Monthly Archives: July 2011

Drying Pots

Although we just had a wonderful period of sunny, hot and dry weather now we are having rain and humidity and no pottery is drying in the studio.  Sue has pottery from a couple of days piling up and waiting to dry, right now she has two fans going, because she wants to run a bisque fire tonight.
Stoneware pottery by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NY

Sue has colanders she’s trying to dry and a group of pendants that have a horse image on them, they were ordered by the Morgan Horse Farm in Vermont.
7_29_ikibanasThe Ikibanas were made yesterday and still quite wet, they are under the fan now too.
It will be hot in the studio tomorrow with the bisque kiln going.
Stoneware pottery by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NY

I saw Sue working on this interesting pinch pot.  The cat is from a mold she had made years ago, she was demonstrating her mold techniques (Sue makes all her own molds, from clay sculptures that she creates) to someone and used the cat, so she wanted to put the piece somewhere and attached it to this pot.

So the studio is a beehive of Sue activity, she is trying desperately to keep up with her pottery sales.

I’m working on construction projects here and at my Mom’s house, man the gallery when I can, do my web work and play piano.  At present.

Hot Days of Summer 2011

Ahh….can’t enough of these summer days.  Love to feel the warm ground on my feet.  I feel really restricted when I wear shoes or sandals, so I go barefoot most of the summer and in the winter I wear socks.  There are some days when my feet never touch a shoe, that is a good day.

Gallery business is slow, so we made the outside of the gallery look as if something big were happening over the weekend……


We put the canopy up, Sue put out her craft show displays, I put a painting on the outside wall.  I put a couple of “Pottery” banners up on the corner road side signs and we waited.

Saturday was a good day, we had several new customers.  The first lady to stop by said she’s been driving by for years and always wondered about us, she was on her way to play golf in Placid, but she bought a nice bowl and said she’d be back.  So Saturday turned into an old fashioned summer business day.  Sunday though was a bomb.  One week to “The Ironman Race” and we will have to close for the day.  There are only 8 or 9 summer weekends for businesses like ours and they have taken one away.

Now I love bike riding, swimming and running, and I admire the athletes who participate in the grueling Iron race, I just wish they would close someone else’s road for the day.  As an Adirondack business in the Town of Jay, it’s been a challenge to make a living as an artist here.  We have had to use our creativity and raw energy endlessly to make it happen.

In addition I believe the “Race” has destroyed business the whole week prior to the event, because people now know that if you are driving in this area you have to deal with hundreds of bicycles on the roads, so they just don’t come here.  Us and the Jay Craft Center agree that business for this whole week is terrible and the whole “Ironman” weekend is a bomb for our business.

It would have been nice had the Town consulted with business owners who would be affected by the race requirements that they close half of our most important roads in town for the day.

Last year Sue and I went away for the whole weekend and visited with Emily in Rochester, this year Corrine is coming home and we’ll celebrate my 63rd birthday.  I’m planning on drumming the bikers up the hill as long as I’m going to be here.  I not a total sour puss….


Here’s one of my fantasies…… learn about ten good blues tunes on piano and go to some bar and customers put bread in my jar…….I think I wrote about this already.  I’m working on it everyday.  Sue took some photos of me practicing “Misty”.  Sometime’s I sing along, but right now I need total concentration on my piano playing.

Fresh Kiln

Long stretches of silence this summer, unlike from five years ago when one of us would be in the gallery doing business all day long.  We’re not seeing tourists come through our neck of the woods this year.  Yet.

We still are busy though, Sue did the farmers market in Lake Placid today and had a kiln cooling and also worked on making a dozen small plates.  I looked after the quiet gallery, we had one good customer at the end of the day.  After being in business for 28 years we’ve built up quite a lot of love out there and customer/friends always come around when their in town.

A friend came by and we shagged golf balls into the woods, I’m keeping a club to practice my swing.  I use to play golf on Long Island, but when I moved up here I left everything behind that didn’t have to do with art.  So I haven’t played in 30 years.

I played a lot of piano today too.  I’m working on “Misty”, I’m so happy when I play piano, I get so lost.  Like when I use to do artwork.  I just am having so much trouble getting into any artwork right now.  The only thing that actually appeals to me lately would be building some of my clay towers, firing them and then constructing books for them.  I’ve been eyeing the slab roller when I walk by it and picturing a project going on there.  That’s a good sign.

Stoneware pottery butter safes by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NYAfter Sue came home from the market, which isn’t up to par either, she emptied her kiln.  Let’s see  what was in there.

Here is what I am most excited about, the Butter Dishes.  Back on June 28th I took pictures of them in their raw state.  Here they are finished.  Love the Cow.  I’m sure they will go fast, I need to get some good pictures tomorrow.

Lately the kilns have had a good amount of orders in them, that is so good in this economic climate to be out ahead of selling what you are making.  In Sue’s case I’m sure it’s because her work is of the highest quality and creativity.

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

A dinnerware set that was sold off the website as a bridal registry.  Five piece service for eight.

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

Platters with the leaf design

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

Bowls with the leaf design

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

Sue always has something drying, something ready to bisque and glaze.  This time of year she fires about three kilns a month.

Sue empties the whole kiln and records a list of all the pottery.  She’s been doing this for many years, it enables her to tell at a glance what she should make for the coming year, what she should stop making, etc.

Music Day

Today was a music day.  It actually started last night when Sue and I attended the second night of “Opus” at the Recovery Lounge in Upper Jay.  It was an excellent performance and probably the best I’ve seen there.  Of course excluding the one’s I wasn’t able to see there, because I was in them.

I was  wired from the play last night, almost like I had performed.  It was that good for me.  I’ve been thinking a lot about music and loved the way that Bob’s character, Dorian, described the sexual nature of the music he was playing.  Just several days before I had been telling Sue of a goal I’ve developed for my piano playing.  I want to be able to play a small repertoire of bluesy tunes, enough to be able to go into a piano bar and have people “put bread in my jar”.  I was describing what it’s like for me to get lost in the music, the only comparison is having sexual energy welling up inside and taking over.

I’ve had a piano ever since I was ten or so.  Took lessons twice in my life and have continuously played all these years.  Presently and for 20 years we’ve had an upright that belongs to Sue.  Although she doesn’t play much, she can read music enough to play a  tune, she’s better at guitar and I love listening to her play.

Playing piano has been a struggle for me, I really have to work at it, it doesn’t come easy.  For years while the girls were growing up I worked on Beatles tunes, but now I’m getting back to my blues roots, whatever that means.  I’m working on “Misty” at present.  I’m going to be working on “St. Louis Blues” which I already know somewhat.  Another one I’m seriously looking at is “Bell Bottom Blues”.

I go to a place on the web to buy music, it’s called Music Notes, and I can print out the music and listen to it on an application from their site.

So….I played piano a lot today, but I also was in the gallery with customers and one woman wanted to buy my drums.  I told her they weren’t for sale, and of course we got to talking about drums.  She is from India, her husband is from the US and has lived in India for quite some time it sounds like.  He happened to have some wonderful music from Shujaat Khan on sitar and gave me a copy.  At the same time a good friend Erdvidlas came in, he’s given me a wonderful collection of Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern music.  When I work in my studio it’s usually to sitar music.  So this developed into a social event in the gallery, especially when they spotted my sitar.

You never know what adventure will happen in the gallery.  After being in business for 28 years, we’ve met a lot of people and made a lot of friends.

Everyday in the gallery is like a blank canvas.


The summer season is off and running.  We pretty much stay close to home during the summer because a large part of our income, comes from summer sales, so we are open every single day.

Now with the Ironman bike race in the area we have to close that day.  Last year we closed for the whole weekend because business was so bad.  Don’t know what we’re doing this year for Ironman.  I’m feeling like staying home and drumming for them.

Sue took on a dinnerware order.  She’s not turning anything down right now… this would be a great time to get her to make something she wouldn’t have made several years ago……let’s think of something………hmmmm… about a salsa dish…..I remember her turning that down.  I mean she’s taken on butter dishes…..!!!

So she’s made the plates and now they have to slow dry and cycle through the kilns.

Earlier I talked about my etching “The Hunter”, that I am framing for a customer.  They wanted it in a barn frame and I had just found an old one that was 13 by 16…..the print they had was in a 13 by 14 mat……So I added a turkey feather to the mat…..take a look….

It gives it a handsome look.  The guide Mark who posed for this etching gave me the feathers from a turkey.  I’ve used them for many things over the years, it’s always good to have a bad of feathers around when your an artist.

I looked in on Mom this morning and we walked down her driveway, and fixed her food for today, she’s all set for a nice fourth.

I’m going to take my watercolors under the tree and practice painting sky.  I’m loving the watercolors and looking for my own way to express them.

I’ll probably play piano, I’m working on “Misty” at present, and play my drums, Sue will work on the dinnerware set, I think.

No kids home for the fourth, so it’ll be quiet for Sue and I.