Friday, April 20, 2012

Salute to the Wood...

cupcake stands
 In honor of Earth Day this coming Sunday 4/22 I'm posting my own personal salute to the ever lovin' wood that fuels the wood kiln and makes my pots so darn nice! I love you wood...all the hard wood scraps that Nancy scavenges and hauls from the Amish lumber mills...all the fallen trees...old pallets...and hickory spokes that were not quite straight enough for the buggy wheels...I love you all. AND to show I truly care, I planted my second tree of the new Spring season today...a Vesuvius Plum. A few weeks earlier I planted a Kwanzan it has a friend out there in the new yard.

To make this salute even better I am posting(click to see bigger) a bunch of pictures of some of the pieces from my recent firing with Nancy at Little Mahoning Creek Pottery. Everything turned out pretty sweet. Above and below are glamour shots out in the sunshine...perched on and guessed it...wood! Some will get further surface embellishments...some are good just as you see them. So I will say thank you Mother Earth for all this goodness... now shut your computer down and get out there and plant a tree(after checking out my wood fired pieces...of course).

tumblers...ready for iced coffee?

detail shot of  mug pictured above
serving bowl with lug style handles
interior of bowl pictured above

another mug...

and yet another mug still!

triangular bowl

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What's up!

Whats up!?...good question...a lot actually. First, my asparagus are coming up...its my first year getting asparagus from the garden and I am pretty stoked about it...I love asparagus. The image above is one of the little guys pushing through the grass clippings I tossed all over the garden.

What else is up besides your boring old veggies you ask? Well, I was up late this week firing the wood kiln with Nancy Smeltzer at Little Mahoning Creek Pottery.. We loaded and bricked up the door on Tuesday night and Nance started firing early Wednesday morning and when I got off work, I took over for a while and gave her some time to rest. She and I fired until 2:30 am before I hit the wall. I stayed long enough to add in the salt/soda mix and then had to crash. Nancy fired another hour before she too was done. I am excited to see the results but I have to wait until I travel back on Tuesday to see my wood fired booty. Above and below are a few pics of work I had going in the kiln...Nancy loading...and me on pics to see bigger.

Finally and probably the best "whats up" of the day is the news that The Self Serve Pottery Kiosk is back up and running!!! I just returned from installing it in the Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea Company. The Kiosk features work by Adam Paulek, Dan Kuhn and myself. It runs on the honor simply open the door, look around and find what you like...try out the handle, see how it feels...then slide your cash or check into the money box below. Mostly it is full of mugs and cups but there is also a random tea pot, pitcher and batter bowl too. Here are a couple pics of Bethany, who along with her husband Russ own and operate this thriving coffee shop and cafe. Honestly, this place is more than just a coffee shop...last night my wife and I met another couple there and had a four course, delicious and attractively plated dinner. It was their "Farm to Table" dinner that they do once a month...all the food is fresh and direct from where its grown...asparagus and prosciutto, roasted lamb, fresh snow peas and pasta, yum... we are already looking forward to the next one! That's what up this week homies...freshly fired pots are up next week...stay tuned.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In your basket...

Hoppy Easter...eggs.

The Bunny was good to my baby girl and all the family left a couple hours back... and I'm still feeling stuffed ...ham, sweet potatoes, name it and its in "mah bellah"... that's what I said to the chocolate cake afterwards too..."get in mah bellah!" I'm feeling like the Easter Fat Bastard. Thankfully the "Y" will be open tomorrow.

On another note I have some freshly fired decal mugs thanks to Dan Kuhn and another small load of mostly mugs and tumblers  ready to toss into the wood kiln with Nancy Smeltzer at Little Mahoning Creek Pottery. Maybe all this food will sustain me through the driving, teaching, and firing into the night that I have coming up this week. Honestly, I am thrilled to be wood firing again and very pleased with the forms I have in the firing. I will be sure to post pics from the firing next weekend.

And finally my golden egg for your blog basket today is a bit of good news...Adam Paulek's brain storm invention, "The Self Serve Pottery Kiosk" will be up and running again here in western PA. If you remember a year or so ago we placed the kiosk in a cafe in Indiana, had a good run but sadly this winter that cafe had to close its doors for good. Well, the kiosk has found a new home and I hope to install it this week here in my new neighborhood of Beaver Falls with the good folks of The Beaver Falls Coffee &Tea Company. I love this place and the attitude, or lack there of, that comes with it. This humble coffee shop is owned by a young family that is dedicated, committed and actively working towards revitalizing this old steel town. Located just across the street from Geneva College they are a very popular spot with the student crowd as well as the slightly older folks like me who live in the neighborhood just behind it. This place is more than just a coffee shop...they have started a food co-op, offer fresh baked goods, have live music sometimes and also have "Farm to Table" dinners once a month. Click on the link and check these guys out...better yet, come to Beaver Falls...drink their coffee and peruse the new pieces offered up in the Self Serve Potter Kiosk! Mugs, tumblers and teapots by Adam Paulek, Dan Kuhn, and myself.
from left to right: Kyle Houser, Adam Paulek, Dan Kuhn