Gary's Third Pottery Blog
Michael Pollan — 'A good pot holds memories.'
Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! garyrith@yahoo.com Come see me! Gallery 41 Owego, NY Sept. 7. Cooperstown Art Association "Earth, Wind, Fire" New York Invitational August 22-Sept 20.. Six Mile Creek Winery Harvest Fest September 13. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2013-2014

Friday, April 30, 2010

the vet comes OVAH....

With a houseful of dogs and cats and living in a town full of VETS (thanks to the vet school at Cornell, near my house) our vet's specialty happens to that she comes to YOU. And examines everybody right in your house. Spike cat, seen below, is, um not any thinner, checking in at 20 huge happy pounds, Penny beagle is magnificently healthy and our old black lab Buster, not shown here, is OK. He is a very old 11 years and very arthritic, but still moving and happy.


I have been making this vase shape the last day or 2 and thought it might make a nice mug shape too, and I am like OOOH LALA! Yes!


(pottery by Gary Rith)

what makes America great????

Our village has about 300 people in it on the outskirts of the small city of Ithaca, often called the most liberal city in the US (Cambridge, Berkely and Madison are all at the top along with our Ithaca, right?).
We have no mail delivery, we are too small, but we have a PO. I once heard somebody say Pennsylvania is Pittsburg at one end and Philadelphia at the other with Alabama in the middle. And except for Ithaca, that sure feels true around here too: there are a lot of country people living in these hills.
So yesterday there is this old duffer propping up the counter at the PO jawing with the PO's only employee, saying "And I thought America was the greatest, but these liberals want to ruin it all, they should be lined up and shot".
They are gonna have to line me up and shoot me first.

ANYWAY, this guy literally does not represent the best of the US, I mean, he seemed unhealthy and ignorant and mean spirited. You want to say "its the lazy azz rednecks like you buddy that are bringing down the country" but I am not an arguier.

First, I don't know why the US has to be the best at anything. Who cares? We have a lot to be proud of though, as we do have more freedoms than most countries, and people DO have opportunities here. We are far from perfect, and if we realize that we have to change with the times, we can always work to be a better country.

What makes this country potentially the best, in my humble opinon, IS its diversity. People come here for a better life and work like heck for themselves and their families. That energy and hard working attitude is what has brought America so far, whether your ancestors are from Germany, Ireland, Africa or Mexico.

What do you think? Go to comments and leave a polite thought or two.

And dig these bowls of mine, I am getting a kick out of whacking some nice handles onto the sides.....




(bowls by Gary Rith)

Dig Motorhead. Fantastic video, like Spinal Tap but REAL!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

a word from Georges Le Soq


I am eating my lunchtime falafal sandwich and pineapple and there are calls from the back yard.
It sounds French.
"Mon ami, mon ami! Monnnnnnnnnnnnn ami!!!!!" and I look out the window and Georges Le Soq, my rotten French sock monkey is out there in the sun.
"Mon ami, ees no civilized, dis yard" he tells me. And I am like
"oh really, are you gonna cut the lawn???" and he gives me that nasty withering look the French are born with, the kind that makes you realize you are indeed an ugly American and he tells me
"Mon ami" he patiently explains "I am too small, and OUI, too busy".
I never ask what he is busy doing, because it is obvious, what with the tanning lotion, shades, towel and the fact that he is NEWD. You know the French, they have continental ideas about public newdity.

Speaking of which, the wife here jokes that she is the only woman in the village who doesn't have to cut the grass (or do the dishes or make the cookies or scrub the john, those being some of the jobs of THIS kept man). I remember, for example, this time last year our neighbor ***** was 8 months pregnant and would cut the grass in her BIKINI, yes, BIKINI, big healthy pregnant belly, tattoos and all, and you could always tell that the UPS man, garbage man and various other truckers hadn't seen that sight before when they slowed down to get a better look at her....

Anyway, I endeavor to get a couple of pics before I cut the lawn for the first time this year, and I have in mind this arty looking shot through the dandelions looking at the house, and lookit who is there in front of me! One of those miracles, there you are taking pictures, and somebody gets murdered in front of you, or you see an albino tiger or a pretty sunset, and SNAP, you got photo of the year. I swear this guy was always just a few feet in front of the mower as I cut, trying to get a sip from each doomed dandelion.




The word from Becky Jo....






(here at my house Spike gets all excited about a bowl Becky Jo made for me, and below, that is Becky Jo atop her rig)
You will recall my good pal in Iowa, Becky Jo.
Becky Jo is perhaps the ONLY trucker and potter on earth, and if she isn't, then it is quite possible she is the ONLY FEMALE trucker/potter on earth.

This morning Becky Jo checks in from Des Moines where she lives and works with her husband and house full of dogs and cats:
" I dreamt Gary that you went over to visit my mom's house and play with her pugs".
Its true, I do get around into people's dreams, and it is also true that I am breaking into the world of part-time professional pet sitting, and the BONUS IS I can take care of your dogs and cats in YOUR DREAMS too.

Other news from Becky Jo is those kickAZZ frogs she made up there, for people's gardens. Go to Becky Jo's online gallery and buy some of these fab things...

MORE than cows and pigs


(vases by Gary Rith) The flipside of yesterday and making my first teapot shaped like a piggy was making these (what I consider) plain vases. You will recall that the vase below came out of the kiln a couple of days ago, and the wife grabbed it. She had done that the first and only other time I had made a vase like it.
SO I was thinking I should make a boatload of vases like this if they are gonna be so popular around here, and then also maybe mugs in that shape too....

lovin' the robots...


(mug by Gary Rith, for sale at my etsy gallery along with other groovy gifts)
MORE robot mug magic! The mug above is the second type of decoration I have tried for these, but then I was sorta like "HEY! What if the robot was on a moonscape????" and the video is below, painting the whole thing (although its cuts off a few seconds on the end) and in case you missed it, the video after that is throwing the same mug on the wheel earlier in the week.
(Thank you Beastie Boys)



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

a piggy revolution!

You know how it is:
Last week a customer who DIGS PIGS, as I obviously do, asks, upon seeing my cow teapots:
"hey, are you gonna try to make a piggy shaped teapot???" and it had been on my mind, OH YES.
Today I figured I might give it a try. But, you know, at midday I have that big bean burrito and am feeling blissfully drowsy (WELL! I had a cold!!!! Plus, you know, self-employed people, um, have these sorts of habits)
and I like, crawl into bed after lunch with my favorite beagle.
I am one of those people who who find naps terribly inspiring, and as I fell asleep, I figured out how I wanted to make a piggy teapot.
Woke up a few minutes later, SO EXCITED, and threw the pieces and set them out in the sun so they could quick dry and I could finish the thing right away.
HUZZAH!



(teapot by Gary Rith)

Penny = FIVE!

Just realized that Penny beagle turns 5 today.
She was at the shelter the first day I went to volunteer---15 pit bulls back in the cages, and the manager of the shelter is like "and then there is this dog we call Aspen, who is special" and there was a little beagle living in a basket in her office. She came out and crawled into my lap, wagging her tail and I was like
"can I have her???" and the manager was like "SURE!!!!" and the wife worked about one block away and I brought Aspen to meet the wife and there were tearful kisses and wags and all the rest, and we renamed her and I brought Penny home that day, where she joined our other dogs and cats.
Penny had been found in a snow storm. She had obviously just given birth---it was easy to see that she was a new mama, and was giving milk then too. She was turned into the shelter, but nobody was ever looking for a sweet and small beagle mama, and we don't know where she came from or what happened to her pups. I would like to believe she was in a loving family and had her pups in the kitchen and they were already 8 weeks old when she saw a squirrel outside and ran 100 miles and got lost (that is the story I hope for, it is also possible some sh!thead abandoned her in a snow storm).
ANYWAY, Penny is a small, 13 inch beagle, absolutely sweet and adorable and loves people more than any dog I have ever met (hates other dogs though) and she was spayed of course, and our vet guessed she was about 2 the day I adopted her, which became her birthday, April 28 :)

something noo...

You have seen me produce a number of cow items lately--months ago cow mugs like these, last month a cow teapot like this, and last week cow creamer. So, what here is NEW? All of these items just came out of the kiln and they aren't meant to be a set together, but they do match, and the FINAL piece was the cow sugar bowl. There. Now a person can get a cow creamer and sugar bowl or a complete teaset, or maybe even just one of the items. A lady asked me the other day if I had made a piggy teapot like this cow, and I am pondering it!



(pottery by Gary Rith)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

two fingers

The wife comes home early from work and I hear her and I go running and start to make a feeble attempt on the breakfast dishes, my NOSE running freely. She is like
"no no no! Let me walk the dog and do the dishes and I'll bring you a couple of shots of whiskey for your cold" and I am thinking
"OH! GOSH! And to think I was this lazy azz in bed all afternoon, me, the dog, and my puffs plus with aloe. THIS WOMAN IS AWESOME! Wonder what I need to do to PROLONG THIS COLD and enjoy this treatment?"
but what I say is
"sniffle" and give that sad and sickly look and retreat to where Nurse Wifey can take care of me....and hear her say "but you can still clean the cat box, since your nose is all stuffed anyway"

SMUGMARRIEDS

Remember reading BRIDGET JONES DIARY 10-15 years ago? I do. I loved it, and the movie was OK, with that cute actress (gosh, what is her name...she was also in Jerry McGuire and the Beatrix Potter movie, which was fantastic) anyway, Bridget Jones refers to people like herself as a SINGLETON and certain of her friends who are couples, she calls them SMUGMARRIEDS. Meaning, you know, like DINKs (double income, no kids), or basically, sickeningly sweet married couples who are all like, lovey dovey and close and make you want to puke, right?

You don't think that is us, do you? I mean, maybe we do seem sickeningly sweet. OH WELL! Me and the wife, we just are.....

So, I am talking to wife about BEEFCAKE, MANCAKE, buff men, you know? Including myself, of course. And she tells me
"a man holding a plate of triple chocolate cookies for me? Now that is SMOKIN' HOT"

(plate and cookies by Gary Rith)

In other news, here I am below with a friend's greyhound named Annie. I love cats and dogs so much and people are always asking me to care for them, I am gonna start charging. I AM! I am a very good dog sitter. I will walk your dog, I will play with your cats. I cost less than a psychiatrist. Cash preferred, small unmarked bills even better....


Can I be frank here? This awesome planter? OK, so I am messing around last week, and make this awesome, um, bowl, and it looks faboo, but it, you know, cracked in the firing a little on the bottom. RATS! Well, that is clay for ya. 99 percent of my pieces come out fine, this item though has such a small crack, and its shape just said "PLANTER", so it is pretty big, and we bought 6 flowers to put in there, and they, um, match the house color....


The wife is like, all over this vase, she wants it so bad. So I gave it to her. I told her I should make 6 more today, because everybody will want one now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

NO boogies up the nosie?


(thank you Cheri for the background tunes!)

So, I make this robot drawing a week or two ago and you saw how it looked on mugs and if you look below, and ignore the UP-NOSE shot, you are reminded of their awesomeness---I love them so much I kept the first for us, and so I made more and they are in the kiln today, but now I want to MAKE more and thought I would show you some of the process, the throwing the clay blob into a mug shape. I really like this simple out and in mug shape, which is new for me (not new to the world, just my work) and it makes a good shape for drinking and drawing of robots.

in which I discover its worse than I thought....

You will remember a post from a couple of days ago, wherein I teased the wife about shoe shopping online late in the evening, and she stubbornly claimed she was NOT SHOPPING FOR SHOES. Un huh.
Last night I am cuddled up alone in bed with the beagle, falling asleep, and the wife calls from the computer
"Hey, this company sells socks with sheep on them!!! Birds, flowers, cows, horses and cats too! And they sell tee shirts that match!!!!"
So, NOT shoe shopping, shopping for more important things....

You will also remember that I was cleverly starting to make cow creamers. SURE they look a lot like my cow teapots and ALRIGHT, you can get a factory made cow creamer at Small Mart, but heck, mine is sooooo cute and handmade and full of CHARACTER.

(cow creamers by Gary Rith)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

martini and weenie roast*

Yesterday afternoon is warm and sunny and it hits 5 pm and I am like, to the wife,
"grab the Grey Poupon, I got the tofu pups* and the penguin, LET'S GO" and out we step to the wee little fire pit in the back yard. I really need to cut the grass, I am the only neighbor here who has not yet, but today its raining OH WELL.
So me and the penquin did our little dance, and I hadn't mixed these martinis right, I slipped up and poured a little too much vermouth...and vodka....but DAMN they were the best martinis EVER (I used a pen and wrote this new recipe on my hand) and the wife sat out there cackling and giggling the whole time
"YOU'RE SUCH A PYRO!!!!"
and then it was time for the tofu pups (new chipotle flavor!!!) and I, um, sorta crisped 'em good and black cause they caught fire, as you shall see, and it was a lucky thing we had lotsa Grey Poupon and salad....






Saturday, April 24, 2010

PARADISE FOUND



You remember that movie 10-15 years ago, with Leo DiCrapio called THE BEACH??? Everybody wants to go to Thailand and find this magical mystery beach.

SOOOoooo, I am at a party in January with a bunch of other potters, and its noisy as heck, but I am chatting with Chet. Chet lives near me, but on the other side of Mount ***** (note: I am talking like, important secrets here, so no way am I gonna give you any identifiable landmarks) from me. Out my window, you see Mount *****. Anyway, Chet is telling me you go up ***** Road off of Route ***** and head up and up Mount ***** and when you are at the top you turn off onto ***** and pull into ***** and walk through the woods to find PARADISE. That is what it is called, Paradise.

Paradise, Chet explained, is where ***** Creek meets ***** Creek in the ****** Forest. The 2 creeks come down these 2 gorges, there is a series of waterfalls for each, and at the bottom, where they meet, is the best swimming hole on earth, THE BEST. It is all smooth table-like rocks and just a sweet pond formed at the base of the 2 waterfalls, AND although it is deep in the woods, the pond creates a large sunny clearing.

SOOOooo, that was January, and it was all a little murky in my mind, although I knew it is very close to my house. Who knew, Paradise is up the road from my house!!! Well, our buddy Diane lives up on Mount ***** and we were like, Diane, do you know it???? And she is like YEAH! And we were like How about a box of Gary's CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER cookies and you show us where????

SOOoooo, today we go to Diane's, and she has this awesome new greyhound named Annie, and we head over the ***** Road and pull into ***** and get out and HIKE. I will not tell you how far. OK, I will. Round trip walk from the car, using the scenic route, was about 2 and a half miles, so it is about a mile or so from the ***** road.
We get down there and it is UNBELIEVABLE. You are walking along a path, and the path disappears. You have to find a branch path. Then you are going down deep into a gorge (gorge being a lot like a mini canyon) and there is a series of waterfalls, and HUZZAH!!!! Just as described, Paradise. Now we know where to go swimming when it gets hot. I scribbled down a map. It is NOT easy to find.
I ask Diane if she has seen swimmers there before, and she tells us the most was 4 at one time. Then she says "its like, clothing optional". And I am a little dumbstruck, imagining big, hairy Chet splashing around this summer, with his tallywhacker swinging in the wind. My enthusiasm for the place is a little diminished, now, with that thought in mind.
Later, I ask the wife her opinions on clothing optional, and she is like, NO, NOT OPTIONAL and I am like, well, cold water does sorta diminish a man's......
well, anyway.....we shall try to go early on hot days.

blue-green mix

The wife is like
"at the office, we hold meetings and we just plunk down sugar packets and a milk carton, its totally uncool" and I am like
"???" and she is like
"we need a real sugar bowl and creamer, a little cup for the stirring sticks and a dish for the fake sugar packets" and I am like
"???" and she is like
"sooooo, could you make us....?"
and I did. I was in the mood to make some wavey groovy items. I made a dish to hold all the stuff too, or use as a cookie tray. Gorgeous eh????



I made an extra creamer and sugar too.
(pottery by Gary Rith)

Penny beagle acting like a punk again...

Friday, April 23, 2010

"and John at the bar is a friend of mine and he gets me my drinks for free..."

No really, tonight I belly up to the bar at the Chapterhouse for a wee little beer and John at the bar is like
"this one's on me!"
and I am like "????" and
John is like "I can give you a beer if I want!!!"
and I am like "!!!!!"

I slide on back into the booth with the wife and the Friday afternoon gang, and say
"John gave me a free beer!!!" and Carol (I think it was Carol, but maybe it was Leslie or Steve) is like
"its because you're good for business! You're always coming in with a million friends!!!!" which is like, a good point.
Nice mellow gang tonight, 7-8 of us, Tommy couldn't make it in the end but we certainly had fun without him....




Below is Carol on the right, my best pal, and we hadn't had her along for a few weeks when she went out of town, and it has been MONTHS since my best pal Leslie came along. Like, 2009. She came along tonight with her excellent husband Dale on the left.



AND, lucky us, Judy and Steve Gallow came along again this week...


Speaking of John at the bar.....

Me and Missus Tastycakes

Me and Missus Tastycakes

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I am a part-time pottery instructor at Cornell University Pot Shop and a full-time studio potter and sculptor, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.