Monday, May 26, 2014

I'm All Clay and Bones

Happy Memorial Day!

I like this piece so much, I thought I would blast out a quick post about it! As the result of the class I've been teaching at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, I ended up with a pretty nice piece...actually this piece is the by- product of two classes. The form, I made in an intermediate class when teaching about  making a stacked form and the surface came as I was demo-ing decals in my surface design class...first the laser transfer at 04 and then the bling at 018. It was originally fired to a cone 10 reduction in a big, car kiln and I wasn't super thrilled about the glazes and how they turned out but, I'm glad I pushed on with that one.


I also have some nice new high fire porcelain and stoneware mugs in my Etsy shop too...check them out here and go there if you feel compelled to take this to the next level.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, May 2, 2014

May Flowers

April showers are bringing ...more May showers, along with all the flowers...

We have been getting a lot of wet weather but not nearly as bad as my family down in Florida, they are practically floating away from all the rain storms. So in keeping with the Spring time theme here check out some new pieces that are being distributed around.

I will have new pieces available at Ton Pottery for the big Mother's Day Sale and Blossom Tour that is happening in that oh, so hip Lawrenceville area of Pittsburgh. I have new pieces in the kiosk at Beaver Falls Coffee & Tea Co. as well as new pieces in ye' ol' Etsy what are you waiting for? Your Mama called and she said she wanted some new handmade pottery for Mothers Day...don't disappoint Mama!

BTW if your keeping up with all the gossip, my porcelain affair is still going hot and heavy.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Affair...

I have something to confess, I am having a new love affair. Its a little unusual but I think you might understand when you take a peek. I have her number...257...and shes white and pure as the driven snow, but strong too...and I love having my hands all over her body. I like it when she gets really hot and its great seeing her with a true blue friend...kinky huh? Not really...I am talking about Standard Ceramic's high fire porcelain #257.

In the last few posts I mentioned firing the car kiln at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and how much I have become interested in the results. I have been playing with some new glazes and slips and have become blown away by how crisp and bright all the glazes look on the porcelain compared to stoneware. I mean BIG difference. So I decided to start throwing way more porcelain and gear a good portion of my work toward the gas kiln right now. I am still firing a good bit of cone 6 in the electric but I figured why not take advantage of having the car kiln at my disposal. The results are so sexy that I am going to keep on making more...AND, I'm not even sure how many decals I will be using...if any on some of these babies. Can it be I am just satisfied with the look of the blue celadon on the porcelain body...who knows...maybe. So I am just going to play it cool, take it easy and let this affair continue...let's see where it goes.

Check out the pics...Happy Spring and I hope you had a relaxing Easter...

AND, my Etsy shop is full of these new goodies and more decal mid range pieces here to check out the shop!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring or Close Enough...

high fire stoneware, celadon, laser transfer decals, commercial decals
Here in Western Pa. Spring has sorta sprung...sorta. It is warming up and yesterday was beautiful but it did snow just a few days ago too. Damn this crazy weather.

It is starting to feel like a weight is lifting off my head...that weight of our never ending winter...and I am finally getting more work finished. So here is just a short photo full post for your viewing pleasure. I am still dabbling with the high fire gas kiln and getting some nice results too...and if you are ready to celebrate a little good weather with a new mug...please go to my etsy shop by clicking here!!! I'm off to the Pirates game...lets go Buccos!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

old dog/old tricks

Winter Basket...

Forget the new tricks thing...this old dog is learning old tricks and is up to my old ways with these methods.
Winter Basket...detail

I have the luxury of having a large, down draft, car-kiln at my finger tips and as part of my job these days I also fire that large car-kiln with everybody's work packed inside. However I have spent the last 7-8 years making work without a large gas kiln. I spent years working at Little Mahoning Creek Pottery firing the wood kilns and years also spent working out mid range glazes and firing in an electric kiln. For several summers at the Chautauqua Institution I had the pleasure of firing their Blaauw gas kiln which was basically a peeps, no cones...just a motherboard on a clean, red and white box. I haven't really fired a big gas kiln since grad school.

Soooooo, I am re-learning about high fire, cone 10 reduction firings and re-discovering an interest in processing my own work through that beast. I have fired it 3 times now all with different results. The first time was pretty good...pretty even on the top and bottom but just not that great of a reduction. The second time fired really well...very even and a solid reduction producing great copper reds and sweet shinos. The last time I fired it...mehhh...not so great...I over packed it with a ton of little stuff from all the classes. It has very uneven...and and cold all over...not an evenly heat saturated kiln...but, a very nice reduction nonetheless.

I'm learning and getting better. I plan to fire again this week, lets see how it goes. In the mean time here are some pieces that I am pretty pleased about from the last couple of firings. The top image is a real sweet piece...glazed in a celedon and white and then fired again in the electric kiln with my own digital photo images...Winter Basket...I have more decal pieces on the way! I also am enjoying doing a bit of brushwork and figuring out new and interesting combinations of glazes. Monday I will open an electric kiln decal test on all the cone 10 glazes we have at the studio. More possibilities...more challenges...

Enjoy the pics and btw, I am starting to slowly add work to my Etsy if your interested in some things you see here...check it out further there...
homefry ceramics.


Think Spring!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Take a Class!


Thought I would mention that I am teaching three classes this upcoming term at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, maybe one of these three classes are for you!

Raku : A Twist on Tradition

Intermediate Ceramics

On the Surface : Creating Intricate Surface Design

Above are the links for each should take you to the same place and from there you can read a description of each once you click on the title. All three classes are 8 weeks and all three explore a different type of firing for the work completed in class. Raku,obviously, intermediate will mainly make work for the high fire reduction kiln, and  the surface class is geared toward multiple firings in the electric kiln. A little something for everybody.

Come on out Pittsburgh and get your hands dirty with me...

imagine the possibilities!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Passing Time

February is zipping past me, leaving me standing in knee deep snow and still thinking about making new work. Its interesting that as this winter drags and drags, this month seems to be passing so fast. A lot of this has to do with my new position as the Ceramic Studio Coordinator at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. I have immersed myself in the studio there...teaching, making glazes, firing kilns. And honestly, it is very satisfying right now to see the progress, albeit only small steps. But I see the openness and I feel very positive about these directions. So instead of me blathering on about stuff, how about a pictorial update of the last few weeks or so?! Buckle UP!
At the beginning of February I moved my personal studio space from Stray Cat Studio back to my own corner of the world... the basement in my house. I was finding it difficult to get down to the studio there...although its all of five minutes from my house. My new position with PCA combined with the 50 minute commute didn't leave me much energy to again truck back down to another space to make work. I needed a little less community and immediate access(like rolling out of bed and throwing before I brush my teeth). The studio at PCA is a great community and I now have a fully functioning and long time established ceramic studio at my fingertips. I continue to wish Stray Cat all the best!

Making my way from the studio to the kiln house at PCA. The high pitched kiln house is home to a soda kiln and a fiber based car kiln.
I fired the car kiln for the first time at PCA with the assistance of my buddy Dan Kuhn. BTW, Dan is having a grand opening for his new ceramic studio, teaching space and gallery...
TON POTTERY...this weekend 22/ is over 3000 square feet of really great space and if you are in the Pittsburgh area, you should check it out!

The ceramic studio here at PCA also had a big "throw down" for a major Empty Bowls event at the Rodef Shalom Congregation here in Pittsburgh. This is probably the biggest Empty Bowls night in the city and we are a big contributor for the event. Standard Ceramics generously donated 250 lbs of high fire stoneware and we also used quite a bit of our own pugged reclaim to make several hundred soup bowls! The public was invited on a Friday night and we had an invitational on Sunday afternoon! Thanks to all who came out to lend a hand making, trimming, and assisting others(and bringing cookies!)...great to be a part of this!
I also completed another branding commission for an upcoming wedding. 25 high-jacked Ikea feldspar porcelain mugs all freshly adorned with my decals. The wedding is nature/tree themed so I was able to use many of my own digital images of trees, leaves, plants and flowers combined with vector art and vintage images...each has the bride and groom and date in that fancy frame but all 25 are unique and variations on the theme.
Meanwhile, the snow continues to pile up. The above image is actually my back yard and semi shoveled sidewalk from my garage. This was from a few days ago...last night we got another 3-4 inches and my daughter got another day off least somebody's happy about this.

NEW WORK coming soon...I SWEAR!...thanks for catching up with me.