Sunday, June 1, 2014

Special Bowls!

As many of you know from reading my blog I am a potter who loves to spin!  Last Fall I wrote about my trip north to Vermont to visit my friend Kristen and her little piece of heaven, Gilead Fiber Farm.

Kristen works hard at a 9-5 job, comes home and works her second job caring for her animals; Angora and Cashmere goats, Finn and Shetland sheep, Leah the guard llama (Astrid will join her soon),  new piebald bottle babies, the kitties Fred and Ginger and her constant companions pups Max and young Rufus.

She has a loyal group of fans (I am definitely one of those) who follow her ups and downs through her Ravelry group devoted to the Gilead.  We hear about worm and parasite issues, read about her ram's unfortunate forays into the burdock patch, drool over pictures of the fleeces as they grow and see pictures of the lambs, quadruplets this year!

When shearing time comes and Kristen is able to see what her harvest looks like for the year she plans the year's "Harvest Shares."  Rather then a traditional CSA model she waits until she can inspect the quality and quantity of fiber, decides on yummy blends (often she blends her own wool with other breeds found locally to her farm in Vermont) and which will be sold as roving (wool ready to spin) and which will be processed into yarn. Then she announces what her products will be for the season! While we all scarf up the shares online, she drives the fiber to the mill for processing.  And then we patiently (!?) wait!  Good mills are notoriously overbusy.  But the good mills are worth waiting on.

Each year Kristen and I come up with a piece of pottery special to the farm.  The first year I made extra special tumblers.  Remember these?

This year I made these sweet ice cream or snack sized bowls.

The black sheep is in honor of Atlas, born two years ago, and Kristen's first lamb at the farm.  And a black one at that!  (And the wool in the background is some of the luscious roving I received in my share box on Saturday.)

Atlas in the front all grown up!

Because not everyone can afford to buy a share, or might have missed out when they went on sale.....I once again made extra bowls to post in my Etsy shop.  Kristen will get a percentage of each sale, so you are helping her feed these fine animals so they can provide us with more of their yummy wool!

If you are interested, don't wait too long as I would not be surprised to see these snapped up quickly.  And thank you so much for supporting Kristen!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait...

My one Spring show is a week from today (Powhatan Festival of Fiber a one day event).  The kiln is firing away with the last bisque.  I have learned to fire during the day...that way the kiln cools at night without me standing there tapping my toes in impatience!

But here are a few pictures of things waiting to be picked up by Serendipity Quilt Shop in Delaware.  You may remember that she has requested chickens, quilts and the beach!  With a few sheep thrown in for good measure.

I had a special request for a chicken yarn bowl.  What do you think?

And then of course there is the rest of the livestock....

And a sheep of a different breed.  Jacob Sheep have FOUR horns.  There are a few vendors at these festivals that sell their wonderful wool.

While I waiting for the pots to dry (remember that are currently slowly heating to 1888 degrees in my kiln as I write this) I helped celebrate Earth Day with my local Spinners and Weavers Guild.  It was a beautiful day after such a long cold winter!

That's yours truly working on the Earth Loom.

Fingers crossed that NEXT Saturday will be as beautiful!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


This is an old picture but that winter scene from last month was depressing me!  I'll post a pottery post with lots of pictures shortly!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Three days till Spring.  Do you think Mother Nature has the date on her calendar?

Friday, March 14, 2014

In Like a Lion....!?

Lots of distractions still going on here in Fredericksburg.

But the sewer line is fixed.  (We hope.)  The city rescheduled FOUR times.

Greg's knee is very slowly healing.  (I promised him I wouldn't post any pictures of it this time.)  Another 3 weeks until he can start trying to walk on it.  But at least he has begun PT and his working leg has gotten stronger so he is getting about the house with his walker with more confidence. Which means more studio time for me!

So I loaded a bisque this week.

I absolutely love my hollow core shelves.  SO much lighter and easier to load then the solid ones.

Layer one.

Layer two.

It never fails.  I try to manage the space to allow for lots of pots and I always end up with a shelf right on the level of the thermal couple.  So I add height and my attempt to not have empty head room is but a dream.

You will notice I don't do a lot of stacking.  I don't like to put too much  pressure on the "tabs" on the yarn bowls.  And I also have issues with my images "ghosting" onto nearby pots.  Especially the black.  So I only stack some of the bowls with only interior designs.  And that means most of my glaze firings hold almost all the pots from the previous bisque.

Layer three.
(Notice my witness cones.  My kiln may be a computer but those cones are my protection!)

And the top.

And of course I continue to weave.  I have a new brown warp on my small loom and will keep working to produce towels for my upcoming show in April.

But the best news.  Despite mostly cold temperatures (today is 61 but tomorrow will once again be freezing...) I found evidence of Spring!  

Just a little longer....

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow and Slow Progress

Looking at these pictures it just seems that 8 inches really isn't that much snow...but it is HEAVY.  And the beauty of it was looking out the front door first thing in the morning and seeing our neighbors doing the shoveling.  Taking pity on the poor woman with the broken spouse.

We are also SO thankful that this storm did not cause any power loss in the area.  We are already experiencing sewer line problems without losing power on top of it.  The day before the storm began they had marked the road to replace the entire sewer main!  I guess we will keep our flushing to two or three times a day till Tuesday, since Monday is a holiday.  And keep our fingers crossed.

I cleared a path to the studio...

And finally got to work.

And I will be back at it again today.  Thankfully the sun is out!