(You may have noticed we've been a little absent here. Because, well, toddlers + home renovation + running a business. No matter. We have missed you, and where better to start than the present? :) )
Lately, we have been . . .
Making . . . yes, pottery! It might sound obvious, and I'm sure most people think we do this every day of the year (that would be so nice, eventually, we hope!) but pottery making has been the major thing missing from our working lives because we are also . . .
Renovating. We spent the bulk of the winter months purging and packing the entire contents of our 1850's farmhouse in preparation for completely gutting the upstairs. It's a huge project, brought on by the need for a little thing called insulation, and we find ourselves banging nails, running wires, and coordinating all the contractors and pieces and decisions at the same time as we try to prepare 800 pots for a firing. I assure you, this was most definitely not the plan. The renovation was supposed to happen in our "off season."
But there you have it, and so it goes . . . fortunately, we are comfortably camping out in the 600 square feet above our studio space, so we're not feeling too rushed to get the project done on a deadline (right now, anyway, check back with me at the end of the summer ;) ). For now, not feeling too rushed plus not actually living in the mess, helps tremendously.
Taking a deep breath. Apparently winter ended last week, and now it's summer. Popping leaves, birds, green growing grass, daffodils, warm sun, mixing glazes outdoors. We'll take it.
Prepping. For our big firing of the year at the very end of June/beginning of July. We are so grateful for the energetic crew of potters and volunteers who help us with the four days of the firing itself, and all the tasks that go into being ready.
We had a really fun and productive work day a couple of weeks ago, where we stacked the holes in the kiln shed full of freshly cut slab wood, and started in on grinding and cleaning the kiln shelves. We ate good food and laughed a lot. It was the BEST of reminders of why we became wood-fired potters in the first place. We can't do it all ourselves. Exactly.
(Thank you Matt, Harrison, Jill, Lexi, Patty, and David!)
Lately, we are also . . .
Testing. For Christmas, Nathan and I bought ourselves a new electric kiln. (Practical and romantic! ;) ) For various reasons since we met (as potters in separate states) it's been seven years of driving various fragile pieces to fire in other peoples kilns. (We can't thank you enough Tiffany, Stephanie, and Joan!) However, we decided we'd like to move on, and that we were ready to have everything we needed right here.
Although most of our pottery is single-fired in it's raw state in the wood kiln, the small electric kiln will allow us to bisque fire a few pieces for the wood kiln that are better glazed when not leather hard, which is how we typically slip/glaze our work.
Additionally, and most excitingly (that's a word?), we'll use the kiln the fire small batches of finished work - remember the silky white glaze with designs?! It's actually quite nice, if I do say so myself, and the good news is that the preliminary results were really good. We'll be able to finish small batches of work in between our every six-months-to-a-year wood-firings. Hooray.
Enjoying. Playing in the sand in the driveway, digging in the garden, splashing in water and moving rocks and feeding chickens and . . . oh we're having so much fun with our little one. She's 1.5 years (wait, what?!) and so talkative, funny, happy, strong-minded, and loving.
We are tired (ahem) at the end of every day, and yet sooo ready to scoop her up again come morning.
Readying. For VT Open Studio, this coming Memorial Day Weekend. Our studio - and over 200 others around the state will be open Saturday May 23rd and Sunday May 24th from 10am to 5pm. We love this event. (Can we top last year?!)
Join us for the Tour in our area, there's lots to see! downloadable and printed map request here
You guys, we hope it won't be so long before we check back in. Stay with us. :)
Becca (and Nathan)