I have to say right up front that none of these pots are yet for sale.

All potters feel the need to peek into the hot kiln as soon as possible. For me that is at about 800 degrees. At 800 the colors are fairly true. Above that 800, the "red" of "red heat" distorts the colors. Since I can only open the lid for a second or two, I usually take a picture to examine the contents. Here is one such picture. I had my sunset poplar pots on the top shelf and took a quick picture. They looked good in the picture.

Once things cool down, I can take them out and really examine them. The sunset pots were wonderful!! But believe it or not, they went back in for another firing to solve some minor problems. Actually, every pot you see here went back in again! What can I say? I'm searching for perfection. These are pretty close, but not "there."

My "Spring Sunshine" head came out and went back in as well. It is close to what I had in mind but I reglazed it and refired it. This picture is after the second firing. I don't have a picture of the third firing result. Just let it be said I still am not happy.

As did the Oak Tree Pot. It improved. It picked up some runs and drips, but I like it better.

Between firings, Aaron and I took a week to make some Christmas bowls. We were under the gun timewise and had to put the freshly thrown bowls outside to stiffen up to speed things along. I didn't get any of my Christmas bowls glazed in time, but Aaron did. I spent too much time reglazing the pots I have already shown you in order to get them in for the final firing before Christmas. My pots that were reglazed and Aaron's bowls filled the kiln, so my Christmas present bowls had to wait. They still sit unglazed.

Immediately after Christmas I took a little time from glazing and made a few Moby Dick pieces. It was an irresistable need- like Ishmael's need to go to sea. I made a Moby Dick as big as I can get in my 32" kiln. This is a picture of the start of the process, before everything is sized and shaped to look like the whale. Click this link to see the first Moby Dick.

Then I made something I have wanted to make for a long time. Believe it or not, this is a shrimp boat. I will serve shrimp in the bowl, sauce in the whale boat and toothpicks in the holes in the whale's back will be the "harpoons" to pick up the shrimp.

Here is a close up of the sauce boat and a few of the sailors that have been dumped into the sea. You know their fate. This piece is a "novelty" piece like my clock, (this link will show you a couple of them, and my water fountain. My mind races when I think of what children will think when they go to dip a shrimp in the sauce boat and see the face on the soul holding onto the boat for dear life. I doubt the kids will ever dip a shrimp in sauce again without thinking of this piece. I can't wait to use it.

This is a picture of the big whale drying on some foam. I had to put the whale tail in a splint so it could be moved without cracking.

Remember me bragging about this pot in the last update? I implied- but did not say- that my birch tree pots would rival any ever made? Well, I did not get the results I expected. I got the wrong colors. But damn does the finished pot point the way to where I want to go!!!

They are close. Wait till I reglaze these and then wait for the second batch. Then I will say, "Put these next to the Rookwood vellum birch pots and tell we what you think!"

Finally, here are the finished Poplar pots. The refire not only solved some minor problems, but it also did some unexpected and wonderful things. The mountains and the foreground just picked up a sunset glow! Sometimes I get lucky.

One final thing. Hopefully this update has wet your appetite for some pots. You can't get them here -at least not yet. But, Gerg Belhorn is going to auction a number of my pots from his collection in early February. Here is a link to his auction site where some of the pots are posted. I think he is going to auction considerably more than the four pictured, but I can't say for sure. I wouldn't mind having that big blue sleet pot back! I'll tell you more if I hear more.

A HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL. AND MAY YOU GET THE POT(S) OF YOUR DREAMS IN THE NEW YEAR! (I already got the pots of my dreams- the sunset poplars!!)