Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016-03-18 - Friday - Kiln loading and car repair

Friday I went to Hal and Corine's to help load the kiln for Saturday's firing. Hal has to crawl into the kiln and we slide the pots across the firebox on two boards in a laundry basket. It works well.

I had to pick Stephanie up at H & H Automotive after having her starter replaced and she decided her next vehicle needs to be this truck. I don't see it.


2016-03-17 - Thursday - Glazing and slipping

Thursday I glazed some test tiles that will be fired in Hal Dedmond's wood kiln. Can't wait to see the outcome.

I slipped the tea bowls I've been making to give them a bit of an accent.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

2016-03-15 - Tuesday - New pots and other stuff

Tuesday I photographed the new pots from Monday's kiln opening. If you'd like to see the rest of them go here.

When I came out of the grocery store I noticed the car in front of me had a small TARDIS on the dashboard. If you are not a Doctor Who fan, you might not know that TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space. It's the vehicle that Doctor Who travels through time and space in.

I also voted on Tuesday. I cannot stress this strongly enough: VOTE. No matter how small the election, no matter if you don't feel strongly about any of the candidates. Make your voice heard. People died so you could have the right to do it. Don't let them and yourself down. Do your civic duty. Vote.


2016-03-14 - Monday - Stump and kiln unload

Monday the guys came back and finished trimming the other trees. The stump grinder came and took out the stump of the maple tree. His machine was completely remote controlled and he did a good job with the stump and the larger roots. Unfortunately, taking out the roots created quite a mess. We knew it would, but we wanted those roots out of there.

Monday night Kim and I unloaded the gas kiln at Clayworks and we were very pleased with the results. One of our artists put a saggar filled with sawdust in the bottom of the kiln. The burning sawdust introduced a lot more carbon than usual into the kiln atmosphere and the pots came out very juicy and rich.

The back stack.

My pots.

A juicy drip of beer bottle glass.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

2016-03-12 - Saturday - Muddy Fun and kiln firing

Saturday was a busy day. We had Muddy Fun at Clayworks and Kim fired the gas kiln while I shadowed her. Kim is leaving soon to move back to Indiana and I need to learn the firing process so I can fire the kiln when I need to.

Muddy fun as a big hit and Angela led it wonderfully. As always, I was surprised how some people just take to clay and make decent pots on their first outing.

After the Muddy Fun class, I made a snorkel pot during the firing since we only had to check the kiln every hour.

It's Muddy Fun!

Snorkel pot.

The kiln is finished.
We are not to the preset temperature, but cone 10 is soft,
so it's time to shut it down.

Kim keeps good notes.

Friday, March 18, 2016

2016-03-11 - Friday - Losing a tree

Friday we had a silver maple tree taken down. It was weak, always dropping branches and we noticed last year that there no leaves on the end of several limbs. It was time to go. I always hate losing a tree, even one that needs to go.

The guys from Cascade Tree Service did a great job and cleaned up well.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

2016-03-10 - Thursday - Empty Bowls

Thursday was Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina's Empty Bowls. Adrienne, Kimberly, and I went to the convention center and demoed during the event. I threw on the wheel, Kimberly showed hand-building, and Adrienne talked to people about Clayworks and helped out with the volunteers.

After lunch the MC, Maureen O'Boyle interviewed Adrienne up on the stage.

Soon it was time to pack up and take everything back to Clayworks.

Now it's time to start on next year's contributions.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016-03-09 - Wednesday - Selfie and potato pizza

I have let my hair grow for a while now. The last haircut I had was in the beginning of December. I don't know why, I just wanted to put it off for a while. At the same time I have let my beard grow out a bit to try that out. I'm reminded of a line from Laurie Anderson's song "Sharkey's Day": "He's a whole landscape gone to seed".

This photo doesn't really show how long my hair is. For some reason the way the cell phone focuses is not the same as it looks to my eyes. The beard looks about right though.

I'm destined to get my hair cut this week and the beard will be trimmed back too. Before I do I thought I would document it here.

Wild man.

There's a takeout pizza place here called "Topper's" that offers a potato pizza. They put chunks of potato, cheddar cheese, and green onions on it. They also supply sour cream to pile on top. Stephanie fell in love with them when she was a kid. The rest of us were not as impressed.

I was making pizzas on Wednesday and I had some leftover baked potatoes so I made some for her.

Potato pizza, pre-baking.


2016-03-08 - Tuesday - Salt firing

Tuesday night we finished firing the salt kiln by adding salt and soda to it. I don't have any photos of the salting since I was one of the salters.

These photos show Adrienne, Cindy, and Daniel spraying soda into the kiln. Adrienne pulled the brick, Cindy sprayed the soda, and Daniel held the sprayer can up so she could reach. If you've never sprayed soda in a kiln at cone 9 or 10, there are some interesting things to note.

1. When you spray the soda to a count of five, you then have to quench the brass sprayer nozzle in a bucket of water before spraying the next one to avoid it melting.

2. The light you are seeing in the photos is solely from the glow of the hot end of the brick Adrienne is holding (with a glove) in her hand. 2300+ degrees will do that.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

2016-03-06 - Sunday - Finish glazing

On Sunday I finished glazing for the gas firing. My glazing is getting more involved as time passes and it takes many layers to get where I want to be. This all takes more and more time. Add up all the drying time between layers and it expands geometrically.

Now it's all up to the fire.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

2016-03-05 - Saturday - Glazing

Today a bunch of us were glazing at Clayworks. We're hoping to fire the cone 10 kiln next weekend so we were furiously trying to get it all done.

I didn't get finished today so I'll have to head back in on Sunday.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016-03-04 - Friday - A day

Friday morning I had a nice breakfast of soft-boiled eggs, rice, and spinach, with sriracha sauce. Good start to the day with lots of protein and flavor.

Bowl by Matt Jones.

Friday evening Karen and I went to the Southern Spring Show. In our travels through the garden section we noticed some familiar artwork.

Greg Goodall's Lanterns.

Tomoo Kitamura's sculpture.

Valerie Hawkins' garden pots.


Friday, March 4, 2016

2016-03-03 - Thursday - Bisque kiln and more

Thursday night I was settling in for the night and ready to skip going to Clayworks when I suddenly remembered I needed to unload the bisque kiln. Oh well, back out into the world I went. It didn't take long to unload the kiln and I spent some time catching up with some of the students, instructors, and studio artists. The evening quickly flipped from a chore errand to a nice visit with friends.

I find that kind of flip often happens if I let it. I start out dreading a task and there is usually a way to turn it to a positive thing if I just give it a chance. Flip it on it's head: I don't have to go to the studio for some menial chore; I get to go to the studio and see who's there and what my friends are creating.

I am constantly amazed at the creative energy that flows through the people at Clayworks. It's both familiar and disrupting. It makes you stretch your parameters to embrace the breadth of the ideas in process. It's so many creative people going in so many different directions at once, and they're all starting from the one thing they have in common: clay. After that starting point all bets are off because they will continue to surprise you at every turn.

If you're a creative person, a maker, I hope you have the opportunity sometime to be in a creative incubator like I am.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016-03-02 - Wednesday - More tea bowls

Tonight I threw some more tea bowls. I want to build up my inventory for upcoming shows and I like glazing these guys so I will make a bunch.

Yup, tea bowls.

2016-03-01 - Tuesday - Clay

Tuesday I ran by Clayworks after lunch and loaded a bisque kiln. Work has been piling up on my shelf since before the holidays and it's time to push ahead.

Bottom layer.

Top layer.

I went back later in the evening to work on pots.

My friend Vince found another of my Empty Bowls on the shelf that hadn't been glazed so I finished that up last week and it magically appeared on the finished shelf after firing.

Keeping an eye on you.

I trimmed up the tea bowls from last week. I was going to throw some more, but it was late and I cleaned up and left. Tomorrow's another day.

Trimmed and signed.

This is my signature on tea bowls and has been for several years. I like it since it's a bit different, and it allows me to glaze inside the foot ring.
My signature on tea bowls.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2016-02-29 - Monday - Leap day package

Today's mail brought my newest acquisition to me via ebay. I've got several ideas for the products of this mold. We'll see.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016-02-28 - Sunday - Second day of Nick Joerling workshop

Sunday was the second day of the Nick Joerling workshop and it was just as good as the first. I learned a great deal and I had several "breakthrough" moments. Thank you to Nick for sharing all his knowledge and skills with us. I'm inspired.

The workshop was sponsored by the Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Guild and was held at Central Piedmont Community College.