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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

bicycles and bowls...

A random thought or 2....
a) You have heard it from me all too often these last months:  snow expected! Maybe not much...but still.  This has GOT to be the coldest March we ever had, it was definately the coldest February.
b) so you are unsurprised to find that here I am making flowered bowls or that
c)  I dreamt it was warm and sunny and I was biking and biking....
d) we moved into this house 9 years ago today:  it was 80 degrees!

Have an awesome Tuesday!

Monday, March 30, 2015

a BAKER, not really a bowl, or even a bucket...

(new serving dish by Gary Rith--imagine your mashed potato in there...)

I don't make many baking or serving dishes, but had in mind this sort of ridged, whacked thing with a certain pair of I made it.  Nice, eh?
Have an awesome Monday!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunny Days....

Saturday's temps were between about 9 degrees and 25 degrees...sooooo cold STILL BUT sunny...
so I went to Sunny Days, the store!

You spend all these winter days, the retail quiet zone, making pots for no particular reason other than it is FUN (unlike October to December 24th, when you are a factory machine feeding the retail beast) and then suddenly maybe it is spring and it is time to get those pots out somewhere....
Sunny Days is a sweet store, one year old this week...and she took a BUNCH of stuff to celebrate....

then we took Penny over to meet Kiko the first time.  I care for Kiko nearly every day, and Penny sniffs me over when I get home, now she knows who one of the other women in my life is....

Saturday, March 28, 2015

8 pets is ENOUGH!

No, they are not all mine....but 2 are!
Friday was one of those days when nearly EVERYBODY I know asks if I can give their pet a good outing....and I COULD AND DID.

Yogi's family asked at the last minute if he could hang out with me in the morning...Yogi lives across the street and does whatever I am doing, the easiest dog to care for...he is my Penny's buddy, too...

SO, he was hanging out all morning, and had a walk down the street....
....then our Penny went out and had lunch with Spike...

Took Soupy out for a brief walk and a treat....

...then over to Nook's house.  They live near Ithaca Falls, which is pretty spectacular with the spring melt....

Nook has a little cat brother named Abu...they get along very well, but he wonders why the cat gets treats TOO....

Then over to Kiko's for a good walk...she can be pretty exuberant, right?

Finally Puffy the cat.
Puffy couldn't be more sweet or happy, but her owner tells me "she only pukes when we go on vacation!" which is a little unfortunate.  I wrote a haiku:

Don't look too closely
At what the cat horked up.

YES, then home to Penny and Spike who were ready for their own food, water and walk!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Doing it in your jammies...

...and robe!
If you have a pottery studio in your house...or maybe ANY business, you can get that early start and begin loading the kiln before you get dressed...or whatever....
have a great weekend :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

working as a lawn boy AND meanwhile, back at the table....

I was dreaming just now that I was a paid driver and lawn boy...which involved mowing the lawn shirtless on warm days....I wasn't being paid for MORE than that, but I was being paid for that, if you see what I mean...
(in reality, the wife, being several years older than me, has joked that if I had been their high school handyboy when I was 16 and she 23.....well ANYWAY I am a zillion times s3xier NOW, I am do duty in the kitchen, which is probably the s3xiest thing a man can do, right?)

Enough of my bullshirt.
New bowls and cups by Gary Rith, have an awesome Thursday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

going crackers...gluten-free crackers!

(new vases by Gary Rith)

Goofy Kim writes me:  "you should bake these gluten-free hummus crackers I saw on reddit!" and although she is CORRECT, the recipe looks a bit more complicated than I am in the mood for, so I find a simpler one.
Basically, you take chickpea flour, a little water and spice, and bake it into a gluten-free cracker, dang its tasty!
And since the oven was hot, I made some gluten-free apricot-walnut-cinnamon scones too.....

It is obvious that you need to make food so you can eat, but do any of you find that baking settles your head?  I needed to get a lot of work done in the studio but had been in there all morning and needed to do something different for awhile....and baking for an hour really does relax the mind.  Like yoga!
Think of what society has lost, because so few people work with their hands or prepare their own food from scratch which is SO creative and satisfying....

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

kinda tall and thin, sorta short and fat....

I wanted to make these tall, thin vases, which is a new shape for me...I usually love making nice and round pieces, like the boxes below...
a friend was telling me yesterday that her mother collected boxes like these, from Japan and China.  The same oval shape, with flowers painted on the outside...yet INSIDE was er0tica! HA! Nice and naughty...
in my own case, these are the first 3 I have made with flowers, and I think inside I might make a little frog.....

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pennsylvania tuxedo....

(new pitchers by Gary Rith--got the broken kiln working pretty good, eh?)

You will notice that I am STILL wearing multiple layers.
A Pennsylvania tuxedo, I think, is the typical black-red wool shirt, right?  A joke....what you don't see is the double long johns on top and the long johns under my jeans...we have had snow each day since Thursday, and yesterday and today's highs are 26....having a VERY wintry March is sort of old-fashioned, recent winters having been so mild the last few years......

ANYWAY, I made a polenta pizza and holy cats, like the wife says "throw out your other pizza recipes"--from Nicole Hunn and her Gluten-free on a shoestring blog and cookbook (click!).

Sunday, March 22, 2015

some odds and ends...

The kiln fired a glaze load Saturday in the expected time, seemed good, didn't stink.  That is good, because, as I told you yesterday it had broken down with a burned out element, which I replaced Friday.  I can see the results later today and get some pics...hopefully it is full of GOODIES :)

In the meantime, some things I was messing around with that came out of last week's kiln firing...have an awesome Sunday!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

fire and brimstone...

a)  thanks for submitting jokes yesterday, holy CATS those are funny!
b)  YES Caroline, there will be some pots with flowers on my etsy shoppe soon, thanks, but anyone is welcome to contact me directly about items to purchase, etc, at
c)  it didn't snow too badly yesterday...only a little snow expected today and tomorrow....
d)  why the Snoopy and psychiatrist cartoon yesterday, why the break?

WELL!  Look at this:

That is the inside of my kiln with a BLACK SPOT.  The kiln has been a little stinky the last few firings and was wicked stinky the last time I fired it.  Fire and brimstone and HELL is what it smelled like.  I couldn't figure out why until I did a glaze firing Thursday which only got to about 1200 degrees out of 2200 degrees before I gave up.

That sh!t is depressing.  Waiting forever for the kiln to reach temperature until you realize it is not gonna get there because it is broken. (therefore Snoopy at the psychiatrist:  kiln mishaps are depressing to potters and yesterday I didn't want to talk about it until I fixed it).

Luckily I got the kiln open early on a VERY busy day, the problem was obvious...burned out element on top.  Obviously burning out a little at a time for the last couple of stinky firings. It is an old kiln, and 3 of the 4 elements had to be replaced in the last year... now the last one has burned out, no surprise.  Although it is always inconvenient to have to unload a partly fired load of pots, tear out the kilns guts (unplug first, kids!) then hope you have replacement parts on hand (I DID), put it all back together and test....ahhhhhhh....working FINE now :)

So, not depressed about it anymore.  Actually, anytime you successfully troubleshoot and fix something you feel great, right?

I was in the mood to make a baking/serving dish of a certain type, and so I did.  I wanted the handles JUST SO  have a good Saturday!

Friday, March 20, 2015

take 5.....

Taking a break me a favor, write your favorite joke in the comments!

Thursday, March 19, 2015


As you hear me say, we still have one-two feet of snow on the ground...and it snowed again yesterday. NONE of this is unusual for us, we get snow until May. Doesn't everybody? Penny looks CUTE in it, that's for sure....

Penny is probably the cutest dog ever, but she is not perfect in the studio. Yogi comes over and sleeps in the studio while I work...he actually inspires great discipline and productivity, if you can believe it :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

from dreams to pottery reality in just 2 1/2 months.....

In January I dreamt that I should be putting flowers on pots.  32 years making pots, never done THAT.
I tried an idea or 2 back then, which were OK,  but then HAH! This week, nailed it, the idea looks GOOD.
Before getting near the pots I had doodled the possibilities for awhile, before realizing that simple and bold works best... have an awesome Wednesday!

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

box o' flowers....

(new lidded box by Gary Rith)
You will recall I have been trying my hand at flowers--these blossoms, I think, worked out super-good!
I really love little round lidded boxes, and wonder why I don't make more of them (small-ish, good for holding rings, teabags, candy, paper clips). I have made them in one piece, like a balloon, then cut them into lid and base, but it is just so easy to make a modified bowl for the bottom with an inset gallery to hold the lid, which is just a small bowl, really, turned over.  ANYWAY I wanted to make this first one because it allowed plenty of space on top to draw flowers, then the base is spring-green.  I am gonna make these flowers on EVERYTHING NOW I like it so much, with either green or blue inside the pot, just watch me!

In other news, my Australian friends may not know that if it is cold enough, waterfalls and rivers freeze. Maybe not solid down to the riverbed, but totally covered with ice on top. Fall Creek is the small river behind our house and it is finally starting to thaw...and we do have less snow cover, down to a bare spot or 2, otherwise still 1-2 feet on the ground plus piles....yes, we have had snow totally covering the ground since maybe December... I DID see little white snowdrop flowers in a sunny spot in front of somebody's house yesterday!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mugshot Monday: I didn't do the crime!

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

These rose/chrysanthemum pieces have inspired another sort of thing, a version 2.0 of flowered pots by me, as it were. I have some of those in the kiln, get to see them today :)

But sure, making other pottery types too, right? As you see below...

OK, so I dreamt I was a respectable teacher blahblahblah and somehow got involved in and angry at a couple of thieves and con men....and there was an attempted murder, some felony theft and burglary along with embezzlement...and suddenly I found myself and these other 2 realizing we could testify against each other if we got caught by the police...but it was better to RUN which is what we did, having an hour to grab a few things and disappear.

I think the moral of that story is:
always have a false mustache, different glasses, a spare outfit at least one other identity with passport and cards and cash.  A lot of cash.  In a bag, ready to go...maybe some snacks in there, and a paperback or 2 that you havn't read yet....

Sunday, March 15, 2015

what do you bake gluten-free for PIe day and St Paddy's?

Poor dog.  She does get treats plus the crumbs and carrot bits I drop on the floor by accident, but NOT THE WHOLE PIE or loaf....
So, yeah, I make PIZZA PIe for PI day!  Of course I did.  And Nicole Hunn of Gluten-free on a shoestring updated her Irish soda bread recipe (click here) so I had to try the update...bigger and better than the original by a lot! Even with non-dairy substitutions....the pizza crust is based on one of her recipes too, so if you searched around her site, she has more than one (click here).

GAWDAMN that is a lot of tasty eating :) Gluten or no gluten, you would be lucky to live with me, amirite? ;)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

what do elephants and dogs have in common?

Probably not too much! 4 legs, maybe? Cuteness!
New mugs by Gary Rith.
Have a great weekend :)

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