August 25, 2009
This particular present moment in the studio is feeling a little cramped as I continue to crank out pots faster than I have time to bisque fire them and get them moved around. The list is shrinking and soon I will cut myself off and begin glazing. Still have another week or so to keep my hands dirty, though...I have this habit of pushing the making til the last minute possible...'if I could just get some of these made, and some of these, oh, and I definitely need some of these.'
August 24, 2009
My fellow potter and blogger of Sawdust and Dirt, Michael Kline is having his first online sale from his latest kiln opening of his wood kiln. I photographed all of Michael's pots for this much anticipated event for him. You can check out his show at 10 am August 25 here.
As for the dish, this is one of my favorite bowls by the potter Kline himself. And in it is what you do when you have a million cucumbers from your garden. A Thai cucumber salad, complete with chopped peanuts and cilantro on top!
August 21, 2009
I've been happily working away in the studio making lots of pots, or at least getting them thrown. It's slow going sometimes in this studio with getting the pots to dry out and ready for the next step. I've been throwing a batch of small and medium sized lidded jars and am finishing up some oval bakers. As usual the studio is getting full to the brim of pots...I need more shelving!, no I need more space! It's funny how fast one can outgrow a studio, I've taken over ever square inch plus some more and have lately been feeling like I wish I could spread out more. Well, there is always room for change on the horizon. I've been considering thoughts of finding a different studio situation lately, although the choices remain infinite. In my time at this studio I have decided that I would like to share a studio with someone. The solitude is nice, well, sometimes. It's bittersweet. But after working alone for over two years, I have found I would like some company while in the studio. I think it would just keep the energy flowing better and could be a pleasant, cheerful interruption to my thoughts that are always circling 'round my head! I don't know how or when all this can change but it's definitely something I think about as I think of the future. I'm sure I'm not alone in this desire as I know other artists/potters out there probably feel similarly.
Hope everyone has a good weekend!
August 18, 2009
August 15, 2009
I have a lot of eating ahead of me!
August 14, 2009
I made this set for a 'Community' exhibit at Crimson Laurel Gallery that is coming up. It's made me think of how pots suggest such wonderful things, an open vessel waiting to be filled up with nourishment to feed our souls and our community. It makes me hopeful for Liz's benefit auction to be a great success this weekend. It's really amazing how the benefit has come together and it really speaks a lot of our community, and not just the Bakersville, NC community. Artists nationwide have donated beautiful artworks for this event and people have put in a lot of time to pull this thing off. I hope to see you there this weekend if you're planning on coming!
August 11, 2009
I'm feeling overwhelmed at the moment with a big to-do list and extra things piling on before I finish up all of the pots I want to make before the early September soda firing. After that firing I must continue on and make make make some more!
[deep breath] "One day at a time" is my current mantra I've been telling myself!
I am writing to announce a benefit auction to assist my friend, and fellow ceramic artist, Liz Zlot Summerfield. In April of this year Liz was diagnosed with a type of cancer called non-hodgkins Lymphoma. When she got the news of her cancer all studio work for Liz and her husband, glass blower Scott Summerfield, stopped. For most artists a halt to work, combined with illness and bills, is a hardship too large to manage alone. Like most plans, our ideas for this benefit started out small and have since bloomed in to something that I believe will be a wonderful, fun and supportive event. With all that said, there are several ways that you can participate!
1) Attend the live auction at Penland or visit the online sale as a buyer!
The live auction is August 16th in the Northlight Building at Penland School of Crafts. Doors will open at 1:00pm at which point there will be light refreshments, Bandana Klezmer will provide fabulous entertainment and visitors will have a chance to take a good look at the work available in the live and silent auctions. The live auction of work will begin at 2:00pm and is expected to last around an hour or so. At the end of the auction visitors can pick up and pay for their pieces knowing that 100% of the proceeds will go to helping Liz, Scott and their young daughter, Roby, get through this really hard time.
The online sale will be held on Etsy.com and will begin September 1st. I will post more information about the online auction (including the web address) as we get closer to the date.
2) You can make a monetary donation to a PayPal account created for Liz's benefit.
By using this link below, you can be assured that all donations will go quickly, safely and directly to Liz.
The link to this account is: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donations&business=XMYBAEHMPQXEE&lc=US&item_name=Liz%20Zlot%20Summerfield%20Benefit¤cy_code=USD&bn=PP%2dDonationsBF%3abtn_donate_LG%2egif%3aNonHosted
Thank you so much for your generosity!
August 10, 2009
There's such beauty in repetition of form and line. I got the bisque kiln loaded up with the first round of pots. Call me crazy but I always like the way a good bisque kiln loading looks. It also makes me feel good to see progress. Today in the studio was one of those slow moving days of finishing up pots under plastic. I'm working on several large ovaled tray for a pitcher and tumbler set that is slow in the making. What's slow is mainly in the decision making of how I want to alter the pot, add the handles, and add the texture. Decisions, decisions!
August 7, 2009
Those are Will Baker's pitchers on the top shelf showing interesting spotting marks that comes from the uneven wave in and out of reduction. The top shelf proved to show some good color, so I thought there would be more color/reduction as I went down into the bottom shelves.
But the bottom shelf was still pasty and not reduced enough, at least on the porcelain pots. This bowl below, though was definitely the winner from the firing:
This bowl below of Will's shows some traces of carbon that landed on the pot during the soda time. I had also tossed in a few 'chalupas' (aka: sawdust wrapped burrito style in newspaper) during the time I sprayed in the soda. Interesting.
So...I've determined this little kiln isn't an easy one to fire to match my high standards I've also looked for in soda firing, as far as getting the reduction just right in all of the areas. Then again, I've been spoiled with a cross draft soda kiln. More tweaking for the next firing, perhaps changes to the burner, or I might even look for an additional burner or try to stack the shelves differently. The other thought is just to use a darker stoneware clay in the areas where I'm not getting enough reduction. What was interesting is some of the pots looked like when I used to use a Tile 6 slip, one of my favorites that I've not used in a while, a soft buttery white/yellow slip. That's the fun part right? tweaking this and that, keeping on going...never is a potter bored.
August 6, 2009
Keep posted...this little guy wasn't an easy one to fire...definitely tests the soda brain power. I purposely reduced the kiln MUCH more heavily this time so we'll see if I went too far and get dark chocolate colored pots, or if the reduction is the right amount this time. Either way should tell me something.
August 5, 2009
I've been working along in the studio checking off pots that are on the ever growing 'make list' for the next big soda firing. Between some old, hard clay and some really soft clay, sometimes the pots don't come easily. For me I have to have the clay just so, as well as my stool, my sponge (which I've been having issues with finding the right sponge), and my head! I don't know what made me grow so picky but a potter must be centered. As pots go round and round the wheel, so do my thoughts go round and round. Maybe that's why I like to alter my pots more and more, to get them out of the round, out of the unexpected.
...working on some medium sized bowls and what will be an altered oval tray for a carved pitcher and tumbler set for an upcoming exhibit at Crimson Laurel Gallery if all goes well!
August 3, 2009
Sometimes I'll test a few new ones out but then I don't go much farther than that. I hope to use this little kiln to test more glazes so I can bring more bright and colorful glazes into my work rather than relying on the tried and true ones I've used for a while. I'm excited about these bowls, I textured them immediately on the wheel, which is something I usually wait until the pots are drier. The texture isn't very deep since it's in the inside of the bowl. I want it to still be a smooth surface for food.
I also finished up a large batch of these textured wall tiles, some large and small, also which I textured a panel on the top that glaze will pool into. The shelves are filling up and soon I'll have to load up a bisque kiln just to clear up some working space in the studio. It's amazing how you can fill up a studio with so much stuff!
I'm off to finish up my tea break. Thanks for reading! Happy Monday!