Monday, January 26, 2009


The best heart attack on a plate bar none is LD's in rural Utah and that is not LDS for Latter Day Saint's. This is a restaurant with real waitresses and a bar at the back if ya need a beer and tomatoe juice with your morning breaky. Kinda reminds me of my mothers house complete with artificial flowers and moose wallpaper. The food is plentiful and good and washed down with a bottomless cup of Jo. This was the kind of joint my father loved with all the colour of the community. He called these people the salt of the earth. When I was a young man sporting a Hasselblad 500C and all the lenses my dad would have me taking photos of these characters of the diners and bars. My dad would have loved this place. I love it too and think that maybe it's a Sunday tradition for me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Roll yer owns

I arrived here with work made in Canada and I was scheduled for a critique first week here. This is a time for 8 other grad students, two profs and the ceramic technologist to let ya know what they think. Well, for sure it was a helluva lot of information to mull over, edit and take what ya have coming. It stopped me dead in my tracks for about a week as I laid awake thinking about my next work and what I needed to take from my peers. They are all well meaning and truly want your work to grow.
I needed work on the forms. I started working on the forms and using the slab roller for my slabs. The slab roller turned out to be my worst enemy. For years I have wanted Sheila to buy a slab roller and get more prolific. She has always declined and said she liked her hand rolled slabs better. She ought to know she does the hand building and I am new to this method.
What I found was the slab roller put a memory into the slab that caused them to twist and almost inhale. Slabs that I put volume into would somehow the next day look like they had sucked into flat slabs again.
I mentioned this to John and he said what took you so long to figure that out. I am now building a pile of clay, piling a bunch of 1/2 sticks and cutting it with a harp that John has lent me. The vases I am making are about 30" tall and I am into bondage to keep them from leaning over in the drying. I'm back to enjoying clay again.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Babies, weddings, and candy

I don't want to dwell on the state of the economy but on my Saturday visit to Cafe Ibis I pulled up beside a pink Hummer, a pink Caddy SUV and a pink Caddy sedan with Mary Kay written on the side. It was a reminder to me of where the money is to be made in this Mormon stronghold. The ladies all go to church and so the makeup business in this part of the world is BIG business.
I always visit my favourite Man store called Smithfield Implements. I can get Carhartt jeans for under $25 but I always need to get the legs taken up. Back in July the seamstress in town said she couldn't have them ready for me for 3 weeks and pointed at a wall of hundreds of wedding dresses and temple garments. Even at USU there is a big wedding conference coming up. This poster sure doesn't look like Sheila and I are on our wedding day at the court office with the Justice of the Peace.
Candy, ice cream and sodas are also big business in this town. It is part of the way to make up for the vices that others enjoy.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I am a real fan of Danny(Crumpet) Crump's work and work ethic. Here is a porcelain head he has just made in one of his very large multiple piece molds. This guy is going to have so much to offer when her hits the job market. He is allotted a very small working space in the Bfa room and it is no wonder his class mates get pissed with him. Here is a picture of my best student from Intro Ceramics that I had Murf talk to about joining the Bfa crew. Kate is a very talented art student that unfortunately got placed beside Crumpet. He needs a hockey arena to contain his ideas and work.
I think Crumpet and I are soul brothers as we both started putting insulating brick in our clay. Crumpet though went big scale and cranked up the USU hammer mill and made a couple of garbage cans full. Lucky for me he shares.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

USU Fat Camp

I can usually count on dropping 10 lbs when I come to USU. One I walk to and from school which is up hill. This first week has had my lungs screaming climbing the stairs to the bench on which the school sits. The fridge in the grad kitchen went on the fritz so it is outside on the stair landing. We have had some sub zero Rockie Mtn weather so coffee cream is frozen solid. I took a pic of what surrounds the university. Utah is really The Promised Land with breath taking scenery.
The second reason for the weight loss is the long days. Four of us are taking a night school welding class at the local technical school. Welding is sanctioned by my professor as a valuable MFA credit. I took a pic of the USU gang- CJ, Perry and Denny. We are an odd crew mixed in with the hard working men. I guess CJ must notice it more than I.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Slum Land Lady

I thought ya might like to see my digs in Logan. I rented a room from fellow grad Heidi
Kreitchet. I can't show you a picture of her cause she's at a bar drinking beer and watching a football game. I got a room with wi-fi, laundry facilities, my own entrance and I'm in walking distance to the school or the grocery store. The house is full of interesting pots so not only does it have everything I need it is visually interesting.
The last two days I've slept 12 hours a day getting caught up with the sleep I missed worrying about the trip over the Rockies.
I think my timing was dead on as a couple of the other students from the east are stuck at airports waiting for the skies to open.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bang On

Ya can tell I'm in a Red Neck State when ya see the truck they let on the road. Cowboy logic says ' If ya have a horse ride it!" This is Young Danny Crump's iron horse that Professor John sold him for $1. Danny decided to customize it with a foot hood ornament and since it's name is "Bang On" he cut it in the bumper with a torch. Nobody told Danny where the gas tank was. I must tell Danny at some point that the other bit of cowboy logic that one needs to be familiar with is "If your horse dies, get off of it!"
I have always been a fan of Danny's thrown work and since our trip to China he has gone over to the other side- sculpture. Here is a piece that is destined for the Nceca student show. I think that Danny's reference at this point is "Bang On".

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Crossing the Great Divide

The skies opened for me on this journey across the US. I had blue skies and sun all the way. The one place that has had me white knuckling my steering wheel on previous trips is between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming. There is a pass over the Rockies that can be nasty in August. If you laughed at me talking a survival kit here is a pic of what you see for hundreds of miles- nuthin! Nuthin' but sagebrush. Not a living soul or house anywhere. If they close the road you're in for a night to remember. Gas prices in Wy were as low as $1.33 a gallon. My fill ups were under $20 when just in August gas prices were around $3.45 and my fill ups were just under $50.
Once thru the Great Divide ya hit the mountains of Utah and I'm there.
Some of the gang were over to my new digs last night for some bourbon and cheap champagne. Nobody is moving too quick this morning as I have already been to the studio and I'm locked out till I get my key. A truck to unload and clay to make.