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Everything posted by Kellykopp

  1. We always had "Clay Gods" or "Kiln Gods" tucked into corners, on shelves, near kilns, etc. when I was at Herron. To continue the tradition, I have one in my studio sitting on a shelf overlooking a space where I work, as well as the kilns. When I look at her it brings back fond memories. Pres, those peep hole creatures are very neat....like them!!
  2. My work has been referred to as "Machoism" in the past. Not a conscious decision, I just made what my heart told me to.
  3. Research and study before diving into a new technique you want to try. Work at your own pace. Take good notes of everything. Label tubs/buckets promptly and correctly when putting things in them. LeeU, the cat on the wheel made me laugh out loud!! Always remember nobody is perfect; take the "failures" and learn from them. Remember why you started on your clay journey, and hold that love in your heart while you work.
  4. After graduating college I worked construction on a pipe laying crew for a few years. Loved the job, was outside and though the work was hard I was in good shape and earned the respect of the other guys on the crew. In 1990 I was asked to work for the family business (poultry processing) and for the past 8 years (from mid January through mid May), I get up at 130 am and check 4 barns of pregnant cows for calves/problems before going to work in the family business. So you could say I "moooonlight" for half of the year. Though I wish I had more time in the studio, I have never gained the courage to take the leap of faith in myself to do clay as my business/lifestyle. I am thankful that I have returned to my clay and have had the financial security to start/maintain my studio. It is my escape, my love, my sanity, my sanctuary.
  5. Besides the rolling pins, knives, forks, spoons, blender, mixing bowels, and all sorts of plastic plates, containers, etc. I love my cheese cutters and graters and pizza cutter. Also the rubber jar opener....is great for opening stubborn lids. Amazing how many things one can put to an "alternative" use. By the way, wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.
  6. Every day I walk into the studio is a good day....but opening a kiln and finding out/discovering everything turned out even better than you expected is a double blessing. Some "good days" are measured in having a good production day, other "good days" happen when inspiration hits me hard and I do sculptural things. The smile on someone's face when you gift them a piece is a good day. Even when I destroyed a kiln full of work because it didn't turn out the way I hoped was a good day, it taught me to "let go" and that I can better myself. Every day I walk my clay journey is a good day.
  7. The only regret I have is not continuing on in clay after I graduated college....but now that clay and I have been re-united it's a love affair for the rest of my life.
  8. Time on a beach for me is a rare treat, it doesn't happen too often and I love to walk for hours looking for shells and "treasures" the tide leaves for one to find. The little birds that chase the waves hunting for food are fun to watch. I have never been to a pottery camp so I don't have a basis for comparison, but I do historic re-enactments for a hobby (pre-1840 fur trade era) and camping in the rain has it's own nice moments, but too much rain and you are in muck, muddy, and cold; not to mention the campfire you rely on to cook your food is hard to start and keep going. I never used to mind the rain at my events when I was younger, but I am not a spring chicken anymore. I know if I want to fire my barrels I can't do it in the rain. If you are exposed to the rain and don't have shelter to get out of the elements I can't see how it would be any fun or see how any kind of work could be accomplished. I guess it boils down to how the question is worded, "in the sunshine or in the rain". I would have to take the beach in this case. Four days "in the rain" at a potter's camp doesn't sound fun or productive.
  9. Best advice...."Kelly, do you want this kiln back? I don't need it anymore and you REALLY SHOULD get back into your clay"...... Worst advice...can't remember getting any "advice" that hasn't panned out. My resumed clay journey has fulfilled my heart and soul. Happiness is mine when I am in my studio, even if the project I'm working on doesn't come out the way I planned or wanted, it is easy to "try, try, again" when I am working with my heart's desire.
  10. What Min said, it is exactly what I do and I have never had any problems. I make ooodles up at a time and let them dry really well.
  11. In the BBRRRR! of a winter afternoon, sweatpants and maybe a couple of layers on top with the ever-present thermal underwear under it all.....summertime I wear a one piece bathing suit and maybe a calico skirt....when I get all "muddy" it is easy to take the garden hose to myself to clean up...and an apron on both summer and winter to catch most of the mess. Dedicated "studio" sandals in the summer, and dedicated tennis shoes in the winter with thick socks. Any clay covered clothing items are rinsed out in a sink outside before being brought inside to be washed, both summer and winter.
  12. The throwing then altering part of my process. Sketching ideas falls into the category as well, but most of my work is inspired as I go...spur of the moment, from the heart.
  13. Since I have my own studio and don't have to worry about annoying others, I listen to anything from Metal to Mozart. All depending on my mood, though, sometimes I prefer to open the garage doors and listen to the birds, humming of the bees, and occasionally the buzzing of the mosquitoes...then I have to listen to the sound of my slapping them as they try for a free lunch!!
  14. Barrel firing which I already do, no problem. Sawdust, cow pies, straw, and wood.
  15. 1983, Herron School of Art. Totally smitten. Graduated, then life and family obligation grabbed me. Fast forward to 2013, I figured if I didn't get back into it that I never would. Despite having to re-learn almost everything technical (the love for it in my heart didn't have to be re-learned) I am moving forward and have a completeness in my life now. Each time in the studio is an adventure and a learning experience, and you guys here are so kind any time I reach out for advice and help, I thank you all.
  16. I love jewelry and wear it when I go out and about, but never in the studio. Keep my nails trimmed, and my long hair is always braided and tied together behind my back or worn in some other "out of my way" fashion. When I was married I still didn't wear my wedding ring in the studio. Too dangerous while using equipment. By the end of a throwing session I am always decorated with clay anyhow, with a dab behind each ear lol and splatters, swipes, and various areas of interest all over my body. In the summertime when I have my studio's windows and doors open for air circulation, last year mosquitoes and the subsequent slapping of them was an added bonus. Clay pig I am and proud of it!!!! Nothing a garden hose won't take care of.
  17. I was vacationing last year in NC, stopped by a shop by the road on a whim "just to see". It was obvious the shop was his livelihood as I browsed. We got talking and there were pieces that I admired. He kindly offered to show me how he foil sagger fired, and we ended up spending most of the day together. He didn't have to do this kindness for me; he lost a valuable day's working time. I loved the piece he did, and purchased it. It is on my studio wall, as a reminder of a NC artist/potter's kindness to me, and a reminder for me to be just as kind to others. As an added thank you to him, since he did horsehair firing as well, I had some tails I was never going to use and I sent them to him. It was a day I will never forget.
  18. Great to see that you are on the mend !! It all depends which part of the body was keeping me "down" or away from the studio. I would tend to read and research, watch informational videos, and if I still had use of my hands I would sketch and jot down ideas.
  19. I use it on barrel fired work, but that is still low fired stuff. I may be wrong but it is my understanding of sig that if you use it on higher fired work that it loses it's sheen, but I haven't had enough experience with it to tell you for sure as I have not taken it to higher temps myself. I haven't heard of it flaking off at higher temps, would imagine if it "fits" your clay body that it could be used like a slip?? Perhaps testing is in order?? You never know, through testing it you may come up with a new technique or application for sig. The only problem I have encountered is flaking where I have applied it too thickly. I am sure there are others here that know more than I do.
  20. Marcia, please let me know how the heaters work. I am currently looking at my weather station readout at 4 degrees without windchill, and my little electric heaters are struggling to keep the garage/studio at 40 degrees...I live way out in the sticks so natural gas is not an option, and I don't have room for a propane tank. A wood stove isn't an option either as I am alone now and don't have the time to cut the wood or stoke the fire all night. Plus calving season is here and with 250+ head to do, I will be lucky to have time to catch a nap here and there lol. Have been through the Red Lodge area a couple of times during my "life's journey" it is truly amazing where you are.
  21. You are a very lucky lady, Marcia, it is so beautiful out where you are...started my studio in half of a 3 car garage, now I have the whole garage, is simply amazing how quickly one can use the extra space. Just wish I had natural gas service, a good way to heat the garage, and win the lottery to afford my wishes lol.
  22. never thought of that at the time....oooops.....lol..........just drew pics of the pieces and made my notes from there. But I won't be doing that particular "oooops" again, it's how we all learn.
  23. Not following my clay dream after graduating college.......the most recent "what was I thinking" giggle is being so focused on putting wax resist on the bottom of some experimental pots because I was in a hurry, and then I went to apply the iron oxide ID numbers on the bottom of said pots.....ooooops.......
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