Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The time has come for a pug mill. Peter Pugger VPM-9???


For years hubby has been encouraging me to get a pug mill. But I have resisted because the price of one is slightly less than astronomical. I have been reclaiming clay by hand for the past decade, but now that carpel tunnel has set in, I can no longer wedge clay like I used to.
For the last two weeks I have been diligently researching different pug mills by different manufactures and I think I have settled on the Peter Pugger VPM-9 pictured above. I haven't placed the order yet but I have been in contact with a retailer this week working out the details. I can't decide if I want the stainless steel version which is significantly more expensive. I work with porcelain but not exclusively. I've been reading about porcelain being contaminated by corroding aluminum mills. It is my style to over buy sometimes...just in case.
Anyhow, I am just a single potter with a small studio so I don't need a large industrial machine and it seems that Peter Pugger has created a mill just for someone like me. Bailey and Shimpo make smaller versions that I was looking at closely as well but with the great reviews other potters have given it, the VPM-9 has won me over.
It will be, by far, the most expensive piece of equipment in the studio but it will also make my studio complete.
To save my hands and wrists from the excruciating pain I have suffered in the last two years, I hope it will be worth the money!
If there are any other potters out there who would like to weigh in on this subject, I would appreciate any advice.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Well you win some, you lose some and HOLY COW I'm on a losing streak!


Bown Crossing has a Sunday market and I have participated as a trial run for the last two Sundays. This is in conjunction with the Indie Made Store. Apparently I didn't sell a single item so that is more money down the drain in booth fees.
This pic isn't very good but the wood stand on the right is my shelf.
Since I didn't even sell enough from the store to break even on my rent this month I very highly doubt I will do the Bown Crossing market again.
I am not use to this kind of failure. At my very worst moments as a working artist I have always been able at minimum to break even so this past month has been particularly painful.
It has made me reflect on many things which is always constructive. Is it my work? Is it the market? Is it the store? Perhaps is is a combination of all three. Whatever the case I will not give up. The only thing I can control is the quality of my work...so that is what I will do!
I took a big risk accepting the invitation to be a part of this artist coop and as I stated before it could turn out to be a huge flop. It is definitely starting to look more bleak than not right now. I am hemorrhaging what little money I have. But I am still holding out hope that something good will come from all my hard work in the end.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Before and After

I never tire of opening the kiln after a glaze firing. It is like Christmas seeing how the glazes ran, their depth of color, the way they reflect light. It is one of my favorite aspects of my job.
BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER