Friday, April 03, 2009


Things are looking up for me these days. I did do a bit of re-organization in the studio and some clean-up. That was good! But the most helpful thing I did was clear out a lot of pottery that I was not proud of but was hanging on to 'just because'. About half of what was on the shelves 'got the hammer' and the other half was boxed up and sent off to GoodWill. The empty shelves look GREAT! Don't know why it is so hard to give up the stuff that feels so good to be rid of! It feels a bit like the start of school in the fall--clean slate and new beginnings. And so, back to the potter's wheel.

Dale Neese, local potter, brought his Chinese friend, Jiansheng Li (alias Jackson Li), to San Antonio this past week. J Li offered us three opportunities to learn something of the heritage of Chinese ceramics. Tuesday evening he showed a film he made of men working in traditional (ancient) methods making and firing huge storage jars. J Li is dedicated to preserving the traditional crafts that China is know for both through a school he has established in Jingdezhan and tours he offers to visit other craft sites in China. ( If I were younger I'd be on my way to join one of his tours!) On Thursday he led a group from our potters guild through the Asian collection at San Antonio Museum of Art. The museum has a wonderful collection of Asian art--Mr. Li was very complimentary of the collection. I have spent a good deal of time wandering through the collection and I found J Li's remarks were very enriching. He also offered a workshop at University of Texas at San Antonio on Saturday which I was not able to attend. All and all a very stimulating week.


Barbara said...

Last night I gave away a big pot that has been sitting in my house for the last 2 years that is almost the way I wanted it to be - but not quite. The friend who took it does not see its flaws and at this point, flaws were all I saw when I looked at it. It was such a relief to have it gone and not reminding me of my mistakes!
How wonderful to be able to see a collection you are very familiar with through Mr. Li's eyes.

chaetoons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sister Creek Potter said...

Barbara, Yes, it was great to free myself of those unsuccessful pots! Amazing how hard it is to do that! Same with all the stuff in the house--so hard to give up, so freeing to do it!

Chae, Sounds like the gas firing is not going as well as you hoped. I've never had any experience with gas--scared of it, really! Do you want me to give you the name of a Clayart potter here in SA who does fire with gas? I think he'd be happy to respond to your questions.

chaetoons said...

Thanks Gay
But i'm reluctant to have even one more person think i'm a bloomin' idiot with having 2 kilns and not being able to operate either one of them !!!
Appreciate your offer tho.

Sister Creek Potter said...

Chae, I'm going to give it to you anyway, you may change your mind if you get really desperate! I know he'd help if he can. However, he is at NCECA right now. But probably he is still checking email. So, write to Dale Neese: dneese@SATX.RR.COM

chaetoons said...

Thanks Gay
I think tomorrow when i'm feeling a little more "up", will call Olympia kilns, ask for the tech dept and see what they recommend.
They've always been super nice and might have a clue on what i've failed to understand !!!
Yesterday tried everything under the sun to get the kiln to temps past 2012 degrees F. From 7:20am til 11pm last night . . .
You are one special lady and i appreciate the info.

Ron said...

Hi Gay, it does feel great to get rid of some old stuff. I know I did it recently and I still have some things I'd like to ditch.
Sounds like Mr. Li had lots to offer. I sure would like to go to China and spend some time making pots someday. I know folks who have gone and it's been life changing for them. There's plenty here though and always more to learn.
Take care.

Hannah said...

Hi Gay,
thanks for the comment. the stars, I saw someon an old jug but adapted them a little. They are teh kind of thing though that have probably been done evry which way possible already though don't you think.

david said...

if you see the blog I write for the spirit and new ideas appear

chaetoons said...

Mornin' Gay !!!
Can i ask your advice please?
1.)Remember when you replaced the elements in your kiln? Was it extremely difficult? You had your friend there who know how, but if you'd had to do it without help (or experience) would it have been do-able?
2.) There's a used Skutt kiln (KM1227) for sale really cheap. (It would be a 5-hour drive one way to go get it.)
But the fellow only heats it to 500 degrees F (heats metals in it) and yesterday when he tried to get it higher (at my request) it only reached 1360F degrees.
I'm guessing "elements" to be the problem ( 11-year old kiln)
What should i do? Go get the kiln? Or wait ???
Gay -- i'd really appreciate your input on this.

potterboy said...

Hi Gay - thanks for the comment on my post. I have removed the post, though, as I wasn't quite sure what I was trying to say - not meaning to imply that I disagreed with anything anyone had said to me, nor necessarily with Simon Levin (not that I think he reads my blog.)

What's happening with you - long long time no post.

Debby said...

I gave you an award! Check it out on my blog. :o)

Kim in Houston said...

Hi Gay! I'm doing the same clean out work in unsold pots I'm tired of seeing in my barn studio and it's beginning to look so much better; but I'm only half way there. It got so cluttered in that barn no one could step in and walk a straight line without bumping into something. Your latest work is looking mighty lovely. Kim in Houston