Saturday, January 30, 2010

hey joe.

I came home on thursday to a package from utah...guess what was inside? A Joe Bennion yunomi. Very unexpected, thanks Joe!

This is the biggest yunomi we own, bigger than an Oestreich(as in Jeff, not the bird.) I bet the thing holds like 18-20 oz. Here is a shot of his cup, a mt dew can and what I consider to be a large yunomi of mine.

Today I took a bunch of pots over to a gallery for a small group show I'm in...I'll post photos when I'm allowed. I have some pots to handle and foot today so I'd better stop blogging and get to work.

Monday, January 25, 2010


There's not much going on here right now. I just finished loading a bisque and there are some super exciting(sarcasm) photos of that below. We were in austin this past weekend and we thought about stopping in to see Keith Kreeger but it was a sunday and our time was already accounted for so maybe next time.

Mugs...lots of them. There will be about 50 in the next firing.

Pitchers or jugs. I'm excited to have found a shape that I if only I could sell them. Can't sell a pitcher to save my life, go figure.

It's a bummer when you drop a kiln post on a nice pot.

Dinner time, gotta go!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

cuttin' steel, stackin' brick.

Another week of teaching has gone by...and I'll be chasing plastic with a couple boards of pots tomorrow that have been waiting since sunday. We're heading out of town this weekend to see some friends and I'm a little bummed to lose the studio time but Saybra says that I need to be more social...blogging isn't enough? Geez...

We're ahead of schedule in my kiln building class and I'll be cutting some steel tomorrow for the car(car kiln, not the toyota.) I want them to participate in everything but the car needs to be precise and structurally sound so I'll be doing most of that on my own but finish it up with them. The car is not the place for them to learn to cut steel and weld! I've talked quite a bit about the different kinds of kilns potters use, how they're built, etc. but that's a lot of information to absorb with just drawings and diagrams so we took a drive around town today looking at various kilns so they could see something tangible and hopefully visually understand what we're talking about. I even had them try to troubleshoot a problematic kiln in front of a group but they were a bit like deer in headlights so I lead them through it.

These are the wheels for the car...v-groove, 6", rollin' like butter.

This is the kiln we'll be tearing down next week and eventually it'll have a salt kiln in its place and to the left is where the car kiln will be. We moved 4 pallets of brick and cleaned this area out on tuesday, I told them that sometimes building kilns involves more time moving bricks than actually building the dang thing. It's hard to tell from the photo but this overhang is only about 8 feet deep and offers very little protection from the elements. In fact about an inch of this kiln sits out and the door stack is right out in the open. Any rain and it's impossible to do just about anything. We're going to turn them 90 degrees so that they'll be situated entirely under the overhang.

This is a pitcher that is a modification of the ones I was doing in the previous posts. I was trying to explain the relationship between handles and pots to some students and this was a good guy to do it. Tying things together visually is a hard thing to teach as it is mostly subjective. "Continue the line" is something I preach all the time. The bulge where the handles starts for example, is a perfect place for that handle because the line on the pot flows right into that handle; and the landing point...sassy woman with her hand on her hip, that's always a good bet.

Well, dinner time...I'm thinking chinese.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

take a look over my shoulder

and watch a video of me cutting a foot. Sorry about the bad angle...I waited until the last bowl to shoot a video otherwise I'd have shot it over. A filmmaker I'm not.

Take note of the wet chuck, faster than a giffin grip any day of the week and at about 3 cents, it's cheaper too.

As per usual I made a pitcher from the chuck, do that with a giffin grip.
Lucy came with me to the studio today. We were in the 60's today but from the looks of this I'm guessing the concrete was still pretty cold. I had a blanket for the dogs but someone has walked off with it.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Making time.

I had a couple hours today so I made some pots. Mugs, 2# bowls and 4.5# jugs. I think I'll be able to get them handled and footed tomorrow and possibly make some more work. There's no school on monday so I should get some time in then too.

My goal is to make at least 2000 pots this year, I only did about 1200 last year but I hope to have more time in the studio this year. If I fire it all in the wood kiln that's about 10 firings...yikes, I think I need a bigger kiln!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

new blogger

There's a new blogger out in the 'sphere. Scott Roberts is a potter living in Durango, Colorado. He salt fires and likes surfaces not so different from what I like, good stuff.

He makes good pots, we have a few and use them regularly. He worked with Richard Batterham back in the day, maybe if we pressure him enough he'll write about it. Hopefully he'll be a regular blogger so I won't have to heckle him like this other blogger who spends his time actually making pots, whats up with that?


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

there's paper everywhere.

The semester is off to a good start so far. I think I've spotted a little window for clay work this friday and saturday.

I just cleaned my office last week and good thing because I now have stacks of crap everywhere! Syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, course schedules, etc. blah blah. I think I'm responsible for a little bit of deforestation. See that 3-ring binder? Those are my lecture notes for art appreciation, it's thicker than the textbook on top of it. Thank god I didn't have to write those.

Working on kiln plans and checking up on blogs. There is a blogger represented twice in thise photo, who is it? That bowl sitting on my desk is supposedly a 17-18th century bowl from Hagi, Japan. I got it for a steal because it has a big chip in the rim. I bought it from a reputable dealer who knows his ceramics but I think the age may be suspect. It's no doubt old and well used but 300 years old? I'm not sure.

The foot.

Dinner time, gotta go.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

whoa...wait....that's not clay!

I'm back...but I'm not potting. I had these grand illusions of making a couple hundred pots before school started but the wife and I had a week of illness and some travelling to do. School starts monday and I've made 23 pots. Bummer. It will probably be awhile before I get back to the clay. I'm teaching a kiln building class this semester which I haven't completely sorted out yet, lots of out of class prep for that. One of the prof's in the art dept. is having surgery and they asked me if I could teach her art appreciation classes for the first 6 weeks. To be fair I didn't say yes out of the goodness of my heart, they offered me more $$$ for those 6 weeks than 6 weeks of my 3 ceramics classes. It's not terribly difficult, the presentations and schedule are already set up, I just have to lecture and take attendance. The class is a general ed. and it is the class that all the jocks...I mean athletic students take because it's notorious for being the easiest art credit. I've taught the class dealing with ceramics every semester since I've been here so I know what to expect, I'm sure it's going to be a test of my patience though. We'll call this one a "growing experience"...and a fat paycheck.

This week I started a job building some cabinets, it's not clay but I'm not complaining, I enjoy it. It's a small job for a little workshop, easy enough.

Woodworking/carpentry is full of problem solving just like clay, that's probably part of the reason I enjoy it. I will admit to part of me being the stereotypical male and enjoying working with power tools. Even after several years I still think that dado sets are cool.

When you don't have fancy clamps you have to improvise.

That's all for now. Monday starts the grueling 6 class teach schedule. Bleh!