Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post One Hundred

Even I am amazed.
I didn't think I had that much to actually write about.
Well, actually I don't, and actually if you, the reader, actually keep up with The Flat Tire, you already actually know that.
Did I break the record? I used actually in a sentence four times!
Now let's see if I can refrain from using the word actually until the end of the year.
Ha! No problem cause act, uh, it's right around the corner.
Right there! No, over THERE! That corner over there!
Yes, that one.
Thank you.
Wouldn't want you to take a wrong turn and have to do 2009 all over again.

Not that it was all bad. I mean we're all here right?
Lemme do a head count: let's see, one, two, three, four, five, si-, ohoh!
We seem to have lost someone.
Well, you know what they say: you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force them to subscribe. Or something like that.
Well, my five fine readers, it's time to share some statistical information.
Googlio Analytico was added in October and so far this is what we got:
The Flat Tire has been viewed in 20 countries and 110 cities around the world.

That's pretty cool considering there are only five of you left. I think.
It being cool I mean.
Most viewed page goes to the EXTRA! piece on the wayward ducks.
I thought for sure it would be the one about my slippers.
The least viewed page was pick one.
Most hits occur between the 2300 and 0100. I guess the reason is that I post around that time.

Most of you look at one and half pages and spend an average of two and a half minutes perusing The Flat Tire.
And today we got our 1500th page view!
I don't know if that is good or bad.
I'm just glad someone is reading.
Really glad.
Enormously glad.
Like 3.5 GAGILLION glads.

Someone is act-, uh, reading.
I mean if no one was reading this stuff, I'd get bored and go back to watching Law & Order all day. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Okay, maybe.
So, I hope The Flat Tire brightened your day, gave you a little lift, made you smile or wonder, made you chortle, caused a grin, made you roll your eyes, shake your head, and if I was doing great, maybe your favorite beverage came out of your nose.
Mostly, The Flat Tire thanks you, the reader, for stopping by and letting us do our thing.
Next year we'll be shooting for 300 posts!
Kinda sorta.
Okay, maybe not.
Weather permitting, don't you know.


The Flat Tire Staff

HONOLULU- In a discovery that scientists predict will alter the course of world history, The Flat Tire has acquired startling new photographic evidence proving that the French language, does indeed exist.
Linguist Jacque LeBlague was ecstatic. "For years, everyone has been saying the French language was just a myth. It was just English spoken with a French accent. Well now, no one can say that it is just a joke."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winding it Down, Sort of

I mean really now.
Hasn't it been a pretty good year?
I know that finding The Flat Tire was a major highlight of this decade, but putting that aside, I think it's been a good year.
On one hand, there is no freakin way I'm hitting four thousand miles on the bike.
Of course, if I hadn't gotten sick and all, I'm sure I would have logged at least 3.5
GAGILLION miles and then some. As it stands, there's about 3500 miles on the odometer and four days left in the year.
I don't think I'm getting in five hundred miles in four days.
Oh well, there's always next year.
I got a new bike this year that I have full made full use of. The epic travels of the Beach Bike will continued to be documented on these pages so stay tuned.
It should also be noted that besides the racks and the basket, I fully resisted any evil temptation of upgrade anything else on the Beach Bike.
Oh, don't get me wrong. There were many nights were I perused the evil pages of eBay looking at possible new drivetrain stuff.
I was strong.
I looked temptation in the eye and stared it down with steely resolve.
I was also very poor.
Oh wait! I am so busted!
I forgot all about this:

I must have been possessed for I forgot all about the Shimano Deore Lx front derailleur I got to replace the one on the Beach Bike.
See I must have been possessed for the Beach Bike doesn't need a new front derailleur, that's why this one is still sitting on a shelf.
Evil eBay got me again!
Now I am compelled to convert the drivetrain to nine speed.
I think I need someone ten times more responsible than me to manage my Paypal account.
Okay, not really.
eBay and Paypal are the last two sources of real enjoyment for me. Without them,I would be but a shell of a man.
Well, kinda sorta.
I have to say though, one of the best things that happened to me this year was my mp3 player going south. Having to go through my CD collection again has allowed me to enjoy music I forgot existed.
Unfortunately, it also rekindled my lust for vinyl.
We'll see how that goes.
Anyways, there's a lot more to go over to cover the whole year and Law & Order is on so you know what that means.
Oh, and speaking of T.V., I'm looking forward to the new season of Chuck, which starts on January 10th.
Now that Monk is gone, Chuck might be the one of the smartest, funniest shows on the tube.
Check it out.
Also don't forget to check out The Flat Tire End of the Year Extravaganza!
The TFTEYE! is coming soon!
Stay tuned.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The President and Me

Okay, not really.
I did get pretty close though.
Okay, not really.
Yesterday, President Obama landed.
Okay, actually Air Force One landed and he was in it.
He chose to stay at the same house he did last year which is right in Kailua.
Well, actually closer to Aikahi.
So anyways, today I decided to take my Christmas ride and check him out. Near as I can figure, he is here:

From where I'm standing, it's about three miles on the bike to where the house is. I've never passed it for it's on a dead end street, but I have been to a public right of way that is pretty close to it. That was my target for today.
If I was the President, I would be somewhat disappointed in the weather. It rained when I left the house. It was downright dreary out there:

I guess being here is better than being in snow up to your knees. There was hope for a better day though:

So, I'm riding along on the Beach Bike, hoping to see the POTUS, or whatever the Secret Service guys call him, thinking about how I hope the day improves.
I mean he came all this way to see clouds?
Well, security is pretty tight. This is as close as you're going to get to the street he is on:

The person walking on the left is coming to tell me in not so many words to move along. She looked like she was packing heat so I got moving.
This is not Democratic hopeful Obama, this is the real deal Obama:

These Coast Guard fellows are sitting in a canal about oh, a half mile inland. About a hundred feet away from the main road.
And they aren't just sitting there:

And the public right of way?
There were some other people there checking it out, but there wasn't much action. You can see where the beach is closed off to the right of the white tent:

You can't really see the house he's staying in. The point juts out enough so that you can't really see the property:

The place is to the left of the other white tent.
I gotta say, it's pretty darn exciting having the President vacationing in your neighborhood. I mean he's been here before but from what I can tell the security was no where near what it is now.
If I had to vacation, and I was the most powerful man on earth, I would probably come here. Folks here sort of tend to keep to themselves and respect each others privacy.
What I mean is that if I saw the President walking around, I would probably give him the nod and keep going.
The man is on vacation don't you know.
Or is he?
The dude must be linked in to half the satellites floating around in space. In fact, there is a communications tower there I don't remember seeing before. I only saw it while doing my reconnaissance at the spot in the first photo; I don't remember seeing it while passing the street.
The poor guy just can't get away.
What the President needs is a nice bike ride to clear his mind.
So if you are reading this Mr. President, I'm inviting you on nice little ride around Kailua. I can loan you the Beach Bike if you wish.
I'll even take you to Tamura's and buy you a cream soda.
Oh wait, I'm poor.
The President can buy me the cream soda.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joyeux Noel

The Flat Tire Staff would like to wish you, the reader, a safe and Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Day Before the Day Before

I am done.
Kinda sorta.
Tomorrow, I finish up with the Kadomatsu Project. Remember? The Japanese things you put in front of the door for the New Year?
Don't remember? Okay, an article about kadomatsu can be found here.
Anyways, we have to go deep into the tropical rain forest to find the right kind of bamboo:

Then we take them and cut them up to the appropriate size:

There's some kind of formula we use as far as proportion goes, but I'm not privy to that information. The sections are then segregated by size:

Then the sections are wrapped with rope and pine is added.

This is what provides for my cycling bling for the next year. Tomorrow, we deliver the last order.
Speaking of bling, I opened up the kiln today and took this stuff out:

Ooops! Not the turkey sandwich and a pickle.

Oh wait. That was the last batch.
I meant to show you the mugs:

Tell you the truth, I don't know what happened to the green one. The design looked okay when I was glazing, but as you can see, it didn't transfer over to the firing.
At least I know what doesn't work.
These low fire glazes are truly evil. It looks like they are on thick enough, but when you fire them, they come out all goofy looking.
Well it's not the glaze so it must be me.
So, I'm just about done. Which is great because I don't want to get any where near a shopping mall. I used to be one of those last minute shoppers, but now I'm older and wiser.
Mostly older.
If I was really smart, I would have had all this stuff made last month.
Anyways, I hope everyone likes my hand crafted gifts; it's all I can afford on my pay don't you know.
I'm sure they will appreciate the time and effort I spent in getting these things out.
Well, they would if they read this blog.
At least I got them out the day before the day before.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The L Word, The M Word, Bombs Away

I'm finally up to the letter L in my ripping project. Yes, it's taking a while.
Ever since I've been on vacation, I've made it point to go through at least five CDs a day and extract the music.
Which brings me to the L word, luscious.
As in Luscious Jackson:

I was in a Luscious Jackson phase at one time. Listened to them all the time.
Probably best known for the hits Lady Fingers and Naked Eye, the band came up around the same time as other girl bands like The Breeders and L7.
Natural Ingredients is not their first album. Their first album took me a while to find and it was worth it:

It was out of print at the time I found it, but it may have been reissued(checked Amazon and is available as a download and from other sellers new and used). If you are a Luscious Jackson fan and don't have it: GET IT
In Search of Manny is an EP for it only has seven tracks but they are gems.
As I was pulling out the album for the pic, I discovered another LP I didn't know or had forgotten I had:

Who these guys are I have no clue. So I spun up the TT(that's turntable to you non audiophiles) and gave it a listen.
Althoug I have no actual experience to compare it to, I would say they sound like five jazz musicians, all on different drugs, all on different pages.
Eclectic is not the word I would use to describe them. So back into their dust jacket they went and since the TT was spinning, I put on Rickie Lee Jone's Pirates.
I didn't want to waste any time, so I put away Rickie Lee Jones and went to finish up the mugs(get it? Mugs? M for mugs? Nevermind) I did yesterday. I made them in the morning and attached the handles last night.
These will probably be the last to fire before the twenty-fifth:

With the IKEG(Industrial Klay Extruder Gun), making handles is breeze. I tried out some different designs using round coils.
Thing is, I'm not a coffee drinker so I have no clue as to how a mug should perform. After making this batch, I have a better idea about the weight, balance and comfort a mug should have.
Anyways, I tossed them in the kiln even though they were still a little wet. Because of the moisture(Moisture. Get it? M for moisture? Nevermind), I have them on a long firing cycle. Clay has a habit of exploding if it is still wet and the heat gets turned up too fast. The water turns into steam and well, you get the picture.
I need to do this for I want them glazed and back in the kiln by tomorrow night.
I hope they don't turn into bombs.
Okay, now I have time to watch Law & Order and get back to ripping some CDs.
Next up: The Manhatten Transfer and Aimee Mann.
Ah yes.
The letter M.
I'm halfway there.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Running Out of Time

There is only six days until you know when and I'm not half finished with my projects.
Tomorrow, I still have to throw some more mugs and finish them off by Wednesday.
I think I can do it, but that's not what this is all about.
Finishing my mugs I mean.
I was thinking today, of all the time I spend in dialysis.
Counting the time it takes to get there, I figure it comes to around eighteen hours a week.
That's almost a whole day.
Well, it is a whole day considering the time I am awake.
Then I started thinking about what I could get done in one day.
I thought of a lot of stuff.
I mean if you are like me, there's probably a GAGILLION things that have to be done, things that you've always wanted to do, but just don't have the time.
So I thought about this. Not for too long though, see I didn't want to waste time.
I don't usually make resolutions for the new year, but I think this year I'm going to try to do something different.
I'm going to try to remember that time is precious.
Like money, it doesn't grown on trees, and there is no infinite supply of it.
See this goes back to the eighteen hours every week that I have to spend at my part time job. Dialysis is like my part time job; I have to do it or something really bad happens.
I was thinking about what I can do to get those eighteen hours back. I mean somewhere along the line, there's gotta be eighteen hours of time where I'm really just wasting it, right?
I spend a lot of time watching T.V. I even spend a lot of time writing this blog.
There are many things that I consider essential to the quality of my waking hours.
Then again, are they?
I don't really have to watch that episode of Law & Order again for the fifth time.
Okay, okay, I know, I'm starting to ramble again.
I think you get the point.
Anyways, part of it is that I've dealt with the physical part of my affliction; perhaps only now I've come to terms with the mental part of it.
I've been dipping at the well figuring it would never go dry.
I'm going to start looking at my watch in a different way.
Starting today.
I don't want to run out of time.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Handles

The handles on my mugs were not making me happy. I was having to roll them out by hand so they had that, well, hand made look.
So, I decided to step up to the plate.
Introducing the Industrial Klay Extruder Gun:

And yes, I correctly spelled clay:

The IKEG(no really, that's how it is listed in the catalog) is basically a glorified caulking gun. I thought about getting a caulking gun and some PVC tubes and doing it homebrew, but there is noting like professional grade tools.
Okay, I'm joking. This thing is great!
Basically, you load in some clay, pick out a shape(I only got the round dies right now), squeeze and VOILA!

You get a long round thing of clay. String? coil? rope? A long thin thing.
Anyways, you can shape the thing into shapes like the springy thing I made on the bottom.
Now we're talking handles!
When you extrude the clay, it should be on the soft side. I had to brace up the mug handle until it set up a bit:

Once the clay sets up, you can clean up the join area. I also wanted to add some small details:

So I took these little balls of clay and added them to where the handles attach to the mug. I then flattened them and poked them a bit to give the handle an industrial look:

I think small details make or break a piece. Interesting what four little balls of clay can do.
The extruder gives me more options on handle designs. Bigger wall mounted type extruders can do larger coils and even hollow shapes. For now, though the IKEG is all I need.
Here's the finished mug:

I'll try to remember to post up pics after I've glazed and fired it. I've got a bunch of mugs yet to do and while the mugs may look plain, at least the handles can be different.
I was hesitant to get the IKEG, but now I'm glad I have it.
Happy handles.
Let's see what I can use it for next.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The Flat Tire Staff

KAILUA-The State levied a substantial fine on a local developer for not meeting regulations which require art to be installed at new buildings.
One per cent of the cost of construction must go toward installed artwork according to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. "Obviously, the amount spent on the artwork does not match the total cost of the structure," said a State official who did not wish to be named. "The State has a broad definition of what art is, but this obviously is not it."
Nathan Franks, owner of the new building defended the artwork. "The artist put a lot of time and thought into his installation. I visited his studio once, and littered with empty beer cans as it was, watching him work was certainly a revelation."
When asked to comment on the theme of the alleged art Franks said, "It represents the struggle between the industrialized machine and humanity. While very complex, this struggle can be represented by nuts and bolts. So simple it's sublime."
Franks declined to put a price on the artwork or name the artist. "The State just doesn't seem understand Minimalism."
The official disagreed. "Looks like they just forgot to put something there."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


You know, when potpourri first started to show up on store shelves, I just knew the collapse of the capitalist system was near. I mean people had so much money they were purchasing other people's yard clippings!
Look at where we are now.
But this is not about that. The state of the US economy I mean.
Potpourri, if Websters French-English dictionary isn't lying to me, and at times I'm not quite sure it isn't, literally means a pot of rotten or decomposing something. So I suppose if you left a pot of spaghetti on the stove for about a month, it too would qualify as potpourri. Not that The Flat Tire condones or recommends leaving spaghetti on the stove for a month.
How it got from a pot of spoiled food to a fragrant mix of foliage, I won't even try to guess. How it got from a mix of fragrant foliage to just a mix of things seems bit more obvious.
Anyways, that is what this is all about. A mix of things that is.
So, I'm sitting here, actually using my laptop on my lap cause I had a pretty long day. I'm eating these wheat/corn/rice chex things only they are done local style with furukake on it:

The green stuff you see is the furukake, Japanese style dried seaweed for those not in the know. Yes, I know how it sounds, but it's actually quite tasty. So good in fact that The Dog is enjoying them with me. Usually you put the stuff on rice but then again, here we put furukake on everything including popcorn.
Don't make a face. Again, it works.
You should try it.
Another thing Japanese that we do here is to put kadomatsu in front of the front door of your home for the New Year. Kadomatsu is basically three stalks of bamboo wrapped with cord and garnished with pine needles:

The theory is that bad things will get trapped in open part of the bamboo and when you toss the thing away(actually, you are supposed to burn it) the bad stuff goes away too and you will have a prosperous new year.
Well, it sort of is prosperous for a bunch of us make these things every year for local distribution. At first it was a sort of crafty thing to do, then it sort of just took off and became sort of side job.
We just got done with a small order; that's why I'm sitting here kinda beat.
It's okay though, for I officially start my vacation today. That means I have a chance at putting on some cycling mileage tomorrow.
Then again, maybe not:

Red skies at night, sailor's delight, red skies at morning, sailor's warning.
That was what the sunrise looked like this morning.
Forecast for tomorrow is rain.
There is some truth in the rhyme. It has to do with weather patterns and the amount of dust in the atmosphere or something. You can read about it here.
Either way, I'm glad for the time off.
Maybe I can get back to loading some songs on my mp3 player. I got up past E but I didn't put on any Erasure.
I find that strange for I used to like Erasure, now they just don't suit my mood.
I did rediscover Delirium, known for the Sarah McLaughlin song Silence, and I am really digging Devo again.
If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I can go out and torture myself and listen to some tunes. I just hope I don't run into these guys:

Why anyone would pay to take one of those things through the park is beyond me.
Though they look pretty cool if you just had to run to the store to pick up some cheese bread.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When Things Go Bad, Turkey Sandwich and a Pickle

If you have spent any sort of time working with ceramics, you know that bad things happen.
If you are fairly new to ceramics, they happen quite frequently.
If you are experienced, then you learn to plan ahead.
If you are like me, clawing your way through a wet paper bag in the dark, then you don't. Plan ahead that is.
I used to have a Quality Control hammer around here somewhere. I'll get back to this later.
When I first began my ceramic journey, I saved almost everything. As my skills and my knowledge of glazes and kiln firing increased, so did my critical eye.
Back then, if I got three nice pots out of ten, I was happy. The three I kept, the rest got the hammer. I knew that nothing ever comes out like you planned, and if it did, you were either very lucky or very skilled.
Well, I worked my up to the point where my average was seven out of ten. This was good. Not too many pieces were meeting the hammer on the way to the dumpster.
One thing you learn is that if you are working on a project, you always make more than one, for if something bad happens, you have another piece ready to go.
This is important if you are on a deadline.
Well, I was kinda sorta on a deadline and this happened:

Glazes are like people: not all of them get along together.
The lettering I did was a complete failure. I got a really nice pencil cup to remind me what glazes not to use together in the future.
So, Mr. Ceramic Arteest, what to do?
Make one more:

I'm going to break all kinds of cardinal rules of ceramics to get that one out as it is in the kiln as I type. To get it out tomorrow morning, I'm going to fast cool the kiln.
Don't try this at home, I am a professional, don't ya know.
Anyways, some stuff came out okay:

I spent way to much time on that yellow mug:

So much time in fact, I have declared low fire glazes to be officially evil. The amount of time and work it takes to finish one of these things borders on ridiculous. More on that later.
Oh, and I said I'd get back to the Quality Control hammer. I couldn't find it in the mess that I call a garage.
So instead, here is the above promised Turkey Sandwich and a Pickle:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Observaton Post

One of the things I miss about school besides the library, is my observation time.
While the majority of my classes were taken with peers, often the odd class that was needed to fulfill a requirement introduced me into a classroom where the other students were strangers. The classes were located in parts of the university where I had never had chance to explore.
I took this opportunity to unwind and recharge; the competitive atmosphere of art class can a toll. This usually meant sitting around thinking, and more important, observing.
I consider myself an observant person. Not gifted, not like Sherlock Holmes or anything, but I possess a fairly keen eye for details.
The majority of these observed minutia are not very important.
The dent on that car door is in an odd location. The woman coming out of the supermarket with what appears to be her husband(I can see her ring) doesn't look too happy. That guy picking up recyclables out of the rubbish is wearing a nice watch.
Most of us go about our lives with open eyes, but what are you seeing?
I look for things that are out of place or inconsistent.
Wait. I don't look for those things; those are the kind of things that pop out at me.
It must be an art thing. Trained to see and all that.
It also helps that I'm always looking for things to write about.
For you, the reader, don't ya know.
Everything has a story behind it.
Most people I think, get used to seeing. Seeing the same things I mean. We start to anesthetize ourselves to what's going on around us; filter out the unimportant if you will.
I'm not saying that's bad. If we took the time to notice everything, nothing would get done!
The problem is the filter is always on.
So, during the time I have to sit around and do nothing, I try to turn the filter off and take a keen look at what is going on around me.
My intention is not to snoop or invade.
The intention is to integrate myself into my environment and not to be such an isolationist.
While yes, the world does revolve around me, I also realize that I am but a micro organism when looking at the big picture and as a micro organism, I have to be aware of what is going on around me. See how I turned that around?
Okay, I sort of forgot where I was going with all this.
Oh yes, observations.
We are given the gift of sight, but what are we looking at?
Take the time and get a good look.
You might be surprised at what you see.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

le Connaisseur de la Musique

Reed Seed by Grover Washington Jr. is the Greatest Jazz Album of All Time(GJAOAT).
le Connaisseur de la Musique does not make joke.
My love affair with this album began in 1978, when it was originally released. Alas, the affair was brief for the medium was cassette tape, and my Pioneer Super Tuner eventually wore it out.
Released this year on Verve Records, the flame has been rekindled.
Yes, I remember my first time well. The dark eyed foreign beauty captured me at first listen. Foreign you ask? It was my first jazz album.
Up until then, a saxophone was something Mike Ohata played in marching band. It took a trip to the Vinyl Doughnut across from Ala Moana and the mystical sounds emanating from those chic Sonab speakers to enlighten me.
What was this entrancing sound?
Reed Seed, the Greatest Jazz Album of All Time, opens up with the funk of Do Dat and Step 'N' Thru. Hypnotizing for someone who associated funk with Earth, Wind and Fire(which could have my first taste of jazz, now that I think about it).
Then, the trinity of the title track, Maracas Beach and be still my beating heart, the song that has captured me and still causes me pause, Santa Cruzin.
Santa Cruzin is not just smooth, it's smooth with a mirror finish. Smoother than anything Coltrane ever did.
No! Je ne mens pas! Lie to you I would not!
le Coltrane is nul! Une petite jeune fille!
Okay, not really.
Unfortunately, the next song is a cover of Just the Way You Are, the most covered song in the world next to Happy Birthday to You. The cover dates the album.
Loran's Dance is the caboose on this silky smooth train of epic(oui, epique!) rapture.
Reed Seed, the Greatest Jazz Album of All Time, was my most sought after CD of the last twenty years. After it's initial release it was forgotten, but not by le Connaisseur de la Musique. Entering the title into search engines was a feat of hope, promise and desperation. Someone had to have a copy of this, the Greatest Jazz Album of All Time!
Alas, the quest was futile.
Until now.
Reed Seed, the Greatest Jazz Album of All Time, est mauvais derrier!

Next on le Connaisseur de la Musique:
Why Firefall's Dolphin's Lullaby is the Greatest Song of All Time(GSOAT).

The opinions expressed by le Connaisseur de la Musique do not reflect those of The Flat Tire or its editorial staff.

It's Christmas!

Kinda sorta.
That's what opening the kiln door is like after a glaze firing: like opening presents on Christmas morning. Or like a box of chocolates.
You don't know what you are going to get.
I was up at the crack of dawn:

Instead of just turning over and going back to sleep, I took my flashlight out to the ceramic studio/fabrication shop/woodshop/garage to check the kiln:

The kiln and the ware inside need time to cool down so I just cracked the lid a bit to let some air in.
Opening the kiln door is big thing. Protocol says that the person who fired the kiln gets to open the door and unload.
This is somewhat important for you get to see how the kiln fired; a large kiln will often have "cold" spots where it did not quite hit temperature. This happens mostly in a large kiln like the one in the column on the right.
At the university, opening the kiln door was a problem for the new students would be overly anxious about seeing their work. The kiln doors had locks on them to discourage the practice of someone opening the door before it was cool enough.
Anyways, I was quite anxious to see how my stuff turned out.
The glazes I used were more than a few years old. I had done a test tile to check them and they looked okay.
This firing however, was not a test and this was not done for practice.

I'd call this batch one bullseye and a couple of flyers.
I like how the jaune mug came out. It's going to the French teacher. It was the last one I did and I remembered about this thing I had to apply lettering:

The blue mugs are going to the English and Health teachers. I put some words on them also, but they are a bit harder to see:

If you look good you can see the word "essay" and "adv." on there. The lettering was brushed on with painstaking precision. Okay, not really, but it was the best I could do until I found that lettering thingy. The other mug has some body part names:

The red pieces, actually "strawberry," were okay, though I was not ecstatic. I sort of missed on the lady bug look. The same tool used for the lettering malfunctioned kinda sorta.
The glazes came out good for glazes that have been sitting around for like three years. If they dry out since they are water based, you just add, well, water.
A couple of them were too thin though. I applied extra coats but apparently it was not enough.
Okay, round one is done. Learned a bit more about these glazes and about firing the kiln(see below).
I'm putting off my usual bike ride today for I have to stop by the ceramic store and pick up a few more glaze colors. I forgot that I had thrown away my white glaze for it looked kinda hinky.
Oh, and I have to finish working on these:

Put some handles on 'em, fire 'em, glaze 'em, fire 'em again and it's like Christmas!