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, September 30, 2015

dreaming of Christmas....

Not that this has anything to do with this cup up thing I find with faceting pots is that if I don't do it for awhile I have to remind myself speaking Greek:  don't practice and you start to forget!

Had a very moving dream:  the wife and I had bought a small downtown department store, one of those small town independents that so many towns had when we were kids (lost in the Smallmart shuffle now), just a big room with small menswear, women's, childrens, home furnishings on every Main street until the 70s. The stock was probably worthless, but there were several employees and we had high hopes of doing something with the space.

It was the week before Christmas and the employees blew us away:  everybody had modestly brought in their decorations from home, and the store, sad supplies and all, took on a wonderful and heartfelt glow--people would come from all around to marvel at its simple sweetness.  It really gave me hope that in the new year we could make something happen there....

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

that dog, this house, those pots, a rodent and a snake...

We let these morning glories go nuts all over our house, tear them down in winter, and they reseed themselves again in the new year, just gorgeous, right?  A rare example of me gardening successfully!

I am rather pleased with the pots below.  No big surprise, considering the wee beagle who helps with them, right?

OK, I wondered whether I should share my mildly freaky story with you which has made me mildly crabby this  online philosophy being:  stow the crap!  Be sweet online :)

But this is one of those wee stories that people love to read:  OK, I am not fond of snakes.  YES, some live in the foundation of this old house (150 years!). The foundation is river stones, and I diligently fill crevices, but can you ever finish such a job?

WELL, the little snakes and rodents move in to the crevices.  I s'pose it should balance out, right?  Rodents move in, snakes eat them.  And up here we do not have poisonous snakes, just shy little garden snakes, the occaisional milk snake.

OK, so yesterday I go into the basement to get clay, which is not as scary a place as it once was (having been cleaned last spring, as you remember)...and as I enter I see that a chipmunk has devised a NEW way into the basement.......and there in the middle of the floor is a big milk snake looking at me.

Milk snakes look like copperheads or some other awful and scary snake, but they are not.  They just want to live in my house and eat my rodents.  I tell myself this.  I took a rake and tried to gently move his ass out of the basement to some distant county or state...but he naturally slithered off to some part of the foundation that is probably right under my bedroom....

OK, so you know I dream in technicolor, right?  I had this horrible dream right now that a snake bit my cat Spike in the heart....I had to get up and check that he is FINE.  He is.  We all are. And as Miss Clavell tells the girls in MADELINE "thank the Lord that you are well..."

Monday, September 28, 2015

doodle to teapot....

I showed pics of this guy in the making, it is out of the kiln now...from a scrap of paper doodled upon while walking the dog to teapot in one fine week :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Campbell Meadow...

You will recall we drove to the Adirondacks and climber Blue Mountain last week...but yesterday we set out from the house, walked down the river to Campbell Meadow.  It is a gem of a park recently deeded to the town who cares for it beautifully.  Only a few acres in size, it has hidden coves and waterfalls on the riverbank and caves or canopies made of willow the spring it is a water meadow, meaning, flooded over, and now it is a series of ponds and trails by the riverbank.  It was a beautiful misty September morning....

Saturday, September 26, 2015


There is nothing cuter than a beagle, right? Penny has always been so clean and good smelling and has NEVER had a bath before. People ask how we keep her so clean, and I guess it is walking in the rain and toweling off.... WELL, with these nasty skin allergies we need to do something, because even with medication she is pretty scratchy and her poor beautiful coat looks shabby! SO, she had her first bath....

Friday, September 25, 2015


What the hell do you do with all that SQUASH????
Invent tasty dishes, THAT'S what.
This dish uses about half the pasta it would, replacing it with veggies, and it is so yummy you could toss in old shoes and love the taste.

Gary's tasty squash casserole, based on American chop suey and lasagna

-preheat to 350, get out an 8 x 13 baking pan

-dice onion, bell pepper, carrot, and grate a squash (or ANY veggies, really, kicking around your fridge) and saute a few minutes, add some chopped tomato and spinach, then 16 oz tomato sauce and a boatload of spice , simmer while....

-start some water for pasta, cook 6 oz pasta (any kind!) according to directions

-stir together pasta and veggies in sauce, spread in baking pan

-top with some sort of ground beef, I use veggie carnitas, a spicy vegan type

-top that with cheese, bake about 30 minutes, eat!

Tomorrow:  turning eggplant...or squash, or ANYTHING, like tin cans or leftover nuts and bolts from a bookcase project into delicious curry!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

something bugging me....

I have no particular fondness for bugs...yet I made one...just for the heck of it, right?  A cheerful bug, made with balls thrown on the wheel.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

elephant mugs.....

I remember the Syracuse zoo 30 years ago:  visiting with my nephew, a kid could ride an elephant.  It seems very unlikely that is still allowed.  Around 25 years ago when I lived in Chicago I lived a block or 2 from the Lincoln Park Zoo and visited the elephants (and arctic fox, tigers, polar bears, etc) every week.  There was a notice in the elephant area that they would throw their poo when they got mad, evidence of which was on all the walls.  They had reason to be mad, as nice as that zoo is, to humans, many of the cages were pretty small, and I hope they have better space now.

When i was very young I LOVED Dumbo, the little outsider elephant who saves the day, LOVED loved loved Dumbo.  Still do :)

These mugs have become my most popular. I don't make too many, but I have a few available at my etsy gallery (click here!)....

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

an angel on my shoulder....

(YOU KNOW your vivacious, energetic little beagle is sick when she won't eat and hides under the bureau...)

SO, yeah, like I was saying, we drove the long trip Saturday and climbed the remote northern mountain with the dog, and it was all awesome.  BUT back down on earth?  WELL, it was Monday after all....the poor dog had to get the early vet appt.:  scratching like nuts due to her usual seasonal skin allergies like we have NEVER seen in her.  I know now that if she is having a little trouble she can have benadryl....but on Sunday night it had gotten bad and now she has prednisone, etc, and will be fine....

BUT GET THIS small miracle:  I drive the dog home from the vet and the car breaks down by our mechanic.....think about what could have been, on top of a remote mountain on the weekend with a dead car and our dog, and instead it breaks down at home where our usual guy can fix it easily, and he did, WOW, small miracle :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Blue Mountain

SO, like I said yesterday, we went to northern New York and the Adirondack Mountains to climb Blue Mountain Saturday and HOLY CATS it was gorgeous....but a tough climb.  2 miles up, 2 miles down, an hour and 20 minutes each way for us (when we started a teen and his father, apparently used to it, and BADASS, said to each other "OK, let's do the top  in 49 minutes"...and they DID).

Penny was a champ as you see, leading us the whole way, although she is still tired 2 days later.  There is an old fire tower at the top which we climbed for even BETTER views, although it is windy and scary up there...

The thing was, what had once been a logging road has eroded and evolved into a series of upward boulder strewn climbs was awesome :) And back to the beach on BLue Mountain lake afterwards so the dog could cool her feet....

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Blue Mountain Lake, NY, UP and back.....

(BEFORE the climb)
When I was a kid, I remembered driving through Blue Mountain Lake, NY and thinking it was the PRETTIEST town in the Adirondacks, New York's northern mountain range. I have wanted to go back for about 30 years, and Saturday we did.  The villages in the Adirondacks all seem kinda touristy and junky with beautiful scenery, BUT Blue Mountain Lake is PERFECT, a tiny village on a lake with a beach and a, well, big Mountain.  We climbed up and down Saturday with the dog, a tough climb on a glorious day .....more tomorrow!

(after...with a TIRED dog)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

hittin' the road....

If it is going to be this hot...(80s and sunny in September!)...then we gotta do the wee road trip. More on that later!

Before I ever sculpted a wee pig onto a pot, I made piggy banks.  That is where they all started.

I have an order for 6 pink pigs and soon they get shipped....and YES, there are good pigs available now at my etsy gallery (click here NOW!) and you can have a look, thanks!

Friday, September 18, 2015

1, 2, 3: huzzah! idea to teapot....

So, you know, walking down the street with the dog I am thinking of making a wiggly handle for a teapot, then I am thinking about the teapot that would go with that handle, SO, I make the parts as best as I can guess, then, well, put it together.... at the last minute a pig topping seemed like the best idea :) have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

the aftermath....

Much of my readership here is, like me, middle aged, I think, and GOOD GOLLY we all know what it is like (or can guess) what that colonoscopy screening is like....the comments from you all! I liked Bart's "north and south" comment, delicately describing how I had the colonoscopy AND endoscopy, covering both ends of my plumbing, as it were....

ANYWAY, I found the whole thing no big deal BUT for one small detail:  actually, all the details.  Add up all the small details and it feels like you are kind of a different person taking a weird medical vacation from your usual bodily health, you know?  None of it any trouble or problem, just...different.  Like going to Italy.  No. More like going to Serbia.  A lot is the same as home (people! hills! cats and dogs!), but on the other hand, there are many small inconveniences and uncomfortable aspects UNlike home, and you sorta wanna get back to where you were, as interesting as the whole experience has been....

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

MY GUTS and my dinner.....

The wife is like "you are NOT blogging those pictures, are you?" and I am like
"well, NOT ALL...and NOT the least appetizing ones.....besides, my blog has been a bit tame lately..."

OK, so I really didn't want to talk about it beforehand, plus I was hungry and tired in the lead up, but I had an endoscopy and a .....well, clinical look at the other end, if you follow me.  A fairly complete view of me, from mouth through the stomach and intestines and....well, the rest.

Many of you are not 50 yet.  I am not either.  I will be soon, though, and the endoscopy was the bonus.  Many of you remember that there was time when there was MORE of me, and I ate nearly any type of food....but ten+ years of a stomachache and a fast loss of 25 percent of my body weight (you read that right) meant something wasn't right.

Getting the gluten out a few years ago and the dairy out ten years ago did the trick, as far as getting rid of the constant stomachache.  BUT, some small problems persist, as in, continued anemia (very few men have anemia, and if they do, there is a good reason for it) and thyroid problems, and other small things I won't bore you with.

These are all symptoms consistant with celiac disease, the one where gluten causes the small intestine to damage itself.  I had my DNA done, which is COOL.  And there it is, several genes on each side, from each parent:  CELIAC.  The endoscopy may or may not show anything but good health at this point, as I removed gluten from my diet years ago.

OK, so, many of you have had the colonoscopy, but maybe some of you also the endoscopy? I had both, is what I am saying, and the doctor, bless her, shared the photos! GLORIOUS!

You hear the prep is AWFUL:  no food followed by TURBOLAX (remember DUMB AND DUMBER with Jim Carrey?). Anyway, I thought it was no big deal.  I was pleasantly surprised how easy it all was.

SO, early yesterday the nurses and doctor get me comfortable and ready for the camera down the mouth and say to me "OK, we're going to stand here and wait until the IV sedation knocks you out" and next thing I remember is waking in another room with the wife. It is all a big vague, from there, until 7-8 hours later when I got out of bed feeling like a million bucks, but I am told that:

I got up off the bed and was standing there, amongst the nurses, naked, making a heroic effort to dress myself and staggering around, and they pushed me back into the bed.  Lastly I was shoving my feet into my shoes, but I hadn't taken off my surgical booties...and while I was being wheeled out I was babbling THANK YOUs to one and all....over and over again.....then back home made lunch for the wife and me (it scares me now to think of my sleepwalking self making tea, but there you go) and then asleep a few hours.....

I FEEL LIKE a NEW MAN!  My insides all squeaky clean.....

OH:  made a vegan frittatta with garden veggies for dinner, mmmmmmm....


Sunday, September 13, 2015

a fool and his dishes are soon parted.....

(new bowls, small and medium for dessert, soup, cereal, etc, by Gary Rith)
I am sitting there chewing on the PB and J, leaning back in the chair, feet up on another chair, plate on my lap, when a slight shift causes the plate to fall to the floor and break in spectacular fashion.... (not pictured..but heck, my sandwich survived intact!)

I look at the wife and tell her "a fool and his dishes are soon parted" and she got me another plate.  I swept up the pieces of the old one.

Setting the new plate in my lap, putting my feet back up on the chair i tell the wife "see, i havn't learned anything, same old slob..."

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