Monday, February 8, 2010

Traveling Studio

By now you may have heard about our wheel mishap outside Fort Stockton. One of the wheels of the trailer being pulled behind our motorhome fell off. Since the wheel studs were sheared, the wheel wasn't salvageable. We needed a new wheel, tire, and new studs. Thankfully the other wheel on that side held so we didn't flip the trailer and thankfully no one was hurt in the mishap. The trailer holds my slab roller, hope it's OK.

I'm following Gary across the country in my SUV, which holds a good portion of my clay supplies like hump molds, books, glazes, etc. I saw the hubcap and then the tire rolling on the highway out of the corner of my eye. Once I saw no one was around us, I determined it was our tire that had fallen off. Luckily we have walkie talkies, formerly called handheld transceivers, and I immediately radioed Gary to pull over.

In the meantime, I thought you'd enjoy a tour of my traveling studio. I have clay in bags sitting on the floor of the motorhome. I use the dinette table with a towel and ware board placed on top as a work space. When I complete a piece I store the materials and ware board in any of the available space in the motorhome.

Here I am pinching a pot using some midrange Navajo Wheel clay which is a nice red color. I'm sitting at the work space I set up on the dinette table. I keep a bowl of water to rinse my hands and wet my sponge and change the water frequently. I dump the clay water outside so I don't clog the pipes of the motorhome. Below is a photo of greenware pieces from the Texas white stoneware I have stored in a box in the closet ready to be fired.

Perhaps I will find a place to bisque fire this work in San Antonio or another city city along the way. That way I can stack the bisque pieces on top of one another and have more room to make and dry more work. I get kind of antsy if I don't have my hands in clay. How about you, do you feel that way about clay when you're not working with it?

You can imagine greenware is starting to pile up around here. I'm only making pieces with flat bottoms and not too tall because the motorhome rocks back and forth going down the highway and drying pieces can tip over. If pieces are too green I have to put plastic bags around them to keep them from leaning against something and making a crease in the side I might not want.

We go to check on our trailer today and see what the damages are going to cost us. We plan on driving a little slower from now on, not that we were driving fast by any means. Here in Texas some speed limits are 80 mph. We have been driving no more than 55 mph pulling the trailer.

I leave you with a photo of a stone building we saw in Toyahvale, Texas near Balmorhea on a road trip we took yesterday while we wait for our trailer repair. Can you believe the color of that sky, it is almost purple blue. Wonder why there are two doors to enter the building? Comments and suggestions are encouraged.


  1. Linda, I have a partial load of greenware to bisque so we could do a firing when you get to SA. I've been waiting to get a full kiln load to fire--but won't make that anytime soon. Looking forward to your visit.

  2. Glad to see that you nor anyone else was not hurt. It looks like you are setup for about anything.

  3. Oh Gay, thanks so much, you are so wonderful to offer. We are waiting to hear this am about the trailer. Even if I can get the ones with handles done that would be great since they are more precarious. How far is Kerrville from San Antonio - Gary said he is aiming for there or somewhere I think? Hopefully we can get out of her today or tomorrow since the weather is turning crazy here in Texas.

    Hi Ron, thanks, we have tried to think of just about everything, but when you are traveling things just pop up out of nowhere. Plus we are really slightly overloaded which we normally wouldn't do. Even with all of Gary's driving experience this whole event has made him want to drive even slower. He had visions of the whole thing flipping and our cats running over the highway and our belongings strewn about. Hope you had a great visit with your family out there.

  4. Holy Cow Linda! So glad the trailer stayed upright and didn't flip or fish tail- sounds like it was a good thing you saw the wheel and was able to radio Gary! You are one dedicated potter! Your new studio reminds me of the Airstream Studio -

  5. Hi Cindy, thanks, yes luck seems to be with us. Is addicted to clay the same as dedicated? ha! I've seen the airstream studio - maybe I'll have the ceramic treasure bus some day.

  6. Kerville is 60 miles from SA. Actually, in Ingram (just before Kerrville there is an art center, "Hill Country Arts Foundation". They teach classes in various arts and have a nice ceramic program--offering classes from time to time. Don't know their winter schedule.

  7. That is pots on wheels!

  8. glad there was no GREAT mishap with the wheel.. and thanks for showing us your studio-on-wheels (I wondered how you were doing that). Regarding the two doors into the stone building:..wonder if one of them was for animals, although I don't think that weather would be a huge concern compared to the old buildings in Europe that housed animals and people...interesting..:)
    Hopefully you will get on the road again travels. T.

  9. "Crapola"glad the crew is ok and hopefully movin on my tuesday! Studio in a mobile home on wheels that has to be a first. I hope you bisque and glaze fire along the way and happen to sell them as well! That would be truely amazing!

  10. i was wondering how you managed working w/ your clay when on the road, i'm glad you posted this. i can only imagine the stories that will go w/ these pots!

    i can imagine what it was like seeing that wheel fall off! when we moved to MT from VA it was a 5 day trip from hell. me driving my truck behind the moving truck drove by my husband who had the kids w/ him. everything important to me in the world was in front of me in a moving truck that leaned to the right the whole way. every time the road curved to the left i tried not to freak out seeing the truck lean so far to the right. made me very nervous to say the least. i'm glad you guys are ok and hope the fix-it bill isn't too bad.

  11. boy! you are on an adventure, that is for sure.
    It was a good thing you were following along.
    I love that you are making pots while you travel.
    I am not sure if I would.
    Keep posting- you are getting closer to NC all the time.

  12. Linda -- You must have freaked out when you realized that was YOUR wheel! YIKES! It is good there was no more damage than what actually occurred.

    Your make-do studio looks great. I'm not sure I would be making things while traveling either - addicted is right - lol.

    Hope there rest of your journey never finds you in a repair shop again. Happy Trails!

  13. Linda, my two cents are
    glad you are ok
    pots will still be there to make when to get settled
    use this time to dream of pots
    as Lana says, I can always make another one...

    Hugs, Joan T and Lana

  14. potters will find anyway they can to keep their hands in clay...hooray for you!

  15. Girl: You need to contact one of the pottery magazines and have them do a story on you!!!

  16. yes, what a story! so glad you and Gary are safe. wow... that is a long RV and trailer. happy travels...

  17. So glad no one was hurt and hope you are on the road again soon.
    As for that little house, tiny duplex???
    I agree with Nancy, you ought to submit your stories to either an RV magazine or a Pottery one.

  18. This is amazing, and like Nancy says you need a journalist, they will snap this one up, and a radio station and TV. You are MAD and gripping!

  19. kudos linda, i think you have to really love clay a lot to attempt doing it in such a small moving studio. it seems like a great adventure tho

  20. Hi Gay, somehow we missed Kerrvile and San Antonio too. We kept getting off the freeway going into RV parks and they were all full or the spaces weren't large enough for our 60 feet or weren't a pull through. We kept driving thinking we'd find a place on the other side of San Antonio and same thing a wild goose chase, no room, or too small. Gary was totally freeked out with the highway construction in San Antonio on 410 and he said there was no way he was getting off at Military lane cause he thought it was too congested. The 410 had these dips every 20 feet, so finally he got in the middle lane. He already doesn't like cities and driving the RV worried it would break again was just too much stress for him. I am going to write to the Texas tourism to let them know they need signs along the highway saying RV or camping on those blue signs.

    Hi Jen, thanks I should say I am making the pots when we stop not while we are driving.

    Hi Trish, thanks, there are all kinds of abandoned buildings around, Gary got some good ones, but I can't find his loading attachment.

    Hi Mary, thanks wish I was selling a few, the fuel for the motorhome is a lot especially when it is windy like it was today.

    Hi Kim, thanks, yes that is exactly how we are feeling about traveling wondering what will happen next. Gary still has to drive our treasure bus where ever we move, but it is much sturdier and built on a better chassis then an RV pulling a trailer, so we will be much more stable. Our treasure bus has all of our belongings in it.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, while we were waiting for RV repair I would have been going crazy, it has been cold so have to stay in Rv while we wait so thankfully I purchased clay to bring along.

    Hi Judy, thanks, yes I was freaked out, because at first I just thought it was something blowing on the highway, then I saw the tire and then I looked around and said holy sh** that's our wheel.

    Hi Joan, thanks, I am definitely thinking of pots when we are driving down the highway because I don't really want to turn the radio on too loud in case I need to radio Gary up ahead, so I think of the scenery and all the different inspirations I have for pots for the future.

    Hi Michele, thanks, yes I keep saying to myself if the Native Americans could make pots with so little why can't I.

    Hi Nancy, thanks, we are traveling so much I hardly have time to think clearly. Normally when we travel we take our time, but this time we just want to get there and aren't taking as much time. I may have to think about that though.

    Hi Amy, thanks, yes we are hoping that was our one and only big adventure for the trip.

    Hi Patti, thanks, glad we are safe. Hey, yeah, maybe that is the first duplex in Texas. HA!

    Hi Kitty, thanks, perhaps a journalist will check in and contact me via here.

    Hi Jim, thanks, yes I think making things with my hands keeps my mind occupied so I don't worry about the potentials for problems.

  21. Hey Linda, what a story--traveling mercies to you and yours! so what is your destination?

  22. Hi Carrie, thanks, right now we are headed to the gulf coast states to stay warm considering what the weather is doing right now. Then we will also look in the Carolinas and Tennessee. We are hoping to set up a home base for a month somewhere central so we can pay a month RV space rent to save money. Daily rates are much more than monthly rates.

  23. Some religious groups had different doors for men and women on meeting houses. Another possibility is it was a duplex with a partition inside so both parts of an extended family had a separate spaces.
    Happy Travels

  24. Hi Dennis, thanks that is interesting with different doors for men and women. I thought of a duplex too, too bad we didn't get an historical tour they probably would have told us, interesting building anyway.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment