Monday, September 24, 2012

Sand Hill Slip

Jake Boggs and I at the salt kiln at EKU.
     Hello little pickles! Right now, I have pots in a salt kiln that is waiting to be unloaded. I sliced the shit out of my fingers caulking the door up with clay. Oh, salt glazed bricks! How you slice open my finger tips. Where are my rubber finger thingies?
Elmer trying to capture the moment.
     Not wasting time. I am glazing pots for my electric kiln and hope to get a firing off this week. Cross my fingers on that one.
     And I hear that there may be some wood firings going on in the area??? Well, it is Autumn so what better time for a big bonfire in a small brick building?
Raw from the river bank. 
Makes a nice creamy slip. Very olive green. 
After applying, you can buff it back like a terra sigillata. I may have to expriment with this a bit. No firing, nice olive green variations from dark to light as you buff it. Very soft to the touch.
Fired cone 6 oxidation on porcelain.
Fired cone 6 reduction on stoneware. Very iron rich. Nothing added but water.
     With these firings, I hope to see how my local slip fires and if I'm getting any consistency. It's rather iron heavy so I'm not sure what kind of modifications I can make to it but playing with adding ash, clay and maybe some colorants to see what changes I can make with it. I noticed that it has some terra sigillata properties so I may try it at lower temps on my sculptures.
     Pictures of the unloading and new pots to come soon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Studio Schedule Change

     The open studio hours will be suspended this week to accomodate a firing. I will be back next week, available for studio visits, Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM until September 30th. The good news is that I should start to have more new pots available!

Look here and my Facebook page for announcements on future kiln openings and Christmas sales in the area.

Monday, September 10, 2012


She presses onward!
I know the glazing is beginning because the under-glazing is in full swing.
Symbols and markings
      Much of the functional work I've been doing started out as a derivative of the sculptural textures and shapes I indulged in. Natural stepping off point, I suppose. Incorporate the textures and ideas I have sculpturally into my functional work. The main thrust of my fine art focuses around seeds, pods, fundamentals of nature and the like. Often it references back to sexuality, femininity and maturity. However, the functional equivalents of those ideas are more tricky to pull off. As a diversion, a quickie, "Make-A-Mug" project, I took a break from the "form/concept" translation to my pottery by relaxing and doing some simple cave art carvings of horses on my mugs and cups. I've been drawing horses since I was a kid and I liked the primitive look they had on the pottery.
      Bingo! They found interested eyes and curious fingers and hands, people who wanted them! So I've thought more, since then about the primitive aspect of the drawings. I've explored what I'm thinking about and the important elements of my work, sculptural and functional. The repeated themes are origins, evolution, changes and time. As I think about these things, my drawings are becoming more diverse and abstract elements are appearing. I'm researching primitive cave art, pottery markings, pre-historic cultures and recent cultures and symbols.
Pin tool scratchings...

Time line events
      I'm drawn to small threaded markings and the timeline. The thing I find fascinating about change as we experience it, is that we experience it often when we reflect, compare and contrast moments, not as it is actually happening. We tend not to live in the moment and in fact, as we become aware of each moment, it passes into the past. To a degree, we need that ability to look back in order to "see" change.
     The cave art and primitive markings definitely appeal to me and I've been making a bunch of stamps recently with each bisque firing.
Underglaze City.
      Fortunately, I'm confident my addiction to bisque work is waning since I've begun under-glazing my stampings and markings. Kinda like putting underwear on first, I put the underglaze on first :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Enlighten: Catherine Wright

Supporting all arts...
     Being in the arts is a passion-motivated calling that can be fraught with many moments of self-doubt. Too often, in my humble opinion, the arts, collectively, are dismissed as somehow being frivolous, unsustainable, secondary. And yet, throughout human history, while we were evolving, surviving and thriving, we have always sought to express ourselves. It's what we do as a species. Some of us do it more thoroughly than others but even if you cannot sing a note, draw a stick figure, play a guitar, you can appreciate those who do, particularly those who do it well.
     We all are creative beings from the get-go. Somewhere along the line, for many of us, fear and insecurity creeps in and we declare, "I'm not creative" and abandon our passion. Some, like myself, never quite put it away but never gave it the respect it deserved in our lives until we were much older and abandoned our old fears and insecurities. We who participate in the arts, whether writing, acting, singing, dancing, creating visual art in two or three dimensions, you name it, must push ourselves not only in our area of creativity but also push our name out there. We must market ourselves. We must do it constantly. It can seem uncomfortable and icky but we press on. So, when I come across someone who is young and amazingly talented and just beginning and hasn't succumbed to the obstacles of doubt and dismissal that society throws in our way, I am more than happy to say, "Come look at this! Come listen to this!"
     And so I am happy to send you to these pages of Miss Catherine Wright, a talented operatic-trained singer from Lexington, Kentucky. She is just eighteen-years-old and promises to have a wonderful career in front of her. She is currently studying at University of Kentucky, majoring in Vocal Performance. She has a YouTube channel and a Facebook fan page. Take a moment to listen below and "like" her fan page if you think, like I do, that she's got one hell of a voice.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Piles of bisque

     I'm in a mode of making and bisqueing for future firings. After I make enough to crowd me out of my workspace, I will being glazing and firing. I have decided this and it is so. It is so because I realized that  I have accumulated piles of bisqued items in boxes everywhere. I have become obsessed with wet clay. I need to break my addiction. I have a new digital scale. I must begin testing new glazes. I must begin glazing, firing and the like. I must not get stuck just throwing and bisqueing. That's for clay pussies. I need FIRE.
     I need a clay psychologist.
This picture does not include the four plastic containers of previously bisqued items. Hrm. 
Jewelry? Perhaps...
I see Christmas ornaments...
Delivered bisqued bowls to Kentucky Mudworks today to be glazed for an upcoming Empty Bowls at Bourbon n' Toulouse in Lexington, Ky., on Sept. 22. If you're in the area, save that date!