Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I was telling Bronwyn yesterday...

I was telling Bronwyn yesterday that I have so much material to blog post, I have it planned out for a couple of days.  This was AFTER she admitted that she Tuesday had a break at work, had finished her emails and all and was like "hmm, I'm bored, what NOW?" and she was like, understandably, "I'll catch up on Gary's blog!".  I am DEFINATELY your go to blog when you're bored....

I was also telling her that I am often blogging early and there is not much going on between my ears and it is ME who is  boring people , and bless her, she replied "that hasn't happened yet".

I am totally asleep at the wheel here today, but need to share cute pots with you:
a)  drawn pets on pots--I have noticed that I really like the 2 part thing, dark glaze on one side, drawn dog or whatever on the side and
b)  I was super pleased with the 2 bowls here, and they BOTH sold right away Friday...gotta make more like that
Have an awesome day!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

when neighbors change your life....and cooking with cats!

Yesterday neighbors at the post office see me with Yogi and they are like "who is the rasta dog?" and I explain Yogi belongs to OTHER neighbors and I babysit him a lot...and also that the pet sitting business is booming.  They tell me Yogi should meet their chickens...but I explain that Yogi met their chickens a while ago, when I was babysitting their chickens...I was doing 2 jobs at once....
anyway, you have no idea how FUN it is playing with other people's pets.
And we leave each other little gifts!
Yogi's family left cookies last week, vegan etc.  with the recipe.  It could not be easier or tastier, except that when I baked them?  I added a 1/4 cup cocoa powder!  You don't go wrong with extra chocolate, do you? I also used oat flour not wheat. YUM. Recipe if you click here!
I tell Yogi's family "I need Yogi to come over and help us bake".  I didn't get a photo of THAT yesterday because he was too busy horsing around with my cat Spike....

In other news, I was wandering around the interwebs looking for an oat pie crust and came across a custard apple pie recipe...oh man, pie for breakfast!  I baked it with blueberries instead, oat flour, and soy here for recipe. MIND BLOWING!

Finally, back to Yogi...he is half retriever.  Spike cat has a tennis ball that he plays with (is my cat half retriever too????), and he is such a clown when he chases it....

Monday, July 29, 2013

the secret of the HIPPO

People think they know me, and I would say you know a little.... but I am more private than you might imagine.
It took forever to make this hippo bowl below and I loooove it and there is no flippin' way I am telling you how to do it, HA! My secret!
The wife and I were like "what childhood story has a hippo in it?" and remembered "hippo birdie 2 ewe" by the illustrator above and the wonderful little Egyptian hippo at the Met in NYC...

Now I need to make more of them....have an awesome Monday!

(hippo bowl by Gary Rith)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

based on a favorite...

Maybe ten years ago a teapot came outta the kiln with a small crack in the rim, and it was one of those rare moments you are GRATEFUL you cannot sell it because you love it so and want to keep it.  I use that flawed teapot nearly every day! This has only happened to me a couple of times.  I am drinking out of a mug shaped like an elephant, also has a small crack and I was very pleased to keep it.
Anyway, you could not stay in business if less than 90+ percent of your work survived or if you kept everything. The problem is, you rarely keep a nice item and have to be forced to do so. But it occurred to me the other day "make that teapot again and sell it!" and here tis...have an awesome Sunday!

(teapot by Gary Rith)

Saturday, July 27, 2013


You know I was out partying with my friends and the whole town last night...Ithaca artist market takes over the farmer's market pavilion for one Friday a year and OH is amazing how many strangers:
a)  know who I am, and now I know who they are!
b)  say "you painted your purple house!"
and of course the million and one friends who stop to gossip.  It was wicked good fun, very VERY successful, very beautiful evening. My best pal Christi Sobel was there, and I was actually in her usual Saturday-Sunday farmer's market space.  She likes to try a different locale for this event and I like her spot and the good karma she leaves behind... this booth has her sign saying "please do not prepare food in my booth!" because last year she found that somebody had come in and roasted a pig on that counter.... my pigs are of a different sort...

   My favorite show of the year! On the lake, down the street from our house!

Friday, July 26, 2013


I slept like the dead and, well, got up early for a lot of reasons....I always get up EARLY, so for me, getting up early is maybe, for some people, unspeakably early, like 3 something....but there are GOOD REASONS!  Like, a little coffee cake and coffee and the company of my cat Spike, but :

This is a huge outdoor event held near my house at Ithaca farmer's market on the lakefront in their permanent outdoor pavilion.  Music, food, booze, art!  YES, I am ready, you will recall I was at a fair a couple of weeks ago and, well, never really unloaded the vehicle, so I toss in a couple more things and HUZZAH!  Drive down the street a bit and sell sh!t to all my friends....LIKE THE 2nd reason I got up extra early!
Remember a couple of days ago, I was showing you a hippo bowl I made??? I put it into the kiln still a bit damp, fired it for about 36 hours real sloooow for the first firing so it wouldn't BLOW UP then glaze fired Thursday...and here tis! Oh my....I am VERY pleased...better shots of it and other nice bowls another time (btw, it took so long to make, as I was constructing it I was like "this is small but its gonna cost a MINT" and I was thinking, like, 50 or 60 bucks, probably settling on 55 which is a lot for a small bowl, but it IS cute!)

FINALLY the last reason I got up early?  WELL, (in my dream) I was in the Oval Office chatting with the president.  We were gazing out the window, companionably enjoying the view, (I didn't know we were such good friends) and I told him "I am such a hyper and nervous person, how do you stay so CALM?  I really admire your cool demeanor".

(above, before and after firing to 2200 degrees and below, the sketch becomes the reality!)

Have a great weekend and come see me today if you can!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

cooking with KIDS...or the neighbor's dog....

I was babysitting Yogi Wednesday and it is JULY and I had a batch of raspberries...I hear all year long "Oh, I still love your rapberry bar recipe!".  It is not really mine, it is PETA's, but it is SUCH a July treat. Raspberries are so expensive all year long and suddenly they are growing in my yard and cheap at the store...
funny, the one recipe people remind me of has nothing to do with my 4 favorites, peanut butter, chocolate, pizza or tortillas...but it is true I WOULD KILL FOR RASPBERRIES or certainly knock people out of the way to get at blueberries...
I first made these after enjoying a version of them at a favorite coffee shop:  their only vegan treat were some type of tasty oatmeal bar then I saw the PETA raspberry bars.  So easy, so tasty, no dairy AND yesterday I made these gluten free with oat flour for the first time. **** AND, oh JOY, I found  a similar recipe using blueberries (click here) to try next week...
The funny part, as you see, is having a visiting dog who is as big as a horse....I am always glad Penny is no bigger, because she would get food off the table and counter....Yogi is more than big enough to do that, AS YOU SEE IN THE PICS BELOW, but he is a good dog, unlike MY dog....can you believe I did a baking project with the help of 2 dogs and one cat?

Raspberry oat bars

3/4 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup unbleached flour (gf oat flour works fine too)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Earth Balance or other vegan margarine

• Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square pan and line with greased foil.
• In a food processor, purée the raspberries.
• In a bowl, combine the raspberry purée, the sugar, and the lemon juice and whisk until mixed. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 3 minutes and remove from the heat. Whisk for 5 minutes and cool.
• Combine the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Using a pastry blender or your hands, incorporate the butter to form a crumbly mixture.
• Press 2 cups of the dry mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the raspberry mixture, leaving a quarter-inch edge. Press the remaining dry mixture on top.
• Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Makes 12 servings

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Remember the story of Eeeyore's birthday?  Pooh is going to give Eeyore a jar of honey and Piglet is going to give him a balloon?  Pooh gets hungry and eats the honey and Piglet breaks the balloon.  They both apologetically give the leftover gifts and Eeyore is ECSTATICALLY happy (for Eeyore) to have a jar and something to put into it.

I love jars :)
The loopy one is to go with one of the pitchers in the header...nay, it is to go with, perhaps, a whole set in that style, and the zebra?  Horses are cool, zebras COOLER.
Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

taming BIG AND NASTY through sculpture....

You see me make a cute green teapot with a piggy on top, and it is all about the cute!
You don't think to yourself "go stand in a pig sty with 40 pigs and think about what pigs are REALLY LIKE".
Talking about creative process here:  as a Quaker, you may know that our worship involves no clergy or any other typical order of service.  It is an hour of silence and those who are moved to do so may speak.  It is usually pretty quiet.
When you get into that groove, it is, to me (I am a nervous and hyper person) like a cool dip in a pond on a hot day.  Refreshing!  And suddenly the meditative hour is over.
Meditation for me can make things creatively click or fall into place or tumble into my lap.
I will regularly take notes and make doodles during Quaker meeting ("make enchiladas for dinner!" etc).
  Sunday I was like "make a hippo sculpture holding a bowl" and doodled it (see below!)
You read that of all the creatures on earth, the wolves, sharks, lions, bears and pythons, hippos are the ones most likely to kill a human.  You see them looking cute in rivers and paddling their fat little selves around but they are s'posed to be pretty BIG AND NASTY.
So, it is like pigs, through art we can make some things REALLY cute...

The hippo got me thinking....BTW, all of these took so long to make, the mental cash register is like "these suckers are gonna be EXPENSIVE"

And speaking of sketches and pottery, LOOK what came out of the kiln Monday:  it was a helluva great Monday in the studio, oh yes....

Like I was saying about my sketchbook yesterday:  the same things drawn over and over again, hundreds of times....

Finally, the wife comes home and sees my mess "I can't remember what books I am reading, they were stacked everywhere!"  and now I am down to ONE disorganized pile in one spot, whereas the wife had counted 9 before I started...have an awesome Tuesday!

Monday, July 22, 2013

MOST valuable...

Ever consider the most valuable thing you have?
You dog, your cat, your violin, the cheesecake in the fridge, your spouse, your kids, your car?
Friends downtown came home from biking with their kids Sunday...and their house had been burgled.
It was one of those careful and thorough jobs, where the thieves looked high and low to find valuables.

I sometimes ask the terrible question: what if there was a fire, what if there was a flood or a burglary, what is the one thing I would save?
Aside from the neccessties of food, water or a winter coat and boots, and taking out (of course) your family, what ITEM, what stuff, would you have to save?

My quick answer is my sketchbooks.
I may not draw very well, and anyone else looking at them may wonder why I draw the same thing hundreds of times, over and over perfecting it (so that when I draw it on a cup= tres perfect!).

What would you save in an emergency?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

its a terrible SICKness....

I guess that, depending on how you count it, I have a lot of bikes.  If you counted in the garage now, you would find, well, FIVE.  The fifth is this rather spiffy Schwinn, a DREAMY, LIKE NEW 7 speed with retro styling that I came across yesterday...USED!   The price was so good and it was so pretty I tossed it into the trunk of the car and got out the bungee cords...then the rest of the day, whenever we went to walk the dog, the wife and dog RAN and I doodled around them in circles...well, each bike has a PURPOSE, right?  Like, I use the red one for getting the mail at the PO because it has a basket!  Ahem...
well, then there are the tee shirts, how can I resist???? I strongly suggested the wife grab these 2 sale tees for my Christmas stocking...I mean, it is horrible, I have 2 bureaus stuffed with tees, including one whole drawer of Mickey tees! (by coincidence I was wearing my Mickey pin, hmmm)
Honest....ugh.  I guess some people are addicted to booze or gambling?  "My name is Gary and I am addicted to tee shirts!  I need to wear SOMETHING!"

In other news, the wife is like "don't go posting all those pictures of me!"
She looks rather sassy in her new 'do, eh?  We both saw Jackie yesterday, with the magic scissors:  Jackie is Dominican via NYC--Jackie is so lively and wild, I would HIGHLY recommend lively and wild Dominican haircutters if you can find one!  You time in the chair will fly and you will hardly care what you look like you have had such fun....

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