Friday, December 30, 2011

Just want to say that it's been awesome this year for our Louisiana football teams.  UL won the New Orleans Bowl with a nail biting 4th quarter and a splendid field goal by Bret Baer. LSU is going to beat BAMA to clench the BCS championship! And the NO Saints have never been better.  Last game Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's record for most yards gained in pass completions (or however you say it) for a single season. His incredible receivers have played no small role in this, but ultimately it's been his ability to find his open players and put the ball into their hands that has won him this recognition. Couldn't be prouder to be from Louisiana right now! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

WHY didn't I figure this out sooner?
It's the shampoo I use in the shower! When I wash my hair, the shampoo runs down my whole body and (duh!) printed very clearly on the shampoo label is this:
No wonder I've been gaining weight! Well, I've gotten rid of that shampoo. I'm using Dawn dish soap instead. The label reads:
Problem Solved!
If I don't answer the phone, I'll be in the shower.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's the difference between stoneware (ceramic) clay and and polymer clay (also known as Sculpey or Fimo)?

While we were working on a craft project, some kids in the neighborhood were asking me a very good question that I thought I'd share with you. What's the difference between stoneware (ceramic) clay that I use for my pottery and polymer clay (also known as Sculpey or Fimo) that we were using for our crafts?  The answer is practically EVERYTHING! I could understand their confusion since both substances have been called "clay," probably because they can both be molded/shaped and use heat to harden them. But as to how they are different:  ceramic clay is a natural mineral substance composed largely of silica (the same material that glass is made of) while polymer clay is not really clay at all - it is PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic (the same material your pipes may be made of). Although both are heated in the production process, stoneware clay is slowly, heated to 2260 F or higher (at which point it becomes very strong) while the Plastic clay is heated to 250 F (which is great because it uses very little energy and takes very little time.)  When stoneware is "glazed" it is coated with another clay that is even higher in silica content, which, when heated (fired) to to temps above 2200F, becomes  extremely hard and glasslike and  which makes it "waterproof" in the glazed areas. When plastic clay is "glazed," it is coated with  acrylic which is not baked.  While ceramic clay bodies only have the vibrant colors available with plastic polymer clay when they are glazed, one of the main advantages of natural ceramic clay is that it is a material known and proven to last the ages (centuries). In today's throw away society, it's nice to know that your stoneware clay product  has the potential to be passed down to future generations, and if it's handmade also, it will be something to be treasured!

 This is a new piece; sort of a bizarre, out of the ordinary, tea light/luminary. It was hand thrown, altered while wet, and then carved when leather hard. It's glazed with a commercial glaze, Coyote's gun metal green.  (we usually use our own glazes, but this one is so cool!)

EMT Etsy Mud Team Challenge! Today's the last day to vote in the Platter Challenge.  (Voting earns you a 20% off coupon to participating Etsy Mud Team shops, of which Hurricane Pottery is one!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year's Resolution

I'm not sure how I feel about New Year's Resolutions.  I mean, I think they're a great idea; goals are always good. It's just that they're so hard to keep when you set them too high.   But then I'm reminded of that saying, "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss at least you'll land among the stars."   I think what I need to remember, however, is expressed best in this quote, Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.”  Either way, the point is that goals need to be set and they need to be (reasonably) high. So I have 2 major goals.  First and foremost, I plan to begin each day with some flexibility exercises, to be followed in the afternoon by a bicycle ride for aerobic exercise, and to be accompanied by sensible eating throughout the day. Second,  I plan to throw,  build, or glaze 4 days a week  This one is a challenging if only because the the "studio," also referred to as a "garagio" is not really climate controlled.  I have a propane heater that works well to keep my legs warm, but it takes a while before my hands get  warm.  When you're working with wet clay and water, this can get uncomfortable. It helps to start out with a bucket of hot water, though.  So no more excuses! I will "just do it!" as Nike says.     Here's one of the hand built pieces I'm making more of.

I'm also planning to keep this blog updated!   Many thanks to my Handmade Louisiana Team for the push I needed to get back into this. Please check out our team blog and visit the shops of team members to see some of the talents expressed by people in (and from) Louisiana!     You'll find some of our team members' shops in this treasury:

The Etsy Mud Team, one of my other teams, is doing a Pitcher Challenge! Please go to this site and vote for you favorite pitcher! You'll receive, by email, a coupon for 20% off at participating mudder's shops! 

This is our entry!  The Wetlands Pitcher!