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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"here in my car..."

(car sculpture by Gary Rith)

I made a car! Made entirely of pieces thrown on the pottery wheel.
Not my first.  I have made other car pots that are less simple, but this one ROLLS.  
The wife was chatting about something one morning and somehow I got the idea.... I was thinking of cute 2005 Audi TT convertibles, yes, but also that book I remember so well with the cute dog driving around....

It is funny, but I have been working on making a rolling car for years, and finally figured out the 2 hardest parts:  the way to attach the axles and how to make and attach the wheels, and in the end simple is the best solution...

I have told you before that when I was 5 and I saw the movie PINOCCHIO, I wanted to become Gepetto, the guy who makes toys that comes to life.  I love pottery and I love pots that work and I love a certain type of elegant, old school kind of toy and, well, this does all of that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

gluten-free buttered BUNS and Teapot Tuesday #3!

There we go, teapot Tuesday number 3, already!
We had a friend over Saturday and she was in the studio amongst the teeming masses of teapots and whatnot, and goes straight to this thing, with loooooove and affection:  "oh my, this is just so sweet".

It is not like I have been ignoring it since it came out of the kiln a few days ago, but it helps to have someone help YOU appreciate something.
I wonder sometimes why I bother making full sized teapots when the small ones are so darn satisfyingly CUTE.
Now YOU can appreciate it, and BUY IT! For sale now at my etsy shoppe!

(tiny teapot by Gary Rith)

OK, you know I have celiac disease, right?  No gluten for me, which considering how much I love cooking and baking is a delightful challenge.
I make or adapt a lot of my own recipes.
I have a FAVORITE bread recipe and wondered if they would make good rolls?
YES, makes flippin' AMAZING rolls... which if you don't mind forming balls for buttered buns allows you to be lazy later when you don't have to bother slicing a loaf...although I guess you have to slice the bun at some point... ***
anyway, Nicole Hunn of Gluten-free on a shoestring blog and books has been invaluable as a resource and starting point, as you have seen here in recent months, please click here to check her recipes and buy her cookbooks!

***why does that sentence sound vaguely naughty or lewd? ;)

Monday, April 28, 2014

BLACK keys and black thumbs....

I am reading in the Guardian about the Black Keys and notice that I HAVE that jacket exactly.  I got it, um, quite distressed and vintage looking at a garage sale... it looks well lived in and wretched and punk... but at least it doesn't smell as bad as it used to!

That very same jacket can be seen below where I am holding up the wife's HUGE fern, which we finally repotted.  You will recall 2 things:  1)  that pot was an Easter gift I made for the wife, a HUGE flower pot! and 2) since I have a black thumb, it is wisest if I have as little as possible to do with caring for her plants, or anybody else's....

Have an awesome Monday!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

"...wish it was Sunday, that's my fun day..."

(new vase by Gary Rith)
It IS Sunday, glorious glorious day.  I would say it could be a lazy one, but I have plans.
How about you?

(blog post title courtesy of the Bangles!)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

sometimes you feel like a nut... sometimes you don't!

(elephant mugs by Gary Rith)

Etched upon my memory, hilarious ads from the 70s, Almond joy and Mounds...sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't!

Sure, I will make a pair of blue mugs with dancing elephants as handles, but I also (lately) get in the mood to make something quiet and simple.

The mugs above I made last week after my last elephant handle mug sold (I always replace my favorites) but I used this new light blue glaze I am lovin'... and the ones below, as I have said before, represent the direction I am going in thinking more of the Japanese influences of my early training... and those are for sale! On special now at my etsy gallery!special pair of light blue mugs

Friday, April 25, 2014

Stonehenge, VIRGIN SACRIFICE and my black thumb....

Thursday kicked AZZ:  mild and sunny!  Not something you can count on this spring.
Twas the FIRST day I could dry pots outdoors!
I cut the lawn for the first time!  Monday, the grass was lying around out there, all brown and dead...but it got warm and sunny and started growing fast.... a couple days of heavy rain and it was already up to my knees!  Seriously, it had to be cut (people in warm places are wondering what is the big deal:  but last week we had heavy snow, AND at the start of yesterday, April 24??? It was 25 degrees out there. And  MORE SNOW EXPECTED SATURDAY)

OK, the real reason I cut the grass is I am purely lazy.  I don't rake leaves in fall or spring... I shred them with the mower!  MULCH!  Win-win, minimal effort....

Also, as you see below, I added rocks to MY PERSONAL STONEHENGE.  Many of you will recall this is an ongoing project.  Sure, the central slab looks like a raised alter to sacrifice virgins BUT I SWEAR all we do is drink martinis out there with the dog!

A neighbor is like:  "we had our septic field dug up, you want any of the rocks????"

Some of you might be thinking "EWWWWW!  Poopy rocks!" But, well, you know, what is rain for?  And there was this STUNNING large block of a rock, and with a small flat friend Penny and I were able to add a seat to our personal Stonehenge.
Alert readers will note:  Gary has a black thumb for growing plants but grows rocks beautifully :)
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Scottie dogs + Porsches = living like the one percent....

I was dreaming just now that I had a little black Porsche convertible, which was good and bad and bad.

GOOD, for all the obvious reasons!  A PORSCHE!  Convertible!
BUT, well, I went to a parking garage and it all went to hell:  first, in my pocket, what is there??? AN EMPTY wallet!  I need a few bucks to pay parking and pffft, have to dig change out of the car's ashtray. SO, I go over to pay and come back to put the ticket on the window and WHAT!  No CAR!  Stolen!!!!!!
I mean it, I was UPSET and awoke to find the dog telling me:  "let's go get some crunchies"  which she did, I got coffee and a banana.

Moral of the story is this:  that thing wasn't my dream car, no way!  No wonder it was stolen.  I couldn't afford it or even a banana....besides my DREAM CAR is the Audi TT 2005 convertible, of course! Now that is a cute car.

Alright, for Easter?  I knew the wife likes the Agatha of Paris Scottie dog.  SO CUTE!
On ebay I was the only bidder for this ......

It is a luxury brand and a luxury item.... but I got it, I am not foolin'... for POCKET change, like some ebay auctions go, right?
You can buy one of these now in a new auction, click here ....NOT pocket change,  Man, this makes me feel lucky. WHOA.

ANYWAY, you KNOW that cute sh!t got me thinking..... have an awesome Thursday!

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gary meets a MANGO.....

I mean, WTF IS a mango?  I have no idea.  Many years ago my first experience with mango was in a mango chutney, an Indian dish with this sweet tasty/spicy chutney on the side.  Then I had a fruit salad in NY city some time back and was like HOLY CATS that sure as heck is NOT cantelope (I hate cantelope) WHAT IS THAT YUMMY item?  (that looks a bit like cantelope) It was mango. 2 months ago we are out with the young cousin at the Thai place:  "try the mango curry! It is my favorite!" says the worldly young 19 year old...and it is exqusite.

Our store has diced fresh mango.  It is wicked expensive but I have had it zillions of times and LOOOOVE it so.  Just open the wee box and munch.

Today, at the store?  I was gonna get fresh mango chunks in the wee box, like 4-5 bucks each, and try to make mango curry.  The store made a mistake:  Tuesday they put REAL mangos next to the precut chunks, and it is like when you have gotten used to the fact that guacamole is expensive... but then one day you buy an avocado cheap and find out how simple and easy it is to make guac?  You are like "HOLY CATS, whatta ripoff!"  Ditto mango chunks in a box.  Mangos are cheap!

As long as you can figure out how to slice the damn thing.  I was like "is this thing an apple, and you eat the peel, or is it a banana and the peel comes right off or is it like a carrot, where you have to use a peeler to get the skin off????".  I don't know the answer to that.  What I did was use a sharp knife to skin it...seems like the right instinct, then try to figure out how to slice has a big bizarre seed like an avocado, except flat.

ANYWAY. It was a HUGE success, the mango curry... I based my approach on what vegan stoners did for their curry recipe, which is basically diced some veggies and stir it up in the hot pan for awhile with coconut yogurt and spice, serve over rice (or noodles, in my case).  It is a brilliant and easy recipe of theirs (click here) but I substituted mango for carrot, HUZZAH!

I also baked bread Tuesday... I can't remember where I came across this ultra-WONDERFUL easy gluten-free bread recipe, but it blows me away, so soft and tasty!  Just corn and rice flour!!!!

Alert readers will recall that every spring it is the same with me:  I plant things, full of hope!  Soon thereafter they DIE.
I gave the wife a wee pot for Easter and a basil plant... Penny and I put it together.  I hope like hell it survives long enough for ONE dish at least... have an awesome Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teapot Tuesday TWO: bigass teapot, bigass bagels and bigass blue bowls...

blue teapot with a dog

(teapot by Gary Rith)
Teapot Tuseday number TWO, already!  Purists would argue that Thursday a week and a half ago was the first teapot Tuesday...but it was just a warmup.
Check out my big terrier teapot today, it can be yours! For sale now at my etsy gallery!

In other news, I made sure to color coordinate my shirt to this big blue bowl yesterday for the photo shoot (yeah, right!).  That sucker is big.  Before I fired it I was certain it was the biggest bowl I had ever made...and how could I know that??? BECAUSE it fit into the kiln with less than half an inch to spare on each side...which I can't recall before... I don't make bigass pots too often but like to silence the critics by sometimes picking a big hunka clay and showing how big my.... skills is :)
(there are potters out there who delight in competing at making big pots... probably to compensate for their wee little .... imaginations ;)

Finally, I made bagels yesterday... I was in a hyper mood.  I don't drink any caffeine but I am a very hyper person nonetheless.  I walked the dog then ran five miles because I couldn't sit still, then baked bagels and muffins and got dinner ready yesterday morning... all just so I could chill out enough to get into the studio and make pots---which I did then for several hours..... my dad said the other day, quite correctly:
"you're a very peppy person".  Sometimes!  OK, a damn LOT of the time.

YES, I crashed and fell deeply asleep pretty damn early.  I get all excited, like now, when I wanna get up at like 3 or 4 and eat them bagels then wooHOOOO! Next thing you know I am reading at 8pm and asleep at 8:01...
have an awesome Tuesday :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

thinking outside the BOX... or egg cup....

(egg cup by Gary Rith)
You will recall that yesterday I posted my FIRST EVER egg cup for Easter...I surprised the wife with it.  She loves it!  The cat loves it.  Ditto the dog...and a zillion people on facebook BUT... the wife does not like softboiled eggs for breakfast...doesn't like hardboiled much either, actually, how could I have known?  We have never had an egg cup, or a reason to use it....

LATER THAT SAME day as we prepare tall fruity drinks to enjoy by the poolside (haha, yeah, right) the wife is like "think outside the box! Or egg cup! Use it for cocktail hour snacks!"

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

back to IMPOSSIBLY CUTE ... egg cups for Easter!

(egg cup by Gary Rith)

Yesterday my good friend and neighbor Lesli saw the skull mugs and was like "whoa, where are the cute puppies and piggies that Gary is famous for?  This can't be you..." and OF COURSE it is.  My skulls are cute!  I think so.  Badassedly cute...

But hey, my work is at least 99% unarguably cute, right?  Today will not disappoint!

One thing the wife had to adapt to in getting together with me is that Easter is a big deal.
NOT in the way you think.  I am a Quaker, and we say "no day is more sacred than another" that although we know how to have fun, we do not get overexcited and ostentatious about events (supposedly)... and many Quakers like me do not have a literal Biblical understanding of the life of Jesus.  OK, so that just explains that for me, Easter is a nice little spring celebration.

When I was a kid my mom would make a bunny cake, my great-grandmother would send chocolate lambs and my sister and I would decorate and dye eggs and then hide them and hunt them down...again and again!  It was also around my birthday, and you already know that I am in a celebratory mood.

SO, yeah, this morning, and my sleeping wife does not know it yet, I am decorating some eggs and hiding them and LOOK WHAT I MADE FOR HER.  A week or so ago my old buddy Norah Smith was featured in the NY Times for her eggs cup and hand knitted hats, which is pretty flippin' cool for a full-time scientist, part-time potter.....
SO, I went down to the studio, thought about, and wanted to make an egg cup of some kind... I have made one so far, and the wife will soon come down to pumpkin pie and this egg cup for Easter :)
Happy Easter yerself!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

before we go ALL CUTE for ya on Easter...

....with, you know, bunnies and chicks, let's go BADASS ROCK AND ROLL:  are you goth, punk, or an old fashioned metalhead?  You need one of my skull mugs, some available NOW at my etsy shoppe! (click here!)

yet another spooky badass skull mug

Friday, April 18, 2014

"you made (gluten-free) chocolate bread just so you could put peanut butter on it"

"Why YES, yes I did!" said I to the wife.
Those amusing ads in the early 70s "you got your peanut butter on my chocolate!" "you got chocolate on my peanut butter!" was the beginning of a lifelong love affair for me....

You will recall 2 weeks I posted a KILLER delicious recipe for peanut butter bread which can be made gluten-free, and I made it that way and OH GOD.... it is so good.  I put peanut butter on there

and jam...and it is like peanut butter on peanut butter with jam, DOUBLE DOSE!

BUT, well, it is a quick bread that tastes like peanut butter, just like banana bread tastes like bananas.  That is great, but it occurred to me that a more neutral flavor nut butter or somesuch might make a fantastic sort of bread bread, right?  I thought tahini a good idea, and there are some recipes for Armenian tahini sweet bread out there, which I am not looking for in this case. It occurs to me now that I could try to just make the PB bread recipe substituting tahini for pb, and maybe I will...

BUT ANYWAY the point here is this:  in looking around the web I came across a gluten-free chocolate bread recipe made with tahini HOLY CATS it is good!  I just ate some a minute ago, oh WOW.  It is monster healthy and not sweet (if it was sweet it would be dessert and not bread, I guess) made with honey, cocoa powder, tahini and teff flour...that is about it! (teff flour:  a new one to me, but is a healthy whole grain full of protein, fiber, iron, etc).

I know the card below is DINKY and impossible to read, plus, you know, sideways, but I spent a lot of time on my azz Thursday fiddling with pics and pots and...finally designing a new business card.  The red teapot below covers the back.  The idea, as the wife and I discussed at length over breakfast was:
1)  cohesive, clear design
2) the pots step down from right to left
3)  lettering fits the pots
4)  clear and uncluttered
5)  somehow shows different styles

Ta da! Excellent, eh?

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

BABIES and Sunny Days = SPRING

Can you believe, I was dreaming of babies again last night?
You will recall last week I wrote that WE had a baby...bear in mind we are LONG past childbearing or childrearing ages (the wife may be sexyhawt, but she is also A LOT OLDER THAN ME by many years, and I am old...and as I say my parents will quickly tell you "when we were your age we were grandparents!) (AND LET ME add here:  I do not WANT a baby.  I do not want a puppy or kitten either, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 dollars thank you very much :)

ANYWAY, so, yeah, in THIS dream last night all of our FRIENDS were pregnant.  You know how it is, spring, pregnant young woman in rosy, glowing good health, that sort of thing, amongst the flowers and birds and bees....enough said......

OK, yesterday I was back at SunNY Days, a new local gift gallery featuring NY gifts and arts and ME! I was delivering soap dishes and honey pots.... they sell a lot of honey and soap, right?  Makes sense! The do not want, even though I keep bringing it to them and they are TRE CUTE things with elephants and hippos...their opinion being that is not really a NY thing (I beg to differ...cute hippos and elephants can be found on kids' bookshelves all around NY!).

A note about soap dishes:  I told you a couple of weeks ago I had dreamt of turtle soap dishes, never having made them before, and tried a couple of different ideas which work well.  The problem I have with soap dishes is... I don't like to make things that are too.... mmm, how do you put it.... um, BANAL.  The sort of thing that goes in the "Ye Olde Cutsie Country Craftes Shoppe" store, the place that people with little imagination who say "that's different" or "that doesn't match my bathroom color" might shop in.  I don't make stuff like that.  I make stuff that is POTTERY, like, ART.  So, I can't stand the idea of making a soap dish. BUT, I dreamt about it and I like the idea of a cute little dish that could be, as a customer said to me last week:  "Oh I love these, I could use it for soap or rings or put cookies or candies on there!".  So below you can see what I did to consider a multi-purpose dish and also a soap dish....

Anyway, they treat me like a prince, whatta awesome shop, and here is part of my display and all the rest...have an awesome Thursday!

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