Friday, June 27, 2014

W. I. P.

Hit the ground running this week with my first bisque firing the day after we got back from our trip. Twenty two jacks and two skulls waiting for Raku firing (that's going to be a long, sweaty day!), plus have a few more things waiting for the new kiln to get wired up.

I'm busily underglazing some new bowls and shot glasses, and will be adding some specially-designed, ceramic pint glasses.

Full speed ahead!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dark Harvest

I was searching for books to download onto my Kindle for my trip to Ireland, when I ran across this wonderful gem. 

Written by Norman Partridge, Dark Harvest tells the story of a town embroiled in a Hallowe'en-themed "The Running Man"-type of race. From the Amazon description:
Halloween, 1963. They call him the October Boy, or Ol’ Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack. Whatever the name, everybody in this small Midwestern town knows who he is. How he rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town, where gangs of teenage boys eagerly await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare. Both the hunter and the hunted, the October Boy is the prize in an annual rite of life and death. 

Pete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a dead-end future in this one-horse town. He’s willing to risk everything, including his life, to be a winner for once. But before the night is over, Pete will look into the saw-toothed face of horror--and discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy . .
.

I couldn't put it down. Seriously, couldn't put it down. And it made me want to build Stewie another brother to play with! I had also purchased Johnny Halloween before I left, which is a collection of short stories by Partridge. It includes another story about the October Boy, with a different slant to it, and we are introduced to a younger villain...
Now Partridge revisits Halloween with a collection featuring a half-dozen stories celebrating frights both past and present. In “The Jack o' Lantern,” a brand new Dark Harvest novelette, the October Boy races against a remorseless döppelganger bent on carving a deadly path through the town's annual ritual of death and rebirth. “Johnny Halloween” features a sheriff battling both a walking ghost and his own haunted conscience. In “Three Doors,” a scarred war hero hunts his past with the help of a magic prosthetic hand, while “Satan's Army” is a real Partridge rarity previously available only in a long sold-out lettered edition from another press.

But there's more to this holiday celebration besides fiction. “The Man Who Killed Halloween” is an extensive essay about growing up during the late sixties in the town where the Zodiac Killer began his murderous spree. In an introduction that explores monsters both fictional and real, Partridge recalls what it was like to live in a community menaced by a serial killer and examines how the Zodiac's reign of terror shaped him as a writer.

Halloween night awaits. Join a master storyteller as he explores the layers of darkness that separate all-too-human evil from the supernatural. Let Norman Partridge lead you on seven journeys through the most dangerous night of the year, where no one is safe…and everyone is suspect.
The cover art, as you can see, is inspirational. I'm already going nuts with trying to get everything made for my upcoming shows, but these covers really make me want to abandon all responsibility and make some new props for Halloween, since I haven't had the time to make them for a while. And the stories, themselves are engaging and wonderful grist for the horror and Hallowe'en mill.

But maybe, just maybe, I can stop sleeping for a few days--? ;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cover

I honestly couldn't tell you anything about the contents of the book, itself. 

But the cover? Delicious!

Buy The Halloween Children here.

There are several other kick-ass covers there, too!

Friday, June 20, 2014

For the Potters

While we've been visiting Ireland, we've been making little side-trips to various potteries. Louis Mulcahy's pottery was one of the places we visited, and I have to say what a great experience it was to get out and see his work (and buy it!).

 I fell in love with the pitcher below! The shape, design, and generous size was wonderful. Combine that with a nice combination of glazes, and it was a beaut! I took a picture with my hand on the handle so you could get a sense of scale.
I had Mr. ShellHawk stand next to one of the vases, to get a sense of scale, too. Mr. ShellHawk is 6' 3". Note his heroic pose. ;)
 The simplicity of his design is wonderful. No clutter on these pieces, at all!

We're on our way home tomorrow, early. Wicked early to get to the airport on time. I'm looking forward to getting back home to the dogs and my studio. I feel rejuvenated and ready for the very long hours getting prepped for Scare LA.

Irish Cemetery

Mr. ShellHawk and I were visiting an Irish pottery the other day and at the back of the property was an old cemetery. Want ancient Irish tombstones? Got 'em.
   

Monday, June 16, 2014

On Holiday...

Mr. ShellHawk, Ape and I have been in Ireland, celebrating our ten-year anniversary (Mr. ShellHawk's and mine, that is. Not Ape's.). More pics later!
Ape at Kylemore Abbey
The very impressive Cliffs of Moher
The legendary Roadside Tavern

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hauntcast's Last Episode-Everyone's Favorite Flavor

Free. Yes, everyone's favorite flavor is free!

Today, episode 60 of Hauntcast drops with the original cast only. You can download it for free on the Hauntcast website


I have such mixed feelings about laying the show to rest after five years of working on this show with some incredibly talented people. I'm glad it's done, so I can focus on life. I'm sad it's done, because I felt it really helped me to stay in touch with the Hallowe'en community and with the things that make Hallowe'en such a great holiday. 

I truly feel Hauntcast was a unique offering in the world of Hallowe'en podcasts (which are now cropping up with the frequency of VD in a whorehouse). In fact, I've heard that a few of the newer podcasts out there are following our model pretty exactly.

I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

Be that as it may, I really enjoyed this phase of my life. I'm glad I got to meet the guys and hang with them, and I'm looking forward to staying in touch with them in the future.

Rest in peace, Hauntcast. See you on the other side.

Monday, June 2, 2014

So, lots of stuff going on! Throwing a bunch of jacks, cups, bowls, etc., plus doing a little handbuilding, too, to give myself a break.

I fixed the overfiring problem with my old kiln and did another decal firing, which turned out beautifully! It was a very satisfying test run, and now I have a clearer idea of what I need to do to get some decals done properly and speed up my production a bit. I've got too little time left before Scare LA, and I need to focus and maximize it as much as I can!
I've been making some big candy bowls, too. I'm looking forward to underglazing these guys and making them super Hallowe'en-cool. Stay tuned!

Speaking of Scare LA, I'll be speechifying there. My class will be on setting up a home haunt (so very much to cover in an hour!), and I've been sending out emails to various haunters to ask permission to use their pictures and videos in my lecture. I sent one out to a YouTube user who did a great Pepper's ghost illusion in his front window. We emailed back and forth a couple of times, and it turns out "the guy" is Paul Lasaine, of Lord of the Rings visual effects fame! And? He said I could use his video! Woo-hoo! After our conversation, he got around to posting his how-to on getting the illusion up and running properly. See his Pepper's ghost how-to here. The original video is here.

The brewing tanks came in at Oak Park Brewing Company this week, as well. Step by step, things are coming along, and it looks like our opening will be somewhere around mid- to late-August! We're really excited at the progress. (If you're interested in tracking the progress of the brewery, follow them on Facebook or Twitter.) I sat down with them on Saturday to start planning for the Hallowe'en season, and man, am I tickled at some of the ideas we came up with for this year and the thoughts we have on what to do next year!

OK, that's it for now. Back out to make some more Hallowe'en fun!
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