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, July 31, 2011

true story! beagle eats a dead frog haiku

I was driving home the other night, and this is what happened. I wrote it into a haiku:

Frog on nighttime road
Squished under my car tire
Next day? Doggy snack.......

You may need a zebra teapot or something like that. Some nice person asked for me to put one

zebra teapot

Saturday, July 30, 2011

twas the artist market.....:)

As I have said before and many of you know, for about ten years we lived in New Hampshire and nearly every weekend from June-Christmas I was shlepping pots to a farmer's market or art fair of some type. It is tiring and the internet is easier, but I do occasional fairs, like last night, the Ithaca Artist Market. The thing that surprises me about this is
a) the dozens, no, HUNDREDS of people I know and saw yesterday :) HUNDREDS!
b) I received 8 hugs....Nance saw one of them and said she watched me squirm...I usually put out my fist for the bump so that I can get away without people hugging me :)
c) 8 people also told me I am too skinny...but can you ever be too skinny or too rich? I just happen to live in this body, fat or thin, and this is how I am. I doubt, however, that people would be saying "holy cats, do you look FAT!". Interesting society we live in....
d) I did NOT have a single person tell me the old "that's...different" which is the old craft fair saying that makes you roll your eyes, but one lady deep into her beers told me I was doing a lot of weird work, which I thought was funny, as she had BATS, yes bats, on her eyeglasses.
The wife came over later.....anyway, here goes...

Stevo took this high tech awesome shot of booth below---the Ithaca Farmer's Market is a nice permanent structure, and we had a little rain at first, so you stay dry and comfortable.

I am having a hard time moving pics around to caption, so there is Railey in the black dress, Lizzie in the wild hat, Dee and Nance together with the paintings and Stevo and David in my booth goofing around....OH, and Werner and his underwear hanging stuff from the ceiling.....

Friday, July 29, 2011

The true story of Eric the almost-hobo....

You will remember that I am selling today 2-8 at the Ithaca Artist market, held at the Ithaca Farmer's market location on the lakfront. Going to be an awesome party, come over! Food, dance, art, ME mememe!

Here is a story I have been writing lately for you to enjoy.

part 1

It was not always that way. In early days, Eric had almost been a friend, before he flipped out on Davey, before he went off the rails and went crazy-smelly hobo.

Eric being lamentably single, Davey invited him to a class he was teaching full of women. Eric had mentioned the previous night over beers “I still want to get married to a woman and have babies”. Davey a little shocked at this one, Eric having no job, 50 years old, and it was questionable whether he even had a place to live. Maybe he lived in his 88 Honda? Davey asks “Um, Eric, women your age are too old to have kids…” and Eric drains his beer and remarks “Oh no, I want to marry a young babe. 26 would be perfect” Davey again a little shocked that somebody that old smelly and sickly would be thinking a young woman would be dying to get married, but who knows?

So, the class. Eric does not show, which seems wonderful because Davey is regretting asking his smelly almost friend along to join himself and the 5 women students. Buuuut, slinking in a half hour before class ends is Eric, all smiles and apologies. And beer breath. Eric makes no friends in that room when he announces loudly “there are a lot of pretty young babes here”. That earned him stares, open mouthed shock, and the married young mother of 2 he asks on a date never comes back to class again. From that day forward, Davey avoids Eric, but it proves impossible.

One July day a month later, Davey is at an outdoor café sipping the soy latte with two old pals from school, back in his life thanks to facebook. They happen to be single, too. Casey, as a matter of fact, counted as Davey’s first crush in 6th grade, never realized or acted upon, funny to talk about now. Anyway, having the cup with Casey and Sally, who HAD BEEN a girlfriend in 8th grade, here comes Eric with his wild mushrooms. Davey warns his friends, but no, like a great toxic gas cloud, Eric descends upon the table…which the 3 old friends quickly vacate. The wild mushrooms represent the closest thing Eric has to a job. He gathers them in the woods and sells them to restaurants, or more likely, trading them to restaurants for lunch.

One day biking on a trail through the woods, remote and miles from home, Davey spies a familiar looking bike off to the side loaded down with junk and…mushrooms. 20-30 yards away into the trees as Davey speeds past is that familiar hobo and mushroom expert, glaring back out at the trail, with, as Eliza puts it, that “psychokiller stare”. For some reason he stopped wearing his glasses and his naked gaze has psychokiller written all over it. Two @@ staring fiercely out at you as he strides into traffic or marches up to you on the sidewalk, nearly nose to nose, chest to chest, or stepping on your dog. Psychokiller or just a hobo who lost his glasses and can’t see for sh!t? Maybe both.

Part 2

Eric calls Davey, who has forgotten to check the caller ID. An excellent invention, caller ID, and worth using. Eric’s cat, sadly, is sick. Eric’s cat lives in Eric’s pit of a studio, where there is a lot of junk crowding the walls, the floors, the ceilings, every surface stacked with junk. Maybe a fun playground to cats, though, with the canyons, crevices and great mountainous heights of books. Rodents love the place and the cat has always lived peaceably with them.

Ayway, at age 16-17, the cat went to the vet. After many puzzled pokings and proddings, diabetes and a horrible tumor are discovered, a CAT scan is ordered of all things. Davey manages to ask “Um, isn’t that in the thousands?” and Eric the nearly homeless, smelly hobo agrees “many thousands”. Davey asks delicately, it not being his business, “Um, the cat is elderly, would it suffer more to go through treatment?” and Eric, missing the point, says confidently “Oh, who knows how long this cat will live” never acknowledging that nearly homeless jobless hobos may not be able to afford such superb care for their cat…

But the bigger surprise comes with “I’ll need you to cat sit” an appalling idea, and Davey sputters a “!!!” and Eric explains “I am going to China with my fiancé”. Again, Davey sputters with disbelief “!!!” and Eric is like “She is giving me a year for a tryout. Then she wants to get married and have kids. But first, we go to China this summer and then next May she graduates from college”, Davey wondering who this desperate or crazy woman might be….

Part 3

Legend has it, to use a cliché, that Eric was all Eliza’s fault. She has apologized many times in recent years for the crime of being nice to a smelly almost-hobo. It all happened at the bus stop.

Baby Eliza, according to her mother, was famous for smiling at and trying to hug every smelly hobo they walked past. Adulthood has not changed her a bit, except for the hugging part. That’s just how sweet-natured she is, but just like opurple gum on the sidewalk in the summer that you step upon and can never entirely get off the bottoms of your adidas, Eric is hard to shake off.

Eliza had seen this guy every day waiting at the bus stop, eventually learning that his name was Eric and he was looking for a job, which Eliza tried to help with. Eric loved applying for jobs, applying for THOUSANDS, 4,302 since 2009 at last count, but he was even better at ruining his chances at actually getting a job. Whether it was wearing his only smelly outfit, his psychokiller stare, or his usual answer to “when can you start?” being an angry and affronted “I’m pretty busy for the next few weeks…” Eliza introduced Eric to Davey, who, at first, did not fully realize the danger. This guy was worse than the purple gum on the bottom of your sneaks. He was like the bastard step-child who saw YOU as his path to the good life. Or, at least, free beer and burritos.

Ask anyone around the neighborhood, and they all knew Eric. Not his name, of course, but his ubiquity and bizarre behavior. “Oh, you mean the guy who always walks in the middle of the road? What is UP with that, is he trying to get killed?” to “I was going out the EXIT at the PO, and this guy, and he does not smell good, is coming IN the EXIT. Sailing straight through like going in the wrong door is his special right and privilege, but he was talking to himself and the look in his eyes…well, you weren’t gonna do anything but get out of his way. He is the kinda dude that defines ‘go postal’” and even “I was biking down on the edge of the park? And there is that guy down there, in the poison ivy, plucking mushrooms off a log….”

Part 4

Davey’s on a park bench, amazed at the beauty of the first fine March day. Sun everywhere! It had been a long winter, but it was usually a long winter. He spies a loping shadow coming across the park his way, Davey takes quick evasive action, moving to another bench behind some trees, but its impossible. Eric is everywhere, plunks himself down. “Oh, hello Eric” which earns a grunt and wild eyed stare, as Eric makes himself comfortable. Davey tries sliding as far down the bench as possible, that smell! But Eric moves closer still. So much for eating a snack in the sunshine, kills his appetite.

Pigeons are near, and Davey reaches into his pocket, pulling out a muffin in a napkin, figuring the pigeons will have an appetite. It looks pretty banged up and stale anyway. Pulling a pinch off the top, Davey is tossing it to the birds when long snaky fingers snatch half the muffin out of his hand, Davey turning in disbelief, watching muffin disappear into that mouth, with its remarkably clean and straight teeth, tongue extended licking the fingers clean. At least part of Eric is clean and healthy, big surprise, but what kind of person snatches a stale muffin out of your hand? Pigeon food? Davey is wondering whether he should resume crumbling the last half for the pigeons or offer it to Eric when the long snaky fingers, damp still, snatch the last of the muffin, and like the cookie monster, it is GONE before Davey can even decide: pigeons or almost-hobo? Pigeons weren’t quick enough it seems….

Part 5

Davey never was able to shake Eric that afternoon, and as they leave the park and stop at the crosswalk, a garbage truck rounds the corner. It’s a red light for them, and the truck is moving quickly, but Eric is even quicker, stepping straight out into the street as it comes their way, glaring at the truck with the usual psychokiller stare, daring it to hit him, back down or fight like a man. The truck slams its brakes with 6 inches to spare, the driver leaning out and screaming the usual insults, but its Davey who is all shook up as Eric comes back to the sidewalk.

“Eric! You could have been killed, why do you always do that? Walk into traffic??? You’ll get killed!”

“Two fifty” is all Eric says, seemingly unconcerned.

“Two fifty???” Davey wondering if that is the numbers of times Eric has escaped injury.

“I figure a broken arm is worth a quarter mill in a lawsuit, 2 broken arms or legs? Worth a mill”.

Davey finally getting it, he WANTS to get hit, then sue.

“Its my retirement plan….”

Thursday, July 28, 2011

there is always room for more peanut butter in your life....

I was having fun with the insides of these bowls. You know, any chance to get something funny in there, like a dog eating an ice cream cone.....

Peanut noodles! I make them different ways, the wife gets confused when I ask which version she would like. This is a variation of a recipe I like from the top of my peanut butter jar, so easy, so tasty and quick.

Gary's peanut noodles
Cook 8 oz pasta, like corkscrews. While that goes, stir in a bowl:
-1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup warm water, 1/4 cup tomato sauce (original calls for ketchup, also could use chili sauce or BBQ sauce), 1 tbs soy sauce, 1 teas red wine vinegar, shakes of garlic powder, black pepper and red pepper

Stir mixture into the pasta after it has cooked and drained. if it seems overly thick, add a little more water. Top with shredded cheese, 1/4 cup or more, also 1/4 cup or more chpped bell pepper and chopped tomato.

You may need a mug like the cute beagle one below, get it at my etsy gallery!

dog and cat mug

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

peanut butter and jam muffins revisited....

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

A couple of years ago I wanted to find a recipe for muffins not just baked with jam in the middle, but also with peanut butter. I got a very good recipe, but found that just using a muffin pan without papers could result in jam all over, and I also found that yogurt (in my case, soy yogurt) makes a more firm batter, much easier to cover the pb and j inside. PLUS I hate how so many recipes have you pulling every bowl out of the cupboard and dirtying it. I like to bake with one bowl, just adding ingredients, when possible, so here is the recipe as I have experimented and rewritten. It IS AWESOME and healthy and you figure kids love it.

Pb and j muffins

Preheat to 400, line 12 muffin tin with papers—this is KEY

In large mixing bowl, stir 1 egg, 1 cup yogurt and

¼ cooking oil—stir stir stir.

Add one cup whole wheat flour, ¾ cup white flour,

¼ cup sugar, 4 teaspoon baking powder, stir stir stir.

Spoon about 1 tbs mixture onto othe bottom of every muffin

Paper. Spoon jam onto that then spoon peanut butter onto

That. You want to use a lot but don't, be careful, more than a

small spoonful bakes into a mess.

Top each muffin with the remainder of the batter, smooth

Batter to cover jam and pb. Bake about 15-16 minutes

Until golden looking, remove muffins and cool on rack, yum!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

KICK AZZ starring SPIKE the cat and the EVIL shoe lace...

Jen comes OVER...from Carolina!

(Spike meets new friends and obviously, above that, new pots by Gary Rith)
Jen Mecca and her DElightful family came up from the Carolinas Monday. One of her daughters was wearing a Minnie Mouse shirt to match mine! Jen grew up near here and is a potter down south on vacation here, and I have known her online and swapped pots many times. If I had to give these visitors a grade, it would be A plus--mellow, friendly, dog and cat lovers.....

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