Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Busy Days of Summer

The past week has been a whirlwind of activity. Something caught my Etsy site on fire a couple of weeks ago, and I can't tell you how thankful I've been for the incredible number of sales.

Well, in response, I've started to wake the site up even more -- uploading several pieces today, in addition to the piece or two I've been putting up each day for the past two weeks.

In today's upload I put the first of my new basket-bowls. Photogenic li'l buggers, if I do say so...

I cooked up a few of these big, round jars at the beginning of August and decided to show a few of them off on Etsy too...

In addition to the Etsy activity, I've been firing the kiln ... actually BOTH kilns every day for the past week of days. Today's the first day in six that I haven't had both kilns going. I'm only firing the glaze kiln right now. Part of the push is (and I'm excited about this) that I'm getting ready for the
Bloominton Indiana 4th Street Festival. This will be my first time trying the show, and I'm hoping to meet lots of new pottery folk down in the southern part of my State.

*****sharp change of subject ahead******

I've been asked how I maintain my Crafthut canopy. I get asked because mine is nearly eighteen years old now, and still looks relatively new -- especially compared to so many other canopies out there at art fairs.

I can't take credit for the shape it's in. Dar has been very faithful to wash it down about 3 or 4 times a year. She used to set the canopy up in the driveway and scrub it down with a floor sponge mop. Then, last year I stumbled upon an idea that works even better.

I now line up 3 regular 36 gallon garbage cans (like Rubbermaid). In the first I disolve an entire tub of Oxyclean in half the barrel of warm water. I start with the top and soak it for a good 20 minutes. Then I step into the garbage can with the canopy and, like Lucy Ricardo stomping grapes, I stomp the sucker clean.

I then move the canopy over to the next barrel -- this one full of clean, cool water -- and rinse it for a few minutes. Finally, I move it over to the third barrel -- yet another rinse of cool clean water.

When I'm done, I put it up on its frame to dry. I stuff clean towels in the corner so that the corner piece metal won't get rust on the newly clean top.

After this treatment, the canopy is as clean as you've ever seen an un-new canopy. Even the white zipper material is brand-spankin'. No kidding.

Oh. And I wear my dirtiest running shoes when I do the canopy stomp. When I'm done, they too look brand new. Gotta love a twofer.


  1. We're looking forward to meeting you and seeing your work in the flesh at the Dillsboro Festival! I'm a student at Piedmont Technical College Professional Pottery Program in Edgefield, SC. Your website has been a frequent topic in our clay business classes. Your website, blog and etsy store have inspired several to take the leap online. The advice and videos you post are very helpful and we all love the pottery. Thanks for doing it. You're going to enjoy Dillsboro.

  2. I am always happy to try a new cleaning technique and your method sounds fantastic! It never occurred to me to clean the tent :) Does it bring in more sales? I'll bet it does!!

  3. Donna, It makes me happy to think the blog might be of some value. Thanks for the note.


    I've been watching your ongoing kiln saga with interest.

    And of course a clean tent increases sales! Nobody will come into a dirty tent. Right? Okay, maybe. I think so.

    Anyway, it looks better and when your display looks better, so do your pots. And a clean tent gives a more professional appearance.

    And (a little serious note) I'm noting too many craftsmen my age who are giving off the appearance of "phoning it in", if you get my drift. I think it's even more important at my age to try to have the appearance of vitality to the booth and the work.