Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Double Trouble

Here I am with my ole buddy Frankie Tucker owner of Tucker's Pottery Supplies. Frank and I over the past 4 decades
have drank taverns dry, told lies and bullshitted galore. We both have lived large and love this  life we have been blessed with. Frank is older than me so he has to hold his stomach in while I can still kinda just suck mine in.  Hey, if you're wondering where the hair went well "grass doesn't grow on a playground!" Great weekend with Frank and his awesome staff at the warehouse.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Here's to you, here's to life!

This is my daughter Robin toasting life. We had a belated Father's Day evening on the town in Toronto- lobster and then oysters and a drink. I'd like to toast my ole buddy Frankie Tucker for being such an awesome clay supplier and award winning employer. Frank attracts and hangs on to good people. He knows when he has gooduns and treats and rewards them well. He asked me what I'd like in my star trailer for the workshop and I said a good bottle of top shelf bourbon and the sexiest voice on his staff- Ronnie. I love her phone voice and an arm around her was a payment bonus. She has been his long time office manager and has been joined by Rose. Frank couldn't stand me making moves on his awesome women so he had to show his face. Jacob has been with Frank  for as long as I can remember and always is soooo

super helpful. There are others on staff Kimmie and Micheal that I didn't get pics with but they are super solid. So Frankie here's to you!  Here's to life! You should feel very proud of yourself for building such an awesome team! I always feel like I drop in on family when I come to Tucker's Pottery Supplies.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Visually interesting!

I have always lived in a visually interesting house. The house has always had something to keep your eyes interested. I like to make  the house

interesting and beautiful.  It costs nothing and very little time to bring Mother Nature into your home. The smell is nice and it makes you feel good about where you live. Some can live with bare walls, no art, no pots, no life. It says something about them. Hey phone the interior decorator, the florist and the painter to make my environment look like it's lived in.  Off tomorrow to take Andrew out for lunch and wish him the best at grad school. Then an evening with my daughter Robin at her pad that very much resembles her old man's. A place full of art, books, flowers and old furniture. Then on Saturday I am doing a workshop at my long time friend Frankie Tucker's warehouse. Come if ya can. It will be a blast!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pot as a gateway drug

I have come to believe that once you have tried your first pot it is the gateway drug  to heavier addictions. Since I collected my first pot it has been a serious habit that I can’t seem to get enough of. I have stashes of pots everywhere. On my recent trip south of 49 I picked up some really killer pot. I stayed overnight in the Pokonos with my tireless editor Lois Wilkins where she gave me a nice little coil built bowl for my morning grog. Oh, have I told you that my book Stuck in the Mud is

still available and now into it’s second printing.
Then on my arrival at Peter’s Valley I was pleased to see my Matt Schiemann jug had arrived from the Tableware Show in Alexandria, Virginia. It looks amazing with weeds from my garden. I bought two of Bruce Dehnert’s pieces. I wish I could have bought them all! I am a serious addict for his work. Tomorrow I will show you all the details on that one killer sauce boat. I also landed a Chris Pickett bowl that I am thrilled with. I saw his hand built t-pot and jar and was absolutely blown away.  Just say no!

Level land

Well I'm back in Level land and I brought some treasures home with me. The weed patch out the back is full to over flowing with the most beautiful weeds, so I thought my new Mathew Scheiman jug deserved a nice welcoming on my kitchen table. When is a jug a vase? Usually when I own it. I am thrilled with the pot and the beauty it and Mother Nature have given the man cave. Some poor suckers without any imagination would go to their local florist and pay thru the nose for a bouquet of weeds like this.
Wait till I show ya all the pots I brought home from Amerika. Man,
I scored some beauties. I had purchased Matt's jug from the Tableware Show in Alexandria and had it shipped to Peter's Valley. Let that be the ultimate compliment when the Juror purchases your entry. What I love about the jug is that it is of a functional size to display flowers beautifully.

Monday, July 21, 2014

During a firing a workshop broke out!

At Peters Valley I was supposed to deliver a glazing shino workshop. We glazed like maniacs on Friday and while the kiln was firing on Saturday I figured we should make some pots. I did a monkey see, monkey do throwing demo of a three piece jug and a three piece bowl. There were some mighty fine jugs to critique on Sunday as well as a car kiln full of nice shino. Now for the long trip home to Level Land. Love the hills of NJ- saw deer a plenty and a couple of bears.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saying yes when I oughta no!

Last night all the faculty at Peter's Valley gave a Power Point presentation of their work. I asked some of them to come to the Ceramics Studio where it was quite likely that a party would break out. The answer I got was that they were teaching and had to pace themselves. Gee, I keep saying yes when I oughta no! Both my slaves Brent and Patrick took turns on the guitar and well as Big Daddy Dehnert and Jim. A nice surprise was Frank on the empty water bottle followed by his playing of this weird Brazilian instrument that looked like a bow with a gourd held to his stomach. It was like Jimi Hendrix came alive in the mudpits.  I was in bed by 10:30 so I ain't misbehavin'  too badly.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sitting on the can at Peter's Valley

This is the wall of shame in the can in the Ceramics Studio at Peter’s Valley.  Hey, it passes time while you pass wind.  If   of former instructors. It is fun to take part in the guessing game.  On my way to the studio from breaky this morning a family of turkeys and a couple of young deer crossed my path. I will ask tonight for a good wine recommendation for venison sausage.  Food is afoot everywhere.
you can’t find inspiration in this studio you are a bag of hammers. There is a great bisque selection

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Loosing money at Peter's Valley

You are not supposed to lead a workshop and loose money. I think this is gonna happen to me. There is a great selection of Bruce Dehnert's work in the craft store and I have to git me some. There are some killers here that need to come home to Canada with me. I have said it before but I think Bruce Dehnert is America's best kept secret! I love his work to bits.

Peters' Valley School of Crafts know how to do a workshop right. I arrive to a free t-shirt, flashlight, nice house shared with instructors from other facilities. Already met the fabric instructor from Oz. There is a Keurig coffee maker with a selection of coffees, granola bars, and my clay slaves have the rock and roll cranked up and the studio clean and ready for me to rock and roll.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mr.K's Bastard Porcelain

Well, Andrew K here is your bastard porcelain with my pink shino on it. I do love this clay and especially when it comes to trimming with all that sand in it. All shinos craze so it wasn't a big worry for me like it has been for you with your clear glazes and slips. I'm going down to fire Ronnie the Rats Ratagama in Jan so I'll drop in to Morganstown,WV on the way down or the way back. Hey, I'll treat you to a garden salad with chicken like I had in town last year. Iceberg lettuce, processed chicken and the entire thing was covered in french fries with my Ranch dressing on the fries. I couldn't eat it so maybe they saved it and we can try it together. Going to miss you, dude!

Saturday, July 12, 2014


It ain't a lid slider offer stopper. I put that cap on the gallery of the teapot to be able to attach my generous handle. Needed some surface to use to spring the handle off. These two teapots just came out of the last gas firing. I'm back to using slip again as a under the glaze surface enhancer. I like these two teapots and they are in the easy shino I call Aussie shino. 70 nep sy, 30 ball clay and 3% table salt. It seems some of the simplest  glaze formula I use are the most beautiful.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Definition of Craft

 Craft ya can piss in and art ya can piss on. At the Toronto Outdoor Exhibition this past weekend I saw lots and lots of excellent ceramics, some good painting and lots and lots of mediocre paintings. It takes a hellava pot to fetch $1000 but it seems that's the starting point for the painters. I couldn't wait to get home to the workshop on Monday morning to make my paper thin ceramic canvas's.  I dried them in the sun and so far all is well. I was able to move them off the plastic bags to a kiln shelf dusted with alumina hydrate without so much as a crack. I used a tenmoku glaze for brushwork and added some colour with glazes. I'll high fire them and keep my fingers crossed. If all goes well I figure I'll be able to do this work on that island in the Mediterranean I have my eye on. Hey, I hope I get as good as my grand daughter Olivia. Her painting is my new screen saver.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ole Frank Tucker

is a dirty ole "son of a gun". How's that for rhyming? Frank and I have been carrying on, telling lies, bullshitting and been friends in clay for the best part of 40 years. He is much older than me, of course.
Frank has been there when I had no money in February to pay for clay, moved and had no electric kiln to get pots ready for my first wood firing, been down in the dumps about why the pots I make ain't flying off the shelf, and has always had a pot or two of mine in his kitchen. In fact it is because of Frank's good sense to hire Barbara Tipton as Editor of the now defunct Contact magazine that I actually write.
Come join us at Frank's warehouse for a free workshop and a few laughs. It would be great to have the old gang out. I have fond memories of the old Fusion Conferences that featured Frank's tequilla bar in North Bay and dancing up a storm with  Shirley Clifford in Waterloo.

Excess is never enuff!

I made these bowls thinking they would be Korean rice bowls that the Japanese love for tea. I put that little belly button in the bottom- chai damari( tea puddle). I then took out my slip and thought Man this looks so good thick to heck with rice and tea they are capital A –Art bowls. Tomorrow if they survive I’ll put a hole in the foot ring. 

I thought excess was never enuff until I came back an hour later to look to see half of them ripping themselves apart. Oh well the ones that survive will be EXPENSIVE. I’ve turned the corner. I’m an artist now and not a lowly mudpushin’ potter. Maybe I’ll rethink that by morning. My insurance is due and the old car is sounding a tad throaty. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Gift of Friendship

Gee last month I came home with a car full of pots from friends south of 49- Dan Finnegan, Allison Coles Severance, Blair Meerfeld and Ronnie the Rat. This week I scored some more pots from friends.  A wee handled porcelain wood fired tequila cup by Iris Dorton, a new wine cup by Chris Snedden and my new morning cafe latte cup by Andrew Kellner. Then there is my potter's grog bowl by Emma Smith and something worth thinking about by Amber Zuber " Learn to say "fuck you" to the world once in a while".  Then my hooker friend Drop Stitch Chris gave me some knitted dish clothes. Thanks all for your friendship. Ya have to be a friend to have friends so I guess if a bar room brawl breaks out I've got your backs

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What the hell?

I found that if I swear or make a comment that is unPC I get more likes. So after a really nice day at the Toronto Outdoor Exhibition visiting potter friends and students Cassara and I headed back to Emma and Jesse's place in Jerseyville for a great chicken dinner that Jesse had prepared while we were smoozing in Toronto. Emma and Jesse have a neat little general store/pottery with a cozy apt upstairs. There space is full of books, pots and vinyl music. Take my hat.Take my coat.It takes my breath away. Dinner on some Sean Connelly plates and yes that is a Ronnie the Rat. Hats off to a young couple that are living the dream. Kind of a similar dream that I have lived for the past 4 decades.
So Emma gave me one of her wood fired  bowls for my morning grog-Granola, cranberries, flax seeds, chia, bee pollen, walnuts, peaches, strawberries, blueberries and almond milk. I see on Face book if you like my post I have a chance to win another one of Emma's bowls with a clearer map on it. The map on my bowl is not really visible like the one that my life has followed. Many have a clear map of life- I don't! If I win that bowl with black top highway maybe I will and maybe it's the road to hell. I'll see most of my friends there,

so what the hell.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Things that work!

Well, I got a bunch of pinkies to decorate tomorrow so I'm taking my Troy Bungart brush to the workshop with me. I've had it in the living room of the man cave staring at it for about a month. I haven't wanted to get it dirty.  Now it is time to put it to the acid test. Gotta look good and work too. Hey this could be true of picking a partner. I got a Brandon Philips brush in the mail and just ordered a Ron Mello today so boyzzzzzzzzz the heat is on. Gotta give a big SHOUT OUT to my buddy Grass Hopper for encouraging me firstly to take up the brush and then to make art with art. It has been fun to see people making such beautiful objects to make art with. All three of the brush makers above can stand up and take a bow. Nicely done, boys!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Captured on the Amazon


I decided I needed to start buying CD’s again instead of downloading Itunes for my Ipod. I like getting the paper and reading the lyrics especially when it is sing songwriters that I love the most. Then the added bonus is I can play them in my 2001 Honda CRV. With all the travel I’ve been doing and are about to do the music is great company and passes the hours. I just recently bought Guy Clark’s “My Favourite Picture of You” and loved it so much that Amazon told me that people that bought Guy also bought Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark “Blind, Crippled and Crazy”. Well, I loved that CD so much I read what buyers of that one bought. I took a dice throw on Rodney Crowell “Tarpaper Sky”. I had never heard of him and I just love this CD.  I gotta have some musical mentor so Amazon is it. So far it has been 5 star. Here in Aylmer they think Tie a Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree is a new hit and Bob Seeger is a new sensation.

No signature required

for those that know some potters in the UK that champion ash glazes these are the pots of "Da man". These pots are not signed and yet are as distinctive as any signature can be. These 3 pots used daily in my kitchen are the pots of Richard Batterham of England. I had a wonderful faceted bowl and a dinner plate that were sadly broken. It was a hurt I still feel to this day typing this post. The jars in the background are from Allison Coles Severance and Todd Piker. All in use in the kitchen not on pedestals or on mantels over the fireplace.
Where I live a man that collects pottery is a bit of an oddity. Here a collection consists of either a ball cap or beer can collection. Perhaps I am being unfair there is a guy down the road with a nice tractor collection.