Here We Go Again

It's odd. 2021 seems to be starting not that different than 2020. Once again, I came out of Holiday Market with a depleted inventory--nearly out of teapots, pie plates, tall mugs. Very low on soup bowls, painted mugs.

I also have a big list of special orders. Dinner plates, pie plates, teapots. Tall mugs in exciting patterns: tarsier, orangutan, sloth and panda. A teapot with custom teacups, a covered casserole,

I've been busy all of January-- went through 500 lbs. of clay in two weeks flat. Then the bisque firing, the glazing, the decorating. And now, at the end of the month, I'm once again firing the big gas kiln. It's an all-day affair, so I use the time to catch up on chores. Mix up another 14,000-gram batch of white glaze. Mop the kiln room.

Plan for the new year.

In a normal year, I'd be making a spread sheet. Show dates. Show fees, application and slide details, application deadlines.

So far, I've heard from four shows. Edmonds, normally held Father's Day weekend, is rescheduling to late August. Anacortes, normally in early August, is making no plans at all yet, waiting to see how Washington's COVID and vaccination situation develops. UVAA Summer Arts (Roseburg), at the end of June, is currently taking applications per usual.

I don't think they'll be able to put on a show as usual as early as June.

Ceramic Showcase has committed to an online virtual show for 2021, with their next live show planned for Mother's Day weekend, 2022.

I'm thinking regardless what shows do and don't happen, I'm staying close to home this year. No trips to Edmonds, Anacortes, Silverton or Roseburg. I've stepped down from the Showcase Steering Committee, and won't be joining their online show. It's barely possible things will be normal enough for Clay Fest (October) or Clayfolk (November) to have an in-person show, but I'm not counting on it.

So I'll be coming to Saturday Market when it opens in April--almost certainly in the alternate booth/alternate week format we used last year. Holiday Market, possibly outside again. And packing and shipping orders all over the country.

Just like last year.

Stocking Up

The In Stock list is definitely accurate right now; we did a physical inventory a few weeks back for tax purposes. My new firing will come out the end of January, so I'll try to have the new stock all listed by February 1. I'll also probably put some pictures up on Instagram as they come out of the kiln (@off_center_ceramics).

I'm currently looking at March for my next firing, if I see enough demand. If you want to place a special order, get in touch with me no later than February 21.

Holey Moley!

A new video for the new colander year. How do you get the holes so even? they ask me. Here's how.

(You can see all the videos I've created so far at my blog.>

Pattern of the Month:

Shark-plate-o

I love it when kids get excited by my work. When a little one drags Mom or Dad into the booth, saying, "Look, a _________!" (Bunny, rooster, possum--you get the idea).

I also like to ask them, "What's your favorite animal?" and watch their eyes get wide when I hold one up, saying, "Like this?" (I swear, the little girl who said "Red Panda" nearly fainted. Still frustrated that Mom didn't buy it for her.)

But every once in a while, one stumps me. And leave me thinking, "Why didn't I think of that?" For example, the eight-year-old boy who said, "Great White Shark."

I mean, they're amazing animals (and terrifying, in equal measure). They've had a grip on the popular imagination since Peter Benchley wrote Jaws--or at least since Steven Spielberg made the movie. They're beautiful, graceful, deadly, and they get their own week every year on cable TV (not to mention horrible, low budget SyFy movies). If I can paint orcas, whales and dolphins on pots, why not sharks? What am I, some sort of mammal chauvinist?

So far, I've only painted Great White Sharks on dessert plates for general sale, though I did just put one on a yarn bowl for a special order. (And I'd really like to hear the story behind that choice.) But if they really catch on?

I'm gonna need a bigger plate.

See other patterns...