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

Monday, October 31, 2011

how do you do Halloween?

The wife looks out at the cold and the snow and tells me: "I don't think I am going to wear my tiny little leather mini skirt today", which, you know, is a shame. She has the legs for it, indeed! She will wear skull items instead. Penny beagle will wear her purple tutu. I am thinking I will wear my Boston Bruins uniform....
We live on a state highway. Over the last 6 Halloweens no kids have shown up, except for the one the wife told to come over. I have not bought candy in a few years (at the grocery store last Wednesday: Halloween displays GONE, Christmas junk UP, on October 26!). Basically, although there are houses all around us, it would be quite dangerous for kids to wander around our road in the dark or any time. And I applaud the village for holding a Halloween party for kids. I am a slightly paranoid guy, and if I had kids? I would NEVER want to let them trick or treat house to house. It is a quaint idea: one day a year, YES, kids, you can take candy from strangers! (like from all the potential psycho killers) I think it is a bad idea any time, and I like it when stores and malls have trick or treating, villages like ours have parties, and of course, schools.

So, for us, basically, Halloween is not gonna mean too much, how about for YOU?????

(new bowls by Gary Rith)

Sunday, October 30, 2011


(teapot by Gary Rith)
Here is the teapot from the set below by itself....
OK, so the convo goes like this, between me and my esteemed haircutter Michelle:
Me: Michelle! BLOND for Halloween, gorgeous!
She: Its just hair!
Me: Have some fun! Speaking of which, I like to roll out of bed and into my life, never thinking about MY hair. Let's go short again. Can I take our picture????
She: Take off your glasses. Sure you can take our picture! Tommy (a mutual friend who reads this and FB) always tells me I am a star on your blog.....
Me: So like I was saying, I am your absolute laziest customer....just clip it so I don't have to think about it until I see you again. Now let's talk pots (Michelle is a potter on the side)
She: I am working like crazy to make Christmas pots....move your head....
Me (tanked on coffee and VERY chatty): WELL, I am doing a teapot competition this winter, which gave me new ideas, and I was making one this morning and I told the wife "this is the best pot I have ever made! Except I already have ideas to make it better...."

Stay tuned......

Saturday, October 29, 2011

yellow tea set = mega-happiness....

(new pottery by Gary Rith)
I was asked to submit a picture of work for possible submission to the newspaper and this tasty little teaset was fresh outta the kiln, YESSssssssss......

inventing tostadas......

Before we get down to tostadas, you will recall that Penny and I were walking down the street, and our neighbors Paul and Julie surprised us with a note on their tree....from the flattened dead squirrel in front of their place....WELL, I had to make a little art project of my own and add it to the tree......

Now, I did not invent tostadas, NO. I realize that. What are they, you ask? In my experience, tiny little Mexican pizzas. A flat round corn tortilla is all crisp and cooked beforehand, like a taco, and you buy them in a box at the store, smear stuff on them, bake it up! Me and the wife have had gorgeous gourmet tostadas at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, and there is no reason you can't put anything on there and it will be awesome. I was at the store this week, and it is a GREAT store, but no tostadas! Just a load of tacos and tortillas. Our neighbor tells me he makes them by cracking tacos in half. Not a bad idea. BUT....

well, I figured I could do it my way. The store has these huge flour tortillas I buy every week, they are about 10 x 12 inches, and full of nice and natural ingredients. If I had thought ahead, i would have bought the nice little corn tortillas, but I did not think ahead, so I decided to make my own tostadas by cutting each huge tortilla into quarters. More on that later.

OK, the black bean part. I read in the newspaper once "make your own refried beans!" and considering how tasty homemade beans are, why not? I never do it the same twice, depending on what is in the fridge and the prevailing mood. Here is yesterday (and be aware--I don't use salt to cook, there is always plenty of salt in the various ingredients, and keeps our blood pressure happy)

Gary's refried beans
--dice and saute in oil in large pan:
small onion, small bell pepper, huge jalapeno (bigger than my thumb!), a carrot, several cloves of elephant garlic--I am not messing around with small garlic anymore....I sometimes toss in tomatoes and other things
--saute 15 minutes
--drain and rinse can of black beans, toss into pot of veggies with a half cup of water, stir stir stir, turn to high until bubbly, then turn stove to lowest temp and let simmer an hour, stirring occasionally----it will be a perfect and pasty, lovely refried bean consistency, and while it bubbles I do the dishes and vacuuming and such.....
--turn heat off, stir in 2 tbs lime juice, cumin, black pepper and oregano to taste, add tabasco too if, like us, you always figure stuff can be a little spicier

To be frank and honest: people always worry that Mexican or vegetarian food will make you...windy...and basically, if you cook things right, and this was just cooked over an hour, it won't make you ...windy....

OK, now the tostada part:
--using either small round corn tortillas or flour tortillas cut the right size, heat a couple of spoonfuls of oil in your fry pan....toss in the tortillas singly, doing each side for a minute...yesterday I did 6 small ones
--lay each tortilla on a cookie sheet, cover with some beans, then I added chopped veg. sausage, tomato, olives, and veg. cheese
--bake at 350 for 10-15 until looking good and crispy! OH YUM!

Friday, October 28, 2011

applesauce muffins for snowy days.....

Joy posts some awesome recipes, and her applesauce muffins got my attention, as I am up to my elbows in apples and applesauce lately....
I did not use papers, just greased my muffin pans, and I also had dried cranberries which was a tasty addition, but here is the recipe, thanks JOY! Sooooooooo tasty....
Apple Sauce Muffins
1 1/2 cups Flour
2 tbsp Oat Bran
(you can leave this out but don't as it regulates blood sugars!)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
1/4 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, melted
3 tbsp oil
1 cup unsweetened Applesauce
1 cup Walnuts chopped – use Pecans if you like

Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Put paper muffin cups in pan.

Stir together flour, oat bran (use it dammit - it's good for you), baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Mix eggs and brown sugar in a bowl, then add butter, a little at a time, whisk till creamy. Stir in applesauce, then fold in flour mixture until just moistened. Stir in nuts, put batter into muffin pan.

Bake until muffins spring back when touched, about 25 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and cool slightly.

This makes 12 standard size muffins.

AND YES, what you heard is true--it snowed quite hard for several hours Thursday, not much stuck around though....
(new pottery by Gary Rith....)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

message from a SQUIRREL......

You will recall, yesterday? I was writing a song about the dead squirrel in the middle of the road over by my neighbor Paul and Julie's, the one that the dog was eating...and it....CAME BACK UP? HOLY CATS the squirrel left Penny a message on the tree in their yard, I SWEAR I am not making this up...imagine our surprise! But, well, it is nearly day of the dead, Halloween and all that, so no surprise, really, ZOMBIE SQUIRRELS with superpowers!
AND, of course, our first snow today...this heavy crapola coming down fast and furious, not sticking too much, but making a shloppy nuisance of itself....only, what, 8-9 months till summer?

how to make a potter super happy

(new pottery by Gary Rith)
remember 2 days ago, I said I had to repair the kiln, refire the undercooked pots? Worked beautifully :)
I am not sure, but I don't think all 3 of our pets have ever shared Buster's couch before....Penny on the left, Spike on the can tell winter is coming when all the dogs and cats cuddle together for warmth! Have an awesome day....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"dead squirrel in the middle of the road..."

Me and the wife walk the dog every day, all over the place. Over in front of Paul and Julie's, around the corner and over the bridge, a dead squirrel has been plastered to the road for a week. If you know the excellent song "dead skunk in the middle of the road" and the other song "the cat came back" (videos down below) we have been inspired by both to start writing one song about our beagle, that dead squirrel, and her interest in eating it. I drew the picture above because the photo of the dead squirrel and my beagle would make YOU blow chunks, and this bowl below seems appropriate, you know?

"Dead squirrel in the middle of the road, middle of the road....
Hungry hound in the middle of the road, middle of the road....
Big tasty snack in the middle of the road, middle of the road....
Stanky dead squirrel snack slurped up from the middle of the road, middle of the road.....

And the dead squirrel came UP the very next day....
Greasy grimey green squirrel guts came up the very next day....
But the hungry hound smacked her lips and came up for more dead squirrel the very next day...."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

p!ssing off a potter.....

I am totally good natured, calm, quiet, happy, but you want to p!ss me off? Let's say you are a KILN in a glaze firing cycle, just reached 1495 degrees F on the way to 2200 degrees F and you have some kind of MALFUNCTION in the computer firing box. THAT will p!ss off the most even tempered potter.
The stuff inside is fine, just not fired, and I have to take the kiln apart and see what is what...I have spare parts for nearly any breakdown, because, as you know, this kiln breaks down a LOT. One day Santa will bring me a small L and L kiln to replace this piece of sh!t (rhymes with) Taragon kiln....
anyway, I had to get out of the house and chill out so me and my favorite beagle took a schweet hike on the East Ithaca rail trail, came home and made apple sauce with these GInormous apples the wife bought....
have an awesome Tuesday!

**update: kiln repaired and working and hopefully works well all day :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

le hike grande*

Sunday promised to be 61 and sunny, a rarity these days, warm and sunny is.....and so we packed up the beagle and ran off to Starschmucks and walked, well, seemingly forever, around Cornell Plantations and Beebe Lake and other such gorgeous and colorful parts of the Cornell campus near our house.
Here is the dog eating trash outside the building the wife works in during the week...happy Monday!
PS- the wife tells me she needs to wear MORE FASHIONABLE JEANS if she is going to be blogged....Honey, just assume: I will blog EVERYTHING
*the Starschmucks cup in the trash, you will notice, is NOT ours, but you knew that, because you probably saw the wife has our sippy cup hanging on her hip, and is it not a CLEVER connection, calling the hike grande, like a coffee from Starschmucks?
pps- YES, I know how to make my own coffee, dangit, and I DO, but Starschmucks coffee bags from the grocery, which we drink, have a coupon for a FREEBIE...although we always make sure to toss pocket change LOUDLY into the tips jar...and make sure the barista is watching us throw a tip in there, so we don't seem totally, you know, CHEAP....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday ahoy!

pair of pig cups and saucers with pigs for kids or espressosmall cups and saucer set for kids or espresso with elephants
(some new pots by Gary Rith, cups and saucers available for sale at my etsy shop !!!!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Second City, maybe the best evening ever?????

(below--I only managed one live shot before the usher threatened to kick me out)

(Corey and Sarah down a few seats from us in the balcony, and other shots around Ithaca's State Theater)
Me and the wife went to the Ithaca State Theater last night to see Second City. I told the wife later "we have done a lot of fun things in our 20 years together, maybe that was the MOST FUN???"...although flying kites last Saturday was pretty damn good and....well, anyway, she and I have a lot of fun.
Me and the wife lived in Chicago for many years and had been to the original Second City theater. I saw Mike Meyers and Chris Farley performing there live, long before SNL...Wayne's World...Tommy Boy....anybody going to Chicago would love the experience. The thing about Saturday Night Live is, well, basically it is hit or miss, with a lot of miss since the earlier days of the show, and I think part of that is the prep: they get the show together in less than a week. Second City on the other hand does some brilliant improv, but most of the show, THANK GOD, is very well scripted and well practiced. AND hilarious! I was laughing so hard I was crying! You see awesome Corey and Sarah had left the baby at home and came along too see were all up in the balcony with the other bad kids....
I only got one live photo before the usher yelled at me to put the camera away....

Friday, October 21, 2011

adorable dogs and cats and elephants....

(new pottery by Gary Rith)
Our old black lab Buster was having a rough day Thursday. Spike cat, well known as super-friendly, spent the day cuddling with Buster. Spike is so kindly to comfort an old dog like that, aren't they all cute?
Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

a public service reminder.....

Super stuff just outta the kiln PLUS ....

New stuff like these skull mugs just added to my etsy gallery, your Halloween needs them!
badass skull mug

telling people you are making pots like flowers

(new pottery by Gary Rith)
We talked about the tall yellow teapot last week, and here tis, fired! The wife said "its tall, good for coffee too!" and she ALSO told Corey, over at a party last week, when he asked "so what are you making these days?" she jumped in with "he is making pots that look like flowers!". They do, don't they? You can see the newer, unfired teapot is me trying a lower profile, more teapottish shape...

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