Yearly Archives: 2011

Orders, New Designs and Cutting Lottsa Paper

Goblet sales had slowed down for this summer and then out of the blue four separate orders came in.

Sometimes customers want to have the wording around the rim specialized, I don’t think Sue charges extra for that.  She keeps a list of her sayings posted somewhere in the studio, so she doesn’t have to come up with new sayings each time.

We’ve never understood how retail sales work, but after being in business for so long we have seen patterns emerge.  One of the patterns is like these orders for goblets.  Goblet sales really were lax over the summer, usually it’s one of the more dependable items, people are always buying them for gifts.  Then out of the blue come four orders.

Sometimes in the gallery we’ll notice something that is just sitting there for the longest time, we will pay attention to it and move it, or turn it around or something like that, and very soon after it will sell.  No kidding.  We’ve seen it so much it’s spooky.  It’s like we put our attention and energy into the piece and customers were drawn to the energy that was still there.  We’ve talked with Lee & Cheri from the Jay Craft Center about this and they totally agree in this phenomenon.

Recently Sue did some Raku.

We had a new propane tank put in and we tested it, it worked fine as you can see.

I love her shapes they are so organic and alive.

I’m her biggest fan.



A while back I advertised for apprentices to help me cut paper.  I got a big response from the Jay News and chose two.  One fellow I just never seemed to hook up with and he lived over by Styles Brook which flooded really bad, so I might not hear from him again, as he was a professor in a university and must be back at school by now.  My other apprentice still might work, but she teaches pre-school and we have yet to work out a time.  So….I started the dreaded cutting of signatures for forty books.

I have a cardboard template I made, line up the slots and cut away, I have 6 sheets of paper there, so I’m cutting through 12 layers all together once folded.  This is why I hate doing this part of the book, it’s so tedious and hand numbing.

I’ll also take some photos when I weave the pages and covers together, then I’ll make a creative tour of the Piano Hinge book and put it on my Bookarts website.

Sue unloaded a kiln yesterday.


I thought this piece was really cool.  Sue was pinching this pot with the neck off to one side when she did a demonstration for someone to show them how her molds work.  She chose the cat mold and then she didn’t want to waste the cat so she attached it to the pinch pot she was working on.  That’s how this pot came about.  I love the little pink tongue.

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

I noticed this mug came out of the kiln, I love her blueberry design, I hadn’t seen it on a mug before.

Pottery by Sue Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NY

This is Sue’s new blue glaze and new Multicultural design.  It’s based on Henna designs and Sue keeps some ideas on a sheet of paper tacked up in her studio.

9_7_11_hennadesignsThe thought just occurred to me about making an Eating Art page about all the things we have hanging in our studios.

Recently I heard Sue telling a customer about the energy she receives from the gourds she has hanging in her studio.  They wanted to buy one and she wouldn’t sell it, and that was the reason.

Sue had a wall of admiration until recently, we had to move it when we put the pellet stove in.  It contained letters and cards from people and groups that Sue has made work for or did volunteer work for.  We’ll have to find another place to put it.

In my studio I seem to have a lot of written words on the walls, or sketches of ideas.

The Flood

The flood of August 28-29 in the valley of the East Branch of the AuSable River was devastating to many families and the community at large.

First off we had no damage, I was busy for three days running a generator for my Mom who was on oxygen, cooking and cleaning, etc…..

We have friends who lost their homes, some of them are salvageable but will have to be stripped of sheetrock and probably re-wired.

Luckily we only lost a week of business as roads into Jay were cut off and detours abounded.  We continue to help out where we can.

I feel really lucky and we are giving back to the community in many ways, but I also wonder about what is going on, with almost everything.

This flood was seven feet above the former high water mark, houses flooded that never flooded before in 150 years of living in the valley. That was pretty unusual.

I’m concerned that the weather is really affecting business in general, that the government, both sides, have really affected business too.  There just seems to be an incredible greed and corruption that has eaten away at the fabric of our Government.  I know business is good if your a very large international company, because they’ve moved all their jobs overseas for cheap labor, but that’s left a huge portion of country out of the middle class and thus, out of small mom and pop business like the one Sue and I run.

I know it’s a fact.  We have many friends who are just like us, run really small businesses and we are all in the same boat.  The fabric of this country is changing and I don’t know it or like it.

So this has turned from weather into politics and that is never good.  ha ha ha

I guess it’s just frustration with everything.  We have close to 30 years of business in the Adirondacks, many ups and downs, making it totally as craftspeople.  Raising two thriving daughters, contributing to the community and the Adirondacks in so many ways.  Making a difference I will dare say.  And now facing an uncertain future, with the weather and the economy.

Like so many others.

Piano Hinge Books and Summer Business

It’s been a great summer for the weather, warm and sunny.  We are waiting for what will remain of Hurricane Irene.  With any weather event there’s always the worry of damage to our property.  It’s been so expensive and time consuming to keep up on the gallery and studio buildings, let alone our house and my Mother’s house.  We’re making a plan to re-do the roofs of the business, this time in metal.  I can’t believe we’re coming up on 16 years that the new gallery has been there.  We have been in business a total of 28 years, we had 12 years in the little gallery, that is now an office.

Gallery business is so different.  People are spending less and there are less tourists around.  Thank goodness we have 28 years of business with us, because we have so many great customers who regularly shop here for themselves or for gifts.

Sue and I had but one customer today, she was visiting with a long time customer of ours and she made our day.  We have seen over the years that the final week of August really gets quiet as people return home and to school.  We don’t expect much this weekend because of the coming weather.

8_26_11_pianohinge_6 8_26_11_pianohinge_1

I’ve been prepping my hard cover piano hinge books.  I’m making 40 of them, so I need a lot of binders boards and stained skewer sticks.



I decorate my own paper using my paste paint recipe.  It’s very simple.

Boil 10 parts water to one part corn starch, to a pudding consistency.  Add 2 to 3 parts acrylic paint and 2 parts modge podge glue.  That’s it, and it’s very durable.

I will get four covers from this sheet, enough for two books




8_26_11_pianohinge_5 8_26_11_pianohinge_4

I use a template to cut my paper, glue the board in place, then glue and fold the edges.
For the piano hinge, since I’m using a hard cover I have to have a hollow spine, so I only glue the tip and fold the unglued part over.

8_26_11_pianohinge_2 8_26_11_pianohinge_3





Eventually this hollow spine will be sectioned by a series of cuts that will allow it to be woven into the body of the book






Here’s what 60 book covers for 30 books looks like.

Tomorrow will be a good day to finish the remaining 10 books.  Next week I’m hoping to meet up with my apprentices and get the pages cut to and ready to be woven.

Fresh Kilns and calling for an Apprentice

Sue didn’t do a Farmers Market last week because she needed the time to make pottery, and she just finished a large and small kiln.
8_16_lrgkilnHere are the contents of the large kiln.  Sue has developed a new blue and black glaze as well as some new designs.


The small kiln doesn’t usually get fired to a glaze temperature, Sue uses it mostly to bisque the pottery.  It does a nice job when it does go to full temperature, both kilns are within three years old and both are run by digital systems.  They have been very acurate, but we’ve already replaced two relays in the smaller kiln.  It’s not expensive or hard to do, but it puts the kiln out of work for a couple of weeks till the part arrives.

I haven’t been writing because it’s been busy in the gallery and busy in our lives.  We’ve taken advantage of the cultural scene in the Adirondacks, having gone to several plays and concerts.

But now I’m gearing up to make some books.  In September we are part of the Studio Tour created by the Artists Guild in Saranac Lake.  It isn’t nearly as good as the tour we use to put on for the artists in Jay, but we’re hoping that over the years it will build into a very profitable weekend.  This will be our third year and there are more participants in Jay this time and that should make it more worth peoples time to come here.  I think the first year it was just us and the Jay Craft Center and then next year it was four and now I think we have six located in Jay and more in Wilmington.

On Sunday of the tour I’m doing a book binding demo, of the Piano Hinge binding.  I want to have examples of the book in each stage of creation and then I want to have plenty of books to sell, because I will offer them at half price for that day.

There is so much cutting to do with this book, that I sent the word out, via Jay Community News, requesting an apprentice.  I received 12 requests and decided to choose two because there were so many.  The apprentices will cut the notches out of the paper for several hours.  I will go over the whole book making process with them and they will weave together two books for themselves as well.

If this works well, I have other books that need lots of cutting.
8_16_bookprepSo today I cut some boards and papers and glued some test pieces to make sure I’ve got it right and the glue is good and it’s a go.

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.

Studio Action

First thing I’m going to do today is mat and frame an etching of ‘The Hunter’ that someone dropped off.  They wanted it framed in barnwood, but I don’t make frames like that anymore, However, I just came across a frame for this, how about that for coincidence.   It’s longer than the current mat, but what I’m going to do is make a new mat with two holes, the one of the bottom I will put a turkey feather in.
Etching by Terrance D Young, Young's Studio & Gallery. Jay NY

I made this etching in 1994, it has a soft ground etch with aquatint. The hunter is Mark Peduzzi and is in a camouflage outfit posed, ready to let loose an arrow.

I wish I’d done more soft ground etches, it has such a nice quality about it, and they were very enjoyable to do.  I think I did about three like that.

I got out my jewelers loop and looked at the image very close, I was amazed I was able to get some of the detail I saw in there.  It made me yearn to do an etching.

But what I’m doing today is watercolor.  I want to draw in ink and then lay in some watercolor wash to the image and I would like it to be on Arches text wove so that I can eventually print the images as well.


A hiker sitting on a mountain top.  I want to work on the rock he’s sitting on today, I think that will be the biggest challenge of this work.

Also around the studio Sue just finished some special order butter dishes.
butterdish_allShe got a request for one and figured she might as well make several of them, people have requested them in the past, but they are labor intensive and probably will be in the 40 dollar range, or more.
butterdish_cowHere’s my favorite one, with a cow on it.  Love it!!!
She’s so talented!!!!