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About LeeU

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 07/14/1947

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  • Location
    New Hampshire
  • Interests
    Now retired from 30+ years in behavioral health services, I am back to enjoying and making art. I hold a BFA in ceramics from VCU's School of the Arts (Virginia Commonwealth University). I have set up a small, functional, in-home studio, with an L&L Easy-Fire on the back porch. In addition to clay, I'm interested in painting, photography, and writing.

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  1. @Min-the bears are coming out of hibernation-it is not good (for them or us) that they are coming down from the ridge into "civilization", so I need to be more vigilant about not leaving tempting treats out at night! All this baking looks yummy! I'm doing a Plant Paradox food plan (which has cut my blood sugar way, way down!) The only bread I eat, and minimally at that, is genuine sourdough--@Neil, yours is beyond luscious looking! @Callie-I no longer eat pasta at all---but I am coveting your gorgeous meal! @Oldlady-ya just hadda show the bacon, huh? @Mea-ooooo-pie! @Roberta12-have you no mercy? Now all I need is for someone to shove a really great potato dish under my nose, and my goose is cooked. But I don't eat goose, so maybe I'm gonna be OK and will survive this thread without having a nutritional relapse!
  2. I don't have a kitchen table. Just a counter in a galley-type space. So, I was taking a break from prepping freezer foods "for the duration" and came to read the CAD forums---saw this topic. Went back to the kitchen and took a pic of the reduced produce bananas I scored today--62 cents for 6 good ones--that I am cutting into chunks to freeze and at some point thaw for going into yogurt or cover with melted dark chocolate. Then I hear a racket outside. Oh-it's you again! This bear has been visiting me for 4 years now, 1 of 3 baby cubs, when big mama used to come too. I forgot that it's now time to bring in the feeders and suet holder.
  3. Since I am a hobby business, with the economic weight on the hobby side of things, this will not affect that. I am a bit of an isolationist anyway and very fussy about picking & choosing where I go & who I see, so not much change will be happening on the face-to-face social front either-just less than "not much socializing" in the first place. I don't worry about my health--whatever comes down the pike, I have lived way longer than I ever "should" have and have no fear of death-that got eradicated via various survival scenarios. I have concerns about my daughter & her hubby-they are in WA state, and my sister is in VA. Mostly I am concerned about my "X", who is homeless & living in his van in LA, and has serious heath conditions. He resists programs/systems and is not speaking to me or our daughter at the moment. It's an exercise in "letting go". My dad was a Scout troop leader and let me tag along. He taught me how to survive in the woods & I keep a small "prepper" stash in my vehicle for all kinds of weather, and about a months worth of "everything" including free-standing heat sources, in my house.--so I'm good. Stocked up on coffee and stuck a cheesecake int he freezer, so I'm more than good, actually! I wear nitrile gloves if I am out & about and all the fools handling everything and each other give me the stink eye and move away. It's hilarious.
  4. Somehow I missed this QotW when it was posted, and today, "Christmas" caught my eye. I don't make clay gifts for friends/relatives anymore-I used to. Now I just invite them to choose something from my stock if they want. What I do for the December holiday season/occasions is I make bulk quantities of smalls, like tea light holders and small catchalls and give them to a few organizations that I like, for them to give to their staff and customers. Now I've been asked to make a hundred tea light holders (paid) for a company for next year's holidays-no strings attached re size/body/glaze/design--I get to just do my thing!
  5. Bad situation. I hope "we" as a nation learn from this hard lesson and make some real changes real quick, in terms of systemic preparedness, intra- & inter-agency communication/coordination, economic safety nets etc.
  6. Perhaps you should consider continuing with access to wheels via classes or community studios while saving up your pennies, and in the meantime develop and use good hand-building skills. You can make wonderful objects, including bowls of all sorts, if you master the techniques, and slab work (plus using slump/hump molds) would readily lend itself to a small home studio set-up. If you had a high quality used banding wheel (like a Shimpo on a stand--heavy/smooth, & you can twirl it fast-not the kind that are flat on the table) , it can work quite well for symmetrical forming, trimming and finishing. Obviously not like a throwing wheel, but maybe fun/useful in the interim.
  7. The nearest supplier to me, in New Hampshire, is out of state, Portland Pottery Supplies, in ME, over 2 hours away. I need to have a second good reason to make the trip! They're good for basic Laguna & Standard clays & Amaco & Laguna glazes (I get Coyote elsewhere). Mostly I scour the Internet for the best price combos of the type of bodies/glazes I want, including the shipping cost. The best deals vary widely at any given time, depending on what I am looking for. I guess I've used all the suppliers with positive mentions in the forums, at one time or another. I keep a wish list of bodies y'all mention that I want to try at some point. I must order small quantities-25-50 lbs of clay, and only 3-4 types at a time. Any more and I end up having to re-hydrate it-yuk-I'd rather pay for fresh moist than have to do that. I probably use Sheffield (in MA) as my main supplier-online-most often (almost a 4 hr drive, so that ain't happening!) , and sometimes Highwater. I have all the tools I'll ever need. I got my Brent wheel from wherever the total cost was best-I think Clay King or The Ceramic Shop but not sure (and those two for glazes, also). I got my kiln from Hot Kilns (L&L-thanks to Neil). I got my table top slab roller directly from Bailey.
  8. Well, from the other side of the booth (i.e. as the shopper) I never sign up for anything. Give me your web address (the card on the table, and in the bag, is sufficient) and I'm happy and will absolutely check it out. Then I may or may not sign up online for reminders/news-whatever. I am resistant to craft fairs/crowds and find them exhausting, even when they are fun and interesting and something that I chose to attend. I only want to talk to those artist/sellers who I want to talk to!! I end up tuning out even the most pleasant "hello" by the time I'm going down aisle number four! The more you bug me (try to nicely engage me), the quicker I leave the area--even skipping the next two booths--I am a tough customer! When I want something, I buy it, and more likely when you take your cues from me. I move along with stealth but I don't miss much, unless you drive me away!! You might check out who is in the booth next to you and note if their demeanor sends people scurrying-right past your booth! It may be worth considering that there are more of my "type" out there than you'd think, in terms of being aware of your customers' vibes for interaction. Look at your booth set-up from the traffic point of view---I often cruise past & take note if I see potential-maybe I'll grab a card (be sure it's out front in easy reach) and then come back around when there are fewer people in the space. Tho I rarely do fairs myself as a ceramicist (I only do them for fundraising events for local non-profits that I support) oddly enough, when I do, I do great and seem to be reasonably popular/well received---go figure!
  9. My daughter & her hubby live in Kennewick. I haven't been able to see her for a couple of years and have never been to WA & I have a friend in Seattle. Be careful what you ask for --might end up throwing a glaze party someday!
  10. I think y'all are talking about two different types of dog dishes!
  11. I was reading all this and hitting "likes" in appreciation and decided to just comment to everyone the that info is very interesting--and while I may be unlikely to need to apply it, I like having it on file (I copy stuff I might need someday and put it in a CAD Tips file). I can see how helpful all of this should be for Cactus Pots--from Neil's 1/16th of an inch slabs (!) to Mark's super weird WSO torture-friendly stuff, to coils, balls, wash and nubbins!
  12. The short answer is that I use commercial bodies and commercial glazes. But being a bit of a Chatty Cathy, here's the rest of it. I do not have the physical space to mix my own, nor the energy or motivation, tho I cringe and wince and grind my teeth every time I pay to get the commercial materials that I like. New Hampshire has no ceramics supply store and the drive to ME or MA costs almost as much as shipping and pretty much kills most of a day. So I pay (and pay a lot...since I use such small quantities). I don't go in on other potters' large orders because they rarely use the kinds of clay I prefer. For cone 6, I am real happy with glazes from Coyote/Amoco/Laguna/Spectrum etc. I don't get a lot of opportunity for wood fire and raku, but with my small quantity, people are real generous with sharing their glazes. For high fire bodies I use Troy wood, Sheffield's Z, and T3. I use Highwater's raku. That said, I have to 'fess up that I truly miss making clay bodies and formulating glazes. I spent several years saturated in the learning and doing based on Daniel Rhodes and D.G. Lawrence (clay/glazes/ceramic science) plus an excellent education in potters/clay artists and the history. I was enraptured with the making of the materials that were at the heart of my final work. I got my degree but that was just barely a taste. Then I took an economically-driven detour of 30 years. When I retired and went back to clay, I found that the minor brain injury I have pretty much obliterated everything I learned, including much of the physical processes needed to function with reasonable skill as a craftsman. It took a while to integrate the sense of loss/frustration with the thrill of being back at it, however limited the effort. So, long story long, I use commercial bodies and glazes, and they are just fine--pretty sweet actually!
  13. I am using all the pre-programmed settings on my L&L Easy Fire and have never once had anything go off track. I'm not in a position (some cognitive deficits) to fiddle much with math/science etc. and the fact that I can rely on my kiln to do its thing consistently (it is not old or worn) is a blessing. By using a highlighter and some stick-out tabs I can easily look up whatever program settings I need and follow along on the programmer.
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