Thursday, July 31, 2008

Harvest Jugs

Tomorrow, if all goes well, these will get necks and handles and will become jugs. Then I have to decide how to decorate them. That's getting a bit ahead though.I should have some new pots out by mid afternoon tomorrow. Also I'll be posting some new pots on my Etsy site.


This is a first. Inspired by Hannah. This could develop into something interesting. Better get the sketch book out.More of the usual style.
I'm really having fun making plates and mugs. I think I could just do those two things for a long time.
Better get back to work.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Professional Photos

I met with my photographer on Monday to shoot some of my slipware. It's really nice to see the work shot in a professional manner. Here are a couple of the images.

Randy McNeilly
shoots all my images. I've known him since I was 15. I'm lucky that he likes my pots too.

Wed. Morn.

Glazing today. Firing tomorrow.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Wade who?
Wade a couple days and you'll get to see some new pots.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tomato Sandwich

Tomato sandwiches have been my staple lunch (and sometimes supper) for the past couple weeks. Here's how we do it in the South.
I like a good, soft whole wheat bread for tomato sandwiches. For other things a crusty bread is okay, but not for this. I have a nice, ripe, homegrown tomato ready to go. I like to peel mine and you can see I have my trusty Global serrated knife there for that job and for slicing.
Dukes brand mayonnaise is a must. No substitutions. None. Ever.
Here we are all piled up. Mayo on both slices of bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and you're ready to go. Better get a napkin.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More from Last Week's Firing

These are your two salt jars Big Al.

I hardly ever used to make covered casseroles but I really like these and plan to keep making them provided people buy them. (which they have been thank goodness)

Sunday's Pots

Just finished off a bisque firing, well I didn't really have to do anything but make sure it didn't over fire (that electric kiln sure is nice). I worked in the shop a few hours this morning making mugs, plates, salsa bowls and 6 diamond shaped dishes. Not bad for a Sunday. I felt guilty for doing hardly anything in the shop yesterday.
Karma and I went for a ride out and about and stopped by the store for a Sunkist Orange soda (which I haven't had in years) and Karma was given a couple doggie treats by the lady at the counter. We're pretty much chilling out at the moment. Sarah is off visiting family today.

So that's a little update from my end of the world. Sorry it's not too exciting but I thought I'd better put some thing up here.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.

New pots out of the kiln this week, hopefully by Thursday. So come on back. Some of the new pots will show up on my Etsy site.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pots for Sale. Now Online

As you can see on the right, I've posted my Etsy shop here on the Potter's Journal. You can click the link there to go to my Etsy shop and buy my pots online. How cool is that!!? I'll be adding new work from time to time so please visit often.
Be sure to tell your friends.
I haven't put this out to my mailing list yet, you all get the first look. So check it out and have fun.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Few More Pics

More tomorrow.
Be sure to check out Doug's blog, he's got new pots too!

New Pots

More later.

Real to Reel Film Festival

The Real to Reel Film Festival begins tonight and runs through Saturday at the Joy Theater in Kings Mountain, NC. For more info. click HERE

I just noticed that on Saturday the 26th, the feature film will be "Don't Know We'll See: The Work of Karen Karnes"

That will be amazing!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


This little guy has been coming over for the past two days to play with Karma. He lives up the road in the neighborhood. I don't know his name, but I heard some kids call him Stubby so maybe that's it. He and Karma have a blast chasing each other around the yard, or just hanging in the studio.

I'm firing the kiln tonight so I'll have some new pots out in the next couple of days. I have enough pots for a bisque waiting in the wings so they'll go in on Friday I think. I'll be announcing the site for online shopping on Friday too.

Look Around

I tend to be pretty observant. Sometimes to a fault, like when I'm driving and Sarah catches me looking way back at something we just passed. She has to keep reminding me to watch where I'm going. (and "to drive faster grandpa", but that's another story).

I like to point out things I'm seeing, 'they poured the curbs on that driveway.', 'did you see that big, white dog?', 'what's up with that guy's hair?', 'look at THAT (pointing frantically).'

Anyhow, Sarah gets the worst of it and sometimes I feel like I should just shut up and keep things to myself. But I can't. I like noticing things and I can't help but say something. I just want to share I guess.

I think a lot of folks live in a world with their blinders on and never see the good stuff. I take joy in the small flowers on the side of the road, or watching construction workers placing tall poles on a slab of concrete or catching a glimpse of the guy cooking noodles in the kitchen at the Vietnamese restaurant.

I'm not sure how I use the information I see, or if it benefits me in any way. I do like to make up stories about total strangers, and maybe being observant will keep me from getting hit by a falling piece of space junk or allow me to witness a small miracle. (Although I have to say I could be in a 3 acre, well mowed field and still step in a pile of dog poop. I'm doomed in that way.)

Anyhow I'm thinking about this because I noticed that Keri Smith has a new book(click that for a little tour of the book, be sure to click the arrows when you get there) coming out in October and it seems to be about being an explorer, an observer, and how to take the things we see and use them or analyze them and make them part of our art or life or whatever. You may remember Keri from the entry I did on Wreck This Journal.

Keri is pretty amazing and I just feel like she oozes creativity. Anyhow, I'll probably have a copy when the book comes out.

So I am observing that it is time to get back to work. Lunch hour over. I'll be back later.

Just a Blip

I'm off to load the kiln this morning. I was pretty grumpy yesterday when I finally got finished glazing and figured it would be no good to try and even post. So hopefully today I'll have something to share. Check back later.
PS Remember several weeks ago I mentioned that I'd be selling online? Well it's getting ready to happen. Stay tuned for that too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Platter

I like decorating these platters. I have one more to do tomorrow and then I'll probably make a few more. This one has the tall foot. You can see where I lightly penciled in my design before doing the incising.

Cutting a Plate's Foot

I shot these images Friday while cutting feet on some dinner plates. I thought it may be helpful for someone.
This first image is the plate upside down, re centered on a foam batt.
I first define the outer side of the footring and cut away clay towards the edge.
Next I make a cut inside the edge of the footring. I usually ere on making the foot ring wider at this point, I will come back at the end and narrow it up. If I try to get it just right at this point I may mess up and cut it too lean.
Then, working from the center outwards I cut away the excess clay. This takes 3 or 4 passes. I try to do all of this in as few of moves as possible to keep it fresh and unfussy.
I've also started adding some holes in the foot rings so my customers can hang the plates if they choose. Five years ago I would have scoffed at this practice, thinking if someone bought a plate they certainly should eat from it. Now I give them an option. Many people tell me they have no more room for dishes, so here's one way for them to put it up on the wall and enjoy. Since I've started decorating more I can see how my plates may end up on the wall.

I like to cut the foot when the pot is at a medium hard leatherhard state. If the clay is shaving away like chocolate then it's too dry. If the clay sticks to the tool it's probably a bit too soft.

Michael Kline has a good video of foot cutting on his blog here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Template

I thought I'd update things a little with a new template and colors. If you hate it let me know, otherwise I'll leave it for a while.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Deco.

Today was all me in the shop. No meetings . I got some decorating done, feet cut on 6 plates and a bisque loaded to fire off tomorrow. I was pleased with my deco session.

Tom you should like the rim on this tripod dish.

Matt and I had a really great chat session via Skype today. It's the first communication we've had that wasn't blog based. It was super to get to do that and I'm looking forward to next time.

Less Plastic

Okay so I got rid of a few photos of all the plastic. I think my brain wasn't working when I put all that up. You've seen one you've seen them all. Hopefully some of that will be unveiled today.


This is what Anne Lamott has to say about Perfectionism in her book, Bird By Bird.

"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people."

"I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it."

"...perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force."
(you could sub. potting in for writing. (ron))

"Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that a life is being lived. Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground---you can still discover new treasure under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things up, get a grip. Tidiness suggests that something is as good as it's going to get."

So I'm off to my clutter and plastic and mess of a studio to do some great work today. I hope you are too. Have a good Friday.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Covered Up

What a day so far, I swear I don't know how people in the corporate world sit through meetings all the time. I had a 2.5 hr meeting at the Arts Council this morning. Good grief! Then to the grocery and now I am finally home having a comforting cup of tea.

I'm maxing out in the studio. Look at all this plastic! Tomorrow is major catch up day as I am off soon to the city for a Circle of Eight meeting. Thank goodness this will be all about pottery with my best of friends, and we'll have scrumptious food.

I need to lay down now for a moment as I missed my nap today. (couldn't nap in the meeting)


I am wondering how I can organize my journals/sketchbooks in a way that I can access what I need. Most of these have some really good ideas inside and I'd like to be able to refer to them without getting frustrated.

I'll probably make a notation on the front cover of that dates that the book covers and what is inside that is important.

I'd thought briefly about cutting things out of each and compiling them into a 'master journal'. That doesn't feel right though and I'm sure in 150 years my biographer wouldn't appreciate it. Ha!

Well, I guess I should burst into 'Action' . Plenty to do today.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I mentioned I'd like to get a little more action in my drawings. Here's one easy solution.

I also did this preliminary sketch that's kinda fun.
You can only do so much on a cup though right. ? Anyhow, it's fun to be working out some of these ideas on paper.

I'm still struggling with catching the pots in the right state to do the scraffitto in a lively way. It's all timing I guess. And plastic.

Death of a Sponge

Karma tore this sponge to shreds last night after I put her bed in the studio. I have to make sure I have things up and out of her reach before I leave her out there alone.

She's adorable but can be a sneaky little hound too. Hannah is having sponge issues too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Helper

Sarah was kind enough to come out and help me slip my platters. It was far less messy that way and I didn't end up with slipped feet.

Man, I wish I had her around all day...but I'd never get any work done since she's so pretty and I'd just be staring at her all day long.
I've been adding feet to my vases since making the switch to earthenware. I haven't had any seepage problems, but this way I can glaze the bottom of the pot on the outside too (inside the footrings). Plus, it makes them taller!
Well these little salsa pots got some wacky handle treatment and a nice coat of slip after lunch.
I had a good long chat with my pal Niel yesterday. He's up in Madison, Wisconsin and hopefully will start blogging soon. (no pressure there Niel). He's been encouraging me along with my slipware.

I have to say I'm feeling less self conscious about it and that I feel like it's kind of taking on a life of it's own. I am really wanting to work on my drawings, having some more action, some feeling of a story maybe, or of these characters that are showing up on my pots. I'm not sure about the action part. Sure the birds are flying, but to where? or .... well I don't know. And the fish...what are they doing? hanging out? Maybe they should be doing what fish do...which is what? swim? See I don't know yet. But I'll play around and see. Maybe bigger fish that are swallowing ships, or people, or small fish dancing on the back of an eel. ? Or maybe just something totally silly and unrealistic, like fish in a car being pulling by a flock of birds. Okay I'm just rambling on so I'll go. Bye.

Studio Potter Magazine

I like to welcome those who have arrived here due to the article by Michael Kline in the latest issue of Studio Potter.

Please look around and visit the archives. I hope you'll bookmark this page and return often. Feel free to leave comments anytime.

Also, please visit some of my friend's blogs. You can find links in the sidebar.

If you have a blog be sure to let me know, I'd love to check it out.

Thanks to Michael for including me in the article.

Have a good day!! Ron

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thrown Feet

Here's the image I couldn't get to work earlier. A couple of 16 inch dishes with thrown feet. The one on the right has a pretty tall foot, more like a pedestal type bowl. I'll get some pics of these right side up after I get them slipped.I like throwing the footring on these bigger dishes. I am able to use most of the clay I put on the wheel to make the actual pot without worrying about leaving enough for the footring. There is some cutting away of excess clay before I add a thick coil and throw it into shape. With this method I have many options for the finished foot.

Monday's Work

Sometimes, like right now, Blogger just wants to do crazy things, like underline anything I type above these cups. Or load the pictures sideways, which I finally cut out after trying 6 times.

So I'm gonna start the text down here...

Here. Ah. Breathe.
Today was productive. That, for me, meaning I got some pots made and I don't think they're rubbish, or not yet any how. It could all change as the handles go on, slip, and decoration commences. However, for now, it's all good. Cups were made... see above.

I made this board of 4 bowls and later looking at them I thought the one on the left would make a good body for a jar. So I made the two jars.
I had 'salsa bowls' on my make list, not sure exactly what they'd be. So I made that one on the right first and thought, Well that's pretty boring. The next three got pushed around a bit and are more fun. They'll all get handles tomorrow.
These vases will all get some feet and handles tomorrow too.
I finished off with some decorating and mixed up some white slip to add to what I already had. It had gotten too thin so hopefully it'll be just right for tomorrow.

Tomorrow, in addition to finishing this stuff up, I'll make some plates and maybe a couple teapots. Then it's going to be time to fire.