Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sleeping with a rat

Here is my guest room that I call the Rat's Nest. I have a collection of Ronnie the Rats pots in this room. Ronnie happens to be my favourite contemporary potter and he is one of my good buddies to boot. I am thrilled that in a little over a month I'll be making the trek down to Georgia to help fire the Ratagama along with a collection of good people I can't wait to toss sticks with. I got a bunch of good ole boys in Georgia I am anxious to see- Steve, Doc,  Carter, Ted, Jeff,Wade, Glenn and others. Ronnie and Hester are the ultimate hosts. Their home is your home and we eat, drink and laugh a lot. I have to redeem myself this year as I completely turned my killer chicken wings into charcoal last year. To say my mind was on a different planet was an understatement.
So to spend some time in the Rat museum is like a holiday for this cowboy. There is a chicken plate on the wall outside I have liked for probably 5 years now. I think it is time to come to nest.If a potter needs a place to stay and you're in my town you got a place sleeping with a rat overlooking you.




Sunday, November 23, 2014

Found me a couple of hot babes

Well, I'm broadening my parameters in the search for the perfect hot babe! I went to the birthday party of my cousin Brenda's mums 100th. She was joined by her older sister Helen who is checking in at 104. She was at the tearoom for lunch today so she arrived at the party politely late. Hey and they are both single! I tried to get them both to smile for the camera by saying sex and whiskey but it didn't register a grin. Either they couldn't hear me or they don't remember either bringing all that much happiness in their lives. To think Tress was driving her car up until 6 months ago. Aylmer where I live has a disproportionate number of old people driving cars. I am very cautious around 4 way stop signs. You see a car coming at you with a steering wheel and below it a small head like creature. It's an old person with a license.









Friday, November 21, 2014

Ain't misbehavin'!

It's been about 8 months since my old buddy (Tommy) the  Thomas Stuart wheel and I have danced together. I've had other dance partners but I do like my horse- Tommy. . It was like being reunited with an old love.  I ain't misbehavin'! I'm doing the laundry, cooking some turkey soup and making some pots with no "FU" element to them. These are easy pots for me and I need them in a hurry. I'm supposed to be mentoring a great bunch of wood firers and we are firing this Thursday and I ain't got a pot to piss in. I do now have a window to throw it out so life is good. I quickly put together a working basement studio yesterday and was making pots last night. I felt 27 again. Now laundry to be folded, shirts to be ironed and dishes to be put away. A man's work is never done!





Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Class! Some have it, some don't!

Some display class and others just don't! My daughter Robin showed up this weekend to my new digs with a bottle of champagne and a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers. Yes, that is a Matt Scheimann jug, Dan Murphy vase and smaller one by Lindsay Oestritter.  Nice company for Robin's flowers. I'm proud of you Robin. You display class!!! You were raised well.
Today I delivered some of my pink shino to a gallery I sell at to be told by the manager that there had been an anonymous complaint about my pink shino. A shino glaze with 2% pink stain in it for a colourant. The pink according to the supply house is 1% zirconium encapsulated cadmium and 9% zircopax. Why didn't anonymous contact me so we could have some dialogue?  So now I have to dig up documentation and send off a sample of the glaze to BSC Labs in Pennsylvania at a cost of $50 USD. I will do it though as I think there is just too much of this witch hunting going on that is putting back the advancement of ceramics thousands of years.
I wear my scars on my chest and not on my back. Cowards run and hide anonymously. I write this blog and express myself publicly not anonymously. I am certainly
not always right but you know who I am and how to get in touch with me.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Wild Bunch

Here is the group photo from last week at 260 Fingers in Ottawa. I can't believe a week has gone by. It was a great show! I sold some pots and

I made a lot of good contacts. It still amazes me that some of my clay heroes have hung in so long. Most have supportive partners that help with the sooooooo many tasks involved in making and selling pots. Read my book "Stuck in the Mud" for the comprehensive list of over 150 things we do in the life an everyday studio potter. Oh, while I'm pimping myself if you want me to send out my book to a clay friend just say the word. I'm thinking Christmas reading with a hot toddie.
Send me an email at tony.clennell@gmail.com It's $20 plus shipping and I send ya a Paypal invoice. Thanx!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ashes of War

I cleaned out the firebox of the walnut firing today. God, I have never had this much ash and to think of the buckets of coals we racked out during the firing. It was a war zone! I even had to crow bar a ledge of crusty melted ash about 8 inches up the throat arch on the bag wall. The inside of the kiln is a grey matt ashed surfaced. I'm rethinking this total nut firing. I have some ash cut and stacked log cabin style that should be ready for the next firing to mix in with the walnut. I do love the ash from walnut but it sure makes ya scratch your butt. There is really nothing more humbling than a stalled wood kiln. Even the primaries above the hobs(firebox)
are covered in black soot. We just couldn't keep the kiln out of reduction. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Veteran's Day

It is a coincidence that 260 Fingers piggy backs on Remembrance Day. I am home from a successful show with many of my clay war heroes. I have known these people, their work and their sacrifices for the craft of clay for over 3 decades. They are my heroes! I was able to catch up with old friends Leta and Don Cormier, John Ikeda, Richard Gill, Tim Storey, and of course Chandler Swain. New kids on the block Reid Flock and Bill Reddick are friends of the last two decades- mere rookies. New friends were made and as I drove the 7 hours home I thought of how craft has changed and the vets have hung in there. On our tombstones it will read something of what we left on this earth. Mediocrity is the enemy of the good and all of the 260 rise above that. It was my very pleasure to be in such good company. You have inspired me to soldier on. I'd rather work till the final breath than sit on a beach sipping a drink outta a half a coconut with a umbrella straw. I made my students promise if i croaked during a firing  they would prop me up beside the firebox, put some of the devil's liquid on my smiling lips and continue the firing. Dang,
I like potters and hanging with them.