Gary's Third Pottery Blog
"I'll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today." --CSNY
Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"man are you DUMB"

This teaset came outta the kiln yesterday and I was wicked pleased.  I like ridgy pots, I like round pots, they go together very well, I think.

First:  I got heavily into teapots when I was in college and my girlfriend at that time said "nobody should be able to graduate from this program if they can't make a dripless teapot", this after a demonstration of a senior whose teapot looked like a malformed rock and left more tea on the table than into the cup. Since then, I have made MANY teapots.  They pour pretty well.....

Dumb?  OK, I am gonna talk about my NOT BEST self.  The other day at an online Q and A forum someone new to pottery asked "Why do any of us make teapots?  They are so difficult, nobody probably ever buys them, and are you s'posed to put them on the stovetop to heat water or just pour hot water in?"

I WAS LIKE (to myself only) "Argggggggh, you are SO dumb! The schools are worse than I thought and there is something in America's tapwater or gene pool that is making us all STUPID!"

Now, that is not very nice of me.  I like to try to be compassionate, I am a Quaker, which by the very definition we are FRIENDLY AND LOVING.  So please excuse my first nasty response, which I never published (...except here and now...).

I LOVE teapots and make them all the time, and sell them all the time too.  YES, teapots sell.  They give you a chance to do something special.  Why make a stack of brown bowls, boring as hell, when I can sit there fiddling with a special teapot?  And people pay for them, admire them, use them, love them. Some men like to show off the HUGE pots they can make...well, I like to make a pretty teapot.
So, if you practice and learn, there is no reason they are any harder to make than anything else. And yes, people buy them.  AND if you are a potter and know clay, how could you ask if you set a clay teapot on the stovetop to heat water?  Of course you don't.  That is a metal tea kettle.  You put a little hot water into the ceramic teapot, swirl it to warm it, then your tea leaves or bags, then fill with almost boiling water and steep.  The necessity and function of teapots go back to a time when a)  there were no teabags, so you brewed leaves in a pot and b) you were making multiple cups, for the family and guests, just like today's glass coffee pot:  it is a way to make a bunch of cups at once, for many people.
Other cultures have slightly different ways of making tea, but there you go.

Teapots also have become a chance for potters to make something special or whimsical, maybe not even used but a showpiece.

SO, these days, teapots are not always needed by the average American family with a coffee machine or teabags, but they are good for serving a nice afternoon gathering, or the whole family, or just being pretty and ornamental.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

so bad you have to have fun...

Pretty average January for us. I mean, we have seen Januarys with a LOT MORE snow, but we have had plenty, and we have had COLDER Januaries, but I mean, the below zero stuff persists...

Does complaining help?  It probably brings out the more devilish side of Mother Nature, actually "Ooooh, send another gust of wind straight down the back of Gary's pants, I'll show him COLD!"

I wrote this haiku yesterday after running out there, post snowstorm.  It really must be true, because I had asked myself "why does every passing car smile and wave at me?"

Running in the cold,
People think my grimace of
Pain is a smile.

Here are some great pots.  Cold weather and being inside is highly conducive to works of great art, don't you think? There are times when its like GOOD GOLLY put me on THAT beach NOW!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Teapot Tuesday, a wily bank heist or 2 and a few inches of fluff

I was pretty thrilled with this teapot when it came outta the kiln.  It marks, as I say, a groovy new direction I am exploring this winter, of east Asian inspired work.  Do I even need to say that?  You look at it with the bamboo handle and light greens....

DREAMING:  I had fun last night.  My dreams are so vivid and real, I swear I travel to other people's minds. I was part of a group of 4 people led by a techno genius.  His plan was to work as bank auditors.  You show up at a small branch 20-30 minutes before closing, fake out some of the tellers with paperwork and then hook up a small machine to their computers and ah ha! It goes through scraping pocket change off the virtual floor, 7 cents from this account, a few dollars it adds UP, and nobody really misses any of that money because it is so little spread amongst so many.  And we are done with our independent audit in less than 20 is how you rob a bank in a coat and tie.....
my agent would be happy to negotiate the movie rights....

SO, SNOW: Snow is pretty ordinary this time of year for upstate NY.  NOT ordinary for NYC to get the most of it! We have a few new inches.  Driving was SLIPPERY. Yogi came over to play with Penny..he was pretty lively and excited about it, but he has a few inches of fluff to keep him warm, whereas Penny has such a thin coat!

 Therefore: Icicle Works....

Monday, January 26, 2015

Spike cat poses for his MUGSHOT (Monday!)

The wife might complain...(rightfully so!)...that this is NOT a flattering picture of Spike the cat. That he looks chubby from this angle.  Doesn't he look chubby to chubbier from any angle?  He is a whole lotta cat for sure.....

ANYWAY, I got this new underglaze thing going on, enabling me to draw on pieces like I would with a pen.  GROOVY, huh?

Have an awesome Monday!

The wife, as I say, was out of town on the weekend. A person gets in the habit of playing loudly all the music that her tender ears may not prefer..... Oh no, I have not forgotten RATM....

Sunday, January 25, 2015

15 + years and no....?

I was just realizing that in January I have NOT made a single mug with a frog or some sculpted any other sort of animal with pottery...none! Drawn on, sure.  I realized this is the first month in about 15 years that I have made (what I would call) plain pottery. (see below, though, for a reminder of groovy pots with frogs, etc, I have not given them up, just not on my mind lately...)

I looked at the table the other day and said to self "those hot sauce bottles on our table are messy" and spent the day walking the dog wondering how I might make a little holder or caddy for them.  I settled on trying to take a small round dish, whacking it first oval then whacking it again to pinch in the middle, a handle there and VOILA! Dang, I think I did a good job, hmm? I like puzzling out "how to make it" pottery problems as I walk and go through my days....
the wife comes home later today and this is my welcome home gift.  Aside from myself.  And the pizza I plan to make...maybe some pumpkin bread too....

Hey, you can get yerself this awesome frog mug and other lovelies at my etsy shoppe (click here)!spring green mug with frog and leaves TV on the radio is getting a lot of airplay here lately, DANG they sound good...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

this is why and what I blog

I think I said it, 8.5 years ago when I started blogging:  the four things I blog every day are 1) what I am doing 2) what I am making 3) what I am dreaming and 4) what I am listening to, because I love music videos and being DJ....
SO, as you have noticed, each day is a little of all that. I don't seem to do all at once, maybe today I will....

WHAT am I doing?  WELL, Friday at 33 degrees and sunny seemed like the nicest winter day since ...July? January has been a funny one:  usually it is just plain cold and sh!tty weather for 5-8 months...but we have had a delightful thaw every weekend.  Then back to below zero F and snowy for the week.  Fair enough....
my dog walking and generalized pet sitting is a snowball rolling down a hill.  I get back from walking 4 client dogs (FOUR! Plus my own dog gets plenty of walks!) (plus the cats I care for!) and just want peanut butter smeared on a chocolate chip cookie and a nap....and I just live in my long johns. I canNOT take any more petsitting clients, these guys are keeping me busy and happy and flippin' FIT.  I got into this because people were always "oh, you work at home?  Can you walk my dog Tuesday and feed my cat?".  There was so much of that I started to charge....and people like what I do, soooo, I am busy.  The best part is that I get tons of pots made too.  Want something done?  Ask a busy person!

The wife went out of town.  Her mother is the most fun person you have ever met, and we should ALL age as healthfully and happily as she.  It is her birthday weekend, and she traveled to NYC to see the 3 daughters (she had grown up there, 2 of the daughters live there, the wife lives here, nearby).

SO, I am bachelor for a weekend.  Just me and all my client dogs.  And cats.  And pots.  And MY OWN dog and cat.  So I wrote this haiku (as many of my fb friends have seen.  You could be my fb friend too, as long as you don't post raving crazy bullshirt I am at )

"The wife is out of town partying with her sisters blues..sung in HAIKU form..."

My woman done gone,
Gol darn dawg hogging the down
Quilt and my pillow.

Big plans for today:  visit the bank, go to the library! Woohoo!

These are some new things I am making.  YES, I really like the little trinity of spirals.  The firing earlier this week was great, more fired on Friday (between dog walks!) and I can look at it later...

Finally, dreaming last night?  I read somewhere the other day about Jewish mysticism.  I know nothing about it except a brief paragraph (maybe I should look it up...) ( I did, click here)
ANYWAY, there is a belief that at night your soul leaves the body, returning in the morning.  Dang, me and my dreams sure GET THAT, as you hear me say.  My dreams are so vivid and real, I seem to visit other people's lives...
last night it was me in California (nope, havn't been there) in a volunteer fire truck, during an earthquake, on the way to a fire with other firemen, a nasty fire at a factory...

In your 40s like me?  Your high school looked like this didn't it? OMFG these guys went over the top and then some...


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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.