Wednesday, September 8, 2010

6th Annual Potters Market Invitational

We are busy glazing and firing pots for the Potters Market this Saturday at the Mint Museum in Charlotte. It is an honor to be invited, and in the company of such amazing artists. We will have a wide variety of work, both functional and decorative. Here are a few of our fav's we have got out of the kiln so far. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back in the Groove...

Lately I have been dealing with some orthopedic issues, and I'm finally getting back
into the groove of things in the studio. This week I have been making pitchers, bowls, and cups decorated with hakeme slip, and painted with our lollipop design. We have been working
on some new altered forms for our upcoming show in September. We also have several other glaze patterns that we've got going. I will post some pics of those from the next firing.
Out of all the patterns I tend to get into more of a groove with the lollipop. I guess that comes from working with slips, and the immediacy of this type of application. To tell you the truth I really feel like sticking them into a salt kiln when they are done, but that is kind of difficult at this time considering there is no salt kiln... yet. Oh well, we always need to be humble when planning the future.
Over the past few months I have had some time to reflect on how as potters we need to look at the way we work everyday, and is there anything that we can implement in our studio's that will help us to work longer without putting more strain on our bodies. I have come to the realization that is is better to work smarter- not harder. I am feeling more like the tortoise than the hare (if you know what I mean). Slow and steady wins the race. I think a tortoise can still get into a groove, but i don't think Banjo is buying it - do you!!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Digital Clay 2010

Stephanie recently applied for the show Digital Clay 2010 at the Carbondale Clay Center in Carbondale, Colorado. Her work was chosen for the show and it will be on display from July 2nd - August 27th. This exhibition will focus on all aspects of clay work that incorporates digital technology in some part of the process. We were very excited that the work was chosen because this is the first show that she has ever entered . The show will be curated by potter and writer Mark Burelson, and K Rhynus Cesark.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Visit with the 'Cousins'

Me, Bruce, Val, Michael, and Samantha
This past weekend Stephanie and I went over to see our friends Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke at the Bulldog Pottery. This was their 2nd annual "Cousins in Clay" show weekend. Michael Kline, a wonderful potter from the N.C. mountains and another cousin was back for the second show. Bruce and Samantha invited some special guest this year- Elsie and Val Cushing came down from Alfred Station N.Y. Mr. Cushing was Bruce and Samantha's teacher and mentor at Alfred. It was really a great honor to have Mr. Cushing come down and do the show. We knew that Bruce and Samantha where very happy that they were able to come. As potters we could not pass up the opportunity to visit with Elsie and Val. We had such a lovely talk with the both of them. They are both really wonderful people, and we hope to see them again in the future sometime. We also really enjoyed seeing Michael and getting to talk with him for a while.
The work that was on display at the show was absolutely incredible. Michael with his playful use of vine and floral motifs and Bulldogs flowing and flittering molybdic crystalline glazes was something to see. Mr. Cushings work is so strong visually. The shapes are constructed with the skill of a true craftsman. All of his pots had a number that corresponded with the glaze that was used on that particular piece. He has made so many contributions to the field of ceramics because of his life long love for the development of clay and glazes. Through his teaching he has imparted to all of his students the importance of knowing and testing the materials at hand.
The Cousins show branched off to another pottery this year. Fred Johnston and Carol Gentithes from Johnston and Gentithes Pottery held a cousins show at thier pottery as well. They invited Allison McGowan from the Charlotte area to come and be thier cousin for the weekend. We were unable to make it by their place, but I am sure they had some great work out because they are such good potters. Fred and Carol were also students of Mr. Cushings at Alfred. It was a great big Alfred Homecoming down here in Seagrove. We think Elsie and Val had a wonderful time visiting with all these former students, and they got to see what they have accomplished since they left Alfred. We think that they were really happy for all of them.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tea for Two?

This past week we were making the last run of pots before switching into the glazing phase- when I had an itch to make a series of five small teapots. This is the ultimate exercise
for a potter because of all the different parts that go into making them.
With these teapots I wanted to explore a more "can" type shape that could be left untrimmed at the makers discretion. It's all about your particular tastes-pepper anyone? Now back to the point. For me this particular style and size seems very practical for two reasons: they are hard to tip over, and they are small enough that you are not wasting tea that you will not consume, or it gets to cold to be desired anymore. Making teapots seems be more like a dance, because all of the different parts and steps that go into their production.
After the body style is decided on, the next hurdle to jump is the type of lid to make. Of course when making the body you have to take into consideration the type of lid that you will be doing. With the time factor creeping in, I chose an inset lid that can be thrown off the hump- with an addition of a pulled handle. After the lids were thrown and waiting to be trimmed, I poked the pour holes. I then threw the spouts, and I always make more than I need because this gives you more choices in spout lengths. Believe me it makes a big difference in the look of the finished pots.
The next step was pulling the handles and putting them under plastic until the spouts set up enough to be added. By this time the lids are dry enough to trim( if you speed dry with a heat gun, which I think is a great modern convenience). After trimming the lids I pulled the handles, added them immediately after wiping the lid with water-right before sticking the handle to the lid. If it is done this way you don't have to do all that scoring that we just love to do. The final step was to add the handle to the body of the teapot by wetting the area that the handle will be affixed to, and then pressing the handle into place with no scoring necessary. This exercise is always enlightening and rewarding. That's enough for now~your water is boiling. Enjoy your tea for two.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Big Lollipop

This new work that I have been doing is very much in the salt firing realm. Lately I have found the need to be more connected with the work throughout the whole wet phase of the clay. I only do this for some of the work because it requires many more steps, and we have to fill our kilns to maximize the use of the ever so precious commodity, propane gas.
This particular pot was made in four sections, and joined one on top of the other. In this type of construction one should always try to minimize the amount of a joining area that you have on the inside of the pot. This is done two ways: you either throw up thru the join,or by trimming the join at a later more dryer state. The reason for this is sometimes this joining ring will transfer to the outside of the fired pot, and nobody wants a big ring through your "Big Lollipop".