Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Another year come to an end. I hope you all have a great 2007 and that it brings much love, peace, and happiness.

Today has been a good day, Sarah and I went out for breakfast, after sleeping in a bit. We just finished cleaning the house. That's a good way to start the new year, with a spic and span cleaning job. Karma has been hanging out with us too.

I plan on putting in a full week of work in the pottery starting tomorrow, working towards a firing in a couple weeks. I have enjoyed my time off and have been thinking about new pots or new takes on old forms. I reached up to the top shelf in the kitchen today and pulled down a lovely small jar made by the late Byron Temple. It's simplicity and fullness really speaks to me. I'd like to be able to make that pot.

I hope you'll keep checking in this year, and pass my Journal page on to others who you think may be interested. One of my goals for the future is to get more folks coming out to the pottery. I will still do a few shows to get out and be seen, but I'd love not to have to do that someday. Thanks to all of you who have been supportative over the years, it means so much for me to continue to be able to do what I love. Ron.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

What day is it anyhow?

Thursday. Right. Well it seems like a Monday. Sarah and I have spent almost everyday since Sunday over at her folks. All her siblings and their children came into town for Christmas. We went back and forth (which is only about 12 miles) for meals and gift exchanges and more meals, and snacks. I always eat way too much over Christmas. We all celebrated Sarah's parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary yesterday. It was really nice. Everyone has gone home as of this morning and Sarah returned to work too. So I guess that leaves me here and I suppose I should get into the pottery and make a few dishes. I have re-read Gail Nichols book on Soda glazing over the past few days. I am getting excited about my next firing. I am seriously considering rebuilding my kiln this year (if I can afford to buy some new bricks). Anyhow, we'll see about that later.
Okay check back in and maybe I'll have a few images of whatever I get made today. Happy Thursday!! Ha.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Kiln Work

Today I got the fireboxes cast. Since it was so warm out, 70 degrees, I went ahead and dipped 150 new IFBs in greenpatch for a new door. I have them all layed out in my clay racks drying. It's almost like having a new kiln, or at least part ways.

Friday, December 22, 2006


I finished up a few bakers and some lasagna dishes today. The latter are new and not quite 9x13, I'll have to see how they turn out when fired. I also did some running around Shelby picking up some groceries and odds and ends. I am glad to be finished with my Christmas shopping, Sarah is going out tomorrow. She must be insane.

I am going to try and cast my fire boxes tomorrow. I went to Concord yesterday and picked up some castable as well as some ceramic fiber and Greenpatch and a few other things. All for free. Thanks Randy! It will all come in handy in the future.

Well I hope you all have a good holiday. I may get a post or two in over the next week, but I imagine we'll all be busy doing something.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Here are the few pots from yesterday. I got the mugs handled and the feet cut on the bowls today. I am going to be making small runs of things for this next kiln. Mostly kitchenware.

I got some Christmas shopping finished up today. I think I'm all done with Sarah and I even got her gifts wrapped today. She'll be surprised when she gets home tonight.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I made some bowls and a few cups today. I will get a pic up tomorrow after I get the feet cut on the bowls. I was trying a combing technique on the bowls with a toothed card I made. I'm not really into it. I need to just get back to my pots and let things evolve slowly as they will. I also need to get my kiln floor finished.

It was 74 degrees here today. Crazy.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

New Week Ahead

I am planning on making some pots tomorrow. Maybe a few cups and bowls. I have to do something, I'm going nuts. I have some slip tests to mix up, I hate measuring all that stuff out but it has to be done. We had a good weekend, several visitors including our friends Lex and Michelle who brought their new pup George out. He and Karma had a good play time. We also celebrated my dad turning 60 Saturday night. My 83 year old grandmother was in good spirits and wacked balloons around with her great grand kids.

It's been warm here and will be close to 70 degrees tomorrow. It's hard to believe it's almost Christmas, Sarah's family will be arriving late next week.

Friday, December 15, 2006


This is a drawing I did back in October of a Snickers bar. I figured out tonight that I could color it in using my PhotoImpact program. This is the first time I've done anything like this. Pretty cool. Most of my drawings are pen and ink line drawings. I have been looking at Oliver Kugler's work. He is amazing. Clicking on this image will open up an image that's a little larger. Here's another link to Oliver.


I worked on my kiln some today. I piped one burner around to the front so that now I have a diagonal setup, one burner firing in from the front and the other opposite, firing in from the back. This seems to be a popular setup among UK potters who fire salt and soda. At least that's what I have gleaned from looking at books and websites. My next firing is going to be more of an experiment with this new set up and I'll probably use little or no salt and more soda. After my last firing I have little to lose. Gail Nichols' book has inspired me and January is a good time to try some things (even though I do have some pots due for a show in early Feb. and I am way behind on some special orders). Well, if they get in this load they may be the best pots ever, who knows. I have found some castable in Concord and will try and pick it up early next week.

Today I also replaced the doorknobs on both front doors. Twice. I didn't like the finish on the first ones once I got them on, so off they came and back I went to the hardware store. I always end up doing stuff twice, I never seem to get it right on the first go. I'm happy with them now.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Here are some qualities I'd like to work on in my pots. Movement, looseness, simplicity, texture, directness, line quality, gesture. That's mostly in the throwing phase. In the kiln I'd like to see color, color change, areas of shiny and matt, salt/soda build up, color change on edges (salt/soda or carbon trapping). I want to work on a new wadding too so the wad marks aren't so stark white. I want to play with some new handles, knobs, and lugs. I have some new slips to try also. Whew, I better get in the studio soon if I'm going to do all this.

Today I am going to Charlotte to drop off a pot, pick up some pots, and have lunch with a friend. I'll probably hit a shop or two also, I need a new drawing journal. I've gotten sort of picky about these and right now I like the Moleskine 5x8 Sketchbook. Here's a cool site featuring Moleskines.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I am having sort of weird days since I'm not making pots or working in the pottery. Today and yesterday I spent the morning working on bookwork, updating my mailing and email list and messing around on the computer. Today I hit the hardware store and the grocery, I had lunch in the truck inbetween the two and listened to All Things Considered on NPR. I enjoy radio very much, especially NPR stations and college town stations I can pick up on the computer. Right now I'm streaming WEXP from Seattle, Washington. I don't have an extensive CD or album collection anymore and I don't own an iPod or MP3 player of anykind. I enjoy hearing good quality programming, variety, with cool DJ's, live in studio guests and bands, and the like. I'm mostly into alternative rock, reggae, some techno and dance too. I like jazz but don't really know what kind of jazz I like, I know it when I hear it. I tried for a couple years to like bluegrass and folk but honestly I can't stand most of it now. No commercial radio, or country either. I remember back when I first started making pots that I gave country a try. I was working in an empty migrant house on a friend's family's apple farm. I had a wheel, an old electric kiln, a kerosene heater, and a small radio. I could pick up a country station and that was about it. I listened to that while I worked for about a year. Never again. I like breaks inbetween every 5 or 6 songs with the DJ giving a little set list update and comments.
In my early 20's a friend of mine discovered 88.7 in Spindale, NC broadcasting from Isothermal Community College. We listened mostly at night and into the early morning while out partying or skateboarding or sitting around in the car. They had, and still have, a good alternative late night show. Our favorite show was Joe Frank in the Dark. It's hard to explain but it was usually sort of a weird monologue that went on for about an hour.
Well that's my post for today. I had no idea what I would write when I sat down here. Keep checking in, maybe I'll make some pots.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday Morning

Last night Sarah and I went out with another couple to Charlotte for dinner and then went to the Actor's Theatre to see a performance of David Sedaris' 'The Santaland Diaires'. The company and dinner were wonderful; the acting was awful. We were all disappointed with the performance especially after spending $20 each for tickets. The guy just couldn't pull off Sedaris, he had no delivery, and stumbled on his lines several times. We all had a good laugh on the way home, actually our reviews of the performance were more funny than the play.

On we way back we drove through McAdenville to see the whole town lit up in Christmas lights. I've only done this once before years ago and I have say it was quite nice.

Sarah and I ended our late evening by watching some clips of the real David Sedaris on Youtube and even a few of his sister, Amy, who is a hoot and has been on Letterman numerous times. She has a group of friends who get together and do crafts. Their name....the Crafty Beavers. I love that. Circle of Eight is a good name but the Crafty Beavers....that's hard to beat.

I think I'm going to dig out our copy of Sedaris' book Naked and give it a read over the next few days.

No pottery news at this time, my clay did come in out of the racks and I have been thinking about my next kiln load. I still have to cast my fireboxes and finish setting the bag walls but that is no big deal. For now I just want to make it through Christmas and relax a bit.

Hope your up coming week is a good one.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pottery Books

I buy most of my pottery books from The Potters Shop in Needham, Mass. Right now they are having their end of the year sale and most everything is 25% off. I like buying from the Potters Shop because they are potters too. I am supporting another potter, not the corporate guys at Amazon or Borders or whatever. Plus, they have tons of titles and some out of print stuff too, as well as tools and videos. They are also very helpful in answering questions and giving you specific information about the books. They now have their list online I hope you'll give them your business if you are looking for some pottery books.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Kiln work/scabs

I sort of piddled around for the first part of the day. Went to the hardware store and got a chimney brush and swept my chimney. I've been wanting to do this before I fired up the woodstove. It's in good shape now.
After lunch I found myself standing in front of my kiln. I thought, "I'm gonna bust out that bagwall, it needs replacing." Which it did.
You know how sometimes if you have a scab and start picking at it and can't stop, and before long you've picked the whole thing off. (and then it's sore and bleeding again but that part doesnt' really fit into my analogy) So after I got the bag wall out I busted out the castable in both troughs. It needed to go too. Well then I just decided to take the whole first layer of floor brick out and clean them up and replace them too. (That's the whole bleeding). So now I have to scrounge around and find some brick to replace those bad ones I threw out and I will have to go buy some castable to recast my troughs. So much for doing nothing today. It looks good and I'll be happy I did it when I go to fire again.
Bagwall in a heap.

Castable and some floor brick all busted up.

All cleaned out and ready for replacement.


It's Wednesday and I have to say I haven't accomplished much at all this week. Which is fine I guess. It's hard coming from my family's work ethic background not to feel guilty, but I am just going with the flow and allowing myself some space.

I saw a great interview with Pema Chodron on Bill Moyers' show the other night. You can watch it here or read the transcript.

I got two new books in the mail yesterday so I'll spend part of today immersed in them. The first is Gail Nichols new book on soda glazing entitled Soda, Clay, and Fire. The other is An Autobiography of Sorts by British potter Mike Dodd.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Here's an essay entitled "On Insignificance" from This I Believe that I read this morning. There are lots of good essay's there.

We have this quote from Nelson Mandela on our refridgerator.

"Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God; your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
I read this often and somedays I believe it and other days it's not so easy. This morning, out walking my dog Karma, looking at the mountains in the distance, feeling the crisp morning air, I felt energized, at peace, and one with my surroundings. I hope I can carry that feeling for the rest of the day as I go out and interact with others and move through my day. I struggle constantly being overly self conscience, and worrisome, some things I'd like to change.
Have a great Monday, walk tall, smile at others and yourself, I'll try to do the same. We are all signifiant in many ways, maybe we just don't know it. Peace. Ron

Sunday, December 03, 2006

the end

My Sale is over and was a grand success. Thank you to everyone who came out to the Pottery over the last two weeks, I am very grateful for all your support, kind words, and encouragement. I hope you all enjoy your new pots.

I have no major pottery commitments for the rest of the year. Whew. I do plan to get back to work in my studio this week and to try and figure out what's going on with my kiln. My last firing was not up to par and I'd like to get that worked out. I'm also planning a visit to a potter friend in the NC mountains in a week or so. That will be fun.

I have done no Christmas shopping, so I guess I should start thinking about that.

I'll still be posting often so check in from time to time.

Getting it

I had a good day yesterday. I had several folks come to my Sale from Charlotte, many of whom have bought my pots in the past but have never been out to the pottery. It is good for people to come here and see how Sarah and I live and work. I think it allows them to see the connection between the work and the maker. We live a simple life out in the country, we have minimial material goods, (other than tons of coffee mugs and other pottery), we love our natural surroundings, we love to eat and relax and read and make art. I like to share all this with my customers, after all, they are taking a little piece of me home with them when they make a purchase. Once that pot is in their home they will remember coming out here and visiting and seeing where it was made and why it is the way it is.

Friday night at the Clayworks opening I didn't sell too many pots. I left a little discouraged. My work is very minimal in decoration and not brightly colored. It tends to get lost in a large room full of other pottery. So my inner critic kicked in and started shouting, 'make some colorful pots, you need to decorate more, your pots are no good'. I hate that voice because I know it's not true and it's not helping me, but it gets really stong sometimes and I get myself all lost in it's lies. Well on Saturday I had two young women come in from Charlotte who had seen my work at Clayworks (and at ACC). They were so into my pots, they both totally got it. It was wonderful and validating. They loved the timelessness of the work and the minimal deco. and the focus on form. They understood my salt glazing process and that the pots are all different in subtle ways and that makes it all unique and wonderful. What a gift these two women gave me yesterday. I am re-engerized and my critical voice has quieted down. Over the next few months I will be working on a dinnerware commission for one of these ladies, it will good work and I will be putting good energy into each pot, as I should be each time I sit down at my wheel.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Just a last minute reminder that my Holiday Sale continues this weekend.
Saturday Dec 2nd 10 am till 5 pm
Sunday Dec 3rd Noon till 4 pm
Lots of pots in the showroom still.
757 Wallace Grove Road Shelby, NC
704 480 6046

Mapquest gives pretty good directions or call and I'll try to help.

Wooden Stone Exhibit

Below are a couple images from the exhibition Circle of Eight had at Wooden Stone last month.

Circle of Eight is a group of eight potters/ceramic artists that includes Ron Philbeck, Jen Mecca, Julie Wiggins, Adrienne Dellinger, Greg Scott, Dale Duncan, Sandy Singletary, and Amy Sanders. We all get together often to talk about clay, give each other support, plan exhibitons and shows, and generally have a good time. The Wooden Stone show was our first gallery exhibition. The next exhibition we have planned is in Louisville, Ky in March 2007 and will concide with NCECA.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Trip to the City

I had a good trip to Charlotte yesterday. I delivered and set up my pots at Clayworks for their annual Holiday Open House. It's tomorrow night 6pm until 9pm and Saturday 10 until 3 (I think). For info call 704 344 0795. Location is 301 East 9th Street. I'll be there tomorrow night.

I enjoy going into the city. There's so much happening and always something new to see. Julie and Amy and I went out for lunch after we set our work up. These girls always make me laugh. Charlotte has a pretty good clay community and lots of my friends are there. I don't think I'd like to live there. I couldn't take living in a neighborhood, or the traffic. But I would like to live about 30 miles closer, it would afford me the opportunity to go more and explore and enjoy the culture. As it is, I am 50 miles away in the country which is wonderful, no close neighbors, no traffic, no rush and hustle. It's good out here in the "sticks" as Julie would say.

This weekend my Holiday Open House continues and concides with the Winter Arts Tour. Hours are Saturday 10 am till 5 pm and Sunday Noon until 4pm. I have lots of pots in the showroom so please come out.

I am also having pots featured, along with 3 other potters, at the Foothills Conservancy of NC Gala this Saturday night. I was honored to be asked to have my work shown during this event.

That's if for this little update.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New stuff

Every so often, maybe every 4 months or so, I get this hankering to do something new in clay. I think, "it would be fun to do some earthenware", or " I wonder if I can draw on these pots ", or "I want some glazes in my cups that are colorful". It can go on for a while and sometimes I'll try a little this or that and move on. I get it out of my system and go back to making simple, mostly undecorated, salt glazed pots... the pots I love...the pots I was meant to make... the pots I know best.

There has to be something said about going deep into one's work. It's easy in clay to get carried away into a wide stream of doing and trying everything. It's tempting too, there is sooo much out there. I love a lot of it (and hate some of it too), but in the past few years I have become much more open minded about pots and appreciating what other's do. I'm not the 'pottery snob' I used to be. (Not all the time anyway). I see my work best when it is in some setting other than my showroom. I love to go to a friend's house and see my dishes in the cupboard, or better yet on the table full of food. Or often when I set up at a show and see my pots in a new place, I can appreciate their goodness and my hard work.

I am writing this because now is one of those times when I am thinking about trying some new stuff. Just for fun, just to see, it's okay to do that...right? Right. Honestly, thinking about it is more fun that actually doing it. It's hard to switch gears when it's a different firing range, different glazes, different clay, etc. It would be easier just to invade someone's studio and say, "hey can I play with all YOUR stuff for a while?" What I will probably do is think about it for a while longer and then get back to work on my pots, discovering small nuances as I go on making cups and bowls and plates and bakers and all the things that make me happy and flow when I am at the wheel. I want to continue to go deeper with my pots, in a slow bit by bit way, naturally, pot by pot.

Joe Bennion has a nice post up on his Potter's Journal that really speaks to me, it's titled "the P word". Check it out.


This morning I am going to Charlotte to deliver some pots to Clayworks for their Sale this weekend. The opening is Friday night and the sale continues on Saturday. I don't have the specifics in front of me but I'll try and get them up here later. It's a fun time with a show of student work and a sale of work made by instructors and resident artists.

It's been unseasonably warm this week. I took advantage of that yesterday to get out and mix clay. I was glad to get that off my list. It will come out of the racks in 10-14 days and should be enough to last me through the colder months.

That's it for now. Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pots in Use

Tom sent me this image of three of my pots being put to use at lunch one day.

If you have a image of my work being put to use you can email me an image and I'll post it on the Potter's Journal.


I have always loved John Leach's pots. I like the humble, direct nature of the work. I love that he is dedicated to making utilitarian ware, the toasted, woodfired surfaces are warm and inviting. The pots are not over done or over decorated, (or decorated at all for the most part). The website has been updated recently and you can view a whole range of pots for the kitchen by clicking on the 'online shop' tab.

For some inspirational reading material go to There are some really great essays here written by people of all ages from all walks of life. All 500 words or less. Check it out.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monster Tree

No potting today. I had an appointment with the eye doctor this morning for my regular exam, I think it's been about 2 years and I am ready for new glasses. I hate the going to the eye doc, I can't stand it when she shines that bright light in my eyes. It reminds me of my childhood alien abduction. (more on that some other time). I could just scream when she does that. Anyhow I survived.

Then it was off to the Arts Council to help set up for the Winter Arts Tour kick off party which is Friday night. I had to help assemble this huge, monster, artificial, Christmas tree. First we had to lug it down from upstairs storage, which was about 20 trips. Then figure out how to get it together and get all the lights working. I don't really like Christmas trees(except the Charlie Brown variety), and I have never liked to decorate them. So bah-humbug to that. Ha!

Anyway it was a good day all in all.

Oh yeah. The first weekend of my Pottery Sale was a big success. Thanks to all that came out. I still have lots of pots so come on by this weekend if you get the chance.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


The Holiday Sale got off to a great start on Friday and carried on through Saturday. I am hoping I'll have some customers today as well. I am finally getting some images up.
Here's an envelope vase with slip pours. I like this deco a lot. I tell folks it's my Tokyo pattern. I pretty much just made that up one day. It's good to have a name for stuff. Sorry about that glare. Here's another one with my Oribe inspired deco.
Showroom all stocked up.
More pots.

Some new pots

Here are a few pots from the last firing. These are new ideas that I am trying out. The first is an ovalish bowl with handles and oribe inspired deco. These are front and backside images.
I tried out some drawing on some mugs. I like this incised line better than I like the brushwork. It's more my style. I especially like the dog. The images wrap around the pots. I'll try and get and image of that up later.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Holiday Pottery Sale

No photos of the unloading. Sorry, it was a rush of a day. Thanksgiving lunch with my family, then home to unload, sand, dust and price pots, then off to Sarah's folks for supper. It's been busy and I am full of turkey and all kinds of other foods.

The Holiday Pottery Sale starts tomorrow, Friday from 10 am till 5pm
Saturday 10 am till 5 pm and
Sunday Noon till 4 pm
It will also be next weekend Sat Dec 2 10 am till 5 pm and
Sun Dec 3 Noon till 4 pm

The shelves in the showroom are fully stocked with lots of good pots. I hope you can make it out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Today's firing went well. The image below was taken just after I added the salt to the kiln. This next image was taken just after 5pm when I had finished the firing. I had shut down the kiln and walked out of the shed. I looked to the east and this is what I saw. I am taking this as a good omen. I will unload on Thursday.

Videos on my Journal

Okay this could get dangerous. I just figured out how to post from Youtube to my blog. I can see this being useful in many ways. Maybe I could shoot a little clip of me throwing or firing or something really exciting. My new laptop, yes Santa came early, has a built in video camera so I could potentially do a little 'Pottery News' clip and post it. That would be cool, eh? I got the idea from Danny Gregory. Well stay tuned and as soon as I figure out how to do more I'll let you know. For now, enjoy the song and video from They Might be Giants in the previous post. I loved this band when I was in college and have rediscovered them. Very fun and uplifting.

They Might Be Giants - Dr. Worm

Whenever I need a little boost I listen to this song and watch this video.


Not much to report on pottery related at the moment. The kiln is firing. I will be cleaning the studio and showroom today.

Here are somethings to keep you occupied until I get a decent post up. These are things I have been looking at on the web lately. A slipware potter from the UK that I like. He has a blog too. My mom's maiden name is Fitch, maybe we are related. This my favorite Youtube video right now. One of my favorite artists. This is fun, click to change colors. I love these drawings and he updates almost daily.

I can't think of more at the moment and I guess I'd better get to work anyhow.
Have a great day.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Kiln Loaded

I got the kiln loaded today. I got a late start and finished up just as it was getting dark. I will light the burners tonight and fire tomorrow, hopefully finishing up fairly early. I forgot to take a picture of the front stack, but here's the back. I had lots of smaller pots, cups, bowls, trays. bottles and such. It was sort of a weird load, but I got everything in I wanted to. I'll have pics up on Thursday (I hope) of the unloading.
That's it for now.

Friday, November 17, 2006


The announcement postcard for my Holiday Sale went out today. Finally! I have never been this late getting them out. They look great. UPS delivered them before noon and I had them labeled and stamped within an hour. I took over 500 to the post office and slid them down the chute.

I have my shelves all scraped and the kiln all ready to load. I will finish this bisque in a few hours. I am looking forward to this firing. I look forward to all my firings really. Salt glazing is something that is never exactly the same twice. Each pot is an individual and the surfaces are my favorite of all the kinds of pots out there. I love the orange peel texture and shiny surface on the clay. I like the way the slips flash, and how stacking the kiln has a huge say in how the pots look. I look forward to making the next load of pots although it will be the first of January before I really get back to it. I am also thinking I'll be rebuilding my kiln in the next year or so. I'd like for it to be just a little bigger, I want to make some bigger bowls and get more plates and wider pots in every load.

I hope you all have a good weekend. I may get in a post or two before Monday, so check in and see.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Getting ready to bisque

Today I cut feet on some cups and also got them slipped. I will load a bisque tomorrow and clean kiln shelves and get the salt kiln all set up to fire.
The photos are the cut feet, the slipped yunomi, and a couple boards of pots that will go in the bisque with many others.

Thursday Morning

Today will cut feet on some cups and get them slipped and I will be all finished with the pots for next weeks firing. I will get the last bisque fired tomorrow. It feels good to be at the end of my making cycle. I had to force myself to stop making pots yesterday. It's hard to quit once I get going sometimes and I kept thinking, "I should make just a few of these."

My Holiday Pottery Sale is next week. I hope to have a good turnout. Here are the dates and times.
Nov. 24th 10 till 5
Nov. 25th 10 till 5
Nov. 26th Noon till 4
It will also be the following weekend:
Dec. 2 10 till 5
Dec. 3 Noon till 4

I'll post some pics tonight. Sarah has been taking the laptop to work everyday so I have no access to the internet during the day. I have written Saint Nick asking for my own computer for Christmas this year. Maybe he'll bring it early. That's it for now. Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What a day.

Oh boy am I glad the day is over. It's past 11 pm and I am going to bed soon, I just wanted to get in a quick post.

I have had a doosey of a day. First of all I have been pulling what little hair I have left out worrying about getting my announcements printed for my upcoming Holiday Sale. I have been trying to get this done since last Thursday. Today, with help from a friend, I got my postcards designed, uploaded, and ordered. They are going out late but it will be fine. Last night I thought I was going to throw myself out the window.

Today was super busy from the get go. I had pots to finish, a board meeting at the Arts Council, a customer who came by for a special order, spinach dip to make, the trip to my friend's house in Charlotte for help with the postcards, and then on to teach from 7 until 9:30. Whew. This was the last class of the session. We had a potluck supper and some folks finished up some pots and I gave feedback on handles and a couple other things. I have enjoyed teaching and will be back when the next session begins in January. I had a good group of students and most of them signed up to take from me again.

Well that's it for now. I will sleep better tonight for sure.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Back at it.

I had no day of rest today even though it was Sunday. I got back in the studio around noon and worked till 4:30 making a few boards of plates, some mugs, small bowls, two sets of owl candle stick holders, and a couple sugar jars. And a few yunomi. A good day. Then Sarah and I went to her parents for supper, chicken and dumplings. Yum.

Yesterday was very good. I had a great show at the Carolina Pottery Festival. I sold lots of pots, mostly nice higher priced items. It felt great to be out seeing lots of folks I know and talking to them about my work. It was a high energy day, and I came away feeling very good about my pottery and knowing that much of it had gone to new homes to be loved and appreciated. Thank you to everyone who came out and visited me in my booth.

Friday night I went to Wooden Stone in Davidson, NC to the opening of Circle of Eight's show. The show looked fantastic. Jen Mecca rode up with Sarah and I. Seven of the eight were there in person at the show. The Lake Norman Art League had an opening that night too, so the gallery was very full. We sold several pots and I feel like we will sell more as the show is up. Thanks to Drew and everyone at the gallery and all who attended. I forgot to take my camera but hopefully I'll get some pics from someone to put up here soon.

Well that's it for my weekend update. Tomorrow, Monday, I will be in the studio finishing up pots and making some slab trays that will get drawings. It's going to be another busy week. I will try and post often so keep checking in. Thanks, and have a great week!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Walking down a hill, humming a song

I got right back in the studio on Monday making pots for one more firing before my Holiday Sale here at home. I tried a new technique of faceting with a twisted wire on some cups. They came out okay but I am not sure if this is my thing. It will be fun to see them after they are fired. Yesterday I made some of my type of mugs, thrown loosely with dimples and some square ones with dimples and another set of square ones that will have slip pours. I also made some bakers and oval envelope vases. Those vases were good sellers at ACC. I love when I am making things and I just know/feel that it is good and mine. Natural. Hamada said making pots should be like walking down a hill in a gentle breeze. (or something like that). I felt that yesterday. I had the R.E.M. song 'We Walk' from the Mumur album stuck in my head all day and it was nice to hum along as I made my pots.

So today I'll handle my cups and finish my bakers and load up all my stuff to go set up at the Carolina Pottery Festival tomorrow. The show is Saturday from 10 until 4 at the Cleveland Co. Fairgrounds.

Circle of Eight has an opening Friday night at Wooden Stone in Davidson NC from 5:30 until 9pm. I am excited about this. I hope we have a good turnout.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Do it!

What I liked at ACC

My friend Tom asked what I liked at ACC. Here are some links to exhibitors whose work I enjoyed. There were more, but I couldn't find a website for all of them. I love this jewelry. They actually have a new line coming out that I like even better than what is on the website. And I think this is one of the coolest websites I've ever seen. Awesome. I fell in love with a few of Carmen's pieces. These pots are amazing. Mary Ellen was set up across the asile from me. She had great energy and the glass sculpture she and her husband make is amazing. Mary Kesler was set up beside me and she was lots of fun too. I love Jenny's work. Marilee had some really cool ceramic art. Much of what I saw at the show isn't on this website I am afraid.
I also want to mention Greg Roche from California who was set up across from me selling leather handbags. He was great and contributed highly to the fun on our corner of the show.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I am home from the show. It went well. I sold a good number of pots and got to see many of my friends and fellow potters. I met some new artists whose work I really liked too. It's draining to be inside the Convention Center for 3 long days but I enjoyed interacting with everyone and I was lucky this time to be surrounded by other exhibitors who had good postive energy.

I'll try to post a little more later, it's a bit early and my brain isn't quite awake. Thanks to everyone who came to the show and visited my booth.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I set my booth up at the American Craft Council show yesterday. This is at the Convention Center in Charlotte and the show is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I am so relieved that that part is over. Getting everything ready, packed, packed into the truck, driving to the show, unloading, unpacking, setting up lights, display, and arranging pots is a daunting task. But that is over for now and I have today to rest a bit and get my things together as I will be spending the weekend at fellow potter Amy Sanders' house in Charlotte. I am looking forward to all the crowds of people who come to this show. I love to interact with folks who love art and craft. It will be fun and at the end of each day I will be tired and ready for a good meal and relaxing with friends.
That's not a very good picture of my booth, the lighting is harsh, it will all look better on Friday when I get some flowers in some vases and the house lights are turned down. The pots look great though and I got some nice comments yesterday from some of my fellow exhibitors.
I don't expect I'll be posting much over the weekend. If you are in the area come on out to the show, it's well worth the $10 to get in. There are artists from all over the country in a wide range of media. I hope to see you there. My booth number is 209.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I have my pots, display, carpet, lights, business stuff, etc all packed up and piled high in front of the studio door. Tomorrow I will load up the truck and head to the Convention Center to set up for the American Craft Council show. I have to say I have been stressed out and a bit nauseous thinking about this show. I need to relax and take it one step at a time. I will feel much better once my booth is all set up tomorrow evening. Then I'll go back on Friday for the first day of the show. I'll try and get another post up before the weekend. Check back.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I got the kiln unloaded today. I was happy with the results. Lots of good work. I still had some oxidation happening down front and up the left side. I don't know what's up with that. It's okay, I'll keep looking for ways to fix it, the pots in those areas are just lighter in color and not so bright. Here are some general group shots, scroll down for individual pots. I was happy with my owl candle holders, I had some good bowls, mugs, tankards, tea cups, and well basically everything. Yea! My test glazes were a little less than acceptable. The green was sort of Irish Springy, the blue was lavender (yikes) and the yellow was too yellow. I think the yellow stands a chance if I tone it down a percent or two. I'll show these later.


Deep bowl.
Big Jar.
Owls. Candle stick holders.

More pots from the kiln

Large bowl.
Rectangular trays.
Big oval and bird jar.
3 Bird dish.
3 ovals.

Friday, October 27, 2006

What to do today?

My kiln is cooling. I am going to resist the urge to peek in until tonight when it is very dark outside. I can never really tell anyhow, I always say "they look too brown". I will unload tomorrow around lunchtime I hope.

I have decided not to stain my display. I did some spot tests this morning and the stain didn't take well on my upright side units. I think I will have to do some sanding and preping to get it to look uniform. So that's out for now.

I have been reading The Morning News. Recommended by Danny Gregory.

Let's see what else? Well I better go do something. I need to run out and get some office supplies and a track light unit for next week. In other words go spend more money on this show before I begin to make any.


Here are the two cups Tom send me. I am having my oj out of the shino one this morning.
Thanks Tom!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Today's firing

Here are two photos showing the loading of the kiln. That happened yesterday. Today I fired and all went well. The new burners really made a difference. The kiln fired faster and with less gas pressure than it had been. It's funny how things slowly changed and I just accepted them and went on instead of trying seek out why they were different. Of course I am saying this before I have even seen the results of this firing. I am hoping that my funny reduction/oxidation problem is solved. I will unload on Saturday and have some pics up then. I am testing some new glazes for the insides of my pots in this load too. I am hopeful I will get a good one or two.

Tomorrow will be rainy all day. I will probably work on my display some. I am thinking of staining it black. I don't know if I am asking for trouble or not doing this less than a week before I have to set up. ?? I will probably chicken out.

On another note, I talked to my pal Tom Gray today. He is doing well. Yesterday I was happy to see the mailman coming down the drive. This always means a package is on the way. This one was from Tom and contained two awesome cups and some olive tapanade. The cups are great, one is a shino with some nice crawling on the inside. The other is Tom's new yellow glaze combined with his blue ash. It has some nice reddish color on the inside and over the trailed slip. I'll try and get some images of these up tomorrow.

I was thinking today after my firing was over that it was in October of 1994 that I fired my salt kiln for the first time. Tom came down from Seagrove to help me fire. I'd never even lit a gas burner before. He walked me through the firing and I unloaded a couple days later to my first salt glazed pots. It was a good firing and it's fun to think about what all I have done since then, all the pots I've made and how Tom and I have become close friends. He still helps me out a lot and I am able to help or inspire him every now and then too.

Well that's it for now.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Everything that gets glaze got it today. I didn't do much else today which was nice.

I have been checking out potters on the Web and I have found some new folks I like a lot. The most recent is Diana Fayt. I emailed her earlier today and we had a short exchange. I like the drawings on her pots and the color aspects. It's very cool. I also looked up her blog. I think it's interesting that I have become drawn to more colorful work of late as well as white pots. This from a guy who has done brown earth tones for years.

I'll get some pictures of pots up here tomorrow.

Slow Monday Morning

I got up early and unloaded and loaded a bisque. Got it going and let the dogs out for a while. Since then I haven't done much except have tea and breakfast. It's cold in the house, cooler than outside probably, a warm shower helped and I have been stuck in front of this machine for a while wasting time. Today I plan to glaze pots so I can load on Wednesday and fire Thursday.

I'm obviously not in a 'go get 'em' mood this morning. Which is fine considering I've been hard at it for a couple of weeks. I think I'll go sit out in the sun for a little while and then get started on my glazing before lunch. It shouldn't take too long, it's nice only having two glazes to choose from.

Maybe I'll have more to report later.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday's work

I am not doing too much today but I did get my new burners put in place. I am hoping this improves my control over my firing some. It appears the orifices in the old burners had gotten smaller. Probably due to carbon build up or something. (I really don't know but that sounds good.)
I also set some things out in the sun to help them dry a bit faster. I hope to unload yesterday's bisque later today and get the next and last one loaded.

I'm off to Sarah's parents for supper in about an hour.

That's it for now. Sunning teapots.
New burner in place. Pots in the sun.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Circle meeting

The Circle of Eight met here last night to have dinner and go over somethings regarading two exhibits we have coming up. It was fun to get together and we had lots of laughs and good conversation as the night went on. All eight were here minus Dale who had to stay home to get ready for a show that he is doing today. It's awesome being part of a group of like minded individuals who want to help and support one another. I can't tell you how much I need this in my life. Being a potter means many hours spent alone in the studio, so when I get together with my friends it really nutures my soul.

Today I am firing a bisque and I hope to get my shelves scraped and work on my new burner setup. The sun is shining and it's a bit cool out. My 11 year old neighbor Michael told me yesterday that the weather was "just right". I agree.

There is a music festival going on in town today but I will miss it since I'm on a pretty tight schedule getting ready for upcoming shows. I need to allow myself more time for these things so I can maintain some sanity and not deprive myself of things I'd like to do. It's hard to time things just right.

I talked to everyone last night about some glazes that I would like to test to add an element of color to my pots. I got some ideas and hope to mix some tests for the next two firings.

Well I better get on with it. I have a visitor coming today from Chapel Hill to buy some pots and I need to tidy things up a little.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Coming to my Senses

There is no way I am going to maintain my sanity and fire twice before the 1st. Actually I could do it but it would leave me no time to pack or do many other things I need to do to get ready for ACC. Yesterday I felt like my head was going to explode. So when Sarah got home we analyzed my options and I decided I'd fire once. I didn't have a great show at the Barn Sale last week so I have plenty of inventory. I'll get a good bit of the new stuff fired and have plenty for ACC. It feels good to have made that choice. I can take a little better care of myself now.

I don't think most people realize how much time and energy potters spend on their work. We are hard workers. I know I could manage my time a little better and things may be easier. I have a hard time making decisions sometimes too and can waste a lot of time staring off into space waiting for some divine inspiration. No luck with that yet. I was reading my friend Jen Mecca's blog this week, she's a full time mom and a full time potter. That's two full time jobs, I have no idea how she gets anything done. It does help to have a good partner and both Jen and I do, which is a blessing. Well enough about all that.

My new burners came yesterday. I will go to the hardware store tomorrow and get new fittings to get them all hooked up. Today, I have a bisque to unload and load and yes more pots to finish from yesterday. I am looking forward to having supper with the Circle of Eight tonight.

That's it for now. Happy Friday....I think the sun is going to come out here today. Yea!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The End is Near

No I'm talking about North Korea or anything like that. I mean that I am finally, finally at the end of my making cycle. Yea!! Yesterday was a bit trying as I threw 8 teapot bodies before I got 4 that I liked. And when I came back from lunch Karma had shredded some plastic and made a general mess of the studio floor. I bet I swept 3 times yesterday. Anyhow, today I am putting handles on some small ovals, assembling my teapots and throwing some mugs and yunomi. I also have to scrape my kiln shelves so I'll be all set to load on Saturday. Lots to do still, but I am glad the making part is at an end. I need a break to refuel my pottery brain.

It's dreary out again this morning and I'm waiting for the fog to lift or burn off before going out to walk Karma. I am going to miss the long sunny days of summer. I hope we have a mild winter and that it isn't damp and wet all season.

If you have a high speed connection and want to see a funny pottery video go to
My friend Lester sent this to me and it's really cute. I guess this is sort of a Japanese version of SNL with skits etc. It's amazing that the general population in Japan knows so much about pottery that they can spoof it on TV. If you did that in the US people would be so not interested, unless you blew up all the pottery at the end or had some semi-nude Victoria Secret model taking the pots out of the kiln.

Okay got to head down for breakfast and out to work.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I am lingering inside a bit longer this morning. It's damp and rainy out and I'm in no hurry to take the dogs out. I'll get to them after I have my breakfast.

Today I will be finishing up some pots from yesterday and getting ready to go teach this evening at Clayworks. I am planning on showing my students how to make candle stick holders and goblets tonight. I am having a good time teaching and have been asked to stay on for the next round of classes that will start this winter.

I stumbled back upon Andrew Douglas's blog last night while surfing the web. I can totally relate to his struggle with pitchers and handles.

Well that's about it for now. I probably won't get a chance to post again until sometime tomorrow. Enjoy the day.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Productive Monday

I had a good day working in the studio. I made several slab, oval serving bowls first thing and got two rectangular ones layed out and started. I then got to work on the wheel making the things on my list I need to finish up for this cycle. I can see the end of the road and will have it all made by Thursday. I am firing on Sunday so I need time this week to glaze and clean up down at the kiln. I'll be bisquing on Wed and again while I load the kiln on Saturday. That will be in anticipation for my second salt firing the next weekend. Busy, busy.

Above is a picture of the owl candle holders all ready for the bisque. I am getting excited about the American Craft Council Show which is the first weekend in November. I am going to have plenty of pots for that show and hopefully have some left over for the Carolina Pottery Festival here in Shelby the weekend after that.

The Circle of Eight gang is convening here on Friday night. That will be fun. It also means Sarah and I need to clean the house a bit.

Check back throughout the week to see if I am staying sane.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I have been lucky over the past few years in that I've had no major problems with glazes, slips, clay, or firing. Knock on wood. So today when I unloaded my bisque and saw that my slip was flaking off some pots I realized my luck had run out... temporarily. I made a switch to a new white slip a couple weeks ago when I ran out of my other and didn't have the right materials to mix up a new batch. Well this new white doesn't jive with my flashing slip when they are layered. So I lost a few nice slab trays today. Tomorrow I will make more and on Tuesday I'll get the materials I need for my old white slip. Live and learn.

Sunday morning

Sunday mornings are so nice. It's the one day I enjoy a good cup of coffee and relax and have a long morning without having to think about going off to the studio.

Yesterday I did the Claymatters Pottery Sale in Charlotte. The show went okay for me but I'd liked to have sold more pots. The highlight was that a lady bought one of my nice slab serving dishes to send to her brother who is a professional chef in Texas. I think he will really enjoy using it. I always love to hear that my pots are going somewhere to be used.

I also got to visit with other members of the guild and my friends from the Circle of Eight. Five of the Eight were there and I have to say that we all have very good work.

I showed some of my drawings to my friend Ann who came by to see my pots. I haven't really shared my sketchbook with anyone other than Sarah and a few other people. It was fun to get some feedback from Ann. She really liked my drawings of buildings and my more detailed drawings. I am still thinking how some of this is going to work it's way onto some pots. I will probably dedicate some serious play time to this in December and January.

Time for more coffee. See ya.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Morning

Where has the week gone? I have been cranking in the studio. Below are a couple images from the week. The first one shows some owl candle holders. They will get slipped today and the features will get incised in. The next shot is of some tankards that I hope to get handles on today.

I spent a good amount of yesterday throwing and assembling some pedestal type candle holders. I'll try and get a picture of them up later. I made 15 of these in all, 5 each of 3 sizes. For me that's over kill and I was regreting it last night at 7pm when I was finishing the last one up. I am making them because I think they may be good sellers at the ACC show. That's not a very good reason for me to make pots. I want to make what I want because I am excited about it, not because I think it may sell. In the past I have found this to be the best way for me to work and that in the end, the work I am excited about is the work that sells. Anyhow, I was excited about these when I started, maybe I should just have made a smaller run.

I have a show in Charlotte tomorrow. This is with the Carolina Claymatters Pottery Guild and will be held at the McAlpine Business Park off on Monroe Rd from 10 till 4. I have not even packed the first pot, I have a busy day ahead.

I fired a bisque yesterday and I am beginning to see the end of the list for all I want to make for my two firings at the end of this month. I think I am all finished with the stuff I was putting off. I need to make a few teapots, some tea cups, and small vases and bottles. Next Friday is my last wet day I think. I am excited about seeing some pots come out of the kiln. I took time Wednesday to order a new set of burners for my kiln. I hope they arrive next week. I'd like to get them hooked up before my firing.

That's it for now. Check back in from time to time to see what's happening. Have a good weekend.