Stogged

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Stog: v DC ~ Nfld ([1836], 1937) for sense 1; cp EDD v1 2 ‘to surfeit with food’ W for sense 3; OED v2 1, EDD v1 1 Bk Ha So D Co for sense 4. 
   1 To fill the chinks in a log-house with moss; to insulate a house; CHINSE. 
   2 To block or clog an aperture; STOP v. 
   3 To fill completely. 
   4 To be stuck in boggy ground or snow. 
  

You can check the entry over at the Dictionary of Newfoundland English for usage examples. In this case, I am using it in its third sense. (That one empty shelf has a pile o’ mugs on it now.)

 

In gardening news, I got my fall bulb order! Squee! I expanded the existing flower bed and put in phlox, a bleeding heart, two geranium roots, and scattered clumps of tulips, daffodils, crocus, and glory of the snow. I still have some daffs and a bleeding heart left; they’ll be put in the back yard somewhere. Probably under the tree my hammock is in. And that’ll be it for flower-related stuff until probably June or so. There will be some spaces to fill in the bed, but I haven’t decided yet what I want to put in there. I’ll just wait and see how much space the existing things take up and make a decision later.

What I Did This Weekend

I worked on my Annual Members Exhibit Submissions.

White clay, black underglaze and sgraffito. The shape is inspired by Victorian porcelain, and the design is inspired by crewelwork embroidery. It’s not as elaborate as my original plan… I figured I’d see if I could get the hang of the “grammar” or crewelwork before I went and complicated it with other shapes… but I’m still happy with it. I started off with two bowls and four teacups. The goal is to submit one or two bowls and two cups. So far, one cup was lost to handle crackage, and one cup has been deemed to ugly to submit, but the rest soldier on.

I also organized cups.

Some to the shop, some to Model Citizens. A handful held back for Fresh Fish (June 23rd! Tell everyone you know!), and more thrown and waiting for firing. The rest of them are gallery teacups. Lots of Star Wars comics and textbooks in this batch.

That’s Wildflowers of Fogo Island and Change Islands, by Todd Boland, The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, by Kevin J. Anderson, and From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures:V), by Alexander Callander Murray.

Accomplishments and Regrets

The first load of gallery teacups are in the kiln today for a bisque, along with some Robots and sundry tiles. I am able to fill the big kiln with three weeks’ work! Woohoo!

Now that I’ve taken a breather from the break-neck pace of teacup creation, I have come across a few little points of dissatisfaction with my work. I wish my idea for the Sandman cups was stronger (though there is still time to change them, so *that’s* okay). I wish I had thought to make Bonk my 69th cup, and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy should have been the 42nd. I wish I had put more test tiles in the last few months’ glaze firings; my existing glazes and underglazes are nice and all, but half the cups will need something different if they are to turn out the way I want them to.

Ah well. Another three hundred-something teacups to go. Plenty of time to get it all right…

100!

The curvy jobby on the left there is cup number 100, “Two Lives of Charlemagne”[1]. The one on the right is the one I spent a good two hours carving yesterday evening, “Guards! Guards!”. A dragon features heavily, as you may or may not have guessed. I still want to go over the edges of the scales, and emphasize them a little more (some undercuts, maybe? It would certainly make them look spikier…), so they actually look like scales and not an odd checkered pattern, but I wanted to post the picture of it as it is now, because I’m really proud of that cup and was getting impatient to share it.

[1] Meaning, two historical accounts of the life of Charlemagne that happen to be bound together into one volume. Not actually about Charlemagne’s mainstream public life and scandalous behind-the-scenes shenanigans. I was disappointed.

Milestones

Just past 15% of the gallery teacups are thrown! Woohoo![1]

Cup number 50 is for “Edgar Allan Poe: Collected Stories and Poems Illustrated”, a satisfyingly hefty and pretty volume which I have shamefully neglected to actually read ever since receiving it from my brother one Christmas.

I’m not sure quite what I want to do with this cup, yet, so I’m keeping it under plastic until I’m sure my plans don’t include anything best done whilst green. Maybe I should sit down sometime this weekend and get to know the book from whence it sprang.

[1] Only another 390 or so to go.[2]

[2] Plus saucers, trays, etc. Oh, and there’s the trimming. Musn’t forget the trimming.[3]

[3] And the carving, stamping, underglazing, attaching of handles, and/or sgraffitoing, as appropriate. Oh yes, and I also have to fire and glaze and fire everything.[4]

[4] I want to lie down now.

Mojo

The long haul of summer-and-Christmas production is winding down now. I will have one–maaaaaybe two–firing cycles between now and the new year. There will be a pile of Robot mugs coming out soon, and after that, I will give in to burnout. I have been feeling tired lately–not just because of the faster pace the busy season brings, and not just because of the very specific variety of exhaustion that craft fairs bring. I have been feeling emotionally drained… I spent four and a half years as a caregiver for a sick husband. I left him in August. There is guilt, and sadness, and more mountains of guilt attached to that decision. Dealing with that, on top of a full-time job and an expanding business, is difficult.

So. There will be one more whirlwind batch of Robot mugs, and after that, I will take my time making things. They will be one of a kind or small series. Many of them will be book-related, because I have been getting insanely impatient to get rolling with the teacup project, and because it’ll give me an excuse to read a big ol’ pile of books.

I will take the next few months and make things Because I Want To. Unless someone asks me reeeeally nicely, the production lines will be dormant between now and Fresh Fish.

I can’t wait for this holiday to start…

And again…

Last pile o’ stuff before Folk Fest is bisqued, and being glazed and fired over the next week. Almost there.

And my brain is doing its thing again. The “production is HARD, go have other ideas!” thing. Always, inconveniently enough, when I need to focus on producing things for a big loomy deadline. Right now I’m dreaming of wood firings. Reduction copper reds, and chuns, and flashes of orange and reactive slips andandand… All sort of a moot point at the moment, as there are no wood kilns in the province that I know of. And from what little I know, the freeze-thaw cycles here would be sort of nasty to any that might be built. But the ideas just keep coming. And maybe one day I can put them to practice.