Tuesday, December 21, 2010

so good to see you again

The last few months have been crazy busy and this blog has been last on the list. I do have a few things to share. I had three pieces accepted into the Magic Dirt show at Old Dominion University. Some of my new work is change from what I have been doing. It is a little more sculptural. Some of influences in the pieces is architecture, cubism and futurism. I like the movement and its like a moment in time when the pieces are changing and transforming. 

Monday, September 27, 2010


Here are some images of some fresh work. I'll have more about them later,  busy right now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

something fresh something new

I'm in the final push to get everything fired for a group studio tour that I am participating in October 2-3. It's called Art Tour Ten, check it out.  I have been making a series of bottles and each one has changed from the previous one. It originally started with this form.
I have tried different things like cutting and adding slabs or reassembling parts. The challenge is trying to glaze them. I just fired some with my current glazes, but I think they would also work with a glaze that would pool in the lines.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This is a firing I did earlier this week. I'll have more images later. The pots I have been making this week have been fun to make and I am enjoying it. Sometimes during the process there is so much going on that somethings don't get that much attention. The pieces that I have been making require more attention and I think the end results show it. They are a little more sculptural then my other pieces. I'll try to have some images in their greenware state.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Starting up

So it's been awhile since my last post. I took a break and now its the start of another fun semester. I'll have some good stuff to post in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back from workshop

I'm just returning to normal after a great workshop at the Jacksonville center in Floyd, VA. I had three students that were eager to learn how to spray glazes. The first day we glazed pots and my truck. Things were pretty chaotic, but we got everything done and loaded. The next day we fired the kiln. This was my first time firing this kiln so it takes awhile to get use to it. It fired unevenly and left everyone nervous and anxious to see if it turned out OK. It ended up being just fine. A couple of pieces stuck to the shelves, but overall everyone was happy.
What the heck is going on?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hot out of the kiln

I have been helping with governor's school summer camp where I teach, so it's been busy. I was able to sneek a few pieces in the kiln during the camp. I'm super excited about my upcoming workshop, good times.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


This is the last week to sign up for my spraying glaze workshop. It should be a good time. Head over to the Jacksonville center's site and sign up. http://www.jacksonvillecenter.org/. In other news the art auction went well this weekend. Most of the pieces met their reserves or exceeded it. Doing a kiln firing tomorrow so I'll have a few new things to share.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Art Auction

On July 17 6pm the Jacksonville center is having an art auction to support the center. I have four pieces in the auction. If you are in the area stop by or if you are interested in a piece I think you can proxy bid. http://jacksonvillecenter.org/art-auction/

Friday, June 18, 2010

jack of all trades

So I think being a potter requires you to be jack of all trades. Although at times it feels your master of none. We not only make things out of clay but we are also: chemist, physicist, repair person, inventor and the list could go on. One of the things why I enjoy working with clay is coming up with new ways to work or manipulate it. So its always fun to come up with a tool that normally isn't used for clay and use it in clay. I used this spliner that is used for installing the spline that holds the screen in windows and doors. It just rolls on the clay and pushes it in at the same time. Great for making marks and altering the clay.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Teabowl National

Teabowl National starts today and goes to June 30. This teabowl is one of 70 that was juried in by Pete Pinnell. So if you live in the Kansas City area go check it out. Teabowl National  Kansas City, MO. Bruce Watkins Cultural Heritage Center June 1-30 Reception June 11 5-8pm

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New forms

The last two weeks in the studio I have been playing around trying some new stuff. I had a spark of inspiration while driving home. Its funny how inspiration strikes in the oddest places. I had a teacher tell me once that they kept a sketchbook in their car and wrote things down when thoughts came even while driving. Anyways I'm trying some new designs and forms. I threw some bigger forms. I found a ring that I carved and casted in silver in a metalworking class some years ago. The ring looks like crooked teeth or rock formations, so I'm trying that on my pots.
In the picture below I'm trying to do a set. The larger piece is a box that will hold in the top a corked bottle and inside the container it will hold four cups or shot glasses.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Took a week off from making work and this week I got back at the wheel. I made a few cups. I think cups are great to get ideas going. You can experiment on a smaller scale rather then worrying about messing up a larger piece. I'm trying some new porcelain, Turner Porcelain. I've been using Highwaters P-10 a domestic porcelain. I have tried Coleman's porcelain and Highwaters Helios. This porcelain really throws well. I threw this bowl and push it to the limit.  I created a Facebook fan page, link to the right, and I'll keep this updated with studio work, show and sales.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Show Opening

Several months ago I got two pieces juried into the Contemporary Clay Biennial 2010 at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts. The show opens today and runs until June 26. There is a opening on June 4, 7 to 9, where you can meet the jury Pete Pinnell.  So if you are in the Grand Junction area of Colorado go  have a look or snap a few pictures and tell me how things look.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sign up now!

My first workshop at the Jacksonville center is a couple weeks away and no one has signed up! The class description is below. If you live in or around southwestern Virginia why not sign up or spread the word.

Altering form and surface June 7-10 9 to 5
CER060710 Non-members $380  Members $304

Learn techniques and strategy for creating unique wheel thrown pottery forms and surfaces. Students will learn how to alter wheel thrown pottery by squaring, cutting and coaxing clay. Learn how to enhance your surfaces by using ribs, various tools and slips. Must be comfortable with centering 2 lbs of clay.

Jacksonville Center for the Arts.
220 Parkway Lane South, Suite 1
Floyd, VA 24091  (540) 745-2784

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Work

The last firing was a success. The pictures below are some of my favorites. I also updated my website, just follow the the link in the top upper right. I feel like I need to make some drastic changes in my work. Lately  feel like I am in a vacuum.  I feel like I'm all over the place and need to develop a consistent body of work. As a young artist working in clay it's like being a kid in a candy store. You are bombarded with techniques and ways to work that you want to try everything. I think its about finding out what works for you and what you want to say in your work. So this summer I plan to do some soul searching, develop ideas about who I am as an artist.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I am getting interested in shino's again. I haven't used any for several years, but I'm going to give them a go after getting some tips at a workshop. In the studio we have Malcolm Davis carbon trap shino and it occasionally carbon traps, but most of the time it just turns out orange. I'm now trying to spray one type of shino on greenware, bisque fire it and then spray another shino with a sprinkling of wood ash. The cup below is a result of this technique. I also tried a glaze called crab claw shino. It mostly turned out orange, but you can get some nice carbon trapping if you sprinkle wood ash on top.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

16 Hands

I went this weekend on the 16 Hands studio tour. Its a group of mostly potters and a woodworker and they have two studio tours each year. Most of the studios are about forty five minutes to an hour away from where I live. I didn't go to all studios, but I did make it to three studios. I stopped first at Silvie Granitelli studio and she had a large crowd. Next was Ellen Shankin. I always liked her pots, especially the ash glaze ones. The last stop was Stacy Snyders. I have never been to her studio before and I wanted to go since Gay Smith was showing with her. This was a good way to finish the day. I have always admired Gay Smith pots. As soon as I came in the door they greeted me and told me to pick up the pots. Gay recoginized how I was handling the pots and she commented that I must be a potter because the way I was handling the pots, checking the foot and how the lids fit. I was impress with Snyders work. I don't use decals in my work, but I like what she was doing. I bought two mugs, one from each to add to my collection. Tomorrow is the big glazing day and then the firing on Tuesday.

Stacy Snyder

Gay Smith

Friday, April 30, 2010


Its the final week of the semester and I'm getting final grades together. I'm also getting things ready for the final glaze firing before summer. I've got a lot of cups going in along with some pitchers and bottles.

Here is my new spray gun holder I made. Multiple guns make things go a little quicker and it is good to have back up.

I experimented with something new this week. The bottle below came out ok, but it was all matte and I usually like a little gloss to give it a little emphasis. So I sprayed some low fire clear glaze to see what would happen. I refired in a electric kiln to a little below 2000 degrees. It came out really well, even though I should have sprayed the whole thing. Some the colors changed, but I like how the clear glaze gives it a wet look. Most potters always talk about how they want to capture that wet look of a freshly throw pot and this to me is close.   

Friday, April 23, 2010


Here are some answers to some questions in the comment section. All my work is fired to cone 10 reduction. I use multiple sprayed glazes. The base glaze is usually strontium crystal magic, a Steven Hill glaze, or I use a crystal white. I will talk more about my glazes at the Jacksonville center workshop and we will use some of those glazes. I want a glaze that moves and changes. The idea is to have the glazes interact with form changes. So a glaze may pool in one spot and then change colors when it interacts with those form changes. They are always different each firing and this is what gets me excited about my work. I'm still thinking about the Etsy thing. Hopefully when I have time in the summer I will be able to set something up.
Head over to (Mud)bucket and check out her awesome blog. I'm happy to be featured on her blog.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In the studio

I've been trying to tie things up before the semester ends. I took some stuff to a gallery on Thursday and they want more platters. Not my favorite thing to make, but I'll spin a few out. I made a first attempt to make a box and it came out decent. I threw a bottomless cylinder, let it set up and then cut it in half. I then add a coil on the inside and put a top and bottom on it.