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

Friday, February 28, 2014

the bowl thing

(new pottery by Gary Rith)
So, YES, I have been making more bowls and stacking them up...ten different colors!
Feels so dang addictive, making bowls, loving bowls...maybe it is just a potter/baker thing...
Also, this is a very big bowl with the vase...I wanted a FAT bowl with a FAT lip and base and mmmm...will make more...
have an awesome weekend all!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

wait, since when does Godzilla have ears...

You will recall my ABSOLUTE fondness for Godzilla....I see that there might be a new Godzilla movie and I am unmoved.  I interested in the JUNKY SCI-FI Godzilla of my youth, the one I saw on the Saturday afternoon Creature Feature! And I am not really a dragon fan....but this book cover shows a favorite book of my childhood, I must say, that Wyeth really captivated me!

Anyway, the wife tells me "you make those monsters really big on your pieces" and it is true, and I endeavor to make a smaller one...but, well, they DO begin to take over....

(new teapot by Gary Rith)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

bamboo LUST

(teapot by Gary Rith--I was actually thinking typical British Brown Betty shaped teapot, like in the top photo, but with a cane handle instead))
I put this teapot together this week when it came outta the kiln.  I was SUPER dooper excited.  As you have seen, I make most of my handles from clay, but cane or bamboo is pretty and gives you a handle that remains cool when the teapot has hot liquid. I keep a box full of teapot handles, different size and shape and styles, so that I can try them out for size when the teapot is ready.  Typical cane handles (not this one, this is bamboo) are soaked and stretched to fit, sort of like a basket piece.  But the bamboo handles are my favorite, and they have a TOUGH metal wire to bend and attach...I would say nail grade.  I have a covered pair of pliers to gently bend the wire if I can't bend them into place by hand.

ANYWAY, my box of handles has some nearly 20 years old, they are so pretty! Not, um, too pretty to use, but it would be a flippin' AMAZING teapot to get such special handles.

For a long time I could not find the bamboo handles, but lately Aftosa has them and they sent me notice Tuesday of a sale and I thought I would buy one or 2....but, well, I was shopping with laptop in one hand and martini in the other and huzzah! 81 bucks worth of bamboo handles jumped into my cart.... good thing, too, because I made a teapot Tuesday that will need one!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

when you HELP YERSELF...

(new mugs by Gary Rith)

The kiln opens Monday, hot pots come out.  I am working on a different series of items:  just celadon.  I posted a couple days ago about beautiful Korean celadons:  traditional pale grey/blue/green glaze and in my case, ranging even to jade, turquoise and teal.  I want to make some things that really suit that sort of glaze, something with shape and surfaces that get the celadon to break and shine.

The one in front came out of the kiln and the wife helped herself "that is a test?  Gimme, I want it..." and I reach over and nab the chubby/ridgey one on the right "mine".
I instantly made more of those 2 in the studio...

In other news, I got home from what seemed like the coldest run I had ever taken in my life (22 and windy--I have run in much colder weather) but it had been nearly 40 the day before and I wore the same outfit rather than wisely DOUBLING my layers, YEOW!  I got home to a warm house and tossed my smelly outfit down and....the dog and cat helped themselves to my warm clothes ....

Monday, February 24, 2014


(sculpture with orca, shark and fish by Gary Rith)
What can I say, I thought it would be funny?!
I have sculpted fish and sharks before and thought the other day "wait, who might eat a shark????".
I brought our old encyclopedia and its picture of a killer whale down to do the glazing and think it turned out rather well... have an awesome day!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

downward dog...

(new tiles by Gary Rith)
You know that if you are doing yoga, esp. if you are doing it badly, the dog and cat will join you and help....
have an awesome day!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

breakfast with the computer

(working dollhouse teaset by Gary Rith)

The wife would be appalled.
She teaches computer classes.
Rule one:  no food with the computers!
Her husband is a slob, and wrote a haiku just now that sums it up:

Cleaning crumbs off of
The laptop, peanut butter
And jam on the keys....

That is the best haiku I have EVER they say, write what you know!

Alright, I mentioned the other day a young visitor got me making dollhouse pieces again and this just came outta the kiln.  It was funny, in these days of blasting heat vents, I made the tiny little pieces after breakfast and before lunch it was all pretty dry and so I finished them...from clay to finished items by midday!  That is quick for pottery.

You hear me this year blabbing about swirlies all over, but I am also working out how to use this fine celadon glaze I have yesterday's post talked about!

Finally, the wife and I were lovin' Dire Straits yesterday and got to talking about I LOVE MY MTV...not my favorite of theirs, but along with Prince's PURPLE RAIN, Rolling Stones' SOME GIRLS and Talking Heads REMAIN IN LIGHT, Dire Straits' MAKING MOVIES is one of my absolute favorite albums, EVER ever ever....

But this was big for them, a year or 2 later....

Friday, February 21, 2014

GEMS and clowns....

Oh goodness I love these.... I saw notice last week of a FINE show of pottery from the turn of the last century, exotic and art nouveau, etc, at NY's Metropolitan Museum.  I hope to go soon, and was thinking I should visit their East Asian pottery too...they have a terrific collection, but what got me more than the Japanese and Chinese gems were the Korean celadons. For my taste it is the most beautiful ceramic work ever made.  I latest count?  8 green glazes in my studio, 3-4 of which I call celadons.  Celadon is basically a glassy (coke bottle!) glaze in a light blue/grey/green shade.  It would vary by region in Korea and the rest of the east and around the world, depending on glaze recipes and materials.  In this house I am not too strict and consider spring green, jade, light teal/turquoise celadons BUT ANYWAY, you can see the beauty of form, decoration and color that I love....

In OTHER news Yogi came over to clown around Thursday with Penny... the 2 are mighty happy to get out in the 40 degree weather...then he came in to help me make pizzas!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

maybe not spring yet....but thrilling signs of...!

 I feel pretty dang lucky most of the time.  It has been impossibly COLD and snowy all winter.  OK, maybe average  for Ithaca, but Ithaca averages a lot of snow and cold.  Manitoba is NORTH of North Dakota, and a whole LOT worse, but I don't live there, do I?  So this seems bad enough...since Thanksgiving when we had our first blizzard!  But yesterday?

SIGNS OF HOPE!  A little sun, 42 degrees, I saw a flock of DOZENS of robins!  They were skinny and trying hard to poke for food at a little thawed patch of mud.

Other signs of an awakening:  I am not lazy at all, but it is always nice when a gallery or shop you like approaches YOU, ditto a good show.  You love to be loved in this business, and in the last 2 days both an awesome shoppe and also an awesome show both came to me, yesssssss...nice start to the retail season :)

Speaking of which, buy some of my stuff, MOTHER'S DAY is coming!!!!!! New items at my etsy shoppe now!piggy mugelephants on a cupblue teapot with a dog

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"life is just a: box of chocolates, bowl of cherries, chair of bowlies..."

(bowls by Gary Rith)
Sure I showed some of these last week, but the pile keeps on growing! I keep making bowls to add...

I still crack up at "life is just a chair of bowlies" by Mary Engelbreit.
But it occurs to me:  how would YOU finish the line?
Maybe I would say "Life is just a basket of beagle puppies! Soft and squeezable, loveable, cuddly and fun, but watch out for the little bites and the big puddles"

Go to comments and fill it in, just think quick:  "life is just a....." or say anything else you wish :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

the GOOD thing about winter

Is that you get to complain!  And grouse and bitch...and bitch some more!  Am I happy that people in the south have had a couple of doses of snow, so that when I complain of snow as a nuisance and danger, not a Christmas card, they can understand?

I heard the other day that there is a 3 mile underground tunnel in Norway, allowing awesome skiing training year round.  You wonder why the IOC is so stupid they hold the Olympics in the absolute warmest part of Russia where it is warm and they have to MAKE snow.  We have so much!  So does the rest of Russia!  Will we see news reports in coming years of THE REAL story, bags of cash being passed around like candy to influence the vote? As a person who has no respect for these particular Olympics and the authoritarian regime sponsoring it (ditto the summer games 6 years ago) I wonder why they don't just use the nice facility in nice Norway, a place everyone likes, a place that is wintry and doesn't beat your head in if you are LGBT OR disagree with the gov't, and does not require 50 billion in bribes and new construction to put on the Olympics...

Anyway, despite the horrible snow storm going on now, a thaw is expected for us later this week. We have had much worse winters, colder, snowier, longer.   And I bet it is like 80 degrees March 10 and 99 on May 1....

Doesn't the wife look cute and colorful here? And above, YEP, there are icicles bigger than me hanging off the roof...

Monday, February 17, 2014

tiny teapots

(tiny teapots by Gary Rith)
We had a young visitor the other day who noticed a couple of very small pots I had made a few years ago, one was 1" scale (1" to a foot) and the other a little bigger, no scale.  The smaller at one inch scale does not work and is simply a teapot shaped item, the bigger does, the spout being big enough to pour through. I don't know how easy it would be to make a pouring spout which is smaller than a piece of grass!
ANYWAY, the visitor was curious about it all, saying that it is stuff Barbie could use, and a pitcher she saw the size of a thumb would be good for American Girl.  I have no idea what scale those dolls are, but I made this yellow is not useable at one inch scale, the large holds a spoonful of tea and pours :)  Have a great Monday!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

just needs flowers....

Lovely, fat and chubby vases hmm?  Have a great Sunday!

(new vases by Gary Rith)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"do ya like fudge???"

The wife comes home yesterday and I ask her if she likes fudge...funny a)  it has never come up, 22 years together and we have never had or talked about fudge??! b)  how come nobody told me it was dang easy to make!

Yesterday I knew I would bake the wife something chocolatey, and came across this link from Alicia Silverstone for no-dairy fudge.  Good golly, just whip together a few ingredients and cool?????? I stuck in pecans. SO, it was a surprise to both of us!

The wife, I swear I am not making this up, admits to me later that she snuck a FOURTH piece when I wasn't looking.....

The lady got me tickets to Keb Mo next month, holy CATS how awesome is THAT???????


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day = pairs?

The news was talking about how the Pope is meeting thousands of couples today at the Vatican, in celebration of Saint Valentine, who was martyred for marrying men and women in the Christian faith.
Not to get into a tedious and heated discussion, but I was wondering how many LGBT couples were there....
is it hard for them today, all this hetero hooking up in the media? Or the kind of political hatred the Russian gov't displays towards their LGBT citizens? Yet they still get to host the Olympics.....

  Or is it hard for the single and lonely or bereaved, etc?  I think about this sometime as a person who is very solitary:  humans seem born to pair up.  Why?  I need a partner and am very lucky to have mine.  As a matter of fact, I think humans are very lucky to want a life partner, but as the saying goes, to conservative lawmakers or what have you: "whaddya say we vote on YOUR marriage?".

Yogi came over to play with his girlfriend, our Penny yesterday.  She was like "honey, I love ya but I don't have a fine winter coat like yours, I AM GOING IN".  He was a little sad at that....

And in other news, these 2 cups are a remake of favorites I made many years ago, chipped in our own kitchen cupboard!  I am setting those in the museum now, and we shall enjoy their replacements this Valentine's day, his and hers, a seemingly mismatched couple :) Blue inside, green and blue outside, with a delightful meetup point at the rim, as you see....

Thursday, February 13, 2014

what's black and white and red all over...?

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

A skunk in a blender! My goodness those sorts of jokes were popular in third grade....I was just noticing there is a LOT of red and black in this post...or red and blue....

SO, like a broken record, I keep telling you:  I am making a longggg series of pots lately with FAT shapes and loops of glaze under....mmmm, luscious!

And really, can you ever have enough selfies?  A friend in Pennsylvania tells me yesterday that their boss is moving HERE and needs advice, vis a vis neighborhoods and apartments, which I provide.  BUT then I say to friend "you can tell them I am COOL...and they are welcome to friend me on FB or whatever"....and realize that if I am gonna SAY I am cool, I need the new cool cat selfie ....with the cat... for the profile pic....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

that dog, this kitchen...

Well, you know her, you see her here all the time, and yesterday I showed you one cup and saucer with a is another!

I ask the wife "you don't mind that I keep making test tiles...then hanging them up in the kitchen do you?"  and she is like, bless her "it looks great!".  I tried light glaze under dark and the results here are wildly good....carrying ON, have an awesome Wednesday!
(new pottery by Gary Rith)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

designing ladies' handbags...

You wonder "how will blue look" and because one glaze color is darker than the other, in a subtle way, it looks FAB.  A very happy accident, actually, as I would never have tried this if I had not done blue and blue by accident..
the other day the wife and I see a purse and it is black patterned on black and, of course I bring the convo around to POTTERY:
she "oh, look how pretty this is!"
me "reminds me of a glaze scheme I am working on...have I told you about ..."
and we all know how boring potters can be in talking GLAZE.
the dog on there is no accident.  You will hear me say I am a cup and saucer man, and I am also a beagle man...have a great Tuesday!

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