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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Still Trying

If nothing i say makes much sense today, i have a valid excuse.
Started firing the electric kiln at midnight last night in hopes that the technician's new approach to the digital programming would work.
Since the kiln never misfires in the lower temps, thought it would be ok to start it at midnight, sleep through the lower firing range and check it around 7am this morning when in theory it should have reached 1200 degrees F.
However, woke up every hour on the hour to run out to the garage to check the kiln. Couldn't get into a deep sleep and at one point, sat up and watched the stars twinkle thru the windowpane from 2:55am til 4:20am.
At 11:29am temps have reach 1959 degrees F so the verdict is still out as to whether the kiln will reach the programmed temp of 2200 degrees F.

In the meantime, yesterday for no reason at all, the phrase: "art design and visual thinking" just popped into my head.
Googled it.
Have only explored 2 pages of the results but find the information most interesting. Evidently, there is a whole school of theory on visual thinking !!!
Will try and import here some information from one of the many sites Google came up with. The site is:
Some info quoted from this site:
Flexibility: A universal condition that fosters productive thinking by allowing the individual to be very responsive to change and adaption of new methods and forms without doing damage to the original goal or vision. Flexible thinking is characterized by easy access to subconscious as well as conscious levels of thinking. The flexible visual thinker should be proficient in a variety of mental operations and be able to move freely from one operation to another with a free choice of vehicles (such as media, style, subject matter, type of configuration, etc.).
The fact that whoever the artist is was transposing the imagery of a clothespin intrigued me.

Fluency: The freely flowing and seemingly effortless expression of visual thinking through an observable behavior; production of a large quantity of potentially useful responses.
Randomness: Any strategy activity where specific conscious purpose, organization or structure is minimized in order to allow the artist to discover new patterns to which he or she may respond in a unique manner; haphazard appearance to behavior.
Reflectivity: is the mental skill of giving careful consideration to visual configurations which are already present in perception. Distinguishing between this quality and the more usual tendency to verbalize and rationalize unformed ideas, present only as mental states, is vital to the development of an effective visual thinker.
This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Will research further, but for now have to run to the other end of the house and out to the garage to check on the kiln . . . .
Have a happily "awake" day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Slight Detour

Livingrooms come in large, small, rectangular, square, lotza windows and bright, few windows and dark, well-lighted and cheerful at night, dimly lit and having an aura of a rendezvous. Some livingrooms are circular, loaded with plate glass and designed mainly as party salons anticipating a crowd. The old concept of livingrooms being "a parlor" full of horsehair chairs and kept in pristine cleanliness to host a straight-backed society visitor has long flown the coop of modern conventionality.
Pole lamps are most usually metal affairs with plastic shades over bare bulbs.
Now pole lamps with plastic shades have absolutely no excuse, none whatsoever, to ever find themselves in a livingroom. It just isn't done. They, by the force of their personalities, should be regulated to the children's playroom or a utilitarian workship.

So you can understand my dilemma when i moved the wheel into the livingroom. I like to work at night, throwing pots or trimming out those already thrown, and light is an absolute necessity.

The designer of this house threw the layout all over the neighborhood. One has to walk a country mile to travel from the livingroom to the master bedroom; the spaces between rooms are cold, austere, harsh and no amount of lighting is going to make these spaces, these rooms, warm and fuzzy like a downy bathrobe on a cold morning.
I used up my large supply of lamps in pursuit of warm and cozy. It just wasn't going to happen.
The livingroom is large and rectangular. Beige walls reflect light so it needs but a few standard lamps to illuminate the space if not with character, at least, with enough brightness to take the edge off of dismally dark. Which is a good thing for with all my lamps designated to the other rooms, my supply of lighting fixtures was now, suddenly, limited.

All this is to say, when the wheel was moved into the livingroom, i needed another lamp. And the only one left was . . . .
Yep! You guessed it. A metal pole lamp with plastic shades.
Now. Creating lampshades has never been high on my list of priorities. Not an accomplishment i wished to undertake. However, as they say, necessity is the madonna of fabrication.
For those of you who, like me, have never attempted a lampshade before, here are a few tips. Start with a wire frame. Not being particularly handy with a soldering iron, this step only wasted a couple of days of my time.
Next. If you happen to have some flat raffia laying about, use it to create a frame for the material. This will slide over the metal frame, so it can be attached to the lamp. Next, using a hot-glue gun attach the material to the raffia frame. Slide the raffia and material frame over the metal one and attach to the lamp.
And walla !!! When you are finished, you may not have a front parlor lamp fit for society visitors, but you will have . . . .
one with character.
Have a bright and well-lit night.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


The eBay sale for Obamaware is up and running.

If you haven't checked it out yet,
at ,
there's still one more day of bidding.

There are many talented pottery artists offering once and forever pieces which will never be duplicated.
It's well worth a look-see !!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spaz Thoughts Not Necessarily In A Formulated Order

Thought just occurred to me: even though you know you are registered to vote in the November elections, check with your local county clerk and make sure you are !!!
I've voted here in Teton county for 4 years, so i paid no attention to this. However, some fribbling sub-thought kept prompting me to call and make sure i was still registered. Seems that because of the move across town which is only a few blocks from where i lived before, i had to re-register!
This election is too important to let such a small detail slide: so! call your county clerk and check it out.
Spent the whole weekend moving furniture.
(Initially) Had originally set up shop in the garage. That didn't work. Too cold. Too dark. No view.
(1st move) Moved the pottery wheel to the "boxy room" where there are windows and morning light. Moved the glazing chems and apparatus to the dining room. No inspiration in this arrangement.
Bought 22 cookbooks ( on sale five for a dollar) and baked up a slew of European pastries.
(2nd move) Moved the glazing chems, etc. to the boxy room and the wheel out to the dining room. Found that the energy of the boxy room will work for detailing pots, adding handles, etc. (haven't tried to glaze in there yet)
BUT -- the dining room is just too dark to throw enlightened pots. Messed up 3 chunks of clay trying to work there.
Read some of the cookbooks. Cooked up a slew of Asian wok recipes and other meat/vegi confabulations including a rather tasty dill sauce for zucchini.
(3rd move) Rearranged the living room furniture and moved the wheel into the living room. We'll see how that works. So far it seems promising.
The profession of furniture moving was never one to pique my interest, however recently, i've become most adept at it. If i applied at an official moving company for the position of furniture mover at least i could get a paycheck! However, with the economy the way it is, it might be pretty slim pickings for i suspect that not that many people are currently moving . . . .

One of Obama's recent statements caught my attention: "Of the 3 people i'd like most to share a meal with -- one would be my grandmother." He went on to say that she recently expressed the sentiment that most people view older folks as ( paraphrasing here) fragile, feeble, decrepit, geriatric.
"But," she said. "Inside I am the same youngster i've always been. I just seem to be housed in a body that's falling apart."
This weekend while moving furniture, i was strongly thinking of Obama's grandmother.

It's my point of view that very modern houses lack character. But, i'm finding that just plainly ain't so. ( Sorry about using Palin's colloquialisms. It really bums me out that she's messing up the genre for the rest of us. Since i have a few years on her, it was mine to use originally. But now, it seems like shades of Palin's false down-homeyness when i do !!!)
Take for instance, the master bathroom's convenience -- latrine, john, can, privy, jerry throne, thunder mug -- call it what you will.
Now, it has character.
Normally, it flushes just fine. All day long. Flip the handle, water goes down, tank re-fills and it shuts off.
Until early the next morning.
Nature calls and afterwards one runs back to bed, jumps under the warm, snuggly covers to study a bit of scripture and write out Thank You's to our Universal Creator for the neat occurrances of the day before. This is a very quiet pursuit. A time of quiet contemplation. Ah . . . let me repeat that . . . quiet contemplation.
This porcelain installation decides to re-fill. Re-fill. It continues to re-fill. And re-fill. It won't shut off.
The sound of trickling water is fine in a water fountain. But somewhat blasphemous from a lavatory first thing in the morning.
But the durn thing has character.
Exactly seven point three minutes after i'm up and dressed, having voiced its opinion of the quality of the coming day, it pipes down, shuts off, and . . . . . . . .
Operates perfectly the rest of the day.
Yep! Modern houses may not have history on their side, but they do have character.

It's a great gray, molten-leaden sky here overlaying the day with the promise of snow. Winter didn't release us from its clutches this year until the first day of summer! And here it is again intruding on our Fall.
So my hat's off to global warming. It sounds like a mighty fine idea that will bring warmer temperatures and the return of the sunshine.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chicken Bags

This may seem like a moot point
You know those large, heavy duty plastic bags in which they pack the "family-sized" quantity of chicken quarters?
After washing, of course, these make nifty storage bags for clay scraps.
Don't know why but i just thought i'd share that . . . .