Sunday, June 30, 2013

I never

really have a day off from thinking about pots. Last night I had a gold watch( shot of bourbon) with one ice outta one of Sheila's bourbon cups. I love how the ash circled the circle of life left in the bottom of the cup. It kinda makes you want to drink up just to have a closer look. Here is a Limoges cup I looked at today cause I love the handle treatment. I need to interpret that handle on my work. I have it on my mind and might just well come up with the answer sometime in my deep sleep.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Blood shows up on it.

Today I trimmed and assembled 10 porcelain teapots. My cousin Brenda said " I hope you're not charging by the hour!"  10 of these puppies is the best I can do in a day. It took me 7 non stop hours to finish them and all day yesterday to make them. These little teapots are my easy ones. The roundies that I do take even longer and a 5 or 6 teapot day is a long one.   I remember in my youth I made 90 one day. They were straight sided "so what" teapots. These teapots I put together today have lots of details that I care about. God is in the details and she makes me do it.  Drop Stitich Chris who manages the showroom notices the details and they matter to her. It matters to me that she notices them. I'm kinda excited about the next wood firing and what the porcelain will do. I want to do some yellows, blues, greens and of course shino.
They say of porcelain that blood shows up best on it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Cigar is Out

Well the big weekend is over and the frogs cigar has been butted. Ron worked wonders. We're all exhausted. I'm at the trailer! Sparked up the old charcoal grill and made myself a White Trash Double with the weeeeeeerks. A wee glass of left over white grape, got Alabama Shakes on my I-pod, the charcoal burgs rock and a hot shower is minutes away and then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Life is good for those that know that life is good!

Monday, June 24, 2013

He scores

Not only did Ron score his pots aggressively with a fork before applying the clay for relief decoration but he scored with the babes. Ron put on a great workshop and I think he leaves more broken hearts in each town his visits than any workshop presenter. Like his pots you just want to hold him. Tomorrow I'll take some pics of the ones we are going to keep for the collection. I think it important that the history of the presenters be documented by their work. Like all the pots I own each tells a story. The pot is the person, their vices and virtues contained within. No disguise is possible. BL
He did some great frogs smoking cigars and drinking beer. I'm pretty sure one was me sitting on a rim with my buddy Ronnie.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Michelle's Purple

I mixed  a glaze similiar to this one at Sheridan. We used 70% Redart and 30% whiting. Easy, peasy as I like it. I said to the students it would be yellow, green, red where thin. A student in the class Michelle who had temporarily zoned out said "What colour will it be?" I answered "purple!" She said "really?". The glaze became known to the class as Michelle's Purple.
I used local red clay 70% and 30% rock flour from the local gravel quarry.  I've renamed it " Pond Scum" as I think that name a certain Marketing edge:).

Guess who is coming to dinner

Tonight Ron Meyers and his bride of over 5 decades Hester arrive  in the Hammer. We are going to chill out in the city before heading to the main event this weekend at Pinecroft. We probably have a couple of dozen Ron pots in the house including dinner plates. I look at them often in use and in passing. This work makes me feel good. It also makes me feel good to be in their fine company. It's going to be a great weekend.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

tight ass potter

We have Ron Meyers coming to Pinecroft for a workshop next weekend. Ron has the most direct approach to clay I have seen. Gee, I must be trying to embarrass myself as a tight ass potter as I chose to throw porcelain this weekend. Truth is I hated it! This is not clay it is almost everything else than clay. Since with our wood firing I " got brown down" I thought I needed to add some colour and porcelain was an answer. Ok so it wasn't the right answer for this cowboy.
Looking forward to seeing Ron next weekend. I looked at the roster of attendees and it is well represented by my former and present Sheridan students. I have been a bad influence and damn proud of it!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mojo Workin'

Just talked to Ronnie Meyers last night and he assured me he has his mojo workin' for the upcoming workshop at Pinecroft. Ron had some surgery this spring that knocked his socks off for a bit. The man is a maker and he repaired quickly so that he could get back in the mudpits. I'm looking forward to spending some time with him and his bride- Hester. They are an inspiration to me. If you have the weekend don't miss Ron's workshop. He is one of the very best out there- barr none! This image is a painiting of Rons. To paraphrase him " Why would you buy a painting of mine when you could own a pot!"We have lots to discuss at this workshop.

Monday, June 10, 2013

From the maiden voyage

Here are some of the pots from the first firing. Although we held at Cone 11 for 5 hours I think we need to get the temperature higher. Time melted the cones but we need to crank up the temp a little bit more as our glazes were a tad on the soft matt side which means they need more temp to get them really wet looking. Thankfully with this kiln getting more temp is the easy part. Holding it back was the hard part. It will only get better with each firing.

Count down

Talked to Ron the other day and we're excited about his workshop here at Pinecroft. I always thought I was a rather casual thrower until I shared an afternoon workshop with Ron Meyers. Man he made me look like a real tight ass potter. I love how he handles clay and leaves all the marks of process for those of us that love pots to discover in the piece. We have potters coming to the workshop from Georgia (his home state), Michigan, Maryland and of course Ontario.  There are still spots available so if you can don't miss workshop June 22/23.
The buzz word in art schools for the past while has been "Narrative". I can think of no other potter whose work bests describes animated narrative.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Never again!!!

When Sheila and I tore down our train two years ago we said never again will we build a wood kiln. Well, it didn't last long and the maiden voyage is being unloaded. I can't imagine how I could finish my pots other than with wood. I was asked by my professor
 Dan Murphy if I could see the pots in my MFA Thesis Exhibition fired any other way than with wood. I answered "No!" Dan replied "that is the right answer!" I have been draggin' my butt these past few days but looking at the fruits of our labour I can't wait to get back to making pots again.
Here are a few bud vases I made with my Uncle Jimmie in mind. He made fruit serving dishes back in 1948. I used his mould to press mould some footed bud vases. I'm supposed to send some pots to a  invitational

show at Harbourfront in Toronto entitled "Surfaces". Can't think of a better surface. More pics to come.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Weight

Is it the weight or the wait? Whatever it is very hard on flashlights.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Laid back wood firing

Well we just fired the maiden voyage of the woodie. It went faster than expected and it seemed we spent most of our time trying to hold it back. One of the new ideas for me that was put forward by Donovan Palmquist was to hold the kiln at the beginning of red heat for an extended time. We choose 1400 and held it for 7 hours. This gets the entire mass radiating heat for a finish that was spot on even- Cone 11 everywhere. We held the kiln again at Cone 6 since it was going way to fast. Holding it at 2230 had Cone 11 down everywhere- the old time and temperature theory. Since most of the pots were glazed ware and I had no intention firing too long so it ended up at 28 hours in length. We could have finished in 16. It was just a holding game.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Been at Pinecroft for 5 days of glazing, wadding, loading, clean up, bricking up etc, etc. Came home for the weekend to The Hammer our city home. We love this place and the gardens are more luscious than I remember. Sheila is a attention to detail person and I love to come home to our home with it's gardens,  art, pots, books and fine craft. I have my Wifi, books and stuff I love to deal with each day. I've had to have coffee at McDonald's in Aylmer to try and stay in touch with y'all. Blogging and social networking requires being there daily and I'm so sorry I just haven't been able to do that. Off in the morning to the Fusion Conference to see Laurie Rowland and Gay Smith as presenters. My mind is on  the firing coming up on Monday night. Andrew Kellner my former student is joining us for the firing this week. I think the world of Andrew and his work ethic. Sheila calls him the son I should have had.  This guy out works any one barr none..