Last week I went to the library to return some books. I had nothing in mind to check out. So I said to myself, "I'll walk through the stacks and see what catches my eye." I like doing this, I find some good books this way. Here's what caught me that day. Redeye by Clyde Edgerton. I was pretty much hooked by this drawing on the cover by Laura Levine. Nice eh?
Looking in the jacket I read that Clyde is from NC. Cool. I never read local authors. Don't know why. I read Redeye in about two days. It takes place in south west Colorado around what in real life is now known as Mesa Verde (which Sarah and I visited a few years ago). It's set in the late 1800's. Anyhow it's a great read. I'm not so good a giving synopses, so I won't bother (maybe this is something I'll work on). Just get it and read it. You'll be glad you did.
Okay now I am reading Clyde's first book, Raney. It is set in 1975 in a small NC rural town. Not unlike where I grew up. Well maybe a little smaller. Let me tell you I can relate to so much of this book that it's scary. I found myself laughing out loud before I was on page 10. There are issues of race, ignorance, religion, naivete, marriage and all sorts of things. It is humorous and serious both. Being raised in the South I have experienced and heard much of what is written here, most of it from my own family or close neighbors and friends.
The main character is Raney, 24, newly married to Charles, a "booklearned" young man from Atlanta. Raney's family is typical rural NC. Charles has "new" ideas that challenges much of what Raney knows. Again, read this, it will stir you up one way or another and make you laugh all the same.
That's it for tonight.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Posted by Ron at 9:40 PM
This is a bowl shape I'm trying out. Weird handles. It's kinda big, made with 12 lbs of clay.
These are sort of new teapots, combining ideas from a couple influences. I like the simple boxey shape of the body, I'm sure I'll get some comments on these spouts from my pal Tom . Anyhow, I have ideas for decoration for a couple that will be in the Oribe style, but with my own take on it.
Today I made some 4.5 lb bowls, some 12 lb bowls, sections for a large 2 pc jar, and finished up some trays and small stuff I made yesterday. It was a good day. I am sort of biding my time, waiting for my clay to come out of the racks. I could have 2 firings before the sale but I'll probably just pick out the most important things I want to fire and only have one.
Posted by Ron at 9:23 PM
Sorry for the duration between posts. I have been working in the studio making pots and doing other various things around the house. Last Friday I drove to Asheville and picked up 1500 lbs of dry materials to make clay. On Saturday I mixed up what will amount to around 700 lbs of wet clay. As soon as this comes out of the racks I'll go ahead and mix again. I want to get ahead of the game before the weather turns cold.
I'll take the camera out to the shop today and take some shots of pots in progress and get them posted up here later.
The showroom is very well stocked right now. I have 6 shows between now and the first of December. I am looking forward to my next Home Sale which is Sept. 23 and 24. Postcards will go out soon. Of course you are welcome to come by anytime. The showroom is self service if I am not around.
Check back later for some images and probably a blurb on Clyde Edgerton, a NC author whose fiction I am enjoying.
Posted by Ron at 9:30 AM
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I made this big jar at the Folk School. It's made with some clay I got at the Folk School. It got some great marks in the firing.
I really like these bowls. My titanium slip(yellow) looks great on this clay.
This is the other side of that big jar.
More new vases made with my clay. That yellow slip rocks when it gets blasted with salt.
Posted by Ron at 9:42 PM
I made this bottle at the Folk School. It got some great marks in the firing. It was made with commercial clay.
New vases made with my new clay.
Big oval. I think you could use this to put your magazines in. See how this new clay allows the incised lines show up? Just what I've been looking for.
Another bottle I made at the Folk School. Trying out some different handles/lugs.
Posted by Ron at 9:23 PM
Friday, August 18, 2006
I unloaded the kiln yesterday after lunch. I was really happy with most everything. This was the first firing with most of the pots being made from this new higher silica clay that I mixed up last month. It did great. My slips look nice on it and it gets some good flashing and takes the salt well. The atmosphere in the kiln was all over the place it seemed. The front bottom was neutral to oxidized, the front middle and top were nice and reduced and the back was cooler as usual and more neutral. So I had a variety of pots even if they were made from the same clay and had the same slip on them. The best pots were some small vases and some new bowls. I'll be sure to post some pictures once my camera gets here next week.
Today I'll be sanding the bottoms and bringing everything in to the showroom.
Tomorrow my friend Lester from Charlotte and I are heading up to the Penland area to visit a friend of mine who is taking a wood carving class. We will visit some potters in the area too and basically hang out and have a good time. I am looking forward to it
Today is Sarah's last day of her intership! Yea!!!!! No more driving back and forth to Charlotte everyday. She is still on the job search. Next week I am hoping we get to take a bit of a vacation. She certainly deserves one.
Have a good Friday.
Posted by Ron at 8:20 AM
Monday, August 14, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
Today was pretty low key. I went to the grocery, cleaned up the kitchen and bathroom (both have been neglected), took Karma to the park for a walk, and fired a bisque. I also did some drawing and Karma had her first training session with the invisible fence.
I am looking forward to having a firing next week. It's been over a month and I am ready to see some new pots in the showroom.
Sarah is on her way home from her 36 hr shift at the hospital. It will be a laid back evening here for sure as I am betting she is tired. I am grilling some quesadillas for supper and we'll probably just watch the tube for a while.
Well none of that is very exciting but thanks for reading it anyhow. See ya.
Have an awesome weekend!!!!
Posted by Ron at 6:59 PM
I was talking to some people recently about the band I used be in, The Trust. This was back in high school in the late 80's. It was a cover band, Top 40, and we had some original stuff. So I dug out this photo for kicks. Was I a rocker or what!? Too bad I'm not standing up or you could see my spandex pants with the lightning bolts on the legs. Ha! Anyhow we had tons of fun playing out. I still have this drum kit but it's in storage at my dad's house, we don't have room to set it up. Well enough reminiscing. By the way I have some autographed 8x10's for $20 each for the first 100 responses. :-)
Posted by Ron at 4:17 PM
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I read something good in Danny Gregory's book, The Creative License, this morning. It say's, "Don't be obsessed with originiality. Be yourself and you will be originial. Acknowledge and celebrate your uniqueness. Keep burrowing deeper and shaking up you perceptions."
For a long time I worried about having my own style, something that was recognizable as mine the minute you saw it. I would try to come up with things, designs, decoration, this or that. It was frustrating and fake. Somewhere along the line I more or less gave it up and just made stuff. I still hear that voice from time to time but it's not as powerful. I have figured out that I just have to make the pots I like, the way I know how and in the end, after some years, they do become me. And I am usually surprised when people tell me my pots are recognizable because of certain qualities.
My new information, (Play on my strengths), has led me to thinking about my strengths in more detail and actually putting words to them. I have also been trying to put words to things that I like about pots and what I strive for. I know what I like when I see it, in my work and in others, but it is difficult to place a specific word on what it is.
Here's a list I started about parts of pots and what I want to achieve or to examine more closely.
Lips: Comfortable, inviting, lickable, undulating, moving, fat, kissable. (ha, I hadn't realized how sexy this might be)
Feet: Casual, smooth, torn, touched, atypical, inviting, planes,
Bottoms and bottom edges: Touched, dented, patterned, handled, revealing, exposed
Interiors: Voluminous, holding, womb-like, continious,
Exteriors: Movement, planes moving, stretched, skin, torn, exposed,
Handles: Inviting, thin-thick-thin, exciting, atypical, comfortable, spacious, tiny, questioning,
That's pretty fun so far. This is a good list to have in my studio to use when I make stuff, I can look and say, "okay was I able to get some of my desired qualities in these pots?"
Gotta go for now. More later maybe.
Posted by Ron at 8:56 AM
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
A couple weeks ago I was hanging out with another potter at the Folk School. He has been making pots about twice as long as me or more and has lots of experience traveling and working in the field. He had a pot I wanted and I offered to buy it. He said he'd trade. I said okay, but as we weren't at a show I had nothing for him to pick from. So he tells me just to send him something. I felt awkward and asked what he'd like. "What do you make that's good?" he asked. Well my low self esteem kicked in and I said something like 'I don't know'. This went on for a minute or two and finally he said, "Be confident, send me something you like. That will be fine."
I think that is the first time someone had told me to be confident. (Actually awhile back another potter had told me that some of the new work I was making looked more confident.) Anyway this has stuck with me. Be confident.
Later as we were in the workshop looking at some pots I asked the potter for feedback on some bottles I had just thrown. We decided some of them were too generic. He pointed to some other pots and said "you do this well, and this", identifying specific parts of the pots. "Play on your strengths and see where that leads you." Good advice. I have kept this in mind as I have been working.
So my two new pieces of information are: Be confident and Play on my strengths.
I have more on all of this but it will be in the next post. Stay tuned.
Posted by Ron at 8:37 AM
I have finished making pots for my next firing. I have another bisque to fire and then I'm all set. Yesterday I had some fun playing around with some figurative ideas. I made some small sculputures, 6-8". I feel like I had some good and orginial ideas with these. They were fun and not at all serious. I finished up some mugs and plates and got some things glazed.
Karma's invisible fence is all set up. I have to put the flags out today and I guess I'll begin training her this evening. My neighbor also got an invisible fence. I helped him trench in his wire last evening. We have some neighbors that aren't so considerate. I wish this county would pass a leash law.
I still haven't bought a camera. I would like to post some pics soon.
Posted by Ron at 8:30 AM
Sunday, August 06, 2006
I got a new drawing journal last week while I was at ASU with Sarah. I did this drawing of the bookstore while I was there. I didn't know how to handle the building on the right which was mainly a plain brick wall. It was fun drawing out in public, something I haven't done much of yet.
Posted by Ron at 12:30 PM
The last few days have been busy. I had to be somewhere almost everyday last week for a meeting of some sort. I did manage to get started putting Karma's invisible fence in but the ground is hard as a rock so it's slow going. I will finish up tomorrow.
Today is Sarah's birthday. Right now she's exercising here birthday right to relax and nap on the couch. She needs the rest after being on the go during the week. I made her Eggs Benedict for brunch today. It was my first time poaching eggs and making a hollandaise sause. She said it was great, and I thought so too. We'll have to go for a long walk later to work some of that butter off. Last night we went out for sushi, much better for the arteries.
I will be back making pots this week. I need to knock out a couple bisque firings so I can fire the salt kiln soon.
Last night I had a dream about doing these great drawings of buildings seen from above, and a drawing from a high angle of cars in a parking deck. I also dreamed about doing some lettering forming the name 'George'. I don't have a clue what that's about. Maybe I'm being brainwashed somehow.
Posted by Ron at 12:08 PM
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
A while back a local customer asked me if I would donate a pot to a HIV/AIDS gala in Washington DC. Her son lives in the DC area and is a supporter of the Whitman Walker Clinic there. He was in charge of this banquet and was looking for centerpieces to be auctioned off to raise money for HIV/AIDS. I was happy to donate for this cause.
Yesterday I received a letter from him saying that my vase went for $575.00 and was bought by the editor of People Magazine. Wow! I can't tell you how good that makes me feel. He went on to mention that he recently visited the editor in NYC and that my vase was on her desk full of flowers.
I am glad I was able to help with this benefit. I am also glad I got the letter yesterday, it was really a boost to my self esteem and brightened my day.
Posted by Ron at 8:37 AM