Works-in-Progress Wednesday (01/11/17)

What are y'all working on this week? I'm shoulders deep in ceramics, hip deep in yarn, and ankles deep in soap. OK, maybe not literally. But I do have a lot going on! Here's what I'm juggling this week...

In ceramics, I've fired the kiln once this week already (a glaze firing). That had a custom order, the last of the new colors I want to release in deviled egg trays and butter dishes (stay tuned for some changes coming there -- I might not have time to switch everything out this week, but next week....?), but mostly the kiln was full of magnets! Yes, I've gotten obsessed with making them, so expect an update on those Friday (and more will be sprinkled into the shop throughout the Spring). I've also packed up a lot of orders for my January mug (thanks, y'all! I hope you love them!) and I've started working on throwing what I want to be the February mug shape - something I did a prototype for a month or so ago when I was thinking about it and was throwing some other things. I also played around with a shape a little while ago that I think I want to bring in to redo the Biohazard mugs. You know, in all my copious spare time. Speaking of redoing things...

I'm also thinking of a way to include the stamps I have for the little balls of yarn with a crochet hook or knitting needles, with either decals or impressed clay that reads "Knitting (or Crocheting) since birth, drinking since noon".... remember when I did some of those a long, long time ago? I'm wondering if I combined the decals or impressions with the stamp, would those be enthusiastically received...? I mean, I had originally been thinking of doing those as two different mugs, but do I really *need* them to be different? So I might play around with combining those and see how it works.

Oh! And the pizza plate! Y'all remember me mentioning that...? I'm firing a bisque kiln load hopefully Friday, if I can get everything cleaned and loaded by then (or over the weekend, if I can't) so barring any more horrific kiln explosions, I'll have three of them to glaze next week. Knock on wood!

ANYWAY.

In soap, I still have a pile of soap on my table that I need to finish wrapping. I've had some behind-the-scenes computer things that have kept me in the office more than I'd intended this week, which means I haven't gotten as much done in the studio as I wanted. But I'm going to do my darndest to get them all wrapped over the weekend -- and then the first installment of the Year of Soap will go out at the end of next week!

In yarn, I've done a lot this week but due to a plumbing confunction, not as much as I wanted. Remember when I posted in late November or early December about some sock blanks, those long knitted tube-like things that I was going to dye up in gradients? I haven't been able to get to those. About halfway into dyeing yarn club last week, the sink in my studio started backing up. Not a whole lot, at first, just enough to be annoying. By the weekend it was backing up enough to start leaking under the sink, and it just kept getting worse. That Poor Man has fixed some of it, but it may turn into a bigger job than either of us want... and I just can't deal with the backing up of the sink. I have four more skeins of yarn to dye today - multi-colors, of course, so two crock pots will turn into five or six - but after that I need to call it quits for the week so that he can look into the issue. I'm now shooting to have those sock blanks dyed up the first week of February.

In other things... I was knitting another felted cat bed for my employees to ignore, but I've been sidetracked by three friends who are marching in Washington on the 21st and would like some hats. So I'm hat-knitting like a fiend.

And I've signed up for a lecture series that I'm hoping will ultimately help me a lot with HaldeCraft... one is a series on branding, and another is on marketing. Rather than the typical business lectures, though, these are both done specifically with ceramic businesses in mind. I'm really excited. I had heard about the series last year, but... I don't know, I guess I thought I didn't deserve it? I wasn't good/big/importatn enough? I have no idea... brains are so weird. Anyway, the two people who ran it decided to do it again this year, with different topics, and while I waffled on doing it (money!)... what it costs compared to what I'll get out of it, it's going to be worth it. And *I'm* worth it.

OK, that's it for me today, I've rambled enough! Have a great week, y'all. Whatever you're working on, I hope it makes you happy!


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