Gary's Third Pottery Blog
“But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Little Prince
Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! garyrith@yahoo.com Come see me! Binghamton, NY: Cloth and Clay May 10-11, Unitarian Church and July fest, July 11-13. Gallery 41 Owego, NY April 6, 20. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2013-2014

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

one fact and one dream, chapter, um, 4, 5 or 6: we need YOU to check in!

Everybody's favorite gossip time! Gary's one fact and one dream, please go to comments and tell us the first thing that you think of!
For me, one fact is I am about to make a shark mug..with the shark chewing on the rim and a Godzilla mug too...both new ideas, hope they look good, another FACT is the delightful DELIGHTFUL pair of boots that just came in the mail, feeding my, um, wee boot fetish (but these are for ME this time) andwell, a third fact is that the weather is a bit February-ish out there today...and it has been April-ish all month. What do you expect from the ass-end of February? Mmm hmm, that is what I said....

ONE DREAM? Well, Jemaine of Flight of the Conchords is dreaming of, since its Wednesday, ....business time.....



killer guac indeed....

Lindsay was like "my BFF needs an elephant teapot, so I AM COMING TO YOU" and I am like
"can do, indeed!" and natch, once she sees the teapot (just fired, below) she is like
"OK, perfecto, gonna need matching creamer and sugar for SURE!" and it goes on like that, and as you might imagine, MUGS are added. Suddenly Lindsay's BFF is getting a 5 piece teaset....

OK, you will remember my guac, right?* Tuesday I was like "its time for the refried bean** multi-layer dip***, even if I only have 5 out of the 7 layers" and the verdict, from both me and the wife is,
"wicked tasty".

* guacamole, so easy: dice 3 cloves garlic and chop some cilantro and dice a tomato---cut an avocado in half, scoop out per usual, into bowl, sprinkle with 1-2 tbs lime juice, mash it around, add a boatload of tabasco, mash that avocado good, stir in garlic, cilantro, tomato, ready to EAT
**refried beans, so easy: soak 1/4 pound pinto beans in water overnight, then drain and rinse and start to boil in big pan, with just a little more water than it takes to cover beans...boil then simmer like 60 mins, until they are mushy and you can easily mash them----saute 1/2 onion, 1/2 bell pepper, hot pepper, a chopped tomato, some veg. sausage, some of that cilantro, season with cumin and black pepper, and what the hell, more tabasco for several minutes, until onion and pepper are very tender, then add mashed beans and cook 10 mins or more...DONE
*** seven layer bean dip, soooo easy: about 16 oz refried beans, either from can or made fresh like I say put into a pie plate or low flat bowl, smear on a layer of sour cream (non-dairy in my case), then smear on a nice layer of salsa, then a one cup layer of chopped lettuce, then a one cup layer of green onion, then a layer of shredded cheese (non-dairy in my case), and finally, olives on top of that, 7 layer bean dip, ready to ROLL!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

a mermaid's dream: the ultimate aquarium castle!

Before we go further, here is more of an interview that I gave to a student researching ME and how I do things, questions are "will you be doing this in ten years and what advice do you have for a young potter?"

I cannot imagine doing anything else the rest of my life. In ten years I am hopeful I will be making pots, sculpting, drawing, and hopefully, as always, finding people who appreciate what I am up to. Using the wheel and making many bowls and cups can be physically demanding, which is why I like to vary my activities with other types of art work, knowing that as a very elderly person later in life I would still want to be making things, but not relying on only wheel work.

Advice? Anyone working in clay or art needs to go at it full speed. It may seem hard to make a living in the arts, but it is not, just requires focus and hard work!

Best wishes, gr

You will remember my best pals Katie and Maggie, uber friendly, uber creative and brilliant. They were like
"we need something for our fish tank, what can you do????" and I was just starting my SHARK PHASE last week and the timing was PERFECT so I was like
"I could throw parts for a castle, put it together, add a shark! AND a nekkid MERMAID!" and Katie and Maggie were like
"um, could you put shells on the tatas???" and I went ahead and made this bodacious mermaid, carefully placed hair and shells, and it looked lumpy and terrible. It is amazing--I am a whiz at sharks, but I have no idea how to do people.
Anyway, it occured to me that the brilliant move was to forget the bodacious mermaid and add a CUTE STARFISH, kinda hiding in there.
The convo finished like this
"I made this huge castle for you! I have no idea how big your tank is" and I say its like, ten inches tall and ten inches wide and Katie is like
"um, well, that is pretty big......" after shrinking and firing it turns out to be 8.5 x 8.5, so it will fit very well and lastly I was like
"you can pay me in beers, OK? Let's leave the tax man out of this transaction....."


Below you see some tiles the wife was glazing, just outta the kiln today! Also, I was imagining a wall sculpture of a book and the book is coming alive and the monster is jumping off the page to eat the book worm.....plus, the before firing of this load seen above....

Monday, February 27, 2012

my most absolute favorite book EVER



The Cricket in Times Square by Selden, illustrated by the AMAZING Garth Williams. (Garth Williams illustrated Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little too.)
This book is for children, in elementary school and was an award winner right away, when published 52 years ago. It is about a lost cricket in NY city who finds a mouse and a cat. My Spike's great uncle Harry, as you can see, was the model for cat in this book ;)

I had not read this book in about 40 years, since I first read it at age 6. Reading it now, I must say it is still my favorite all time book, and here is why.

If the best gift a parent can give a kid is learning to read, the 2nd is taking the kid to a library. My mom was a huge reader and took us to the library every week, where she got a stack of books, and WE got a stack of books. Libraries in my memory are about the most wonderful places on earth, and I have been lucky to live near some nice ones.

We lived in Connecticut when I was 6 and read this book, and we took the train to see my grandparents in New York city. OH HOW I loved exciting NY city, and still do.

What is this book about? A cricket who lived in a Connecticut meadow, like the one across from my house, who takes the train, like we did, into New York city, and who finds himself in a subway station, just like we did! Of course this was my favorite book, I knew all these places and things! But even if we had lived in Iowa and I wasn't able to directly imagine these things, it is still a great book, and I don't say that because of the pictures of grey tigers in there....

In other news, the kiln is on, and here you see the wife decorating some of her tiles yesterday.
I told her it was the cousin IT photo....

Sunday, February 26, 2012

we are very big in Japan.....

You see lower down, I made a Godzilla wall piece where he is eating a gnome...why are gnomes such easy targets for FUN? They ARE!
And here, the pic of me? The wise man, even if his birthday is several weeks away, selects the perfect gifts and has the wife set them aside to wrap, etc when the time is right :)


(sculpture by Gary Rith)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

wherever you look? CATS!


You will remember my old friend Pete, the guy who helped get the cat mug ball rolling? The other day he is like "special order: need a larger cat mug with a face and tail and a LID...can you do it?" and I was like "it could look AWESOME!"
Have a fantastic weekend everybody!

Friday, February 24, 2012

why YES, i dress to match my pets....

The wife calls yesterday and I am like "I cannot move. The cat is comfortable on my lap"
and I swear its true! And then you realize that you and your pets are all dressed alike....

As William Blake wrote:*

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?


We had a little snow. Melted later, but it looked like a Hollywood version of a snowy morning, sooo pretty. Penny on our own personal Stonehenge, and then the river behind our house....
Happy weekend all!

You might need an elephant mug or 2, speaking of wild animals :)

*
THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)

By William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

1794

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Godzilla takes on this teapot after Tokyo.....

(wicked crazy teapot--Godzilla wandering the city streets at night, looking happily deranged....teapot by Gary Rith)

I have been making this pizza dough lately, holy cats, the best BEST I have ever tasted. I use my pizza stone, which using this, makes 2 .....



A high school teacher in Guam has assigned students to study...ME. Yes, MEMEMEME if you can believe it. What inspires MEMEME???? Everything does. Explained for them and you below.....

Inspiration? One idea seems to lead to another. I was making ordinary pots like bowls and cups starting when I was 17 in 1983, until 1999 and I saw my puppy standing up to look out his playpen and thought that it would be cool to have a puppy on the side of a mug like that, and so I tried to do it, and I did. It is explained further here
http://garysthirdpotteryblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/buster-boo-1999-2012.html have a look
Adding fun things to pots makes it SO much more entertaining to do, and customers like it. Sometimes I sculpt, sometimes I paint onto items, as the examples below will show.

After I tried a puppy I tried a pig on a mug, and more and more ideas and animals added onto things. Lately I have been trying dragons/Godzilla/monsters in different ways, because it is funny
look here
http://garysthirdpotteryblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/godzilla-comes-over-and-cats-take-over.html
although the cats seen there are ALSO a new idea. The cats come from a suggestion a friend made to me just a couple of weeks ago! Very recent, the same time I was thinking about Godzilla. It is also true that I was trying to perfect my dragons because of the Chinese Year of the Dragon, and I had a green glaze that really seemed suitable for Godzilla. The cats I showed are cute and sweet as are the teddy bears I also started doing recentl, based on my own teddy bears, seen here
http://garysthirdpotteryblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/introducing-rumpole-and-winnie-or-what.html


The Godzilla idea is sick and twisted (yet cheerful and funny!) and JUST TODAY, this week, I got started with that same sort of thing, except with sharks, explained here
http://garysthirdpotteryblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/shark-attack-oh-noooooooo.html

No :) I do not know where ideas might lead. Imagine you see a rope leading into a dark cave. You start to pull on the rope, to see what might come out, and you just keep pulling and pulling and pulling, never knowing what might come out of the dark unknown :)

Gary

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

shark attack, oh noooooooo....!

You probably need a SHARK BOWL, for sale at my etsy shop. The wife had been like "...blah blah, and a shark with a leg hanging out of its mouth.....blahblahblah..." and its like YES! What sick and twisted things can I do with sharks?

shark bowl
shark bowl


SPEAKING OF SHARKS!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Godzilla comes OVER and the cats take OVER.....


I was all ready to show the spectacularness of the cat items below, but me and the wife were unloading the warm, just fired yesterday, kiln just now and there is stuff for US!
First, the cat items below: you have seen me lately making cat cups and a teaset...I made another teaset, and large cat serving bowls! They can invade your house...and won't shed on your carpet or shred the leather couch!
Godzilla above, eating somebody: I wanted to make a plaque of our purple house with Godzilla in the front yard....and I did. Holy cats, may I say I love this? I love it so much I was hanging it on the wall and taking its picture here at 5am????????????? I will put a pic of our actual house in the header so you can see what I mean...have an awesome day!
(here, the wife unloading her tiles from the kiln, speaking of CAT PEOPLE etc)


Monday, February 20, 2012

that's me, doing the Zoolander pout and making the cookies....


(remember Zoolander? Hilarious! Why do I do that for camera too? I don't know! Spike was wondering also....)

Not long ago, I was idly, as you might, wondering if there was a likely recipe for peanutbutter-chocolate-oatmeal cookies, and so I googled it, and this wicked tasty recipe came up (which I have since streamlined a bit and you see below *****).
It is so tasty and rich, and you convince yourself "OH! Its oatmeal, and, um, good for cholesterol!" and other such games you play with yourself to believe that your delicious treat is not really a dessert :)
In other news, the wife is excited to see what comes out of the the kiln Tuesday..she was glazing tiles she made and they are cookin' now.....


****
ingredients:
1 cup butter or margerine
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tbs vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teas baking soda
12 ounces chocolate chips

1. preheat oven to 350. In bowl soften the butter in the wave 27 seconds, then add sugars and stir stir stir then add eggs and vanilla, stir some more! Add peanut butter, stir again.......
2. toss in oats, flour, baking soda, stir carefully. It is a very dry dough, which is fine. Add choc chips, stir.
3. Using a spoon or even your fingers, place dollops of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. I end up with 2 cookie sheets covered with a total of 30 large cookies. They will be pretty big :) Bake 4-5 minutes, reach in, switch cookie sheets around and turn them for eveness, bake another 4-5 minutes (9-10 total) which gives you a heavenly and moist, slightly golden cookie :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Michelle was like "I got all this HAIR IN YOUR EAR...."

Seriously! Michelle with the magic fingers was cutting the hair Saturday and she was like "I got all this hair in your ear now I have to dig it out"...you would be lucky if you lived here. You could hang out with US and we are so fun, but even better, Michelle could cut your hair too....



The wife needed the beagle's help....but NOBODY asked for Spike's help.....

You could probably use some spotted cat mugs, right? Get them here at my etsy gallery, plus other monster, cat and bunny gear!

Me and Missus Tastycakes

Me and Missus Tastycakes

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ME, the TV interview :)

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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.