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, June 30, 2014

mugshot Monday and MMMMmmmm, oh MY.....

Guess what my breakfast was, 2 seconds ago?  YES.  The very chocolaty goodness you see there.  It is the perfect summer UNbaked treat, just warm some stuff in a saucepan, mix, freeze and when done keep them cool in the fridge.

I loved making marshmallow treats when I was a kid.  Mix rice crispies with something like marshmallow and margerine, super UN-healthy, and marshmallows are made with gelatin which is the gunk they scrape off the slaughterhouse floor.  (Sorry to turn your stomach, but if you are not a vegetarian you might be eating some enormously nasty things :)

BUT even if that was not true, these treats are a million times better. Peanut butter, chocolate, honey, YUM! ****

In other news, the mugs below may look like what I posted a few days ago, and YES!  They are variations.... have an awesome Monday!

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

gluten-free vegan or vegetarian rice crispy treats

-Lay a sheet of wax paper onto a cookie sheet
-in a bowl stir 3 cups of rice crispies, or even better Koala crisp chocolate rice cereal with a half cup of chocolate chips (get dairy-free):  optional, also add half cup of nuts or even some coconut
-in a saucepan warm on medium 1/2 cup plus 2 TBS peanut butter, 1/2 cup honey or molasses or maple syrup or agave (some vegans don't like to use honey), dash of salt and 2 teas vanilla
-when the peanut butter mix is heated and stirred smooth which only takes a couple of minutes, turn off heat and pour in the rice crispy mix and stir together thoroughly--the choco chips start to melt, and it becomes a big, lovely mixed mess
-use a spatula, smooth the mixture out onto the wax paper, then freeze for a half hour
-slice into bars
-store in freezer or fridge

Sunday, June 29, 2014

" boil thou first i' the charmed pot!"

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

in which your S3XYHAWT blog host STRIPS DOWN TO *NOTHING

My niece came into town from LA.  I got her at the airport and took her to my mom and dad's farm, an hour from me.  NICE warm day, the ice has finally melted on their pond and I WAS IN. *NEARLY nothing :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

when words fail you...

Or it is simply early and you have just gotten up ...just post the pics :) Happy Friday all! (new vase and pitcher by Gary Rith)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

at THE PLAZA....

(new mugs by Gary Rith.... groovy different styles, hmm?)

I was at the allergist Wednesday getting a few tests.  When I was a kid the doctor did the allergy test "he is allergic to everything" which is not too helpful, really, as you get older.  It is like "now what?".  One "what" seems to be throwing drugs at them, but I resist that as much as I can.  What about behavior and habit changes where you can? I am pretty flippin' healthy, HUGELY healthy actually and feel good.  I live with cats and dogs, and whereas my nose has run my whole life, etc, not bad in recent months. I tell the doctor I think that my allergies are nearly all gone, except for food problems, allergies schmalergies!

Anyway, if you know an allergy test, it involves covering you back with little pricks containing allergens, like maple, ragweed, cat, dog.

The nurse covers my back with 43 of these.... "whoopsie, that is your cat!" she goes gleefully... and dog and trees (plant pollens) and molds and dusts.... severely allergic to most on the list, allergic to everything. So much for allergies schmalergies... BUT, the doctor theorizes that my food allergies might be connected to pollen allergies.  That is why you go to experts--who would have guessed that a strawberry or pineapple allergy is related to tree pollens?

ANYWAY, like I say, I am healthy as can be, but what do I dream???? I dream I am at The Plaza hotel in NY, and they serve toast and foods I have to avoid and... I eat them all.  Then I spend the rest of the dream wondering "uh oh, what will happen...."  .  Kinda fun having tea at The Plaza, though :)  Have an awesome Thursday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PIZZA: it's what's for dinnah...

How endlessly BORING, posting your dinner pictures...again!  Oh well, you are never bored when you visit my blog, right? You will recall yesterday I posted a pizza recipe, unusual because the crust is made with plain old rice...well I made it again.  YUM! In a skillet, a half recipe, which is more than big enough for us 2.

In other news You will ALSO recall I posted last week that for the last 2 years the dog has been eating out of a cat coffee cup..since she broke her CUSTOM made pottery dish.  Well, they have new dishes now, although by the time I got this pic they had finished eating and were checking out each OTHER's dish... funny how pets do that, madly finish their food then go check and see if the other guy left anything behind (without first checking that they themselves didn't leave anything behind).

Have an awesome Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teapot Tuesday and twisted pizzas!

(new teapot by Gary Rith---whoa, where'd that texture come from?  Killer with that emerald glaze, hmmmm?)

So much to tell you about.  Yesterday I could SWEAR I got nothing done.... I had SUCH a busy weekend, and although I usually sleep great, I was up late Sunday night reading a Benjamin Black mystery and I was WHIPPED Monday morning....which is probably what people with JOBS feel like on Monday, right? WORTHLESS.  But, I got a new cat gig which will surely make a good blog post next week, and took apart my kiln.  It needs adjusting and new parts.  I mean, skydiving, cliff diving and kiln repair are those things that sort of make you feel like ........ yeah.  Like that.

Anyway, so I sleep great last night BUT, as you hear me say so often, I travel to somebody else's life or something.  My dreams are so utterly vivid and real, and I learn things that I know nothing about sometimes. Last night it was day one of driving a vintage bus for the city.  A bus from maybe the 1940s, it has curtains on the windows and there was a change counter and all that.  I had to learn shifting and driving on the job...and I had forgotten to bring the route map.... luckily the passengers were able to tell me where to go :)

OK, finally, I was really in the mood to try this unusual pizza crust recipe.  You boil rice per usual then form it into a pizza crust, top it, bake it.... really DELICIOUS.  Wow.  It becomes quite rich, with plenty of cheese (mine is dairy-free cheese) and veggies, mmmmm :)  Have  a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 23, 2014

mug shot Monday!

OK, so what is going on here?  Above you see slice and dice mugs, I like a mug that slightly curves in at the middle.... except, like below, I like a chubby and round mug too.... have a great Monday :)

(new mugs by Gary Rith)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

ripply green...

I was dreaming of back when I was a teacher.  The last gig I had 20 years ago was teaching high school students who had learning disabilities.
In the dream I had one student I KNEW if given a chance would shine in high school and get into a good college, and I was trying to convince a college recruiter it was true.  Later I come across the recruiter who had finally met the student.... who was having a fight in the hallway and yelling and screaming.  OH BOY.... I felt his chances just went down the drain. Then my class was filled with loud noise and chaos... I was glad to wake up, peek into the cooling kiln and see juicy items and be a potter once again :)

I was walking Nook downtown last week and in a shop window saw these green ripply glasses.  Later I walked Penny past the window.  The I walked the wife past the window and said "LOOK! I love them".  I never spend money, but we agreed on getting 2.  The next day I went back and got 2 more... then I made these light blue mugs in a similar ripply way....

Have an awesome Sunday!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

solstice OR midsummer dreaming

We have had the MOST glorious summer so far.  I mean, it is like 40 degrees outside now an hour before the solstice at 6 something am EDT, but our days have been 70-80 and perfect.  You know how puzzling it is to little kids that summer supposedly begins after weeks of already wonderful summer weather?

I was wondering just now, having taught it to high schoolers 20 years ago "isn't the solstice the same day that Shakespeare's MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTS DREAM is set in?" and YES, it is true.

"The title is also pretty obvious shout-out to Midsummer's Eve (June 23), or the summer solstice. Elizabethans would have heard this title and thought "party time!" In Shakespeare's day, Midsummer's Eve was all about celebrating fertility (not just the successful planting and harvesting of crops, but also the kind of fertility associated with dating and marriage). It was an excuse to party outdoors and the holiday involved dancing, drinking, and collecting medicinal herbs. For a lot of partiers, Midsummer's Eve was also supposed to be a time of mystery and magic, when spirits ran around causing mischief, and teenage girls had dreams about the guys they'd eventually fall in love with and marry."

So, solstice time used to be considered the MIDDLE of summer, which makes sense. BUT FLIPPIN' SLOW DOWN, I am in NO HURRY for June or summer to pass, right?

In other news, some vases just out of the kiln.... the very light blue glaze there?  A new experiment for me which I am quite pleased with.  When we bought this house, the bathrooms (and all the rest) had just been painted, and I asked the sellers what the wonderful bathroom color was and the reply "just go to the paint store and choose a nice light minty blue".  OH HO!  Light minty blue, yes that describes this glaze indeed... have a great Saturday!

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

Friday, June 20, 2014

"when free isn't cheap enough"

 SO, Thursday is this mega-hectic day.  I have my own work to finish and Nook to walk downtown and Yogi's family needs last minute care for him. (I am a professional potter AND dog walker)
I can do it all!  But I am flippin' beat.  I am nearly done with walking Nook and then back to Yogi (and my  own dog!) thinking "when I get home I just want to sit in the shade out back and rest a bit...which kitchen chair shall I take out?".  And there it is.  On the corner, for free, an awesome patio chair.
I try to stuff it into my trunk.  No go. Into the backseat?  NO.  We have a small sedan with a big roof rack, and bungee cords in the trunk ready for just such a moment.... and so, the chair is MINE!

This is a town with people passing through all the time and it is common to just set out stuff on the curb for people to have free... I know, cool, right?  That is how I have filled my house and garage with crapppp.... and now the back porch.  My neighbor has said "sometimes free isn't cheap enough" .....

In other news, Yogi is like "wow, you let the cat sleep on the kitchen table..."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

a cat coffee cup is a pretty poor dog dish when you think about it...

Like I said yesterday, I need to make Penny a new dog food dish.  Because a year or 2 ago she broke the nice one I made her ...and so I grabbed a cat coffee cup off the counter for her to use...and she is still using it.  Pretty unsuitable, right?  Yesterday I made a big dish, which will become their water dish, because their nice water dish is a little small for thirsty beasts, but better for dog food. Do ravenous little beagles really care about this, as long as they are fed?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

a posse of pitchers...

This poor pitcher, I didn't think its portrait worked right so I added it to a lineup...then a selfie.  FAT! ROUND!  I love all kinds of pitchers but chubby and round = super appealing.
In other news, my dog says she needs a new dish..... and so I shall comply! (of course, since she broke the last one she has been eating out of a coffee cup... I should get a photo....)
Have an awesome Wednesday!

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

teapot Tuesday and a terrrrrrible messsssss....

OK, a couple of things, right?  First "Gary, you said you CLEANED your basement this month...but look at that MESS!".  I cannot disagree, but the thing is this:  imagine how messy it was BEFORE.  My glaze materials remain sprawled all over.  I mix glazes in the basement and store clay there. You can enter from the studio down some stairs or also through a door straight out to the back yard.  I can mix glazes with the door open and then hose off the messy equipment in the yard.  I hate mixing glazes, but love to glaze, so you endure, right?  Even with all the SPIDERS in our 149 year old basement...

Then you have this teapot!  Pretty, hmm?  3 things about it:
1)  I think I need to be careful about decorations all this way and that, I am in the mood to simplify these sorts of things, despite my instinct to decorate the hell out of stuff.
2)  This handle?  Isn't it a lovely cane handle?  I have told you I keep a box of 2 dozen+ handles for teapots, and then choose a nice match when the teapot is ready.  I have had this one nearly 20 years, and whereas there is usually some fiddling to make a good fit, this handle slipped on like Cinderella's slipper... all those years, waiting for the perfect teapot!
3)  speaking of glaze, I may (or may NOT!) have a nice upgrade to this pretty celadon glaze....that is one thing I was doing down in the basement...

Have a great Tuesday!

(new teapot by Gary Rith)

Monday, June 16, 2014

mug shot Monday: slice and dice....

I told you a day or 2 ago that a recurring dream of mine involves going back to high school, UGH.  Not a nightmare, but always happy to wake up an adult.  Another recurring dream of mine takes me back to our old neighborhood in New Hampshire where we lived at the end of a dead end road and to get anywhere had to go past our criminal meth-dealing neighbor...STRESSFUL.  In my dream a road has been opened up the other way, so we don't have to go past them, how about that?

I had not used my dark green glaze in a couple of years which came back to me when I did the spring cleaning:  it is awesome!  I call it 'gorgeous green' for a reason, above left.... I am also trying to make a certain shape mug with different facets, well, you see those explorations above and below.  Have an awesome Monday!

(new mugs by Gary Rith)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

why do I have to keep going back to high school?

(new pitchers by Gary Rith--gosh I loooooove pitchers! Fat, tall, round, short, they are all good :)

I dreamt last night that I had to go to a new high school and it was huge and confusing and I was lost--I have had this dream a zillion times since I was a teen.
I was telling my mother yesterday about a girl who is  a good friend and neighbor going all the way  back to middle school and high school who asked if I was going to the 30th reunion.
I said "I am not a reunion type of guy, plus we went to school with a lot of sh!theads.  I see the people I want to see".  (besides, as my nightmare dream said, I had moved out of that high school midway for another town)
I wouldn't touch high school with a ten foot pole, nosireebob.... the best part about it is that it makes the rest of life look awesome.

(new pottery by Gary Rith - I thought this a fun pair, sort of yin and yang)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

so THAT was Friday the 13th...

I make the call and they schedule me for 8-9 am Friday the 13th. I tell them "the drive is pretty big, but you'll need the extra long hose and I'll dig up the lid".

Where do YOU live?  Do you flush and never think about it?  Your tax dollars pay for a municipal "wastewater treatment plant" which is some large facility you don't want to go near?  We have our own personal "wastewater treatment plant"!  In the country, if you don't have an outhouse you hopefully have a septic system... you flush, it goes out a pipe to a large underground holding tank where it ferments and ages at the bottom and liquid goes out the top to...wherever. These days wherever involves a large system of gravel and pipes.  We live by a river.  I don't swim in that river.  I KNOW that my septic system and my neighbor's are all pointing down to it.... ANYWAY, our system is functioning fine and like your teeth every six months you want that thing pumped every couple of years.

Pumped of WHAT?  Do you really want an answer to that?  Everything.

SO, I clear a path through weeds from drive to tank, dig up the pile of rocks and dirt on top of the lid and the friendly dude does a thorough job... it is, um, horrible and humbling to help with this process but here is a haiku I wrote after he left and shared elsewhere:

    Friday the thirteenth,
Septic guy comes over to pump.
    And he shakes my hand.
OK, aside from the cracked rear view, which is mandatory, why do septic tank guys always wanna shake your hand and hang out and explain their tea party viewpoint? I mean, sure, friendly and outgoing is always a plus BUT...... ;)
So, that all felt a bit like a Friday the 13th type experience, and you KNOW I shucked off my clothes into the laundry and got into a VERY long and soapy shower, but it was a GREAT day and a package arrives from CANADA.
Talk about fun news!  I mean, a surprise!  Sadly, it was a second chance.  Let me explain.
Bart is real live full-time minister...but also an amazing illustrator and potter!  Can you imagine?  2 weeks ago he sent a surprise gift which the USPS kicked the sh!t out of....this time the second act arrived beautifully!  A fish and a mustache man sponge thing. He tells me, and it is SO true:
Bubble wrap is a good thing:) I have to admit that sending pottery to a potter feels a bit like my having Babe Ruth throw batting practice for me
The wife is like "good, that horrible wet sponge can dry out" (it is a bit humid...and maybe I should jump on the making sponge holders bandwagon?) and she also says "I want the fish, it is a pencil holder!"  Look at the custom illustrated beagle card too... what a glorious day:  the BAD got sucked up and the good arrived in the mail...  

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