Rain….Frost…..Apples….Pumpkins & Clay Bodies

Greetings on this lovely Sunday evening. We are finally getting some Autumn weather – not much mind you, but a bit. It finally rained Friday/Saturday, not nearly enough to do much, the garden still has mostly dry soil; I was able to walk around with just my sneakers without worry of sinking down to my ankles or get muddy at all. Thanks to the hard frost last night, the flowers are finally finished. It’s time to get out there and pull up irrigation and such, see what we can do to get it tilled under before the weather turns really bad. We shall see what happens.

We harvested a ton of apples last night, while I was processing them this afternoon Lily was napping and Joe was picking more from the different trees. I made a big batch of apple sauce and a casserole dish of apple crisp. It will be nice to get the apple sauce put into jars and canned for the next season ahead. It’s always nice to pop open a jar of homemade goodness on a stormy winter afternoon!

We had the loveliest of times at the kids’ house today. They hosted a pumpkin carving party, such a delight to see how the kids are growing and blossoming into even more amazing adults. Our daughter-in-law made up all sorts of goodies, pizza was served, cupcakes were made – a ton of work for sure-beautifully done!

The party spread
A few of the masterpieces

I haven’t had much time to do clay. Last Saturday was the craft fair, that I must admit wasn’t super great, it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t as great as I was hoping. I had some old high school people stop in, and a flower friend stopped by to give some support too, it’s always fun to visit with people. After being outside all day Saturday in the wild fire smoke, my voice was starting to go. I spent all day Sunday cleaning and organizing the garage so I could park my car in there for the winter, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday were full days of work, Thursday was a full day with mom, Friday was work again and a meeting with a possible caregiver, Saturday was house cleaning day, catch up with Joe, babysit Lily, then today was pumpkin & apple day.

I did manage to throw three small vessels Tuesday night, and roll out some clay on Wednesday. I purchased a fun stamp from Vermont Pottery Works, it took five weeks to get here, but it’s finally here. I’m hoping to have a few things for the show on the 5th, but I’m not going to push it, I’m just super busy….

A few fun pieces from the stamps & textured roller from VPW
These will not reach vitrification -I didn’t know that when I threw them, I might just put them in the reclaim bucket & let them go

I’m pretty sure that I would never do clay again if I didn’t make it a priority – there’s so much to do, all the time – no matter what – there’s always something to do. It’s a bit like trying to exercise, it doesn’t just happen, you have to make time for it and set aside time for it if it’s important. Speaking of which, I need to get back to my Yoga, I certainly haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t stopped eating what I want when I want it, so I can’ expect too much of a miracle, but I do notice that I’m able to get up and down off the ground with my second grader at work much easier and running after the grands has been pretty okay too.

I did spend some time on the phone with week with Clay Art Center of Tacoma. They were very helpful with all of my questions. I’ve been part of a Facebook group called Clay Buddies, I’ve posted questions on there about vitrification, but can never really get a straight answer. After speaking with CAC it’s come to my attention that one of the clay bodies I’ve been working with will never fully vitrify, meaning – it will always seep. It’s called Idaho Buff SM– which the SM is the important part, because there are three different types of Idaho Buff clay- SM -the one with speckles in it has manganese, making it porous. It’s not a huge deal, but possibly frowned upon if you were perhaps make a mug and want it to not hold bacteria and kill a person some day. For vases, trinket dishes and ornaments it’s great. I’m sure it’s not that drastic, but in reality I don’t want to be selling something that may harbor bacteria (but then we have wooden spoons that are obviously porous, but we still use them?!). I also discovered another one that I’ve been using – Bennett, also has a high absorption rate, but the person told me that it would make good oven ware – wait, what? How can that be? I didn’t get a chance to ask, but will certainly be asking next time I call. I also discovered that the clay body Whitestone that I love so much, seals up very nicely.

I visited the local clay studio, Burnish Clay, in Bellingham to pick up more Whitestone, but they didn’t have any. The young person there was very helpful, introducing me to a new clay body OH 6, which I believe is a clay that a local artist, Uncle Jesse, uses on all his oven ware pieces. I chatted with Jesse at the tractor show this summer in Lynden, and we happened to do the same craft fair last weekend. He was kind and came over to chat with me, check things out and ask some questions always chatting clay and giving me words of encouragement. I met another lady who lives locally that also does clay, we chatted shop for a bit, but she never did introduce herself. It’s always fun to make connections and talk shop with people.

I’m looking forward to trying the OH6 soon….but we shall see when and if that happens this week. Take some time this week to do something fun, make it a priority – it’s important to do fun things too! It can’t all be about work & responsibilities! Until next time my friends – hugs to you.

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