Friday, November 25, 2016

2016-11-07 - Monday - Squash with William Baker

Monday I roasted a butternut squash as side dish and served it in my William Baker bowl. I really like this bowl and it has become a "go to" for me for most of my sides. I love it's great shape, clean lines, color, and it holds just the right amount of too much.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2016-11-06 - Sunday - Autumn day

Sunday was the day we headed back home after the funeral. While it was a sad time for all of us, the extraordinary beauty of the day reminded us that while our hearts are broken, there is still a lot of beauty and good in the world around us.


Monday, November 21, 2016

2016-11-05 - Saturday - Sycamore

I'm constantly amazed at the size of sycamore leaves. I found this one outside my sister-in-law's door and it's huge. My hand is not small and it dwarfs it in this photo.

Wonder is all around us. We just have to see it.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

2016-11-03 - Thursday - Missing a good man

Thursday my father-in-law passed away. I was lucky to know him for many years, and we were lucky enough to all be with him at the end of his 87 years on this earth.

He was a good man who did everything for other people his whole life. He loved his family more than anything else and he considered me a part of that family from day one.

He is and will forever be missed.

Here's something I wrote for his funeral. It's not much, but I felt a need to honor him in some way.

How do you define the word “hero”?

John Pellow found ways to thrive in the aftermath of the Great Depression as a child.

He abandoned the religion he was raised with to marry the love of his life.

When he found out he was going to be drafted he volunteered for the navy.

After the service he became a teacher and taught day and night classes at three different colleges.

He moved his family to the country when he thought the city was too dangerous.

He put in a swimming pool even though he didn’t swim.

He built a corral for his daughters’ horses and a chicken coop for his son’s chickens.

He did everything in his life for someone else without hesitation.

To me, that’s a hero.

Go with God, John, and you're right; "There's nothing like family."


Friday, November 18, 2016

2016-10-30 - Sunday - Third face

Sunday I finally got around to putting a face on the third blank. He's a happy fellow.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

2016-10-27 - Thursday - Voting and nozzles

On Thursday I took advantage of early voting and got my civic duty done.

Later, I added a nozzle to the face pot I made.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2016-10-26 - Wednesday - Another face

Wednesday I put a face on the second blank. Each of these faces evolves a bit more as I do them. My goal is to put more life in them as time goes on. Like everything else, it's a learning process.


2106-10-22 - Saturday - Face pot

I started work on the largest blank on Saturday. So far so good.

Monday, November 14, 2016

2016-10-20 - Thursday - Updates all around

Thursday I pushed the three blanks out more from the inside to increase the volume and started molding the foundation for faces on them. The next step will be to add more clay and sculpt the rest of the faces.

Remember the face pot that I rushed to get finished for the Clayworks fundraiser? It's fired and it's on my shelf in the photo below. I will show you a better photo later in this post.

In the photo above you can see a poem I have pinned to my shelf. It's "The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski and I re-read it whenever I can. I really like this poem and it inspires me.

Remember those first cone packs I made? Here they are after the firing. The left one was in the top of the kiln and the right one in the bottom. It's usually hotter in the top of the kiln, but the number 10 cone on the bottom flattened out first.

Here is "Michael" in a much nicer photograph taken by Adrienne Dellinger --with an iPhone, no less.


2016-10-19 - Wednesday - New blanks

Saturday I threw some more blanks for new face pots. One can never have enough blanks on hand.

The biggest one.

The large one with it's siblings.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

2016-10-17 - Monday - Glazing and kiln

While I was busy this weekend, I left my latest face pot crash-drying on a chair in front of a fan on Friday evening. Saturday my friend Grace loaded it into a bisque kiln for me and Monday night I glazed it, put it in the gas kiln, and started the kiln candling so Kimberly could fire it on Tuesday.

Phew! Talk about last minute!

It's good to have friends.

Glazing is such a lonely business when
you're the only pot being decorated.

He's in the kiln.

It was already at 457 when I left.


2016-10-16 - Sunday - Charlotte Contemporary Show

Sunday I went to the Charlotte Contemporary Show. The number of talented artists and the level of their talent was amazing. That makes it even more heartbreaking to see the poor attendance. I equated this show to the level of the ACC show, but Jennifer McCurdy told me she thought this group of artists was a cut above the ACC shows.

Some of my friends and acquaintances were in the show. While it was nice to see them and have a chance to talk, I wish they had more customers. This could be a great show if they can just drive more people to it.

There were many different types of artists at the show, but as you can guess I spent my time with the clay people. I didn't even get to all of them, either. I met a few more potters whose works were new to me, and unfortunately for them they had time to discuss it.

Jeff Pender.

Akira Satake.

Timothy Sullivan.

Eric Knoche.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

2016-10-15 - Saturday - CCM Fall Pottery Festival

Saturday was the Clay Matters Fall Pottery Festival and it was a beautiful day for it, unlike last week. We had a good turnout and many people went home with new pieces.

I was in booth 50.

When I arrived the grass was still wet.

I'm always the last to load out.


2016-10-14 - Friday - Raku and pack the van

Friday afternoon I packed the van for tomorrow's Carolina Clay Matters Fall Pottery Festival. It was postponed from last Saturday because of strong winds and rains from hurricane Matthew.

After that it was off to Clayworks for a studio-wide raku party. We offer raku firing and a pot luck to everyone at the studio every few months. We always have a good time and I'm always amazed at the diversity of work people bring to the kiln.

The van is locked and loaded.

This was my raku piece.


Friday, November 4, 2016

2016-10-12 - Wednesday - Nozzle

Wednesday I added a nozzle to the face pot from last night. I think it finishes it nicely.

Now to get it dried and fired...


2016-10-11 - Tuesday - New face

Tuesday I put a face on the blank from Sunday. I like the way it's developing and I'm hoping to get it done in time to donate it to An Evening of Earth & Fire fundraiser for Clayworks on November 12, 2016. If you can make it, do. It'll be great.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

2016-10-10 - Monday - Photos of new pots

Monday I finally got around to taking photos of finished pots from the last few firings; cone 10 and raku.

You can see the photos here, here, and here.


2016-10-09 - Sunday - Handling mugs

Sunday I put one-finger handles on the mugs and made a couple of larger forms. One was part of my "sphere" series and the other one will be a blank for a new face pot.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2016-10-08 - Saturday - Ribs and cups and urns, oh my

Saturday I noticed that I was wearing out one of my favorite ribs. This rib used to be red all the way to the edge and now it's clear. It's well-loved and well-used.

This rib is becoming real.

I worked on some new mug ideas and the pet urns. I am making two for the guinea pig in case another one doesn't make it. Wish me luck.


2016-10-06 - Thursday - Unload gas kiln

Thursday we unloaded the gas kiln and we had mixed results. Some sections didn't get any reduction and others got plenty. Overall, I was happy with my results.

My pots on the near table, Jeff's are on the far one.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

2016-10-05 - Wednesday - Gas kiln and more raku

Wednesday night the gas kiln was cool enough to open, but we're not unloading it until Thursday. I really liked some of the pots I could see.

We did have a minor issue when the low temperature cone pack melted into one of Jeff's bowls, but I don't think it looks too bad.

I fired another round of raku pots. I've been firing a lot of raku lately and I still have another bin full of pots to fire.

The results of the raku firing.
The character on the last two pots is 'fire'.


2016-10-04 - Tuesday - Fungus and artwork

Tuesday I mowed the lawn and found a huge growth of fungus near the fence. It was beautiful and I would love to have some of the texture on my pots.

When I was having lunch I looked at this piece I did in high school that's hanging in the dining room. I did a wet ink wash and used a nib pen and India ink to emphasize what I saw in the shapes. I've always liked it and about thirty years ago a friend matted and framed it for me. I miss doing things like this and having so much imagination.

The whole piece.

Some details.
(By the way, the guy with the sunglasses is Mr. Himmel,
the student teacher who gave us the project.)

Oh yeah, forgot about the kiln during that little side trip. Tonight it was down to 542 F. We'll probably unload it on Thursday because Jeff can't get to Clayworks on Wednesday.