Potter…licensed to kiln!

OMG…

I can’t believe it’s been this long since I blogged. The last time I wrote a blog post was on January 26, 2018. Where in the world did the time go? How is this even possible? Time is going by way to fast for me. Can someone please slow it down a little? This is why I need a time machine!

I planned on blogging during the building of my new workshop, I really did! But life just kept getting in the way. I started several blog posts, but I never finished them. Life got in the way again and again, and then I’d just forget.

The only outsourcing we did, was to hire an electrician to do all of the wiring for my kiln and kiln vent, put up track lighting and a ceiling pan. Everything else was done by my wonderful husband, who sacrificed his one and only day off, every week for 7 months…to build everything I needed.

Thank you so much, Jim!

The construction started at the end of February

The electrical work started in March

The shelves my husband was building.

I absolutely love having adjustable shelves!

He added a lot more shelves since I took this photo.

Now, the shelves are full of bisqueware and inventory.

When my husband was done, it was my turn to get busy. I had to unpack the gazillion boxes. I never realized I had so much stuff, until I had to unpack it.

 Everyday, I’d unpack a bunch of boxes, but they just seemed to multiply

OMG…Never ending boxes!

I think I see my slab roller.

There’s my slab roller. I love this slab roller by North Star.

Her name is Willow North Star

There seemed to be no end to the unpacking.

I ended up over doing it…over and over again. I always do this!

I have several autoimmune diseases…Psoriatic Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease, IBS and a Herniated Disc in my back. So, it took me longer than I thought it would. I had to stop every once in a while, and rest for about a week or two or more…

Before I knew it, it was the Holidays of 2018

So, I stopped working in my workshop for a while.

Right after the new year, I started working in my workshop again. I found my wheel, under a bunch of boxes, but I couldn’t find my splash pan. I thought I had lost it, or maybe we had left it in Florida?

I finally found it, in one of the last boxes I unpacked.

I’d like you to meet my new kiln…Veronica!

“She who brings victory”

Isn’t she pretty!

Just when I was on a roll and almost done, I got sick. I was really run down, from doing so much. So, all work had to stop until I felt better.

The minute I felt better, I was back in my workshop, and then I got trigger finger in my left index finger. It felt like my finger was going to get stuck! I went to see my doctor and she gave me a cortisone shot. My finger was numb for five days (I really don’t like having a numb finger) and my finger was black and blue for at least a week. My doctor said, I had to rest my hand and absolutely no heavy lifting. No workshop for me…for a while.

It was so nice to have the use of my finger and hand again! I went back to my workshop, but that didn’t last very long. My allergies started bothering me really bad and it turned into a bad sinus infection and upper respiratory infection with a really bad cough. No work again for me. I had to rest.

It’s been such a long, and bumpy road for me. Full of twists and turns, hard work, and pain. And recently, sadness and lose. I don’t want to get into all the details. I’d have to write a book. All I can say is, on July 15th of this year, my life changed yet again. It feels like I lost my mother, even though she is still alive. She fell that day, and she has never been the same. She’s been in and out of the hospital more times than I can count. In and out of rehabs. She’s been through so much.

Something happened to her on July 16th, when she went to the ER. The ER doctor told me that when she arrived, she answered his questions. He said, she told him her side hurt. Then he said, “Suddenly, she was having trouble breathing,” and she ended up on a ventilator in the ICU.

I still don’t understand what happened, and they wouldn’t tell me. She was perfectly fine before she fell. We talked on the phone all the time. She was still taking care of herself, her dog, her budget and bills.

But, now she has brain damage.

When I call her, it’s like she’s not there. Sometimes, she’s living in a different time. Sometimes, she seems better, but we only talk for a few minutes…if I’m lucky. Other times, she gets confused and it bothers her. She ends up telling me she can’t talk or she says, “Okay by!” then she hangs up. Most of the time, when I hang up the phone, I cry. I hate that she is going through this. I never even imagined that this would happen to her.

I really miss talking to my Mom!

She’s not going to be able to go home, and that’s all she wants to do…is go home. She can’t take care of herself and for some reason, she can’t walk anymore, or even stand up without two people holding her.

It’s been very stressful for me, to see her like this, to not be able to talk like we use to, it makes me very sad. On top of all that, I have to run two households now, her house and mine, her budget and mine, and her bills and mine. I have so much on my plate. I get overwhelmed sometimes…a lot of times. I’m so thankful for my husband, he flew to Florida to winterize my mother’s house and check on things for me, in November.

The next thing we have to do, is pack up all of her belongings.

I’m not looking forward to that…at all.

I have to find a way to keep moving forward. I literally, hate hearing the phone ring, because my first thought is that something else happened to my mother.

I have to keep reminding myself to think good thoughts, to be positive.

So, I focus on pottery and finishing my book series.

I have a bunch of bisqueware that has to be glazed. I think, I’ll use some of it for glaze testing all the new glazes I bought on Black Friday. So, stay tuned for some blog posts about glaze testing and glaze combinations.

I’m looking forward to making items I haven’t made in a long time, and new items I’ve never made before.

I’m really looking forward to 2020.

I hope it’s going to be a wonderful year, for me and my family…and for everyone!

 

If you’re on Instagram, you can find me here!

https://www.instagram.com/ravenhillpottery/

 

Happy Anniversary

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Happy Anniversary!

Raven Hill Pottery has been on WordPress.com for 3 years. Thanks for reminding me WordPress. So glad I switched!

Clay Photos ~ Pinterest Size

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Hello, pottery peeps!

If you don’t already know about my workshop situation, I’ll give you a brief update. When I starting packing to move from Florida to Arizona. I thought I was only going to take a little time off to work on my book. But, due to things beyond my control…my workshop is closed until I can either fix my kiln or replace it.

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My beloved Charlotte (my kiln) was damaged during the move, by the movers and they won’t pay for it. They told my husband to sue them. I won’t use them again!

I really hope that we can fix her!

So, since my workshop is closed, no kiln…no pottery!!! I’ll keep my pottery blog going with posts I didn’t get around to doing, posts from my old pottery blog, new designs from my sketchbook and whatever else I can think of. 

A couple of weeks ago I decided to re-size some of my photos…to Pinterest size. Now they look so much better on Pinterest.

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I miss working with clay!

My hands are itching to dig into a bag of clay and make something new.

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This wire is the original wire I purchased for my first pottery class in 1990. I purchased another one, but I still use my old one. These are some of my original tools from 1990 and holding my tools is a cup I made in 1991.

Hopefully, I’ll have the funds to re-open my workshop soon!

In the mean time, I’ll be working on my book…Raven Hill

You can find me here…

https://melindamariealexander.com/

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

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.

https://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?

Sponges

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I love my pottery sponges!

These are just a few of them, I have more. I need lots of sponges, because they do different jobs. The old-looking ones, on the right aren’t really that old, they just look that way because they wash off underglazes from bisqueware. It’s a rough job, and it does a number on my sponges, especially if it’s stoneware clay with grog. I have sponges for washing bisqueware before glazing (these have to be really clean sponges), sponges while I work (I usually have two large buckets of water on my workbench while I work, with several sponges in each), sponges for cleaning pottery tools, and sponges for cleaning bottoms of pieces I just glazed, so I can load my items in the kiln.

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One day, I needed a really small sponge for a piece I was working on. None of my sponges were working. I thought about cutting up one of these, especially the old-looking ones on the right. But then I remembered something. I went into the bathroom, opened the top drawer and there they were in the back, where I had left them…make-up sponges. They were there for a long time…years I think. I never use make-up sponges when I put on make-up, I use my fingers. The only reason I even had them, was because my daughter wanted me to buy them, she uses them all the time.

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The make-up sponges worked perfectly! It was exactly what I needed. But more importantly, they have become a regular pottery tool now in my workshop. They make the smoothest rims and edges I’ve ever seen, and you can cut them if you need a smaller piece. I absolutely love using make-up sponges!

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They don’t last very long, especially if you’re using stoneware clay with grog. But who cares, they work great. I make sure I have plenty of make-up sponges on hand at all times.

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If you like nice smooth rims and edges, or if you need a small sponge for a hard to get to spot…give them a try. I think you’ll love them too.

I get mine at Walmart

Hope you liked my tip of the day!

Kiln

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This is my kiln…Charlotte Skutt. Yes, I named my kiln, and I think it’s cute!

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Here’s a little peek inside!

Usually I’m so busy loading my kiln, I forget to take photos. Then when I’m done, I remember. “Shoot, I should have taken photos!” Then one day, I finally remembered, and I’m so glad I did!

Hopefully I’ll remember to take photos more often.

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Bottom row done, on to the next row.

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Pieces ready to load.

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I start with the largest items first.

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The next row is done.

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More goodies ready to load.

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I had a lot of ornaments in this load.

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One more row, and then I’m done.

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Had some room for some test tiles.

Time to fire it up!

Inspiration

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I added a quote by Pablo Picasso to one of my photos. It’s so perfect together. A bag of clay, pottery tools and a dirty wire tool, just used. I love this quote, it’s so true…at least for me.

Inspiration is something that makes someone want to do something. It gives someone an idea about what to do or create. It’s a force or influence that inspires someone.

A person, place, experience, etc…that makes someone want to do or create something.

A good idea.

I begin with an idea

This is so true. Sometimes the clay takes over, and I end up making something totally different then what I had planned on making. But that’s okay!

by doing what you love

I love this quote!