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, November 30, 2015

the roly poly Santa Christmas card

I am sending very few Christmas cards.  My mom and dad visited Saturday, as you saw, and in their aftermath I rooted around and came up with some blank cards and envelopes, and began doodling roly poly Santas and penguins.  The idea started as a paper cutout, then as a drawing with colored pencil until I had the VERY efficient idea of drawing it in marker, one stop shopping! That way each Christmas card is handmade in a few minutes, not hours.....

In other news, the wife is my taste tester and got the 13th devil's food cupcake and a cappucino for her work Sunday.  She liked it so much, she told me to get its photo....

Sunday, November 29, 2015

beginning to look a lot like....

Quakers believe that no day is more sacred than another, as I have said before, BUT, c'mon, we are not totally without fun and we live entirely in the world.
But in this household, compared to some Americans, our decorating is pretty simple:  the Christmas Snoopies come out, the Christmas lights went up several years ago, and, well, never came down, and the hearts.....

It was the best November open studio weekend I have ever had. So many nice friends came over, including my mom and dad....Penny goes nuts for them, as you can see.....

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Was it the photo of a Syrian mother by traintracks in Greece sheltering her children with a plastic tarp that made me dream it?  I don't know  of many things more miserable than that image, people cold and wet, far from home, trying to have hope and find a better life.  Or a life free from danger, anyway. They must be fleeing something terrible (well, the war in Syria, obviously) to face such an uncertain fate in another country.

Anyway, my dream just now featured the wife and I living and working in NY city, and we were happy.  BUT we lived in a tent and kept our food in a cooler...the working poor who can't afford rent.  We were so happy together, but it was getting cold and winter was coming and a real feeling of worry and dread was settling in. I woke up pretty happy to be warm, dry, in my house, whew.

In other news, this is my blue hound double dish for condiments! Cute, eh?

Friday, November 27, 2015

little carved cat meets CAT

Thanksgiving day was busy....I only got a few new pieces done, with a little cleaning and some dog and cat babysitting.  Today is open studio here...a very small and quiet thing, really, as I only invite friends and customers, NOT the public as a whole.  THAT makes me nervous (vanloads of troubled kids from the reform school, for example...yes! really!) What  I like about a quiet open studio is getting to chat with the visitors, explaining and SHOWING what I am working on, and getting a LOT done.

YOU could visit my etsy shoppe and pretend you are at my open studio! Open up your wallet and spend freely!

Had wild dreams last night:  in one, we had a super intelligent rabbit for a pet named Jameson, or simply Jamie.  He could talk.  He looked like a bunny, but was really a person trapped in a bunny body, and we had discovered it.  In another dream, I had 2 girls asking me out to prom when REALLY  I wanted to go out with somebody else entirely and I was trying to be polite to be a popular high school boy, who knew?

In other news, I got this little cat sculpture out of the kiln and showed it to the cat who tasted it and dumped it on the dog's head.....

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I'm THANKFUL there wasn't a bomb at the Port Authority....

There is nothing quite like sending your wife off to NY city on the bus only to read news headlines later that there was a bomb scare at the station down there.... I mean, yes, sure, she is totally fine, but HOLY CATS!

The wife is in NY to see the sisters at my suggestion:  this is a totally busy week (MONTH!) and I need to work and host the open studio here and also, of course, visit various dogs and cats I am babysitting for.... I mean, Thanksgiving to me is a retail opportunity NOT a day of rest and family.  That's what Christmas is for :)

I'll tell you what else I am grateful for:  this has been an amazing retail season so far, and hopefully that will continue and we can pay our December 31 property tax with ease...I am grateful for our traditional, um, Thanksgiving lasagna (no dairy, wheat or gluten, just BADASS FLAVOR!) and coconut pumpkin pie....I am grateful for the incredible weather we are enjoying, warm today and downright HOT expected for Friday....

And I am grateful to YOU.  So many nice people visit here, thank you :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

bored to death and giving to self...

Does this potter admit that the minute he was carving stars onto these candle holders he found it boring as can be? Why is that, you ask?  Cutcutcut, spongespongesponge, ho hum.  I can't explain why some things are tedious to my limited brain.....They ARE cute, though :)

IN OTHER news, I was rather thrilled with this mug...the one impressed flower with the emerald glaze, as in bowls I pictured yesterday = YUM!  The mug next to it has a glaze I am fiddling with....the wife nabbed them and they are wee gifts to ourselves....

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

kinky food combos: sweet potato latkes with guac and the hamster on the wheel...

Sure, this month?  These 4 weeks, Nov. 24-Dec24????? The potter is the hamster on the wheel, racing around in the circles, you know?

I barely unload the car and hit the wheel, making MORE pots, of course, packing more boxes to ship, etc, etc. It is an exciting ride, these days.

These green bowls:  I have been fiddling with impressed flowers for some months, as you know, and it hit me:  who needs a stalk and leaves, just the flower is perfect.....

Finally:  I am at the synagogue show Sunday watching all these latkes people are crunching (with celiac, I don't eat anything I have not prepared myself) and although I am not Jewish, I have the same love of potato pancakes that everybody does (or should) and there was this nice avocado on our counter and if you want to you can make sweet potato latkes with guac rather than regular with sour cream and HOLY CATS that is about the yummiest thing possible....I was making those while I made a pumpkin pie for is that kind of week, right?

Monday, November 23, 2015

one down, 3 to go :)

I was at my smallest show of the year Sunday and it was a good day.  So many friends to talk to, I love it!
It IS a physical workout though, you know? That was the first of 4 weekend events on my calendar.
There was a little snow coming down as I rode home, (and more on the ground now), and we were wrapping presents for sisters when I got home.
The retail season starts pretty fast on Columbus Day, but HOLY CATS it is a busy month starting NOW :)

(below, my old friend Tommy)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

jitters and our cat in a hat...

(packing for a fair--just a few things....)

I was super tired Saturday and facing a show today, Sunday. It is my smallest show of the year, with friends and only a few miles from home BUT it is the first of four weekend shows in this, the busiest retail weeks of the year.  It is exhilarating, this ride, but you get to December 24th pretty grateful the bank acct. is full and you can take a BREAK :)

Anyway, so things are in good order and I go out to this wee holiday festival at Temple Beth El after breakfast and walking the dog.  BUT I was dreaming just now that I was so busy finishing pots and noodling around it was suddenly 2:30...and I thought I was late, having been due at the festival at 2, BUT reread the paper and found ZOINKS! I was due there by 8!

I never ever run late.  I am the total organized early bird. Then, of course, I awoke in good order and here we go, into the fast lane :)

In other news, the cat knocked the wife's new spring hat to the floor and then tried to crawl into it and take a nap.  Our cat in a hat....

Saturday, November 21, 2015

fur drop

The cat will be sitting there sometimes like a...well, blob, and the wife will say say he is a "fur drop" makes sense if you are thinking something like 'drop cookies" or "The Carolina Chocolate Drops".  Basically, he looks like a Hershey's kiss.

SO, as I was explaining to a customer yesterday "I hadn't made a little cat sculpture like this in years....make a Hershey's kiss, add ears, tail, nose, HUZZAH! A fat easy..."
"Did you make a lot of them?"
"I intended to, but I got bored and only made the one, promising myself I would make more later, but I never did..."

Friday, November 20, 2015

that double bowl thing AGAIN

You will recall a couple of days ago I showed a finished and fired double bowl snack dish (chip/dip! gherkin/olive!!!! m and ms/ reeses pieces!!!!!) with Godzilla in the middle....
WELL it is inevitable that a person try it with a beagle, right?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

MY cat and dog and....rodent....

You buy some of my pots and you MAY think you want just a cat mug or a dog bowl...but often what you get is MY dog and cat...and the rodent who thinks he is mine, hiding in the walls or basement (and whose azz the cat wants to kick).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

morning glory pitchers....

You have now seen my try white on the outside, red on the inside pieces a few times, I LOVE it.  I painted on some morning glories here, their pink matches, as does the green--the white over red makes pretty light green color, bonus!
I wondered if red mixed with white would give a pretty light green color, but it gave a purple-lilac color.  Funny how the overlap is green....anyone who knows glazes will undersatnd they are just so dang MYSTERIOUS in how they act :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

conjoined twins meet GODZILLA!

Makes a good headline, hmm?

My buddies Lori and Meesh have lately made excellent bowl pairs that are good for entertaining...olives on one side, gherkins on the other! M and Ms on one side, Reeses Pieces on the other! One person with a big appetite's vanilla ice cream on one side, chocolate on the other!

The issue with Meesh was considering a loop or other handle in the middle.  HER questions about that, and solution, I have never made anything like this before, and it made me think "this is all very clever...wouldn't Godzilla be even BETTER than a loop in the middle???"

Or, you know, a pair of bowls that are not even conjoined, like my piggy bowls here....

Monday, November 16, 2015

"if you start to look like your passport photo..."

"If you start to look like your passport photo it is time to go home..." (Erma Bombeck I think...)

Pretty funny and yet so TRUE.  Why do these things make you look so ghastly?
I got the passport photo done ten years ago...a different time and place and me! For example, that photo took 3o minutes to be developed by the photo shop. NEITHER of which is common anymore!  And I look so damn GREEN in that picture.  I look better ten years later.....  I was trying to look NEUTRAL but think I look a little, maybe, surprised.  You should see the wife's picture--yesterday she looked like she had just stepped out of the clothes dryer and somebody used a flashbulb to announce a surprise party...but she was wicked cute ten years ago. Wait, I should clarify--she is STILL wicked cute in real life, of course....

Ten years ago when we had that done we were also in New Hampshire just beginning to ready our house for sale to move here...a LIFETIME ago.  I should write all kinds of notes inside my new passport about what life is like now, as a kind of letter to self, a time capsule....golly, I think I will....

Yesterday I was doing what the busy potter does sometimes on a Sunday afternoon during the holiday shopping season and he is EXHAUSTED.  Why YES, that is me under there that the wife captured in a photo....

Sunday, November 15, 2015

the usual frivolous post...

Just an ordinary Sunday here, in the aftermath of the devastating mess in Paris.
Humanity is flippin' nuts, you might think.....

I don't know if I have made the world a better place this week, but I did make these.  Best wishes to you!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

purple is great, but sometimes raspberry is better....

FOR GRAPES! I idly thought to self "what if I tried grapes with red inside....?" and the result was really quite wonderful, I think.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, November 13, 2015

winner: a crazy chain of events :)

OK, so things lead to things, right?

Last week I am babysitting Nook the fluffy white dog and we walk past the county courthouse, and he does his business out front.  I am standing there, idly waiting for him to finish, and read the plaque, which tells us that the county is named for Daniel Tompkins, who about 200 years ago was a local politician who later became US vice president under Monroe or one of those guys. "GOOD TO KNOW" sez I, as I scoop Nook's daily offering....

OK, so Thursday morning I am insanely busy--a rack of pots drying that needed finishing, babysitting Yogi at home AND several OTHER dogs to babysit elsewhere I get the early start on pots, and the rain and wind made it easy:  I run every day, but not Thursday.  I had some pie and got to work with Yogi sleeping at my side...

AND because it was early?  My usual radio station was playing all kinds of news, and I don't know about you, but I get TIRED of republicans, ISIS and other such outrages...and tuned into a station I don't often listen to.

The DJ was having a trivia contest, who was our county named after and what is the highest political office he ever held?

SO, clever me, I dial the station with the winning answer....and tell the jaded student DJ my story, which I THINK is fascinating, and win the pair of movie tickets :) All because of a string of unlikely occurances......

In other news, the wife is standing by as the kiln is unloaded and I had been fiddling with stamping flowers and she is like "OH! that green flower one, dang, we can't keep them all...." .....but YOU COULD.  You could buy it and love it and drink from it, at my etsy gallery NOW!handmade green mug with stamped flowers

Thursday, November 12, 2015

purple piggies....

What could be better than purple piggy banks, hmmmmmm?????

I had a fellow from Canada write yesterday, buying five banks from me...could I lower the shipping price?  Good lord I wish I could, shipping to Canada from the US costs a TON...and can take forever.
It isn't as bad as when I shipped a hundred dollar teaset to Ireland and shipping cost 101 dollars...but it is close...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

when in doubt, add a purple accent...

Sure, you have seen me paint grapes on pieces lately, but with the inside of the pot purple? I am SOLD...I think it looks pretty good :)

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

the awful truth.....

I know.  Appalling.  My chunky cat Spike wanted to eat our pumpkin pie.....then he stole the dog's treat....

Monday, November 9, 2015

default activity: bake a pie....

I swear, every time I make a pumpkin pie it is easier than it has any right to be.  Even though I can't have dairy or wheat, my rice crust coconut milk pie is soooo gorgeous tasty and easy I wonder why I don't make them every day..... but I need to make an apple pie soon.  Sure, you have to chop.  But if I feel lazy, i can do a crumble top rather than bothering with the rolled out top, right?  Not much more work....

I have the most insanely busy week of my life ahead EVERY way.

But I am well rested and will be well fed, so here we go :)

(below-decorating a, what messy hair I have....hard to believe...maybe I should comb it more than once a week)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

is it childish to howl like your beagle...?

Or foolish or ridiculous????

I was in Cooperstown Saturday delivering boxes of pots to the Cooperstown Art Association holiday show for members.  I show in the retail gallery year round, but then in November and December they clear out the large exhibition space for a massive 2 month craft fair...and I don't even have to be there :) I wanted to get photos of this loveliness...and didn't remember to get any pictures until I had nearly driven out of town.  Therefore: selfie with WELCOME TO COOPERSTOWN.  Golly I love that place, such a gorgeous town, mountains, lake, people.

OK, so I got home?  And I don't think I have ever loved a creature as much as I love my beagle.   Upon my return, we shared a few minutes of howling together...really! It is VERY loud, but utterly comical..... (in case you didn't know, beagles are pretty much the loudest of all dogs, and when Penny is happy, she can make a racket....or even when she is upset, or anytime at all, but WHAT a welcome home it is :)

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