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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

the Queen is a pottery student and other such surprises....

I dreamt that I had friends in Buckingham Palace (various minor princes, princesses) and I was over there hanging out and found out the Queen wanted to meet me.  She was taking pottery classes and wanted show me what she had been making! She showed me a vase she was making that had little sculpted hands all over it. Surprise!  Who knew the Queen of England was so imaginative and down to earth ;)

In reality these mugs just came out of the kiln, and you are wondering why I put this guy on one side and the legs on the other.  I explained to the wife while twirling my finger in a loop next to my head:  "remember, not everyone is crazy".

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Penny's tenth birthday ....

Many of you will remember Penny came to us 4/28/2007 from the shelter (click here to see the original blog link with pictures and story! God, the wife and dog look THE SAME but I look so different),  aged about two according to the vet.  We mark that as her birthday (although we can't know her exact age or birthdate, as she was a stray). She had gotten lost in an April snowstorm and ended up crying at a back door near us.  Otherwise she was healthy and unhurt and taken to the shelter to find a home.

It was physically evident she had just given birth to puppies.  Nobody was ever looking for her, nobody  knows what happened to the puppies or where she came from.

The way I like to think of the unknown backstory is this: Penny had a litter of puppies in some nice family's kitchen but when she went out and saw a squirrel, she ran 100 miles and got lost.  BEAGLES ARE WANDERERS and this is how they act off leash, GONE!

Anyway, I don't think I have ever loved a creature as much as I love this sweet little dog.  Ten. Or our 8th anniversary at least :)

We celebrated by getting a box of Greenies doggie treats (holy CATS, 35 bucks for the big box...) and hiking the East Hill Rail Trail.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

bowled over!

Some new bowls that I made, I am pretty pleased.
The best part is that the flowers these decorations are modeled after, apple/cherry blossoms and periwinkle, ARE ACTUALLY STARTING TO BLOOM.
Twas a long, cold, snowy winter.  Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, April 27, 2015

baking banana bite muffins with beagles, gluten-free goodness!

I read gluten-free on a shoestring's blog and have 2 of the cookbooks...she came up with this fantabulous little bite banana muffin recipe (recipe, click here!) which was so cute and tasty looking, I had to try....and guess what?  Just as tasty as they look...I added the nut on top for a jaunty look, but the wife reminds me it would also be tasty to add diced nuts to the batter...although, to me, then they wouldn't look like they each wear a party hat....
this recipe is so darn easy, just toss banana and wet ingredients in the blender, stir the dry and bake, mmmm :)

AND, in the couldn't be easier category:  you have seen me make chocolates before, and when I saw my Smucker's peanut butter lid had a new recipe for chocolate peanut butter clusters I was like HO BOY! (recipe click here)
Basically, melt some chocolate, mix in some peanut butter, almonds, dried cranberries OHMYFLIPPINGGAWD.....
have a great Monday!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

mine, all mine!

I got a cappucino milk frother earlier this month for my birthday.  Works with soy milk! DELISH.  It is just a little plunger in a creamer type thing, you vigorously pump it several times and voila! Froth.

I got in mind a particular cup and saucer I wanted for it.  Straight sided, ridgy, with little spiral stamps, so I made it and gave it to myself....outta make more like it....have an awesome Sunday!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

no Kardashians or Jenners here, nosireebob....

Just a cute pair of vases by me...have an awesome Saturday!

Friday, April 24, 2015

gawdamn SNOW....

At one point we had 2 inches of snow on the ground and the road looked BAD.  But then most of it southern, California and Australian friends may be surprised to hear we get snow into the month of May....well, so does the north pole and most of
Canada, right?  So what am I complaining about...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

out of the dungeon and into the studio....

You will recall that the last day or 2 I have spoken of AND shown pictures of my studio's annex, the basement, being gutted. Enough of that. This is the reason I had it done, so I can make things like pots by Gary Rith!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

DUNGEON: before, after, and after THAT

(Yogi at the entrance trapdoor from the studio down to the basement where I keep clay and glaze supplies and mix glazes--there is also an entry door directly to the outside on the basement's other side)

OK, you have been listening to me talk about the momentous MESS going on down in my basement, now you can see how it turned out and how awful it was before this began.

The reason for doing this are pretty simple.  The basement does not need to be beautiful or perfect, but I do some work down there plus storage and it was bone-crushingly dirty and depressing.
And rodents LOVED it.

Basically, the house is 150 years old and there was some junk down there dating back to the Civil War.  Nothing like a bag of gold coins, only dirt and coal and bits of pipe.

Some owner had added 3 false walls in the 1970s.  I could see on 2 of the other uncovered basement walls that the foundation is very nice and dry stones.  I wondered what was behind those icky false walls where 50 year old pink insulation fell like vomit from above and rodents spent warm winter months crapping and burrowing.... GAWDAMN I was right! The false walls revealed clean and dry stone walls behind, and soooo much more space!

The before.  I mix glazes there. The house was originally a one room log cabin.  That beam at the top of the picture is a log.

Door to the outside and DISGUSTING old insulation.  I couldn't take it anymore...

Gaze supplies and one of the walls nobody had messed with...

Third false wall.  It did nothing but make the space darker and smaller.  BUT, the only treasure of the whole demolition was I saved the planks.  Some splintered but 3 of them are rough cut, beautiful and wide old growth wood which could make a beautiful table or something....

I know.  Would you want to work down here, or even store your paint cans???????? Watch out for Bela Lugosi....

In progress, filling a van with junk.

OK, next 2 pictures give you a pretty exact look at before and after of the whole space.

I was so thrilled! It is so clean and pretty (in comparison) and spacious! I was sad to move my supplies back into place, but you can see it is messy materials and supplies made more orderly but WITHOUT the vomity, rodent infested false walls.... the guys asked if I wanted Lang's garage left up back there... I did....

OK, let's cleanse the palate with these pretty flowers outside the studio door, thanks for listening!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

teapot Tuesday: violets, pansies, something like that....

Yeah.  I am making a blue-ish, purple-ish flower here, right?  Not really, you know, a SPECIFIC flower, just flower-ISH, you know?

OK, the scoop--there was thunder and lightening and I have gotten up for a EXCITED! Why? you ask....
1)  it was clearly time to order those 2 books from Amazon that I wanted and

and 2) WELL, because of course our basement was torn apart Monday, in the very best possible way. It, and the house, are a happy and healthy 150 years old, and 2 of the 4 basement walls were a pretty stone.  The other 2 walls were covered with vomity old pink insulation, useful only to the rodents who wintered there.  Plus there was another wall... just like the bridge to nowhere, it was the wall to nowhere, and it came out too.  Plus old crap lying around from before our time.  Plus crap I added to this.  I had carpenters come with a van (they filled it!) to tear it up and clean it and OH GOSH I am glad they did.
I have gotten photos (of course!) of the whole process.

I mix glaze and store clay down there.  Today I need to get my supplies organized.  The space is SO much bigger without the false walls, and SO much cleaner and NO LONGER depressing. I will organize today, and try to mix some glazes, which is the last pictures needed before I can report.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, April 20, 2015

mug shot Monday: repetition!

I like repeating patterns, but also like to add a quirk.  So, cats all over, and a little mouse snuck in, for example.
Our basement, which is truly a terrible dungeon, (OK, could be worse) begins restoration today.  I'll show pictures before and after later on.  I keep supplies and mix glazes down there, and this is EXCITING.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

double before and after...

People are always surprised at before and after with glaze firings.  But really, what does cake batter look like before it is baked, kinda blah and plain, right?  Ditto pots.
PLUS yesterday I showed self throwing a vase and mentioned getting leaves and frog on there.  I am trying a different decorating scheme with it, and will show you the next stages when they are done...have an awesome Sunday!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

didn't get eaten by alligators THIS time....

Yeah, HOLY CATS, I was just dreaming I was NOT swimming with dolphins or manatees but EGAD was swimming with gators and I was TERRIFIED...eeeeeeek...time to get up and have a cappucino, right?

Speaking of happier times, I was walking the dog and was struck with the idea that flowers and leaves on pots, in whatever style, should maybe get little frogs hidden in I was thinking that is where this particular vase is headed.....

Have an awesome Saturday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

T-Rex, Godzilla, dinosaur, dragon, monster, whatever....

With all the flowers I have made lately, I have gotten into the habit of making little Godzillas on the side...representing my rugged nature (as opposed to the girly nature currently drawing pink flowers on pots). These will all be magnets.

The other day my neighbor called them T-Rex.  Sure, if you are buying them, call them whatever you want ;)
have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

how to WRECK or SAVE an afternoon....depending on how you look at it...

I admit it!  The last 3 days have been stunning, after such a cold winter and snow last week:  60-70, sunny, oh MY it has been lovely.

Monday afternoon:  goofed off! Fuk pottery! Did my once yearly hour of gardening then sat around in the sun looking at ELLE DECOR and other people's houses.

Tuesday afternoon: Fuk pottery! Didn't even bother doing any gardening, just sat in the sunshine reading a good book with 2 good dogs.

Wednesday afternoon:  OK, I was IN THE ZONE.  I had been finishing pots and glazing all day.  1 1/2 hours was all I needed and things were going GREAT in the studio... but at 3:30 I get the call:  the neighbor and his parents are having cocktail hour in the sunshine, would I....?

YES.  Fuk pottery!  And at 5 when the bus brought the wife home?  She joined us....luckily leftovers and a microwave was all it took to prepare dinner...when we finally got around to eating....

OH MAN summer will kill me if it doesn't start snowing again ;)

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