Monday, October 24, 2016

Here’s to Johnnie, Wally, Al and You!

Here is a pic of the monster home growing beside me. Al the Used Car Dealer bought the old farm house and demoed it in a day and this is what is growing up beside me. As I lay in bed I see Wally the stonemason’s lights pullng into the driveway next door to start his day before dark and ending just before dark. That usually prompts me to get up and have a squirt. In the window I see my neighbour Johnnie the Framer’s kitchen light on. Johnnie is filling his thermos and off to work before daylight.  I bet Al the Used Car dealer in town ain’t sleeping either.  People in my town work hard. I love people that work hard.

My hands really ache from moving several tons of wood and bricks around this past weekend. I went to process another cord of wood today to get ready for another wood firing at the end of November. I came home and crashed on the couch for an hour until a friend woke me with a call to see if I was Ok. Thankfully as I might have spent the afternoon on the couch.  I went downstairs to the studio to load a bisque firing and prepared to throw some 12 lb bowls. Shit, it was hard to center the clay. Today I felt the years of moving clay, bricks, and wood. I worked thru the pain just like Johnnie, Wally and you will. Here’s a tip of my fedora to the hard working people I know and love.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Here is a pic of the 11 pallets of wood members of the London Potter’s Guild went thru this weekend at Pinecroft. 11 pallets of cut and stacked wood, plus two trailers full of off cuts and two tractor bucket loads of more wood. That is a lot of energy along with the combined energy of the 8 LPG members plus Cassara and myself. Wood firing teaches so much about history, clay and glazes, physics, combustion and most of all team work. This is not a solo endeavour. It depends on the combined efforts and energy of a team of committed people. It is a game of inches were each stoke gains you an inch or maybe a couple more. Take you eyes off the wheel or stop to chat and you loose the inches that took you hours to gain. This was firing #16 of the wood kiln and it performed as it usually does- Cone 11 flat everywhere. This is testament to a good kiln and a good crew.

Some stokers take fashion to it’s red neck extremes with plaid jackets and bandana pose scarfs.   

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bad is good!

I’ve written about this before but I am reminded of my being at The New Orleans Jazz and Blues Festival where I learned that bad is good. I was yucking it up having a beer and listening to music and enjoying the company of a giant of a man and his equally huge wife. Ernie K Doe was about to perform. The large man said “Ernie K Doe is the baddest singer in New Orleans! I said “Is he really bad????” He laughed, slapped his knee and said “Brother, baaaaad is goooood!

If you look at these vases I made even if you don’t like them you must see that the maker must be  pretty good to be that bad. In a recent post by Robert Genn there was an excellent comparison of mastery and spark. Some people just look for mastery of skill and not the energy/spark in the making. As you know I am surrounded in The Cactus Lounge by the pots of my friend Ronnie the Rat. If you look past the amazing imagery you see very casually made pots that have not been fussed over with an emphasis on mastery however they exude energy and spark. I was pleased that a few of you liked the vases. I don’t want to make pots for everyone just a few of you.  Thank you for steering me in the right direction as I often feel yesterday’s anxiety and make what I call easy pots. Thank you to my friend who is an
itch I can't scratch.

I have enough easy pots for my Christmas Sale December 2,3, and 4. Mark it on your calendar if you can make it. I am going to display my production pots in my little outside gallery and I am making some very personal pots to be displayed in the living room of The Cactus Lounge.