Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 wasn't a good pottery year

Welcome to the first day of 2020!  Can't believe that this is my first post since last January?!  What'd happened to 2019?

Yes, just like the title says, 2019 really wasn't a good pottery year.  It started out strong in January and then it'd gone downhill.  :(

Last January, I kept in touch with the lady who interested in some plates and bowls.  I started making those plates back then, however, she'd written back to have those on hold.  It was perfectly fine for me as I was only seeking for new ideas.  I managed to make 7 plates and was quite pleased with them.

Unfortunately work got really busy in the first half of the year.  I did a lot of overtime and really didn't have time to make any new pieces.

Then the Summer came, many weekends were spent on the golf courses.  Again pottery didn't make it to the priority list.

So, did I make anything else?  Yes I did.  The motivation came from signing up for my annual pottery show with the Ottawa Guild of Potters.  In October (after I signed up for the show), I started to spend more time in the studio.  I was able to have a total of 43 pieces made this year which was reasonable as I really only spent 3 months on it.

Getting ready for the show is always challenging, however, I was able to get everything ready the weekend prior to the show.  It made the show a lot less stressful (especially comparing it with the one in 2018 where I stayed up past 11pm to get everything ready the night before).  

The show went really well, I guess with the combination of the Christmas Market and the time (mid-December), everyone was in the mood to shop.  We had to open up the door early on Friday and stayed an extra hour on Friday night!  And the overall sale number for the guild went up quite a lot.  It was very encouraging for all of us at the show.

Just before the show, a customer reached out to me for a couple of votive candle holders in mysterious blue.  I will start working on them real soon.

Let's check the list from last year:
- I didn't do anything for Great Bowls of Fire :( and didn't check rather or not those bowls I made are acceptable
- I worked on the commission plates but just didn't sell
- I made quite a number of blue mugs (although they were done in the second half of the year :p) and 2 of them went to a very nice couple
- didn't make any new teapot or casserole, but I finally fired the teapot I made a couple of years ago
- I made some more espresso cups and a few of them went to new homes (I hope the owners like their cup of Java in the new cup)

Since I really didn't make pottery one of the priorities last year, I probably shouldn't make a list this year.  But I plan to still do my annual show, so I am sure I will make new pieces.

Bye for now.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

January 2019

For the first month of 2019, it was started out very productive.  I spent one Saturday and did up 6 plates that are mostly the same look and same size.  However, after they dried up a little, I decided to only keep 3 of them.  
Unfortunately those were the only things I made in January.  Now on to February.  

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Year in review: 2018

Another year is coming to an end (the same opening as last year 😛)

It has been quite a year and I needed to review my last year review prior starting this one.

It was a tough year at work especially the second half of the year.  Things unfortunately didn't go the right direction and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't steer back to the right path.  At least I can say out loud that I'd done my very best.  

Work affected me negatively for the most part of September and October, but with what I hear from the news (the natural disasters, the fights between countries), I find myself extremely lucky to have a great family, friends, a job and my hobbies.  I am thankful for this and have left those negative thoughts behind me (at least I tried).  

I started the pottery season early this year as I had a great show in 2017, made something new (garlic keeper) in December/January and it's now in a good home.

I also made my 10 bowls for Great Bowls of Fire, however I missed the deadline for this year.  Plus these bowls seem to have pointy rim, not sure if they are acceptable.  Guess I will look into it in March.

I did make quite a number of mugs and 4 of them are now in Hong Kong with my parents' friends.  I hope they like them.  And 4 others will be travelling with my in-laws to Malaysia at some point.
New mug

I kept my promise (at least the first half of the year) to make more pottery pieces, however, the Summer months didn't go as planned.  We had an extreme hot Summer (many days with the high of 40 degrees) and it was relatively dry.  As a golfer (my other hobby), I spent many weekends on the course this year.  Plus it was too hot to start the kiln anyway (my excuse).

Golfing finally ended at the end of October.  And October was a busy month, it was between golfing and pottery making as I was away in most of November.  I was rushing to get as many pieces ready for the December show as possible.

Just before our trip, OAG reached out to let me know all my pieces were sold and they were looking for more.  Good that they caught me early enough so that I was able to drop off more pieces the night before our vacation.  

With many late night for the first week of December, I had a relatively successful 3-day show at the Horticultural Building.  It wasn't as great as last year, but I still packed less than I brought over.  I also received a commission from a lady who stopped by the show.  The commission is 6 plates and 6 soup bowls.  Let's see how this will turn out.

Thank you to those who dropped by OAG and the Guild show.  You are all my motivation to keep up with pottery making.  And thanks to everyone who gave me new ideas and new challenges.

Plan for 2019:
1. Need to find out if those bowls I made last year good enough for Great Bowls, if not, I will need to make some more.
2. Work on the commission
3. I promised a pair of blue mugs for someone and I would like to get them ready in the first quarter of 2019
4. Perhaps I should make a teapot and a casserole?
5. Oh yea, I didn't make any cappuccino cups this year

Another good list.  Let's hope I will get most of them completed. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Oops missed 2 updates

Merry Christmas!

I guess my plan fell through...was quite busy the past couple of months and it's already Christmas.

Since we were away in most of November and the show was the first week of December, I spent many weekends in October making pieces for the show.  And the kiln was busy as well, good that October was cool so that the house wasn't too too warm from the firing.  

New mug style and colours for 2018

Between making new pieces and some golfing, I still managed to do most of firings before the trip, which made it a bit easier when I was back from vacation.

Our trip was great, we visited Hawaii and Tahiti.  The weather was mostly good, the food was awesome.  It was really hard to come back to reality.

I came back one week before the show with most evenings were spent on the final touch for the show (including one glaze firing).  I was still pricing at midnight the night before the show, guess I was really cutting close.  But I am happy I got it done.

The show was a little slow for me this year, but I am still happy with the result.  

I guess in a few days I will be concluding 2018.  

Saturday, October 6, 2018

September report

Another month had gone by.  September was again a busy month.  The weather was great until September 21st when a couple of tornadoes swept through Ottawa and Gatineau.  It was my first time hearing about tornadoes touched down in Ottawa.  The tornadoes were so strong that they flew away many power lines and power plant caused a major power outage.  We were so lucky that power was out only for less than 24 hours but many people were out of power for days.   

A combination of great weather (a lot more golfing) and the power outage, not much time was spent on pottery making.  However, I did do something pottery related (which might be a mistake or a motivation).  I signed up for the Christmas sale in December.  But the problem is that I will be away for 3 weeks in November!  This means in October (today is already October 6) I will have to spend much more time on pottery and prepping for the sale (the motivation 😅).

Well, I started to glaze some pieces in September and looking to make a few more mugs and bowls.  Then it will all be glazing and firing the kiln for the rest of October.  Wish me luck.  

Now back to the studio and get working....

Saturday, September 1, 2018

August just flew by us

Welcome to September!  Can't believe the Summer months had gone by so quickly.  I can't really complain much as the Summer has been great.  I spent a lot of time outside which meant that no much pottery was produced.

I did one thing though, I a new bucket of mysterious blue last weekend.  I must say that mixing glaze is my least favourite part of pottery making, but I did it with help from my husband which made the job a bit more enjoyable.😃  It still took us almost 2 hours to get it done!

As today is the start of the labour day long weekend, hopefully I will make some new pieces. 😏

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A record breaking month of July (weather-wise)


The past July was a hot and dry (mostly) one in Ottawa, many days were 40 degrees and over with the humidity.  It was hard but I found an evening to do a bisque (1st) firing.  It was much needed as I were running out of shelf space.

Bisque pieces

And during the very warm Canada Day long weekend, I decided to stay in the basement and made a few bowls.

Handbuilt plates made during the month of July

I went back to mid-porcelain clay again but this one took me 5 tries!  At least there was one that worked out (stage 1). 

So, overall July was better than June.  However, it's already August 7 as I am writing, and I didn't make any new pieces yet even though it was a long weekend (instead I spent all 3 days golfing).  I am going to have some catching up to do this month.