"Centering in Life & on the Wheel"

Handmade, functional Pottery

About Us

A Bit Off Center is made up of two friends who collaborate to make functional ceramics.  Both Julie Rogers and Rae Brown began wheel throwing as a hobby.  After working at community studios for several years, we each bought wheels and kilns and set up studios in our homes.  We pursue 

Contact

   Thank You for visiting our site!
We are always making new pots – so check back to see updates.

Classes

We enjoy sharing pottery with anyone who wants to learn. Rae teaches Intermediate pottery at the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge on Tuesdays. Classes are six-week sessions. Contact Emerge to register for upcoming classes.

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2015!

Happy 2015!  It is a new year and now that the holidays are over, I am ready to go boldly into this calendar year. Looking back at 2014, there were lots of good things.  Jeff and I started the year in Japan – which was an amazing and inspirational trip.  We ‘finished’ dog training classes with Koko.  And, our backyard underwent several landscaping changes – a project that has been long over-due but is still a work in progress.  And, of course, there were lots of trips to visit...

Having a Partner

Which pots are yours?  How does having a partner work?  Who made this pot? These are some of the questions that we are frequently asked.  I am not sure why it seems so out of the ordinary to work collaboratively in clay.  After all, there are a number of successful collaborations in many media: Rogers and Hammerstein, Simon and Garfunkel, Ira and George Gershwin, Hall and Oats. And, those are just off the top of my head.  The reality is, most creative work is collaborative.  No movie is made...

Summer Solstice

It’s the Summer Solstice today – longest day/shortest night.  If it isn’t already obvious from past postings, I really like the solstices and equinoxes.  It is something about their oppositional balance that I find appealing. So, on this first official day of summer, I spent most of it in the studio working on snowman plates.  It was purely coincidental that what we were working on Christmas-themed pots today.   However, we struggled last year to keep up with the requests for Christmas plates because we didn’t start making them...

Salavaging Pottery

I messed up.  I over-fired a bisque load. It was careless and I still can’t figure out how it happened.  Unfortunately, it isn’t the first time that I’ve done this…it is the second. The first time it happened, our kiln was full of small bowls.  Although they didn’t take a lot of time to make, there were so many of them that we decided to try to salvage them.  When bisque pots are fired to maturity, they are no longer porous and therefore do not absorb glaze.  So the...

First Place!

This is show season.  Although, we participate in shows throughout the year, the fall is our busy time.  And, this year, we have a full docket. Our most recent show was in Fayetteville at the International Folk Festival where A Bit Off Center won first place for quality of work and display!  It was really an exciting surprise that was accompanied by a certificate and a...

Fake Snow

Part of studio maintenance includes cleaning kiln shelves.  This is a messy job and not one of my favorites.  I use an angle grinder with a masonry blade to remove all the kiln wash which kicks up a ton of dust.  I wear a face mask, ear plugs, and protective eye-ware; I also wear a bandanna around my hair to keep the dust out.  It is quite the ordeal so I when I do scape shelves, I do all of them.   Here’s my process: Get dressed in shelf...

A Brief History of Time

Although I was on a hiatus from blogging, I wasn’t on a break from A Bit Off Center.  So what have I been doing while I wasn’t blogging?  Here are the highlights… Monthly inventory: In January, I generated a list of pots to make each month which (among other things) includes 35 mugs.  I have managed to meet the monthly goals – so I have been at the wheel a lot. Shows: We participated in several shows: Peakfest (Apex, NC), Artsplosure (Raleigh, NC), Lazy Daze (Cary, NC), and Matthews...

Return from a Hiatus

One of my resolutions this year was to post a blog a week; sadly, I have not succeeded in keeping that resolution.  But it’s September! Which is another sort of New Year. Of course, this perspective is the result of years in school.  And, although I am not in school, September still resonates with promises of change and improvement. While I truly enjoy blogging, it is quite a bit of work for me.  One of the bigger challenges to blogging (right after carving out time to be quiet and...

March 6

It is cold today.  March is a potluck of weather conditions.  But I don’t mind working in the studio when it is cold if I run the heater, have warm throwing water, and the clay isn’t cold.  Cold clay gives me an ice-cream headache.  I tried to speed up the warming process by putting the clay by the fire – which did help.  So Braum and I spent a wintry, March evening in the studio making bowls and tumblers (although I think he would have preferred remaining by the...

Throwing large

Making large pots seems is a challenge that all potters attempt.  In one sense, throwing a large pot is evidence of accomplished skill because it shows that a potter can maneuver the technical challenges to handling a lot of clay. After I had been throwing for a few years, I got obsessed with making a ‘grapefruit bowl’, i.e. a bowl large enough to contain a week’s worth of grapefruit and worthy enough to occupy the place of honor on my kitchen table.  It took quite a while and resulted in several...