Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dan and I are moving in together!

After a year of considering living together we have finally taken the plunge. My buddy Dan Finnegan and I are going to share a house together in North Carolina. We are doing a 2 month Artist in Residency at STARworks in Star, North Carolina for Jan/Feb 2018.
I’m very excited about our union and working in the community of Seagrove with all the incredible potters in the area. To have Takuro as our clay man is more than I could dream of and to work daily in a hopping clay facility with Dan is dreaming in technacolour. Dan and I are both English trained. I seem to have English hands and an Asian heart.
My two months with Mick Casson in England were a HUGE part of the launching of my career in clay some 35 years ago. I figure this time at Starworks is going to be my second childhood.
It’s not how you start it’s how you finish.
I made some slongs today because I liked the ones that came out of the kiln even though they shivered. Scratch followed me to bed last night. Scratch liked the pots, the surface but hated the top handle. So I’m going to try to scratch the itch with these ones. I also threw some cups. This is to show you that you have to be able to throw tight to throw loose. There is no excuse for sloppy.  I’m excited about living and working with Dan. A nicer guy I have never met and I think we’re gonna bust it outta town.  

Not all those that wander are lost. J.R.R Tolkein

Monday, March 27, 2017

Changing of the Guard

John Bauman wrote on my blog:
You’re not the old guard. You’re the perpetually changing guard. And nobody watches the standing guard. Everyone shows up for the changing of the guard.
Thanks Johnnie you know how much I respect your work as a studio potter making great domestic ware for 4 decades. You’re one of the potters I don’t git that ain’t rich. Every time you post you’re applying to drive a school bus or be a Walmart greeter my sphincter gets in a twist.
Actually everyone showing up to see the changing of this guard is a bit like rubberneckers at a car wreck. They show up to see what is going to come out of my mouth this time.  My highest blog numbers are always when the readers think I’ve failed yet again, lost love, found love or God, trashed pottery knicky knackies, amateur work not ready for sale or displays of good work surrounded by bad work. They wait to pounce. Don’t fear it’s just another bullet bouncing off my helmet.
Johnnie I get your point. The Old Guard are either fishing for ground trout, preparing for their fishing trips or have already caught their limit and retired. This last 2 or 3 years has certainly seen the changing of the guard. There is a new (old) bunch that stand on the shoulders of these giants of their careers.
There have been comparisons between me and Grass because of his support of me and my career.  I’m a pale comparison to his public persona. Grass is a researcher/author and I am the  poet.  Maybe the right woman would have given me balance and stability. I never got that memo.
We have to meet some day Johnnie. The first round is on you! 

Here are a couple of John’s pots. Well made, interesting and welcome in the large market of Anytown, USA .  Burn the blue vest, John. It don’t fit ya so well!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wild Clays

From our last wood firing I had some sample teapots using North Carolina’s Wild Clays graciously given to me by Takuro to try out. Well I already told ya filter pressed clays  are a dream to throw and trim.
The first teapot is New Catawaba Valley Clay. You can see by the detail of the handle that it contains a lot of silica because it almost looks salt glazed in our wood kiln. The porcelain slip flashed beautifully on it too. There is also a picture of that clay with shino glaze and oxide brushwork.
Next teapot is made from the high iron clay I think it was called East Fork clay used by Alex Matisse. It gave an almost gun metal appearance and was a bit drier in surface. Then a picture of that clay glazed.

I had some issues with shivering on my clay and I think because of too thick of application of crackle slip and then two other shinos. There is always something to keep you humble in this business. I’ll show you this vase before the glaze decides to jump ship. Man over board! Don’t throw me a line I think I’ll try to make it to shore in the next kiln.