shady guy for sure, always getting into trouble, becoming a hero pushing over the pillars. And ol King David sleeping around. All those folks somehow got their names right there in the good book. Maybe push “doing” for a bit instead of only “believing.”

Yeah..you might be right Jimmy.”

It was at that time, Missy came up to the table for a word with big Jimmy.

Hey Jimmy, Billy Mott’s here. He ordered a coffee. I asked if he wanted anything else, and he said he had no money, wanted  just a coffee. His mother spent all the money this month on beer and only on some of bills. The guy looks hungry. You told me to let you know when he’s here and..well.. he’s here.”

Okay Miss. Thanks. “ said big Jimmy as he leaned over to see Billy Mott around the preacher.

Yeah I‘m not sure what I should do. Maybe I’ll come up with something a bit later. Maybe I can hook up some text out of the book of James on how works and faith need to match up for things to work right. But I worry folks may also forget that. Maybe I got my calling wrong. I feel like a real failure in this town Jimmy.”

Big Jimmy missed that last part. He was still watching Billy Mott sitting having a warm coffee and shaking off the cold from the early Spring morning air. He did look a bit hungry. Big Jimmy signaled Missy with his hand to have her stop over.

Yeah Jimmy?”

Ahhh shit…Hey, go back there and have the kitchen cook up three eggs over easy..two pieces of toast, bacon, and ahh..one pancake..and have them bring it out to Billy over there..and if Mr. Mott gives you any shit about it tell him I said to shut up and eat it.”

Okay Jimmy..got it.” said Missy, writing it all down.

The guy looks like he hasn’t had anything in days. I might need to go talk to his mother again over at the trailer. Billy does great taking care of her, but it looks like things are getting bad again.”

Okay I’ll have it made up. You going over there now Jimmy?” asked Miss.

If so I’ll let them know in the back.”

Yeah.. I’ll take a walk over. I won’t be long. She was going to AA, but looks like she stopped. I’ll get her back there if I have to drag her there myself.”

Well have a good one preacher. Hope you get something by morning.”

With that, big Jimmy got up and left the table, with his apron on and all, and walked out the Best Choice door. As Missy made her way to the back to put in big Jimmy’s request, the heavens finally cracked open a bit on the preacher and rained down the sweet showers of understanding. His face went white and his eyes filled with tears.

How could I miss it. It was all right here the whole time. Right here in this town, in this diner, in the cook big Jimmy. The same big Jimmy who made shady deals out back on the steps, the guy who swore like a sailor at the dishwasher for breaking mugs, the guy who stayed up late playing poker with friends, the guy whose shadow never darkened the Baptist church door was now doing all the things I myself have missed.”

I need to cancel church tomorrow.” The good reverend thought to himself.

I need to cancel church and tell everyone to just do a good thing tomorrow for someone..an act of selfless kindness, no matter how small or big..without thinking on the selfish desires of heaven.”

With that the preacher jumped up, left a 5 dollar tip, and ran out the door to catch up with Jimmy. He would go with the cook to help with the chat. He thought maybe he owed Jimmy for the help.

There may not have been a Billy Mott, Big Jimmy , or a Preacher, but somewhere someplace someone forgot themselves in helping others. This is my story about my town so I get to tell it how I like.

 

Written By,Al Wayman

Artist/Owner

Creek Road Pottery LLC

If you enjoyed this post and are a lover of pottery, sign up for our newsletter and become a raging fan.

 

I was supposed to get up at 6 am to get the kilns going but hit my snooze button twice and got up at 6:30 instead. I made a coffee and looked out the window at the second heavy frost of the year. Mrs. Smith’s black and white tomcat was sitting on the pottery porch watching a rabbit hop across the frozen grass and into the brush at the edge of the lawn. By 7:30 am, I had the glaze clean-up done on about sixty pot bottoms and started to load them out in the cold, stopping every once and a while to take sips of my steaming coffee. The candle cups with the blue glaze would need to go on the bottom shelves while the farmhouse green cups went on the middle and top shelves as this kiln runs hotter up top. I have one kiln that runs hot on the top and another gas kiln that runs hot on the bottom. Correct placement is important as each shelf puts out a different effect and color due to the temperature difference. My phone buzzed at 7:30 am. It was a message from Sandy. 

R u up yet?” 

I took off my glove and typed out, “Yes. Loading kilns what’s going on?”  

On my way. b there 8:30” 

K,” I type back. 

Sandy is a middle-aged lady with red hair who goes all in on almost everything she does and works sales for her day job. At 8:53 she pulls in as I am lowering the updraft kiln lid. “Sorry I’m 23 minutes late,” she says. “My horse got out, and I had to put him back in. When he gets out all the goats follow but thank goodness they all follow back also. 4H and goat shows have me running around like crazy. I did get your soaps made up for you.” 

Well, that’s good they follow like that. Now if that were a pig, they would never go back in the same hole,” I say. 

Yeah, the old guy got cut some on his leg from the fence, but I was able to fix him up by spraying blue coat on it. He should be fine,” Sandy says, brushing her hair out of her eyes. “He’s a real good boy but getting old.” 

I wonder if her horse is anything like Magic, I think to myself.

 

Photo by Zosia Korcz on Unsplash

It was the start of “The Best Summer Ever” when I was a kid. That was the summer when the stray dog showed up that could do tricks, where us kids swam in the cool Starrucca Creek, and Uncle Will brought home a pony we named Magic. Aunt Barb suggested the name because he had blue eyes. She thought it made the pony look magical. As we stroked the pony’s mane, we all had to agree. We took turns riding Magic all summer over at Aunt Barb and Uncle Will’s. When we stopped for lunch, Aunt Barb would make us all peanut butter sandwiches and give us each one hot bean made by Uncle Will himself. Along with the bean was a small cup of milk to tame the burn. We would all sit on the porch steps and eat before taking turns riding Magic. The pony worked hard that summer. We knew better not to fight too loud while taking turns. If there was any trouble, Aunt Barb would make both offending parties stand and hug each other in the middle of the yard to think about things while the other kids went your turn on the horse for you. 

Sandy handed me a box. “Here are ten shave soap pucks, we can do a trade. I also have this old kiln you can have if you help me get on Square. I have a sale at a farmer’s market next week” 

Well, that sure is a lot. I’ll pay you for the kiln. Getting on Square is no real trouble,” I say. 

I had the buddy gas heater going in the pottery shed. Sandy took a seat in a yard folding chair and I in another beside her, and we both got out our phones to go through it all. It didn’t take too long, and we got it all done before the next kiln check. The cones in both kilns dropped just in time to give me an hour of sleep before a 12-hour night shift at the paper factory. When I returned, snow clouds were in the sky. The wind was cold, and the air was crisp. I added four pieces of wood to the stove while the candle cups started to cool. To stay warm, I thought warm thoughts. Like thoughts on that Best Summer Ever and that pony named Magic.

Sandy made out ok at the sale. It’s ok to take time out to help others. Some names and events were changed, but there truly was a Best Summer Ever and a pony named Magic. This is my story about my town, and childhood, so I get to tell it how I like.

Written By,
Al Wayman
Artist/Owner
Creek Road Pottery LLC

Edited by:
Erika Sickler
Content Writer/ Editor
Creek Road Pottery LLC

If you enjoyed this post and are a lover of pottery, sign up for our newsletter and become a raging fan.

 


Thanks to all of those who came out to the opening and attend the show, March 17th to April 14th at the Slanted Art Gallery in Montrose, Pa.
For those who were not able to make it to the show here are images of the collection.  Kathy Taylor, jewelry artist of comingupdazees , created the enameled copper jewelry pieces for the raku pots.  She did a wonderful job!  Also thanks so much to the buyers as four of the eight have sold.

This project was a bit different for me as it has been some time since I fired raku pots. When I seen Kathy’s jewelry I thought it might be nice to do a show at some point. Kathy Taylor did an excellent job at matching up colors and style. Each jewelry piece can be removed and worn.
The stress from the raku process was hard on the pots and many of them fractured and should get the hammer. But many protested at the thought and after some debate it was decided that maybe the cracks added to the piece and that the buyer should decide. So all pieces will be clearly marked.

Below are the images of the pots. I hope you all enjoy them. Thanks Kathy for the great job you did and also for taking the photos.

Below is a link to the raku pots when they came out of the kiln.

A Blog post from a buyer and collector!  Thanks so much for the support Gere!

Blog: Connections More: Mine!

Here are process photos of the collection of pots being made:

A video of the pots in a live feed from the gallery show:

Enjoying the Sunshine – 2/27/2021

 

Critical Tasks:

Trim bowls after waking up from working nights. Start throwing bakers while bisque kiln fires. <–Not completed

 

Secondary Tasks: Clean Studio <—Not completed

I worked 12 hours at the paper factory nights. I slept until 1:30 pm then made a plan. I decided to finish trimming bowls and then start the bakers as I need about 40. I also planned to run a bisque of raku pots.

But then I went outside and the sun was shining. I sat on the porch with a cup of coffee in the sun for an hour. Then I felt like playing my guitar a bit. By then it was getting late and I ate dinner with my wife and we watched a fun show together on YouTube.I was able to come to my scenes that I was watching someone else’s story and not my own. It was much easier sitting on the couch having a drink watching someone else tell their story then creating my own. So I preached a big sermon to myself on it like a baptist minister and thought it far better to be living and creating my own so I went and trimmed the rest of the bowls and planned to start the bakers in the morning while running the bisque load I didn’t get done.

 

If I was living yesterday a second time:

I would have made more realistic goals. Working night shift is a bit more challenging plus I need to plan in a bit more fun time so I don’t get burn out. The world will still spin without my pots in it. It’s not like I’m making a vaccine or anything.

Things I enjoyed:

I enjoyed that cup of coffee in the sun after working nights. I enjoyed strumming my guitar and dinner with my wife. I enjoyed trimming out those bowls.

My story summary:

Realistic goals could get more things accomplished when I stick to them but at times resistance to doing a thing or to change might talk us into not doing things or making it easy to stay far longer than we need to. Like Aeneas staying long with Dido or Odysseus with Calypso resistance can delay our journey or deny us of reaching our destination and the adventure along the way.

Trimming Bowls Before Work – 2/26/2021

 

Critical Tasks: Trim bowls before work 12 hour nights at the paper factory. <– Completed

 

Secondary Tasks: Cover work so pots don’t dry out to fast. <—Completed

 

If I was living yesterday a second time:

I would have done everything the same as far as clay work and glad I stuck it out making the bowls. I might take the scenic route into work as it’s a real nice drive through back country farmland.

 

Things I enjoyed:

I had a nice time trimming pots while watching Kara Burtin YouTube videos on Etsy SEO. I also enjoyed reading “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life” by Nir Eyal while on break at work and the chicken and potatoes my wife helped me pack for lunch. Work went better and things ran smooth.

 

My story summary:

I woke up at 1:30 pm after working 12 hour nights at the paper factory and chatted with my wife some then trimmed pots until 3:30. I was able to get about 25 bowls trimmed out before work I covered the other 30 that were left then got ready for another night of work.  I can do quite a bit if I schedule my time better. I need to work out a life plan and short term goals after the March shows are over. I would like to get some hiking and camping in.

Bowls Before Work 2/25/2021

Critical Tasks: Complete 2 throwing Session and Sleep for work 12 hour nights at the paper factory. <– Completed

 

Secondary Tasks: Cover work so pots don’t dry out to fast. <—Completed

 

If I was living yesterday a second time:
I would have done everything the same as far as clay work and glad I stuck it out making the bowls. I also think I would have made better decisions at work troubleshooting.

 

Things I enjoyed:
I had a nice cup of coffee and some raisin bread at 4:00 am on quick break my wife packed. Also when I left work in the morning at 6: 00 am it was a full moon. In some strange way I enjoyed all the action at work. I did meet my goal of tossing 50 lbs of bowls before work the last 6 were the hardest as I was getting happy for it to be the end but felt great that I met the goal. Like a runner sprinting in the last stretch of the race to some finish line.

 

My story summary:
I was able to compete 2 throwing sessions of bowls in the morning before sleeping for night shift at the paper factory. I now have over 100 for the Spring show and now can start bakers. We had a bad time at work due to issues. I didn’t get to many breaks as things kept going bad. I think after a long time even the hardships are looked back on as enjoyable.

A Family Visit – 2/24/2021

 

Critical tasks:

I had the day off from the paper factory and I was planning to have 3 two hour sessions throwing bowls for my Spring open studio show. <— Got in one session of 18 bowls as I shut down for the mom visit.

Secondary Tasks:

Unload kiln/ update my website/ unlock my sales tax account <— Completed

I had to move everything as mom stopped by. When dad & mom stop by I shut the whole place down as mom is 86 and loves to be a big part of everything. We chatted a whole bunch over coffee and tea and then went to the little diner in town for lunch. Before they came I got all the secondary tasks done and took a break to answer questions facebook. I then had a throwing session from 9 pm to 10 pm and made up 18 soup bowls.

If I was living yesterday a second time:

I would have still shut down the whole place for the Mom and Dad visit. As they are the best parents ever and got us into all types of things and still are there for all of us as they are able. We had a real fun time as kids even though we were broke. I think I could have done a throwing session in the morning before they showed up to get at least one more critical task done as if I am not making pots on the wheel that means the amount of pots I would like to have for the show are not getting done. I would have still unloaded the bisque fire as that went real long due to everything steaming out.

Things I enjoyed:

I enjoyed visiting and having lunch out with my Mum and Dad and Mum said she would be up to help me with the Spring show and said she had an outfit pick out to match the glazes I would be running, as dad rolled his eyes. Haaa!. So come hell or high water that show will happen for that reason alone and will be worth it even if I only sell one thing. I had a fun time updating the website.

My Story Summary:

Family is very important to me. I found I can now toss 18 pots and hour with at 1.5 lbs is just a bit over a bag of clay. My wife had a great idea on bundling pots. My ideal customer Mrs. Davis loves bundles of things so Holiday bundles might be the way to go.

A Wet Kiln Firing – 2/23/2021

Yesterday I had the day off from my job at the paper factory. At 8:00 am I went and filled 3 gas canisters at Tractor Supply because they charge by the gallon and not by the fill and it’s much cheaper. They also fill them all the way up. I loaded 10 raku pots for bisque and could not fit all 13 in. I normally fire with a full shelf 1.5 inches down from the lid but the pots were to tall so I over fired the bottom to make up for it. They will be fine as they are somewhat large raku.

I ran a 2 hour warm up to let the kiln steam out a bit and went through the firing process. Hour 2 I found a leak at the tank nozzle and had to switch it out and restart the firing. I did a slow climb until the cone 06 bent all the way down at 5:00pm.

I got no other critical tasks completed as the gas kiln needs to be monitored every 30 min which is how I caught the leak. Some of the pots were a bit heavy also but having them on the woodstove was a huge time saver and help in drying them.

If I was living a second time:

I would have held off the firing until today as I could have used the day to throw and trimmed pots today between checks. I would have help to pull that person out of the ditch as 10 years ago a kind guy did the same for me. Knocking on doors 6 am to ask to borrow a chain. Out there that was a good way to get shot at but kind and I never forgot. In the winter out here a person should always have winter clothing, boots, gloves, snow shovel and chain in the trunk. I took out all that to load in the propane tanks. I would have got hoses to connect to the large tank as driving to get propane is a huge effort and time loss.
Things I enjoyed:
I enjoyed steaming out that wet kiln even though it was more effort and seemed to take a bit longer. Between checks I watch youtube instructional videos and spent time with the wife. After the kiln went down The wife and I went out to eat and food shopping. I talked to my sister from Update NY for 30 min. When My wife was ready I went in the store to help a bit as I try to stay out of the way. She lets me pick out the Mrs. Dash seasoning, meats , and coffee.

On the way home there was a lady who was stuck real bad in a ditch. I drove home and got my snow shovel and chain and winter gear while my wife unloaded the groceries. Then I went back out and a few other were there with one chain but it was not long enough. I used my shovel and with my chain added the two kids that stopped were able to show off a bit by pulling the lady out. So in short they had a truck pull at 9:00pm on a corner. They must have known each other as they were talking a bit of smack and the one kid said that he would let the other guy go first and finish the job when they both end up stuck..I’m thinking maybe a Ford/Chevy riverly.

My Story Summary:

Getting scheduled tasks completed can be a challenge. There will be plenty of resistance to working new ways and getting use to keeping on track.  There is only so much time in the bank and you should spend each penny of they in ways that are productive and enjoyable. If you do not make your own journey and plan others will make them for you no trouble. But you may regret not having a choice in the matter later.  What hero’s journey are you on?