Yearly Archives: 2011

Crab Cakes, Singing, “Lets Make A Deal” and Happy New Year

I thought I would post how I make my crab cakes.  There are lots of recipes I’m sure, but this one suits us just fine.  We learned it from our Chef friend Uwe about two years ago and make it for our parties and to help out at fund-raisers.
12_31_11_ingredientsI doubled the recipe for this party.   This made 51  2-3 bite sized cakes.  Sue is making some tartar sauce.  It has 1cup red onion, 4tsp garlic, 2 jalapeno (seeded), 4tbs cilantro, 3tbs thyme, 3tbs tarragon, 10tbs (one small container) mascarpone cheese, ½cup mayonnaise, 2tbs lemon juice, 2tsp zest and 1cup panko breadcrumbs.
12_31_11_choppedGarlic, jalapeno (seeded), red onion and cilantro, minced and ready.
12_31_11_onionThis is a reason I love cooking, scenes like this one
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All those ingredients from above gets mixed with 2lbs of lumb crab meat.  You can use claw meat as well or a mixture of the two.

I try to be very gentle with the crab as I mix everything together, although it is important to get a consistent mixture, I love having cakes with lumps of meat in there, and lots of it!
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So after it’s been mixed very gently it gets formed into these cakes.  We used an 1/8 cup measurer for this batch of 40.  We pankoed the tray to lay the cakes on, then covered the cakes with more panko, covered the tray and left in the fridge overnight.  Tomorrow they will prepare for the hot oil.

I’ll use flour, crushed ritz crackers, a little paprika, salt and panko.  Blend it all, coat the crab cake and dip into the egg wash and back into the crust mix completely coating.  Then dip them into 350 degree oil, maintaining carefully that temperature.  This will fry those babies and keep the oil from penetrating into the crab mixture, they will be crispy on the outside and wonderful on the inside.

New Year’s Eve Party at the Gallery

Well, I don’t know how many parties we’ve had in the gallery over the years, poetry readings, art workshops, drum workshops, plays, music.  We even had a ping pong party in there.

I know we’ve had quite a few New Year’s eve parties, I can think of one where over 50 people came and it was so hot outside that year we had both of the gallery doors open like a summer evening.

This year we have an interesting line up.  The Jay Singers will be performing and acting in places.  Each will have a nice solo performance and they all sing together as well.  Annie sings a piece from Fiddler on the Roof.
12_31_11_singersColleen sing’s “People” and Kathy and Tara act out a song called “Sisters”.
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After the music section I will offer up “Let’s Make A Deal”, based on the original TV Game Show.  We played it once before about 6 years ago and our friend Herb MC’d for us and did a wonderful job.  This year I’ll do the MCing.  We have a really nice assortment of gifts to trade for.

Then quickly after hosting the game I have to pop my spinach croquettes into the hot oil and immediately after that the crab cakes go in.  We’ll have a pot luck thing going on.

We have a projector because one of the Singers songs requires a video to be shown as well.  Afterwards I will use the projector to show a live website of Times Square.

I have big plans for 2012, I’ll have to write down my objectives next time.

Happy New Year, be safe.

Blog Apology, Thistle Pots and Quilting

I feel I must apologize to my blog for not visiting.  I feel terrible.  All my new plans to have videos up and running fell apart.  I shot a lot of footage of showing how Sue makes her thistle pots but for some reason my computer runs out of memory and I can’t do anything with it.  It’s so frustrating as anyone with a computer knows from time to time.  I had footage of our Holiday Sale too and how the gallery looked but that’s not going to happen either.  So for now it’s back to photos……
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Sue got a wonderful order for 12 thistle pots, some with legs.  After I saw all the legged thistle pots it made me think of aliens from space, we fooled around with the idea of Sue pursuing a show of just all size thistle pots.  Some could be displayed in a diorama kind of display, and the background could be from the moon or another planet.

I’ve been quilting.  My Mom is going to be a great-grandmother for the third time this coming spring and she is making a quilt for the baby boy.  However this time she needs a lot of help.
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Mom is 94 and pretty feeble.  On oxygen most days and 50% of the time uses a wheelchair to get around her house.  Although she struggles physically, mentally she’s right on top of things.

This project has been going on for two months now.  We’ve shopped for fabric three times, and changed the quilt design about five times, but now we are on track.

I’ve cut fabric into the proper thickness, then put sewing lines a quarter of an inch indent from the sides, ironed and stacked.  So there’s a nice selection of colors and patterns to choose from.

Mom likes to hand sew, and she’ll do that when she’s having a “good” day.
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Sue showed me how to use the sewing machine, and I’m still learning and improving but I’ve finished my first square.  The colors will be yellows and blues, and the pattern is a “Log Cabin” design.

Much of my time goes to helping Mom these days, but I am planning on some studio work real soon.  I need to prioritize my time again for myself if I want to get anything creative done.  The problem is I spend a lot of time on the piano and drums too.

Book Party Project, Pottery and Ideas

One of our local libraries put the request out for anyone interested in doing a project at the library.  I quickly remembered when we use to have the Book Parties in our gallery.  Back then we made it a pot luck and prepared special invitations, some of them were puzzles that had to be figured out.  People would come to the party not really knowing what was going to happen.  But they have turned out to be some of our best parties.

So….I thought of that and wanted to bring this idea to the Library.  What better place!
11_6_11_book_tableSeventeen adults and children passed through and created a book or two from this project idea.  You decorate a piece of paper, then with a series of folds and one cut you fold the paper into pages of a book.  Some of what you decorated is now upside down and totally out of context from the full decoration.  That is where you begin to write you book.  Look at the cover, come up with a title and write the book.
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Sue and I did several of these pot luck book parties in the gallery over the years
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This group of young ladies brought their own leaves to color and use as a stamp, and they made some great patterns and designs on their papers.

Two weeks to the Holiday Sale, it’s coming on way too fast for me.  Sue is busy everyday right now, making pottery, glazing and firing kilns.
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Sue has these pots drying today.  Plates of a sort that are textured and a base is put on the bottom to lift them slightly.  I love the visuals that the textured patterns reflect.

It is said that an image is worth a thousand words, and it can be true.  We are currently working on making video’s available through youtube, showing some of the work and techniques that we use.

I’ve been spending more time on youtube than on the tv.  I search for music videos a lot but I’m also interested in talks by university professors, and people who drum or act.  Like I’ve been working on the Rolling Stones song, “Angie” on the piano.  I wanted to see the Stones doing the song and I found them on youtube, but I also found many other just regular people like myself who were playing and uploading their versions of the songs and it was very inspirational.

It reminded me of when I was in art school and what a creative environment that was, to walk around the studio and see what everyone was doing.  The internet and youtube are kinda like that in that you can see what everyone is doing around the world.

Mussels, Fresh Kiln, Tower Album III

It’s Halloween night, I have to keep reminding myself, because I don’t have any children at home  to do the reminding for me anymore.  We always had a plan of attack for this night and the kids always got a lot of candy.  Once when Ula was here as our foreign exchange student she was so excited about Halloween, because apparently in Poland they don’t have this.  She was beside herself waiting for the evening to come.

Sue and I love mussels.  We have a wonderful recipe we learned from Steve (Uwe) Riehs (gratifood.com).  Most other recipes I’ve seen for mussels are much simpler, just oil, garlic and basil.
10_31_11_musselprepThis recipe is a little more involved, but not to, it also involves bacon…….ahh…..I have your attention now.  2 poblano peppers, half an onion, 6 cloves of garlic, a cup of chicken or veggy broth, blend.  (Crackers and goat cheese for a snack).  In a 6 quart stock pot, a little oil and just a little thick bits of bacon, brown and add the poblano blend, heat for a minute and add the mussels.  Stir and cook covered for 3 to 4 minutes until they open.
10_31_11_musselpotIn this photo I just put the mussels in, I forgot to take a photo after they were done, I was too hungry !!    Remove from heat, add juice from 1 orange along with some zest (because its free) and a bunch of basil and your ready.  Be sure to have a nice baguette ready to soak up the broth.
10_31_11_sueglazingHere’s Sue glazing a multi-cultural mug.
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And here’s the fresh kiln.

This kiln was about one third orders and I believe that from here on out all pottery will be for the sale, which takes place on November 19th and 20th.  Sue is going to try and have some pottery available on the website for web sales, all pottery will be 25% off.

Tower Album III

This book begins with ripping sheets of Reeves BFK, 100% cotton paper from France.  It’s the same paper I use in printmaking and is also good for watercolor.  The tower album  has a binding that allows it to expand to accept photographs and cut-outs, such as scrap-booking.
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On 30 sheets I place a 3/4 inch template and with a folder tool I made a score along the paper enabling me to fold the paper very accurately.
10_31_11_paperfoldThe paper has a fold on one end of 3/4’s of an inch, so that when all stacked together the binding side will be thicker than the other side.  The fold accommodates whatever will eventually be added to the page by the owner.
10_31_11_paperdrill

The paper block is drilled through in four places and linen thread is tied to secure the block
10_31_11_paperblockThe thread gets cut very close to the block.
10_31_11_daveyboard_1Binders board is prepared.  One piece is cut to the correct size while the other has a gap which will allow a hinge to work
10_31_11_daveyboard_2The hinge is a piece of linen tape.  This is the basis of a Japanese Stab binding.  A binding that works very well for this sort of book.

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I chose a wonderful piece of hand marbleized paper from an artist in Oregon for the book cover, and for the end sheets which you can’t see here I have a Japanese paper.  The tower has a wonderful splotch of Oxblood Red on top, I thought it would work with the colors in this paper.

You can see more of this book and others here at my Book Arts site.

Recording, Throwing Pots and Poetry

Sue’s throwing pots and getting ready for her big pottery sale the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I’m suggesting we call it, “Occupy our Gallery and come to our Tea Party”.
Because Sue always has tea and cookies for her sale.  I don’t know about the name in this climate, but I think it would be fun.

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Sue use to have the big tea pot sale, but after several years I think everyone who wanted one or gave them away did so and we saturated the local market.  But Sue will still have a nice selection of traditional and foot teapots for 25% off.

Right now Sue is on hold with the cold that I had last week.  Now my Mom has it too and I have to pay careful attention to her health now while she works it through her system.  Mostly it was one day of sore throat and a week of sniffles, so I’m hoping it will be the same with Mom and Sue.

I’m back in the Recording Studio, I should come up with a name for my studio.  I just turned, “Journey up Gill Brook to Indian Head”, into an mp3, you can listen here, that’s my Adirondack Drummer web site, give it a moment to load on a separate page.

I’ve hiked Gill Brook many times, meditating at all the waterfalls, drawing them and mindfully walking onto the next one.  I wanted to capture the wonderfully subtle changes in the sounds of one little waterfall to the next.  Then everything changes as you climb up to Indian Head outlook

I had written a poem about Gill Brook, titled, “Stream of Sound” and I would like to somehow incorporate the drum piece and the poems, this will be a work in progress.  Here’s the poem.

Enchantment begins
because I want it that way.
Allowing myself to be
swept away by water,
forest and day.Sitting in a brook,
upon ancient rock
listening, absorbing sound,
a world of life
flowing past me.There is so much here
I’ll never get to touch,
only know that in my soul
I bathed for a little while
in it’s waters.Water that has swirled
around this planet since eons ago,
passing here now,
as it has passed
every traveler since time began.playful, slapping, pouring
I watch it splash,
foam and bubble together
I hear different moods
of the waterfallsI feel this moment
I observe the placement
of rocks over time,
I hear this day,
at this very spot.
The trail turns to Indian Head lookout
receding into the forest,
my mind feels as rinsed clean
by the sound of water
as if I had taken a cleansing bath.So intent I was listening
to flowing water
that now in the quiet of the woods
I meditate
and transcend with the forestSoon I burst out
upon a glorious rock
to see
the lower and upper
Au Sable Lakes.Wind comes soaring up the valley
rises against the small mountain
pressing, condensing
and along with the rock
I stand into it.I open my ears for the sound of it
My mouth instinctively opens
for the taste of it
freshly made in this glorious land
and now temporarily belonging to me.

It might turn out to be that I do the poem and drum piece separately, reading the poem first and them drumming the rhythms.

My immediate recording goals are to finish the five pieces I don’t have up on the Adirondack Drummer website as yet.  I’m relatively happy with the five that are up there, though I feel I can do better, but I’m still learning to record.  The ones with poetry and percussion are the hardest to record, because I can’t seem to do them at the same time and I’m learning to get a good dubbing of my voice in afterwards.

Another thing I want to record is Sue’s Udu’s and Xylophones.

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First Date, Winter Ready and Back to Work

When I was going through the scrapbook recently I came across this.

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Sue and Terry, November 1981 at Steinhoffs Inn Wilmington
We were having dinner after the craft show we organized for
Mountain Artists of NY.  The photo was taken by Dick Parks.

I was a vendor at the 1981 Lake Placid Horse show, where I met Stevie Bowman, Jeri Wright and Annoel Krider.  We put together a party at Stevie’s house for local artists and craftspeople to meet one another.  At that party and I guess a subsequent meeting we organized a craft show at Steinhoffs Inn.  I had experience in putting shows on and Sue joined me.  I guess you could say this was our first date.

Lately we’ve been out of the studio more than inside.

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One day Sue went over to Scotts when he was pressing cider from his trees.  Sue loves cider, I’m not such a big fan.

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I’m a bigger fan of goat cheese.  This is Asgaard Lane to the Asgaard Farm in AuSable Forks.  They are open on Saturday mornings and they sell organic meats and cheeses.

Years ago I did an etching of this lane.

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Here’s the scene outside our house’s front door.  The gallery deck is behind the bush on the left and Hamlin Mountain across the street is under a cloud.  Autumn was a little later, very pretty, but our large maple which usually turns heads, stops buses and leaf peepers never got to its bright red this year.  But the bright orange was spectacular.

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It’s that time of year to finish up the outside chores and get ready for the inevitability of winter. I haven’t as yet put away the outside chairs, there’s still going to be lots of nice days to sit outside.

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Sue’s back in the studio, this is her second day of mug making.  We have a month until the Holiday Sale, the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Sue will be making a page of sale items on the website, if we don’t have your email address….send it over and you will find out when the Website Sale begins.

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This is why I wanted to have apprentices.  To cut and prepare as much of this work as possible.  When I got a response of 14 people I choose two and then Tropical Irene came to town.  My apprentices never came to help, because they needed to help themselves and their neighbors from the storm damage.  There are so many components to this piano hinge binding, staining skewers, cutting twigs off my bushes, folding and cutting paper………I have made about 30 of them and I have ten others in the wings.  I will never make them again.

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Perkey’s Elves came to visit and we bought some of her Holiday work,  Tree ornaments and balsam pillows.  Mrs. Perkey is in her 80’s I imagine and makes these wonderful crafts out of birch bark.  We haven’t seen her for a couple of years, so this is fun to have her wonderful craft work again.

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Sue made a new batch of “Warmers”.  She picked out some wonderful fabric designs and filled them with seed corn.  Every year she make a batch for sale in the gallery.

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Here’s the madness in my studio….a picture is worth a thousand words.

Our Studio Walls

We have a lot of shelves in the studio, filled with all kinds of things, even other potters who come into our spaces comment on the organization.  It’s hard to believe it looks organized to anyone.

With whatever wall space that is still there, that is taken up with whatever……..take a look…..

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This door leads to the chemicals and large kiln, Sue has posted pictures of inspirational pieces of pottery on it. Can you see the cube hanging in the air.  It hangs over Sue’s wheel like a cloud, it has pictures on it, I have to ask her what it means.

onthewalls_3There’s a beam that Sue hangs all sorts of things from.  Baskets, old teapots and pine cones, gourds, trinkets from our trip to Chinatown, mugs, more pine cones…..
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This is above Sue’s wedging table.  She has a list of the Clay Weights of all the pottery she makes.

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 On the very top is a poem Sue wrote.“A child’s boots stick in the mud
Puddles dry and crack
Images whirl pas on a long bus ride
Fodder for a future potters dreams”
Below that are the sayings that Sue
writes on her Goblets.
 This I’ve shown before in the blog, they are Henna designs that Sue keeps up to inspire her new “Multicultural” design pottery.

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I work out thoughts on large pieces of newsprint, then hang them around the studio while I think about them.
onthewalls_8Behind that drawing on the left this paper hat is pinned to the wall.  It was worn by me as “Teach” in American Buffalo.
onthewalls_10Says it All

When I use to get the Sunday Times I would cut out pictures and words all the time.  One time I made an art piece out of a bunch of word strips from the Art Section of the Times and entered it into a show, got an honorable mention.
onthewalls_9Family photos and a Christmas picture from a very young CJ
onthewalls_11Charcoal on newsprint idea

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 A copy of my Woodstock ticket, and a poster, after the fact.  I was on leave from Vietnam for this concert.  From War to Love in five days.  The remnant of a once favorite tee-shirt.  Jefferson Starship in Central Park
w/ The Outlaws in 1975.  The painting below it is done by my mother.
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 I have some whimsical cut-outs on my walls.  The kid on the left has the caption, “This is Art?”

Of course I always have something to do.

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This is a pen and ink drawing from a couple of photographs I took in Vietnam.
A older girl carries her sister and a boy squats near a wall.  A school bag is
on the ground and parts of a bicycle.

For me it’s so emblematic of all wars.
I don’t dwell on it, but it was so pivotal an experience for me,
I want it to help shape my thoughts even forty plus years later.

Thanks for looking at our Studio Walls

Food Prep, Studio Work, Tour and Life Thoughts

First off we’ve canned our grapes and apples, Sue did a wonderful job

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Here’s our apple jelly and today we did grape jelly, still have apple sauce to make, but we’re making good use of this wonderful crop of apples this year.

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I also made a huge batch of Onion Soup, seen above.  I caramelized the onions real slow for three hours, the baguette is from Lake Flower Bakery and the cheese is from Clover Mead Farm.  I froze the soup and now we have eight servings, waiting…….

Stoneware Tea Set by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NY

Sue made this wonderful child’s tea set, complete service for six, with little plates and a creamer and sugar.  It’s going to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts as a fundraiser.

Studio Tour

It was disappointing, but also welcoming.  Here’s why.  We pay $50, that’s it, we don’t do anything else except mail out some postcards and tell our customers.  That’s welcoming.

Compared to the Jay Tour we reached about 20% of what we would make in a good year.  That’s disappointing.  We spend a lot of time in the studio getting ready for the tour, but we still have the work, so that’s really not a loss.

Of course gas prices, the general malaise of the economy and people’s confidence in the future I’m sure affects the outcome of all business deals these days.

Which takes me to wondering about the next year of business and life.  Both of my daughters are working, but I worry about them continuing in their jobs.  You never know when you work for someone in an environment like we have today.  Corrine informed us that a friend was recently let go of her job with no advance notice.

It appears to Sue and I that there is going to be a new generation that is going to take a long time getting their feet on the ground to drive this economy.  Everyone seemed surprised when the crash occurred in 2008, but we had predicted it.  Yep, two artists in Jay predicted something bad was happening.  We began seeing the middle class disappearing from 2003 on.  We witnessed a lot of credit card use and just a general reluctance of politicians to do anything to reign in what they were calling American Exceptionalism.  Like it was our right to use as many resources as we could in the short life spans that we have.

Well, it appears now that future generations will pay for this exceptionalism that we enjoyed.  Little towns and shops everywhere will pay for the fact that the middle class was sold out to other countries.  That the big corporations that made their profits from the backs of our citizens, from the roads of our country, from the lives of its soldiers, are keeping their profits overseas, away from jobs and taxes here in the country that made them great.

Regardless of what your politics are you can’t deny the country is in a mess, and it didn’t start with a Republican or Democrat……it started with greed, in my opinion.

I would like to see us go back to a time with Mom and Pop shops, the local butcher, shoe repair, grocery….etc…..that’s what I grew up with in New York City.  I would love to see more products made in this country and more people shopping locally.  I would like to see more people satisfied with living their lives with simpler things.  Like pottery and art, just as an example.

I’m not a big fan of free trade.  I’m still trying to find what it has done for me.  We get old food shipped thousands of miles to our shores, junk products from China, made by questionable labor.  Our corporations that have regulations here against using pesticides go overseas to use their pesticides and they wind back up on our tables anyway.  It just doesn’t make sense.

It’s hard these day’s not to slip into a political discussion, or a weather related talk.  There is much going on, and it will continue.  We just all try to do the best we can, I wish those with the power to make true change would do the best they can too.

Studio Tour, Gardening, Canning and Freezing

It just got busy around here.  Studio Tour weekend, the apples and grapes are ripe, if we don’t get the grapes soon the raccoons will eat them.

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So we secured them with a mesh cover while they finish ripening.  After the tour we will make apple sauce and apple jelly, then work on the grapes.

We’ve almost always have had a vegetable garden in the back.  When the girls were growing up we grew a lot.  We even had a pretty good size corn field one year.  I can picture the kids picking the carrots, washing and eating them.  I remember when we hired Annie Wise, a friend and Sheppard, to watch after Emily during the summer months when we were busy.  They would stroll through the garden sampling the bounty.

This year we had problems in the spring.  It was too wet.  Our tiller broke.  We were too busy.  We started some seeds as we always do, but there was such a lack of sunshine that it was just terribly hard this year.

I guess that’s why I’m so excited about the apples and grapes.  We made and froze seven apple pies yesterday.

With the price of food and fuel and absolutely everything, we are making a concerted effort to economize.  Canning and freezing berries and vegetables just makes a lot of sense to us right now.  We always have too much during the summer and not enough in the winter and I really dislike buying food from Mexico and Chile.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with those countries, except for maybe the civil war going on in Mexico.  There might even be one in Chile and I wouldn’t know right now, there’s just too much going on here.

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Here’s what the gallery entrance will look like for Studio Tour this year.  We got a good deal on 10 mum plants, love the colors.  In August we planted two very nice Asters.  The Aster pedals are very good in paper so I have to remember to peel them after this weekend and dry them for my next paper making episode.

Studio Tour 2011

This is the third year we’re doing the tour with the Adirondack Artists Guild in Saranac Lake.  They do the tour in the Autumn, we always did ours during the summer months.

Initially the Jay Artisans Studio Tour was the second weekend in July.  The second was noted because it was always a slow weekend coming off of the Fourth of July.  Then the Ironman Race decided that was the weekend they were going to race.  Of course no one bothered to poll the businesses in town as to whether this was a good idea for our tourist dependant businesses and so we moved the Jay Tour to the second weekend in August.

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I dug into the archives on my cloud and found this from 2003.  Cheri Cross went out and got sponsors for the tour so we raised move printing money.  I worked on the brochure.

9_21_11_studiotour05By 2005 we were combining the JEMS brochure with the Studio Tour brochure, I think this was Fred’s idea, it was also used to promote Tourism for Jay.

I did the brochure and Cheri got our advertisers

2007 was my last year doing it, because it was too much of a hassle dealing with all the details it takes to put it together.  I had some serious fallings out with people and I just decided it was better use of my time to look after number one and our own business.

Joan took the Tour over for two years and did a wonderful job.  It was a real treat to just pay our $50 entry and sit back for the benefits.  I never got paid for all the time spent on the brochure, gathering info and dealing with people.

That’s why we love this new Tour too.

Sue was the impetus to get us involved in the Saranac Lake Tour.  They get a grant and a large distribution.  There are over 30 studios to visit and it goes for three days.

We are very happy to be a part of it.  We don’t see nearly as many people over here as they do in Saranac Lake and compared to our Jay tour it’s probably less than 25%, but ours was in the heart of summer, and to have this Tour happen on a Fall Foliage weekend works really well.  This year we will be demonstrating, wheel throwing, clay instruments, raku and book binding.

History of Studio Tour

You really forget so much of what you did 15 to 20 years ago, at least I do.  Raising a family, running the business, volunteering in non-profit organizations.  I was trying to date the original Jay Artisan’s Studio Tour so I took down the box on the top shelf which contains 15 pounds of scrap clippings, brochures, etc….

I found so much more related to the eventual Studio Tour that I decided to start in a chronological order from the time that we were married and our business started.

We’ve always enjoyed talking and demonstrating our work, so people have always come into our studios.

pday_1987_article1987 – We started the Participation Days with a screen print, (don’t remember the image) but people could come with a tee-shirt and print the image themselves for free.  People came with lots of shirts or just fabric. Later on I received a gift of my screen image on a pillow.

It’s been fun over the years to see people wearing the tee-shirts that they printed here.  My favorite hiking tee-shirt is one of those images, “Adirondack Swirling”.

Sue had mugs ready to be decorated with colored slips, we clear glazed and fired the mugs for just $3, good deal.  It was fun to see the designs and hear the stories about where the mugs were going.

The idea was to get people to see the handmade nature of the work we were doing.  To understand that it was made here in the Adirondacks, by American Craftspeople, that it was original and one of a kind.


1988

pday_1988_cardprintWe began our Holiday Card Printing.  People could print their own holiday cards with our screen image.  Standard size cards came with an envelope.

It was a big hit and I had to schedule some people in for other times to accommodate everyone.

The map on the poster/mailer on the left shows other businesses in town.  We were also promoting how a person could shop in Jay at the different businesses.  One business was the Sugar Bear who we created a special relationship with and we would give fudge away to customers for free, or once we arranged to have a free lunch for customers.

Those are stories reserved for another article on all the Merchandizing trials we have over the years.

 

pday_karenglass demo_suepottery
 We began having other Craftspeople join us in the studios helping people Participate in their crafts with them.  Over the years Sue has given many demonstrations in her studio, to home schooled groups, girls scouts and many others.

understanding_raku

Over the years we’ve tried a lot of things to our art out to the public.  We’ve always felt a need for people to understand the exciting techniques that we use to create our hand made work.

We created an “Understand Raku” presentation, complete with a video and examples.
We tried it in several venues around Plattsburgh.

st_1990_mapst_article1990

The Studio Tour begins.  It included the large country block bounded by route 9n to the east, route 86 to the north, Hardy Road to the west and Springfield Road on the south.

It was in both Jay and Wilmington.  We had balloons to show where each studio was, it eventually became pointing fingers and now it’s “Artist At Work” signs outside each studio.

We got some good press right off the spot.  We knew from doing press releases the papers liked black and white photos, so we always would include images in our press releases.

st_1991_map1991

I remember that we did it originally the weekend after the Kiwanis Craft Show…..we eventually advertised it as a week of art and craft in the town of Jay, beginning with the Craft Show and ending a week later with the Studio Tour.

Many people had their hand in the making of the tour, but it was still a lot of work getting the map together, dealing with people and printers.  All the little details it takes to get something like this off the ground every year.

 1992
 1993
st_1992_map st_1993_map
  Arto Monaco was on the tour this year, having his old studio open to the public. This map was designed by someone else for this year, I didn’t care much for it, but it was nice to have someone else do the work.
pday_1993_poster pday_1994_article

We continued our Participation Days right through the Studio Tour period.
in 1993 that day would have been one week after the Tour and two weeks after the Craft Fair.
So we were having good business in the month of August in those years.

I see that the date for 1993 is the weekend before Labor Day.   We had organized a craft show outside Saranac Lake at Donnelly’s Corners, it eventually became the Lake Clear Juried Craft Show.  When we stopped doing it there and it moved we then had that weekend open and I believe we were doing Participation days in July and August.

 

1993_cardprint_poster
1993_school_pottery_demo

1993 must have been a very busy year for us.  Emily was 2 and Corrine started school that year.
In addition to the Participation Days and Studio Tour we did our First Annual Holiday Card Screen Printing.  I have posters showing that we began card printing in 1988, so I don’t remember why we called it our First Annual…..perhaps we stopped doing it while the kids were still toddlers.

Once the children began school, Sue was very active in the girl scouts and in the elementary school with art projects for the children and the school principal Joe Kahn was very supportive of her work there.

st_1994_map1994 – I couldn’t nail down the date that this first morph of Studio Tour ended.

But this is last year I have for the Wilmington/Jay Studio Tour.  By this time it was called the “Artisan Studio Tour.

Its always been an effort getting a group of people together, organized, to make something happen.

I’ve found it best to work with a firm deadline and budget so that everyone involved knows exactly what to expect.  When those aspects of a plan aren’t adhered to, disaster results.  I know.

The Studio Tour stopped at some point, because I was hoping someone else would take it over.  True we made good money on that weekend, but for all the time it was taking to put together it just didn’t seem worth it to me anymore.

So I stopped doing it, tried to get others involved, but the Studio Tour stopped.

pday_1994_poster

We were doing two Participation Days during the summer, one in July and one in August, we worked hard to drum up business.

It was working, we got a lot of press and we had advertising that included all the events we were having at the gallery.

Up to this time we were still showcasing our work in our old gallery space and all the Participation and Demonstrations occurred in the studios.

 

1995_cardprint1995

By the 4th annual card printing date we were getting quite a following.  I never kept track of how many cards we screen printed, but we needed to make reservations.

Sue and I would work out new designs every year, one of my favorites was the teapot pouring out ice skaters over a frozen Adirondack Lake.

pday_1988_cardprint_2The Covered Bridge was a very popular card that year.

1995_rakudemo

 

This poster for a Raku Demonstration from ’95 included a small handout receipt for a drawing for a piece of raku.

 

 

 

 

 

1996
1996_demodays pday_1996_flyer

By ’96 I think the Wilmington/Jay Studio Tour was over.  Regardless of whether a group was formed to make the Studio Tour happen Sue and I continued to do our Participation Days, in July and August.  In place of the tour we had a Demonstration Day that year.

Here I was offering a “Spontaneous Drypoint Etching Workshop” among the other events that year.

1999
st_1999_brochure

I remember Grace Potthast from Gallery in the Glen asked about starting up a Studio Tour again and that is how the second incarnation of the Tour began, this time as the Jay Artisan’s Studio Tour.

By now there were more artists and craftspeople in Jay that wanted to get involved in the Tour.  Sue created the Moose and Rider drawing and we were going in a more whimsical direction this time.

2000

st_2000_brochure

As I remember there was certainly controversy almost every year of the Tour.  First the Ironman came to town and happened to be on the date we traditionally was using for our Tour…..so we had to move our date.  It was annoying to be pushed aside by the town and not having our businesses considered. In view of the fact like many north country businesses we totally depend on summer traffic and here was a weekend that they were taking away from us.  It continues to this day, the Ironman race that comes through the town of Jay has been disastrous for small businesses like ours.

There were other controversy’s within the Tour group….who should be on the tour, was it a tour for artists and craftspeople or should other businesses be involved.  It was always on going and even Sue and I were on different sides of the issue.  I wasn’t a purest, I was a realist.  I was for other businesses, I felt the more the merry as long as we were all making money.

st_2001_lpnews st_2003_article st_2005_article

from the years  2001 – 2008 the Jay Artisan’s Studio Tour got a lot of excellent press in local papers, mostly the Lake Placid News was very supportive.  We also got North Country Public Radio from Canton as a sponsor. In 2002 I got the domain name, JayStudioTour.com and put our little tour on the web, with an interactive map.  Click on a number and you went to one of our fourteen studios

st_2002_online

I had a woman from Washington State call me around 2003 and ask questions about our studio tour.  She had been to the studio tour website. She was writing an article about such tours and after I filled her in on how ours was organized, she decided that we had the best tour in the country for artisans, and she was going to write about it.  There was a link from the magazine article to our website.

What made it so good was the cost per artist and what they received from it.  That’s because several of us did all the work, getting sponsors, graphic design, dealing with printers, dealing with participants….etc.  As I looked around the web at other studio tours, you could see that many of them charged quite a bit more for participants on the tour, and very few equaled the quality of our graphic brochures.

Here’s the 2003 brochure and map.
st_2003_brochure

st_2003mapCherri was able to get us sponsors as Patrons of the Arts
and I believe it was her who got us a grant from the Visitors Bureau, and so we were able to
increase the amount we got printed.  It was also around this time we combined the brochure
with the JEMS brochure of summer events.

st_2004_brochure st_2005_brochure

As the years moved forward I continued to do the graphic design work, deal with printing and around 2004 we began advertising other events that were going on in the town of Jay.  It seemed only natural to combine JEMS as I was with the group since the beginning and it was an important part of our town by now.

Probably 2005 was the peak year for the Studio Tour in my mind.  It was the last year I was involved in the planning and graphic design for it.  I was getting burnt out from dealing with people both with the Studio Tour and with JEMS, we were busy building a theater in Jay at this time, and I was feeling unappreciated, as well as having a daughter going overseas as an exchange student, business was going sour and changing, friendships were deteriorating as well.

I’m not sure if there was a Studio Tour in 2006 I think I decided too late for anyone else to take it over and therefore it did not happen that year.

I bowed out and Joan took over the tour planning for the next two years.  I continued doing the website and I made the posters for the tour.  Graphic brochure was done by someone else, and all we did was put our $50 in, sit back and get a crowd on the Studio Tour day.

 2007  2008
st_2007_flyer st_2008_flyer

It was enjoyable having other people do the work, and I really got a kick out of it.  After all I was still quite involved with the website and posters.  BUT it wasn’t enough to keep the tour going and when Joan didn’t want to do it after two years, Jay Artisans Studio Tour was over.

Essentially, because I didn’t want to do it anymore.

I say that because the first time it ended, it stopped because no one picked up the ball from me,  this time Joan managed it for two great years.  But being retired and with grandchildren and other plans there was no one else to do it.  I felt that we could still generate Studio Tour interest ourselves, like we did before with our Participation and Demonstration days.

2009 – 2011

studiotour

But our lives are changing too.  Health concerns, taking care of aging parents, it would be difficult to be involved in the same endeavors these days.  That’s why we joined the Studio Tour organized by the Adirondack Artists Guild in Saranac Lake.  They do a wonderful job as this tour has grown to forty studios spread out from Jay to Tupper Lake.  But we just received word that the woman who was organizing the tour has decided to bow out after five years.  Bummer.  We’re hoping someone will pick up the ball and run with it, again…..

Looking back on my days of the tour I have this advice for anyone who was as energetic as I was, and as passionate about showing your art/craft work and demonstrations as I was.  Do it yourself, get grants to pay yourself and have people who do the tour pay you a proper amount for your work.