Saturday, May 26, 2012


Studio Shot 5-26-12

Its Vermont Open Studio Weekend!! Remember I am # 83 On The Map . While we think of all of those that have sacrificed all they had for us and the others serving enjoy the beautiful weekend in Vermont visiting open studios of Vermont Artists. 10-5 Saturday and Sunday.
Look for the Yellow signs to help you along the way

I will have lots of new work to share with you. Don't wait to long, I have already sold many great pieces!! Don't let yours get bought!!!!

Hope to see you soon! ~TPS~

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vermont Open Studio 2012. 20th year Anniverstiy!!

Studio Shot 4.22.12
The Potter Stone's Studio 4.22.12
So at last the clean up has begun (barely). The large board in front is a new countertop I am making for my display area. I have been using ware drying boards.  Time to get the studio in line for Vermont Spring Open Studios. Its this coming Memorial Day weekend ( May 26 + 27). I can't wait, I love this weekend. I love taking part in it but I also miss the road trip cruising the green hills and valleys of Vermont looking for artists studios tucked away down dirt roads. For those of you that a bit weary of said dirt roads can head to my studio located right on Route 103 between Route 7 and Ludlow home of Okemo Mountain . I am Number 83, The Potter Stone, on the Vermont Open Studio Map . This map will give you the artists locations with written directions and a quick written description of there medium.

And of course remember to look for the big yellow signs:
The Potter Stone's Vermont Open Studio Signs
These signs, along with the maps, will get you to your destination. This is the fun part of the road trip. I suggest that if an artist supplies you with mileage in there written directions youshould  use your odometer. Many if not most of the artists taking part have done this for there fair share of years so most likely have there directions tight. Many will often have signs just saying: "KEEP GOING", "ALMOST THERE" "JUST OVER NEXT HILL". Some of these dirt roads can be deceivingly long as they wind up a hill so keep going!!

Another tip I have is brainstorm with other people visiting the studios. They can often tell of a great studio they just came from and the easiest way there. I have always loved the excitement and openness of all involved in the open studio weekend. I am often a mousey tourist when away visiting another state not wanting to bother others on there vacation, or the locals kindly sharing there town but it seems everyone opens up during the Open studio tour and love to share in the excitement.

After visiting my studio there are a  couple right up the hill in Shrewsbury  (super beautiful). You can find:

Maya Zelkin Pottery # 85 116 Coldham Rd. Shrewsbury VT

I own a bunch of her pottery. She throws beautiful forms on a kick wheel that is wood fired in a large kiln right outside her studio. I love her studio setting, very romantic idealic potters setting.

Nature's Turn, LLC - Gerry Martin  #84 998 Lincoln Hill Rd. Shrewsbury VT.
I am a big fan of wood turning and have seen lots of it. Gerry's touch and style is my favorate. His forms are light, envolping, and fluid. His forms have such a natural shape. Not your common round turne salad bowl here. Each piece is unique with character and presence all of its own. I plan on owning a bowl of my own soon. If you do viset his studio do yourself a favor and ask where some of the wood came from. More than likely there is a story with each bowl. If you viset his blog that I posted above, I am sure you will be at his studio this weekend. Such beautiful work.

While up in the hills of Shrewsbury also stop by  Pierce's Country Store. With fresh baked bread, muffins, pastries, sandwiches,soups, syrup, local veggies, arts and crafts for sale, cold and hot drinks (there coffee is AWESOME) so on and so forth. THey have picnick tables outside to relax on. Great place to have lunch on your roadtrip and you can Hit my friends studios while there. ITs just about 10 minutes from 103.
Pierce's Store
Pierce's Store

I could go and go listing more artists But These are my neighbors and studios I would not miss.There are a few more regions you can easily hit in a day if visiting my studio.South (and southwest'ish)  the Mount Holly area has a good cluster of artists and Ludlow is a good destination.Of course Rutland with the Chaffee Art Center's galleries to browse and then travel north to Brandon. There are artists along the way and a large cluster of artists right in brandon. There is a sweet (no pun intended) candy ice cream store to recharge in.

So I will end with a few shots of what you will find in my studio. I just took a few quick pictures last night of some of the displays. There will be a lot more than you see here. The kiln will have fired three times this week and I am picking up some work for local galleries.

Thepotterstone's pitchers mugs plates

Thepotterstone's Pottery

The Potter Stone's Carved Stoneware Vessels

The Potter Stone's Teapots Burnished Vessels and Four Finger Cups

Thepotterstone's Burnished Vessels and Cocoa Mugs

The Potter Stone's Spring Stoneware

The Potter Stone's Faceted Teapot and Mugs

The Potter Stone's Pitchers and Facted Teapot
 And there is much more. I do hope to see you, this is a super fun weekend. So far the weather looks like it should be good. Many of my work will be on sale and for the first time I will have some seconds for sale. Even if you do not intend to buy but are in the area stop in and say high. For those of you that have been by and bought some work I am sure there are many pieces you have not yet seen.  Many many new pieces and styles fresh from the kiln.

We will be looking for you. 
Thanks, ~TPS~

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Outfitting the Studio.

Studio Shot 05-15-12

So I have a lot of pots coming out of the kiln these weeks getting ready for Vermont Open Studios. My CVP (Central Vermont Power) meter reader was by the other day knocked on my door concerned  to show me my the meter spinning like a top. That was my kiln drinking up the power. I really want the studio full for Memorial Day Weekend. I always find myself wanting to return to studios that where full of different work. In the past there where stretches of time where I did not open my doors, just feeling my inventory was lacking.

Here are a few examples of what I have been working on.

Few examples of plates coming out of the kiln. Little pic heavy. Been working on plates with different color combos. These are 10" Chargers.

 So, again I have been playing with Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. First plate is "Oatmeal" with a glaze design of "Field Mouse Brown". Then the reverse of "Field Mouse Brown" with some "Oatmeal" on the rim. Then a plate of my classic blue glaze I have been using forever. After that its the old school glaze "Jan's Red/Brown" with "Field Mouse Brown" design on top. Lastly there is my blue with a glaze design of "Field Mouse Brown" and a pic of the finishing detail on the bottom of the plates. I always try to glaze bottoms as much as I think I can get away with and not stick it to a shelf.

Here is a picture of the teapots I shared in the last blog when they where just bisque.

They come with four cups. Here is an example of the set:
The trick is trying to find room for these in a working studio! Its hard to sacrifice the work area for display but I do like selling of of my studio. Here are a few new fixtures.

Shadow box I had built, pegs on the ceiling beam (there are 2 of these) and added fixtures to the south side of the studio.
 I still need to get glass shelves up, that I had to take down since the hardware was a bit dicey. Lastly here is a carved teapot in progress I am hoping to bisque and finish fire by next weekend. Almost done with the surface. I just need to clean up the tool marks.

Lots more to share, this one got wayyy to pick heavy. Next I'll share a few more pieces you'll find at my studio During Vermont Open Studios and do the post on the weekend including where I would go if I was not taking part in it. Catch you later, ~TPS~


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Gearing up! Vermont Open Studios

Studio shot 05-09-12

The Potter Stone Studio 05-9-12
Gearing up. Getting ready for Vermont Open Studios! Again this camera always makes the studio look cleaner than it is. Its getting real bad with the extra push for Open Studios. I have piles of bisque ready for glazing in all corners of the studio and glaze spilled all over the floor making me paranoid I am going to track it over into the house. I have have at least five kiln loads waiting to fire....a lot of that is due to plates and large serving/ salad bowls that hog space in the kiln.

The Potter Stone Bisque 05-09-12

 This will be my third year, fourth Vermont Open Studio Weekend (Memorial Day Weekend Saturday & Sunday) I have taken part in. We did a trial run of a fall Open Studios, but was iffy due to the State having been turned ass over teakettle by hurricane Irene thus making "four" times involved in three years. I am going to do a "Vermont Open Studio Extravaganza" post soon to cover it. I want to share where I would go if I could. One of influencing factors of deciding to make Vermont our home was Vermont Open Studio Weekend. Being able to go to artists spaces and ask questions was an amazing resource. I miss being able to visit artists studios but love having people encouraged to visit mine. Remember my studio is more often than not open daily so if you ever want to visit and you are in the neighborhood stop by! I have signs and a flag when open but I encourage people to try and get in touch to make sure I will be here when they stop in.

Here is one other exciting thing that went on in the last week!!!!

It was Vermont Green Up Day May 5th!! As some as you know we were effected by the flooding. We have the house in order and now its time to clean up the property. We (as best we could we had another commitment in Montpelier VT later that day) decided to kick off the effort on Vermont Green Up Day Its the day where we clean up Vermont. Stretches of highway are closed, green bags are picked up down town and we clean up the state. A lot of effort this year is to help clean up areas that were hit after the storm. We did not have to travel far since there is a few metric tons of it in the back yard. I was going to post some pictures but its just a bit depressing.  Anyway in about four hours Allison and I did 8+ bags of trash and 105+ tires. There are 200+ more tires to go but it felt great getting a start. It also looks a bit better from the road anyway.

Best part I was not sure what to do with the tires other than line them up next to the road. We were to bring the bags to the dump within a week and I don't think they wanted me lugging the tires there. Happily Monday morning I heard a few rumbles and bangs, peeked out the window, and saw that VT Transportation had brought a 10 wheel dump truck and a front end loader to gather up my weekend foraging. THANK YOU VERMONT TRANSPORTATION even though the poor guys picking up the tires seemed less than thrilled.

That is about it for now. Working on an ambitious teapot and have some glaze cutting to do. I'll get back soon with my Vermont Open Studio post letting you know more about it, where you should go, and how to find me. You are going to visit me?....right...would be so nice to see you.... ;)

OH and I am going to post about my "cup" question (previous entry) . I just want to collect some more data, ha! 

Later ~TPS~

The Potter Stone , The Archimedes Kitty Stone


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

So what do you drink out of?

Quickie first then the meat of the post.

So question for all of you. "What do you drink out of".  Yes this is interactive! Just a quick answer or be awesome and post a picture of it. I will also ask on my Facebook page ( )

Allison and I where talking all things pottery the other night and I though "what are you drinking out of". We all have that cup of ritual. That favorite mug or cup. The one that we hand wash because we cannot wait for the dishwasher to fill up. Be it travel mug, Ball jar, generic vacation novelty mug, scratched up old tumbler glass I want to know! One of my top favorites is not hand made pottery so don't feel it has to be. But I want to know what sacred vessel is you #1 cup.

I will elaborate soon but I am curious if anyone will take the time to share. I would LOVE to see or hear what is yours. I know we all have one for sure.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sprung!! I mean Spring!!

To start off here is the usual current studio shot. Trust me, its way more of a mess than this photo does justice.  I am sitting here and my lazy side is saying "see its not that dirty". Studio is approaching the messy "pit" status.Also that large pot under the table is in fact not mine, or pottery. Its a nasty plastic pot I bought for glazing larger bowls, FYI.

Studio Shot April 20 2010:

So I think for most of us in North America spring is sprung with a bang. We have had a few days in the in the 80's here already, which for Vermont is just insane. After the hurricane Irene in late summer into the most mild "winter" in recorded history weather is fitting in with most of the crazy world right now. In case its 110 degrees this summer I am going to do my best to enjoy this warm weather in spring. And lets not talk about the dear tics this We still have a huge clean up in the planning from hurricane Irene on our property (few hundred tires and probably a literal ton of debris) so the good weather is welcome.

So pottery. I really wanted to get some spring colors for this year. Light, airy, with a lush fruit look. I have used so many classic pottery glazes in the past, and will continue to do so, but I needed a change. I am trying to put together some what of a "collection" or "set" (I am doing huge air quotes here).

I'll post a couple pics then start the ramble.

Sorry for the candid shots. My "awesome" still photo set up (see that post to see how "awesome" (air quotes again) was broken down so I could use the space to dry some wares.

So here is the spring "collection". Don't know if I will ever have a total full on set but I will try to always have the elements in the studio and or gallery's so it can be put together piece by piece. If a customer wants an entire set I will price it out with a discount and commission it out  all at once. Right now there are a few different bowls, pitchers, vases, teapots, sugar bowls, salad/soup bowls, nesting bowls serving bowls (some lidded), mugs and tumblers. Hopefully soon I will add dinner charger plates, dessert plates. Some of these elements are in only one of the to colors, others are the combined like above.

I have a few loose commissions going as well. If a customer has a request for something I don't have in stock and have not made quite like the request often I will make a small production run of the item to sell in my studio. If the customer likes them they get first dibs. One is a classic mug shape I don't often make, the other is for plates. I have also been working on large salad/pasta bowls and playing with teapot designs as usual. 

Sadly, I, like other potters, do not make plates often enough. I decided this would change I  hope once I get a rhythm with the production of them to have sets of plates on hand. They can be a head ache. The actual plate themselves I have down well. A nice 10" classic charger with an upturned rim. Its the space the suckers take up that is the challenge studio and kiln wise. I just need to make the are aI dry wares more efficient, and I need to get some plate sitters for my kiln so I can better fire larger numbers of them.

That is this week. I am ALMOST going to make a promise here to now start posting once a week minimum and hopefully much more than that. I know with blogs that being consistent is super important and a huge challenge for some of us.  Also, I am, for the time being, full time in the studio, so there is a lot to share and talk about. I also want to start blogging about ceramics, art, and life in general a bit more like when I started it way way back. I tend to get a little to tech heavy  in here.

Anyway enjoy your time in the sun before global warming has us all living in bio spheres.

Later ~TPS~


Friday, February 10, 2012

Faceting, New Pots and Photography Face Palming.

Studio Shot 02/10/12

So been busy in the studio. Lots of throwing, trimming, glazing and photos. And lots more to do. All of the above plus trying to finish up some cabinets (with counter) for display and get some decent photos done to get juried for galleries and shows. I am also in dire need some new shelving in the studio. I don't have much and have officially run out of display room to the point of pots on the floor.

So I got to try out some of the glaze layering I tested with the new glazes a few weeks back. Got some great results.

I have also been toying with a new for. Been doing some faceting on the wheel. You can see it aplied to the piece above and the two below.

I am happy with the technique. I spent years trying to learn control at the wheel. I do love loose organic pottery. I really love pottery that has a soft flowing texture to it with dropping lines and an almost fabric like quality. But before I started to play with these texture I wanted to make sure I had the ability to "control" these techniques (to a point) rather than be out of control and inconstant. At the very least I wanted to be able to make a cylinder a cylinder with control over the thickness of walls and the floor of a pot. Be able to come up with a form and create it to the specs I want, and be able to do decent repetition throwing. The only way I used to "loosen up" my work was I only weighed my clay before throwing. No calipers or rulers. I think this keeps each pot a little unique from the next. My "Four Finger mugs get a little squashed while still spinning on the wheel after I finish throwing them so they fit each hand different and give the rim a nice wobble.

I know that these other techniques (like faceting) are to create organic forms. There purpose is to remove some of that control so the textures happen on there own BUT I have seem some pottery sold as "organic" or loose... that I found to be just lazy. Really I am not on any high horse here (even with a snarky comment like that) but its a result of working at a ceramic supply warehouse for a few years. I saw LOTS of potters work and I learned pretty damned fast what was lazy and what was tight. Some of the most loose organic simple pots, like a Japanese tea bowl for example, just emanate ability, patience and strength. So I play. I am just beginning to try some of the techniques and been enjoying it. I am glad I spent the hours at the wheel. Not letting rims wobble, bellies lose there line, or not trim a foot out of "saving time". I try to keep the form above all else. I have a lonnnnnngggg way to go, but its all in the repetition and research. Both of which I enjoy.

There's a ramble for you....oh well. Its easier to talk shop over a beer than get the thoughts down on I think it comes from the fact I am a hand talker.....yeah...half of my communication skills are lost in "wrtten word". Less spilled drinks due to my excited gestures anyway.Moving on.....

What I do not enjoy so much is this horrid mess. Photographers be ready to face palm.....


BAHHH hahaah!!!
Oh its pitiful. Here is where my laziness is all over the place. Painters lamps, no reflected light, All the light source above the pots and ambient light from windows and studio lighting all over the place. My pots have shadows, hot spots on glossy glaze, and a total lack of scale. The lack of scale really baffles me. I know there is no way to show scale without a comparison or written discription but when I look in pottery books and magazinesI can get a sense of "ok this is a large utilitarian mixing bowl" or "ahhh this is a small soup bowl". It could also be the forms I work with but I swear all my large pieces look like they would fit in the palm of your hand. I have no idea what the negative space should look like. I don't have proper lights (6 dollar painters lamps with a whooping 100watt "daylight" bulb in it). But I use four of them!!! I need to invest in some proper lights and lighting equipment. My photos work at least for things like Facebook and this blog but I will have my shots done at the photography store for a juried contest and such.

So that is about all that is going on currently. Hopefully I can get some pictures up of my new displays in the studio soon (once I finish them). Also I am trying to "fancy up" my vending display in the easy up tent. Actually ordered some displays of of ebay and plan on making some risers. Talk to you later ~TPS~