Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More Ramblings. Ceramics, Gardening, Misc...

So my yukky skin condition is still lingering, but it's starting to show miniscule signs of improvement ("I'll take it!").

At least, outwardly anyway, I look a bit less Reptilian. But the bottoms of my feet are still flaring up and it hurts like a Mo'Fo!

I hope it clears up by Friday - that's all I've got to say!

Friday, P and I are going to the San Francisco Garden Show in San Mateo. Turns out I lied in my last post, the Master Gardeners' Sale is the following weekend!.

Anyway, I'm sure there will be some "walking" to do (Eeek!). But hopefully, also, some Super-Cool Gardening ideas as well!

And I hope to come back all "pumped-up" and ready to tackle my Yard Chores with a vengeance! At the very least: clean-up my greenhouse to the point where I can store my Master-Gardener-Sale purchases (which will be abundant!!!).

Then on Saturday, we are going to a different ceramic studio to learn how to make clay birdhouses. I have a sneaking suspicion mine is gonna end up looking a bit more like a Tiki Hut!

Honestly, that's another reason I need my skin to clear up. Not sure if playing with mud is such a good idea when my hands are all foobar'd :::sigh:::

And Clay-Play while wearing gloves just ain't gonna cut it!

Our primary interest in the birdhouse workshop, actually, is to start checking out other studios in the area. P has her own Clay-House and kiln - but her kiln isn't hooked up (it's 220V and I don't think she's got a place to plug it in). She is still affiliated with the old studio, but is contemplating a possible move. So we basically just want to check this place out.

I recently canceled my membership at my last studio. It was a nice enough studio, but not really geared toward hand-building. And the firing schedule was kind of "hit-and-miss" (It's kind of sucky to give Christmas Presents in February!).

For wheel-throwing, it was pretty good: Lots of wheels and plenty of instruction available. And I really liked the wide variety of clays and glazes to choose from. But there really weren't any comfortable table/chair arrangements for sitting and sculpting and whatnot. Not really a complaint, mind you - just a simple fact.

And, other than P, I really didn't "resonate" with anybody there. But then again, I kinda view ceramic arts as a solitary, almost-therapeutic pastime - for me, anyway (On the other hand, since glazing kinda drives me nuts, I actually *do* like having someone around to talk-to/distract me when I'm doing that!)

To be honest, I really don't *need* to be associated with a studio, for the kind of stuff I do. And now that I have my own kiln, it became a waste of money because I was paying (a rather significant chunk-o-change) to maintain my membership - for resources that I never EVER used!

But... There are definitely some advantages to being linked to a studio: Social-interaction is one (if you're into that). Inspiration is another (it's cool to see other people's techniques and ideas). And access to a BIG kiln and other firing techniques is nice, too. And, in fact, someday - if I ever go back to making "big" pieces, I may HAVE to join a studio - just so I can fire 'em!

One thing that I would like access to is a Raku Kiln. I could probably build one myself (tons of resources on the web for that). But Raku firing is messy, smoky (and dangerous!) business - so if that's something I want to pursue in the future... Well....

Like I say, we're just using this opportunity to check out a different studio. And we may go look into others... We'll see!

For now, I am perfectly content with my li'l Tiki Shack and small-ish electric kiln.

Anyway, that's about all the News that's Fit to Print. Tonight, I am making a Leeky French Onion Soup with Mushrooms, that may evolve into something else. It's simmering on the stove now (and the scrumptious aroma is making my tummy rumble!). If it turns out to be stupendously delicious, I'll post the recipe.

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