Posts made in November, 2010

Steven Hill Workshop

Posted by on Nov 29, 2010 in Glazes, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Julie and I recently had the pleasure of attending a workshop conducted by Steven Hill.   I love his work – soulful, warm, and inviting.  It is what I seek to impart to my pots. Standard Ceramics in Pittsburgh, PA hosted the workshop and they were phenomenal hosts.  In addition to feeding me pizza and doughnuts (which would earn anyone a rave review), they constructed 14 spray booths for us to practice in! The workshop focused on spray glazing and electric firing.  Steven Hill sprays his glazes on bone dry pots then fires them in an electric kiln; and, he is achieving similar effects to those he got when he was using a gas kiln.  He is really excited about these changes he has been exploring and was very generous with his experiences and information. We watched Steven throw the first day.  He has been making pots for 40 years and has very well developed philosophy about pot details and function.  He also has an amazing perspective on contemporary ceramics and the changes it has undergone since the 1970s.   It was also inspiring that after 40 years, he is still finding new things to do in pottery. The second day, we discussed glazes and watched him demonstrate spraying techniques.  Then we glazed several bisqueware pieces that we brought with us. On the third day, we unloaded the kilns and Steven critiqued some of our pots.  There were a lot of exciting pots – he was even surprised by some of the colors. Overall, the workshop was full of information and inspiration.  It was a really good opportunity for us and we are looking forward to experimenting with some of the ideas we...

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Sous-Potter Smack

Posted by on Nov 28, 2010 in A Bit Off Center, Platters, Pottery, Sous-potter, Studio, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Braum is my sous-potter; but, he works at Firetower Studio East.  The sous-potter in residence at Firetower Studio West is Smack.  His duties are varied.  He hunts grasshoppers and keeps the neighborhood Siamese cat away from the studio.  He is also our test demographic for cat bowls and platters.  Recently, he expanded the market of our large platters to include cats and pet-owners.

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Pottery Booth

Posted by on Nov 18, 2010 in About Me, Selling Pottery | 0 comments

A consequence of making pottery is having an abundance of pots.  Initially, friends and family are the depositories for the surplus.  But, then even they can become inundated with mugs and bowls.  The next step is to sell them. Julie and I started selling our pottery by sharing a booth at a small, local craft show.  It was a huge step for me because I felt very exposed.  It is hard to watch some one look at my work, the work whose flaws and imperfections that I am very familiar with, and choose not to buy it – it is rejection.  But, I have also found it very satisfying to watch some one enthusiastically connect with a pot I made and then buy it.  There is no way around it, people look over our pots and many choose not to buy them but many do...

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Tea for Two

Posted by on Nov 16, 2010 in About Me, Teapot | 0 comments

I love to give gifts. But, making gifts for some one special is even more fun.  While I plan and make the gift, I find myself thinking about and praying for whomever I am making the special pot. I recently made a tea set for my niece.  When Jeff and I just visited our family, I brought the tea set to give to our niece. She and I played with it all Sunday afternoon.  It was such fun.  And, it doesn’t matter that we broke a cup because I can make another!

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85 Pounds

Posted by on Nov 8, 2010 in Glazes, Sous-potter, Tools | 0 comments

I spent yesterday mixing glazes – not the most exciting aspect of pottery.  Julie and I use commercial glazes and we order them in dry form.  We recently ordered several of our primary glazes, which I had to mix so we can glaze bisque-ware this week.  But, Firetower Studio East has a fantastic sink area that makes mixing glazes easier on my back. The other two tools that really help make the task easier are an extended mixing paddle for an electric drill and a set of sieves.  Sieves can be expensive but I found an affordable set at Pottery Supply House, one of my favorite ceramics sites. Sous-potter Jeff purchased the paddle from Harbor Freight.  It is smaller than those sold at most pottery supply sites.  But, I usually mix 2-4 gallons and find it to be a good size for that volume. After a few hours or stirring, pouring, and sieving, I finished mixing 85 pounds of glaze and we are set for a while (or at least until we add a new...

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