Friday, October 28, 2011

A Double Shamless Plug...

I just want to use and abuse the ol' blog today for a wonderful but shameless double plug for my own goings-on. So, let me start by saying thank you if your one of those people who have already been visiting my online shop...homefry:eclectic ceramic ...and if your not one of those people, let me just gently ask, what the hell are you waiting for? I have been stocking the shelves and selling a number of pieces in the past week...c'mon, there is still plenty of good stuff.

As for my second toot of the horn today, let me give you the lowdown...

You might know that in my other life, I am a gallery director for a small to medium sized university here in western PA...IUP. At this job, I often get to do really cool things like direct events related to the gallery spaces, bring in visiting artists and shows and once in a while I get to curate really cool exhibitions. That's the toot of the horn I am referring to new exhibition opening on November 8. I collaborated in the curation of this traveling ceramic exhibition with the wonderful Gallery Coordinator from Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana, Ms. Jill Foote- Hutton. She and I have been working on this exhibition via email and phone since the early Spring. And, its just been this past week that I have been cracking open all the pieces out of their boxes and placing them in my gallery space at IUP. I am very excited about this show and even more thrilled with the work that I have been setting up. Jill and I whittled down a larger group and arrived at these seven contemporary clay artists and asked them if they were interested in creating new work to be exhibited in the show. The exhibition will show with me(Kipp Gallery, IUP) through the middle of December and then I will pack it up and send it all to Montana to show in Red Lodge in February 2013.

Exhibiting artists are: Jason Bige Burnett, Carole Epp, Julie Guyot, Alex Kraft, Max Lehman, Melissa Mytty, and Nick Ramey.

The work is spectacular and I promise to post a little the mean time here is the card below...if you are in the area, stop by...I will post more details about this exhibition soon...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Blow by Blow...

This past weekend the tatters of red and yellow that fluttered in the wind were in glowing contrast to the deep, blue-grey clouds that rolled across the sky. But the blustery weather did not seem to deter the crowds that drove the Indiana County back roads on the Potters Tour. We had a great weekend in the new, 100 year old barn board gallery space at Little Mahoning Creek Pottery. A big thanks to all who stopped by just to say hello or to buy a new piece for the cupboard! Below is another potter friend, Christy Culp with Nancy and I, who stopped and bought new mugs...also an image of a very friendly motorcycle riding Giant Schnauzer who was out enjoying the day.

The morning started a little slow probably due to the lousy weather but this gave Nancy and I a little extra time to unload our still warm kiln. By early Saturday afternoon we had it empty and quickly sold pieces as we got them into the gallery. Amanda Wolf, from Pittsburgh, was with us for the first time and she was a very welcome addition to the tour. Amanda just built a bourry box wood kiln, very similar to Nancy's, and was displaying fresh new work from its inaugural firing along with a lot of nice looking, earthy mid range work. Here's Amanda...hello!..and also my sweet new mug that I chose in our trade! Click on the link and check out more of her work.

Please enjoy the rest of my pictorial posting from the past Potters' Tour of my pots set up in the gallery space...people shopping inside and out...Amanda and Debbie(Nancy's sister who came up from GA to help..Hi Debbie!)...the original stone sidewalk of Smicksburg that Debbie and Nancy uncovered and how it perfectly runs in front of the to enlarge.
P.S. I will be updating my Etsy shop...homefry : eclectic ceramics...I will be adding wood fired and salt fired mugs, berry bowls, serving dishes, and sweet mixing bowls...keep an eye out and help me get my shop back on the radar!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Indiana County Potters' Tour Time

The hillsides have turned to rust and gold and up until recently we have been enjoying a bit of Indian summer here in western PA...must be time for the Potters' Tour! That's right kids, pack your snacks and hop in the car for a tour of this county's beautiful back roads and the warm and rustic ceramic studios that inhabit them! Here's the link for the website complete with maps...just click here.

Nancy Smeltzer and I at Little Mahoning Creek Pottery will be ready and waiting for you with "still warm" pots fresh from the wood kiln. I'm not kidding, we are firing another kiln load on Thursday!

Here's a few samples of some of my brand spankin' new work(and some yet to be fired)above and below...hope to see you this weekend...October 15-16!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Engine Engine Number 9...ehhhh.

Putting your pieces, work that you have spent time making just right, into a very hot kiln for a rather lengthy amount of time and trying to reach a specific temperature is by definition, ceramics. However, opening those kilns can be full of elation and disappointment. I often say that glazing and firing is as much about acceptance as anything. So I am reminding myself of this as I approach writing this post.

We fired the train kiln last week and opened it on Saturday to a little of both, elation and disappointment. After a short but brutal 19 and a half hour firing the work is a real mixed bag. The front of the kiln reached temperature pretty early on and the work in that part of the kiln looks good...plenty of ash and the shino's were juicy due to the sustained high heat. The middle was hit and miss...some good, some not so good...and the back...well, eeehhh. The back of the kiln is still failing to reach temperature and the work back there will have to be re-fired. My vote is to just fire pieces in the front of the kiln, taper off work towards the middle and use the back as a pizza oven. We could get some really good pizzas out of the back...pots, I don't think so...but pizzas, there's an idea!

Here are a few images from the firing above and below: I did get a nice large oval serving dish and a small pumpkin shaped jar... the other lidded jar pictured ended up with a big green jewel on the bottom from the ash running down the side. Also, here are a few pieces from Nancy that came out pretty good.

In another week we will be firing either the bourry box kiln or the salt kiln or maybe both before the upcoming studio tour...more work, less pizza.