Sunday, September 30, 2012


We both have been making rolls for over 30 years. You can try one of Herm's rolls at my workshop at Pinecroft. He has been getting up at 6:30 each morning for thirty years to make fresh rolls for the Green Frog Tearoom. I get up later and make mine but often have to stay up later to fire them off. I fire mine a little hotter and a lot longer. I wonder how many rolls it would take to fill one of my casser-olls?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Loosey goosey/wabi sabi

I am never convinced by pots from people that haven't shown me they understand form. Oh, this is wabi sabi or loosely goosey.  Can you make perfectly thrown good forms????? On the front cover of Danny Rhodes book on Stoneware Glazes is a teapot that I stared at for years. It was a great teapot form thrown by Pete Voulkos. Pete knew how to make perfectly thrown functional forms. As a friend of mine Harlan House says " You can shit the fans, but not the players!". Master form and then get loose. Here are some creams and sugars that I will be demonstrating at my workshop at Pinecroft late in October. There are 3 spots open. Lots to talk about, lots to make, lots of discussion. Cya soon!

Friday, September 28, 2012


It has been said that you can judge the quality of a ceramics program by it's potluck. Last night's pot luck was held high above the Toronto skyline on the roof top of one of the students apartments. Hey pretty nice digs and an amazing view of the CN Tower, Lake Ontario and the city below.

The event was to welcome the first year Ceramics students and to honour two retired long term Sheridan teachers- Winn Burke and Bruce Cochrane. A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I give up!

I been accused of being a analog man living in a digital world. I like toggle switches in cars.  I like rotary phones, radios with knobs and a fishing tackle cash box. While at the Calgary airport waiting for my flight back to the Hammer I spotted Tom Wilson of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Tom is an icon musician around my hood so I went up and said hello. I then proceeded to pull out my laptop to let Sheila know I was on my way. He said what are you doing with that? When I told him he waved his Iphone and said "Hey man, you're fighting the inevitable! I do all my business with this. So this week I was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I have given up! I picked the sound of a train for my ring tone because I have always liked trains. Now to figure out how to stop the train from sounding in our bedroom at 1,2, 3, 4, 5 and 6am.  We're even talking about getting rid of our land line. Do you all remember the tick of a clock? I miss it!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Helter Skelter

Sheila decided to clean out her tool box today and wash everything. Do you think she needs some more tools? It has been said that the person who dies with the most tools wins. I always prided myself on a rib, a sponge, a wire and fetling knife.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

BAC 35 years

The Burlington Arts Center is celebrating 35 years of collecting and exhibiting ceramics in Ontario. 35 potters were asked to create cups that will be sold to raise money to continue adding to the permanent collection. Here are some prototypes that I made today. Two piece cups- thrown cup form with added foot. The V is for victory.

Friday, September 14, 2012

First week back

On day one of Sheridan I demoed small general purpose bowls- cereal, chowder, salad, peas, carrots kinda bowls. I told them to have 25 each thrown and trimmed for next class. So I got to look at over 200 bowls at my next class. I tell every class they are the best I've ever had. This is indeed a goodun. We're missing Matt in this pic.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Move to the country and grow weird

I encouraged one of my hot shot students to move to the country make pots and grow weird. Part of moving to the country includes a plaid shirt and facial hair. Here is Anne Marie Ohr with some pots. I'm not sure the stash is all that becoming. I can't wait to see Anne Marie and her pots as she returns to Sheridan for a final semester.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Teach to Learn

I have been lucky enuff to teach some of the best minds in the bizz. As some of you know we are planning on opening Pinecroft School of the Arts which is a continuation of a dream my aunt and uncle had some 65 years ago. I am lucky enough to be working with my cousin Brenda and her family and we are moving ahead. I needed some advice on trying to raise some funds for kilns, buildings, etc so I called on my former student Heidi McKenzie. Heidi has raised money for some of the biggest arts projects in the province. She is one amazing writer and did not disappoint in her advice to us. Here is a pic of Heidi running an idea past me and the turtles on the pond which is about how fast I process the information.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hey Chequita!

I promised you some pics of our Chequita ole yeller glaze. A few cups, some wine tumblers and a teapot. I like how the yeller glaze fumes around the black brush strokes.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back to school

It's the long weekend and while everyone else is enjoying the dog days of summer I'm here packing my bicycle and getting ready to head back to school. Feels like I never left actually!  Writing curriculum is  lot of fun. Pete Pinnell said to me over a drink at NCECA something I should have learned by now. He said " If you pick something up you have to put something down. With all this school teaching( 2 Adjunct professor gigs) , workshops, and working at Pinecroft  I have lost track of my own work. I am setting my sights on 2013 to get back my mojo. A friend of mine Judith Graham said that taking away my wood kiln was like taking away an artist's brushes. Hmmmmmmmmm! I'll post our latest Chequita banana e-ware sometime tonight.