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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

FLYING LINGERIE: just 2 weeks until V day!!!!!!

You probably haven't been thinking about Valentine's Day much, BUT YOU SHOULD.

Old married men like me (but not ME, specifically, as I HAVE NOT HAD A JOB in almost 20 years…plus I am COOL) will be at work and overhear "Johnny served me breakfast in bed and LOOK WHAT WAS IN MY OMELETTE!!!!!" and there she is, the 20-something with the new rock on the finger.  That same day, that same twenty-something will have flowers delivered from Johnny, and our old married guy begins to wonder if something is up….and all day long, notices others at the office are getting flowers delivered, talking of dinner plans, of teddies and bustiers….and then our old married guy GETS IT.

VALENTINE'S DAY!  Oh, right.
SO, on the way home he stops at Target…where (really!) he can buy a bunch of carnations, not too wilted yet, a funny Hello Kitty Valentine's card, and a heart box of chocolates…that taste like wax…except NOBODY has ever eaten those things.

WHAT A LOSER. He's not gettin' ANY ACTION tonight…

DON'T BE THAT guy or gal, be smart and 2 weeks before Valentine's SHOP WITH ME at my etsy shoppe! (click here) New items, like these wee dessert plates! Good for that cupcake, that scone, or those FINE chocolate dipped strawberries**** you got up early to make (the man who makes his sweetie chocolate dipped strawberries will see a lot of flying lingerie around the house, believe me :)
small dog dessert plate or soap dishcow dessert plate or soap dishelephant dessert plate or soap dish

****(make your own chocolate dipped strawberries:  look it up, or just do this:  get some strawberries.  Melt some choco chips in a bowl in the 'wave.  Dip strawberries in chocolate, set onto plate.  (use wax paper if you want to be tidy and efficient) Cool in fridge, serve!)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

bunny bouquet….

I know.  This bunny holding flowers is super dumb, but I made it anyway.  I sometimes doodle this nerdy little bunny wearing glasses…and idly thought I would bring him to life…or 3-D anyway!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 29, 2016

on the one hand, painted mugs.. on the other, gluten-free pizza!

What has humanity LOST by not walking or running and by not using our hands to do things?  Our bodies have evolved to make use of them, but instead we drive and blog…
The reason (most) bakers and potters are so HAPPY is they get to use those ten fingers constructively, then feel great about what they have done. Hands:  not just for texting anymore!

I wondered what it would be like to use my minty blue glaze with light purple flowers and green leaves painted on…looks mighty good, eh?  AND SO much fun to sit there listening to the great music and painting the afternoon away….I get BORED so easily that I really benefit from a mixed up day, throw a pot, trim a pot, sculpt, and in recent months, paint things….

AND then bake a pizza---hands LOVE to make them, tummies LOVE to eat them.  I can't have either gluten or dairy and choose not to eat meat, but that does NOT mean I can't make an amazing pizza, right???? Nicole Hunn's gluten-free on a shoestring has good recipes that have helped...

Thursday, January 28, 2016


HEY!  How about some pots?!  Been awhile, hmm?

I had a message from a pig lover "we need four piggy mugs NOW!" which is the best sort of order, right?
And I have been messing around with this luscious new spring green celadon the last few weeks, as you know, and trying different things with it--I have always used opaque glazes, but this one has a little bit of transparency, which is a very different behavior, and I am getting used to it.  As in, give it texture! Like wee little flowers…that makes the glaze break into the light color…this mug here?  In my hand with tea….

In other news, the beagle wouldn't admit it in so many words, but on cold days she loves to cuddle with the cat...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

gluten-free applesauce cake: no white sugar and sooooo tasty and easy

At Christmas Michael gave everybody a jar of their applesauce and a recipe for applesauce cake, a really sweet gesture!
You know I can't have gluten or dairy, BUT I can have applesauce cake…this one (click here) is impossibly easy and tasty AND beautiful.  I add raisins and nuts…when all those spices are baking your house smells like heaven!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

100 holes punched into my right eye: second glaucoma surgery

You will recall that last week I went in to have glaucoma surgery done on my right eye, to try to keep it from losing vision.  The pressure was too high to work on (glaucoma=  high pressure in the eye which destroys the optic nerve and your vision) so they did the procedure, using a laser to punch 100 holes in my left eye.  The whole thing is billed as no big deal, and in retrospect it isn't, but it hurt like hell and scared the sh!t out of me.
(The doctor says it has a 50-50 chance of helping in my case, and the thing with glaucoma is they are always having to try a new treatment on you.  I am rechecked in 8 weeks to see if this has helped stop vision loss.)

Yesterday was a bit different.  The pressure in my right eye had come down a little, and I was first on the schedule for the afternoon.  I made a bunch of pots in the morning and had great walks with the dog, trying to remain calm.  It actually helps to know that the day of the surgery hurts like hell, but then you awake the next day feeling pretty normal.

SO, as with last week, they prep the eye, a technician holds your head in place, and your eyes are open for several minutes while they blast it. It is like being forced to hold your eyes open while an Audi's halogen headlight is pushed up to your eye, then a laser pokes 100 hot needles into your eye and leaves them there.

But like I say, knowing what it was like and that I would feel better overnight made it seem routine this time.  You get used to things.  We came home and again, the wise dog and cat were all over me.  I couldn't open my eyes comfortably for an hour or 2, so stretched out in bed…and was quickly joined by warm cats and dogs…then it was FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, an old favorite indeed….
advice for living:

Jeff Spicoli: All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine

Monday, January 25, 2016

"a hint of turquoise"

The wife notices, as I had, that the new celadon glaze I have been fiddling with has pleasant turquoise highlights on spring green.  YES.
Like I was saying the last 2 days, isn't this a fun type of handle?  You could say "good grip!", but really it is about making something cool for the glaze to accentuate….frankly, this is the reason why potters get up early, to make things like this, then see them come out of the kiln :)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

speaking of that handle….

I mentioned yesterday's textured teapot handle was something I had only done a few times and need to make more of.  Like, for example, on the side, not just over the top…..cute little green one up there, hmm? And the pitcher below:  it is quite big, and look at how that new celadon of mine does FUN THINGS around the group of flowers…have a great SUNDAY!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

whoa, LONG upper handle...

I have made a few handles like this, crosshatched grip, tapered ends…a bit tricky but worth trying some more, hmm?
We are expecting a dry, semi-clear weekend.  We are too far north for this blizzard, and Lake Ontario and Lake Erie are only dumping on Buffalo right now, so DANG, friends, be safe, ride it out in style if you can!

Friday, January 22, 2016

glaucoma, sunglasses and new specs, and OH YES new pots….

Bono, lead singer of U2 was asked recently why he always wears sunglasses, even indoors, is it because he is a rock and roller? NO, just glaucoma, which he has had for 20 years, but due to good healthcare…and sunglasses…his vision remains OK.

I am probably boring the hell out of you, but glaucoma is much on my mind these days, as I am in between surgeries on both eyes, because 2 years of medical treatment so far has not helped glaucoma in my eyes. You can't cure it, you just try to find ways to keep it from getting worse, and glasses can help. Actually, sunglasses are good for EVERYBODY's eye health, against harmful UV light outside.

Glaucoma causes blindness if not treated, but a side effect of it and/or the medication is light sensitivity. As in, for me, sometimes it is nothing and sometimes it is painful, like headlights while driving become flashbulbs from a camera and going into the grocery store can hurt like hell…akin to skiing on a sunny day or sitting on a July beach without sunglasses.  Going outside I need to wear sunglasses on most cloudy days too.

SO, my awesome usual glasses are great for most of what I do at home, but my month-after-Christmas present was a souped up pair of specs which look similar to my usual glasses, just steel framed and:  permanent mild 20% tint (full sunglasses are like 80%, so 20% is good for inside stores) and transitions lenses, so they become darker outdoors in UV light, depending on cloudy to sunny.

The dog and I think they look pretty awesome….

Thursday, January 21, 2016

how to make a lamp from SCRATCH

I make a pottery lamp once every, oh, 10-20 years or so….really! I just have to dig through a box and find the parts….

Wednesday was a magical day.  I had a glaze firing turn out SO perfectly, I mades tostadas from scratch (masa harina tortillas baked then topped and baked again, little crisp Mexican pizzas) and fixed the sink (YES, the fourth or fifth or 11th time in ten years, but who is counting?) AND I made this lamp.  I made the lamp body about 2 years ago….pottery is not bananas, so it is not like it was going bad, but that is what January is for:  DO THOSE little odds and ends, right?

SO, I dug out the box of electrical parts and got cracking….last time I made lamps was around 1997, no kidding….and this was so much fun I WANT TO MAKE MANY more :)

There is a hole in the base, I thread a long electric cord with plug up through with several inches extra.
Then you push a long metal rod with a threaded hole in the middle down the cord and into the pot.  Then you need to push the threaded post down the cord into the pot, screw it to the rod in there, and then screw all that to the socket on top, and tighten all of it. Then the connection.  Not as hard as it sounds :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

oh yeah, winter can be beautiful!

( just up at the right is the woods behind our house)

I was walking across the bridge over Fall Creek behind our house yesterday, and it was 12 degrees, snowy and windy, but having had VERY LITTLE winter so far, I was reminded how pretty winter can be….as long as you are wearing the warmest parka ever made and long johns and and and :)

In other news, you really must consider your sweetie for Valentine's Day…3-4 weeks from now, do some ordering from my etsy site to guarantee marital satisfaction! Or order from me and you WILL NO LONGER BE SINGLE because my work has magic romantic properties:  it is CUTE! New items today….
frog cup and saucercow over the moon sculpted wall piecespecial: pair of flowered cups sold together

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

100 holes in my left eye is better than going blind

(low tech:  they mark the eye prepped for surgery with a sticker)

Having not responded to glaucoma medication, I told you I was to have eye surgery yesterday and again next Monday, one for each eye.

Glaucoma in a nutshell is that your eye or eyes do not drain properly, fluid builds up and the optic nerve is slowly destroyed.  Permanently.  There is no cure for glaucoma and you can't get anything back that you have lost, you can only try to keep it from getting worse.  It also sometimes comes with light sensitivity and eye pain (Bono of U2 recently admitted that his trademark sunglasses had nothing to do with being cool:  he has glaucoma too).

ANYWAY, the more research you do, the more you find that treatment involves the doctor trying different things on you as long as you live, different medicines, and a range of surgeries.  I just had SLT where the surgeon uses a laser to cut 100 holes in your eye. (Not kidding!!!!) There is no sedative for the patient. Dammit.

I was checked in and examined and they found that my right eye, which is always worse than my left, was under way too much pressure to operate, and I sure as heck didn't want to go home, so told them to do my left then and try the right next week.  So they redid the whole prep thing for my left. Everybody was so nice, and today it feels FINE, 100 percent normal, but yesterday it flipping' HURT.  It was awful. The machine pictured here is like having your head strapped to a high power searchlight, and the procedure is like 100 hot flashbulbs with spikes.  It made me panic at first, you canNOT move, you can't close your eyes.  And it felt like somebody had just drilled 100 hot holes in my eye.  With needles.  Then left them there.
I hadn't passed out or died or anything, and so they sent me on my merry way...

There had been a delay in getting my prescriptions, so we needed to drive down to get them, about 15 minutes, then 20 minutes home.  I couldn't open my eye and needed my sunglasses for the other eye, so the wife drove me to the store.  Cold wind felt like we were doing the whole 100 holes thing again.

After an hour I was able to open my eyes OK and see better.  Some of the pain was fading, and so we had the tacos, and wearing my sunglasses, did the only thing that seemed sensible:  watched NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE.  Pain kept me awake a little while last night, but this morning

I AM ONE HUNDRED PERCENT FEELING FINE :)  Thanks for listening :)  Next week, next eye….

Monday, January 18, 2016

a tale of 2 vases…or 3….

Funny how you fall into unexpected ideas in ceramics, which is what makes pottery SO DAMN FUN.

You will recall that Mike and Sandra's granddaughter visited the studio a couple times this fall and wanted to glaze her bowl purple and emerald green, a color combo Mother Nature loves (eggplants, flowers like iris or violets and lavender, YES!) and I got into the combo too.  AND LOOK at what the 2 glazes do where they combine…..a luscious little moonscape, right?

Then I glanced at a cute little teapot I made last summer glazed blue and emerald green and noticed that IT ALSO creates a moonscape where the blue and green combine and I am like "I gotta do more of that one, too!"

In other news, you will the super tall green vase below.  You whack it here, then you whack it again and before you know it… :)

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