Monday, April 25, 2011

Quick side trip - Star Wars/Hawaii Five-O

A friend linked to this video on Facebook (thanks John!) and I loved it.  Hope you do too!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday - Throwing and Greg's glazing

Thursday I let my pot from Wednesday dry some while I threw some craggy crunch and watched Greg glaze some of the awards he was making for the Museum Mile race.

I tried to throw a really large pot and made a one-piece 14-inch cylinder only to crash it and make a small bottle from what was left on the wheel.  You're not pushing your boundaries if you don't crash a few pots.  I like to push things.

Thrown pot placed on
top of a thrown doughnut.

Greg's awards in process.

Greg adds more glaze layers.

My 14 inch cylinder before the collapse.

Greg spraying glaze.

My bottle from the remnants.

Loading the awards and placing glass on them..


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday - More Japan pots

I am still working through my feelings about the disaster in Japan and trying to express those feelings on pots.  This is the latest "broken vessel" piece I've been working on.  I painted it with underglaze and will spray it with rutile and some clear.  It's the first piece that I've painted that's meant to lay on it's side, but I feel that it speaks on several levels.  I have more ideas and more to say.  Stay tuned.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday - Demo and trimming pots

Sunday the Carolina Claymatters Guild meeting hosted a great workshop from Keith Meyers.  He showed us how he makes his pottery.  Many of his pieces have a loose, flowing spiral design that really make the forms invite your touch.  He gave us a very engaging workshop explaining each of his steps and thoughts about the process.  He is currently teaching at the Cornelius Arts Center and I wish him continued success.

I hope he doesn't mind that I have purloined a couple of photos (below) from his website to whet your appetite.  Check out more of his work at his site.

After the workshop I went to Clayworks to (finally) trim some pots I made while demoing at the Spring sale.  They turned out pretty well, even after sitting around for ten days.

Art:  It's what's for dinner.

Michael introduces Kieth to the guild.

Keith throwing what will become a flask.

Flattening the flask.

Enthralled audience.


"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

More greenware.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday - Raku firing

Saturday Clayworks held a raku fundraiser at the lovely home of our friend and board member Jaime.  We did a raku firing, had wheel demos, food, beverages, and lots of sunshine after a morning of rain.

A big thanks to all our great volunteers.  Angela did wheel demos after already teaching a morning Muddy Fun session, Ann made lots of delicious treats, Mary-Ann kept everyone well fed and beveraged, Becky helped fire the raku, Kym took pictures, Jaime was a great hostess, and I'm not sure who else was involved since I was tied up with the firing (so if I've forgotten anyone, I apologize).  We have great volunteers.

A big thanks also to Jaime and Steve for opening their home to a bunch of crazy artists for the afternoon!

Jaime also did a great job glazing the pots with me last week.  Despite the breezy conditions, it was a good firing with several beautiful pieces.  The pots cooled off very quickly due to the breeze, so we could handle the finished pieces sooner than usual.

After the fundraiser, I went over to the Art Walk on Kings Drive to see Greg.  Due to the high winds, the tent carnage at the show was horrible.  There were Gators driving by every few minutes with the mangled skeletons of tents piled in the beds.  Artists were holding down their tents with the weight of their own bodies added to the cinder blocks or concrete-filled pipes --or both.

Before I arrived, Greg lost a few teapots when a big gust whipped through.  Luckily he had several people in his booth when it hit and they all grabbed shelves before they toppled.

Not a good booth day for the squeamish, or the novice...

Adrienne explaining the raku process.

Our "double-header" tank rig.

Reduction cans waiting.

Jaime, our hostess (middle).

A buyer with her chosen pot.

Guys can make anything look like a bar.
(That's Steve on the right.)

Angela busy throwing beautiful pots.

Quite a spread of goodies (sorry about the blurry picture).
(I like Ann's "ghost" in the mirror.)

Some of the finished pots.


Still more.

Dot and Becky looking at the two newest ones.

From top to bottom:
The kiln, the base, the burner.

Greg Scott at his (totally secured) booth.

The view down the walkway.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Thursday - Glazing Pots

Thursday night I glazed some pots for the upcoming gas kiln firing.

The pot with the bumps on it (lower left) is made of craggy crunch, glazed with turner's red, the bumps were waxed, then it was dipped in Tom's clear.  It was Greg's glaze suggestion, but the finger marks are mine.

The four yunomi (tea bowls) (upper left) are porcelain (helios), glazed with spotted shino, the "notches" are waxed for emphasis, and the pots are sprayed with a rutile blush.

The "baby pots" (big group on right) are made from craggy crunch, some have white slip pours, all are dipped in spotted shino, Catherine's oribe poured on, rims dipped in Alfred blue, sprayed with rutile.  It's a lot of work for a little pot, but they do come out nice.

Glazed pots waiting for heat.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday - Broken Vessels

Wednesday I cut and sutured some more of the pots I hope to include in my Japan disaster series.  I am still seeing new ideas in my mind's eye so it's going places I never thought of when I started.  We'll all see where it takes me.  I spend a lot of time thinking about the whole disaster and all the people and animals affected by it.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday - Cabinets

Sunday I installed some cabinets to replace the single shelf that used to be over the washer and dryer.  Since we moved in we were afraid that the old shelf was going to collapse since it was bowed pretty badly.  Apparently our fears were unfounded since it took me more than two hours to remove it.  Between the array of painted-over screws holding it to the strip of wood underneath it, and the series of three inch toggle bolts holding the wood strip to the wall, I believe that shelf would have outlasted us.

Stephanie helped me by holding the cabinets while I screwed them to the studs and to each other.  At one point I was grunting as I pushed the corners together while driving the 2.5 inch screws.  Stephanie said I sounded like a tennis player which led to a case of the giggles.  I was instantly transported back to when I was helping my own father installing kitchen cabinets.  Even though my dad was working hard, we couldn't help but have a few laughs.  The cycle continues...

Next, painting the walls...


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday - Carolina Anole

While doing yard work on Saturday I noticed this little guy trotting down the deck railing.  I followed him back and forth several times snapping photos all the way.  He was actually a pretty calm and cooperative subject.  He's a Carolina Anole and he is native to the southeast US.

While following him down the railing he showed me his dewlap (see video below) which is displayed in courting.  I'm thinking maybe it's also used defensively since I don't think I resemble a female anole.

On display.

What a wise eye.

A noble pose.

If you've read this far, you can see the whole video here and the rest of the photos here.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday - Clayworks Spring Sale

Friday was the Spring sale at Clayworks.  There were scads of great pieces for sale and I wanted to buy lots of them, but finances would not allow it so I just enjoyed looking.

As with recent past sales, I volunteered to demo during the event.  I am honored that they continue to allow me to do it.  I have so much fun talking to people while throwing pots that I'm surprised it's legal.  I get a lot of routine questions and some unexpected ones.  I get to joke with people and make toddlers act shy.  I get to be goofy and to seriously discuss the ceramic process.

I also have one or two people at each sale that just stay and watch, ask probing questions, and drink in the experience.

I'm pretty sure those people will be back.

I know I will --every chance I get.

My work from the demo.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday - Great gloaming

When I came home Thursday I was struck by the beauty of the light as I turned into my driveway.  I ran in to get my camera and while I was gone I missed some of the light I was trying to capture.  The sun moves fast this time of year, but I managed to capture a few keepers.  Then I just wandered around the yard, camera in hand.

Great Spring light

Everything is a riot of blooms.

Landscapes are getting lush.

More neighbor's blooms.

Full view.

I just found out my camera will choose one color to highlight.

Nice, big ant hill.

Nice, big branches came down in the storm.