Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010-06-09 Wednesday - Vietnam Grille and Clayworks

I met my friend Divakar for lunch at the Vietnam Grille.  If you get a chance, check out the Vietnam Grille on South Boulevard.  I really enjoyed my crispy tofu with dipping sauce.

Divakar is something of a local music legend here and you can hear why on his shows, "The New Music & Indie Label Show" 7:00 - 8:30 and "90 Minutes" 8:30 - 10:00 on 106.5 fm on Sunday evenings.  If there was any doubt about his local music status, check out what Creative Loafing has to say about him.  He also runs Shukla Entertainment and Saathee Magazine, and hosts Nazar Television in his spare time.

Later in the evening it was off to Clayworks for a raku firing.  While there we celebrated Elaine's birthday with a cake that Stephanie baked.  Thanks Stephanie, it was great!

The raku firing went well and results were good.  I had a porcelain piece that I left on the wheel for a bit and while I was gone Ju-Ian placed a small frog on the top of it.  I left the frog on it and fired it with clear crackle on the whole pot and turquoise luster on the frog.  I was very pleased with the result and need to get a picture of the finished pot.  Stay tuned for that.

The Vietnam Grille

Lunch with Divakar.

My crispy tofu.
(I forgot to photograph it before starting to eat.)

People jammed in the kitchen at Clayworks.


Elaine's cake after slicing.

Hot raku pots after opening the kiln.

One of Becky's birds on it's sawdust nest.

Adding dog hair to the bird.
(Normally she uses horsehair, but this is hair from her sister's dog, Mott.)

Next load coming out of the kiln.
(My frog pot is on the right.)

Another view of the frog pot.
(It's starting to cool, but the inside is still glowing.)


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010-06-08 Tuesday - Clayworks

New work.

I made a really large oval casserole (that's my lens cap next to it) using little loafers (cone 5).  I hope it makes it through the whole process since it is a bit thinner than I'm used to making them, but it's nice and light.  Adrienne taught us to make these ten or more years ago and I finally got around to trying one.

I also made some pots for Joe's raku party that I had to take home to bisque fire to be sure they would be ready for the party.  I added some medium grog to the little loafers to give the pots more strength through the thermal shock of raku.

Biggest casserole to date
and the only oval one I've tried.

Raku pots.


2010-06-05 Saturday - Greg and Adrienne's Sale

Greg and Adrienne had a sale and invited Ju-Ian to participate.  Quite an honor, but she's quite the artist.

The sale was wonderful and I wish I could have purchased several pieces.  The whole deck and yard were full of tables which were in turn full of pots.  As you can imagine the range of the work was amazing and I went through it all at least three times.  While some of the displays were under tents, many were not.  The sun was so hot they put pot holders on the tables in the sun.  I thought that was a practical and yet whimsical touch.

I also drooled while looking at their garden.  Their tomatoes are huge and they have a WALL (fence, actually) of raspberries.  We picked a couple of handfuls and they were delicious.

David and Lisa visiting with Greg.

Some of Greg's work.

Some of Adrienne's work.

More Greg.

Ju-Ian's work.

More Ju-Ian.

More Greg.

Festive sale goers (Ju-Ian is on the right).

The raspberries!
(NOT the Eric Carmen ones...)


Monday, June 28, 2010

2010-06-04 Friday - Clayworks, Gallery, Home

This month has been so busy that it has been almost impossible to keep up with the blog.  I will do some quick catch up as time permits.

Friday we had a party to wish Julie well with her new home studio.  Unfortunately she had to resign as studio manager to pursue her new endeavor, but she will have more time to explore her work now.  The party was quite the gathering and while I arrived late, there were still many people there.  We all signed a poster for Julie and there was food and hula-hoops.  Good times.

After the party some of us headed over to Shelley's 360 gallery for the gallery crawl.  She had a good turnout and sold several pieces, including a painting to Becky.  Afterward some of us hung out on the front porch and visited for a while.  Kim and I helped Shelley put away the food and drinks and remembered that Greg was going to unload the kiln so we rushed back to Clayworks at 12:30 am.

There was a lot of trouble firing the kiln so the results were a mixed bag, with some of the pots oxidizing and some reducing.  The kiln is going to take a bit of maintenance to get back within operating parameters, but should be running again soon.

Julie's party.

More revelers.

Everyone was catching up.

Julie's "card".

Let the hula-hoops twirl!

At the gallery with Amy and Becky.

Becky admiring the aprons.

More artwork upstairs.

Conducting business in the bathroom.
(That was where the painting was hung.)

Becky, Shelley, and Kim.

The artwork (right) changes hands.

Mary, Dean, Shelley, and Michael.

Kim's taking it easy on the floor.

Some of my pots from the kiln unload.

A casserole that is half oxidized and half reduced.
(The white part is oxidized and the brown is reduced.)

My tumblers.

When I got home there were some creatures hanging around the back porch light and I had to stop and snap a few photos.

This beetle was about 1 1/2 inches long
and had the prettiest golden "fur" on his belly.

This spider was about 1 1/4 inches long (leg-wise)
and was kind enough to sit still for a portrait.


Monday, June 7, 2010

2010-06-01 Tuesday - Clayworks - that building

What a difference a setting on your camera makes...

I have taken so many pictures of this building over the years that I've lost count.  On Tuesday I thought I would capture the sunset and had the camera on the 'Auto' setting.  After getting that shot I decided to try using the manual shutter speed settings to see what I could do.  It was set to 1/60th of a second and completely changed the tone of the picture.  Suddenly my building had been translocated to hell, or at least Mordor.  What a difference a setting makes, eh?

Regular lighting.

Hellish lighting.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

2010-05-31 Monday - Memorial Day

Tom and Lisa invited us to their house for a cookout on Memorial Day.  We had some great burgers and brats, cupcakes and fruit tart, and some of us had a little bit of beer.  We had some great conversation along with all that good food and afterward, the young people (well, I can't really call them kids anymore) played Guitar Hero with guitars, drums and vocals.  Later we completely trashed their lovely home with some Nerf dart guns (one had a 36-shot magazine!), and then played some other video games.  Unfortunately I was way too involved in the goings-on to remember to take pictures.

Stephanie, Christopher, Lisa, Daniel and Meredith.
Before the melee.


2010-05-30 Clayworks - Making with a vengence

I decided I needed to make some more creamer sets since they're fun to make and people seem to like them.  The last batch I made with earthen red and I thought I would like to try a lighter clay with some of our translucent glazes so I made these using little loafers.  Little loafers is a low fire version of loafer's glory.

After seeing Adrienne make them for years, I finally attempted an oval casserole and made a large one using the little loafers.  I am thinking about glazing it with our translucent amber and/or green.  We'll see how it develops.

After that, it was on to glazing some cone 10 pieces because the kiln was being loaded on 5/31.  Work, work, work.  It feeds the soul.

Little loafers creamer sets.

More playful sets.

The oval casserole with the lid slab upside down on top of it.

Glazed cone 10 pieces.

Ju-Ian glazing her work.


2010-05-27 Clayworks

I made this pot in two pieces (body, and then neck) and after I attached the neck I realized it was slightly off center to the body.  I cut it down the middle with my wire to check the wall thickness and was planning to recycle the clay.  When Max saw me cut it he told me I should put it back together on an offset.  I liked the idea so much I cut it again into quarters and offset that cut as well.  The bottom didn't want to stay together as well as I would have liked, so I put some sutures in the seams.  It has been suggested to me by several people that I should also wrap some wire around the neck.  The idea is growing on me...

I really love working in clay, but I might have mentioned that previously.