Lightening & Thunder = Downpour

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A major thunderstorm rolled through here in the past 30 minutes.  The rain was coming down so hard and fast that it was pouring off the roof in sheets.  I ventured out to the covered back patio to grab a few photos (hoping to get one with a flash of lightening), but hurried back inside when the action got too close for comfort.

 

The Rest of the Pots for Sale

Hooray!!!

The pots are finished and packed and ready to go over to the nursery in the morning.  I’m such a novice at this that, while I took pictures and documented what’s in each box, I didn’t make a list of the pots and their sizes and how much I should get for each one.

Oh well … live and learn.  Fingers crossed that all goes well tomorrow.

Pots for Sale!

About a month ago, my buddy and I visited a local nursery that sells a lot of cacti and succulents.  We showed them some of my pots and, while they were interested, they wanted some in certain sizes and certain styles.

So …. for the past several weeks, I’ve been making planter pots.  And, because the weather has been so wet, they’ve taken f-o-r-e-v-e-r  to dry.  Then, some of the glazes turned out weird and I ran out of one of the wonderful glazes.

Here, though, is the first batch … photographed and packed up.  There are still about 15 or so pots waiting to be glazed and fired.  Then, we’ll go back to the nursery and (fingers crossed), they’ll love the pots and so will their clientele.

Playing with Clay

Tile with hexagons Part of the fun of working with clay is experimenting with various textures and procedures.

This tile is a semi-successful experiment.  I had some cardboard with a waffle texture and wondered what would happen if I added it to a flat tile.  Naturally, the cardboard would burn out in the bisque firing but, if the waffle pattern was coated with with slip before firing it, what would happen??

Well, the waffle pattern was saved but it’s very delicate in the bisque state.  So, I quickly added some glaze on top of the waffle pieces and then sprayed glaze on the tile.  In fact, the glaze helped the waffle pieces adhere to the tile.  This is what it looks like after being fired to cone 5.

 

Garden Totems

Yesterday was a great day!!  It was “Kiln Opening Day” and, when all the pieces were unloaded, I had the final pieces for the garden totems.

These totems were started several months ago and it just took time to build the pieces, bisque fire them, glaze them and fire them again.  One totem is whimsical faces and the other is state license plates.

When the chance of Spring storms, with the possibility of hail and tornadoes, passes, they’ll be added to the garden.  Can’t wait!

Pots, Plants and More Pots

About a year ago, I fell in love with succulents and cacti.  The sheer variety is amazing.  The more I bought and collected, the more pots I needed.  Thank goodness, I happened to have a large supply of clay in the studio.

So, I started making pots for the plants.  I made big pots and small pots, glazed them and settled the plants into my pots.  For the most part, they seem to like the custom made pots and are rewarding me with new growth and offshoots.

Happy plants … happy pots … it’s all wonderful!

Butterfly Tiles

Finally decided it’s time to post some of my pottery/ceramic work beginning with these butterfly tiles.  The images came from a couple of rubber stamps that I have.  And, yes, it’s possible to use rubber stamps on clay.

The hard part was letting them dry a bit and then painting the details with underglaze.  Then came the harrowing part of bisque firing them and hoping that they didn’t crack.  Fortunately, they didn’t.

They were finished in a rake firing using a clear crackle glaze.  Then, I added hangers on the back of them so they could be used on the wall.

They’ve both been sold and I hope their new owners are enjoying them.

Oh … Hail!!

The weather-guys/gals predicted a good chance of strong storms on Wednesday night.  Yeah … yeah …. yeah …  they’ve said this before and we didn’t get even a drop of rain.  Well, last night, their prediction was right on … at least in our neighborhood.

The wind had been blowing pretty hard all day but it’s March, the windy month.  But, about 9:30 pm the sky darkened and the wind became even more fierce.  Then, we heard it … the unmistakeable sound of hail hitting the roof, the windows, the yard.

The worst of the storm lasted a ferocious 15-20 minutes.  Hail came down and covered the yard so deeply that it looked like snow.

This morning, it was time to look at the storm damage.  Fortunately, it was minor.  Skylights were intact.  Lots of leaves down.  One gutter screen torn loose. And an iris bud knocked off.

A River Runs Through It …

… my backyard, that is.   When we have a heavy rain the water puddles in the backyard and then overflows across the yard, across the driveway, down the driveway, and finally to the street.  Not about to complain, though, because the plants are so happy to have the rain water.

Another One Bites The Dust

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 8.26.42 AMWell, darn!  I’m discovering the cacti and succulents aren’t all that easy to grow.

They’re not at all like other house plants that thrive on a little bit of coddling and a little bit of neglect.   Indoor plants (pathos, prayer plants) and outdoor plants (ajuga, monkey grass) have always rewarded me by growing and spreading.  Eventually I’d invite friends to come and take some away.

But cacti and succulents …. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!  If I water them when they don’t want to be watered even if the soil feels bone dry, they die.  If I neglect them, they shrivel up and die.

Au revoir, Agave.  I loved you well but not wisely.