Thursday, March 26, 2015

October Dreams II

I got it!
I got it!
I got it!
I GOT IT!
I GOT IT!!!
OH BOY! :D

I pre-ordered October Dreams II: A Celebration of Halloween from Cemetery Dance Publications about an aeon ago. Hardcover and signed. It arrived a couple of days ago, and I just can't wait to curl up with a cup of tea and read this!

If you haven't heard of the first book, October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween, take a chance and buy it. It's a wonderful collection of Halloween-themed short stories, plus personal recollections of Halloween by some of the greatest authors of our age: Bradbury, Straub, Koontz, Brite, Crowther. On and on.

*happy sigh*

Monday, March 23, 2015

Back Home

We're back from vacation, and what can I say? Maui was gorgeous! The whales are migrating right now, and we could see them blowing and breaching from our hotel in Kaanapali. What a beautiful sight! Of course, I had a chance to catch up on some reading while I caught some sun and had a couple of mai tais. Heaven!

A few days in Kaanapali, and then we were off to Hana, which was a first for us. The picture above is the view from the back porch of the house we rented. I loved listening to the ocean as I drifted off to sleep at night. We did a few excursions around the area, ate some of the local cuisine, and just chilled out. It was a relief to have a "freestyle" vacation this time, rather than one involving so much running around that it's not very restful.

Once we got back home, it was time to catch up on laundry and get back to the job. Oh, and continue to work on a large bowl I had thrown a few weeks ago. 
I had been debating how to decorate it from the moment I threw it. Then I saw this video on YouTube, about several Korean master potters, and I thought it would be interesting to layer different color underglazes and carve a pattern through the layers. I had painted on the layers before I left for vacation, and left it to dry, uncovered, while I was gone. 
It's a work in progress, still, as you can see. 
Technically, it's not the prettiest bowl ever thrown. Even so, I like it!

This weekend, I started working on some new offerings for Halloween. I'm feeling my way through some new (for me) techniques, so that I'm not always doing the same thing, year after year. While I'll still be doing my jack-o'-lanterns and some plates and platters, I felt it was important to expand into other things. As always, we'll see how things go! They could be great, or utter failures!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Inspiration in Maui

So later this morning, Mr. ShellHawk and I are off to Maui, Hawaii for some much-deserved R & R. If anyone knows of any good potteries in Maui, feel free to leave the name in the comments!

Be back soon!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Studio Staff

I've been working on a few new things in the studio, and am lucky to have a staff member who works for just a bone a day!
I can't believe he's the same dog as the little guy in the above picture!

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Most Peculiar Trip: Searching for Miss Peregrine

Click on the pic for a short film highlighting some beautiful abandoned spaces in Belgium.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Shunned House

Photo by Franck Vervial.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Inspiration: Artists at Work

I recently ran across a Pinterest board which sucked me in more than usual. By that I mean it made me simultaneously want to drop everything and run out into my studio to make cool stuff, and still sit and gaze lovingly at all the beautiful images.

The name of the board is "Pottery Studios," and features a number of different clay artists in their natural habitats. 

I like this board for several different reasons. First, it introduces me to other ceramic artists of whom I may not have heard, and allows me a glimpse into their worlds and their processes. Some are potters, some are sculptors, but all of them worship at the clay altar, just as I do. It makes me feel connected.

Second, I love to see the happiness and contentment on their faces as they're working away in their creative spaces. Again, it connects me to them because it's what I feel when I'm in the groove and making.

Third, I love to see, in the case of the potters, the rows and rows of greenware sitting on shelves, drying out and waiting to get into their first firing. I'm inspired by the pictures of soda or wood kilns, packed to the ceiling with glazed ware and waiting for the magic of the fire to transform them into works of art, into beautiful things for everyday use. 

It doesn't matter which country we come from or which techniques we use; we are all united by our passion for the clay and for making art. It inspires me to know these people are out there, pushing the boundaries of clay in order to leave something behind for others to use and admire.

It makes me happy to be one of them.

Monday, February 23, 2015

300th Follower Giveaway?

There could be one, if I hit 300 followers.

Just sayin'. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Stuff and Things

It's been quite the week here at the nest! I started my new job last week, but Mr. ShellHawk brought a plague home from his work and I was home sick with it the first few days of this week. Not the first impression I wanted to make, that's for sure. Even so, my new boss was very understanding and grateful I didn't infect her during her busy season. I went in Thursday and Friday, partially because I was feeling marginally better, partially because I just couldn't be away from a brand new job, and partly because I couldn't stand one more day of sitting on the couch, watching TV!

Scare LA just announced pre-event ticket sales start Monday, with the first hour of sales to be marked down up to 75%! So if you're interested in going, you might want to look into that right away. Click here for details and to be added to their mailing list to be notified of when the sale starts.

In the studio, I just opened the kiln today to discover---everything was perfect! No shivering, no unwanted crackling, no bubbles! Since a few of the pieces are gifts to be given tonight, I won't post pics right now, but I will be, soon. Nothing like seeing gifts turn out exactly the way you wanted them!

If things go as planned, this could be a new product line I can make for "the rest of the year," i.e., not Halloween. My new job is going to allow me to pay someone to help with doing some of the tasks which are time-consuming and take me away from the "making" part. The more time I can spend in the studio, getting that done, the better. Ultimately, I would like to make enough through my sales to quit the job, but that's a ways off, yet. In the meantime, I'm grateful to have it, and to work with some very nice people!

And if you missed it, Hauntcast has a new episode out, and all past episodes are free for download. But be cool, and see if you can throw a few bones our way, even if it's only $5. 

After all, even the great Pumpkinrot listens to Hauntcast! :D

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bridge to Safety

An opening in the trees now cheered him with the hopes that the church bridge was at hand. The wavering reflection of a silver star in the bosom of the brook told him that he was not mistaken. He saw the walls of the church dimly glaring under the trees beyond. He recollected the place where Brom Bones's ghostly competitor had disappeared. "If I can but reach that bridge," thought Ichabod, "I am safe." Just then he heard the black steed panting and blowing close behind him; he even fancied that he felt his hot breath. Another convulsive kick in the ribs, and old Gunpowder sprang upon the bridge; he thundered over the resounding planks; he gained the opposite side; and now Ichabod cast a look behind to see if his pursuer should vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone. Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his head at him. Ichabod endeavored to dodge the horrible missile, but too late. It encountered his cranium with a tremendous crash,—he was tumbled headlong into the dust, and Gunpowder, the black steed, and the goblin rider, passed by like a whirlwind.
-Washington Irving
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Image source here.
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