Monday, August 30, 2010

Setting the Table...

"Setting the Table: Contemporary Ceramics Dines In"
September 4 - October 2
Saxonburg Area Artists CO-OP
215 West Main Street, Saxonburg,PA

Wine and Cheese Opening Reception: Saturday, September 4, 6-9:00pm
Christy Culp put this great little show together...please check out the article about the exhibition by clicking on the link below.

I have 6 smaller pieces in this show...check'em out, here are 3 vases forms...salt fired then re-fired with gold luster, also two blue celadon mugs from the post below this and the fudge brown stoneware mug on the top of this post...Hope you can make the opening if you are in the area!

Big stuff coming soon...check back.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Midas Touch and Booty...

Ok...get your mind outta the gutter already! NOT that kind of booty...booty like pirate treasure booty. Just a quick post to show off some bling that I just fired and also some of my goods that I brought back from Chautauqua...wait a there a market for a mixture of ceramics and soft core porn?!?! HMMMMMM....

First let me blab about an exhibition I am involved with in a small gallery show outside the Pittsburgh area coming up next week. I am dropping off pieces from Me, Nancy, and Josh Floyd over at the co-op gallery on Sunday. The show was put together by our friend and regional majolica potter, Christy Culp, and features 25 potters from the area in and around Pittsburgh. The show is called..."Contemporary Ceramics Dine In" and opens on September 4. I will get more details on Sunday and post pics along with them.

I will be showing four smaller vases that were fired in the salt kiln back in the bubble. Each are partially glazed in a beautiful blue celadon and now have gold luster fired onto the indented stamp marks. They look pretty fancy if I do say so myself. I will post images of these pieces when I have all the details for the show. For now however, check out these images of some other new pieces that received a little bling.(above and below) I will be posting these along with more new work on my etsy site. Sorry for ignoring and neglecting you, oh my dear etsy.

I also want to brag about this great painting done for me by the very talented Jenny Wu. Jenny was a student in residence for the past two summers at the Chautauqua Art School. During the summers our mugs and cups would disappear for days at a time...Dan and I often thought we just left them sitting out in the kiln palace or wherever the last place we were when we finished that cup. Well, Jenny would sneak them away and use them in her paintings...the mugs(and teapots) were often featured in her compositions. That was all well and good, but they always sold and we never saw them again. This year I commissioned Ms. Wu to make a "portrait" of my that I could keep. This is it below...I love it! Its 10x20 inches and the mugs are a wood fired one and also one that I was making there in Chautauqua. I am going to get a frame this week and have a place already picked out in my house for the piece. I enjoyed meeting Jenny Wu and knowing her the past two summers...she is a great young painter and also a very cool person. Thanks again Jenny!

Did I say this was a quick post...anyways, here is another memento from the summer. This is a sorta collaboration piece I did with resident student Tim Peters. Tim was making all these really massive, kind of Ab.Ex. tiles that were about a foot square and a 2-3 inches thick. He was willing to part with this one and I fired decals and chartreuse glaze spots in to the surface. Below is how it turned out. I do LIKE! Shout out to Tim Peters!... Enjoyed working with you this summer and I wish you all the best up at Alfred.
stay tuned for more clay dork adventures...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

And so it goes...

The Chautauqua ceramic studio is officially locked down and closed until next season. The floors have been mopped, the glaze room cleaned and the kilns wrapped and locked within the "palace". Let me just say this... HALLELUJAH! It is nice to be home sitting in my favorite chair and typing this post out. Its not that I hated it, it is just good to be back home picking up where I left off back in June. The garden was really overgrown and needed serious tending and my deck was neglected and needed serious grilling and lounging. Anyways, I still have a whole lot of unpacking to do. I came home and just dumped everything out of the vehicle into various spots around the house. The fun unpacking comes when I begin to sort out all the art related goodies that I acquired over the last two months. I think I do this post each season I return....mugs from so and so, etc...but this will be the last of those kinds of posts, at least from Chautauqua. The big news for me is that I have officially resigned my job as Kilnmaster/studio manager/faculty/whatever I was there within the bubble that is the Chautauqua Art School. Its been a good run...3 seasons in a row, I just need to move on. It is really that simple, my summers need a change of scenery. It was a wonderful gig where I met wonderful artists of all walks. I was able to make good work and work with good people closely in the ceramic studio. Not only am I talking about our visiting faculty but also the students. I am still in touch with most of the resident students through the miracle of the Internet and I have met folks there with whom I have become really close friends. Like I said, it was a good run.
So here is a shout out to all of you guys and gals I met and worked with from the King and Queen of all that is art within the bubble, Don Kimes and Lois Jubeck...thank you for everything...all the gallery peeps over the years and especially the Gallery Director Judy Barie...Paul Houth with whom I worked with the last 3 years and Arjan Zazueta, both these guys round out the studio staff and keep the place working like it should. A retro shout out to my first tech, the very wonderful, Ms. Ashley Dodge...she helped get me on track with everything when I came in fresh. A major thank you shout out to my tech for the last two years, Dan Kuhn...dude, I could not have done it without your dedication, hard work and lightness of being. (and congrats because I am attending Dan's wedding today) A big shout out to all the visiting faculty that I met and became friends with and see and do things with outside of the bubble...Justin Lambert, Adam Paulek, Frank and Polly Martin, and Jim McDowell ...another shout out to all the other faculty with whom I met and worked with like: Jeff Greenham, Alec Karros, and Christian Kuharik....and cheers to those visiting faculty that I hope to run into again down the line like our Canadian friend Neil Forrest. Also, as I prepare to make pecan pancakes this morning, I have to give a big shout out to my favorite breakfast joints...Rowdy Rooster, BoNar's and Steadman's and a very special shout out to my two favorite beer and wing joints which without them I would have gone crazy...Larry's and The Village Casino! This post wouldn't be complete without a final good bye and good riddance to all the complaining community class ladies affectionately known to us as "the pinhole biddies" know who you are.(and will probably never see this post because nobody will help them log on to the Internet.)

Thanks for putting up with me...and I wish you all the best of what life has in store.

Finally, I look forward to the fall and getting back in the saddle with IUP and Nancy Smeltzer of Little Mahoning Creek Pottery. Speaking of Nancy, we will be firing the wood kiln soon I am betting. We also have the studio tour coming up in mid October, which is always a big event. More to come about that as well as pics of all my great pieces from other folks and some images of the last of my firings in the Cha that I haven't yet shown on this ol' blog....turn the page and start a new chapter.

Ahhhhh, its good to be home.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Holy Salt Chautauqua Man!

Great news on this lovely Sunday afternoon folks! As I sit here and swill down the last of my cold brewed iced coffee and listening to a very smooth Chet Baker Pandora station with my ear buds wedged in deep, I can't help but keep reflecting on the very sexy kiln load we emptied out this morning. We had a solid firing, a good salting , and a nice slow cooled reduction thanks to our visiting faculty member and sausage grilling compadre Justin Lambert. (Justin's haul below with some of my own and students' in the back ground.)
The down firing created fantastic, almost metallic like sheens on the shinos as well as satin smooth surfaces. Needless to say everybody was very pleased. All the students involved had some real beauties come out of the firing and I was especially stoked with several of my pieces. I was hoping to snap a few pics of the students work but I guess that will have to happen later because they all scarfed up their work and squirreled it away. Some was bound for the craft fair happening down in one of the parks here in Chautauqua and some was just squirreled away.Pictured above are John Moses Girdler from Maryville College in Tenn., Justin Lambert, Tim Peters from Alfred, Dan Kuhn, and our other visiting ceramic faculty, Neil Forrest all unloading and inspecting the booty(that doesn't sound right)... Anyways, I traded for a great tumbler from Dan and a mug and bottle from Justin...I will post those images down the line. Anyways again, here are images from the unloading and then some of my pieces from the firing too.
I will post again before I leave the bubble, I am still planning to fire at least one more cone 10 reduction in the Blaauw. That baby blue celedon that Dan whipped up is way to seductive not too try and get at least a half a kiln full. Good night and good luck.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

So close now...

We are planning to un-brick the salt kiln tomorrow. Like kids before Christmas morning, we are all anxious to see if we got what we wanted. Me, Dan Kuhn, Justin Lambert, and the 5 resident students that are with us here in the Chautauqua bubble loaded it on Wednesday afternoon. Dan then candled it until 3 am, woke up, and started giving her a little more gas. We started putting a little more than 10 pounds of salt in around 10-ish Thursday night. After salting for a while Justin then began a reduction cooling until he finally shut off everything around 3:30 am. Here are a few shots of the firing complete with our sweet salt shovel made by the sculptor Lee Tribe back in 2008. I will post shots of the opening and the work very soon! In the images below: Marissa Pullins from Maryville College in Tenn. gets the smores going(very important while firing)...John Moses Girdler(also from Maryville shovels in a snoot full of salt while Dan pulls the plugs...Miranda Ott(completing the Maryville holy trinity) loads me up for more salty fun.

On another note, this Monday marks the final week of our art school summer felt like it went by so fast and it felt like it went by so slow...all at the same time. Soon enough I will be back sitting on my deck, cooking out, and wrangling in the pumpkins from my garden.

Enjoy the images and stay tuned for more.