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. 





Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Its been one hell of a trip. I've learnt a lot of lessons that can only come with experience. "be more dramatic with your lines" "make the foot make a statement" "the rim of the pot should finish it off"

While here I've been making my own work (though it hasn't been fired yet) it'll bee nice to see how my pots come out of the kiln...though its a few months away.

I wouldn't of been able to get here without the help of my friends at the London Potters Guild, I won't name any names because I'll probably forget someone and I just know that I would never live it down.

Tomorrow I begin my long journey home, My plain leaves at 6am from Cardiff on the 23rd so tomorrow I'll be staying in a Hotel. Now is the hardest part of the trip...Limbo..



My tools are clean. 


My bags are packed


And the last bisque is loaded. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A week in the sun.

I've been here at the Leach pottery in St. Ives a week now and I think that all those things that Phil has been telling me are starting to settle in. Theres almost an attitude about being a potter. A lot of the people here have this very relaxed attitude about pots. 




This is not a beautiful bowl, but Bill Marshall made it in the 60's. You can tell that it wasn't in a good spot in the kiln, its kinda rough and not well decorated.  I picked it up and didn't question its function. I felt the wall thickness and its perfect. Its substantial but light, and when you look at it it almost looks like its floating. I love it. 


I love St. Ives



We fired the soda kiln, more than 300 pots in the soda kiln. This is the standard ware for the pottery. The pottery is in a transition into a new range, before the pots were beautiful but didn't function very well and took too long to make. The idea now is to design a standard ware range that can be made in larger quantities that function better.  


Friday, 12 July 2013

One thing after another

      Phil organized for me to go to the Leach pottery for 12 days. in exchange for a room I'll be working in the studio...because I'm so hard done by... I get on the train at 10am and arrive at 8pm. So it will be a very long day, so perhaps I should bring some reading material. The day I got on the plane to come here Mum and I went to a used book store we found this, I've read it a number of times since I've been here, I'm having trouble understanding some of the things that Bernard is talking about. But the more time I spend with Phil and the more I learn about making work and making a living and integrity, the more this book makes sense to me. Some things can't be learnt in school, being here is teaching me more important lessons in being a potter than I ever could have learnt if I hadn't of come here. 

Phil has yet again given me so much, one day I hope I can repay everything that he's done for me. 

I can't express enough how much this means to me. 

Thank you. 


A few cups, 


I made this bottle form out of an iron loaded clay. It firers to about cone 8, with the white slip on it the decoration will appear layered. usually we look for glazes to bond together, but with this technique, the clay, slip and glaze all appear as separate entities. 

I was not happy with this decoration, I feel like it doesn't work with this pot, so I scratched it off. I think the mark is much better than what it does for the form. 

I've been looking a lot at slipware pottery from about the 1700's and this wavy decoration is derived from what is know as "the river". I practised this motion hundreds of times before I applied it to the pot. the idea of slipware is that today you decorate 100pots and tomorrow you decorate 100 more of the same pots, by the time you've finished. The marks become spontaneous.