Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Raku

I have bunches of new pots today. I glazed and fired 6 cycles, started at 8am and finished up at 8pm. The AP has given Gerry a new video camera to shoot photo essays (pictured in an earlier blog) and he shot video today of the process. I had a camera around me all day, while I tried to concentrate on glazes and firing schedules and getting things in reduction, and it was quite interesting to work around tripods, odd camera angles, and thinking about lighting and exposures along with everything else. I have seen a couple of clips and it is going to be an amazing thing when it's finished. Can't wait to get it up on my blog! Will be a few days I'm sure. I have class tomorrow, more firing on Friday and a show this weekend, so I'll try to get some pics up sometime soon. I'm really happy with some of the new glazes I have been testing. Stay tuned for photos and video to come...............

Monday, September 28, 2009

City Tap

I know ya'll think all we do is go to bars and see bands and drink beer, well, yep that's about right! Why not?! Wesley and the band played their first gig at a real bar last night with a real audience that wasn't just family, fellow students and friends. These were people at the local pub, enjoying a beautiful evening and out to hear some good music. Cole Park opened for The Bad Mothers and they kicked butt!! People danced, clapped, cheered and had a fantastic time, all coming up to the band afterwards and telling them how great they were. I was such a proud proud mom!!!! Small world moment, the drummer for the Bad Mothers, Eric Davis, was the technical director at Deep Dish Theater when I did props there for Orson's Shadow. Great guy and a great vocalist/drummer. It was fun to see him again. The bar is City Tap in Pittsboro, NC, fun bar, good atmosphere and pretty good pub food.
Gerry with two of the moms of the band members hanging out drinking some good beer, Blue Star, great light summer ale. Look at that beautiful afternoon light!
Wes and Matt tuning up
What a great crowd. Thanks to everyone that came out to see the bands!! Especially those two lovely ladies in the upper right hand corner of the frame. You should have seen them dancing. They are the newest groupies and we love them!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Po-Wen Liu workshop

Today was the Po-Wen workshop at Claymakers, fantastic workshop!!! If you ever have a chance to take a workshop with Po-Wen I highly recommend it. Some of you may remember the tea pot workshop I did with him. I know Meredith will remember :)
He started off the day "wedging" his clay by throwing the 25 lb. bag on the floor a few times and declared it wedged. I like this! And the wedged bag became this:
then this:
Here is Po Wen's bio:

Po-Wen Liu is from Taiwan, R.O.C. Before coming to the United States, he majored in ceramic engineering and worked for a Chinese porcelain company in Taipei, Taiwan as a ceramic engineer for 2 years. He tests, develops and improves glazes and clay bodies for the company.

In 1996, Po-Wen attended the School for American Craft at Rochester Institute of Technology and received a BFA degree in ceramics.
During his study at RIT, Po-Wen was honored to be manuscript consultant for the 2002 Newbery Medal awarded book, "A Single Shard" by Linda Sue Park, regarding the making of celadon wares. In May 2004, Po-Wen received his MFA degree in ceramics from Northern Illinois University.

Po -Wen now lives in Greensboro NC with his wife and two children and has a full time studio near the cultural arts center of Greensboro.

This cylinder became a large platter from about 18 lbs. of clay

Po-Wen threw, I think. 10 pieces off the hump, 25 lbs. of clay, such an efficient way to throw.

scraping slip from the combed clay
and a really great Japanese tea pot. I learned so many valuable techniques today, so many time saving things and good body mechanics to save energy and wear and tear on the body. If I can't throw some big vases soon, I should just give up after Steven Forbes deSoule's class at Penland, Susan Filley's big pots class and now this. Po-Wen was truly inspirational and I am ready to get in the studio and throw some clay on the floor! Thanks Po for a wonderful day!!!! I'll edit my pictures more tomorrow and see if I have anything else I should tell you. A couple of weeks from now will be Amy Sanders workshop at Claymakers, so much fun to have these workshops at CM!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Testing testing

I mixed up some raku glazes for Claymakers on Tuesday and fired some tests today. Nothing too exciting but some good basic studio glazes. There is a goldish yellow, very nice, an apple green but a bit on the darker side, maybe more like moss, but I used vandium stain instead of vanadium pentoxide and it wasn't as nice, a new base glaze that I added lavender mason stain to, but not enough so it is very pale, the base is nice though- it had some tiny crystals of gold form in the corners and it is a really nice white with not a lot of crackle, I may add that one to my studio glazes, it also might be a nice 04 base, and then some soldner copper red, one with copper carb and one with black iron oxide, no difference at all. I'm having trouble getting reduction in three of my cans, so I may have to get new ones. The small can I bought at Lowes Home Improvement is giving me the best reduction. Oh yeah, there was the rain, tiny droplets fell onto some of my pieces as I was carrying them to the kiln and they have little dots on them, not pretty, don't like it. Maybe I can re fire them. I did re fire a chartreuse pear that fell on the kiln shelf last firing while it was still molten, looks even better this time around. OK, well, I'm tired and smell like smoke, so off to bathe and then maybe look for a movie on TV with Wes. Gerry is back to shooting Hurricanes hockey so not much seeing him in the evenings from now until March. I'll try to get some pics of the test tiles but I don't know if they will show the glazes very well. Maybe wait and put the good ones on some pieces and then offer up the recipes. I made some roundy vases yesterday and two very cute little non functional teapots. Actually the teapots came about because one of my beginner students asked for a hand building demo of a teapot. Why do all beginners want to make a teapot, I don't even make teapots and I am much past the beginner stage. Every class I teach, there is someone that wants to make a teapot, oh the torture of that on the mind!! So I did hand build one and it is soooo cute. I need to photo those as well. Lots to do, I'm taking a workshop tomorrow at Claymakers with Po Wen Pei, learning to paddle big lumps of clay to center and making large platters. Po Wen is a great presenter so it should be a good day. Look for lots of photos next week!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Birthday dishes

Wes and Gerry gave me these really fun dishes for my birthday yesterday. Every time I go into Anthropologie I head straight for these dishes and pick them up and try to find a reason to buy them (like I need another dish!) Now I have them!! Nathalie Lete is the artist, check out her website, she makes some very fun stuff, great potter, great designer, I think she lives in Paris, she has got it going on!
Ladies, if you have never been to an Anthropologie store, you must find your nearest one, save your money and go shopping! I can hardly afford to walk in the door, but I go there for inspiration frequently. They are genius merchandisers.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Daily Reviewer

I have no idea how this came about, but thank you! Oh yeah, and today is my birthday, so nice little present for me!
click to see more at The Daily Reviewer

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A little hand building

I got no time on the wheel last week and this week isn't looking too good either. Yesterday I had a small window of time and went outside to do a little hand building. I haven't done any sculpture in a long while and I just stretched out some slabs and started creating these "collage" cylinders. It was fun and I had nothing in mind, just sat there and added texture and scraps of clay to the pieces until they just grew out of my sub conscience. I think they are going to look so great with some Raku glaze and some melted glass. Can't wait to fire them. They are fragile though so they may not make it through the thermal shock. I'm not too attached to them just yet.....

Brought them in to dry in the Matt Grimmitt way, dining room table! I think they make a cute couple. I may do a whole series of these, they are really fun to make.
You know you have done's leaf time! Who can resist making leaf trays in the fall of the year. Really though this came from the Tobacco Festival, I picked this tobacco leaf and thought that it would make a great tray for the spring festival. These are some prototypes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cole Park Video

Gerry spent last week in Nashville using this new equipment the AP sent him. This is a still camera and a video camera. Check out the mike on top! He did a great story on the street musicians in Nashville. Yesterday he shot some clips of Wesley's band. Looks like this is what the future of photography with the AP is going to be. Enjoy the clip!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Carrboro Music Festival part ll

Here I am with my adopted "sons", having a great time. They are the sweetest boys I know!! Gabe, on the left is the one that broke his arm on my skateboard, all better now. Alex and Matt are on the right. If you live nearby and didn't make it to the Carrboro Music Festival today you missed a really good time! Perfect weather, the best bands I have seen there in the four years we have been going, including Cole Park of course! Thanks! to the friends of ours that came out and showed their support for Wesley, we really appreciated seeing you there!!!
Cole Park
This is Wesley's art teacher. His band Radio Silent Auction played on the same stage right after Wes, so very cool! He is the one I worked on the totem project with earlier in the year. Rock on Mr. Durham!
So many of Wesley's friends came out to support the band, these are some great kids!
Even Gerry's two college roommates showed up. Curtis and Corky had not seen each other since college. These are two of the most unusual people I know and I love them! For those that didn't make it, you missed a bunch of fun!!!!! I'll try to post a video when I get it together.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Carrboro Music Festival

Wesley and her band are playing this Sunday at the Carrboro Music Festival. Come on over to the RBC Centura stage and check them out at 3pm. If you can't make it they will be opening for the Bad Mothers at the City Tap in Pittsboro next Sunday at 3pm.

Another great weekend

Looks like it's going to be another fun weekend. I had lunch at Tupelo's in Hillsborough yesterday with my good pals Laura and Susan and we visited a couple of the galleries in town. Gerry got home from Nashville last night and we went for beers at The Top of the Hill (fav beer place, remember?) and then met up with Wes and her band, playing some acoustic down on Franklin St. Heading over to Durham this morning for Centerfest and then Wes is playing at the Carrboro Music Festival tomorrow. Blessed life I have, it's all about having fun at this point!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Turtle Dreams

"Seeing turtles in your dream, suggests that you will make slow but steady progress. You need to slow down and pace yourself. Alternatively, it indicates that you are sheltering yourself from the realities of life."
I have been having frequent turtle dreams lately, I won't even begin to explain them, someone might come for me in a white coat, you know! So, anyway I looked up the dream analysis and this is what it said. Pretty accurate I would say. Good advise too!
Haven't made much this week, just getting things back in order from my last making/firing, glaze mixing frenzy and I have started teaching a beginner class at The ArtsCenter with some fun new students that are verrrrry beginner, so much fun to watch their enthusiasm! Gerry has been in Nashville all week doing video training with the AP, as if he doesn't have enough to do without trying to shoot video now too.(Oh, David Crosby was staying in his hotel, cool!). Looking forward to a fun weekend. Centerfest is in Durham and the Carrboro Music Festival is Sunday. Wesley's band will be playing there this year YAY!

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Pots

Here are some new Raku pots from my firing this weekend. Gerry very kindly photographed them for me last night, thanks Ger! And thanks to Steven Forbes deSoule for all of the information he so generously shared at Penland. My friend Laura Farrow gave me some different colors of glass to try. The yellow and orange burned out and puddled in the bottom of some bowls in a rather ugly way. The red did good, it has some interesting black outlines to it and the cobalt glass did best of all. There was also some opaque turquoise that will be nice but I put it on a pot with turquoise glaze, so guess what, it didn't show up strangely enough! I like these pots, it's a different direction for me, I am leaning towards mixed media pots right now and tried out some different things to incorporate with the pieces. Also trying some variations of surface treatments. Mostly just having fun, I have no idea where this is going yet. And I still want to make some Earthenware, it's nagging way back in my brain like crazy, but where in the h.e.l.l. does that fit in to all of this! Rather nice photos for a change, enjoy.....
This is some kind of animal bone, don't think it's a skull, maybe part of the backbone?
This pot was a messed up thing, I first used Sacco Copper and it was nasty, so I put Pipenburg over it and re fired it and ta da , nebula!
Metal scraps from the scrap heap at Penland
Sassy Fat White, magnesium on steroids. Aren't these great photos? If you could only see the contraption we created in my tiny tiny studio space to do this. You would laugh at me, I know you would!

More metal from Penland

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall Anyone?

Today Wes and I sat up a booth at the Duke Homestead for the Tobacco Harvest and Arts Festival. At first I had reservations about doing this show since my dad died of lung cancer from smoking three packs a day. I'm not a big fan of tobacco obviously. But the festival was great and it was a heritage education for Wesley. There were historic demonstrations all day and the legendary blues man John Dee Holeman did two performances. The artists there were great and we made lots of new friends. Thanks to the North Carolina Arts Council and especially Jennifer Huggins who worked so hard out there today! This was a pilot program to combine arts festivals with historic sites in N.C. and I think the combination is brilliant. I had sooooo much fun today. Perfect weather, nice people, sold some pots, and my kid was with me all day studying her college history course while seeing demonstrations of exactly what was in her text book. How cool is that? What could be better. Thanks to all of the very nice people that gave my pieces new homes!!! Enjoy...........
This is the Duke Homestead, check out their website for more info on tours and what the place is all about. Really worth a visit if you are in the area.
Some very nice pottery inside the house! I feel the call of historical earthenware. I am really trying to fit earthenware into my plan and this just might be the way. Shows every month at historic sites, could be a fun time for me......
This poor child was working over that hot fire making pancakes.
But she had a beautiful batter bowl and dipper don't you think!
I,of course, was loving the fire. I swear I think I must have been a gypsy in a former life that set fire to things!! See the little pancakes there in the fire? I just stopped at Bojangles and got a biscuit, easier!
There in the tobacco field was the artist colony. What an absolutely beautiful day it was.
And this was the view from my booth all day, not bad huh!?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I won this!

The last full day of our class at Penland, Steven had a drawing for one of his bowls. I WON! I was really happy to get this bowl, because I came in to class every day and picked it up, wondering if I could afford to buy it. It is really beautiful in person, I should have put real lights on it and shot it with Wesley's camera, but I didn't so just imagine that I did. There is so much depth to this glaze and so many fun things to look at. Thanks Steven for having the great idea to do a drawing for us!!! The pot is very happy living here with me!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thanks Jen!

I don't know about you, but I love to see the UPS truck pull up in my driveway. It always means something fun has arrived. Yesterday I got this great wall pillow in the mail from Jen Mecca. How great is this little adorable thing!?
Jen had these in the gallery at Claymakers and they all sold before I could get one. I was so sad that I let them slip by, but now I have my very own and it looks great by our front door! Yeah, I know the photos suck, sorry, you just have to trust me that they are wonderful!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Morning walk

Those of you that have been to Penland know this wall. This was my path to the clay studio every morning. It was a slow walk because I found something new in the mosaic every day. There are beautiful flowers and greenery planted all along this walkway and I love the fact that it causes you to slow down, look at the art, look at the flowers and then get to the studio and be creative all day. Too bad everyone's travel to work each morning can't be like this. I have been working on new vase shapes and throwing larger all week, some success some failures but my throwing skills are getting better and better. I hope to get a firing in this week, I have a show at Duke Homestead on Saturday.