Multiple Multiples

Posted by on Jul 30, 2011 in Bowls, Casserole, Multiples | 0 comments

Multiples are the path to perfection.  – Ben Jensen I love multiples – I get a lot of satisfaction seeing the pots lined up and waiting to go into the kiln. Casseroles Chip and Dip Serving Bowls Large Bowls Bowls and Plates Ring holders Berry...

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Seeing My Pots

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in About Me, Bowls | 4 comments

I have a difficulty seeing my pots – this is often because I am comparing what I meant to do with what I have done (the pot in my head is always better).  Sometimes it is hard for me to see my pots because I have spent too much time with them.  A little time away from them, helps me gain a bit of perspective.  And sometimes it is hard to see my pots because I only know them from the studio or in the sales booth.  When I see them in the context of domesticity, they seem different to me – more themselves. I have an amazing group of friends – who also happen  to love pottery.  My friends have a lot of pottery that I made; but, I cringe when I see pots from a few years ago.  I compare these pots to middle school pictures of myself – when I made them, they were my best work; but, I wish I could convince my friends to trade them in for new, improved pots. So when we got together in June for a long weekend, I saw a lot of the pottery that one of my good friends has been accumulating (usually on the pretext of giving as gifts – but is seems the gifts are often to herself!).  I was honored that she uses the pottery and pleased by the pots themselves.  I was also glad that I didn’t...

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Sticks and More

Posted by on Jun 17, 2011 in Bowls, Gifts, Lime Fiesta, Mugs | 0 comments

Today, we took new pots to restock inventory at Sticks and More in Snow Hill, NC.  This was the first shop to host pottery by A Bit Off Center.  It is a cute store – actually it is a renovated petroleum station.  Although I am a potter by passion, I work for an environmental consulting firm by day – which means that most of my clients are petroleum retail facilities.  But, none of my project sites have an AST (above ground storage tank) painted pink! Sticks and More is just as adorable inside as it is outside.  They have quite an assortment of fun and unique gifts and they host arts and crafts made by local artisans – and we have been thrilled to be included in their eclectic collection since August...

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Considerations and Logistics: Brush Strokes

Posted by on Apr 19, 2011 in Bowls, Brush Strokes, How-to, Mugs, Plates, Red and White, Resist, Spring Snow, Tools | 0 comments

In this series of entries, I am sharing some of the discoveries I am making as I try to add texture and interest to my pots. Some techniques I have been experimenting with are: Slip trailing Carving Brush strokes Tape and wax resist Technical – Technical logistics include types of glazes and brushes.  Although this has been the easiest of the logistics to resolve, it eluded us for a while.  We kept trying to paint fine lines with thick brushes – that doesn’t work.  Fine lines require very fine brushes. Method – The preferred method is to paint underglaze on greenware  because it can be wiped it off if I make a mistake.  After the bisque-fire, it won’t smudge when I dip the pot in another glaze.   I have also used underglaze on top of glaze which is good for lines but not as good for designs. Glaze response – Understanding the properties each glaze exhibits has been key (this is a prevalent truth).  Translucent and clear glazes allow the underglaze to show.  In order to use opaque glazes, brush strokes need to be applied on top of the opaques. Design – All that the factors I identified with slip, carving, and resist are true with brush strokes – what patterns, how do the patterns relate to the rest of the pot, how to designate a space on the pot.  However, this application demands a bit more representative drawing...

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And so it goes…

Posted by on Mar 31, 2011 in Bowls, Firing | 2 comments

We had a bit of a tragedy this week.  Two 10lb bowls exploded in the bisque firing.  It was unfortunate because they were made with reclaimed clay – which meant all that wedging was wasted!  I’m not sure what caused the explosion – maybe an air pocket but it is more likely that the weight of one bowl damaged the other. If you want to be a potter, you have to be ready for some loss.  Pots break.  Sometimes they are ruined by unforeseen forces (glaze chemistry or kiln failure) or by result of experimentation.  And, sometimes they are damaged by carelessness or stupidity.  I have a very long list of ‘dumb’ accidents; I guess I can add nesting 10lb bowls for bisque firing to the list. During pottery classes, I try to assure the potters that failure is part of the process; nonetheless, it seems they are more distressed over loss than is warranted.  After all, if they made a pot one time, they can make it again (and probably better). My recommendation is to avoid getting emotionally involved with the pots until after they are  glazed and transported safely to their final destination.  Too much emotional investment will paralyze a potter and deter risk and...

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Pocosin Arts Workshop

Posted by on Feb 25, 2011 in Bowls, Mugs, Uncategorized, Workshop | 0 comments

Here are some pictures of the pots we made at the workshop, Scratching the...

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