Monday, December 31, 2007

Good News...and Bad

I got some more dishes made today, a few bowls and five pitchers. I also got the plates from last week slipped and flipped to dry. So that 's the good news...some work completed.
Now the bad news....the Direct TV guy just left from hooking up our new satellite tv receiver.
We have 200+ channels which is definitely against my religion. Ha. I'll never get anything done and will probably turn into a mindless zombie. Oh, well.

Off for dinner with some friends soon (I'll have to leave my precious new channels). Have a safe New Years Eve!

2007 Almost Over

Hey folks. It's been a pretty good year. Hard to believe 2008 is here. I logged 285 posts this year, that's up from last year. What a geek. Ha. It's been really great connecting with so many people via this blog. I look forward to seeing what we all do in the next year. Andrew has a new home and potter's shed, Gay a new home and studio, Matt is getting engaged and following in his great grandfather's footsteps, and Doug, well Doug is having a show in London in the Spring and becoming more famous by the day. Brandon's new kiln is doing well, and all my clayworks pals are making great pots. Tom is raising chickens, making pots, and working on a community garden. Jen will probably have her soda kiln going soon. Amy is expecting and having fun working on a brand new body of work. There are plenty more of you out there to add to that list, all the best in 2008. Lets all keep having fun and doing what we love...making pots. And as Simon would say "Keep practicing."

Thanks for checking in to my blog, I will try to keep it fresh and interesting and updated. Please feel free to comment or better yet drop by for a visit.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back at it.

In for lunch . I made it out to the shop this morning and got some dishes thrown. I spend most of my time getting my clay through the pugmill a couple times to soften it up . That's what I get for neglecting it for so long. I will make a couple boards of bowls this afternoon.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Warm and Toasty

I went out yesterday into the Madness and did quite well. It's good to be at home this morning with the woodstove going and thousands of raindrops pounding on our tin roof. We have had no rain all summer. Literally. So this is very welcome, even if it does mean a messy and soggy front yard and dirty dog paw prints on the floors.

We visited with Sarah's niece and her boyfriend last night at Sarah's parent's house. It has begun, the influx of the Nantz clan. It will continue for a week or ten days with us going over and back for visits and meals and good times.

It's almost time for brunch. French toast and bacon, coffee, and juice. Sunday mornings are my favorite of the week.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday Morning

Hey folks. Hope everyone is doing well out there in computer land. I am feeling quite well this morning (going on noon). It being Saturday and I have no obligations today I feel content and open. Right now in the distance I hear a freight train rolling through town, sounding it's whistle at a crossing somewhere. Sarah is home and out playing with Karma in the yard. I am having a nice cup of black tea, Baker Street Afternoon Blend. Fitting since I am still reading Sherlock's adventures. I got a shipment of various teas recently and had ordered some loose black teas. I usually get my black from the grocery in teabags. I have to say this is much, much better. I have it with a little local honey. No milk. I am not sure of the proper English way to have black tea, maybe Andrew or Doug could let me know.

Here's a journal page from a few days ago. I am still having fun with the Wreck This Journal journal. I found out my friend Elaine is working through hers also. It will be fun to get together sometime and share our experiences.

Good luck with any last minute shopping this weekend. I'll be out sometime in the crowds, practicing compassion and patience.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another Post From Thursday

I am trying my best to fight off this cold. I've been dosing up on vitamin C, zinc, ban lan gen, and I made myself a gigantic bowl of homemade chicken soup for lunch. Other than hanging out reading and drawing I have done very little today. Well, and surfing the web.

I think I came across a little Scrooge-like in that early post about receiving gifts. I've actually already given some gifts and what they say is true, "it's better to give than to receive."

Every year I leave my postal carrier a piece of pottery in the mail box. I need to pick out something to put in there tomorrow or Saturday. He is a great guy, his name is Larry and like most carriers he drives this old beat up car. He wears one of those hats kinda like John Leach wears. He pulled up in the drive today and layed down on the horn. Twice. That's his way of saying "Get out here and get this package!!!" I was napping but jumped up and ran out. Larry handed over a beat up box with a royal mail stamp on it. Thanks Doug!

So I am feeling a little more Christmas-y and looking forward to seeing all of Sarah's family and having some time with my folks and my sister's family. I'll be 100 % in a day for sure. Okay so that's it for today probably, two posts in one day, what a geek.

What Day Is It Anyhow?

I keep asking Sarah, "When is Christmas?" As in what day? How soon? When? I haven't looked at a calender in weeks and I am at a loss for 'When'. So it's Tuesday right? Right. Well okay, that's fine I guess. I have to say I don't feel at all in the spirit. Maybe that will change as soon as someone gives me a gift. Ha, ha.

I have a bit of a head cold. I want to make some plates but have no desire to go out to the workshop. What I really want to do is go to Cheap Joes and get some art supplies and then go have a bowl of Pho. I could justify that.

I guess I'm feeling a bit rough around the edges. Rough is good. Okay, so that's it for now. I'm off to play ball with Karma for a little while, which is fun, she never fails to make me smile and laugh and run around and act goofy. Goofy is good.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rock Creek Pottery. On the Move

I went up to Rock Creek Pottery on Monday to help as Will and Douglass prepare to move to New Mexico. As I drove up the driveway I came upon Will on the tractor clearing the road. There had been a light snow the night before. It was really beautiful...the snow...not Will on the tractor.Here is a shot of the moving truck on Tuesday morning. There was a good crew up at the Creek to help with the move and it was fun to be part of that. We put a lot of pottery into this moving truck along with all the household furniture and stuff that has been in the barn. The contents of the pottery workshop was going to get loaded on Wednesday.
Here we see Shawn Ireland (in red) loading Will into a trunk. We all agreed this would be the best way to get him to New Mexico. This way he didn't have to deal with the hassle of finishing the packing and loading, and he could lay down and relax during the trip.
Actually this trunk got filled with Advancer silicon carbide kiln shelves, so in the end Will is going to have to ride up front.
Here is a shot of Roan mountain from the front porch of Will and Douglass's home. They have lived here for over 25 years. New Mexico will be more than a change of scenery for them.
Douglass and Will have inspired many potters in this area and folks have came from all over to visit them, buy pots, and enjoy their hospitality. North Carolina is losing two valuable assets this week, but I think that all of us who know them wish them all the best on their new adventure out west. They will certainly continue to produce wonderful pots and inspire and educate many people in the years to come.
These two kitties seemed to be quite comfortable and happy to spent a few hours under the warm stove Monday. They will be making the move too.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Off For a Couple Days

I am leaving in the morning for the mountains. So I'll be away from the computer for two days. I'll check back in late Tuesday or early Wednesday with a new post. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

The Circle of Eight crew came over Friday night for dinner. It was good to see them and have a visit. We have our sale dates set for next year (I'll post them soon). Also we are looking for some exhibition opportunities.

Two family get togethers over the weekend= way too much food consumed.

I will get some pots made when I get back from the mountains!

Later. Ron

Friday, December 14, 2007

This and That. Friday

Boy, I really got caught up in those Simon Leach clips yesterday. He's a very personable guy. Great videos, very educational.

Some of the Circle of Eight crew are coming over for dinner tonight. I am excited to have some company. I need more good socialization opportunities. I'll be cooking pasta puttanesca for the main course. We'll be discussing some exhibition opportunities for 2008 as well as getting some dates nailed down for our spring and fall shows.

My dad's family is getting together for their Christmas dinner tomorrow night and I have a couple side dishes to make for that. I may knock out one today, just to be ahead of the game.

I am getting antsy, having not made any pots in the past couple weeks. My red clay mixing is still on hold. So I may get in the workshop and make some plates and serving bowls next week. I am all stocked up on stoneware till spring.

I think I am going to try and do a demonstration type workshop here at the studio in '08. I did one a few years ago and it went well. If you think you may be interested let me know. I have no idea when I'll do it, probably late spring or early fall.

Well that's it for now. I am still playing around with some paper art, and working in the Wreck this Journal, and doing some drawings.

Catch ya later. Ron

Thursday, December 13, 2007


My friend Andrew turned me on to some YouTube videos by the potter Simon Leach (Bernard's grandson). There are about 100 videos. Here's a good one on handling a beer mug. Good stuff.


I have been going through the Simon Leach videos on YouTube. There are some good ones. Check them out.
Thanks Andrew for putting this info out on your blog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Making Room

I came home from the grocery Monday and found once again that I had hardly any cabinet space to store food. It's all full of pots!! Granted we could do with a few more cabinets but what really needs to happen is for me to stop buying pots. Easier said than done. Anyhow, yesterday after a frustrating dig though the cabinet looking for a jar of capers I decided it was time to pack up some pots that are not used so often. I ended up boxing up about 45 pots from various locations in the kitchen and upstairs. It helped a little and I did find the capers.

Once that was done I climbed up to the attic to store the box. The attic is a mess too and so I spent about an hour up there throwing things down to take to the landfill or recycling center. Old books, some hats, lots of empty boxes (I thought I could use them for shipping pots), a lamp, and many other things not worth mentioning got ditched. That done, I had room to store yet another box of pots in the attic. At some point I'll have to go through these pottery boxes and decide what what I'll keep or sale. For now, "out of sight, out of mind" and more room for groceries.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Trying New Things

Sarah and I finally had a weekend together that did not involve any kind of work, or pottery show or prior obligations. We went out to Charlotte on Saturday and had all kinds of fun. We had a great lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant near Sarah's acupuncturist's office. Of course, I had the Pho Ga, which was delicious. Anyhow we hit a couple book stores, an art supply store, and went by Bluegill Pottery to see my pal Vicki Gill. We did some other stuff too and I made a journal entry on it later. So I am tinkering around with my journaling. From the above drawing to this entry below which just came about from preparing the page with watercolor and lines and then just filling in. It's something different for me, not a blank white page. I am inspired to just play and see what happens but I find that The Judge inside my head is quite loud and wants to keep me down or worried or insecure. So putting this out there is an attempt to quiet him down and just let it go.
Of course after posting about Keri Smith last week I had to get this Journal. Talk about loosening you up. Anything goes in this book. It's really been fun so far. I've burned a page, poked holes in another and started a fruit sticker collection on another page. I'm just gonna let go and see how it feels. I think I often worry about ruining my daily journals or maybe I just stay stuck in a rut of recording events and ideas and feelings. When I got this journal I decided to leave all that at the curb and just take it for a fast test drive, anything goes. If I crash it, so be it. Hey, it's called Wreck this journal so that works right?!
Here's the start of a spread where I covered my hands in ash from the wood stove and made a mark. I'll probably come back and do something else to it later.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Catch Up

No posts in a few days so I'll do a bit of catching up here. I have been doing stuff, no pots as of yet but I am trying some collage. Here is my first one which I am self conscience of since I feel like I have no idea much about composition and like I've said before color scares me. But who cares right!? Here it is. I stacked a couple truck loads of wood yesterday for the woodheater. Looks nice, eh. Still, I don't want a wood kiln.
A cereal and banana drawing from my square journal.
I hit the library on Monday and checked out The Complete Sherlock Holmes again. I had read all of the Adventures and most of the Memoirs last time. I finished them up and now I'm on to the Return of Sherlock Holmes stories. I love this copy. It's over 1100 pages and hardback but I can pick it up in one hand and flop it back and forth like a phone directory. It's pages are stained and discolored from years of reading and spilled coffee.

I am also re-reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I love Anne's writing. She really just puts herself out there. I think it must be very liberating to do that, especially in print. I am thinking of her book Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year or any of her books on faith. I love that she is honest, selfish, caring, afraid, faithful, unsure, searching, compassionate, opinionated, loving, and full of humor. I guess I just see her as a writer who keeps it real and that speaks to me. Especially in this day when there's so much spin and cover up and junk on television and in print.
Well that's it for now. Have a great Friday! I am hoping to get some Christmas shopping done over the weekend....maybe.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cups & Soup

Here are the 40 remaining yunomis that I will deliver this week. The order was for 60 so it's nice to have them all finished. I tried to make them all different although there are a few that repeat. This was a fun exercise and I'd like to give myself permission to do it more with other simple forms like bowls and mugs. While I was making them I felt like I was reaching into my 'pottery brain' for all the yunomi information I've gotten over the years. I also tried to just let go and let the form take shape. Of course in doing that I was making minute decisions all along the way that I may or may not have been aware of. Last night for supper I made Pho Ga. Basically this is Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. I'd never made chicken stock before and had always thought it was too much trouble. Not anymore! I followed the recipes from Andrea Nguyen and Jaden. It came out great. I froze the remaining stock and will probably have this again next week.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thoughts on Journaling/ Keri Smith

The chart to the left was taken from Keri Smith's website. I usually check into to Keri's blog, The Wishjar, everyday. I often find inspiring words or activities or book recommendations there.

Today there is a link to an interview with Keri that was great to hear. She talks about one of her books, Wreck this Journal, as well as inspiration from John Cage, and her "extremely informative period chart".

Anyhow, I mention all this because I have been wanting to expand my journaling experience for quite some time now and I am beginning to make that happen.

I have been journaling since high school. It has been especially helpful to me during difficult periods in my life, mainly during college and later when I was dealing with depression, anxiety, self hate, and self destruction. (Hope that's not too personal, not to worry as I am doing much better these days). Anyhow what I want from my journals now is to make them more of a creative, expressive, artistic, and risk-taking adventure. I have started to draw more in my journals but I would like to really be writing much less and doing more experimentation. If you listen to Keri's interview you will hear that this is what she promotes folks to do in Wreck this Journal. You can see some examples here.

So we'll see where that goes. One thing I realize I need to do less (and Keri has mentioned this in a blog post of her own), is to spend less time on the computer. I would like to set two times a day when I actually check email, blog, or do whatever I need to and then let it go. Maybe one 30 minute session in the morning and one 15 minute session in the evening.

So with that said I am off to do other things. Keep checking in as I plan on posting some new things from my journal soon.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Update

Thanks to everyone who came out for my Sale weekends. It was successful again this year with many good pots leaving the showroom for new homes. I do still have plenty of work, so if you need gifts please call or come by. Today I went back to Clayworks and picked up my pots there. This year was a repeat of last year with me only selling a few things. My pots are so quiet and understated that they seem to get lost in the crowd. It bothers me for about an hour after I leave the reception and then I get over it.
I began bringing in my stoneware out of the racks this afternoon. I'll probably get it all in over the next 3 days. Some of it is still quite mushy. I have a few dinnerware orders that I am looking forward to getting started on. I will also be delivering my big yunomi order this week.
I talked to the studio manager today at Clayworks and hopefully I'll be able to mix my red clay there next week sometime.
So that's my little update. Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Holiday Sale/ Winter Arts Tour

My Holiday Sale continues this weekend in conjunction with the Cleveland Country Winter Arts Tour.
Saturday Dec. 1st 10 am until 5pm
Sunday Dec. 2nd Noon until 4 pm

I still have a great selection of pottery including bowls, bakers, mugs, teapots, plates and much more. I hope you'll make it out to see me.

I'll be open until the end of Dec. by chance or appointment. Call 704 480 6046 or email
ronpots2 at yahoo dot com.

Friday, November 30, 2007

From Our Kitchen

Awhile back I put up a post about all of our cups. Below is a picture of the dinner plates we have to use in our kitchen. I guess we have about 20 or so, plus maybe 4 or 5 that are in storage. I started buying plates after I realized we were maxed out on cups! Anyhow, we have certain ones we use quite regularly, and ones that get pulled out to use when we have specific dishes. We also have about this many luncheon plates (that's another post). I also took this image of the dish drain this morning. It shows that we really do use many pots everyday. We hand wash all our dishes (because we don't have a dishwasher, and I don't want one). I like handling all the pots during cleanup. It's great to have a large variety of handmade dishes to choose from and use each day.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Books and such

Nothing like a little Public Enemy at 8 am. KEXP is awesome.

I'll be setting up today at Clayworks for our Studio Opening which is tomorrow (6 till 9 reception and sale) and Saturday (10 till 3, sale continues). I'll be there tomorrow night.

Okay so I rethought the whole Kindle thing. I never buy books so why would want this thing? I just go to the library. Plus, like Elaine, I enjoy the paper. And the smell too.

I have been thinking a lot about how the written word, on paper, with pen or pencil, is disappearing. I don't really trust the whole electronic thing, storage, longevity, etc. Where will the written record of our history be in 100 - 200 + years? And I miss getting letters in the mailbox. I miss seeing people's handwriting.

I think instead of the Kindle I'd rather have a gigantic Oxford dictionary like the one in the library. Jeff asked a while back what book I'd want if I was stranded on a deserted island. I'd have this dictionary. I could keep my vocabulary up, start fires with it's thin pages (in emergency situations only), and use it as a floatation device if needed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not Much

I've done hardly anything like work all day. Which is nice because I rarely just do nothing. Doing stuff is overrated anyway if you ask me. Mostly I've been sitting outside in the sunshine reading a book on J.D. Salinger by James Lundquist.
So I just got an order of tea delivered today. Right now I'm having some nice sencha. I also got some darjeeling samples and a couple more greens I haven't tried.
If anyone is wondering what they can get me for Christmas I'd really love to have one of these. It's pretty amazing (just watch the demonstration video).
I am still planning on making some earthernware in December. I usually take that month off, but I'll have a little fun doing something different (I need to get that clay mixed soon).
Okay that's it for now. Hope you can do nothing soon (if you aren't already).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Floor Glaze

Years ago I read that Warren Mackenzie would scrape the floor of his glaze room and save all that stuff up. He would add some percentage of cobalt and use that as his blue glaze. I think he called it the 'floor glaze' or maybe the 'shop glaze'.

So of course I had to start doing that. I have about one and a half quart jars of floor glaze saved up. In my case it's probably more of a slip. I am planning on testing this in my next firing. I'll have to mix it up, add water, sieve it really well to get all the course dirt and cat and dog hair out and give it a go.

Monday, November 26, 2007


It was nice to sleep in a bit this morning. Sarah is off work and the cats both piled in on top of the covers to keep us warm. I had a great start to my Holiday Sale this past weekend. Sales were good and it was nice to see folks and catch up a bit. I still have plenty of great pots in the showroom. The Sale runs again this Saturday and Sunday, and I expect I'll have folks dropping by when they can.
Thanks to everyone who came out.
I'll be posting regularly this week, so continue to check in.
Have a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


All set up. There are more pots in the studio. Lots to choose from. I am hoping for a good turnout. Gotta go eat more turkey. Hope to see many of you at my Holiday Sale.

Hot New Critters

All my animals came out great! I am excited about these and can't wait to make more.
Here's old two head...Matt and Dougs favorite.
I will try my best to get a few more pics up before tomorrow.

Closing the Gap

Fixing the space at the back of the arch made a huge difference in my firing. I got much better reduction. It's funny though, I was just getting used to those lighter pots. But with that problem fixed I will be able to control my atmosphere during the firing so if I want light I'll oxidize more.
We didn't get nearly as much done yesterday as we had hoped so today has been a real catch up. We are home now for a few hours between Thanksgiving with my family and later with Sarah's. I was pretty stressed out last night, but I am feeling better now. The show room is all set up. So we are closing in on being ready for tomorrow. Here are a couple pics of the pots after they came out yesterday.
A new tall vase. I have about 5 of these and they all made it through the firing. I was surprised, heck you'd think I'd know what I was doing by now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Firing Complete

This picture shows a series of clay rings I pulled from the kiln yesterday after I began salting. I do this so that I can judge the amount of salt/soda that is being deposited on the pots in the kiln. I pulled the first ring after the initial salting. It is glazed well, but I wanted more so I added more sodium. The second and third rings are more heavily coated. I stopped putting any salt/soda in after the third ring was pulled. I concluded that I had added enough. I can also judge this by looking into the kiln and seeing how shiney the pots are and by the build up of sodium on the shelves. The forth ring was pulled just before I shut the kiln off. The glaze has smoothed out a bit and layed down.

The rings are pulled out of a peep hole in the door with a long metal rod. They do not indicate the final color of the clay or slips, only salt build up.
I will unload tomorrow, so check back soon. I a hoping for a good load of pots!
I discovered last week that Joe Bennion has his Potter's Journal back up and running. He lost his blog a while back due to some server problem. When Sarah and I visited Joe a few years ago he was very helpful and encouraging in many ways. He shared with me the idea for his Newsletter and told me to take any of his ideas and try them out. I did just that, and my newsletter was a success from the start. I hope to publish the next one in the Spring of '08.
Today I'll be cleaning up the studio.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Gap

The kiln is up to 1900 deg. F. It's going to be another nice day out, temps in the low 70's which is really wonderful.

So, if you've been reading this blog for any number of months you have heard me complain about two firing issues that I have been experiencing. The first is 'scum' or darkening and and sometimes peeling or crinkling of my slip. The other is that the kiln is oxidizing more on one side than the other. I don't want it to oxidize at all so that is a problem. I had looked all around the kiln for unwanted openings where air could be getting in. I had gotten into the kiln and looked all around the sides and arch and everywhere for gaps. I didn't see anything. Well, it turns out I wasn't looking closely enough. On Friday I climbed up on top of the kiln and removed the ceramic fiber at the back. There, between the top, back of the arch and the back wall was a half inch gap. I wasn't able to see this from the inside for some reason, I mean I could see a space but from the inside it didn't look like it went through to the outside. I guess the fiber on top was keeping me from seeing. Anyhow, the kiln gurus ( if any read this) would probably smack me for not checking up there sooner. So I restacked those brick, mudded everything up really well, and replaced the fiber. I'll know on Wednesday if this helped, but I expect it did.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lots of Cups

Remember the order I got for 60 yunomis a while back? Well, I still had 40 to fire so that made up a big part of this load. Along with those cups, I had all these other pots (below) plus even more (off camera). It was quite a bit of small stuff but there was also some dinnerware which always takes up lots of room. Here is the back stack with the front started. It's a pretty tight stack so I think I'm going to have to go with soda and salt for this firing. I don't think I'd get all the coverage I need with just soda. So I'll probably do half and half. I am thinking I'll introduce the salt as a solution this time.
And here's the front. I managed to get in most everything I wanted sans a few plates. I lost 8 plates in the bisque which is fine, they wouldn't have made it in here anyway. It would have been nice to have them for the next go.
So I'll get the kiln lit tonight and fire off tomorrow around 4 or 5. I have a bit more kiln news but that can wait until tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Holiday Sale

Today I have my bisque going. I actually loaded and fired it for a few hours yesterday because some of those pots were still pretty damp, hopefully I'll get through it without anything blowing up. (Knock on wood.)

I'll spend the next 6 days getting ready for my Holiday Sale. It's always a countdown to the last minute getting pots out and everything cleaned up around here. I am hoping for a good turnout again this year. It's a lot of work, but always worth it. I will have about 300 pots for sale including dinnerware, bakers, bowls, lots of mugs and cups, and all of the things you've seen me making (via this blog) over the past few weeks.

The Sale runs two weekends, but if you can't come then, just feel free to drop by or give me a call (704.480.6046) and make an appointment. I should be here up until the end of Dec. with pots in the showroom.
If you need directions you can Mapquest my address.
757 Wallace Grove Rd. Shelby, NC 28150
I'll be posting over the next week with images of the loading, firing, unloading and set up.
Have a great Friday!!

Seagrove Pottery Festival

If you are at the 26th Annual Seagrove Pottery Festival this weekend please be sure to go by and see my good friend Tom Gray. Tom always has a really nice selection of pots for use. He's located in the 2nd tent on the back wall. Visit Tom's blog for info on what he's up to.
The Festival is this weekend November 17th and 18th, 2007; 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Work

Last night was my final class at Clayworks for this session. We'll start up the winter classes in January. We fired raku last night and had a potluck supper which was fun. It made for a long night though and by the time I got home it was past 11 pm, late for this guy. So I slept in a bit this morning before making it down to the shop. I cut feet on a dozen plates and slipped a few last minute things I made yesterday afternoon. My brother in law called Monday night wanting to know if I'd make a few shaving mugs for him. So those ended up being the last pots I threw for this load.
Around mid morning I remembered that Shawn Ireland from Penland had recommended that I make some larger birds. Shawn and his friend, Mike Henshaw, have always made these really great animal sculptures. I have always admired them but have never brought one home. Anyhow, I thought I'd give it a try and here are the results. I am sure I subconsciously borrowed some ideas from those two guys but I also tried to remember and draw upon some images of Mexican figures I'd seen in books.

These two long necks (tallest is 7") will get an iron glaze that goes green/amber. Here are a couple of bird toting turtles. The shells will be amber and the birds will be blue.
This double headed bird dish was an off the wall creation. And one more long neck.

I also got two racks of clay mixed this afternoon which I am really happy about, that should get me by for a while.
It looks like I'll be bisquing on Friday and hopefully loading the kiln on Sunday. I'd like to not be unloading on Thanksgiving like I had to last year. Postcards for the Holiday Sale go out tomorrow!

Monday, November 12, 2007


Here is an image of our kitchen cabinet where we keep some of our cups. I say 'some' because this must be only about a third of the cups we own. I count about 50 in here, and there are 6 over in the dish drain. We usually have some shelves up on the wall where we display (for use) another 40 or so. These shelves are down at the moment b/c we are getting ready to paint, so those cups are boxed up. I think I have about 3 more boxes of cups in the attic. So maybe we have close to 250 cups give or take 10 or 20. Yes, it's a terrible disease this pottery, this clay, this insane love of handmade things for everyday use. We have cups by some of the best potters in the country, and some really nice ones by lesser known potters that we use and enjoy just as much as our 'famous cups'
Anyhow I just thought I'd give a little glimpse of our cups, I am sure many of you have similar collections. Stay tuned...sometime in the near future I'll give you a shot of our soup/cereal bowls...and our plates... and teapots..... and....well you get the idea.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Update

The Carolina Pottery Festival blasted off in full force Saturday morning. There was a big line at the doors at 10 am and shortly after they were making their way up towards my booth. It was a really good day for most all the exhibitors. People came out to buy pots! I last heard that attendance reached over 2100, which is awesome for a one day show that lasts 6 hrs. I was very pleased with the day and my sales. It was awesome to see many regular customers at the show and to meet some new folks. I finally got to meet Jeff Martin, a potter from Boone, NC. We met through blogging and it was good to finally meet him in person. (I am enjoying my tumbler Jeff).
There is a wide range of work shown at the CPF, from high end raku, to kitchy fish wall hangings, pit fired pots, mid range oxidation fired functional ware, beautiful stoneware reduction ware, and about anything else you can think of. I am the only salt/soda glaze potter in whole herd of 90 exhibitors, so my works stands out, which is cool.

This morning I made sourdough, buckwheat pancakes for breakfast. I've been wanting to do this since I talked to Stan from Allegheny Treenware last weekend. They were tastey, I'll probably make a few more in the morning with the leftover batter.
I think tomorrow will be my last wet day for this cycle. I made 5 more of the slab oval vases today and got all my dishes slipped. Tommorrow I'll finish up the rest of the pots on the make list and start getting ready for my Holiday Sale. The postcards have been printed and will go out this week.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the CPF!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Show and New Technique

I am all set up at the Festival. I'll be there bright and early tomorrow, so I hope that some of you will come out and enjoy all the pots.

Here is a new vase shape I am working on. It's a tall oval, about 14". I am making these on a bisque mold with a slab. This is something I have thought about for a while, making these with a slab, but I didn't know how to go about it. With some help, I've gotten it figured out. One of the things I was worried about with slabs was that I wouldn't have any throwing marks or gesture. I rely on that pretty heavily in my work. So what I have done with these vases is to scrape them and rough up the surface. I learned this from Peter Rose, a potter from Tennessee. Anyhow I am wanting to make 5 or 6 of these for my Holiday sale. I think this new technique will open up lots of possibilities for me.

I'll have some pics up from the show later in the weekend.

Carolina Pottery Festival

I'll be setting up my booth for the Carolina Pottery Festival today. The show is tomorrow, Nov. 9th, from 10 am until 4 pm at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. There will be over 60 potters displaying their work. It's $2 to get in. Come out if you are in the area, it's a good time to do some Holiday shopping. I have plenty of nice pots.

My pal Doug Fitch just unloaded a nice kiln load of slipware. Visit his blog to see some of the work.

Still finishing up plates and bowls in the studio. I'll try and insert a photo here later today.

Thanks to everyone who sent a comment or note regarding Perry. We appreciate it.
Have a great Friday.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

From Wednesday

Here are a few pots I made yesterday before lunch. In the afternoon I finished some yunomis and cut feet on a few bowls, and handled some mugs. I'll get more made today and hopefully get these plates footed. I'll be ordering my postcards for my Holiday Sale today and hopefully they will go out next week.

So Long

Perry was put to rest yesterday afternoon. I miss him.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Quick Note

Thanks to everyone you expressed concern about my dog Perry. After I posted yesterday I phoned the vet, they were prepping Perry for surgery and after talking to the doc I agreed to go ahead with it. He phoned me back after lunch saying Perry came through okay. He operated on his pancreas, and it was not as serious as he expected. Hopefully Perry will start eating again. I'll go see him later today. Keep your fingers crossed.

I delivered a set of dinnerware last night to my friend Eleanor. She had registered with me for her wedding. She was so happy with her new dishes. It was great to see her excitement. It makes very happy to know she and her husband, Mark, will get many years of use from the pots.

I'm off to work. My Holiday Sale will be here before I know it! I can't believe this month is going so quickly. I think Thanksgiving is coming early this year. ?

Pics later today.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


On a happier note, (see post on Perry below), here is one of our animals that is doing quite well. This is our small cat, Mouse, having a comfy nap this morning beside me here.

This and That

No new images at the moment, so here is another shot of my booth from the weekend. (Sorry about the harsh lighting) Hanging out this morning having some tea and warming up. I'll go teach this evening at Clayworks and I will also be delivering a dinnerware order to a customer who had registered with me for her wedding. I saw her over the weekend and she is so excited to get her new dishes. I love knowing my work is going to a good home where it will be put to use.

I bought some buckwheat flour at the grocery yesterday and will be making some buckwheat pancakes this weekend. Stan and I talked a good bit about this. He makes sourdough, buckwheat pancakes. I'm gonna try that too, but first I have to make a sourdough starter, which is kind of a science experiment in itself. Stan told me that people who eat regular pancakes think that sourdough buckwheat pancakes are "rotten". Ha.

Perry isn't doing so great. I went by the vet to see him yesterday. He was so pitiful and out of it. The doc called later and said he felt like he'd have to operate again to see what was going on. Sarah and I discussed it last night and we feel it may be better just to have him put down. He's 13 and has been through a lot of medical problems over the years. He's had 6 surgeries so far and we can't bear to think of him having another. I don't want him to suffer. The most humane thing we can do right now is let him go. I'll be calling the vet shortly to discuss all this.

For now I'm heading out to the shop for some pot making. Plates, cups, soup bowls and maybe a few pitchers. I have some new ideas I'm working on but will save that for a post later.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Home from ACC

I'm going to attempt a post this morning even though I feel like I could use another few hours to get my head on straight. It's been a long weekend at the American Craft Council show. We got in last night and pretty much crashed out on the sofa and vegged on tv for an hour before bed. Below is a shot of my booth I took on Friday morning before the show opened. I always like seeing my work away from home. I went around and looked at all my pots and picked them up and examined them and saw them in new ways. I felt happy with them and satisfied with my direction.

There wasn't much functional pottery in the show this year. Maybe 3 potters total. It was a nice show overall with plenty of good quality craft. I had wonderful neighbors and enjoyed getting to know them all better over the weekend. Across the aisle from me was Stan and Sue Jennings from Allegheny Treenware. We have some of there spoons in the kitchen and I sold their work in my shop for awhile. They were both lots of fun and I admired their down to earth and genuine personalities. Stan talked a lot about sorghum molasses and sourdough, buckwheat pancakes. He raises his own sorghum and buckwheat, among other things I'm sure. They are true West Virginians and it was a pleasure to get to know them.

Over all the show wasn't very profitable. The crowd was down from years past. I don't complain much though, I do my part to be there and engage folks and talk about my pots. I have lots of local support and get to see many friends come down the aisle. I will probably do it again next year because the contacts and exposure are good and I am meeting new people who will eventually make their way out to my pottery in Shelby. If you came out to ACC, thanks for your support and encouragement.

So today I'll unload the truck and take care of some odds and ends. I'll be at the Carolina Pottery Festival this Saturday. I still have some good pots so come out if you can.

I'll be making more pots this week and posting regularly so check back soon.