Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Unusual Commissions

Beehive in the Greek Style
Sometimes a request for a piece comes in that is too good to pass up. My neighbor happens to be honeybee man and Professor Emeritus Michael Burgett in OSUs Entomology Dept. His "Far Side Entomology" was deemed the Best College Class in the Nation by Playboy in 2010....but I digress.

Prof Burgett has created a Bee Hive "Museum" at OSU's Bee Lab and wants a replica of a greek beehive like they have used in Greece for the past few centuries. Beekeepers arrange sticks across the top and the bees do the rest. There will be a small opening cut into the bottom for the bees once the clay sets up enough.

Key to my taking on this project was Michael's  promise the beehive didn't have to be perfectly uniform. Hives in the images he showed me were probably all coil built as was this one, but by skilled craftspeople who had made quite a few of them. They looked thrown. This one leans a bit and has a slightly wonky top. After taking this photo I noticed one handle was larger than the other...fixed. The lettering will be carved out to say honeybee in Greek.

Hoping this will be 15 x 15 inches after firing.

Looking forward to adding "In the Collection of OSU Entomology Dept's Honeybee Museum" to my Vita.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To Clean or Not to Clean

After a nine year hiatus from full-time pottery making, one should begin again with a clean studio, or?

In nine years doing pottery part-time, cleaning always took a back seat to making. Plus, clean is a relative term. I tend to be one of those people with a few "rat's nests," so even when I DO clean, it may not look like it to anyone else. Alas, clean I must, because the rat's nests were beginning to encroach too much to work.

Out, out, out. Paperwork and other stuff collecting dust. Don't stop to look. Just dump into recycle bin. Damp wipe, mop, mop again.

What to do with all the saved pottery seconds that have good surfaces, things to learn, ideas to remember, but take up so much space?

Many of these pots are clustered on a small ladder shelf that also has some sentimental value. Our home had been the home of Gilda Koblentz, a potter I unfortunately never got to meet. She had her studio in the garage and basement about ten years before we moved in. We took the 220 wiring for a kiln in the basement as a good sign when we purchased. The previous owners had dismantled all of the homemade ladder-style shelf units she's made but many were still stacked up in the basement. I made do with them for a long time before I invested in sturdier gorilla racks. The last of her shelves should probably be replaced, but think I'll wait until the next big clean-up day.