July 2nd, 2014

It's hard for me to believe,  but it's been one year since I started this blog and my studio. I thought that's as good a time as any to give you an update.

Before I jump in with any photos... I have to say that this will probably be a continuous work in progress. Not as major as in the beginning, but like any good design, there are always reworkings to be done as you use and experience the space.

I want to begin with a few images of some recent pots that I've created in the new space.
These are all fairly large, 15" to 32". I'll post them from shortest to tallest.



I added a greenhouse top to the to garden box. The doors all have removable hinges so we can take them off in the hottest part of the summer.



From a different angle. 

And another... I added more perrenials that were suited for shallow soil and 
rock gardens.

We adopted a few more chickens...

Including two Silverlaced Polish. We're pretty sure this one is a rooster, which means we'll have to
 find him a new home eventually. In the meantime, I call him Po-Boy... short for Polish boy.

I revamped the coop to accomodate smaller chicks and birds that get sick.. 
I cleaned it up and insulated it so that a good portion of it could be used 
by Jill for her garden shed. 

This is the view of the backyard taken from the North end. The chicken coop and yard are right behind me.  

 And this is the view from the south end... You can see the coop beyond the hammock.Stan is on the right enjoying the warm glow from the fire pit. Molly is to the left having just turned her nose up at Stan's stinky green toy. Stan loves that toy and secretly wishes Molly did too.

 A close up of the hammock... there's no better place for a nap in the late afternoon.

 I changed the fountain around a bit. It's hard to tell from this picture, 
but the water flows out of the clay jar and makes a nice, small waterfall.

 I hung a piece my father made on the studio wall. He didn't think it was art.

I disagree.

I built two new garden boxes on the side of the house for corn and squash

 Jill's wildflowers in the front yard.

And the Violas that were table decoration at the Viola Awards show the night she won hers. 

Cat mint around the maple tree in front.

Spaghetti and butternut squash in the wheel barrow.

An updated image of the pallet/trashcan screen I made last summer.

Home stretch

September 24th, 2013

It's been a while. I'm in the home stretch now. There's light at the end of the tunnel.
Actually, it's just light coming in through the clearstory windows (heh, heh).

I thought I had more images of putting up the sheetrock on the inside of the second building, but I don't . I only have the finishing stages of this section of the back wall. I created a row of fixed clearstory windows to let ambient light in. I suppose  finishing those was the most difficult part of sheet rocking this building.
This shot also shows the start of the build out for tables and shelves. I had a few structures from my garage studio, but some had to be resized to fit the new space. Here the room has already been painted with the same satin paint I used on the glaze studio.
This is the wedging table from the old studio. My wheel bat storage is undeneath. My second wheel is just to the right of this.

I put my dry storage behind the door. The removable shelves are 12"x 24" to match my kiln shelves. That helps give me an idea of how much work I need to make to fill a kiln. I have more of this shelf space outside on the kiln pad.
I mostly throw standing up. I like to have my tools handy.

This is actually a third wheel I have. I plan to use this to recreate the structure I used in France when I worked in Biot. Just to the left of that is a "damp box" I constructed. This Aridzona weather can dry things out very quickly.

 Another shot of the studio from the door. I know it seems a bit cramped, but there's more room than you realize. It works for me, especially when it comes time to heat the place.

This is the view looking out onto the kiln pad. I have a portable cart out there that I can also put pots on. The ladder is temporary.
A bit of a blurry shot of the shelving above the door. 
Jill's camera allows her to take panoramic shots. This shows most of the backyard. We love it! Click on it to make it larger.

Finally... a recent picture of my finger. Don't worry... it's not gory.

I think it's healing pretty well...


Deliberate, fascinate, deviate, insulate...

 Auguse 27th, 2013

The second building is coming along nicely. It's framed, roofed and now I've started to insulate and Sheetrock the inside.


It looks pretty rough at this point. 

Adding insulation is probably my least favorite part... I'm using R-13 through out. I added some clerestory windows for added light. It's a nasty job,  but somebody's gotta do it.

Here I put together one of those handy Sheetrocker's helpers. It really did help,but I still needed Jill's second pair of hands to get the ceiling in place.


Okay, enough of that inside stuff. I had to include some more shots of the outside. 
 This is a nice shot of the whole kit-n-kaboodle.
Jill added some perennials to the garden boxes. We love the meandering way of these flowers.


The garden took a real beating early in the summer when a surprise hailstorm impaled it with quarter sized hail. We didn't have to replant, but we also weren't sure if it would rebound. We'll likely cover it in a few weeks to extend the season.

I call this shot "Full Moon Over Studio".  It's a shot of a full moon over the studio.  Need I say more?

Oh, and of course, I didn't forget the finger update: Two views this time: 

View #1-

View #2-

Fountain Head

 August 22nd, 2013

This isn't actually part of the construction process, though I do consider landscaping to be an essential element to all building structures.

After I finished graduate school, I spent most of the summer in Biot, France, working at a pottery that had been producing classical olive jars since the early 1900's. They were very open about their process, which dated back to the time of the Roman occupation of their village (I was told by another passenger at the airport who saw the stamp on my pot that Biot translates to two 8's which refers to the original inhabitants of the village when the Roman occupation took place. )

My time there was extraodinary! I would hike down the hill at 6 am from my host's house. From their homestead, I could see the French Alps to the north and the mediterranean sea to the south.   After a day's work, I would often hike down to the beach and listen to the waves of the "la Mediterranee" lap against the rocks. While the Pottery often took on students to teach them their unique process, my skill level actually allowed me to contribute to their production line. In short, I produced more than they would have charged a normal student, so my "fee" was waived.  I worked primarily with Alberto, a man from Portugal who had no prior pottery experience. The beauty of the technique was that it allowed workers unskilled in pottery to create these large, beautiful Jarres de Biot. Alberto and I, though not sharing a common language, were able to communicate through the motions and gestures brought about by a mutual understanding of working with clay. As I said, it was a remarkable experience. In gratitude, I gave them a climbing rose bush to thank them for my time there. They then offered me the choice of  any pot I wanted. The result was this beautiful vessel. I  had made similar ones during my time there, so I wanted a remembrance of what I was taught to create. It stands approximately 3 feet tall and has a golden lead glaze on the it's outer surface. It was given to me the day before I flew out of France so I didn't have time to check it with the airlines.  Fortunately, the flight crew of each leg of my journey stowed it in whatever nook or cranny they could find. I shudder to think what the result would have been post 9/11. I am eternally grateful that the airlines helped me to transport this treasure home.  I recently turned it into a fountain to bring the wonderful sounds of falling water on our environment. With the completion of the studio, I hope to resurrect the process and tradition they taught me so many years ago. Thank you to the potters of Auge' Laribe Potterie in Biot, France and to my great friends, Marco and Deborah Brothier. Without their assistance, this never would have been possible for me!
Thank you!

Mish Mash

August 19th, 2813

Okay, I'm going to post several images of the different stages of progress with both buildings. I've also decided that, at the end of each post from this point on, I'll provide a link to view the latest image of my finger. I'd like to document the stages of healing. So, like the newscasts on television, stay tuned for updates. (or for those of you who have a morbid curiosity, just scroll down to the bottom of the post for the link. )


The glaze studio stocked with glazes and materials. I really like experimenting with different glaze recipes so I like to have a full compliment of materials.


 This is a how the glaze room looks with the final coat of paint. I used heavy duty enamel porch paint for the counter tops.


This is the view I have from my glaze studio. From here I have a perfect view of the girls. 


It was dusk so the Girls were bedding down for the night.