Monday, February 13, 2006

Great quote today also...

The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines - so they should go as far as possible from home to build their first buildings.

My Carved Pieces

Hers one just finished (stands about 9 inches this is unfired semi greenware. This style is what I really enjoy. Though i enjoy it all. This piece probably took me at the most 20 hours (just carving). I enjoy it though, so forgot those that say you can;t spend that much time on a piece. The carved piece i put up in the photo taking post took over 100 hours so meh *thumbs nose*. Its art i do for the sake of art. I love them. I couldn't care less if i never sell a piece.

Anyway here's a question for anyone that would care to post. I am lost in colors. I refuse to glaze glossy, makes it look wet and slimy...Sloppy. That is not the look I am going for. I do like how i did the other (though someone ended up under firing it for me, I do like it darker (cone 6 rather that 5). I did that with a strait Iron Oxide (used Spanish red iron oxide).I can vary the depth of the ruddy red by how thick it is applied. Pretty much i lay it thick and pull it like water color. It takes a long time but when you see the piece in person (in my opinion) it has a nice soft fluid effect.

whoa getting off track.

OK back to color. Also i would like to apply it during the either bone dry or bisque stage. But geese i am lost. As you can see there is a glazed area and an unglazed. I am still trying to figure out how to go about this. Its tough because i have spent HUNDREDS of hours on these pieces. I am very happy with how the shape and texture is coming out....But lost with the color /glaze under glazed, mason stain ect.

Man i wonder if i will feel i have figured out any of these pieces....In any amount of years.

But i do enjoy doing them.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Met a great guy named Chris. HE was the friend of a close friend of mine. Anyway he used an old Holga to take pictures. Real talented work.BLues and greens blew me away. His content was refreshing and light. I loved it The guy could cut hair as well like a mofo *thumbs up* right on. He earned himself some pottery as well (admires new hair cut). Well if he visits this site again and says "sure" maybe he will put up some pictures. So real talent there. Great eye. I enjoyed every picture and I thank him for the pictures and the haircut *cough* and beer.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Photo taking. Much better for 9 bucks

Well spent $9.oo bucks on a long roll of flat black paper and a cheap work light. Its in no way pro but much much MUCH better. Used the technique where you create an endless background, curved the backdrop in the background, what a difference. Need more work with lighting (these where just a test anyway) and damn, i need a tripod. Anyway I'm happy with the improvement. Another view of the horsehair as well. I think this is the better side.

Horsehair Raku

Well here's my first horsehair reduction. Though it did not come out as i planned, i am happy i had success with the technique. I used my electric kiln...Don't think i will do it again. The place in which i have the kiln is not heated. Though it got warm do to the firing, the shock to the lid of my kiln was bad. Anyway brought the kiln up to around 1700 degrees F. Not totally sure because i did not have the right cone. So i timed the fire using a 06 junior cone which will bend around 1798 F. Next time i will have the proper cones. I did know that this can be done between 1200 to 1700 degrees, so i had a little play with the range.

I used a miller clay body, the 10T. Low fire white with a higher talc body, i am happy with its result. The problem was i wanted to go with a minimal look with the horsehair...As you can see i did not. I was unable to get my hands on some wool (like the type used to make fiber raku kilns). So when i used my kevlar gloves they did burn a bit and leave marks. So as a result i used more horsehair. It was truly a learning experience though. The hair is a little tough to control unless you drape it. But by the end of the application i was getting some control. Next time should be much better.

I did this for a show coming up called black and white. Last year i think, if i remember correct, was only 2D. This year it is 3D as well. I thought this technique us a great example of the beauty between black and white. I really want to another before the show. I think i have a month to get the slides in...dunno. Hate to risk the kiln again. Really pushing me to get my Raku kiln up and running.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

WOW...DAMN ...Almost forgot to reflect on this quote...

Yah, man read this earlier. My sis (yah she is Freaking coo) got me the complete year of Ceramics Monthly from 1982. Anyway i was reflecting ...*cough* in the bathroom* on an article that i was reading from the febuary issue. The article name was " A Workshop with Michael Casson". Anyway great article. This "bloke" founded the Harrow Studio Potters Course. It was the first degree program, over the pond, that was for production potters, pretty f@#king cool if you ask me. Anyway the article is about a workshop that he held between the Pacific ocean and the redwood forested forest in northern Cali. This guy was real practical. Beautiful work. The level of function is unmatched, but also held the weight of an artist that knew not only what she/he was doing, but what she/he wanted to do. Focus, plain and simple. He had that rare knowledge of what the F$%k he wanted to do with his art.

This is the quote that NAILED it with me. I am still in my infantry....i still suck from the teat of creative direction and what not. Its so obvious i have not found my direction it is painful...Though i try to be dedicated. Anyway let me share the quote that has recently nailed me....Floored me...ect

"Until you know who you are as a potter" (or artist....Between the () is my interception)he observed, "you won't develop".

....damnit....Again I am forced to self reflect.

He's right. I speak for myself, but come on, i can't be the only one. I almost AVOID that question. Seems easy right. What do you want to do with your art.......No f&*k that, it is NOT that easy. Its life or death for us (artists). It revels (in my opinions) our fears, weaknesses, and faults. We hate to go there. We like to state we "do" this or that. Or i am "working" on this style......No I need to look at my work and myself. What am i doing. Is it what i want to do....Is it working towards what i want to do.......Am i dedicated to what i want to do......And AM I WILLING TO DO WHAT I WANT TO DO......i Dunne....i f*&king hope so

And i think applies to any of your mediums.....Ask yourself.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

FOrms and bad Pictures PART 1

Geese! Seems i missed a couple of days....Such is life. Anyway got a few things done since Sunday. Threw Monday. Did a bunch of simple 8" bowls. Also recycled a ton of clay....yippie *spins finger in air* though always happy when i get some of that done.

Working on a new ....Style...Perspective may be a better word, for my work.

Oh let me digress, and get used to it i do that all the time....

About to toss up a photo of the subject of this little post. The problem (as I have mentioned in other rambles) is the fact i am totally NOT set up to take any pictures. And i should not be putting up any of the crap on line. I will though, since a lot of the writing here is also notes for my work HAW!!

Anyway the reason i took this pic in the first place was the fact i have this old small fireplace you see. Well hasn't been used in years. Can;t be used. Though the family of raccoons uses it just fine. Anyway, It got painted flat black (well the can said flat anyway). So me being the genius i am i went "hey, what a great mini backdrop for taking worthless pictures for my notes". NO...Its not.

I know so little about taking pictures past

1. set to Auto (little dial by my thumb)
2. Point at victim (this case a leather hard chunk of clay)
3.apply pressure to designated button to "shoot" picture. I like term "shoot" the picture in this case because it seems i kill whatever falls into my view finder. I swear during one of these impromptu photo shots, i will see a pot dive for cover,

Again i digress....

What i did learn is the fact that with indoor photos it all comes down to lighting....Don't give me that no s*$t look. I know its importance, what i learned is you can't even fudge it. The flash just sucks for anything like this. Got to have the picture lit. Anyway the little experiment was a failure. But i will toss the pic up anyway and get back to the talk on "form" i WAS going to get to.

Here is the pic, scuse the total lack of professionalism of the picture.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Form cont... PART 3

OK back to form. What i am now trying to pull of is taking classic shapes and accenting it. Bringing out its beauty or strength. Compliment those classic forms. There is a saying i have heard a ton of times with potter's. One i believe in fact. When talking about "shape" or "form" you might here "its all been done", and in many ways it has. Pottery is ancient. It goes back...Way back. And we don't have anything on our ancestors when it comes to the art. They are the ones that put form, beauty and function together in the first place. I think about how tupper ware would piss them off to no end. Don't get me wrong, i am a huge fan of tupperware. Hell, I almost can't imagine life without it. But its an example where we could care less about the forms in our lives. There's no beauty in tupperware, only function. How it stacks empty or full, ect. Maybe in a retrospective way there is beauty, but come on, not like the pottery of our ancestors. Pottery was there tupperware. It held things that needed holding, and it was beautiful. It was given thought and care. Anyway what i want to do is look at these forms and see what i can do to bring them out. With this piece (and a few others like it) i tried to give it a quality of comfort. The belly has a place to sit, nestle, rest. And the neck also has a quality (i hope) of a stable base. But its not just cut from the belly. Or shooting out lie a chimney. It works with the belly. And its foundation is where the two meet. The neck cupping the belly.

Anyway that's a start. I am happy with it. Its got a lot of work. But i give many pieces (again i hope and try) tension with narrow bases, over powering bellies with narrow necks. Here i want the same level of emotion (lack of a better word)but with comfort, and bringing out the beauty of classic shapes.

yah and i need to learn the camera better.....More of the fact i need to create some cheap lighting. But i have a plan, will keep you posted. Or maybe i'll just let you figure out when i finally got around to doing it....i pray its obvious when done, HAW!!


Forms cont. PART 2

Greenware (working its way to bone) standing about 8 inches

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Question on Tableware

Here is an article that struck a note with me from Ceramics Today


Some really good points, and a good over look on the issues of mass produced commercial tableware VS Handmade.

I have found that many people think that handmade ware will cost a fortune...It can but like any purchase you have to shop around. I have told many people looking into getting a new dinner set to find an artist they like. Tell them what they are looking for. I know that many (including myself) will cut prices when pieces are bought in bulk....And that's just what a set of tableware is in my opinion. But like the article says many buyers are looking for it "now". They want to have 30 different choices offered to them and they want to drive home with what they pick in the back seat for dinner that night.

I can even respect that to a degree. I just wish more people would see what is offered by artists. And research WHO is making the plates. Not the company or the name on the back of the plates, but rather the location of the factory where they are produced. Something like tableware, again in my opinion, is something you can more easily support locally.

Superbowl Sunday

Well Superbowl Sunday. I'm just pumped for the fact I get to eat all freaking day.

Was going to head out to my studio to throw but decided I would work on this blog instead....No idea if that is lazy or not. Looks like I will be throwing tomorrow so I figure I might as well get to work on the blog. Also will be doing a glaze fire at cone 6. Will post pics later in the week to show the result. Have a few pieces that are commission so hopefully I will have some success with the glaze and make some much needed scratch. I am sorely in need of supplies, and I am hoping I can take some of the money made and put it into my supply pool. The problem is the fact the freaking taxes are coming up fast. I was being taxed as a mortician with a FREAKING 1099. I will have to pay like 30% back.

That hurts. F*$k Can't wait to get a bit more stable with cash. I still need seed money for the ceramics. BUT my stock is growing. Got to get some sales online.

there's another issue I am feeling. I have not a single photo of my work worthy to put to slide. That is killing me. I have the tools to do it. But I need to get some cheap lighting and backdrops to set it up.....ugh ....Maybe for my b-day.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

First Post: A Slight Overview

Well starting a blog. Pretty much trying to record,remember, some of the trials and trepidation of my pursuits in art. Its been a journey to say the least. Going to have to do much reflecting to get up to date. But anyway this will be a written recording of the pursuits of a potter. Gains, losses. Gambles, risks, and stabs in the dark. No idea if any will stumble upon this site, no idea if any will return. But I have been through so much I feel it a waste to not get some of it down.
From my early pursuits in art out of Highschool (a decade ago) to the jobs I though would help me with art, like thinking becoming a mortician to free up some time by not having a schedule and working nights. And first off I have to warn you about spelling and grammar. I really want to stick with this. And often, time (or my attention span) is short)so I am going to allow myself to remain loose with the "rules". Feel free to let me know when I have pushed that limit to the point of not making any sense. My thanx in advance HAW!