Friday, June 29, 2007

Just a few

Today I did manage to make a few pots. I have plans to work on the house this weekend so I didn't go crazy in the studio making stuff. I knew I'd probably not get back to any of it until Monday. This morning I did some work on my big homemade kickwheel. This is a wheel that a friend has let me borrow and it works great. The only problem is that it doesn't have any kind of splashpan. I use plenty of water so it was a problem. Kicking a wet flywheel is dangerous and not very productive. So I rigged up a splash pan made by cutting the bottom off of a large trash can and screwed it into place. It works fine, but I'll probably work on it a bit more.
I like to use that wheel to throw larger pots. I made this 18" bowl and also some pitchers. The pitchers aren't that large but I do like to make them on that kickwheel. I like how it slows way down as I get to the top of the pot. Normally I work on a Leach treadle wheel.
Note to Andrew: These pitchers are made from 4, 5 and 6 lbs of clay. Left to right. Here are the dimensions (left to right) Height 25 cm, width 13.5 cm. Height 29 cm, width 14.6 cm. Height 29 cm , width 16 cm. That's the height to the top of the cylinder, not the spout, and the width of the base. So maybe that will be helpful. I'm not the greatest pitcher maker by any means, but these are pretty well balanced. I'll get handles on the later.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

No Pots

I have no pottery news today as I haven't gotten to make any this week. It looks like today will be split between a visit back to the kitchen job for a couple hours and two trips to the Arts Council for meetings there. I am the vice chair of the board this year (I will be the chair next year), so I will be even more active there than I have been, (which has been quite a lot).

Anyhow if you need a little pottery eye candy you can visit Akar and see what's up there. Harlan House's $300 french fry platters are nice. I was going to order a couple but Sarah reminded me I'm supposed to be cutting back on the fried foods.

Have a good day. I promise I'm still a potter and there will be pots back on this blog soon!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Vicki Gill

My friend Vicki Gill has started blogging. I am not sure how Vicki and I met, it was either through the Claymatters Pottery Guild or at the Treasures of the Earth Show. I guess that was about 8 or more years ago. Vicki is an excellent potter and lives about 25 miles east of here in Gastonia. There she maintains a studio and gallery named Bluegill Pottery. It's a very nice space with a gallery up front and room for classes in the back. Vicki is known for her textured and carved pots. We both love many of the same potters and both enjoy attending the NC Potter's Conference every year in Asheboro. Be sure to visit her website too.

Day 3

I am going back to finish helping with the kitchen today. This will probably be my last day as things are winding down to the finish work. It looks really nice, the oak cabinets are beautiful. I am anxious to get back to making pots, I should be able to get a few things done before the weekend.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Work. Not Pots

Yesterday I was over at Sarah's parent's house all day to start on the kitchen renovation. Sarah's dad and brother are doing it along with my help. We tore out the old cabinets and a small section of the floor and started hanging the new cabinetry. It was a good day of work. I got home rather late just before a big thunder storm.
I am heading back over there now.
So no potting today. I am hoping to get back in the shop tommorrow or Thursday. I also hope to get some work done on my house this weekend. Thanks for checking in.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I went down this morning and picked the first red tomato from my garden. For breakfast I toasted up some bread that a friend brought me over the weekend. I fried an egg and added a chiffanade of basil , also from the garden, to the slices of tomato and had a nice breakfast sandwich. A mouthful of summer.
Karma and I also had a few blackberries on our walk this morning.
As Tom would say, " some today."


My Summer Sale was a great success. I had a lot of folks drive in from out of town as well as many of my locals who came by. There were some new faces and a few who have known about me but have never made it out here until now. Thanks to you all for your support and patronage. Many good pots left the showroom over the weekend and I hope they are being put to use or enjoyed in some way in their new enviroments. Now I can get busy making more and working on some new ideas. My next Home Sale is in September and then the Holiday Sale in Nov/Dec.

Today I am helping Sarah's dad and brother install some new kitchen cabinets. I'll be working on our renovation this week too. I'd like to get this drywall job wrapped up soon. Things take forever around here.

Anyhow I hope you are off to a good start on this Monday.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Sale

My Summer Sale is this weekend. I am all ready to go, I got the showroom set up yesterday and there are some really nice pots here. I have over 300 pots in stock! If you need directions you can mapquest my address 757 Wallace Grove Rd. Shelby, NC 28150 or give me a call 704.480.6046
Saturday June 23 10 am till 5 pm
Sunday June 24 Noon till 4 pm
I had a couple early birds show up yesterday morning so I am off to a good start. Hope to see you here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Puracane Summertime Rolls

Happy Summer Solstice!
Here is a pretty good cover of Jane's Addiction's 'Summertime Rolls'

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More Pots

Here are a couple more teapots.Altered vase.These bake and serves got a new shape. I got on this lobe kick while making pots for this load. I had several bakers and a few sets of bowls that were lobed. I will probably stick with it.
Here are some small lobed bowls with yellow dots. These pots are covered in a new bisque slip that I am trying, it has quite a bit of feldspar in it. I'll try and get a close up of it later, it sort of reminds me of a shino glaze in that it pinholes in a really nice way.
I made four of these tall foot bird bowls. I sold out of them at the ClayMatters sale back in May. Maybe I'll sell a few this weekend.

New Pots

I had a great firing. I was really surprised not to have more orange peel texture since I added 4 more pounds of salt than I did last time. Still, I had some very nicely flashed pots with lots of atmospheric variation. Here are some pics and I'll add more later.
I really liked this faceted teapot, it was my favorite out of the six or so that were in this kiln.

Three small ovals. These were all in the front of the kiln and got some nice salt action.
I have about 8 of these mugs. My friend Greg Scott mentioned to me a while back about trying some dots on top of my slip pours. So here they are and I think it works great, it gives the pours a new dimension. I'll be doing more of that on other forms in the future.
Those two bottles in the middle were on the bagwall and I expected them to get blasted with salt. These are all nice, I have plans to make more of these faceted bottles in different sizes and shapes for the next load. I want to make some that are more flared out.
Two more teapots. I like that dry slip on the left one.
Like I said, I was really happy with these pots. My kiln is firing so much better than it was back in the winter. I am reducing longer and soaking at the end. I think these two things have helped remedy the problems I was having. I sure don't any complaints about this firing. More to come.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Getting Ready. Doing Nothing.

I spent this morning cleaning up the showroom and dusting the pots in there. I was expecting my Rotary summer campers at 8 am and they never showed up, turns out I got my days mixed up and they are coming tomorrow. Oh well, I'll be ready then.

Things are sort of on hold until I unload the kiln tomorrow around lunchtime. Then I'll have to sand, dust, price and bring all of that work in and set up a couple of displays in the workshop. So for now I'm doing nothing and feeling just a bit guilty since it's 3:30 in the afternoon. I pretty much have supper worked out. There is a basket of clothes here that need folding so I'll probably do that next. Then maybe I'll just read awhile or do some drawing, or maybe I'll just draw the laundry. I guess I can allow myself a few hours to just veg out.

Onda Pottery

The Pucker Gallery in Boston has an exhibition of Onda pottery on view. I got the catalogue in the mail the other day but you can view it online here. The intro to the catologue by Andrew L. Maske is very informative. Onda ware production was begun in Oita prefecture in 1705. Methods of production and decoration were limited to certain techinques that continue until this day. Unlike other pottery villages in Japan the region has been able to retain most of the aspects of it's ceramic heritage. Only one son per potting household is allowed to carry on the tradition and no potters are allowed to move in from anywhere else.

I really love the shapes and decorative techiniques of Onda ware. The somewhat haphazard splashing of glaze is very nice. At first it seems a little off and sloppy, but after seeing it over and over on the pots I can see it must take skill and technique to apply in that manner. The application of white slip that is often finger wiped, combed or chattered is also wonderful. This, combined with the splashed glaze is a great contrast. I can see influence of this work in some contempory potters work, many of them coming from the Michael Cardew lineage. Bernard Leach had an impression on Onda ware, when he visited in 1954 he showed his method of pullling handles on pitchers. This is evident in the images of pitchers in the catalogue.

Monday, June 18, 2007

At Last

The kiln is going. I just put it into body reduction a few minutes ago. I expect I'll finish up around 4 today.

The weekend was nice. On Saturday I had a meeting with the Circle of Eight. We are planning our next show and ironing out details on an exhibit in Greenwood SC we have in a month. I'll put up details on the opening soon. We had a big discussion over our name, 'Circle of Eight'. There is sort of a glitch since we had one member leave in Feb. So now we are really Seven, but we like our name and everyone has started using it and we have gotten press with it so we have all decided to just keep it. I am the one who raised a fuss over it. I'm sort of geeky and possibly OCD over things like this, numbers, inconsistencies, things not as they should be. Ha. It's ridiculous, anyhow, if anyone asks I'll just say the 'eight' is a metaphor. Whatever that means.

Sarah and I had a good night out on Saturday, we went out and bought me a much needed new pair of glasses and then to dinner at our favorite Italian resturant in Gastonia. I am sick of having glasses and am considering having laser surgery. Anyone have any experience with this? I need to check it out. Sunday we had breakfast with Sarah's folks and later that evening a cookout with my family. So we ate well all weekend.

I have a group of teens coming tomorrow from a Rotory Club summer camp. This will be the third year of their visit. I look forward to talking and demoing for them. I need to go start cleaning up the studio for that and for my upcoming sale.

Pictures of new pots will be posted here on Wednesday. Have a great Monday!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


The propane truck came on Friday. So I will be lighting the kiln tonight and firing on Monday. Pots should come out on Wednesday. The kiln has been loaded for a couple of days which is weird, every time I look down there I think I need to go unload, but it's not even been fired yet. I'm really ready to fire and have some new pots. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I have the kiln all loaded. It went well and I got in all the pots I had wanted for my sale weekend. Of course I have plenty already in the showroom, so this will add to that. I am not stacking so close to the arch nowdays. I seem to get better results with that space above the pots. My next kiln may be a little shorter, more of a cube.
I am now waiting on the propane truck. I hope he comes today so I can fire tonight and tomorrow. If not I'll have to wait until Monday as I have things do on Saturday and Sunday. Either way I'll be fine.
Here are my two onlookers. Perry the lab, and Kharma the studio dog. Sweet, old Perry looks like Eeyore, forlorn and tired. Kharma has kept him busy today. I'll get a shot of him smiling later, when Kharm is worn out.


I am having a slow time getting back in the groove after being away. I have actually been slightly under the weather with some sort of head cold. I slept well last night due to the medicine I took just before bed.

Today I am going to start loading the kiln. I am hoping the propane truck will come fill my tank today so I can fire over the weekend. I hadn't realized how little gas I had until I finished my bisque the other day. It should be no problem to get finished up before my sale next weekend.

I am excited about this firing with the new teapots and some small bowls and lots of animal jars. It should be a good one. Pictures of the loading to follow later.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Back Home

We arrived home yesterday from the NC coast. On Thursday last week, we drove the 7 hours out to visit our friends Steven and Amber in Mill Creek NC, near Beaufort. We had a great few days there. Steven and Amber moved from Shelby almost 2 years ago so we had lots of catching up to do. They love their new home and were excited to show us around and take us out on the boat. We ate lots of good food, explored the shores and waterways, picked up shells, fished a little and just had a great time. It was a nice visit and I am sure we'll make it out again soon.

On Sunday we drove south to Wilmington to see Sarah's niece Sophie who had just graduated high school. Sarah's parents were there too. Sophie is going off to Appalachian State U. this fall. That's the same school where Sarah just finished her masters program. It's only an hour and a half from here so we will probably get to see Sophie often.

Today I have to get back to work. I have a bisque going right now. I plan to scrape all my kiln shelves today and get set to load. I have to teach my last class in Charlotte tonight and I will spend the night there so I can fill in teach for a friend in the morning. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon to glaze and start loading the kiln.

Now that I am back I'll get to post more often. Keep checking in over the next few days as I'll have pics of the loading and firing.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Make Plans Now

My Summer Pottery Sale is coming up soon
Saturday June 23rd, 10 am until 5 pm
Sunday June 24th, Noon until 4 pm
I'll be firing the kiln the week before the sale so all the pots you've been seeing get made will be on the shelves.


I am leaving for a few days, no pots, no computer. I'll post when I get back.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Six Teapots

I finished up these pots on Monday and got them slipped yesterday. Six teapots are a lot for me to work one at one time. Next time I'll probably only make 3 or 4 at once.
I am trying to get ready to go out of town for a few days so I will spend today getting laundry washed and all those little things that need to be taken care of. There may be a quick post later today or in the morning, so check back.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Week's End

I ended up with a whole flock of birds on pots this week. Tall jars, deep footed bowls, and new, deeper, tripod bird dishes. These two teapots inspired 6 more that I made today. I think this is a good sized pot. We have a Svend Bayer teapot that I love to use that is about this size.
I had made some bottles similar to these back in the winter when I was experiencing some trouble with my kiln. None of those came out very good so I thought I should try some more. I really like the one's with the double facet. I would like the make these a little more shapely next time, not so straight up.
I also threw some sake sets, mugs, and plates. Today was my last wet day, I'll finish up the six teapots over the weekend and get things bisqued next week. My Home Sale is June 23 and 24. It's been a good week, I'm really happy with all I got made.