A Lot Can Happen in a Year

a lot can happen in a year

This year has been a year of change for us. In January my husband got a new job…Yay! But the job involved a lot of travel, so I had to get use to his new schedule. He’d fly out early Monday morning and fly back home late Friday night. After a while, we thought it might be a good idea to live closer to the airport. So, we had two choices to choose from.

1) Move closer to Tampa

2) Move to the Orlando area

It was a very easy choice for us. We choose #2…mainly because our three oldest children live there and our grandbabies. I was really looking forward to being with my kids and granddaughters more often and finally having all of my family in the same place again. So I started looking for houses right away but, I didn’t really find anything I liked or anything that fit our needs…so I kept looking.

Then in March, we got a phone call…we never wanted to get. My sister-in-law passed away. She never got the miracle that we hoped and prayed for.

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We will miss you forever…Laurie!

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I still can’t believe she’s gone.

In May, my husband found out about a new job opening with the company he works for. He would be able to be home every single night, which is what I was hoping for, but it was in Arizona. I’d been doing some research on the best place to live if you have Fibromyalgia and it all pointed to Arizona or New Mexico. Long story short…he got the job…Yay! But it was bittersweet. It meant I had to leave my three oldest children, my three grandchildren…Faith, Paige and Grace, my mother and my workshop. That was not an easy thing for me to do. But for the first time in my life, I had to put myself first. I need to get well. I really couldn’t live in Florida anymore. The longer I lived there…the worst my allergies got…which meant the worst my Fibromyalgia got and most of all, I wanted to be with my husband.

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Paige and Faith

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Grace

My husband had to start his new job on June 8th and we had 4 weeks to move. OMG…I hadn’t even started packing yet! So, I spent all of my time looking for houses and packing. I started packing my books first, then my pottery shop. HOLY COW…I never want to do that again! I never realized I had that much stuff in my workshop. Packing a 25-year-old pottery shop took me more than a month. The next time I have to pack my workshop…

I’M HIRING SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT!

The house hunting wasn’t easy. I kept sending my husband houses I found on Zillow, he would go look at them on his days off. I can’t even remember how many houses my husband looked at, they either had pets or rugs, or both…which is not good for me or my husband…who has asthma. Thankfully my husband found a really good realtor who found us a house with no rugs and no pets…in a really nice area. Needless to say, we were not going to make it there in 4 weeks.

So, instead of leaving Florida on July 3rd like my husband was hoping to do, we left on August 4th. It’s a good thing too, because I was not done packing.

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Welcome to our new house!

My plan was to take some time off from making pottery to work on my book. I really want to finish it. But I still wanted to make pottery.

Then this happened…

kiln

The movers destroyed poor Charlotte…my kiln. They also damaged a lot of our furniture…more about that in another post. I really didn’t care about the furniture, we can re-paint and refinish the furniture and my husband fixed my desk chair. But when I saw my kiln…I had tears in my eyes. Charlotte was my work horse, she made everything I made…more beautiful.

I’M SAD TO SAY THAT…

RAVEN HILL POTTERY IS NOW OUT OF BUSINESS…TEMPORARILY!

I never thought I would say or write those words, but there is nothing I can do about it. It’s taken me a while to write this post, because I didn’t want to. So, now I have to say goodbye to pottery for a while. I hope it’s not too long. I miss it already. My hands itch to dig into a bag of clay and make something. I had so many plans, so many ideas…so many things I wanted to make.

a lot can happen in a year3So, my new plan…is to finish my book, get a literary agent and get published.

Then I can buy a new kiln and have a new workshop.

New Life Loading!

Zig Zag

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I’m participating in the…Blogging From A to Z April (2015) Challenge

And this is the last post!

For at least a week, maybe more…I had absolutely no idea what to blog about, that started with the letter Z…just like my X marks the spot post.

http://ravenhillpottery.com/2015/04/28/x-marks-the-spot/

So, I grabbed my sketchbook and started sketching. This is the first one I sketched. I’m not sure if I like these? I’ve decided, that I’m not really a fan of zig zag stripes…it’s kind of busy!

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Second sketch

 I’m not sure if I like these either, but I do like the top of the bottles!

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Third Sketch

Now, these I like! I think I’ll make these!

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Last one…

I’m not sure if you can call this zig zag…but I really like these!

I’m definitely making these!

What do you think?

X marks the spot!

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I’m participating in the…Blogging From A to Z April (2015) Challenge 

For at least a week, maybe more…I had absolutely no idea what to blog about, that started with the letter X. I don’t have any items that start with an X, I don’t even know of any pottery terms that start with an X. Maybe there is, and I just can’t think of it right now…I don’t know? Planning a blog post about the letter X…was difficult for me. But, then one day I had an idea!

“I’ll just sketch something!” It started out as a joke really. Sketch a bottle, and put an X on it and call it…X marks the spot. Then I’d have my X blog post.

Easy Peasy!

But, then something happened when I opened my sketchbook, and started to sketch. My hand, and my pencil had a mind of its own, and these bottles are the result! I have to say…that I like these so much, I want to make them!

What do you think?

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Those bottles inspired me so much, a few days later I sketched these.

I love these…I’m making these too!

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And then last night, I sketched some mugs.

I think I’ll make a whole line of dinnerware with this design. What do you think?

Thanks…Blogging From A to Z, without you…these designs would not exist!

Now…What should I call them?

Vintage Cottage Dinnerware

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This is my Vintage Cottage Collection

It’s handmade…one piece at a time. Each piece is slightly different, making each one unique and different. I go into more detail in this post…

http://ravenhillpottery.com/2014/07/06/vintage-cottage/

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The top plate was glazed in…Deep Sienna Speckle by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Glaze Deep Sienna Speckle

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This one was glazed in…Deep Olive Speckle by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Galze Deep Olive Speckle

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This one was glazed in…Deep Firebrick by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Glaze Deep Firebrick

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And these are the plates that were purchased for the Tropical Smoothie Cafes…photo shoot. You can read more about it here…

http://ravenhillpottery.com/2015/04/23/tropical-breeze/

There’s so many other glazes…I want to try. I guess I’ll have to make lots of little plates and do some glaze testing.

 

 

 

 

 

Underglazes

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These are some of my underglazes

and here’s what I do with them.

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Dinnerware…underglazed bottoms

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Ring Bowls

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Heart Dishes 

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Heart Ornaments

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Rings

Going through these photos made me realize…I’ve been using a lot of purple, black and red lately. Time to use another color!

Tropical Breeze

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When I first made these plates, I had no idea what to call them!

I even had a…name this dinnerware giveaway. The winning name was Plantation Breeze. I kept the name for a while, but it just wasn’t right! Then one day I received this email…

“I am a food photographer in Atlanta. I am needing the exact look that you create for a client of mine: Tropical Smoothie Cafes.
We are creating beauty food shots that will be in all of their restaurant decor.
We are doing a shoot this week and I am wondering if I gave you our FedEx number, if you could overnight some pieces for us.

Their ideal shapes are typically:
– plates: flat as possible and a 6.5-7″
– bowl 1.5-2″ rise and 7″ in diameter.

Let me know asap
I know you make things very close to these sizes, and beautifully.”

Best

Parlee Chambers

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Before I even saw the email, she went ahead and purchased 4 plates…two of these and two Vintage Cottage plates. Needless to say, I was excited! I called her right after I read the email, got all the information I needed, packed up the plates and my husband shipped them the next morning.

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And that is how they became…

Tropical Breeze

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I really like the name now!

I can’t wait to glaze them in different colors.

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Do you think I should just glaze them in tropical colors?

Hmmm…I need to think about this.

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And now they come in square plates and trays.

I took this photo right after I made these side plates and tray. The rims still need to be cleaned, and the bottoms need to be signed. I’m also planning on making platters with and without handles, bowls, cups and mugs. 

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I think I’m going to make a set for myself. 

Star Bowls and Ornaments

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These are some of my new star bowls. I’ve been experimenting with different textures. They’ve been bisque fired, but I haven’t glazed them yet. But now they’ll have to wait until I set up my new workshop.

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These are the first star bowls I made. They came out really nice. The blue one was glazed in…Vintage Blue by Duncan and the other one was gazed in…Rustic Mustard by Duncan. I love these glazes. They work so well with texture.

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I love making star ornaments

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These came out really cute. I make these in different sizes, even small ones for little tress. I think I’m going to make some for our tree.

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These off white stars are really cute too. Now I have to decide…if I want the red ones, or the off white ones for our tree. Maybe I’ll just have some of each, that sounds good.

I think we’re going to need a tree in every room!

These stars make great gift tags too.

What color star ornament would you like on your tree?