Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fishing anyone?

Tom Gray's most recent post mentions that he is thinking of going down the the Seagrove Yacht Basin and taking his boat out, so I had to go out and take a picture of my boat, moored at the docks just down from Tom's boat:

And following are some other snowy shots:

Wood-fired and quietly cooled

Snowy trees


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kiln's first snow

My kiln's first snow

Friday, January 29, 2010

More Glazing and maybe some Snow

Sixty-some cups that Levi made are ready for glazing

And we're ready for the snow.
I had to cover my arch form
which was in the building at right
as we are in the middle of
nailing up siding inside.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Handling Mugs Worth the Effort

My son Levi spent the first part of this week throwing mugs for the shop and pulling handles on those mugs. I showed him how I throw a mug and pull a handle and he made nearly 50 mugs.
As he worked on the mugs, I continued to work on the awards for the Uwharrie Mountain Run - glazing and firing and loading a bisque kiln. But we both sat down and pulled handles today and yesterday. I don't think it's his favorite task in making pots. I remember learning to make handles. It can be frustrating, pulling too hard and tearing the clay, not getting that nice arch shape on the handle, feeling like I'll never make a nice handle. But by the middle of the afternoon today, when we finished handling the mugs, he took a bit of time to line up the mugs with their handles facing the same direction (pictures), satisfied with our work.
Tomorrow, it's some work outside as we nail up some siding inside the new tool shed so I can move some tools out of the "future workshop" and get ready to finish the "future workshop."

Levi also took a break to make our shop cat, BC, a new bed. She really liked it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thanks Chelsea and Levi

I'm not sure I could have finished the awards for the Uwharrie Mountain Run this year without the help from my children, Chelsea and Levi. I just wanted to say thanks.

Making Uwharrie awards completed, and here's how I created one

I've completed the making of the awards for the Uwharrie Mountain Run 2010. Above is me making the last award for the first, second and third place winners. Click on the image for a better view, and follow the pictures from top to bottom starting with the left column.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Helping Create Joy

So, Rob Sharer, Will McCanless and I finished playing some traditional Irish tunes for the 60th birthday party of Dusty Staub in Stokesdale Saturday and went outside with everyone to watch some fire dancing. I took several shots with my camera and when I reviewed the images, I was blown away by this one. I swear, the image was not altered. I spoke to an old friend at the party I hadn't seen in a few years, showed her the picture, and she told me she had meditated on joy that very morning.

I think it's all about connection.

Here's another shot:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A little afternoon warmth today

The afternoon sun helped warm up the shop today as Levi moved quicker with the larger cups for the Uwharrie Mountain Run awards, having reached the target number of 195 three-quarter-pound cups for the 20-mile runners. He found it a bit easier to throw one-and-a-quarter-pound cups. While Levi made cups, I focused on making medallions for the 8-mile racers and tree plates for the first, second and third-place winners of each race, male and female.

My left wrist has been bothering me a bit, so I appreciate having my son here to help me with the throwing. Each cup is being stamped with a runner and three trees. I think I stressed out my wrist last week when stamping some cups, so Levi agreed to do the throwing.

On another note, we decided to put a tree platter at the northbound visitor's center on U.S. 220-Int. 73/74 and a poster at the southbound visitor's center. Diane Villa, wife of photographer Juan Villa, designed the poster. Juan owns a studio in Asheboro (Villa Photography), and has taken some beautiful pictures for potters in the area for a number of years. He also teaches digital photography.

Here's the poster:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Randolph County (Seagrove) Visitor Center opening soon?

I found this slideshow while searching for information on the new visitor centers that are going to open any day now I hear, just south of the Seagrove exit on U.S. 220-Interstate 73/74.

And here's a fountain, constructed by Mid South Irrigation & Landscape out of Lewisville, NC. For more photos of landscaping, go here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Potter W.J. Stewart Jug out of grasp

Mary and I left the house late this morning in anticipation of bringing home a two-gallon jug made by William J. Stewart, the potter who made a living on our land back in the late 1800s. I found an auction at C&A Antique Auction in the nearby town of Ramseur today that listed the jug, along with a host of other pots from some potters of the past.

We found the auction house and slipped inside to view the pot. It was a rustic old jug, not pretty, but I liked the thick handle, and I've been looking for a pot made by Stewart for years. I was excited. We agreed on a maximum price we'd bid up to, then sat down to watch the bidding of porcelain signs, furniture, lamps, guns and other stuff.

They finally got around to the pots around 2:15. They placed several pieces up front, including the Stewart pot, then chose an old E.S. Yow & Jordan one gallon jug to start the pottery bidding.

"ABLIDDY-DAH-DO I HEAR $10,000...."

Mary and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows.

"Oh my god."

The Yow jug sold for $7,500. My hopes weren't dashed, but my expectations were substantially lowered, and then they sold a couple other old pots well under the $7,500 that the first jug brought, but a bit over the maximum we'd chosen.

I had my bidding number held tightly in my hand as a young lady lifted the Stewart jug above her head and the auctioneer finally got a bid.

A thousand dollars. Fifteen Hundred. Two thousand. Two thousand five hundred....

It sold for $3,100, and I didn't bring it home with me, although I did go speak to the Asheboro attorney who purchased it, and I'll be visiting him in the near future to take a better picture of the jug and another Stewart piece he said he owns.

For a bit of information on W.J. Stewart and a picture of him, go to my webpage here.

I will one day own a piece of pottery made by W.J. Stewart.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Uwharrie Run awards keeping us busy

Mary and I spent the afternoon yesterday signing awards for the Uwharrie Mountain Run. These cups were thrown by Levi Mahan and Chelsea Mahan.

These are a few cups I did today before heading to a New Year's party, and here's film clip below showing how I make them.