Friday, January 30, 2009

It's January...

... almost time for the daffodils to make their appearance.

I'm originally from, uh, um, north of here and daffodils blooming in February is just going against the laws of nature where I hail from. We used to have to wait until at LEAST the end of March and yet I snapped this picture tonight (because even though the daffs are on the rise, we are still leaving the house before sunup and returning after sundown) showing not only the greenery, but an actual flower that can barely contain itself until Ground Hog Day.

The bottom line is: Spring isn't far away.

The official GHD site is here.
And as long as we're talking about Phil, Punxsatawney or otherwise, there's always Phil's Head.

Wednesday late throwers

Wednesday night was another weekly meeting of the late throwers. Joe and I stayed way later than either of us had planned. Nice pots not withstanding, we gotta cut that out. It makes for very difficult Thursday mornings.

We both threw some larger pieces, but I cleaned up my stuff and forgot to take any pictures of it. I caught Joe's piece with the really cool handles, though. Joe rocks.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday - birthday dinner

We took advantage of restaurant week and took Karen to Ruth's Chris Steak House on Sunday (her actual birthday). We had a gift card and combined with the restaurant week savings it was quite reasonable.

The wait staff was very busy, so I didn't ask them to take a picture of us at the table, but I had some fun getting these shots in the parking lot.

I had no idea Stephanie was going to jump
when I started to take this shot.

The trick is to walk away clean after doing something silly.

Karen and Meredith, fed and happy.

(squinty) Stephanie.

A cool building with purple lights near Southpark.
I actually thought this picture came out better than it did.
I will go back with my tripod and get some better shots.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday - night

Saturday night we went out for some barbecue at Elliot's to celebrate Karen's birthday on Sunday. My parents stopped in for the night on their way home from Florida and some friends met us at the restaurant to surprise Karen.

Lisa, Daniel, Christopher (looking pensive) and Tom.

Karen, Jet, Jennie, Lindsey, Cathi (hiding), and Matthew.

My parents, John and Pat.
(Stephanie has turned her back on the camera.)

Saturday - afternoon

After Muddy Fun a bunch of us walked to Reid's and got some lunch. When we came back I trimmed a bunch of pots (some from before Christmas!).

Padded chuck for trimming lids.

Saturday - Muddy Fun!

Saturday was another session of Muddy Fun at Clayworks. We had a great turnout for the morning class and everyone enjoyed themselves. I think some folks were holding out on us as they seemed to really know what they were doing on a pottery wheel.

Angela and I assisted Julie and were joined by Rae and Harold. Special thanks to Judith for taking pictures while we were working.

The class getting started.

Julie is a great "hands-on" teacher.

Students working diligently.

See? Everyone is having fun.

The pots are growing.

Hey! Who's that old guy?


Joe and I both missed class on Wednesday, so we came to the studio on Thursday night and threw two large pots. Large is the word recently.

Joe's pot (background)
and mine (foreground).

Throw, throw, throw...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Barrel Firing # 7 - The results

Some people want to see the barrel firing results. I apologize that I posted the BF#7 video way late. The firing was on January 9th ("I will post no video before it's time...") and I just got around to posting it. (See It's a killer to understand why.)

You can see the results here


and here

Barrel Firing # 7 - The next day

Note to self: Stop procrastinating...


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Barrel Firing # 7 video

I finally got around to downloading the video from the last barrel firing.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I saw this great link to a funny pottery song on Paul Jessop's blog. (Thanks, Paul!)

Check it out here.

Check out Paul's blog here.

Bob Ross

No, this photo has not been shopped. That's me and my friend Tom with the late Bob Ross.

Tom and I used to do a lot of volunteer work with the local PBS television station and they occasionally brought Bob Ross in for a workshop. Bob was a really nice guy and I looked forward to working with him every time since he was friendly and had a million stories to tell.

You just never know who you're going to meet in this life...

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Following the new "Throw big or go home" motto, I made some largish pots again. I have been working on an "accidental" bowl (left), and now I made a canister with some lids. The thing I've discovered about throwing large pots is that you use your clay up faster. Another one of those "duh-huh" realizations.

I want to make larger pots than these, but I might have to use a heat gun to achieve that goal. I've never used one to this point, but hey, whatever works...

Monday, January 12, 2009

More camera fun

While letting the dog out I noticed the moon through the trees again so I ran to get my camera.

I set up my tabletop tripod on the deck railing and had some fun.

Moon at 2 seconds.

1 second.

15 seconds.

That old moon gets around at 2 seconds.

When I came back in, Binkley wouldn't leave me alone so I snapped some shots of him. I couldn't decide which of these I liked better, so I posted both of them.

I laughed.

Look at those old man whiskers
and Binkley has some too.

Barrel Firing # 7 - The Next Day...

Saturday, January 10, 2009 we returned to the studio to check on the results of BF#7. The usual (read: hardcore) crew showed up for the retrieval. I arrived late and thought the barrel would be empty already but apparently I was right on time.

I think there were a few standouts, but the general consensus was bit of a yawn. Several people said they were going to re-bisque their pieces and try them again. At least we had fun during the firing.

After the unloading and the yawning were finished some of us headed inside to make some pots.

Becky doing her famous barrel-diving act.

The goods.

Max, Becky, Amy, Cindy, Kim, and Elaine
during the unload.

Becky was looking for Ron in the cardboard dumpster.
From barrel-diving to dumpster-diving, Becky is very versatile.

Max's ingenious homemade bead firer.
Cool, eh?

My latest orangestone pot.

Amy and Becky eating licorice pigs.
Don't you just love candid photography?

Said licorice pigs.

All in all, a good Saturday afternoon.

Barrel Firing # 7

Barrel firing # 7 took place on Friday, January 9, 2009 and it was a great way to start the new year.

We got together at Clayworks and lit the highest fire yet. I was planning on throwing some pots and was having such a good time around the barrel that I never got to the wheel.

I helped "split" some wood for the firing. I used quotes because except for a few logs with knots in them, the wood was so worm-eaten that it pretty much crumbled to dust when I connected with it.

Since this was our holiday barrel, there was a lot of Christmas wrapping paper used for kindling this time. Along with the wrapping paper, we had the usual ingredients such as sawdust, wood shavings, copper carbonate, copper sulfate, epson salt, Chore Boys, seaweed, charcoal briquettes, etc. It really is quite a conglomeration of combustibles.

The pile of wood I helped "split".

Elaine loves barrel firing.

Nice fire.

That's a tall fire.
I like the little licks at the top.

During the burn.
Notice that little snake of green flame
on the right. It stayed there
for most of the firing.
Green flame usually means
there is copper present.

Becky, Elaine, and Kim
looking at some of Elaine's
old family photos after the barrel
was covered to start reduction.

Tuesday 2009-01-06

I am very far behind in my posting. (If you think I am behind on posting, you should see my office.)

Tuesday night I was at the studio for Ron's slipware class. He helped his students make slip trailers like the one that Hannah sent him a while back and then showed them how to use them. It was quite amazing to watch, but after trying Becky's, I think I'll stick to sgraffito. I now have more respect for Hannah than ever.

Ron demoing with a quick fish.

Becky giving it a workout.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Onggi pot - time lapse

This is amazing. Adam Field has been studying with onggi masters in Korea. Check it out.

I also like his music choices on his videos.

From the youtube comments section:

Just in case you missed it in the comments:

"-the wall is 1/2 inch near the rim & foot & 1/4 inch at the belly"

Go read that sentence again, I'll wait.

Check out some other videos at Adam's website.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Playing with light

Since the holidays were officially over on Monday (twelve days of Christmas and all), I wanted to get a shot of the lights we put up this year. I try to do something different every couple of years and this year was white lights. It was bright but understated and this didn't seem the year to put up an party of multicolored lights.

I took the tripod and turned the camera on manual exposure to see what I could do.

This is a 1 second exposure.

Same picture with a10 second exposure.

This is a 2 second exposure
(from much closer). I like the
"flares" from the light bulbs.

I looked up through the trees to see the moon behind thin layer of clouds and thought, "That could be a nice shot..."

4 seconds.

15 seconds.
(The longest exposure setting.)

About that time a car went by and I thought about stretching the lights from the cars. (I love doing that.)

The street at 2.5 seconds.

A ghost car at 2.5 seconds.

A ghost van at 2.5 seconds.
I really like the way the top tail light
puts a perspective on the image and
gives it even more motion
than the single level lights.

You can have a lot of fun with a point-and-shoot camera if you go "off road" and turn off the automatic settings. Don't be afraid to take a lot of bad pictures to get one good one. (I know where the delete button is in my sleep.)