Fresh Fish 6

Fresh Fish! 6 was this weekend at the Anna Templeton Centre. Different venue, different organizers, largely different crowd of vendors (but a few long-timers, too). I had a good day. Got to meet some new people and see some old faces. Also got to acquire a neato-cool moose mobile and a genuine Andrew Harvey t-shirt[1], and eat some stellar food.

Some of this spring’s crewelwork experiments came along, too. They seemed to go over well. I sold half of them, which is a good debut. I’d like to have a full line by the time the big craft fair rolls around… bowls and plates and maybe a teapot, to go with the mugs. Maybe even teacups and/or saucers.

[1] It’s light blue, and says, “I miss cursive writing” in slightly incorrect[2] cursive.

[2] By the standards of Mme Brouard. I don’t know what Andrew’s grade three teacher’s rules were for the formation of “m”. Perhaps she just taught a different style of cursive.


Fresh Fish was fun. Less attendance than last year, which I think had a lot to do with the downpour we got partway through the day, but sales were very similar to last year (for me, anyways… dunno about anyone else…), so that’s okay.

Lots of positive comments about the experimental mugs[1], and lots of people noticed the new turquoise/blue/purple glaze on the wall pieces[2]. And this afternoon I got an order for wall pieces, which is happy-making for me. I think I’ll mix up a few more batches of that glaze, with a bunch of different colourants, and just go mad slapping them on slabs. Since it’s not going on a food surface, I can even dabble with some of the more toxic things, and maybe get colours I wouldn’t otherwise. Fun times.

[1] Some turned out well, some didn’t. I put out the ones I liked, and will probably reglaze the others.

[2] I’ve been trying for two days now to upload pics, but the adobe plugin keeps crashing. Hm.

Lessons Learned at 4:00 am

1. Don’t do math when you’re so tired you’re shaking.
1.a) Whatever math mistake you think you’ve made, it will be a different one after a few hours’ sleep.

2. If the instructions on the bottle of resist say “wait a minimum of two hours before glazing”, you wait two hours, not two minutes.

3. If you went ahead and ignored the resist warnings, you can still fix things with a brush and a scraping tool. And that will be annoying, but will get you in bed by 5:00 am instead of 7:00 am.

Glazing and loading the last kiln load on Thursday night (and Friday morning) took a lot out of me. But I survived. And the pots survived. And the first wall pieces are done, and I’m even pleased with them!

Will be at Fresh Fish!5 all day Sunday, and am hoping other people are pleased with stuff as well. We shall see.

Fresh Fish! Mayday! Yayday!

The events list for this weekend is up! Includes all kinds of fun things, like the Seconds Sale, Mayday Yayday! and, my favourite[1], Fresh Fish!5.

I will be frantically robotizing mugs an mixing up new glazes for the wall pieces[2] for the next two evenings.

[1] Because I’ll be there selling pots. But the other stuff should be fun too, especially Yayday. It’s even easy walking distance from Fresh Fish, so you can see both.

[2] Not one exploded! Yay! I was worried about that. I only rolled out the slab on Friday, for a bisque firing Monday.


Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City

Columbia Restaurant Tile Staircase Ybor Tampa

One of the things that struck me in Florida was the potential of ceramic wall art. I mean, sure, tiles have been kind of hovering in the background for years. I know they exist, and I know you can make beautiful things with them, but I’d never been somewhere so insistently decorated with them. The Columbia Restaurant up there was the most glorious example[1][2], but there were cool paving stones and neat little tricks with brickwork and moulded cement and mosaics all over the place. St. John’s may be known for colour, but it’s not known for patterns or textures. We look just plain boring compared to some of the neighbourhoods down there.

Anyways. I’m not to the point yet of room-wrapping mosaic pieces[3], but I would like to try my hand at some flat things to put on walls. Probably some small pieces, to start… they can be my new product at this year’s Fresh Fish. We shall see how it goes.

[1] Best. Mojitos. Ever. The pitcher came with sugar cane pieces stuck in it!

[2] Actually, that whole building is a work of art. Not just for the tiles, but for the stained glass, the woodwork, the archways, the balconies, the metalwork… Anything that could be carved was carved, and everything that couldn’t be carved was tiled or textured or painted something bright.

[3] Although if I get one excuse to do a staircase like the one above…


Fresh Fish 4 has come and gone. After an exceptionally stressful morning[1] I managed to get myself, my pots, and my shelves to the Masonic Temple and all set up on time.

We had a great crowd this year; not so busy the place was crowded, but never really quiet, and pretty steady through the day. I recognized a lot of people from previous years, and even a bunch of conference-goers who’d turned up at the shop on Saturday and been handed fliers for the event. Alexis Templeton was doing a lot of promotion for us at her open studio this weekend, and that probably helped a lot.[4]

My first sale happened shortly after the doors opened[2], and I hit last year’s sales figures around quarter past one. I sold out of Robot mugs entirely, and got two requests for custom designs. Lots of compliments, and several repeat customers. I’m pretty darn happy.

Here is my booth and a delicious candied apple:

And today it was back to normal. Making Viking stuff. Getting an order in the mail. After Vikings, it’ll be manylots of Robot, and then rowhouses, and then the Folk Fest and then the Great Big Craft Fair. So much time stretching out in front of me, and so much of it’s full already.

[1] No, really.
[2] I immediately marched across the room and bought a candied apple from the Uke of Duckworth. It was delicious. Also, my sales suddenly spiked.[3]
[3] Could there be a link? Sales slowed down again once the candied apple was gone, and slowed to almost nothing when the pasta salad came out, despite the fact I was very careful not to add tuna or garlic to it. Clearly, seller eating candied apple = cheerful person who is enjoying and sharing the festive, carefree fair spirit. Seller eating pasta salad = tired person on desperately needed lunch break who nobody wants to bother.
[4] And her son makes wonderful cheesecake. I bought a slice.


Only two more sleeps till Fresh Fish! This was my living room last night. (Cat included for scale.)

I brought out every box of pottery, electrical cords, and lights that I have, and went through them. Organized pottery by lines, put all the booth and selling stuff (invoice book, pens, price tags) together. Threw out all the crumpled newspaper and bubblewrap that wasn’t actually around anything. Repacked it all so there are no more half-empty boxes taking up room. In the end, I got the total volume of pottery-related stuff down by half.

(Oh, alright, the cat’s included for cuteness, too.)


Maybe it’s the warm spell that makes it feel like spring. Maybe it’s the excitement over Fresh Fish. Maybe it’s the sheer exasperation of owning so many painting supplies and not using them more than once every two or three years. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I wanted to make something different today, so I bought some paper and cut some planks of scrap wood, and spent a good chunk of my day drawing or painting Robot. (I drew and painted a few other things, too, but mostly I was in a Robot mood.) There are a bunch of little doodle cards, and a half dozen wood/paint/collage thingies that could be hung on the wall once I get a hanger thingummy nailed to ’em.

I guess I’ll sell them at Fresh Fish or something. I really don’t have much product that’s under thirty dollars, and they could fill the niche quite nicely.