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Pottery Thoughts

It's Time for the Annual 'Almost Perfect Pottery Sale'

It's Time for the Annual 'Almost Perfect Pottery Sale'

A question asked often in our gallery is 'Where are your seconds shelf?
I disappoint many people when I tell them that we have a one day Second Sale in May during the Memorial Day weekend. And so many of our customers would miss it.  I heard that so often that three years ago we included Facebook Live.  That was fun, stressful and cumbersome.  After two years of stumbling around I put all the pots on sale on our website.  This was better than I imagined it could be.  It was still fun and stressful but also the sale ran smoother and it was more organized.  And everyone is a little happier.
Spring 2021, we added another second sale. We needed to boost our winter sales and get those seconds off our hands and into someone else's.
A pottery second isn't always a failure of the process or the potter, but is proof that anything can be more beautiful with a flaw or two. 
Those seconds - Just how good are they, or rather, how bad are they??
Not bad at all.  Often you won't be able to spot the flaw. Sometimes what we're dissatisfied with seems just fine to you.  Minor chipped edges or a glaze fail are not enough to toss the pot on our 40 year old shard pile.  Our policy is to never point out the the offending spot(s). If you can't tell then, why should we show it to you!
We've been holding our Almost Perfect Pottery Sale for over 20 years. There are customers who only shop for our pottery at our second sale...so it's also a little re-union at the beginning of our busy season. Some of our pottery lovers bring their own shopping bags to make my job easier.  We're happy that our seconds shelves are empty and that so many people brought our pots home with them.  

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LIVE Online Demonstrations Resume Wednesday Nov. 3, 2021

LIVE Online Demonstrations Resume Wednesday Nov. 3, 2021

In December 2020 we started our Facebook LIVE pottery demonstrations and  NOW it's time for those Wednesday mornings to begin again.

Demonstrations are performance art.  I learned that quickly.  John loves to share information and supports all potters, regardless their proficiency, with encouraging words and even a glaze recipe or two.

Back to John's demonstrations: Each day is a day in the life of a Studio Potter, which he proudly represents.  That means that sometimes we can predict or plan for our Wednesday mornings and sometimes we can't  The is an ebb and flow to our pottery/studio lives.  This week we may be glazing.  Whatever we do, we're so glad you're with us.

If you've got a question (about clay and pottery only :) let us know. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://fb.me/e/2gYjZxkTc

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First Kiln Opening of 2021 is Saturday April 24 at 1:00pm

First Kiln Opening of 2021 is Saturday April 24 at 1:00pm

We're excited to share that we will have our first firing of 2021 this Thursday! John will load the kiln and brick in (close) the door Wednesday He'll get in almost 200 pieces of pottery of varying sizes.

This firing will take the better part of the day and then the cooling period lasts about 36 hours. This means that we'll have our first Kiln Opening in 2021. And you're invited to watch this rare moment (we have 10-11 firings a year).

 The actual Kiln Opening will be on Saturday April 24 at noon. Masks are required. The kiln room is small, so we'll allow up to 4 people. Families can all enter together. The kiln is in a shed, next to the studio, which has open doors and good ventilation.


We hope you can come and experience this special moment in our pottery lives.

 

#pottery #gasfiring #kiln #handthrownmug #potterymug #potterybowl

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What I've Learned From Doing Facebook LIVE For Three Months

What I've Learned From Doing Facebook LIVE For Three Months

Thanks for opening this email newsletter --
John and I started doing Facebook LIVE pottery demos in December, just before Christmas, as a way to reach out to our friends/customers.  We're familiar with the many questions people have asked over the years (this is our 47the year!) and we wanted to address our pottery practice, share the ups and downs of being a studio potter like John, and get back to interacting online like we do here in our gallery.  We do miss having people in our gallery.

We've had fun, actually.  Both if us were nervous and awkward at first.  John slid into his demo mode easily after all.  He drew on the years and years of public demos and teaching pottery and finally both pit firing and raku. I'm lucky to be learning more on the video side and sometimes making rookie mistakes.  It's been fun.

As I mentioned, this is our 47th year here as Ellison Bay Pottery.  John really started something beautiful.  His drive to master all aspects of the process of making pottery made all this: the barn, the orchard, the studio/gallery, teaching pottery and our home possible.
I'll be posting more EBP and John Dietrich stories.  I'm guessing that some of you may have a story or two from your visits here. I'd love to read and share them. 
 
Bye for now---------
Diane and the sleeping Cleo and Bo and Odin. 

PS.- Our special Easter Flower Vase sale starts on Friday (3/26) and ends next Saturday (4/3).  I'll be posting the vases I love the most for the next week.

PPS.  Pottery Emergency??? Call or text 920-740-5859. 

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Online Pottery Demonstrations Continue

Online Pottery Demonstrations Continue

Once a week, on Wednesdays, John sits at the wheel to demonstrate how he makes a variety of pottery items.... on Facebook LIVE!! This is a great demonstration for every one but especially people interested in art, pottery, and creativity. Whether you want to make pottery or you want understand how it's made, John will answer your questions.
There's a new item each week and Diane will take you to their gallery to show you a different pottery items, such as Japanese Tea Bowls (cups) or Ikebana (Japanese flower vase).
Each week is a little different, based on where/when John is in his pottery making cycle. . As they get closer to a bisque firing and then glaze firing you'll see what most folks don't get to see: the whole glazing process.
See you! John & Diane, Ellison Bay Pottery Studios, Ellison Bay Door County WI
PS Having a Pottery Emergency? Call or text Diane at 920-740-5859

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It's Still Soup Weather

It's Still Soup Weather

GOT SOUP?

It's not warming up enough to take soup off our dinner and lunch rotation.  We've found a few Gluten free websites which has really upped our cooking game.  Just like everyone else, we get caught in a food rut.  These two sites saved our minds during this pandemic. Best thing about these recipes is that they are so tasty that the whole family will enjoy them.  And the exotic ingredients are usually found in your grocery. Or Amazon-no joke.

 

The Dizzy Cook   Then there are the moments when the world is dizzy...but it's me instead! We both suffer from vestibular migraines and and this is better than meds! After all it tastes better.

                            

 

 

Jump In--The Flavor is Great  Soy Free Mushroom Ramen I crave Ramen, the really god Ramen.  This is checks all the boxes for me.  I can also control the salt! I'm still getting used to that.

 

A reminder:  Our soup mugs are food safe. This includes dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.  There are rules to follow:  Avoid extremes in temperature.  Don't put hot pottery on a cold surface like stone, some tiles, marble..you get the picture. Soup from the refrigerator  and heated in a microwave isn't cold enough to hurt the mug unless you put it on a cold surface.  Any other questions or comments? You know what to do.

 

 

 

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Recipes for Handmade Pottery Baking Dishes

Recipes for Handmade Pottery Baking Dishes

Here are two website suggestions that we lean heavily on.  IowaGirlEats has tasty gluten free recipes.
And then we love this website: TheDizzyCook.   These recipes are designed to use diet to minimize migraines and vestibular issues.
So- how do you preserve and protect your baking dish?  Simple.
  • DO NOT preheat your oven. Put your ingredients in the pottery baking dish and then put the full dish in a cold oven and heat together.  Trust us....We're the potters.
  • Avoid browning the top with the broiler.
  • Avoid tapping hard on the edge with utensils.
  • Clean up: Our baking dishes are dishwasher safe, but make sure the dish and lid are secure so they don't rattle (and chip). We hand-wash all our pottery

Have a favorite recipe to share?  We'd love to try it.  We're really good at adjusting recipes to fit our 'weird' food (as our loving children often mentioned!).

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French Toast on Pottery Plates and Free Pottery Shipping February

French Toast on Pottery Plates and Free Pottery Shipping February

Using pottery everyday may seem extravagant to those who worry about our pottery being fragile or easily cracked.  And you spent way too much money on that pottery - pottery should be protected from the bumps of ordinary life.
cooking with a pottery plate and pottery bowl
Here's an example of how sturdy our beautiful, ART for Everyday Pottery is.  When I married John in 1998 we merged our families- my four children (8-16),   
1 dog and 2 cats PLUS John's 4 cats and 2 dogs. We moved right before the season began and boy was there an adjustment period!
cooking with a pottery plate and pottery bowl
Dish washing was a big adjustment.  Each dish in John's home were made by John so each dish was washed individually.  On the farm (yes, I moved from a daily farm to a fruit barn!) we stacked dirty plates in the sink and filled it up with hot water and detergent.  No way could we do that anymore here in Ellison Bay.  In reality, it took the same amount of time, but for some reason this was one of those hills a couple of my children chose to die on. (metaphor). This is when I learned first hand how resilient John's plates, bowls, cups, mugs and pitchers were.  They were made and meant for daily use by real people and children.
cooking with a pottery plate and pottery bowl
Those brilliant kids broke all the rules and still couldn't chip or break those plates etc often enough to be banned from washing the dishes.  And seeing John's wince when they did cause a minor flaw helped them learn too!
cooking with a pottery plate and pottery bowl
Of course you have to be careful with any dinnerware. They will break if you drop them. But a simple shift in thinking about using and cleaning pottery dinnerware gives us an opportunity to enjoy each mug or pitcher or plate.  For me it's almost meditative, as long as I don't let my mind wander over to my 'to do' list. 
cooking with a pottery plate and pottery bowl
John welcomes dinnerware orders any time, but especially in the off season.  Few Interruptions (show storms and wood splitting) to interrupt wheel time.
pottery making on the potters wheel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Your Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

        Need a few ideas? We've got some ideas and they all include our pottery. If this doesn't help you - remember that our Gift Cards can be emailed to you at the very, very last minute.  Don't worry about exchanges either.  Just call us. 

Mugs for Winter

Lighting the Way All Year 

Goblets for Life

Vases for Daily Flowers

It's Going to be a 'Bowling' Good Year

The Answer is a Crock

Fish on the Wall

Gift Cards

$10.00 - $200.00

 

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