Saturday, April 26, 2008

an interesting week

Monday I did a glaze firing. Nothing very exciting in it--mostly bowls for Empty Bowls--but the 'plate/bowl' that I made for Kenny turned out well. It is hard to tell that it is not a pie plate! But he used it last night and gave it a thumbs-up! So that was good.

Wednesday night our little Cone 6 group met here for the first time. It is such a nice group of people and I really enjoy getting to spend a whole evening talking about pots and glazes with fellow potters. The evening seemed much too short. I wished for more time with the group. We meet once a month and alternate meeting in the home or studio of one of the group.

Thursday Ben and I had a date to visit the ceramic collection of a friend of mine. Ben is my youngest son and the one with the most interest in ceramics--mine and the greater ceramic world at large. I had heard about my friend's wonderful collection of ceramics and had asked if Ben and I could view his collection sometime. What a collection! I think he has pieces (not just one) of every well-known potter I know anything about--and many I was not yet acquainted with. He really is serious collector and has wonderful taste in his selections. That was a real treat to see 'up close' those wonderful pots but even more special to get to pick them up and feel the weight and balance of each piece! We also got a tour of his own studio. Both Ben and I came home with beautiful pots made by our host! Wow, what a great experience.

Friday Jim was driving home from his week in Santa Fe. We knew he would be getting in late, expected to arrive around 9:30 pm, so we did not wait dinner for him but did have dinner waiting for him. At about 8:30 I got a call from Jim which began, "First, I'm OK." Well, I knew that was not the opening to a good news message! He then described the accident he had when a deer landed on the windshield of his new car while he was driving about 70 miles and hour! He was just west of Junction, about 110 miles from home, and needed a ride! I drove to Junction to pick up Jim and his paraphernalia from the trip. We got home about 1:30. He had not eaten since breakfast so a light dinner was in order before we turned in for the night a little after 2 am.

What a week!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

studio work

as opposed to clay work.

My style of settling in here has been to set up one room at a time by moving all the boxes and furniture that do not belong there into the next vacant space. Well, I did that big time in the studio--pushing buckets, boxes of fired ware, and boxes and packing materials into the room next to the studio--Jim's workroom. So I got the studio set-up to the extent that we could move around and work in there. This weekend Jim began to tackle that space and pushed all the pottery overflow back into the studio! So much so that Kenny could not walk through HIS space with his walker! So yesterday Kenny stayed in his room setting up an area to draw in while I worked at getting the studio ordered again.

Now that I have the kiln wired and working--one bisque firing under my belt--it is time to glaze. But the glaze room is a jumble of glaze chemicals and tools. The glaze room is really just a closet with 2 doors--it is also the hallway between Jim's workroom and our studio. I am going to have a small--table-top--spray booth with strong vent and a little counter space for mixing up my glazes. Most of my glaze chemicals are stored in plastic shoe boxes and fill a tall shelf. I have a few large containers (pet food)under the counter for the chemicals I buy in bulk . It is really tight but I think it is going to work well. As I am looking for "my style" in my pottery work, I am also searching for 'my palette of glazes'. The result of those searches is that I am drawn to every style of pottery making and every kind and color of glaze--and have at hand everything I need for that search. I imagine that when I finally get there I can eliminate all the excess and focus on just what I love to do. But the truth of the matter is probably that I will always be searching and experimenting--and stuffing more stuff into our little studio--because that is what I love to do!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

for Andrew

When I was in Japan I met someone who had worked with Shimaoka. My acquaintance had acquired some shards from Shimaoka's BIG pots that Shimaoka thought not of the quality he wanted and so had destroyed. My acquaintance gave me one of the shards which has the classic rope inlay design. I've tried to make photos of the work to show you--but the quality is not great (my camera or my skills with the camera?) The shard measures 3" X 2".

I turned off the flash in the following because of the reflection, but it did not help much.

The shard is very thick--it measures a full 3/8 inch. But then he was making BIG pots!

There is no texture from the rope inlay--there is a lot of texture to the piece but it is from the clay not the design.