Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taking Shape

Well, it's officially winter. There is snow on the ground...sort of...and it's cold. The house is finally banked, the plastic is up on the windows, the house is still rather cool though not uncomfortably so, and the cat is now insisting on sleeping under the covers. We both love flannel sheets and she is far more efficient than a hot water bottle.

Of course, the water is now drained out at the pottery. With no heat in the building there is nothing going on. I am now working on the studio space in my house.

It's a small house, but here is what is happening.

I decided that the corner of the kitchen that was intended for eating just wasn't going to get used for that purpose. It never has been. I prefer to eat in the living room and that is where I serve guests as well. So the kitchen table and the area it occupies has been collecting junk for a long time. If I have no place to put something - or more likely, if I just can't bring myself to toss out something I am not using - it gets piled somewhere until I can't stand it anymore.

Well, I decided I couldn't stand the pile int he kitchen any longer, so a lot got carried to the dump. What remained found new quarters elsewhere in the house. That left a nice area for a small clay studio. There was the issue of the wall-to-wall carpeting. I saw no sense in keeping carpet where I would be using clay and water, so I tore it up and removed it.

Have you ever taken up wall-to-wall carpet that has been in place for over 20 years in a high traffic part of a house? I'll spare you the gory details, but it was one entire day's labor to get the mess cleaned up.

Anyway, that left me with a nice (?) bare floor where the studio would go. Building the work benches would come next. I have built one work bench and will soon be able to start putting out small items like napkin rings and jam jar lids. Items like that are small enough to do in this space and can be carried to the pottery to be fired. Here is a picture of the studio space so far:

Yes, that's crappy plywood flooring. Not everyone can find beautiful hardwood floors under the carpet (like so many people I have known did). The first work bench I built is on the left in this picture. Right now, it holds all the tools currently being used, but most notably it has the extruder mounted at the right hand end. This is used to make napkin rings and handles for most pots that require them. To the right in this picture is the wedging table I am now building. Here is a close shot of that:

The well in the top of this table will be filled with plaster soon and the whole thing will be covered with canvas. Before I can do that, though, I will need a few more tools and another 50 pounds of plaster to add to the 50 I already have.

Yeah, it's going to be heavy. But that's the point.

After these benches are finished, I will build one more for making tiles and then I will be in business again. Pictures will be forthcoming.

Google-licious: I tried Googling "Lowell Hill Pottery" today. I seem to have done something right!! The entire first page consisted of hits on my web site! Try it out for yourself. Then have a look around. I am currently building a new site complete with an Internet store and shopping cart. My hope is to launch that in the early spring if not before.

I'll keep you posted.

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