Archive for February, 2010

Remember This One?
February 28, 2010

Porcelain with a buttery rutile glaze…

Coming soon…gold luster! …or would silver luster be prettier with this buttery glaze??

What’s Happenin’?
February 26, 2010

My buddy Brock stopped by Red Star. Below, see him working on a new idea for pitcher handles.

His design involves a second handle…with moving parts. Rubber and metal. Perhaps wood. A turning roller handle low on the pitcher’s base allows the smoothest pour action possible.

There. I think he is finished.

Brock also told me that the links did not work on this blog! So sorry…didn’t know. I spent months of blogging making sure that I checked the links. They always worked…so I stopped checking. Anyway, my studio matey, Stephanie Kantor, figured out why and I think we’re good to go.

I have heard that if it makes a good hat…

…it will be a very good bowl…

This particular bowl will be a gift for one of my facebook buddies. Can you guess who you are?

Here is another puzzle:

What is it?

I don’t know but…

Its groWING!

Last puzzle…

What am I doing tomorrow?

In The Studio…and another GIFT!
February 22, 2010

Yes! It is a bucket. A bucket on a wee pot. This two and a half incher was made and decorated by Stephanie Kantor. Perhaps I shall plant something very tiny. Thanks, Steph!

What’s this?…

Pitchers without handles? Horrors! Must take care of that…

Hunk of clay. Pat into a ball. Smack into a cone.

Instead of pulling handles like a…well like a “normal” person, I attach the cone to my wheel head and begin to pinch.

Pinchy, pinchy.

Hopey. Changey.

Then I invert it, dunk it in water and smooth it out.

A dashing trio, aye Kanada?

The surface is carved so deeply that I fill in the carves where the handle will be attached. I could have left that little area uncarved but that would have taken some forethought now wouldn’t it? Actually it takes about 10 seconds to fill it in…that beats forethought any day!

(If you are reading this, you must now hold up your arms and shout “SCORE”!

Attach the top.

Attach the bottom.

Call me crazy but I like a nice, crisp line on the edge of the handle.

Sometimes I roll “Tara’s Very Important Board” across the bottom of the handle. Sometimes…I don’t.

Aw…much better.

And then…

And then…

I ate that orange. my website.

Two Gifts and a Glaze Test Tip…
February 20, 2010

Remember my posts of little gifts that people leave in my studio. Yesterday I received two!

This is probably the yummiest orange I have ever eaten. Thank you, whoever left it on my table!

The next gift had to be unwrapped…

Uh? I am loved!

Here is perhaps a useful tip when testing glazes…

I tested a glaze last week that turned out to be very runny. This week I made several alterations to stiffen it up. It was so runny on the first tile that it was impossible to see how much it had actually moved. So on these tests, after dipping, I sponged off the glaze on the edge of the tile and marked a line where the dips ended. There are two lines because I wanted to see a single and a double dip, of course. Hopefully, this will help me see exactly how much each modification moves. And I do want it to move…but just the “right” amount.

My Chevy Truck…
February 19, 2010

I am moving this post up to the top for my brother-in-law, Mike. Enjoy!

I attained my love of old vehicles from my father. The first car I “drove” was by sitting on the lap of my dad and steering while he braked and accelerated his ’49 Willys Jeep. It was similar to this one but green.


Following are my father’s vehicles, ones I drove while growing up. In chronological order, of course.


The best way to learn about clutches and gears.


A great wagon for the drive-in movie!


Dad’s was red. Most fun with doors off! He kept the top on, though.


Not exactly a “cool” car in high school but it had a huge engine. Man, could it go!

My “auto ed” began early in my years and started with “Come hold the light for me.” Soon I had been taught enough for “Hand me the wrench. No, the crescent!” As I grew older, I learned quite a bit about vehicles. I actually remember the time my dad showed me where the zerts (sp?) were on my first car…


My ’69 Mustang was similar to this but had a white vinyl top. 302 3-speed. I actually installed a water pump on it once and only had four bolts left over! I kept it for 13 years.

Any time I have ever been out with my father, he always pointed out the older or in some way special automobiles. What he loved most were the pick-up trucks. He always wanted a pick-up but he never had one. I don’t know why because he always had fine enough cars…Jeeps, a ’72 Ford LTD, and later, Lincoln Continentals. His last truck was a GMC Jimmy, close…but not a pick-up. He actually seemed to “pine” for an old pick-up and I wish I had asked him why he didn’t ever own one. Of course, every time I see an old pick-up, I think of my father.

For the last couple of years, I have been preparing to replace my Ford Escort. I was going to buy a friend’s ’05 Civic…not a car I particularly wanted but would admittedly be a good choice. His plans changed recently so within the last two weeks I became comfortable with keeping the Escort. It’s a great car actually. Simple. I have to roll up my own window, I lock the doors without one of those clicker things that I don’t even know the name of, I push a clutch and shift the gears. Ten years ago, I actually had to order this car because dealers don’t tend to order “simple” cars for the lot. “Simple”, remember this word…it is important to the following story…

So here I am, prepared for something but not looking! This, friends is when magic happens…

… last Saturday night, I was working in my studio, my friend, Bowie, walked in and said, “Did you see the truck outside?” You know me well enough now to know that I hopped up and stepped out. When I saw… I think my heart actually went pitty pat! Because there, right there…was parked a…


Thanks to “auto ed” (Dad), I guessed it was a ’65. Make a comment by clicking “Leave a Response” to join the “Name the Truck” contest. Winner gets a ride! (it’s a girl, by the way)

As I walked closer, I wondered if… and glanced to check…”Yes, there is a sign stuck up in the windshield!”. It was for sale. I thought about it all night and woke up thinking about it the next morning. On Sunday, I was describing the truck to my friend Brock. I said, “Maybe I could get it and keep it for a year or two just for fun.” He looked up dreamily and said, “That, would be a great year.” That’s when I knew that the truck would be mine.

The next day the owner, Scott, brought the truck back over to Red Star. He and his wife, Angela, had driven it here on Saturday night to eat dinner at Lill’s. I told him I wanted to take it down on the boulevard for my buddy, Ryan, to check out. Ryan lives across the street from me and knows all about old vehicles. When I asked, “May I drive?”, Scott hesitated…”Do you know how to…” I interrupted with “Oh, yeah.” Still hesitant, Scott said, “Most people don’t know how to drive an old…” “Oh, I’m good…trust me.” He was so sweet, not wanting to offend me but not quite willing to hand over the keys. Third time convinced and I hopped in behind the wheel. Ryan and his buddies, Chad and Zeke gave it a good going over and gave me the “thumbs up”. Next thing I knew…I had a truck.


1965 Chevrolet C10, high torque 230 six cylinder, three on the tree, long bed.


lonnnnnnnnngggg! bed


This is the front!


This is the rear!


A great thing about the truck is that the plate goes well with the color!

My neighbor, “north” Mark (I have a “south Mark, too) just made the first entry into the name the truck contest. It was an “off the front porch” entry. You may enter at the beginning of this post or through facebook.


A great thing about my truck is that it matches my glaze!


I have been accused of wearing socks to match my truck. But the color of my truck is much prettier. It is the color of…

September sky!


This is the bed! I stood on the bumper and wasn’t tall enough to get it all in!

Have you noticed my over use of exclamation marks!?


This is the interior!


I think this is the ash tray!


This is the glove box! The seat belts are in there but soon they will be in their proper place. On the left is a journal where I will keep the maintenance record. Also, passengers may write in observations we make while “on the road”!


I swear I am not dressing to match my truck! Really.

So, as you can see, there are many great things about my truck. But remember how this post began? I want to share with you the best thing about my truck…


In 1965, a farmer in Arkansas bought this truck from a dealer in Huntsville. The dealer’s name is stamped on the back bumper. I didn’t notice this until after I bought the truck.

Hold on to your hat, Daddy-O…this “ride’s” for you.


William ( Bill ) Earl Haddock. 1924-2008.

Enter the “Name the Truck” Contest! You can’t win if you don’t play!

Check back for truck stories and pictures… coming soon, “Girls in My Truck”.



Thank all of you for your entries! They were all great suggestions. I especially enjoyed reading the reasons for your choices. A lot of nostalgia came my way. I have the best friends ever!
And the winner is…
the entry from…

Wait, wait! Before you scream “Foul Play!”… before you accuse us of a nepotistical romp…
Well, it is true that brother Randy had inside information… but even with that, I’m sure that when you know the name you will totally agree!! Remember how the story of the truck started out? With my father, right? Well, my brother remembered that my dad called my mom…


and Susie Q it is!


Virginia Sue Stockdale and William Earl Haddock
Married on New Year’s Day, 1951
Resting in Peace Together

Why You Should Pay A Professional Photographer…
February 13, 2010

Off to Philadelphia for the La Mesa Place Setting show! This is what I am sending…

And this is why you should use a professional photographer such as E.G. Schempf! If you need a hook up, let me know. E.G. rocks.

What Carolyn Missed In Class Today
February 10, 2010

OK Carolyn, you suggested this technique for our plate themed advanced class. And then you did not show up for class! Just teasing…we knew you were having a fun morning learning about photography so we took these pictures to show what we did in class.

Last week we trimmed plates and altered the rims by cutting away parts. We made sure to wrap them up tight so they would be leather hard for today’s project. I guess this would be called the “using paper resist and applying slips” technique. Is there a real name for this?

Jeff K. was a week behind so today he trimmed his plate and cut the rim away slightly so that the width undulated just a little. We have decided that making plates is not too difficult, trimming them can be difficult, and decorating them can be TEDIOUS!

Basically what we are doing is laying pieces of newspaper on the plate, wetting it so that it stays in place, brushing over colored slip, and pulling up the newspaper.

again and again andagainandagain…
You could say I made a small plaider.

Jeff V. put very bold designs on his two plates.

This one has an especially good looking rim, I think. He cut away the rim then topped it with a small coil, blending it in verrrrry smoothly.

This picture was in focus…Debbie is just moving very fast. I am eager to see her plate after firing because she built up numerous thin layers of slip. We will bisque the plates, apply a clear glaze and fire to cone 10.

Maria went above and beyond the call of duty.

Snipping, clipping…

…dipping and slipping.

So Carolyn, you have some catching up to do!

In The Studio Yesterday
February 10, 2010

Leaky pipe repair. Check.
Leaky water heater. Uncheck.
Furnace repair. Ouch.
Broken window repair. Check.
Wheel repair. Check.
Toilet repair. hmmm…will think about that later.

Oh yeah, and this…

Now I’m off for my Wednesday morning advanced class. I’ll take pictures and post them tonight. We are working on plates. Today is slip day!

Rising Stars
February 4, 2010

No sneak preview today. Home with a head cold and didn’t slip into the studio to snap some shots of the Rising Star Show.
But you are still invited!

Friday the 5th 6-9pm
Check out my place setting and other studio member work in the main gallery.
Be sure and look for my “vintage” place setting in the Side Gallery show…teehee It is 10 years old! See how far I’ve come!

Here is an image of the place setting (and more) before the final firing. It just came out of the kiln yesterday and I didn’t feel up to a photo shoot…

I hope to feel better tomorrow and plan on being at the opening. aaaaahh choo! I promise not to kiss you.

February 3, 2010

See below the information for the show which has included this pitcher…
You potters out there will enjoy the words of our friend, Malcolm. (You non potters out there, “Look at the pretty colors!” Hey!…I’m just teasing…geez!)

And here is an image of my 2005 cruet set that was invited to the first shino show that is mentioned. Oh, now that’s a vintage Tara. Speaking of vintage, Red Star’s Side Gallery features vintage work from studio members! That only comes around once a year!

If you find yourself near Port Chester, New York, stop in and see the show!


curated by Malcolm Davis

Curated by Malcolm Davis, this invitational exhibition will feature a magnificent spread of shinos and carbontraps by 74 clay artists from across the nation and abroad.

This exhibition will run from
February 6 – March 6, 2010

Saturday, February 6, from 6-8pm
Gallery Talk: 7pm

About SHINO REDUX 2010:
Shino, a generic term for a family of pottery glazes that originated in Japan in the 16th century, is a glaze that has captivated the imagines of hundreds of potters for hundreds of years. This particular exhibition is redux or “restored” – a sequel to a similar invitational exhibition that Malcolm Davis curated in 2005 in Baltimore. Shino Redux 2010 is an updated version of that exhibition, featuring new artists on the shino “scene” along with those who are recognized for their accomplishments with this persnickety and challenging glaze medium.

Curator Malcolm Davis states, “In this exhibition, there will be all manner of pots and non-pots, white and gray, peach and salmon, fat and thick, quiet and dramatic, big and small, crazed and crackled, crawled and pitted. There will even be some yellows and some blues, and some work that challenges the meaning of what makes shino shino. Redux is a Latin word meaning “brought back” or “restored” and we are bringing back even more variations of shino-type glazes with this sequel shino exhibition. I’ve invited both masters and students to participate in this national exhibition, and the results will be a magnificent spread of shinos and carbontraps.”

HoffmanParticipating artists include: Dan Anderson, Edge Barnes, Parviz Batliwala, Joseph Bennion, Fiorenzo Berardozzi, Dalia Berman, Susan Bogen, Lynn Smiser Bowers, John Britt, Caroline Cercone, Connie Christensen, D. Michael Coffee, Tom Coleman, Charity Davis-Woodard, Tara Dawley, Bruce Dehnert, Aileen Florell, Brett Freund, John Glick, Chris Gustin, Lisa Hammond, Deborah Harris, Kent Harris, Robin Henschel, Catherine Hiersoux, Samuel Hoffman, Gary Holt, Gary Hootman, Dale Huffman, Walter Hyleck, Matt Hyleck, Doug Jeppsen, Nick Joerling, Reena Kashyap, Eric Knoche, Laurie Knopp, Sandy Lockwood, Lee Love, Cory Lum, Chris Luther, David Lynas, Ginny Marsh, Marta Matray, Jonathon McMillan, Priscilla Mouritzen, Rene Murray, Hank Murrow, Dale Neese, Gisele Nimic, Andrew Nolan, Hiroshi Ogawa, Gillian Parke, Roberta Polfus, Les Richter, Dave Roberts, Stephen Rodriguez, Phil Rogers, Deborah Rosenbloom, Toni Ross, Harriet Ross, Steve Sauer, Eric Sawby, Carol and Richard Selfridge, Jeff Shapiro, Machiko Shishido, Rob Sieminski, Joe Singewald, Claude W. Smith III, Will Swanson, Priya Tambe, Georgia Tenore, Joe Vitek, Sharon Kelley Warrington, Tom White and Malcolm Wright.