Monday, September 29, 2008

Circle?

Messing around with some bricks in the yard today.



Wonder what that would look like with some shelves in it??

Hummmmmm, pretty neat.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thanks!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Fall Sale this weekend. It was a good sale and nice to catch up with folks who I hadn't seen in several months. I didn't know what to expect with the current financial crisis, the gas shortage in the southeast and the biggest county fair in the state happening just a few miles up the highway.

Many pots went off to new homes and I was pleased at the end of the day today when I added up my receipts. I hope everyone will enjoy their new pots.

This week I'll be working on my Obamaware as well as some other things I'm behind on.
Check in to see what I'm up too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pots, pots, pOts, PotS, poTs, POTS

I've got 'em.



Getting Ready Still



I've been cleaning again all day today. Almost finished, just gotta mop the showroom and that's it. Here are a few pots, I'll put up some overall shots of the showroom later. I'm hoping for a good turnout this weekend. I have no shortage of good pottery. The teapot above was one of my favorites from the last firing.


Blogger is doing that stupid sideways thing again, so you'll have to lay down to get the proper view of these cereal/soup bowls.


It's fun to see all this new work out. (Yes I'm still calling it that, Ha.) Anyhow, it's new to me still and I suspect I'll have some customers who are taken aback by it when they come. Hopefully in a good way.

I'm gonna try and freshen up my Etsy site next week. It's getting stale, same old pots on there.

Okay, well check in again later for more images.

A Favorite


What makes something your favorite? I'm having tea this morning out of a favorite mug of mine that was made by Linda Christianson. I come back to this mug and certain other ones over and over again.

There are many reasons I love this cup. One of the main ones is that it functions well, I really like the wide handle that I can get two fingers in. I like the squareness of the top (I like drinking out of the corner).

I also enjoy the subtle throwing lines, wavy rim and softness of the slip surface. Those splotchy parts down at the base are nice too.

This pot is special to me also because I know Linda and I was visiting her when I bought it. Linda is just one of those wonderful people that God put here on earth and anyone who knows her will attest to that.

I spent the night out in her studio and before tucking in I went out with my flashlight to scan all the pots on the table. It was a cool September night and the sky in rural Minnesota was bursting with stars. The next morning I made my picks and this cup was one of them. When I use it I think of my trip and of that night and of visiting with Linda and her family.

That's the story with this pot. The Story...yes, the story can make something a favorite. I think our stories and telling them is very important in what we do. More on that later.....

Cleaning. And Sneezing

Trying to get the studio and showroom all tidied up for this weekend.

Swept the studio yesterday without my respirator on and paid for it dearly last night with fits of sneezing and runny nose. Sarah finally had enough of me blowing my nose like an elephant and made me take a pill.

Some pottery pics coming later....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Few New Pots


I am working towards getting the studio and showroom clean and all the pots set out for my upcoming Home Sale which is this Saturday and Sunday. I unloaded my kiln this morning and was happy to find some good pots in there. I'll have some seconds at this sale, mostly plates that have minor glaze issues but all in all I have a really nice selection of pots.

The dish above is 16" in diameter. I have 3 or 4 nice sized bowls like this one, they can be wired to hang.

I liked the deco on this cereal bowl...

I'll put up some more images later as I get the showroom in order.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Trailing


I had all these soap dishes waiting under plastic from last week needing decoration. So I took the opportunity to play around more with the trailer that Hannah send me. I'm not sure I'm holding it properly, it's a bit awkward so maybe I'll give Hannah a call for a lesson.

Off to teach at Clayworks tonight. We are going to be making some cut handle pots that I saw Alan Gaff making on his blog back in August. I've been meaning to try them out for a while now, it will be a good opportunity to pass along that information. Alan is still teaching me and I can share that with my students.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It Starts with the Clay


As if it's not enough that I've been testing glazes for months, now I'm testing a new clay body.
Actually this is good. I checked the porosity on my current body and it was about twice as high as it should be. I had been told that I could maybe add some frit to the body to help with that and that's what I've done. I got my hands on a body recipe that is very similar to mine that contained 3 % of frit 3124. The proportions of clays in the recipe were almost the same. So any how I mixed up a small batch today. I'm gonna let it sit a day and then make a few cups, some test bars for shrinkage and absorption and then move on to slip and glaze tests. Or it may need some tweaking. I've already added some Lizella from Georgia and a bit of grog. So we'll see....

Brad Tucker


Our guest at the Circle show this time was Brad Tucker from Creedmore, NC. I heard Brad's name early on when I started making pots. My mentor, Tom Gray ,told me about him and mentioned that Brad was one of the best pitcher makers around. Well this weekend I finally got one of Brad's jugs. It's a small one but boy it's really wonderful, nice and light with a sharp lip and good balance. Sarah and I put it to use yesterday morning when we used it to pour the maple syrup over our pancakes. I should have broken down and got a bigger one....well I guess I'll just have to make the trip out to Creedmoor soon.

Thanks Brad for coming out and being our guest.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obamaware!!!!

I will participating in a fund raising show for the Obama/Biden campaign in a few weeks. This show will feature limited edition Obama/Biden ceramics.

Click Here to for more information and to sign up for notification of when the show goes online.

I'll also be posting more information as the time gets closer.

Circle of Eight Sale

The Circle of Eight Sale went very well yesterday. The weather was beautiful and many folks came out to get pots. Here are some images from the day.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Circle of Eight Sale

Our big fall sale is tomorrow. Click here for more details.

Trailing Along.....


Today I received my official Hannah McAndrew sliptrailer in the mail. It totally rocks!!!!!!!




Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Feeling Good


I taught last night at Clayworks. I've got a really good group of students. They are so eager to learn and to improve their pots. I try to get around to all of them throughout the class to give them individual help and attention. I am seeing their pots improve each session.

I had some time last night to talk to my friend Julie about her weekend at the Utilitarian Clay Conference. She took some really good notes and shared them with me. We talked about internet marketing, photography, clay bodies, techniques that she saw over the weekend that were unusual and how we are both pretty pumped up about our pots right now and want to keep up with the times, make work that is engaging and get it out to folks.

I emailed a web designer yesterday to see about the cost for a custom website. My old site has gone off line and was getting out of date. I have distinct ideas about what I want and I outlined that for the designer. I haven't heard back yet with the quote but I'm bracing myself for the number. With my love of the internet, I feel like it is only natural that I strongly pursue this area. Also, I am learning that sometimes it's better to pay a person who is skilled in an area to get the work done. I can struggle and struggle with it for weeks and months. What I need to do is make pots and leave some of this other stuff to people who do it for a living. That said, I did choose someone who I know has worked with potters and who is creative and artistic. I want to give work to folks who are passionate about what they do.

I met with Leon, my glaze guru, last night for supper. We had a good chat about clay bodies and all that. I have some new info. that Julie brought back from the Conference that may help me adjust my clay, slip and glaze. Tests will be happening next week.

For now I'm out to check on my bisque firing. Hope you all have a good Wednesday!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alan Gaff

Alan Gaff from Argyll Pottery in Scotland died tragically yesterday from an accident on his motorbike. I had gotten to know Alan over the past few months from his blog and an occasional email. Alan made really delightful pots and I was astounded by many of his forms and designs. Hannah McAndrew knew him much better than I and here is what she had to say today on her blog:

"I don't want to write this because I don't want to believe it. Nicola who works with Alan sent me an email today with the horrible news that Alan had an accident last night on his motorbike and has passed away. I know there were people reading the blogs who were starting to think of Alan as a friend since he started joining in with comments on our blogs and with his own. This is not much of a tribute as as you can imagine I am not really comprehending it. Nicola asked me to let people know and this I think is the way to reach as many people as I can. I can only say that my heart goes out to Alan's family and to Hugh and Nicola who he worked and laughed with. I will certainly miss his general mickey taking and the friendly rivalry of my low fired earthenware pots to his high fired stoneware. "

Some Good Ones


All my cups came out fine as did my jars and about half of my bowls. I'll put up some more pics later.

Still Having Problems



I got up early this morning to unload a glaze kiln and reload a bisque. I had about 14 pots out of this load that had crawling problems. Still, most of the pots were fine and I'll try to refire these after I dab on some more glaze. This is it for this glaze....I'll be finding some thing else.

Harvest Jug #2

video

Harvest Jug #1

video
I need to learn to zoom in.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thoughts on Monday



This cup is from yesterday's firing. It was sort of a test piece too as I had put these colored dots on there. I used Mason stains to color my clear glaze. I'm not sure where this will lead, but I do want to keep trying to get some color on my pots. I have a green I like and I use it in an Oribe-ish sort of way.

All weekend I felt pretty regretful that I didn't go to the Utilitarian Clay Conference. It's been good to see some posts from folks who did and I heard there may be some podcasts at some point. I did hear that my blog got mentioned on Saturday morning during Ayumi Horie's presentation. That was a big surprise! Thanks Ayumi.

In the midst of feeling regretful, I've also been feeling energized and hopeful that I can turn my focus to making some good pots. I really want to get this slipware rocking. I can see in my mind part of what I want to do and where I want to take it. Getting there in reality will take some time (and more clay, glaze and slip tests).

I am also wanting to move forward on the internet marketing side of things. My Etsy site is a good start but I really want to continue to pursue the internet as a marketing and selling tool.

Having said that, I also want to analyze where I put my energy and how I can get things accomplished. I'm going to talk about this a little more later, so stay tuned.

Fired another glaze load last night. More pots out tomorrow.

I wish the postman would get here, I'm expecting some new books!!!

Jar: Fish Cart, Birds and Flowers

video

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pots

I unloaded this morning and there was no screaming and yelling. The glaze did fine, I did have a couple small areas of crawling on some plates, but they can be refired. I glazed another load today and will fire again tonight. I'll try and get up a few more pics of individual pots tomorrow.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

When I'm 80....

I hope you'll visit Danny Gregory's site and check out the video on Katsushika Hokusai.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Glaze. Again. And a Big Bowl.

Hey, thanks to you guys who all wrote in regarding my glaze problems (again). Really it wasn't so bad this morning, just a glitch (I hope). My test of the old G.B. glaze with 2% iron came out full of iron spots. Agggggghhhh.... I know I sieved it, but it was some new black iron that I'd bought so maybe it's different. So I sieved it again (twice), dipped a test, made two more quick tests with red iron and popped them all into the test kiln. Hopefully tomorrow there will be no screaming and I'll be glazing a kiln load of pots.

Finishing up teapots today and the large bowls. Decorated this big guy from last week finally. After shooting that first image I felt like it could use one more line so I drew that in and I do think that's better. Sorry you all have been looking at greenware for weeks, I promise glazed pots soon.

For the record, I did try some LG10 commercial glaze and it did great over a new white slip I mixed up but it crazed like..... well like crazy.... on my regular white slip. It's a no go. Too expensive anyhow.

I had my first class of the session at Clayworks on Tuesday. I 've got a good group again. Tonight I'm subbing for Julie as she's at the Utiliatrian Clay Conference (I sure hope she's taking good notes for me). So I'll be off to Charlotte again in a few hours.

That's it for today.

Release

videoSlightly frustrated with my glaze tests. Moving on now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Big Bowls

These bowls are made from 18 lbs of clay. I like the clay to be soft but it was a bit too soft yesterday so I had to throw these to this point and then let them stiffen up for a few hours.



I then ribbed them out without adding more water. This one has a flared rim and the one at the bottom doesn't. I am partial to the latter.


I'll cut away the excess clay from the bottoms of these and add a foot tomorrow. I have found that I have much better luck making these in this manner.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Deco-Rotation

video video

I made these pots last week without any particular purpose in mind. Never have made them before. So they mainly became blank canvases for decoration. I first heard the term "deco-rotation' while at Penland several years ago. I noticed that Michael used the word today on his blog post. Maybe he knows the origin.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bisque Backup

The bisque is piling up in the shop. I unloaded this today plus another few boards. Time to glaze fire. I have been stressing over these upcoming glaze firings because of my crawling problem. After all the testing I've still not come up with a glaze that I can commit to.

There is hope though. I was reading over the weekend and found information that states that glazes containing slightly soluble ingredients such as Gerstley Borate may tend to crawl after thickening (flocculation) during storage. If you remember my glaze has 55% G.B. so it seems likely that over time this glaze has changed in the bucket. I have kept adding small amounts of water and that may be adding to the problem. I wasn't having the crawling problem when I first started using this glaze. It seems like it has gotten worse in the recent past. I could try to chemically defloccuate the glaze, but honestly that chemistry stuff is a pain for me.

So today I mixed an 80,000 gram batch of this glaze to use for my upcoming firings. I am keeping my fingers crossed. You can too if you want.

Today I made a couple 6 lb jars some bowls and this big dish. I will likely make 2 more of these tomorrow and also start glazeing.

I've had a couple people ask about why I've stopped salt firing so I'll be addressing that in a post or two this week. Russel also asked about the finger wipes inside my straight sided bowls. I have to think of some clever reason why I do that, so stay tuned.

Off to get supper going...roast chicken, one of my favorite things in life.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday

The show at in Charlotte was great. Sarah and I stayed for a couple of hours looking at all the pots and visiting with our potter friends. It was wonderful to see Michael and have a little chat with him. His pots really looked great. You can't fully appreciate them until you see them in person. I love the way the slip crackles and of course the deco is amazing. I've got to get up to visit M.K. at his new studio this fall.

I didn't take enough pictures as always. It was also good to visit with our friend Ronan. He was practically sold out by the time we got there.
We saw bloggers Shane, Bruce and Samantha, and Kyle. Kyle was busy everytime I went by his space, but I did get in there to handle his pots. I am loving the deco he is doing. You can visit his blog for some videos of him in action.
Blaine and Laura Avery were also there.

We managed to get out without making any purchases which was a miricle because there were about 20 pots I wanted.

After lunch at Lang Van (can't go to Charlotte and not have Vietnamese) we headed home for a relaxing evening with a movie.

Friday, September 05, 2008

End Of Week.

Several boards of pots decorated today,here is one. Firing another bisque this weekend and then I'll be glazing and firing next week sometime.

The clay is coming out of the racks so Mr. Wasp better get all he can tomorrow.

Monkey Mug

This is my latest pottery purchase, a mug from Ayumi Horie. It's a sweetie, just came in the post today. This is the first pot of Ayumi's we have. I have a feeling we will have more.

I am going to the Potters Market Show tomorrow morning. It will be fun. I'll get some pics to share.

Well I'm back off to the studio, new cup and tea in hand. See ya!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Clay Thief


I caught this little guy helping himself to clay out of my racks yesterday. He had put a pretty good dent in it by early evening. You can see that little ball there just to his upper left, he would roll that up and fly away with it, no doubt building a nice home nearby.

Well, I'm happy to help out.