Sunday, December 17, 2017

Winter mornings and pottery

The long light lingers in the early morning and in the evening, too. Sometimes it is colorful and sometimes not, but it is always interesting to me. It often lasts only a few minutes and it is difficult to capture unless you are ready for it. Sometimes it is red. The bumps on the horizon are the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. They are about 70 miles away. Fortunately, we are high enough and they are high enough to get over the curvature issue of living on a sphere. I'm not sure how the flat-earthers interpret that. Click to embiggen.
When the morning temperatures are around zero (-17C) the mist rises from the warmer-than-air water. When the air gets much colder and the water hasn't frozen the steam can look like small tornadoes rising from the sea. So far we haven't had any extremely cold temperatures. This was from a day or two after the first picture.
Evening light can also be dramatic, but usually it is something like this:
Pottery is over for the season (my season, anyway) and I thought I did more pieces. Then I remember tossing quite a few in the clay recycling bin so I guess it's all okay. It is always fun and I learned a few new techniques and refinements and how to salvage mistakes. I'll do some more next year.
I didn't realize I had used so much blue glaze. It is a shade of red when applied.
My fellow "student", Ann, had some commissioned work, the saucers, for an upcoming wedding somewhere around the Twin Cities. Underneath they have the names of all the people who will receive them. Ann has done things professionally and can turn out amazing quality at volumes I can't imagine. I ask her how she does it. She said after a thousand or so it gets pretty automatic. Like riding a bicycle. I still have my training wheels on. I learned a few things from her and some of the other potters that just rent space in the studio. Here is some of Ann's work. Damn, she's good!


  1. that first pix is a good one!

    your pottery looks lovely. tell me, what are the saucers with the holders in the center? for candles, perhaps? with practice, you can become as rapid as ann is.

  2. The bands of colour in the first shot are fantastic. And I don't think there is such a thing as too much blue; those look just right to me! (blue means sky and sea to me)

    Wonderful pictures, all.

  3. Ann's work is great, but so is yours! Blue pottery is my favorite. You did very well. I bet you'll get to take off your training wheels before long.


  4. Love your skies. And your work. Time to take off those training wheels (while continuing to learn) and soar.
    I suspect Ann would tell you that she is learning all the time. jenny_o is so right about blue being the colour of water and the sky. Both blessed things I can never have too much of.

  5. You're really going to pot, Jono, my man.

    Any more pottering around in that cold taking photos and you'll be fit to be glazed.

  6. I really like that blue glaze! It's very eye-catching.

  7. Some nice pottery there and I like the blue glaze. I'm hoping to do some more pottery courses in 2018. My last session was a bit disappointing, as we only used molds to make the dishes and plates from flat clay and I really wanted to use the wheel. Not enough "hands on" work for me.
    I seem to have unblogged myself recently as I haven't posted since November.... oh well, I'll get back into it soon. Sometimes the mind goes blank for a while, right?

  8. anne, The dual dishes can be used also for nuts or snacks and dips (small portions, or whatever). If I ever got as fast as Ann I don't know if I could ever match her quality and raw talent.

    jenny_o, Thanks! It's been a gray season here. Maybe I was subconsciously bring blue back into my life.

    Janie, I am envious and awed by her talent and have seen other styles and pieces she has made. It doesn't seem to go to her head, though, and she gave me some great pointers.

    Elephant's Child, Thanks! With another gray day I am appreciating the blue. Ann and the other potters have been very helpful and supportive and the learning never stops. They are good people to be surrounded by.

    Bill the Butcher, Things are getting cold enough outside for me to be glazed in ice. I went to pot long, long ago.

    Elvis, Thanks! And thanks for stopping by.

    Debra, I guess it is more or less unanimous that the blue glaze is a winner. It is good to hear that from you.

    Shammickite, I noticed you hadn't been posting, but I am glad you are well. My mind often goes blank. In fact it is likely my normal state. Sometimes my ideas die of loneliness. Fleeting thoughts remind me of asteroids in space moving at high speed and going nowhere in particular unless in an orbit around something much bigger. :)

  9. I love your blue glaze - your pottery is wonderful! And I enjoyed the sunrise and sunset photos - here at our place we don't get to see either. Mountains and tall trees limit our "sunsets" to a few brilliantly-hued clouds hanging on the mountaintops. Beautiful, but not the same as the prairie sunsets I grew up with.

    But there are compensations. Your comment about the curvature of the earth reminded me of my experience a few days ago. I often go down to the ocean for a while when I'm in town - it's only a few minutes away. So I was hanging out at sunset a few days ago when I heard... whales. The sound of their spouting is unmistakable after the first time you hear it. But I couldn't see them. At last I spotted them right on the horizon - deep bluish-purple humps that only appeared for a few seconds because of the curvature of the earth, but their waterspouts were illuminated by the last rays of the sun, bright against the darkening sky. Spectacular! (Have I mentioned I really love it here... more than a bazillion times?) ;-)

  10. Diane, I've been in the mountains in several places in the world and didn't think about the limits of light except if you are in a North/South valley. Then the days are short. With a coast on one side it gives you some light a while longer.

    I haven't heard whales spouting, but have seen them do it. The wind was from the wrong direction for the sound to carry. I didn't realize the sound would carry that far either. I may just have to find an excuse to come hang out in your neighborhood.

  11. Hmmm... the smaller dish with saucer in it looks like it may be an interesting one to use for feeding my cats. I think it might slow down their piggish feeding frenzy when I give them their moist chow if I place the food around the 'ring'. I might need to commission two when you're back in the studio again.

  12. AK, Maybe I should just send you one to try out. I'm not sure when I'll be playing in the clay again.

  13. I can't decide what's more beautiful - your sunset/sunrise pictures, or your pottery!

  14. photos are so the pottery..wish we had a place here in west to do pottery..we used to but the lady passed away and no one to replace her.