Thursday, 16 November 2017

Dang it.

Dang it, 

Its my Last stop in a 6 year journey to  get my Bachelors degree and my professors have been on strike for a month. Now I'm a big supporter of the strike and I think that the people in charge of the Ontario Colleges are a bunch of weenies. I should be writing my thesis but instead I'm setting deeper and deeper into madness.... Sigmond Freud would say that the creative thought is madness (not that I've every read any of that but teachers love to quote him), Hmmm... so much is explained. but I kind of like it. Living day to day not knowing wether I'll be in class tomorrow or not. Basically I've been in the studio eating up our Tech's budget and watching moving on the projector at night. 




32bowls, Korean, British Museum

Dishes, Shipwrecked, egina Krahl, John Guy, J. Keith Wilson, Julian Raby. p.100

I really Like making these small dishes. Conceptually they make me contemplate what the heck im doing with my time. The first picture I took at the British Museum 2 yeas ago and I'd be darned if I could find a better sitation for it... dang it. and the second it Tang Dynasty Chinese found on a Persian shipwreck. Transportation of ceramics and the cultural exchange is so cool. My original thesis was suppose to be about "Flow" but the more I do read about it the less I seem to care. Ceramics as a vehicle for cultural exchange is so freakin cool. 
                                   

                                      

                                      




Chinese Ceramics, Nigel Wood, Royal Ontario Museum, p.146

This pot is beautiful in its own right, but thats not why I love it so much. If you read the description you'll see that the person who decorated it stopped before they were finished. Not sure if this has been mentioned or not but I love when I see an unfinished work that made it through the kilns. I can only imagine the maker said "F" this shit I'm going home. put the thing on the shelf and said good night. Its so hard to imagine something like that happening in Canada today...and if it was done intentionally its not really truthful to the spirit of the concept. It has to be done on intentionally. The more I look at the works that I love the more I think, was this done for expedience reasons rather than aesthetic. If you've got a job to do and your not making much for your skills what 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Back to the Drawing Board

I haven't glaze fired pots since April last year, and its been making me nervous. Im normally all into atmospheric firing. Salt, Soda and Wood. However until Salty is repaired I'm in a place where I tell my professors about how excited I am about the challenge, and on the other hand I say nothing about how irritated I am about how its not been repaired ;). I've got my fingers crossed. 

I've been making some casually gnarly stoneware pots and some clean porcelain that make sweet music. Though I must be honest about how little time I've spent in the studio since this heat wave hit, we're in a big steel box with no air-conditioning, slow going. I've got my fingers crossed for cool weather.

This last firing had a few really good pots in it, but for the most part they were the kind of pots that will end with a long drop and a sudden stop into the dumpster. Back to the Drawing Board. Luckily I've got more firings booked for this week to try and get it right so I've got my fingers crossed. 

 I'm running out of fingers to cross 

Luckily this weekend theres a wood firing with the Second year class that I'm going to follow. it'll be a hoot. 






Thursday, 21 September 2017

Plumb Tuckered

Into week 3 at school and I'm already starting to feel concerned about how I'm approaching my work.  The gears have been turning and I've been thinking that the 200ish production pots that I've made since classes started wasn't a valuable use of my time. I love them for testing and sketching out my ideas, but my focus was more on them than my larger more considered work.

Interestingly enough I went to that scary place Toronto for Fan Expo before classes started and a guy who claimed to be a monk gave me this and asked for some money. He walked like a monk, talked like a monk and dressed like one too, well golly gee he must be a monk and I'm a sucker for giving my last dollar away to someone who needs it.  Perhaps I should of payed more attention to it.

Now I'm back onto my large guys in preparation for something big that's brewing in my head. Thought I should take out this book from the Library to help me get through this confusing time.

 





Eh, one more thing. Here's a link to a song that I like to jam to when throwing. Cheers, 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkkIwO_X4i4


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

What Would Ben Doon Do?

I'm back into the swing of studio production and the thought it starting to stir about where I will keep all the things that I'll be producing. See I'm a maker, last year I was very lucky that a studio space was provided for me even though I didn't have any studio classes. Trouble was that I always felt that it was inappropriate for me to make as much as I wanted. So its been one week since my now studio heavy classes started and I've already used more than 200lbs of clay and mixed ten new glaze tests. 

See the thing is that I'm Canadian educated and English trained, which makes me a freight train in the studio, the uncomfortable part for me is telling the world what I'm up to and how I do it. See it stops me from being in the Flow of my making, not denying the quality of how important it is to slow down, have a cuppa tea and some biscuits and wright a little whats on about the work. 

This blog is a required weekly assignment for one of my Thesis Classes. I'm required to include a minimum of: 

3- Images of whats going on (work, recipes, a firing schedule, stuff), 
Written Content about my goings on and whats going through my noodle of a brain
as well as 1 Link to something related to thats going on.  









I think I should tell you of Ben Doon, a potter who greatly admire. See Ben Doon is an educated man, Ben Doon travelled the world in his youth, Ben Doon saw many things and decided that people in love with things, Ben Doon lives in seclusion in a converted mill on a hill about a glen in Scotland, Ben Doon has no need for worldly things, Ben Doon makes potter from locally sourced materials that he then trades for the things he needs, Ben Doon makes his own Whisky, Ben Doon is a potter, Ben Doon is very well read and believes in science, Ben Doon suffers no fools, Ben Doon has no time for BS. When I'm working in the studio, I'm always thinking to myself,



 "What Would Ben Doon Do?" 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Okie Dokie


I use to hate the idea of drawing on my pots, now, I'm ready for it. I don't really know where a these are coming from, I like them and I like making them.




Started using some Solo Cups to use as slump moulds. Thinking that the finished pieces will look something like fine china when finish. 


But man I still Love surfaces like these.


Marc Egan asked me to dig clay for the next group of students going through glaze chemistry. The deal is that they share the results with me and any of the left over after they've finished cleaning, processing and testing is mine... assuming they don't want it after. 


My own clay tests


 And test tiles for some new glaze ideas


But this is something I see every morning. 


Shortly before this I always think to myself


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Back at it then.


Trying to get back into the swing of things. I just came back from a two week glazing workshop with 22 amazing people. Our fearless leader Peter Beasecker worked so hard, there were nights where everyone was there until 3am trying to meet the deadline. I learnt a lot about glazing (small glazes) and (big glazes)... thats how much the piece can handle without being overwhelmed  by the glaze. 


I've never used so much latex in my life. 


 My obsession with cups served me well. It was so easy to pack a bag full of cups and transport them on a plane. I have 2 or 3 really good starting points for my final year at Sheridan.


This pot below. Its probably one of the best pots I've ever made. Peter said something to me the first time I met him, wayyyy back in November...he said "if it looks over worked, its not over worked enough". I don't know why, but I've always had this urge to work a pot to death. But at the same time I love making loose shino pots. But man, this pot is something else. 





Peter had us make Shooters to fit into a carrier, but for him to make one and have it dried and fired without cracking would of been a real challenge. So one was made with the help of some of the other studios. Metals, The Fabrication Lab and Wood all helped to make this possible...of course the class didn't find out until the end what was going on. 


We all made a quick drawing of one of or pieces and it was milled onto the base. 



 The piece was sold at the end of session auction to help fund the next group of Work Study Students (I was one) thats where we go and for the price of our room/board/workshop. We put in hours to help run the facility. Anything from washing dishes to maintaining on the grounds.



But I can't stay away from the studio for too long. I'm back at it. Taking what I learned and applying it. 



My obsession with drinking vessels is still strong. I love them. I haven't quite figured it out yet but in the future I will probably say to myself...




Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Not surprisingly its been a long time since I've updated my blog. People probably think that I'm still on a plane over the ocean....this is not true.

I've been very busy making...making...making...



 A wee 2 jug for some refreshments. 


Some bowls, made these the first day of classes. 


pie plates....not one of these came out of the kiln looking even remotely nice, lessons learned in firing. 


If I look like death in this photo it may be because I'm a "little" tired, I was cleaning some clay I found on my farm in London. 


some tests to make a bubble gum pink slip for decorating. 


experimenting with slip decoration, the one looks like a seagull pooped on it. 


And always firing Kilns (bisque firing, these were glaze fired a few weeks later, this is work by the class)


and sometimes you don't always get the firing schedule right when your on a time frame


some mugs, I had a lot of fun making these


this guy was my favourite....theres no attached foot.....how sureal


heres that local clay of mine at ^o4, ^6 and ^10....its a tea-dust


I don't know if this casserole will fit in an oven, but oh well it'll hold popcorn at a party. 

tiny little shooters, I put a lot of these into the wood firing we did last week. They fit Everywhere


The unloading of our wood kiln


A cup with two stories, fired on its side on shells. 


The department head said this was a little over done, but then she said that thats OK because its just who I am. 


Sorry I haven't been updating in the last while, I've gone a little "nuts" with school, gallery openings, and everything else. I'll update again in a couple of days after critiques.