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, February 29, 2016

my mugshot Monday..

Funny, research SHOWS we are all a little funny about our favorite mugs…of course we are! They are our favorites!  Get you paws off mine…..

SO, these came out of the kiln Sunday and because there were 2 and I wanted to spoil myself I gave one to me.  I mean, I don't yet have a mug with a raccoon on it!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016

sweet potato lasagna, GAWDAMN that is good :)

I saw a recipe for sweet potato lasagna some weeks ago and was intrigued, finally getting ready to make it yesterday.

But it looked boring.  It looked dry.  But it seemed like a good starting point!

I have always loved making lasagna, and buy good rice noodles now and make it vegan  (That doesn't mean you have to)

I made sweet potato lasagna MY WAY, and it is naturally gluten-free, obviously, and can be made vegan or not.

The whole idea is, slice sweet potato instead of using noodles, DUH! So easy! Recipe follows***

Gary's sweet potato lasagna

-preheat to 375, grease an 8 x 8 baking dish

-slice some onion and veggies and sauté (I used onion, broccoli, spinach), then add about 1 1/2- 2 cups of tomato sauce--simmer a few minutes, you want it thick--make sure to add lots of spice

-slice 3 medium sweet potatoes thinly with a sharp knife, make 3 even piles

-mix about 1 1/2 cup of ricotta with some spice, like oregano and garlic (I make a vegan mix of tofu, nutritional yeast, soy milk, soy sour cream and fake cheese mashed together, but do what you want)

-lay one sliced sweet potato down to cover the bottom of the dish, then blob on half the ricotta, 1/3 of the tomato sauce next, then the second sliced sweet potato, cover with the rest of the ricotta, another 1/3 of tomato sauce then the last layer of sweet potato, cover with the last of the tomato sauce then sprinkle a ton of cheese on there

-bake 45-60 minutes!


Friday, February 26, 2016

"If you're not failing…"

I was dreaming last night, 2 biggies:  in the first, Abe Lincoln was running for president and he did a  stunt:  he jumped off the Washington Monument and landed in a tiny little barrel of water.  WOW.  I'd vote for Abe!  In a second dream, I was my adult self back in fifth grade with Mrs. Gilbertson, maybe my favorite teacher.  She was good.  The class exercise was tough for my (nearly) 50 year old self:  she was going to tell a short story which we had to listen to and record on paper, later recopying it neatly and with correct spelling and grammar and edits.  I know we never did anything like this in class, but it was HARD listening to her speak and writing at the same time, being accurate and all that, and my handwriting has always been crappy.

ANYWAY, so I wake up now and yesterday's warm 50s has been replaced by 20s, wind, and snow cover.  Maybe an inch or 2, what is up with THAT?  I saw bluebirds yesterday!  Sure, it is common for us to have snow through April, BUT NOT THIS YEAR!

So, as the Woody Allen expression goes "If you're not failing a lot you're not doing anything very innovative.  I have been fiddling with a different type of handle, to make mugs and teapots with handles that are vaguely bamboo-ish, or at least a little botanical-ish.  I reclaimed the clay from the first efforts (FAILS! But learning experiences).  Now I have 2 good mugs and this teapot, SCORE!  Can't wait for them all to be fired, plus other new ideas….and in other news, I was inspired to take a mug's worth of clay and see what long necked vases could be made with the same amount.  I was, of course, amused to see them tower over a mug of the same weight….
have an awesome day!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

What Adele and Trump have in common

I admit it, I live far outside the mainstream, hanging around the home studio in Ithaca, which has been called the most liberal town in America.

It is also true that my wife has said I am a positive person.  I am like, REALLY?  Maybe it is true, after all, we will be out walking in 15 below zero weather and I will marvel at the pretty peach and pink sunrise….

But I have to say, there is no way I am positive about everything, no way.
I have a friend who thinks (really!) that Trump is just running to make Hillary a shoo-in for the White House in November.  I don't think there is any way that is true, but it is very amusing.  The truth is I see the pickups with rebel flags driving past and wonder WTF is up with America?  Maybe nothing new.  After all, what happened to the millions of Indians who were here in 1492?  And how about all the Africans brought here in chains?  I am a Quaker with Mennonite ancestors--2 groups killed and persecuted in Europe, but who thrived here. So, it is easy to look at both sides of the American coin, BRUTAL for some, welcoming for others.

The fact is, there are times when the collective psyche is brutal and crazed, and a lot of American republicans seem to be following the footsteps of Germany in 1933--a hateful bully steps onto the stage and they welcome him with open arms.  Like lemmings leaping to their demise off a cliff….I can only hope that Hillary has an easy win.

In other news, speaking of crazy, I have heard the name Adele but listen to rock and roll stations, and just like Beyonce, Kesha, Taylor Swift, Brittny etc, she had never crossed my path, never heard their music.  Until yesterday.  GOOD GOLLY WHAT IS IT PEOPLE like about Adele and Trump?  Are they all flipping' CRAZY?

MY RADIO station, WITH, had an interview with the Cowboy Junkies yesterday, and they were talking about the crazy video another band did, friends of theirs.  It is so good, so sweet, crazy but not CRAZY!!!!!

Have an awesome day :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

probably best to start the day with a friendly frog teapot...

green froggy teapot

Isn't this a cool teapot?  Glad you think so.  I was fiddling with a bunch of experiments Tuesday…going the right direction, but not there yet, and since there was a lot to think about I saw this on the shelf and wanted to share it with the world, with YOU.  It can even be YOURS from my etsy shoppe! Then you would REALLY have a happy spring, right?

In other news, Spike the cat is nearly over his cold, but like a human cold, it lingers….his appetite and attitude are quite normal, thank goodness.  Who knew cats get colds all the time?  A learning experience, thanks to my vet….

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

emerald flowers on Teapot Tuesday…..

Oh yes, I love the greens….this is a deep jade green you see me use all the time, which I call emerald.  Looks good with the flower shape, hmm?

If you told me my work was deeply influenced by eastern pottery these days you would not be wrong…but as I say, it is a return to where I started in my training 33 years ago….

Dreams:  a weird but triumphant dream late last night.  I was asked to help find a small and sickly child.  He had run off because he didn't like taking his medications and there were woods everywhere.  I was wandering and Cassie, the  yappy snappy dog my neighbors have, was there barking…I followed, and Lassie-style, she led me to a small cave where he was hiding.  Gary saves the day…thanks to a dog..Hollywood style!

Have an awesome Tuesday!

Monday, February 22, 2016

dreams of one kind or another….

This cup and saucer up here?  I was dreaming the other night and this came to me so I had to make it…related to other pots I have made before, but still, I am very pleased.

Speaking of dreams:  I was deeply asleep just now and dreamt I was teaching high school again, and was talking with other teachers abut how you have to wear your badass-take-no-nonsense hat when you teach high schoolers…good golly, I am so glad I am not a teacher anymore!  I wouldn't mind teaching ESL adults or pottery, but kids….nooooooooo!!!!!! I mean, I retired before cell phones, what are classrooms like these days?

Finally, as for dreams, we had a dreamy trip to Rochester, NY yesterday, about 100 miles from us and 1:40 min. drive.  I had lived there many many years ago and it is a totally groovy city.

I'll be honest with you here:  we need to move into town (presumably Ithaca, but read on) in the next few years.  I can still drive with glaucoma because my central vision is good, but glaucoma makes night driving nearly impossible and since the vision loss is to the sides, well, it is like driving with blinders on (think of horses in a parade with little flaps at their eyes so they don't get spooked by what is to their sides).  You can't see the sides very well, and it only gets worse.

ANYWAY, so I need to live in town, like Ithaca, but we got to thinking:  University of Rochester has one of the best medical schools and hospitals in the world and an excellent eye institute with a whole dept. for glaucoma.  None of my treatments has succeeded in slowing down the progress of my case of glaucoma so far, and although I have excellent care in Ithaca, I wonder if I don't need one of the best hospitals in the world.  A whole STAFF dedicated to keeping what vision I have.

You'd think about it too, wouldn't you?

Especially if you started house hunting there and found prices absolutely dead cheap compared to Ithaca….probably because although Ithaca is snowy (we have none right now) Rochester gets impossibly large quantities of snow, as you see…..

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Even if it is NOT Mugshot Monday…. you can still post mugs can't you?

Some new mugs out of the kiln.  Shows some of my recent favorite mug shapes, glaze colors and decorating schemes….

I have big plans for today…catch ya later :)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

a sickly cat...

Wicked inspiring, isn't this Korean vase?

Spike has a cold.
A couple of days ago he began sneezing and it has continued…he is not high energy, very sleepy.  But drinking and eating normally--the vet says colds in cats are very common and they aren't in trouble until they haven't eaten for 36 hours (!).  Spike and Penny always play before and after their lunch, and it gets pretty raucous.  I was glad to see Spike being a little playful yesterday, and then I heard a crash:  he was climbing into the laundry basket and it tipped over so he crawled onto the pile and fell asleep….

IN OTHER NEWS, as you see above, Yogi and I were making pots….I had these shapes above in mind and was pleased with them, so then I made more!

Friday, February 19, 2016

that shell sure does get around…..

You probably notice that one here is an inny, the other an outie….YES!  I showed you a shell I have been using for 20 some years on pots, and it is true, I made a negative impression into a clay stamp, so in the pot at the right you see the shell as it is but the pot on the left I merely pressed into the soft clay…kinda awesome effects, right?
Have an awesome Friday!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

something fishy….

One day last week I was putting frogs on things, dragons too, and turtles, and felt like putting some OTHER green thing on one of these pieces, and I wasn't in the mood for alligators.
I hadn't made a little fish in awhile, perfect for this, eh? Just out of the kiln….

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

just toss a couple of items in a blender and HUZZAH! muffins!

I had a pretty terrible dream just now, Penny had run off and there was no finding her.  It was nice to awaken and find her snoring in my ear….

You will notice BELOW many many pots.  I am cranking them out very quickly, more from the kiln today. As I say, make it beautiful today :)

OK, these muffins up there, with that angelic beagle?  Somewhere the other day I came across this recipe where you toss basically only 3+ ingredients in the blender and TA DA! Bake it, muffins!   I didn't have almond butter and searched around for similar recipes with peanut butter and I ended up making this recipe, with the blender, with molasses rather than honey.

OH YES, they are that simple, they are that good… I am eating them NOW..light, fluffy, wow….

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Beagles and corgis and frogs and dragons, OH MY!

You know I like oval boxes, what is basically one fitted bowl over another to make a lidded box, but OF COURSE you can even put a little knob and figure on there, to make them EXTRA cute, right?

In other news, it was 15 below zero f on Sunday and going to 40 degrees f plus today…do you HAVE AY IDEA how warm 40 feels after that?  Plus it was windy… anyway, Monday was a moderate (!!!) 26 degrees and we brought Penny over to play with Soupy the corgi which is the cutest thing EVER….

Monday, February 15, 2016

8 loaves of bread, a 3 1/2 legged dog and an awesome cup and saucer...

I have had, as usual, pretty entertaining dreams the last 3 days.  I remember one dream from each night: last night I was teaching blind students, as I did in the early 90s, and had some free time and was trying a new recipe mix for gluten-free bread and there was this magic packet of something clear and gelatinous that made the 8 loaves magically light and fluffy (my bread is already quite light and fluffy, but this was EXTREME). I dream of the time when I taught at Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind often.  Probably because it was so dang DIFFICULT.

2 nights ago I dreamt I happened upon a 7-9 month old puppy, mostly grown, all brown and similar in size to Penny, our beagle, but lankier.  The poor thing had been born with a half-size front leg.  It was the usual leg, just half the size it should have been, but like any dog, she was cheerful and happy and adapted to it.  I loved the puppy so much and brought her home to Penny and was relieved that she liked the puppy too.

And I woke up yesterday, the last image in mind a particular cup and saucer I have not made before…doodled it out and made it later that same day… you will, of course, hear more about it later….

For now?  A pair of vases….I love variations of this vase/bottle shape, don't you?  Have a great week!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

ten below zero F outside: cold weather, warm hearts…?

Some people hate Valentine's day. Maybe they are widowed, single, divorced, bitter and twisted or married to an *ssh*le.  Or maybe it is a dozen years of grocery store flowers and waxy chocolate in heart boxes...

We passed through the grocery store yesterday and the whole front produce area was given over to plastic wrapped flowers and waxy chocolates in heart boxes, and the people were SHOPPING. Do the people have no imagination????? MY CUSTOMERS do :)  Which is probably why they buy and give my pots, and I am adding these panda mugs to my etsy shoppe now, on special! (unless you live nearby, you are too late and need to get them for the next birthday, right?)special:  awesome pair of panda mugs sold together

ANYWAY, I love Valentine's Day, as I love most holidays that give me a chance to pass out gifts to milady.  I was counting…we had just gotten together in Feb. of '92…so that makes 25 Valentine's Days in a row.  I do not think I ever resorted to  grocery store flowers and waxy chocolates….and I SWEAR that if I give her a bottle of my favorite booze and some heavy metal CDs that I wanted that I probably also remembered to give her something she might like ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

OK, so you missed Valentine's, but Easter is coming :)

Some of you wisely gave the significant other the pots by ME.  They will surely be back to get pots for Easter, you can too, at my easy shoppe, new items today!dragon, dinosaur, monster bowlfrog mugelephant muggreen flower mugtortoise and hare bowls

Friday, February 12, 2016


I found the little white shell on the left back in '94, I think, at Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, Mass, north of Boston.  That thing has been a workhorse, on many pots since…but not recently…that has changed. I think a nice shell goes well with a pretty light green glaze, right?
Have an awesome day!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

gluten-free brownie bites, beagles and other assorted beasts….

I am as, you know, fortunate to  have my own dog and cat…and other people's too!

I am driving less and potting MORE than the last few years…sorry to sound dramatic, but I could lose my vision next week, next year or in the next decades, so MAKE IT BEAUTIFUL TODAY is my mantra…and I gave up all of my dog and cat gigs and I am making pots like mad.  Except Yogi and Soupy, both of whom live nearby and neither of whom is anything but easy fun. On Yogi days, he is happy to do what I do, whatever that may be…plus Penny and Spike love him.

SO, other than studio work and walking in the snow, Wednesday was bake the wife some gluten-free brownie bites, and the cast of characters "helping" me in the kitchen was pretty comical...

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