Books Acquired January 1 to June 1, 2013



Photo by Amanda Larner. We nipped down to the back parking lot on our lunch break, set them up against a sheet of white paper, and got some shots. Individual ones, and also a group shot.


Interestingly, the only cup I’m displeased with (Backyard Gardening… second form the right, in the front row) is the one I’ve had the most positive comments on.




i dislike the blotchiness in the glaze, because I was aiming for something more even. But everyone else likes it because of that same blotchiness. It’s a cup that decided to do its own thing.

First Glaze Firing

Griselda’s first glaze firing was yesterday! I unloaded her this morning. She can only hold about half the stuff even the wee Rocket kiln at the clay studio can, so that’s going to bring my firings a lot closer together, but she cools down MUCH faster. Time from cracking the lid to taking out the bottom pieces was all of three minutes, and I sure as heck didn’t break a sweat.




Also, all the cups for Hot Mud came out. Above, that’s “Crewelwork Embroidery”, “Perdido Street Station”, and “Crafted”. I’m delighted with some of the batch, satisfied with others, and frankly disappointed with Backyard Gardening. Oh well. Most of them worked.

Hot Mud

Okay. Decision made. I’m making a mini-library for the Hot Mud show. Books acquired January 1-June 1 2013.


Fairest: Wide Awake, by Bill Willingham et al.

A Song for Arbonne, by Guy Gavriel Kay

In the Company of Others, by Julie E. Czerneda[1]

Crafted: Upstart on the Make, by Maegan Black[2]

How To Get Your Cat To Do What You Want, by Warren and Fay Eckstein[3]

T-Rex Trying, by Hugh Murphy

Mistral’s Kiss, by Laurell K. Hamilton

Backyard Homesteading, A Back-to-Basic Guide to Self-Sufficiency, by David Toht

The Affinity Bridge, by George Mann

Crewel Embroidery, by Erica Wilson Kagan 

Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

Aaaand in a sudden flash of junior high nostalgia, I also picked up four of those X-Wing novels from the nineties a few weeks ago.


I have everything figured out except Perdido Street Station. Oh shucks I shall have to read it…


[1] Will need some luster. Hrm. Deadline is deadliney.

[2] Being in the book, I got 5 complimentary copies, so should properly make 5 cups. Time and desire to do so may interfere.

[3] Ha!

A Lesson in Labels

When the kiln had cooled enough to take out the first RAWR cups, I noticed something alarming: the insides were very matte. Like, not the smooth matte I’d planned. Almost… bare clay matte.

And a horrible suspicion formed in my brain. A horrible, horrifying suspicion.

I have two yoghurt tubs of white goop sitting amongst my glazes. One is white slip, labelled “white”. One is white glaze, labelled “New Blue Base” on the side and–because it’s not the first time I’ve used that lid for yoghurt tubs full of glaze–“Dark Stormy Night” on the lid. In my glazing frenzy, I had not picked up the uncoloured base glaze I’d planned on using. I picked up the sensibly-but-unsufficiently-specifically labelled tub of white slip. And poured the wrong stuff inside every one of my new cups. It’s not even particularly well-vitrified slip, so they certainly weren’t food-safe.

Argh, argh, argh.


ImageLuckily, there’s a studio glaze firing scheduled for tomorrow. I don’t know if it was my habit of stuffing studio pieces in between any and all cracks in my own firings or the sheer terror and desperation on my face, but I was allowed to sneak half a shelf of mugs in. They will be re-fired. The correct stuff has been poured into the insides, the buckets are now better labelled, and barring weird clay-slip-glaze interactions, the cups will be both okay AND out of the kiln the morning of the Sin City Crafters Handmade Market. And the day may yet be saved.


Spring cups



Aaaand on the other side…




It’ll be a darker, intense red after it’s fired. I think I’ll glaze the inside matte white, like the RAWR cups (I’ve got a bucket of cephalopot glaze without colourants in it that would work), and maybe my leftover satin turquoise could go down the sides on the outside. And I can just brush a thin layer of glossy clear over the flower and the bee.