Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde






Here is what the studio work looks like right now. I have two sides to my personality. There is the work for the studio which is mostly carbon trap shino glaze with multiple slips and paper resist. We mostly use a local clay for the slips and one new one that is Robin Hopper's black slip which I think he uses primarily over the glaze for brush work. We find we like it thick and under the shino glaze. It is a Barnard slip variation and therefore produces some nice manganese crystals where thick. I've always advised that there is more money to be made in the living room than the kitchen so I make these plates with a hole in the foot ring so they can be hung on the wall. Sometimes we put them together in a series and sell them as one piece. A fairly inexpensive piece of art that doesn't need to be framed.
I'm making some yunomi's for the AKAR show in March. I start with the basic Coke can shape and cut it apart and put it back together using a thick defloculated slip. They will be glazed in dry ash glaze and the decal part and inside a white shino.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wedgies and butt cracks





I made a series of cups today with my signature wedgies and butt cracks. The wedgie on the foot ring serves a couple of purposes. I tell customers it drains the water outta the foot when in the dishwasher. The real reason I started doing it was to get some atmosphere under the foot. This often gives me a little spot of carbon with the carbon trap glaze or a flash mark in the wood kiln. The butt cracks I make with my grand daughter knife Sheila bought her for carving pumpkins. The but cracks give me an area for the handle but more importantly I like the looks of the marks on the inside of the cup. Glaze often breaks or runs nicely on the ridges.
By the way I didn't come up with wedgies and butt cracks. It was some crazy potter at a workshop we gave in Lansing, Michigan. Those "Merickans' have a strange sense of humour.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Terminator





A few posts back I mentioned the termination of the handle on my jugs. Michael Kline said he thought they looked like metal work. A former student of mine John Boyd followed up with pics of the forged iron and a form from the Han dynasty-China. Too bad nobody showed that Chinese potter how to pull a handle and a lip. A lovely form for a jug.
I do like that art deco style handle although it is a wee on the feminine side for my work.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Spectacles, testacles, wallet and watch







It's that time to check to see if I have everything for the day. Our Christmas studio show is tomorrow December 5th from 9-5. Sheila is a detail person and for the past couple of days she has been tieing bows, putting greens and bells in our planters in the yard, ordering boxes, paper, ribbon, cheese, bread, wine, cider, cookies, making sure we have change etc, etc. So what have I been doing you ask? I dig holes and she fills them in. That's how this relationship works. I carry out boxes, deliver boxes, and work the cash and because of my glowing personality I'm the Wal-mart greeter minus the blue vest. Sheila works in the studio wrapping gifts and attending to the details of the presentation. It's started already I better get out there. Best of the season everyone!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Teach to learn







One of the nice things about teaching at Sheridan is getting the help of capable students. I took my jugs into school yesterday and heralded the help of Marcelina Salazar a third year graduating student. Marcelina pulled out all the stops with double screens top and side, polarizing screen, etc, etc but still that shiny shino held it's ground. I think some of the nicest shots from that session were the macro shots. They are like little abstract paintings.