Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back to School Shopping

Well, we did our back to school shopping.  This is the last actual "school" shopping with my children since Marsh is a senior this year.  Walking through Staples, I walked by the bins with all of the pencils, pencil pockets, crayons, markers, erasers, etc.  All the things we had to get when they were in the lower grades.  To think this chapter of my life has come to a close, is very sad.  I remember the Augusts where we would head to Staples, Wal-Mart or whatever store had what we needed with our lists from school in hand.  This time, Marsh had his own list in hand and we went our separate ways in the store.  He to find what he needed and me to find the things I needed for Palm Tree.  

While out shopping we ran into some of our friends - the Welborns, Meredith, Whitney, and Kylie.  They were in Omega Sports.  Whitney is a senior this year and I had Kylie in kindergarten.  She is going to be a freshman in high school!!!  Where did the time go.  She is also taller than me (although it does not take much to be taller than me - so they say).   We ran into Kissie Stroup in Staples.   We talked about the kids growing up and she told me I could take her two youngest school shopping to easy my pain. 

On other matters, the chicken cookers are still drying.  Hopefully they will go into the first firing by tomorrow.  This is a slow process.  

Tyler is coming home from Montreat tomorrow - YEAH!!! He will be bringing the tiles I made in the class on Monday.  I will be glazing them when Mac glazes this week.  I bought my grout from Lowe's yesterday, so when they are glazed, I will be ready to put my mirror together.

Looks like today is going to a very cloudy day and we are getting a break from the heat.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.  

The Potter's Wife :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chicken Cookers

Everyone has heard of the "beer" cookers for cooking whole chickens.   We make a pottery version of this.  The next few posts will be taking you through the process of the chicken cooker being made and ending with me cooking a chicken in one.

My brother-in-law, Oma Hester sent Mac a picture of a chicken cooker and asked Mac to try and make one.  Mac made one and sent it to Oma (who by the way could be a gourmet chef).  He in turn tried it out on his grill and sent us the recipe he used.  So began Palm Tree Pottery's chicken cooker which comes with its own recipe.  The cooker can be used on your grill (over indirect heat) or in your oven.  The recipe you get with the cooker is actually Oma's.  

Yesterday, Mac made seven chicken cookers.  That means I had work to do today. They have to sit and firm up (that means they have to dry some) before I can put the handles on the sides.  Here are the seven cookers waiting for their handles.

Today, I had to extrude handles from the extruder.  I cannot pull handles like most potter's do, so I have to use our extruder.  It is like using the thing you put Play-Doh in when you were a child and used the slide with cut outs to make the play dough come out in different shapes.  Only our extruder is a little on the larger side as it is bolted to the wall!!  Anyway, I had to put the handles on the sides of the cookers.  This way you have something to hold on to when you are moving the cooker off the grill or out of your oven.

Now they all have to dry completely before being put into the kiln to be fired for the first time.  

Hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the process in making our pottery.  I should have been out there when Mac was actually making them to take a picture, but I was paying bills, I mean which is more important!!!

Hope everyone is staying cool.  It was really hot in the "studio" aka the garage, when I was working today.  

I do not even like thinking about tomorrow - we have to do back to school shopping!  Where has the summer gone?!

The Potter's Wife :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Weekend in Montreat

We just got back from another weekend in Montreat.  It was still unbearably hot, but we did at least have some rain.  We had to deliver an order to the bookstore and it gave us  a reason to go.

We spent time with Mac's Dad, which is always fun.  He lives at Givens Estate, which is a very nice retirement community in Asheville.  We had dinner with him on Saturday night and he came over and went to church with us on Sunday morning, had lunch with us at the Inn and then went back.  We surprised him by going over on Sunday night to visit him.  Mac, Tyler, and Marsh played pool while Elliott, Izzy and I watched. 

We enjoyed spending time with Tyler since he had Sunday and Monday off.  He is in his last week of work at the Inn.  He will work next Sunday and then head back home. 

While we were in Montreat, I did something that I do not usually do and that was to take two classes on Monday at the Pottery.  I took the tiled mirror class on Monday morning with Mary Moore.  We had a great time.  Of course, I left my camera at the house!!!  We made clay tiles that will be bisque fired this week.  The rest of the class will hand paint glaze on their tiles on Thursday.  After being fired Thursday night, they will meet on Friday to put the mirror together with the tiles.  Tyler is going to pick my tiles up along with the board and mirror that I will need to complete my project.  I will glaze my tiles here in our studio and fire them in our kiln since I am not there.

The other class I took was hand building an owl out of raku clay with Mary Kathryn. I made two and hopefully they will raku fire them this Thursday so Tyler can bring them home to me on Sunday.  Anne Stone is going to glaze them for me.  I really appreciate it.  When I get everything back, I will take pictures and post on a future blog.

Today has been very cloudy and off and on raining.  We have really been busy and the heat had drained us.  We have just been taking it easy today, but tomorrow it is back to the real world - paying bills, washing clothes, - you get the picture.  

Take care, until the next post.

The Potter's Wife :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

Thanks to Pam (who cut my hair today - she is the best) for the headliner of today's post!  

It has really been hot and as you can see, Izzy has been enjoying the pool along with all of us.  We have been working in the mornings because the studio/garage is just too hot in the afternoon.  I mixed the chemicals for two glazes this morning and thought I was going to melt.  I have to wear a mask because of the dust from the chemicals, latex gloves to keep it off my hands, and then I had on my apron (you have not seen this one - I made it last year just for the pottery), so I was (as us Southerners would say) glistening - basically just plain ole sweating!!  I then had to put all the parts on four pigs and do a special vase (I cannot tell anymore than that, because it is a surprise that someone ordered!!) which I carved on.  By the time I was finished, I could have jumped in the pool straight from the shop.  I did wait until I had eaten and had given my stomach time to digest before getting in.

I really cannot believe how hot it has been this summer.  Our oldest, Tyler, is still in Montreat working and he told me this afternoon that it is still very hot up there. I am very thankful for air-conditioning.  

Tonight we went to church for the first time in a few weeks.  It was good to see our friends, Wayne and Nancy, and Tim and Elisa.  I also got to have a few minutes to chat with my friend, Barbara.  I usually work in the youth on Wednesday nights, but we are not having small groups this summer, so I will not be doing that until the fall.  

Not really much to talk about.  The kiln is running a bisque load right now, so Mac will be glazing in the next couple of days.  Tomorrow night I am having two dinner guests joining us.  They are two of my good friends, Susan and Sheila - that is right, there will be two Sheila's at our dinner table.  I cannot wait. It will be a Girl's Night, although Mac and Marsh will be here.  I am sure they will make themselves scarce, because there will be a lot of girl talk going on!

Until next time -

The Potter's Wife:)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chiminea Pictures

Right now we are in Blowing Rock for the night.  We went and picked up our pottery from Lees-McRae.  They seemed to have had a good show and we sold a fair amount of pottery.  

Tomorrow we will service our booth at Artwalk and the chimineas will be a new item there - Nancy - we will make you another one!!!

We will have to hit the studio running when we get back.  I have pigs to put together and glazes to make so we can fill the orders that have come in.

Below are images of the two chimineas we made in Montreat and glazed at home.
The glaze on the chiminea on the left is Lavender Delight, and the one on the right is Craggy Gardens.  The left one is on our screened porch and the other one is on the counter behind my sink.  You could also put them outside.  Keep in mind, when you have a lit candle in them, the chimney part gets very hot.  The candle in these was not lit long, but the chimney started getting hot very quickly.

Okay, Mac, Izzy, and I are outside in a swing enjoying the cool night air here in Blowing Rock.  We had a nice dinner (Mac, Marsh, and I - Izzy had to stay in the room) at Six Pence Pub.  We always enjoy the food there and the service is excellent.  We also had for dessert - The Ultimate Chocolate Cake!!!!  This is the best!!!!  If you like chocolate - and we do - it is worth the trip just for the dessert. Their French Onion Soup is wonderful, also.  

Time to sign off.  Hope to be back this week with some cooking/recipes in our pottery to show you just how functional it is.

Until next time,

The Potter's Wife :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Back in the Real World

We are back home.  What more can I say.  We have just gotten an order off of the website and the Montreat Bookstore has given us another order.  We are very happy to have these orders, but that means back to the potter's wheel and I am back to my slab roller!!!  Our studio is our garage and no it is not air-conditioned.  So, we try and do as much as we can in the mornings because of the heat.  The first thing we had to do was to glaze a load. That will be coming out soon and I have a piece I have to deliver.  Remember the chimineas???  Well they are in the kiln waiting to come out.  Hopefully, the next post will show pictures of how they turned out.  It is like waiting to open your Christmas present!!!

Just because I am married to a potter does not mean I do nothing else.  Right now I am getting ready to do everyone's favorite activity - grocery shop!!  Right.  Anyway, that is part of my day today and we are having a dinner guest tonight, so I need to get in gear and get out of the house.  

My brother-in-law and his family should be moving into the cottage in Montreat and we left them a note about the "bat siting".  Just thought they would need a little excitement.

Hope everyone is still staying cool.  Maybe we will get some rain today.  

Until the next post  - hopefully with pottery pictures,

The Potter's Wife

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Winding Down in Montreat

We are winding things up here in Montreat.  This is always sad.  I have been cleaning the cottage and getting it ready for my brother-in-law and his family.  Mac went down to the Potter's Wheel to unload his pieces from the kiln and had to wait for the second kiln to cool down.  While waiting, he helped instruct in throwing on the wheel.  I am glad he can help someone else throw since he has not been able to help me!!  He says I have the hands of a "logger"!  Mac made two small chimineas that you could put a candle in and either have on a screened porch, on a table on your deck or wherever you would like to put it.  After I decide how to glaze them, I will try and post a picture when they are ready.  They will have to get home with us, be glazed and fired, so that could potentially be a week before they are finished.

We went to the Huckleberry last night for ice cream - my favorite thing to do in Montreat.  If you are wondering, the Huckleberry is a grill here in Montreat that also serves ice cream.  Everybody just loves the "Huck" as we call it.  Anyway, tonight we will go over to Givens, where my father-in-law lives, and have dinner with him there. Givens is a very nice retirement community in Asheville that he moved to last fall.  

I am in the Inn with Tyler using the internet.  There are small groups all around us from the youth conference that is here.  One group is talking about Job and the one behind me is talking about why do bad things happen to good people.  I just wonder if the kids are listening or what is going on in their minds.

It is sunny with clouds, maybe a chance of rain later.  There is a breeze, but the humidity is still high.  I am under a ceiling fan and it is very comfortable.  If I was in one of the small groups, I would be dozing because it is so comfortable.  

I will be heading over to the Potter's Wheel in a little while to just sit on the porch and enjoy all of the creativity that is going on.  This really is a piece of heaven on earth!!!  

Until the next time -

The Potter's Wife

Monday, July 12, 2010

We Have Been Busy

Okay, sorry I have missed a few days, but will fill you in on what has been going on.

We set up our pottery at Lees-McRae for the Craft Show for Frolic Week.  If you are in Banner Elk or that area, please stop in for their craft show.  Everything that we sell there, a part of the cost goes to the college. 

I finished my apron on Friday morning and have used it everyday since.  I just love it!!  Here are a few pictures of the finished product.

This picture is of Mac, myself, and friends of ours on the porch at the Potter's Wheel.

Since then we have had our friends Alice and Nancy for dinner on Friday night along with two friends of our oldest, Tyler.  Saturday night we had a pot luck with the staff from the Potter's Wheel at Will and Ann's.  What a great time we had with everyone there!! 

Sunday was a sad day as my buddies and cohorts in crime, Alice and Nancy headed back home.  We went to the Auditorium for church and then to the Inn for lunch.  Tyler did not have to work and his friends were still here, so that helped to make the day much better.  

Sunday night we had Ann and Marilyn for dinner along with my father-in-law and my sister-in-law.  We had a great time just talking around the dinner table until everyone was ready to go home and go to bed!!!  

All in all, we have been having dinner guests, potlucks and just having a great time.  Today, Mac does not have to be at the Potter's Wheel, but is there anyway to load some of his pieces in the kiln so we can transport them home to glaze there.  While he was there I think they put him to work!  So, I am at the Inn using the internet and I have to go back to the house to meet the guys from Lowe's Hardware to install a new refrigerator in my father-in-law's house.  The next few days will consist of cleaning the houses getting them ready for my brother-in-law and his family and then back to our home and making pottery to restock our shelves. 

Hope everyone is staying cool.  It is overcast here today and they are saying rain for this week.  It is still a little humid, but nothing like what it has been.  

I am off to make sure the refrigerator gets here.

Until - maybe - tomorrow - I will try.

The Potter's Wife

Thursday, July 8, 2010

There is a Heat Wave in Montreat

We are melting here in Montreat!!!  I know it is like that every where else too.  
We do not remember it being this hot here in a very long time.  Thankfully, it cooled off last night, but today is another hot one.

We had a little excitement this morning at our cottage.  I was up and getting ready (at 5 am- it is a habit) and I start to open the bathroom door when Mac yells "Don't open that door!!"  Long story short, a bat had gotten into the house and he was trying to get it out.  See the cottage is a summer cottage and not winterized, so sometimes these things happen.  We have not had a bat in a long time.  I am just grateful that it did not decide to take flight when I got up and headed to the bathroom or that it did not fly into the bathroom when I went in and shut the door.  Needless to say,  I would have woken up everyone on that end of North Carolina Terrace!!!

Tuesday night we went out to eat mexican in Black Mountain.  We went to Ole's Guacamoles, our very favorite place.  If you like mexican food, this is the place.  It is AUTHENTIC!!!!!   They have just moved into their new location on 70, (actually I think they call it State Street).  Anyway, it is the old Olympic Flame building.  They have a lot more seating than before and they still have their outdoor seating.  You really need to go and eat there when you are in this area because you will not be let down.  Not only is their food excellent, but their staff is the best!!  

I have been sewing an apron with pink pigs on a black background - very cute - with pink gingham accent straps and pocket.  My friends Nancy and Alice have been helping me.  Once it is finished I will post a picture. 

We are winding down our stay here.  Mac has 2 days left as potter in residence and we go tomorrow to set up our Lees-McRae show.  It always gets a little sad to have to say good-bye to our friends we see each summer, but it will not be long and we will all go back to our respective homes.  Thank goodness for computers, email, and Facebook - what did we do without them.  I know we did not have to walk to Assembly Inn with our computers and log onto the internet. 

The picture above is Mac working on the wheel on the porch of the Potter's Wheel.  This picture was taken by my friend Nancy.  Thanks Nancy, I will miss you when you go home.

Until tomorrow - hopefully,

The Potter's Wife

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another Day in Montreat

While Mac is helping everyone make pottery at the Potter's Wheel, I have been waiting for the repair man to work on our dryer.  Marsh, our youngest (16), has been waiting for the UPS man to bring his new camera!!!  The UPS man came and brought the camera, but I have not heard from the repair man.  Oh well.

Hopefully, now that the camera has arrived, we can take some pictures and add them to the blog.  

Again, I am off to see Mac at the pottery. I have been sewing potter's aprons at our house since all the sewing machines were taken yesterday afternoon in the sewing room.  I think that is what I will be doing this afternoon, but maybe I will have to have a little siesta on the porch swing first.

Hope you are having as great a summer as I am.  

Until tomorrow -

The Potter's Wife :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Welcome to The Life of a Potter's Wife

Hey I am Sheila Hester and I own Palm Tree Pottery with my husband Mac.  I am going to being sharing what it is like to live with a potter and what goes on in our lives.

Right now we are in beautiful Montreat, NC where Mac is potter in residence for two weeks.  We love the mountains and we love Montreat.  He learned to do pottery here and comes back every summer to help teach.  

In my blogs, I will be sharing with you when we are doing shows and where.  As a matter of fact, we will be setting up this Friday at Lees-McRae for Frolic Week.  It will be open to the public on Saturday, July 10 through July 19.  We would love for you to come and see all the crafts on display.  It benefits the college, so come out and see our pottery and enjoy beautiful Banner Elk, North Carolina.

This is a short post, but I will be back.  I do not have a camera with me - our son just sold his - that I use - and his new one has not come in  yet, but when he gets it, I will be posting pictures soon.  Until then, please go to our website and see our pottery -

I have to close for now and go back to the pottery where Mac is working. I do not do pottery while I am here in Montreat -BECAUSE I LIVE IN IT!!!!!, but I am going to sew with my wonderful friends, Alice and Nancy.  

See ya soon!!!

The Potter's Wife :)