Jun 10 2013

Finally Back in 2013

Well I’m back!  After a long <gulp> year and a half hiatus, I think I am ready to start blogging again.   Hooray!  So much has happened in that period, good and bad, its hard to know where to start.

For those of you who are new to this site, Welcome!  If you are a return visitor, I want to say thanks so much for coming back.   Really, thank you!

I will be making some long overdue revisions to the site, as you probably noticed, my photo galleries are not exactly accessible, thanks to a software conflict between the WordPress blogging platform (which is what I chose to use for my entire site) and the photo gallery platform I had used previously.

My big plan in the coming weeks is to get these photo gallery pages operational and more up to date so they reflect more current work.   If you have been following my personal profile or Webb Pottery Page on Facebook, you probably have a bit of an idea of what has been going on here at the studio lately.  There’s new work, new kilns, and generally, a bunch of change.

You may also follow me on Pinterest, and of course, Twitter.   (That’s a lot of online stuff!  No wonder I haven’t been blogging!)  Anyways, I have a lot of revisions and tweaking ahead of me, obviously :)

In the meantime, I will leave you with a photo of one of the raku tiles we did for this year’s Grandman Triathlon which took place last weekend.

 

Raku tiles made for awards for this year's Grandman Triathlon in Fairhope AL

Raku tiles made for awards for this year’s Grandman Triathlon in Fairhope AL

 


Oct 16 2009

Blog, Facebook, and the Grand Festival

I have a confession to make. I think I was being fairly conscientious about keeping up with my blog up until the past few months, when I got sucked into  Twitter and Facebook.   Its all good though.  We have a new Webb Pottery Facebook Page there at http://www.facebook.com/WebbPottery/ . If you’re on Facebook, check it out. 

28th Grand Festival of Art, Fairhope ALThis weekend we’ll be at the 28th Annual Grand Festival of Art in Fairhope AL, from 10 am – 5pm both days. 

 The Eastern Shore Arts Center hosts 2 shows a year, one in the Spring, and this one, in the fall.  A few years ago the fall festival was moved from The Grand Hotel grounds in Point Clear, to the park by the Fairhope Pier. 

This year, however,  it will take place right in downtown Fairhope which will be a lot more convenient for both exhibitors and patrons.  For more info regarding the show, please contact the Eastern Shore Art Center at (251) 928-2228 or by email at esac@esartcenter.com.

Please look for us.  You can find us in Booth #50 located on Fairhope Ave., toward Church St. . 

The weather should be great (sunny both days with temps in the mid 60s), so be sure to drop by our booth and check out some of our pottery.   Look forward to seeing you there!

 

(Also while you’re in Fairhope, be sure to check out  the Alabama Coastal Birdfest  at Faulkner College across from the Fairhope Library)


Jan 14 2009

Taking a plunge

(reposted from http://annewebb.wordpress.com ,,)

Sorry I’ve not been posting *to* my blog lately but I’ve actually been busy *with* my blog and website, working to integrate the two. The plan was to not only place them under the same URL umbrella but to give them both a consistent look.

I was going over my blog and web site last week, trying to come up with a plan of action of where I should start. I had already moved my original website over last fall to Bluehost (I took the plunge) in anticipation of the move to an integrated site, so that was done.

In the process of looking over my site and doing a little homework of looking at LOTS of other sites online, I ran a site optimization thingie through websitegrader.com to see just how far off I was from having a good site. Well.. there was lots lacking and having my web site and blog running independently on different sites (it didn’t matter that there were links on each to each other).

My meta tags were too long, I had no headings, my site wasn’t listed in places like http://www.dmoz.com or http://www.zoominfo.com, it couldn’t find my blog.. no RSS Feed.. and the list goes on. The final grade my site got was a dismal 27 out of 100. My blog faired quite a bit better, at 79/100, but it was still lacking in some areas. Interestingly, one of the things toward the end of the report that was a blaring X mark was: “blog found on a free domain” and had a link to this article Why a business blog should not be on Blogspot.com.

So anyways, my old web site is now officially gone and I have moved everything over to a hosted site using wordpress.org. There’s definitely still some tweaking to be done that I will hopefully be able to resolve the bulk of in the next few days, but I have to say, the tech support guys at Bluehost came through like champions to clarify and correct some tough loading issues I had this morning. Yay Bluehost!

My new blog URL is: http://www.webbpottery.com/blog . Come leave a comment! Hope to see you there! :)

Cheers!


Dec 25 2008

Happy Holidays!

peaceoneartha


Dec 5 2008

Bending cones and The Frozen Tank

Webb decorated bisque ware I love the look of pots all laid out whether they be green ware or pots  waiting to be loaded in the gas kiln, as these are.   The mugs almost remind me of a regiment of soldiers, or a tightly packed school of fish all swimming in the same direction.

I’ve been finishing up a gas firing this morning, busily trying to keep the gas tank from freezing up until the propane truck finally makes it here this afternoon.  We’re cutting it pretty close though.. down to less than 5% in the tank and I have the garden hose dribbling some water on it so I don’t lose gas pressure completely.   Thankfully though,  cone 9 is bending evenly top and bottom so we’re in the home stretch.

I made a little adjustment to the way my target bricks were positioned this time (an experiment) in hopes of making the firing more efficient.  Evidently it has had some effect because the last time the kiln was stacked similarly, I had a good cone or 2 difference from top to bottom .   I guess I’ll only know for sure once the kiln is opened.

Looking forward to this kiln opening. I have several pots in there with clay from our new clay deposit I mentioned in my last post.


Nov 24 2008

In Pursuit of Perfect Clay.. part deux

A couple of weeks ago we had a dumptruck load of clay delivered from the new clay deposit.  I guestimated the pile was around 5 tons or so, but as it turns out, our neighbor, who drives for the same kind of truck, told me one of those trucks heaped up with clay like it was, holds something closer to 27 tons (or more?)!!  All 27 tons, just for the cost of trucking it to our studio not 15 – 20 miles away.  (If you have bought commercially prepared clay, you can probably do the math for what the equivalent would be).

We’ve left the dumped clay uncovered and open to the elements now for two weeks or so, in order for the rain to wash away a little of the residual sand off that was picked up in the dump truck onto the clay’s surface. The mound is already starting to turn from a reddy orange to more of a amethyst-y pink clay color.  Yesterday I broke apart a clump  to reveal a piece of nice, clean, sandless solid clay.   Since the time the of the delivery, three or four batches of clay have been mixed.  I have thrown some of it,  and the rest I have left to age a little more.  ..well, until tomorrow, at least, when I start my throwing cycle again.

best digging toolBefore it was time to mix the second batch, though, Lowell took me out to the new deposit site for the first time to help gather some dryer clay for the mix, since the clay we already had at the studio was still a little too damp to crush to a powder.  So off we went..

We drove for about 20 minutes down familiar roads and around familiar turns, when all of the sudden Lowell turned into a little dirt driveway entrance.  It was a lot closer than I thought it would be.

clay mountainWell!  I thought the truck load that was delivered was a lot, but I saw where it was excavated from and it took barely a dent out of the mountain that lay before me.  Here is a picture of what I first saw.  It stands about 20 feet high and is at least 60 feet long .   Its mostly pink clay, though there are layers of white, and red, and a layer further in the middle of some dark shale-like material which I assume is the remnants of decomposed vegetation .

I was chipping away dry surface clay and filling up my bucket, as  the fog gradually cleared.  It was almost like a dream.  Off to my right, was another clay mountain .. and yet another further on.

excavated hillside revealing striationHere is a photo of a hillside that had been excavated with a backhoe.  Sorry,  I couldn’t get the entire hill in the shot but you can get an idea of the various strata.   This layer starts down about 6 feet from the surface and, in this spot, is about 4-6 feet thick.

I’ll try and post more pictures as I can.


Jun 30 2008

In memory of..

Raku Urn with Magnolia Design

Magnolia Raku Pottery Jar by Anne Webb


Mar 24 2008

Taking WordPress for a test drive

I’ve had my blog on Blogspot for a few years now but last week my friend Cynthia from Colorado was singing WordPress praises since moving her blog over from Blogspot. Figured it was worth checking out.

After a couple of days and as many conversations, I ended up transferring all my posts over and am starting to take root. Frankly, I didn’t think it would that easy a sell.

My blogspot URL: http://webbpottery.blogspot.com

My WordPress URL: http://annewebb.wordpress.com


Oct 15 2007

Blog Action Day October 15

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day when blogs everywhere talk about one thing: the environment.

Potters tend to have a reputation for being frugal. Some stems from necessity, some stems out of principle. I started thinking about ways in which we here at the studio try to make a difference to the environment and recycle:

– Building: recycled wood & windows in building studio (reclaimed lots of waste wood from hurricanes which would otherwise be taken to landfill or burned).
– Plastics: We recycle grocery bags & use them for shows (people don’t mind when you tell them it is for the environment) as well as dry cleaning plastic which works perfect for covering pots & protecting controlling how they dry
– Paper: Newspaper and newspaper roll ends are used in the studio for a multitude of uses. Also excellent for packing pots away for/at shows
– Metal: We bought a can crusher and while they don’t pick up recycled items here, we take our tin/aluminum cans to the recycle depot when we are in town.
– Appliances: We have two defunct refrigerators & freezers make excellent damp cupboards and places to keep moist clay.
– Old Machinery: our clay mixers are 2 recycled old machines: one is made from an old WWII anti-aircraft gun and the other a 1915 dough mixer.
– Waste wood & pine needles: We get scrap wood cast offs from the local wood mill and use them to fire the wood kiln. Wood and pine needles burn much more efficiently and with less smoke at the temperatures we fire the kiln to, than it would in a burn pile.
– Cast offs: We use cast-off bisque ware (cracked and unusable) in holes in our driveway, and try to use as many of the glazed cast-offs as bird feeders, planters, dog bowls, etc.. Lots of other shards go to a friend who does mosaics. (We have also used waste oyster shells from the local fishery to fill holes in the driveway – smells a bit at first, but definitely organic)
– Our clay: Now that our clay mixer is operational again, we try to pay extra attention these days to recycle all of our scrap clay into a new batch of mixed clay and make it go as far as possible. A lot of the clay we use, we dig ourselves. The white and bubble gum colored clay that we like to use is considered waste clay to contractors (not good for road base) and they are quite happy if we cart as much as we like off.
– Organic Gardening: We try our best to garden as organically as we can. We have several neighbors with horses that are glad to part with their more than ample supply of muck.
– Commuting: Our little chunk of land houses both where we live and the studio, so thankfully I don’ t have to commute anywhere (except to shows, wholesale customers, and some of my suppliers, of course).
With a group of like-minded artists, we also started a small artist collective to hopefully open up more marketing opportunities closer to home and cut back on travel. Less traveling not only saves us expense, time, and wear and tear on our vehicles (and us) but also means less fuel consumed and less impact on the environment.

Coming from away, I couldn’t help but notice the absence of things such as public transit for commuters and carpooling lanes when I first got down here. SUVs are the vehicle of choice it seems here and its not uncommon to see a Hummer or 2 cruising up the road. No attention to carbon emissions on old vehicles either. Big cars, big boats and often big inefficient houses too. How do permits get granted to construct on valuable wetland? Always has baffled me how a place with so much sunshine has so few people taking advantage or even the slight bit knowledgeable of solar power. Welcome to the Alabama Coast. Consuming with very little thought of conservation. You used to be able to see to the bottom of Mobile Bay not 50 years ago, apparently. Not now though. Pollution from industry-friendly Mobile and other places upstream have unfortunately taken its toll. Its a pity.

Southerners are known to be resistant to change but hopefully they will sit up and take notice before it is too late.