Sunday, December 16, 2012

Free Shipping!

Free shipping in my etsy store through next week.  Wednesday is the last day I can ship out to arrive before Christmas. Coupon code Free12

Monday, December 3, 2012

5th Annual Holiday Sale!

I'm getting geared up for our home sale this coming weekend.  I have plenty of good pots and I'm excited to show off the mostly-completed new studio.  If you're in the area stop by and say hello!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Sales

Looking for some handmade pottery for the holidays?  There are a few places to find my work:

The pots are up on etsy!  Head on over and check them out. 

I also have several dessert plates available at Akar.

I have a number of excellent pots available at Schaller Gallery.

If you don't see what you are looking for shoot me an email brandon(at)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Etsy Preview

Here are a few pots that will be going up on my etsy page.  They will be available Monday Nov. 26th at 9am CST.  This next week ALL pots on my etsy page will ship for $5 per piece.  A heckuva deal! 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Studio, etc.

I realized that my anti-facebook blog readers are probably a little out of the loop.  I've been working steady on my studio the last month and I've begun moving in.  I still have some trim work to do, the plumbing isn't run yet, the exterior is primed but unpainted, etc. but those are things that I can do without my stuff being in the way.  So here are a few pictures of the progress:
I chose beadboard for the ceiling, I just like the look. OSB for the walls, this is one of those things I kinda wish I hadn't done but it was $450 cheaper than regular plywood. Here I've masked the windows and floor so I can paint. 

This is the covered area off the front of the studio, the far end will get closed in, about 14x6' and I'll use that area for storing raw materials, some show stuff, and odds and ends.  This is how it'll be for awhile, the tin for the roof and the enclosure will come later as the money materializes. 

Here it is after painting.  The wall is a different color than the white ceiling but it is practically indistinguishable in the sunlight.  I got a heckuva deal on a airless spray rig, so hands on time for masking, 3 coats of paint, and cleanup was about 5 hours.  No way I was rolling a beadboard ceiling and 12' walls!

I'm in the process of getting moved in and getting all the fixtures built.  I've built a new larger wedging table, storage shelves for glaze materials and buckets, and enough ware rack storage for 2+ firings (thinking ahead about a larger kiln...more on that later.)  My treadle is there in the corner, my kickwheel and electric will go up against that wall as well.

The Texas Clay Festival was last month and was a stellar show!  I debuted a new line of work, I've been toying with this re-interpretation of slipware but with high-fire wood and ash glazes.  I'm pretty happy with where it's going and the customers seemed to like it as well, I only had a couple of these pieces left at the end of the show. 
While not performing its intended function I'm sure Scott would be happy to know this pot is getting plenty of use every day, and performing admirably! 

I'm in the process of photographing pots for an etsy sale this month...stay tuned!

Monday, October 22, 2012


I just fired off XVIII yesterday.  This is actually my 30th wood firing here.  This is my second wood kiln, a much larger version of my first.  I'm going to have an etsy sale the first week in November to commemorate the 30th firing, 30 cups, $5 shipping.  So stay tuned for that. 
Here is the loaded kiln, I spent a bit of time fixing up these walls, there were a lot of gaps.

And you can see those gaps open right back up. The kiln has moved a bit over the last 18 firings and things don't fit as well as they used to.  So it's time to do some maintenance. The arch has spread about 1.5" so I need to try and get the arch back in place and then I am going to rebuild the front wall and door as well and put some steel on it.  I am also going to rebuild the stack, the corbel under the dampers needs some attention and the whole stack needs steel.  So that will be a fun task over the next couple of months.  I don't plan on firing again until the end of December so I have plenty of time.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Updates and upcoming...

Here are a few photos of some recent works in progress as I head into Firing XVIII.  This is the first firing in a over a year and a half that won't have a single piece for a wholesale order.  It's nice because it means that I have plenty of room for new ideas and experimentation as well as less pressure on the results.  The downside is that the re-orders are not coming in.  But more on that later. The firing is coming up this weekend and I believe I have enough work to fill the kiln.  I ran out of steam this last week as I discovered that I have a probable case of west nile fever.  Not the debilitating-could-possibly-die-version, but rather the mild-flu-like-symptoms-version.  Nevertheless it wears me out quickly every day.  The doc says it should last anywhere from 1-3 weeks.  I'm hoping closer to 1 week as I have this firing coming up and I know there is not a chance in hell I'll make it through with the energy level I have now.  Enough of that.

I haven't made a teapot in about 8 months and I think I might have one left.

Same teapots, assembled and slipped.

I'm all about the slab dishes these days.  They've been easy to move the last couple that I've put that out there I probably won't sell another one. Every single one of these will get a glaze on top.  I'm not phasing out the brushwork but am pursuing other avenues of slip work in addition to it. 

Here's a tall jug with tip of the hat to Jim Malone. 

I'm HOPING to be moving into the new studio this fall.  If/when I do make that move a good portion of my work is going to be raw glazed and single fired.  I've procured a small electric kiln for some pots that are difficult to raw glaze, and I have two glazes that just won't take to it.  So I've raw glazed about 40 pots for this firing.  The irony being that I bisque fired them, I'm not comfortable transporting the greenware to the kiln.  I just want to make sure the glazes fit this time around, the next time I'll deal with the different firing cycle.  These are some leatherhard cups that have been slipped and glazed.

This summer my dog Kaylee got herself knocked up, kids these days!  She had seven beautiful little pups.  This was a couple weeks ago after I had just moved them outside.  The first two went to their new home today.  While it has been fun watching the cycle of life I've already made the long overdue appointment to have her fixed, not gonna happen again.  Too many dogs in this town already. 
Well lets see, what is upcoming...
-I was invited to participate in the 3 cups show at the Durango Arts Center in Colorado.  I've already sold those so tough luck there.
-I have a show with Kenyon Hansen up at Schaller Gallery right now, head over there and check it out!  Still plenty of good pots.
-The Texas Clay Festival is just a week and a half away, this is my favorite show to do.  Good customers, good potters, good fun.
-I'm participating in Akar's 30x5 show this November, the theme this year is dessert plates.  I was also invited to participate in the annual yunomi invitational which I believe is in March(?).
-I'm on the fence about a home sale this year, if I decide to go ahead with that it will be after Thanksgiving.  I'd like to have the new studio done by then, it would be a good opportunity to show it off.
I'd really like to get myself back on etsy but I just haven't had the time.  Perhaps around the home sale? Eh?  We will see. 
Well, I think that is all for now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New pots at Schaller!

Hello everyone!  I am part of a two person show at Schaller Gallery with Kenyon Hansen.  I've sent some nice work so head on over there and check it out!  If you're wanting a BP pot this is the place to go.  I'm hoping to have an etsy sale in November, we'll see if I can get it done!



Friday, September 21, 2012

The maker's mantra.

The uphill battle.  A battle worth fighting?  Time will tell.  But it's a life worth living.

Get off the computer and go make something.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Free advice.

It's that time of year again...time to indoctrinate another group of young, impressionable minds.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The week in Facebook.

I'm back in the studio getting geared up for firing XVII.  I am dedicating at least 1/2 of this firing to experiments and new ideas.  A risky venture but...risk big, win big. 

The tools.

Freshly thrown cups, a new shape.

Jug handle.

Local red slip.

My results from the weekend. 

Kaolin slip over local iron slip.  This will get an ash glaze all over.  The red slip melts at cone 10...was it a wise choice to put it underneath a kaolin slip?  We shall see.


Now that I'm back in the zone I'll be out of town for 4 days. 

Cheers y'all!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just hold on.

Not many pots this summer...but lots of good music.  This is one of my favorite songs, I find applicability on so many levels.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Vacation is over.

The tools are washed(a rarity). 

The clay is wedged.

It's go time.

Friday, June 15, 2012

MN Potter's: Sharing The Fire

This film made the rounds on facebook but I haven't seen anyone post it on the 'sphere.  Enjoy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Work at Schaller Gallery

I have a bunch of new work at Schaller Gallery.  If you're looking to acquire some nice woodfired pots go over and check it out!  It's great to be in such good company.


Sunday, June 10, 2012


I've spent some time the last few weeks taking it easy.  I've mixed up about 1200 pounds of clay for the summer cycle and it's ready to go.  So I think I'll get back in the studio this coming week, get the wheels turning so to speak.

My last cycle/firing consisted of approximately 250 pots made and fired in 3 weeks.  This came directly on the heels of the ACC shows and 2 hard weeks of working on the new studio. That was hands down the hardest cycle I've ever had, not just because I was cramming 6-8 weeks of work into 3, but I was already on the cusp of burnout and having to do that volume of work just pushed me over the edge.  Keep in mind that at the time I was teaching 3 courses as well as doing some graduate work.  It was a struggle and dare I say a task at times to get my ass in the studio and work.  All but 9 pots in the firing were for wholesale, in fact those remaining 9 should have been wholesale pots but the truth is that I know considering the burnout and my disdain for wholesaling(more on that later) I KNEW that I needed to have some pots in the kiln that I was excited about.  I think I fired the kiln for those 9 pots. When I opened up the kiln I grabbed the pots that needed to go out immediately and the pieces that I was really excited about.  A good portion of the pots stayed in the kiln unpacked for almost a week.  That is some scary stuff.  Something is very wrong when you are not excited to get that kiln unloaded.  So how does one deal with that?  I have no answers.  I know that this next cycle I have 3 different clay bodies and some new surfaces that I'm excited about so a lot of this work may be different from what I've been doing.  But that's as it should be, right?  Go back to the start and try something new.  Adapt and overcome.  I'm sure that once I get going everything will be fine.

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to go spend some time with my family in Washington DC for my father's 60th birthday.  He has wanted to go to DC to visit the museums for as long as I can remember and it finally worked out that my brother's family and I had a schedule that synced so we could all go together.  Most of you probably don't know that I have an interest in American history and a downright obsession with the space program.  I've been fascinated with it for as long as I can remember and I still spend a lot of time watching documentaries and reading books about it.  So my main interest in DC was going out the the Air and Space museum near Dulles where they just delivered the space shuttle Discovery in April.  I had a good time.  I also got to visit the Freer which has some fantastic old Japanese and Korean pots.  I took some photos but they look awful so I won't post them here.

 Well.  Now it's back to the studio and on to the next cycle of work.  I'm teaching a summer course but only have 3 students so I wouldn't call that too rough. 


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Photo Column

So the ArtFest was a total bust, I actually packed up and left early.  It's the first time I've done that in ten years of doing art festivals.  This is just reaffirming my belief that the typical art festivals are not the way to go for me.  The larger trade shows, ceramic specific festivals, home sales and studio tours seem to be the most successful.  Anyways.

I've had a photographer from the local newspaper out a few times over the last couple months taking some photos of the pottery making process, they just printed the photo column and I think it looks pretty cool.  You can check it out here. She took a crap ton of photos so maybe I can con her into letting me some of the rest.

Pretty much the coolest photo ever.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

CityArts ArtFest

If you are in the Dallas area this memorial day weekend I'll be showing at the CityArts ArtFest in Fair Park. 
Friday 6-10
Saturday 11-10
Sunday 11-6

Come on down and say hello!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Slab Pots

Back in December I made up some new molds for some slab dishes, I have a couple different oval shapes but I wanted some square-ish shapes.  I have this one which is the smaller one, like 8.5" wide and a larger one that is about 11" wide.  I'm pretty pleased with them.   I just posted this guy on my etsy page.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

New work on etsy

I've posted some new work in my etsy shop.  I've posted 8 yunomi and 6 mugs, I have some plates and dishes that will go up over the next couple days.  Hop on over and check it out!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The build 2

I've just about finished the shell and exterior of the new studio.  I've been utilizing free time before and after my classes so it's been slow progress(at least to me anyways.)  The time away from the clay and into the build has been enjoyable, something different.  I've always been one to work with my hands, I call people like me "makers."  Making/building/constructing has always come easy to me, though I would hesitate to call myself a master of anything, I've always had a knack or intuition for that type of thing.  My time working as a carpenter is something that I wouldn't trade for anything.   That was the only job I've ever had that I truly enjoyed (potting & teaching not withstanding).  There's a blog post draft deep in the abyss that ponders the topic of being a maker...perhaps I'll get around to that someday. 

Here's a photo of the inside of the studio, I envision that corner back there as my throwing corner, wedging table in front of the window. 

In a freak accident I had a board with nails sticking out fly out of the scrap pile and go into the top of my foot.  Not entirely sure how it happened, voodoo perhaps.  My old boss would dock our pay if we left boards laying around with nails sticking out.  They either had to be removed or bent over.  That would've been $5 and a stern lecture, which I would have preferred.  Lesson learned.

Here's a shot once I got all the siding up.

Shingled.  I forgot what a pain(literally) it is to deck and shingle low pitch roofs.  I don't foresee another roofing job anytime soon but I will seriously consider hiring that out.

I don't think I've ever had a ladder that I didn't stand on the top of, if there's a wrong way to use a ladder I've probably done it.  I posted this photo with a quote on facebook:
"The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions." -Oliver Wendell Holmes
A former student of mine posted:
‎"Stupid is as stupid does" -Forrest Gump

Trim up, ready for caulk, putty, and paint.  I'm on the lookout for some more windows.  It will be awhile before I get the insulation and such in so I have plenty of time to get windows in with no trouble.  The top windows came from the Habitat Re-store, they're double pane beasts, probably about 70-80# each.  The lower window and the doors came from my local lumberyard, they were special order items that, for whatever reason, didn't make the cut and I got a heck of a deal on them.  The french doors were supposed to be interior doors though the door slabs were exterior thickness.  So I had to mill up new stops to thicken the jambs and accept weatherstripping as well as install a sill/threshold.  With that expense I still saved about $250 over buying new french doors.  I hate that the lower window doesn't line up with anything, everything else is so well spaced, but it's the perfect spot for where I want it on the inside.
In phase 3(phase 2 is finishing the interior) I will pour a slab patio that comes out about 12-14 ft, not sure if I'll go the whole width of the studio.  I'll pitch a shed roof off the studio from underneath the upper windows to cover it.  That will give me a nice area for outside work, mixing clay, processing materials, etc.  That is way down the line so we probably won't be seeing that any time soon.

Well, there you have it.  If I have time the next few days I will start getting it caulked and puttied,  I'm actually going to take bids to have someone come paint it, I HATE painting.  Hate it.  Painting, drywall taping/mudding and now roofing are all on my list of trades that I am capable of doing but the hatred to cost ratio makes it worth paying someone else to do.  My clay is going to start coming out of the racks tomorrow so probably about mid-week I'll be hitting the wheel hard with a firing scheduled for the end of April.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

The build.

This last week was spring break so I've spent the time working on a new studio.  I've been planning this for...well...years.  I think every potter has ideas for a dream studio, I know I certainly have mine.  This studio is my semi-dream studio.  It's pretty darn close to what I've always wanted but a more fiscally responsible version.  The new studio will be within spitting distance of my kiln which means no more commutes for the pots via my truck bed.  So here's a little photo essay of the weeks progress:

I formed and poured the piers before I left for the Atlanta show.  I really wanted to do a slab but I chose not to for a couple reasons:
1) The cost: The best price I got from reputable contractors was about $5 per square foot.  I had a bid for $2.50 but the guy was pretty sketchy(the studio is about 500 sq ft.) Pier and beam cost about $2 per square foot for concrete, beams, joists and decking/subfloor.
2) A framed floor is something that I can do myself.  I have pretty much no experience with concrete work, and while I could probably figure it out concrete is not the most forgiving material.  If you screw it up you can't just rip it out and redo it. 

The local lumber yard delivering my floor joists.

The studio is 16 x 32'.  I used 2x10's for the floor joists which can span the 16' but I ran a beam down the middle to cut the span in half so that I ended up with a really solid/rigid floor. 

Finished floor joists, beams and blocking.

I glued and screwed down the subflooring, I'm not a big fan of squeaks.  Kaylee hanging out in the place where she is destined to be spending much more time in the future. 

I did everything up to this point by myself but once things start getting vertical it requires another set of hands.  This is my buddy Allen, he rents a room from me and has a lot of free time on his hands so I enlisted his service.

Walls going up, siding up. 

The studio has a shed roof, 12' on the tall side down to 8'.  I have 3 84x22" windows that are gonna go up at the top of the 12' wall to let in lots of light. 

Here is where it stands as of this afternoon.  I finished the decking on the roof and was taking a little break while Allen put on a proper pair of shoes for walking on the roof.  We got the underlayment on right before it went completely dark.  While Texas is not #1 on my list of places to live, and I don't intend to stay here forever, I'm pretty happy with my location.

Well, there it is.  The studio will get shingles and some exterior work this next weekend but tomorrow I have to head back to the grind, and by grind I mean my dream job of potting and teaching.  It will be several months if not longer before the studio gets completely finished but since it will be dried in this next weekend I can work on it as time and money provide.

As far as show news goes...the ACC Baltimore show was 2 thumbs up, the Atlanta show was 1.5 thumbs down.  I'll leave it at that.