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Babs

What Your Worst

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Not sure where this post should be.

Today I went down to my shed to turn the bowls I made yesterday. I had left the doors open for part of the afternoon to aid drying

Today I was greeted with a rush out of the door of a possum.

It had managed, very clever creature to knock over claw on sit on and another word which rhymes with the last one every single bowl I had made yesterday.

Yesterday I had eeven cleaned the floor of my shed, well a little.

TOok me a while to come to terms with this, cleaned a bit more, put the salvageable clay into the reclaim bin, and cursed all small native animals and the dog( for not noticing the offender).

I have spent some time throwing bowls, shut the doors and am hoping there was only one offender.....

Share your pain with me so I can feel I am not alone.

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I threw a very nice 7lb bowl the other day.. Trimmed it and gave it a super sweet foot, my best ever... Then i chattered it and gave it some seperation with a top and bottom line... I put some time in on this baby... I put it on the bottom shelf as the others were full.. I came down the steps and looked at it and about fell over dead..  It had a pretty nice chunk out of it and teeth marks to go with it.. I dont know which dog took a bite out of it as we have 4 ... They all munch on clay bits but this is the first time one has decided to take a chunk ...

No more pots on bottom shelf !!!!

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Have had my fair share of run-ins with possums. If you have a live trap, bait it with Fruit Loops (that way you only catch possums or raccoons, not the neighbor's cat) and relocate the little destruction machine.

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As told to me by a trapper, peppermint is the crack cocaine of raccoons. That explains why all the mint dental floss in the house was all chewed up. I guess floss is needed after the refrigerator is raided, and a doz. eggs, 1 lb butter,

milk, meats, and 3 beers are consumed. Oh, they didn't even shut the fridge door for the entire weekend. I have since moved!

Possums are cute at one point, then they grow up and have a face only a mother can love!

See ya,

Alabama

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I haven't had any run in with varmits, but in a class I was taking they found a pot that had a worm tunneling in it.  Interesting to look as so they decided to fire, it broke apart.   Denice

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Quite a few Winters ago they tore down an old flavored peanut factory behind our house. It had been abandoned for many years, and used as a storage facility for some of those. I went out to the shop one morning to close the door that had blown open, not thinking much of it. Later in the Spring, I went into the shop to start cleaning and was assaulted by a sickish sweet odor. Searching turned up a large dead rat, it looked as if it had been in quite a fight and lost. Cleanup and fumigation was really pretty bad. I now have a nice heavy metal door on the shop, and much more secure entry way as before.

 

College, undergrad school a student assistant was wheeling in a ware cart with student work on it to be loaded into the kiln. someone else had been hosing down a work area, and she tried to push the cart over the hose. All of the cart turned over, and one piece survived the whole mess. One of my covered jars out of 6. Assistant lost her job.

 

 

best,

Pres

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I threw a very nice 7lb bowl the other day.. Trimmed it and gave it a super sweet foot, my best ever... Then i chattered it and gave it some seperation with a top and bottom line... I put some time in on this baby... I put it on the bottom shelf as the others were full.. I came down the steps and looked at it and about fell over dead.. It had a pretty nice chunk out of it and teeth marks to go with it.. I dont know which dog took a bite out of it as we have 4 ... They all munch on clay bits but this is the first time one has decided to take a chunk ...

No more pots on bottom shelf !!!!

Wayback in Clay Class, Process Piece assignment, a fellow student brought in a paper plate with several streaky porcelain turds, claiming he fed his dog the clay and retrieved the extrusions! Process Piece!

 

My cats used to like using my drying shelves as a thruway until I fenced off the ends with plastic bird netting.

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In my studio, I have to close the door, to keep the nosy cat out.  She always likes to see, what I'm up to, and is interested in new things.  She also loves attention, and to be petted, so she has the tendency to rub her cheek against EVERYTHING.  

Thus far, I've just seen some light paw prints in the bottoms of mugs or bowls.  She doesn't walk on them, but touches it, to see what it is.  The biggest issue, is that she has an obsession with my throwing sponges.  She likes them, when they are wet.  I don't know if it reminds her hunting brain of carrying prey, but she will grab them out of my buckets and carry them around, leaving a trail of dripping water.  

Some day,  I will forget to close the lid on my slip container(s).  That will be a glorious mess...

 

In regards to other varmints, we had a "guest" in our garage in the Fall.  In the morning, we'd find things knocked down, and eventually found some footprints.  We first thought it was a cat, then maybe a possum.  We looked in every nook and cranny, but found nothing.  Then more stuck disturbed and some scat left on the floor.  So we look a bit more, and discovered a white, open mouthed face starring back.  It was a possum, and was as unhappy to see us, than we were to see it.  The garage door was left open one night, and it walked in, and was trapped, when we closed it the next day.  So we just left the door crack the next night, and it left on its own accord.

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When I was a young production potter, I had a big black-and-silver German Shepherd named Boogie.  He was a great dog, but a couple of times I got pretty mad at him.

 

I had an order for 200 planters, the hanging kind with a thrown-on drip catcher and lugs from which the piece could be hung.  At the time, I was living in the woods without electricity, sleeping on the studio floor.  It wasn't a very big studio, and at least half the planters had to be set on the floor to dry.  I had to go into town, and I left Boogie in the studio.  Now usually he was a well-behaved guy... but something got him stirred up while I was gone, and he stomped just about every planter I'd left on the floor.  That was a depressing sight to see.

 

The other time I got mad at him, we were travelling to a show in my pickup, which had a cover on the bed, and a platform across the back where I slept.  I'd stacked a number of boxes of ware on that platform.  Boogie was riding in the back, and when I got to the show, I discovered he'd kicked those boxes off the platform into the bed, breaking a lot of finished ware.

 

On the other hand, I was at a show in Nashville when Boogie leaped out of a bush where I'd tied him up and tried to murder the springer spaniel owned by my future wife, who happened to be taking a stroll through the show.

 

We've been married 31 years.

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I have left reclaim on my work table to air dry and come back to find the cat hadn't looked before leaping. Paw pints in the reclaim, a trail and splatter on the floor to where he'd leapt and tried to shake it off presumably before cleaning it himself haha

 

This post reminded me of the paw prints found in real Coaluila Mexican tile.  :)  

 

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Back in my tall bottle phase (from which I am recovering nicely), I had joined three cylinders to make something about 30' tall.  While trimming/shaping, the family tabby, Bandit, watched as I slowly turned the pot while standing trying to add some undulated ridges near the top.  I was stepping away from the wheel for a look when I accidentally hit the top of foot pedal, instantly spinning the pot at a far-too-fast speed. Apparently, the sudden bolt of speed was too much for the cat and he pounced..slinging pot and cat into a nearby wall. The pot died instantly. Bandit developed a sudden phobia of the noise that the wheel makes when it speeds up and there is simply no recovering from that.

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As told to me by a trapper, peppermint is the crack cocaine of raccoons. That explains why all the mint dental floss in the house was all chewed up. I guess floss is needed after the refrigerator is raided, and a doz. eggs, 1 lb butter,

milk, meats, and 3 beers are consumed. Oh, they didn't even shut the fridge door for the entire weekend. I have since moved!

Possums are cute at one point, then they grow up and have a face only a mother can love!

See ya,

Alabama

You're talking about teenagers right?

Humour kicks in fast, thank the heavens, that's the thing about dogs and cats, we are so optimistic they will get better, well same about our pots really.

Thanks for sharing.

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Our kiln shed is outside in a covered in deck type area, a few gaps in the walls where they meet the roof. I’ve had squirrels find their way in during the winter months and I guess they were so ecstatic over their newfound warm home they leaped and jumped in joy from one pile of bisqued pots to another. A few casualties there. In their winter vacation home they have also come across pots that were glazed but not fired, who new they would enjoy the taste of raw glaze nibbled off the rims so much? They also seem to think it's a good idea to steal bisqued test tiles and sneak out into the yard to bury them. 

 

One year we had one particularly “friendly†lodger and he would leave the kiln area during the day and peek in at me through the window in the throwing room. I would let the dog out to chase him off but once the dog came back inside the squirrel would resume taunting me through the glass. We landed up borrowing a live trap and relocating him.

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studio was stacked with greenware-glaze kiln was about cone 9 going to cone 10- 7.o earthquake hit-

It took a freeway bridge out (fell)

I lost a lot of the greenware  in studio- looked into the top spy plug on kiln and could see the back wall 3 feet back 

no pots or shelves in view-I turned off kiln.

in two days time I had to unbolt door from car as the whole load went over and stuck the car.

It was not quite a total loss I had a few pots with sideways runny glaze as well as some dinner plates that where fantastic.

 

Now as to critter stories I have had skunks get under studio twice and try to raise young, Both time I could not be in there  for days due to smell issues.

Its now really skunk proof under there.

 

This is not my worst kiln loss of wares story only a good one.

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Babs:

 

1 possum - field dressed and cleaned.

1- open fire pit with spit.

1. one jar BBQ sauce with brush.

1. one lawn chair with ice tea.

1 5lb bag of russet potatoes, cleaned wrapped in foil. Place in wood coals 1 hour before possum is done. Or fire up a kiln to 400F - your call.

 

My pet racoon helps me formulate. 

Nerd

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Oh no! this am in shed, possum had a mate stashed in there, a deja vu moment, bowls thrown yesterday.....

Now, doors open all day , go down there tonight and try to get 'em out.

Sorry G.Nerd, can't go there, they were here before me I just have to be diligent, I am sure there is a lesson or two in all of this...

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Babs:

Okay, I will be serious- but just this once. Being a farm boy all my life

1. place open can of tuna about 15' outside the door- possums have a keen sense of smell.

2. Once gone- sprinkle cinnamon on the ground where the door is-- possums have a keen sense of smell- cinnamon burns their nose.

--sorta like you snorting pepper.

Nerd

 

Edit: come to think of it.. possums have a keen sense of smell.. you leaving any food out there? chips.. snacks? etc. If you are, skunks have even a keener sense of smell.  You will have more visitors.

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birds, little carolina wrens got into the kiln room and found their way into the tool room through a hole in the drywall that allows the kiln wiring to go through from the sub-panel. the birds were very quiet until i entered the space. then they went crazy trying to go out the glass window.

 

the birds were not the problem, the dog chasing the birds was the problem. then the dog frenzy attracted a cat or both of them. then it was a problem getting everyone out except the birds. they got out the door once i got it open. then we all sat down for a quiet time.

 

yes, the hole in the drywall is now stuffed with insulation.

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Aussie possums are vegans... I'm hoping the open door philosophy works, but there is a little part of me which thinks I may end up with more inside. Have planned to visit shed a few times around dusk when they are most active. MINUS my friendly hound who can jump vertically and horizontally a great height and distance..New Zealand Coolie. ( She once jumped clean over the tray of the farm truck, never seen a more surprized looking dog.) She thinks it is on the top shelf at the mo. I know it is not.

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Oh,

When the raccoons drank the beer, they didn't use the pull tab, just bit the cans and lapped it up.

 

My sister had problems with squirrels. A problem she created putting up 6 bird feeders. The squirrels did 1000s of dollars damage to the two story house, so she got a trap and caught the varmits. Since the cage is wire mesh, she was able the spray paint them orange, so when she drove them a mile down the road, she'd know if they came back! They did come back!! Then she tried 8 miles, and they didn't!!!

So if you see orange squirrels in north Elmore county, you're not seeing things, just a squirrel in an orange jump suit. They don't call us Elmorons for nothing! :)

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for ruining greenware, nothing beats my cat. i had finally finished a big birdbath for a neighbor who had done some computer work for me. it was a design with rose leaves pressed into the surface and a sculpted raised perch that rose above the water level so the birds could sit somewhere and think about a bath.

 

i put the pot on the back shelf in the corner so it would not be in the way while drying. a week later, i looked at it and found it in 3 or 4 pieces and there was dark cat hair left inside. the cat had turned it into a cat bed. (this is the cat who cannot read so putting up a sign saying it was for birds would not have worked.)

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Sheba died last April, and I'm still finding black lab hair in my reclaim. Since then, the craziest animal in my studio is me.

If it's any consolation, I did manage to wreck an order of 30 mugs last week because my brand new wire racking allows more circulation than my previous wooden shelves, and I left them for the usual amount of time to stiffen.

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Raccoon, chip monks, squirrels, possums: I live and work in an oldish-trailer that leaks like a sieve, plus there's the shotgun hole the previous tenant put through my bedroom floor in the closet near the water heater---recently discovered when the critters finally defeated the board covering it.

 

And the news I have been too defeated to even post, somebody knocked over my green amphora for the Community Challenge just last week.

 

So I borrowed a bunch of Have a Heart traps and had a serious conversation w/my landlord. I recorded the chewing, thumping, and chattering overnight and played it for his wife---that took care of my problem as far as getting some holes finally plugged up. But it kills me about my "jug". To say nothing about my Crocs that they ate and the two full boxes of pricey glucose stabilizing meal bars for diabetics....gone...overnight!!!

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