Monday, September 29, 2014

Buy your own sandwich!

I've always loved quaint little pots! At least this is what ya got to tell the first year bloody show women in the class. This is a mere bourbon cup compared to what us macho he men could make. Come on step it up! Go big or go home!
I have a small group of 7 throwers that are putting in the time. They ain't clock watchers and are putting in the hours required to make good pots. I think in just 4 weeks this may very well be the best pack of mudpushers I've had in a long time. Most in the class are buying their own sandwiches. That is my metaphor for paying their own way. If someone else buys your sandwich you may not eat it all. If you buy your own you eat every last crumb. As I sit here enjoying a cold beer most of them are still in the studio pushing clay. It's OK I have put in my time and paid my dues. I've been the first one there and the last to leave. Now,
I get to light a fire under them and then run home for cover.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Makin' Whoopie

I have always enjoyed trimming a whoopie into the bottom of my pots. Potters love foot rings and it is fun to watch their fingers exploring the whoopie while they handle the pot. Most potters would hold a hot bowl of soup over their heads to look at the trimming on the bottom of a pot. I watched Bruce Cochrane at school the other day make some complicated 3 piece bowls that had a cut out tri-pod foot. I thought hmmmmmmm that cut out would really celebrate my whoopie. Mine are one piece bowls with an articulated shape. The tripod foot reminds me of some Micheal Simon vases that I used to look at and admire. Along with 3 feet come 3 little lugs. I like that odd number sequence. It is easy to imitate but it way better to innovate.


I at first wanted to turn them into baskets but my baskets don't sell worth Billy Be Damned. I think people lack the creativity to know what to use them for.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bloody Showoffs

Here is a pic of a bowl that a first year Sheridan student (Katarina) is making. BTW this bowl is not yet it's actual size.  My boss and colleague Linda Sormin suggests that they go big or go home. I love this concept!. The
students  discover what is not possible or what is actually possible in their first year of Ceramics. Another project in first year is a throwing a 40 lb platter and decorating it. Check out Linda's show in Montreal. She knows no limits.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Take that Finnegan!

Hey Dan I've been thinking about you. I got a bit carried away with the handles. I have this thing about odd numbers versus even numbers and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to put 2 handles on these puppies. It may very well be over the top but leaving them naked just wasn't an option. It's so me. I usually make 5000 gram glaze tests and 1 ton clay tests. Then I just try to justify it somehow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The name Bruce

must have some magic involved with the clay world. I was working today at Sheridan with Bruce Cochrane. Bruce is one of my favourite potters and has been since 1982. I have several of his pieces in my house. Bruce Dehnert of Peter's Valley is my new current favourite potter and I have several of his pieces at home. As coincidence would have it I am also a Bruce. Anthony Bruce Clennell. Today while Bruce C was making some 3 piece bowls I was altering the rim of a coupld of bowls and what else is new but putting handles on them. I should be able to show them tomorrow. It was one of those days when i felt like I was going full tilt boogie but didn't get much done.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Next time


Next kiln, next year, next almost everything!
I think I was born an eternal optimist. Surely that has been what has kept me soiling my pants.  It was all supposed to get easier with age.   I got no one to blame. I am a stubborn little bastard that has put meaningfulness of life ahead of good fortune. Like the farmer I always think next year will be provide a better crop, and I will at last be rewarded for my efforts. Next year, next kiln, next this and that , next life. It’ll all be better next time. Success is not nearly as interesting as meaningfulness although I haven’t had a taste of the former.  But for the mean time being I am glad to be me and live this life with it’s many rewards.  Cassara fired the salt kiln at Sheridan College with a few of my pots in it. Fingers, toes legs, and t’s crossed that there is one in there that takes my breath away.  Cassara can now fire all  my pots. I got a few killers. These pics don’t do justice.

I’m more particular about the pots I make. I’m older and slower and l say “yes when I ought to know!”. Everything has gotten more expensive except my pots.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Falling arches

I put these handles on the big teapots and I thought of how you need to buttress an arch to prevent it from walking with expansion. I thought I had better buttress under these handles to stop them from walking away from the teapot. Actually looking at the pics for this post I like the additional support. I think it helps balance the back of the teapot with the spout. Sometimes we just fall into things. Actually that is the story of my life. Maybe that should be the title of my next book of short stories "Falling into things". I remember my dad telling the neighbour once "That son of mine could fall into a bucket of shit and come out wearing a pin striped suit". Hey Dad, still miss ya after all these years.