Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kiln Opening!

I fired the kiln last night and got to open it today to find all kinds of goodies! Last year at about this time Mike the Kiln Doctor tuned up my kiln and it's been fired very efficiently ever since. I have an old Skutt kiln and still fire with a kiln sitter (no fancy programable kiln for me!) and I'm getting to Cone 6 in about 4 or 5 hours after turning all the switches to High. The kiln is not only efficient, but also very reliable so that, barring any wild experiments on my part, I can be confident about the consistent outcome of my glazes. Here are a few pictures of today's opening.

The first photo shows my kiln gods at attention. Over the years, I've collected lucky stones, toys, magnets and other such things that I've been placing on the kiln to ensure a good firing. Right now my gods include a small frog; a magnet showing a spider with a funky spiderweb that says "Try, try again!"; small stone with a drawing of Kokopeli, the god of Mischief; another stone with the word "Balance" etched on it; a small white stone with a perfect hole in it; and so on... I do like stones, as you can tell... They always have something to whispe to me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Featuring Tracy Gordon

Today, I'm featuring Tracy Gordon, another member of the Virginia Design Style Guide team. Although I don't think I've ever met Tracy, we are both part of the Manassas Clay community, so I'm sure we're going to cross paths soon.

Tracy lives in Prince William County (Northern Virginia) and works for a local government elected official. She has two dogs, one who is definitely a "bad dog" and a puppy who has the potential for becoming a "good dog." While public administration at the local level has been Tracy's passion, she is loving her foray into artistic and creative endeavors, which she finds very fulfilling. Tracy's Etsy store is called New Dominion Blues and there she sells trivets and coasters, jewelry, garlands, photographs and other items. Currently, she is taking pottery classes and learning how to throw on the wheel. She finds the sensation of practically spinning a pot from her fingers to be almost magical.

The name of Tracy's shop has an interesting story behind it. Tracy and her husband are big fans of blues music and spend most of their vacations visiting Chicago, attending blues shows in little dive bars. They have tried to create a blues haven in their own home and have thought about starting their own blues bar in Northern Virginia, the Old Dominion. Since the blues bar is not yet a reality, Tracy thinks it's fitting that she name her first small business venture: New Dominion Blues.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More on the Virginia DSG Team

As I mentioned earlier, Design Style Guide has created state teams. I, of course, am a member of the Virginia DSG Team. Today, I am highlighting fellow team member Sue Furrow.

Sue loves to paint using acrylics and oils. She especially loves to paint on Masa Rice paper with acrylics, but because it's so time consuming she feels that it stands in the way of spontaneity and hasn't used it lately. Sue is inspired by nature and the pieces in her Etsy shop include wildlife, gardens and landscapes. She lives in Salem, Virginia, in the southwestern mountains of the Blue Ridge, outside of Roanoke and about 25 minutes away from Blacksburg and Virginia Tech (GO HOKIES!). She has a studio in her father's old workshop, which she cleaned out and remodeled to suit her needs.

Sue has a big family and a grand baby on the way. She works in a shoe store and she says that everything she knows about computers she learned in the past year. For someone with an online store and a blog, that's pretty quick learning if you ask me!