Day 9 Colender

The beginning of a Pottery Colender. Newly thrown, you can see the size with the ruler laying on top of the  rim.  Tomorrow when pliable, but not hard I will draw on the design and put the holes in.

The timing has to be just right, if too wet it will dent the bowl and if to dry it will crack when punching the holes.

Pottery Colender, with ruler
The beginning of a Pottery Colender.


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DeerLake Weekly Letter, Commitment, and Sleeping In

   Any time of year is a good time to share some Love and let others know that you care. Valentine’s Day (in 16 days) is another opportunity to make someone’s day special.

  Are you ready for some football! We don’t bother watching football every week, but highlights and playoffs are fun. I pick Carolina and Becca wants Denver to win the SuperBowl. Denver will win because their team is older and wiser. Carolina will win because their young team learned how to catch the football with one hand. Denver has special sticky footballs that are easier to catch. Carolina has GPS for their receivers. May the best team win.

  Tomorrow were off on another snowshoe adventure. Hope all the Grizzly Bears are sleeping as we wander through the meadows of Glacier Park.

  Becca is working hard on her 40 day pottery challenge. You can keep up with the progress by following her Montana Girl Blog.

Soft as a footstep on pine-needle path;
Soft as the brush of a cool summer breeze;
Soft as the bubbles in baby’s warm bath;
Soft as a light snow on evergreen trees;


Search your heart prayerfully,
true happiness lies within.
Control your thoughts carefully,
Give of yourself graciously,
let wisdom guide your life.


Poetry by Ken.
This winter I just won’t get up
Not even to fill my coffee cup,
I’m staying here till winters over
And I can smell the sweet clover.


The years have seen many autumns pass
In the seasons our hearts once knew
The richness of the scarlet leaves
Reveals special times with you.


Recipes Below

Steven’s Sweet and Sour Sausage Meatballs Recipe.
Just in time for the superbowl.

Becca’s Chocolate Love Cake Recipe.
I like this one for Valentine’s Day. Just like eating a chocolate Eclair.


Thought for Today –

My Parents taught me that I could do anything I wanted to do. You will never get anything if you do not reach for it. If you fall, get up and try again. Don’t worry about the future or even tomorrow, because today is all we have. Do your best today and the future will take care of itself. You can lie there and wait for tomorrow or get up and finish out the day.


Happy in Montana, Steven and Becca


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Day 7, Circle Vase,

Basic Cylinder Vase with Pedestal.
Cylinder Vase with Pedestal

I’m getting excited to have these last 7 pottery piece get dry enough, so that they can be bisque fired. This time of year it usually takes about a week to have them dry completely.

I did a bit of carving on the ice cream sundae dish today. Using blue underglaze, I covered it partially and carved out a wispy design. Once it has been bisqued, I can finish the glazing and clear coat of the underglazed area, leaving a bright blue color showing through the pattern.

Carved and underglazed
Blue underglaze with design carved in.
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Fallen Bowl, Day 6

Bowl was too thin and collapsed
Too Thin Bowl, it Collapsed.

This is what happens when you are trying to hard to make a large thin bowl. It is almost impossible to through a large thin piece of pottery.
I was trying to make a large serving bowl and when I tried to lay it out there was not enough clay to stretch that far.

I trimmed the top off and smoothed it out, we shall see what I can make out of this when it gets a bit drier, and I can work with it more.

The too thin bowl after I trimmed it.
After the trim.
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Textured Plate, Day 5

Day five of my 40 day pottery challenge. The day started out a little busy. We had ordered a new mattress for our king size bed. It was delivered the yesterday, we opened it and let it reinflate itself. Being a memory foam mattress they squish them into one large box. You remove it from the box and let it regain it’s shape.
This morning we removed our old mattress and the two of us juggled the two mattresses around and now we have the new one on the bed and they old memory foam mattress on the flour in the living room.
Did I happen to mention that our bedroom and living room are both on the second flour.
Quite the process to go through for a new bed.

Then it was off to the pottery studio to see what I could get done before heading off to class at 11 oclock.  I did by the way get a textured plate made. I hand threw a slab by flipping it over and over, stretching the clay untill it reached the desired thickness and shape. At this point I rolled a texture into it using sample sheets of wall paper. Then using a mold I formed the desired shape. Let it get leather hard during the day and viola!! I have a plate.

Becca holding Textured Plate from Slab
Plate made from slab using embossed wall paper.



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Day 4, Ice Cream Cup

Fluted top Ice Cream cup.
Fluted Top Ice Cream Cup
Fluted Top Ice Cream Cup
Fluted Top Ice Cream Cup

To the goal was to throw a couple of Ice Cream cups.

The trick is to work the top of the clay when wet, and keeping it from splitting or falling in on itself.

We put a load in the kiln today, bisque firing, it takes 9 hours to heat up and 12 hours to cool down. We will be able to open it tomorrow afternoon. It’s still a bit nerve racking waiting to see if they all turned out or not. If any are too wet or stacked a little uneven, not thrown completely right, THEY WILL CRACK!!!!

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Day 3 on my 40 Days of Pottery Challenge

Becca centering the clay for a large bowl.
Becca centering the clay.

It was a late day in the pottery studio today.

Started out by going for my workout this morning and running errands after that.

Then it is home and a bit of house cleaning, by the time I made it out to the studio it was already 5:00.

You can’t just go out and throw a piece, it all begins with checking on yesterday’s pottery. Cutting from the bat again and moving them to a wooden bat to finish the drying. Any small imperfections can be worked on now that they are leather hard.

Finally I can sit down and throw. Today’s project was to throw a larger than soup bowl. Starting with a three and half pound piece of clay.

Throwing a large flanged edge bowl on the wheel.
Larger Flanged Edge Bowl





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Day 2, 40 Day Challenge

Today before heading out to the pottery studio, I started a batch of homemade oatmeal honey bread and turned on the playoffs game between New England and Denver. My enthusiasm gets a bit lost once my team (Seahawks) is out of the playoffs. But I was a trooper and joined my husband watching the first half anyway.

Throwing an Ice cream sundae dish.
Throwing an Ice cream sundae dish.
Ice Cream Sundae Dish on the Pottery Whieel
Ice Cream Dish

To my luck, our Granddaughter Destiny came over to play in the studio with me today. She hasn’t really spent much time on the pottery wheel.  Her main interest has always been glazing them after the bisque firing.

She wanted to try her hand at throwing a soup bowl.  After two trys she got a close facsimile. Than I took a turn and threw an ice cream sundae dish.

It’s crazy how some are drawn to getting their hands in the mud. While others would just like to spend their time painting.

There is nothing more relaxing to me then turning on the music and sitting down at the wheel and getting my hands in the mud. The time seems to disappear.  It is more than just throwning a piece. You have to go back after letting it dry for a couple hours and trim it, clean and cut it loose from the throwning bat. If it is allowed to dry on the bat it will crack.

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40 Day Challenge

My challenge is to make a new piece of pottery every day for 40 days.
By taking on this challenge I hope to improve my skills at throwing on the wheel and strive to be more creative in my designs.

Day one of the pottery challenge.

Today I threw a bowl on the wheel. Left the top rim thick enough that I could split it and then pinch it together in four spots creating a squared effect.


Split the rim of a bowl and pinched it back together.
Pinched Split Rim Bowl

As we go through the next 40 days I will be throwing on the pottery wheel and also doing some slab work.

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