Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Moving along.......

Feels like it's been a month since my last post and it's only been four days.  
Happy to be vertical at 9 p.m....... but not for long! 

We set a record for high temperatures this week and I bet by tomorrow we set a record for rain.  

I walked around the garden this morning.... so much going on! 

The cut leaf peony is blooming.  
The flowers only last a day or two but they are beautiful.  

The front gardens are coming along nicely with lettuce, peas, shallots, 
onions, carrots and strawberries all above soil level.  The lettuce is ready to harvest! 

The back gardens are on too.  More lettuce, bok choi, beets, carrots, kale, radishes, daikon, peas, chard, broccoli, garlic, 10#'s of seed potatoes, spinach, black berries and two new gooseberry bushes. 
The currants already have berries forming. 

The chives are ready to bloom......

Feverfew..... Tancetum Parthenium 'Aureum' 
you don't see it in many gardens but you should, it's a lovely little self seeder that adds a real bright spot in dark areas of the garden.

Even in the rain the buds on the lilac are ready to bloom.

Functional pots have been creeping into my brain so it's time to test two new clay bodies. 
 Standard 211 and Standard 762. 
762 is a white ^6 clay body that is supposed to be excellent for thermal shock.  At ^6 it only has a shrinkage rate of 5%.  Now wondering if any of my glazes will fit on this body.  Stay tuned.... 
I needed a good dark brown stoneware at ^6 so am testing 211 ...... stay tuned on that one too.

I guess I'm watching the birds too much these days ..... 
they're showing up everywhere! 

Fresh off the wheel! 

Mother's Day was very nice this year.  I think I slept through the day, unable to sit or stand very much.  I must be part raccoon...... oh look bright shiny colors, I can walk! 

Thanks Rachael!  
XO! and safe journey back to Benin....... see you in a couple months! 


  1. Hi Sandy!
    I used 211 for a few years and I like how it throws. Under mc6 matte glazes, though, edges break kind of an ugly dead grayish brown that I didn't like. I liked earthy tones and opaque glazes that break the best. I've been using 200 lately. Colors are muted but a bit brighter, I think. How do you manage white and brown in the studio at once? Too much cleaning for me..

  2. Hey Tracy! Really funny you bring up 200. When I called standard I talked to Carla and she and I agreed that 200 is probably one of the most under rated clay's Standard sells. I love the way it throws! Super plas-teeque' :) Wish it were a darker shade of brown. Thought about getting a special batch made or just using an RIO wash over it. Going to use most of these for outdoor stuff and thought I'd run it through with a nice white glaze for dinnerware.

    If this rain ever stops I'll fire the bisque! Hope you have your waders on!! Thanks! Great to hear from you!!

  3. I really like Standard 266 -- it is such a rich, dark color. I dry it carefully, bisque it slowly to 04 and fire to ^5 to avoid bloating. For me it is worth the extra angst.

  4. Hi Sue!
    Yup, got that one under the table :) I have slowly bisqued it to ^05 and no worries, key word.... slowly. It's definitely a possibility, thanks!!
    next trick, get everything bisqued, glazed and tested ...... shrinkage, absorption, crazing or fit... yadda yadda yadda....... isn't this fun?! :)

  5. Where might I buy Standard 762? I'd love a low shrinkage clay body.

  6. Hi ML,

    Call Carla over at Standard Supply in Pittsburgh.

    tell her I said, Hi :)

    she should be able to tell you who supplies in your area too.

    good luck!