Sunday, May 31, 2009


Nancy and I finished loading the kiln yesterday around 8pm. As I type away at this very moment, Nancy and Cindy Rogers are firing shift comes about 4:00am. I'm a morning person these days, but 4:00am barely qualifies as morning... The loading is sort of tricky as far as having to climb up and into the chamber but it goes quick because the highest we stack the shelves is 2 high. When its loaded, we slide over the industrial shelf lid, layer that with soft brick, then smother it with fiber blanket. Its the kiln loading equivalent to getting a mess of hash browns at the Waffle House..."scattered, smothered and covered". Here is a great picture of Nancy's head popping up to tell me what size pieces to bring over. Sorry Nance but this pic was to good not to post!

Here is another of Nancy as we had a moment of silence...praying the new glazes work out...!

I'm off to bed early tonight seeing how I will be up around 4 am and most likely will hang until the end of the firing.. Unfortunately, I will be unable to post the results for a couple weeks because I will be heading down to FLA to visit the family and the BEACH! It will be difficult for me to have to wait an extra week to see the end result but laying around in the sand and surf will help to ease the pain of waiting...ahhhh, Summer is here!

Until next time gentle reader...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I came across this while doing some reading...thought I would share. I'm looking forward to firing, can you tell?

..."But the changes wrought by fire are changes in substance: that which has been licked by fire has a different taste in the mouths of men. That which fire has shone upon retains as a result an ineffaceable color. That which fire has caressed, loved, adored, has gained a store of memories and lost its innocence. Through fire everything changes."

...Gaston Bachelard's "The Psychoanalysis of Fire"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bird is the word...

Plugging away slowly but surely...what a great day too. I was able to sneak away from my house today for a few hours or more to make pieces for our upcoming firing and generally ponder the meaning of the universe. I have about a 25 minute drive to the studio to think myself into a put my brain in deeper conflict about what it is I should be making. Should I be thinking about more sculptural work or be happy about the promise of new wood fired utilitarian ware. Well, where I ended up mentally today was back in a place that I seem to be allot...surface space...using glazes as abstract backgrounds for the menagerie of clean linear graphics to inhabit. So today I concentrated on creating spaces, some large wall platters...perfect for images, bowls and of course, more cups. Mugs and cups are my fave-O-rite to make with endless possibilities of form but more importantly, mugs and cups are the best vehicle for communication. The cup below is one that I made a couple years ago...Nancy has a pair of these, both with a strange bird fired into the surface.
Mugs and cups pull double duty with almost nobody knowing. They are guerrilla in their communication...sneaking up on us while we sip our libations and BAM, we are looking at the surface, noticing whats on the outside of the carrier of our liquid refreshment. There is a great little book, I believe it is from an exhibit that was put together by Garth Clark...its called "The Book of Cups". Among other subjects, the book addresses the history of decalcomania and states that..."this technique has allowed the potter to produce an endless number of pieces that are has allowed the cup to become an outspoken propagandist and advertising device...the printed mug has since become a communications medium of some consequence". Needless to say, not only can the message be direct but it can be complex and intricate and composed of both private and personal meanings. So, regardless of the function of the work I am making, I can create for these ideas to live.

...and that's just what I am doing right I said, plugging away, slowly but surely filling the kiln. Here are some of the pieces I made today and the other image is of Nancy's big bowls! Wood firing June 1 and 2!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good Clay Gone Bad...

I'm feeling good...the semester is over, my grades are turned in, and all the paperwork is complete. I'm enjoying a little quiet time around the house and thought why not post a few images of "GOOD CLAY GONE BAD!!" ...I have been digging around in the garden and chomping at the bit to put in some veggies and herbs while the rest of the flowers have been popping up...daffodils, tulips, alium, columbine and so many more. While out in the garden, I have been admiring my collection of "garden pots". I know every potter has them...pots that are seconds and thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths and so on but there is something about them that for some reason they never see the shard pile. Well, my yard is full of them...all for one reason or another, a hole, a crack, or something, they found their home in my garden. The pic above is Max with a blown out Raku totem-ish sculpture peaking behind mounds of wood hyacinths...the piece in front of him is a large corm piece of mine, there are two more similar stashed here and there.

This was a really nice bowl, that is before it cracked in the its a helpful back fill bowl, I usually truck my compost in to pack in around new plantings.

I fired this guy in grad school. Its a rugged clay body fired in a wood kiln, then fired it again in the electric with my decal graphic image, that's where it cracked. Its great border edging material currently.

I really liked the shape of this one, I also liked the way the glaze fired out...I liked it all except for the big crack in the bottom...oh well, more creative garden edging for the beds.

This was a nice size piece that was just full of issues...glaze problem, wobbly legs, surface name it... Now its kinda nice in the garden with its anthropomorphic handles, it looks like its screaming from behind the daffodils.

This is the first year that the wood hyacinth actually bloomed through this piece, I did not plant it in there , it just found its way up and through the open bottom of this terra-cotta piece...if you look closely you can see a wood fired and decal-ed mug wedged in the gap. It was good up until I dropped it while carrying to much at once. Speaking of wood fired, Nancy and I have set June 1 and 2 as the dates for firing the train kiln. I have a mess of B-mix and I'm ready to start throwing this week...I wish you all more pots and gardening in your near future.