Well —— The snow’s been flying and it’s that time time of year when we reflect on our lives and think about our friends and and family and the people who may not have the opportunities some of us have had. With 50 years of working at what we love most, Connie and I feel blessed to have worked at what we love most. Working in the arts. And as they say, working in the arts is not a great life choice, ( better to be a doctor) but if you can pull it off, there’s nothing more rewarding. It’s not easy, and it takes a very special type of skill sets, along with a true joy in hard work. The real reward is having people like yourselves who support what we do. We truly thank you.
We’ve been working away filling the shelves and getting ready for our Xmas sale. Connie has
so many mugs that you’ve requested, they seem to be on every shelf and in so many styles it would be hard to not find what you’re looking for. As always, there are bowls and plates and wine goblets, containers and casseroles, glasses and butter dishes. There are so many other nice things it would be hard to start naming them all. We have a few tables of different pieces that need to move along, as we always need to make space for the newer items. Some good bargains are to be found. We will be serving coffee and cookies and tea and a few other goodies. The parking is always great and we’d love it if you could bring a few friends if you can, and we’ll have our regular draw for a $100 gift certificate. We have a 100% return policy if you buy someone a gift and they would like a different pattern or piece or just would like to return the item. If you can’t make it on either of the two weekends, give us a call (403 6525255) and we’ll make sure we make some time for you. Please come to our sale and meet some people and have some fun. Make a day of it. Go to the train for lunch. You’ll love it. I’ll be giving tours and explaining anything you can ask about pottery or the arts or motorcycles. If you haven’t seen the one I just finished, I think you’d enjoy it.
Bob and Connie
There’s a lot of confusion about the way pottery gets its colour, so I’ll try to explain without getting into too much ceramic engineering. Generally, people have an idea, that the colour on pottery is some sort of paint you can purchase in any colour, at the store. This misunderstanding may come from the hobby ceramics industry where glazes are bought in small bottles, and ‘painted’ onto “greenware’. You could take a brush and ‘paint’ your car with milk, but it doesn’t mean the milk is ‘paint’. Paint is made up of a base with a mixture of coloured pigments. The colours are formulated partly from organic compounds found in plants and pigments from crushed minerals. Paint can be quite easily mixed to make up almost any shade or tone of colour you desire. Glaze, on the other hand, is basically a mixture of minerals and metallic oxides that when ‘fired’ in a kiln become a form of glass. The colours that are produced are not always because of the ‘pigment’ effect of the minerals and oxides, but because of the chemical reactions taking place in the kiln atmosphere when the materials melt together. Generally, the higher the ‘firing’ temperature of the ceramic piece, the less bright colour there is, but the higher the ‘firing’ temperature the stronger and more durable the ware. So—–you can have lots of colours and a less durable product, (earthenware), or a very strong, durable product, (stone ware and porcelain) with less choice of colours. All of the colours we use on our pottery come from literally years of ‘glaze testing’, so when we get a request to ‘just make some mugs in a nice light pink’, it would mean a couple of months of testing glaze formulas until we may get to that particular glaze colour and then the glaze may not have the other qualities necessary to be practical and functional.
If only we could just make any colour we want. Glaze is a very complicated material. It not only has to be the right colour but it also must meet many more important demands such as ‘fitting’ the clay body so it does not ‘craze’ or ’shiver’ off the pot.The glaze must be scratch resistant and not mark when you draw a knife across it. In the end, we try our hardest to make a line of pottery that is appealing but is more importantly, strong, durable and of the very highest quality. The hardest part of the pottery business is not the skill of making pots but the art and technology of making durable glazes to decorate the pots. Bob