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