Monday, November 30, 2009

AgateWare Bowls

Still at it with the bowls... 52 more thrown and trimmed. I'm trying to get a good variety of surfaces in. Got a double handful of stenciled slips on the ware boards drying along with a bakers dozen of agateware and even a few plain ones.

Usually I kind of enjoy throwing out in the cold(ish) fall and winter months. Boil up a bucket of water for the throwing slip, put on an extra pair of socks and pull on the long underwear and voila... no problem. This year though, it's just humid enough to really slow down the drying and the greenware is getting a bit backed up.


Here's a spot of video that we shot while throwing the agateware yesterday. This'll be spliced into the stack of videos that we'll show in the background at the Souper Supper Event in February.
Let me know what you think, the feedback is really helping to move this project along.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cow's Tounge

A craftsman’s tools help define the craftsman. It’s still about how you chose to use it… but our tools help us leave the marks we want.

I’ve gotten more than a few notes asking what this thing is… it’s a wooden “cow’s tongue” or a "Gyubera". This is a bent convex wooden rib that is used to compress and form the interior of forms on the wheel. It’s a traditional Japanese tool, that's darn useful tool to have on hand. I’ve had this one for almost 2 years now and I don’t think it’s ever been put away.

Most supply houses carry these critters, but here's a special link to a fantastic suppler of Japanese clay tools.
Thanks for the tip Kitoi.

Friday, November 27, 2009

2010 Souper Supper Bowls

The kids and I am putting together a few videos for this spring's 2010 TideWater Gallery "Souper Supper" event in February. I've been clued in that many of the people around here think that I just spit these bowls out for this event. This is the first video for this years event and unfortunately I don't think it communicates the amount of effort that goes into this project. I know this particular video might be a bit repetitive, but I think it does nicely begin to convey the pleasant monotony of throwing 120 bowls for an event like this. Wot!

Mental note... don't speed-up the next video... it looks cool, but it makes it look too fun.

Impromptu Hiatus

I’ve been quietly running an impromptu to experiment the past 2 weeks. Maybe it’s the economy, maybe it’s the calm before the storm, and maybe it just is what it is… but it looked like not sitting down with a cuppa joe (or 3) at the computer and sharing what’s been happening out in the studio doesn’t help very much. (We’ll play a bit of catch-up this weekend.)

The reason for this hiatus was a happy one though.
My parents were in town from Iowa for a visit and we simply don’t get enough time to spend together. Mom and I did get to spend a bit of time out in the studio working on this year’s bowls for the TideWater Art Gallery’s “Souper Supper”. (70 or so bowls done… 50 to go.) This is her 3 year helping me put through a load and I’m thrilled to have her in the studio with me. It’s a fun way to get together for a few days and it really special to share time with her doing something I love to do...

Thanks Mom!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Objects of Virtue Exhibition

"Objects of Virtue" explores the innovative ways in which artists use the sculptural and painterly qualities of clay to create varied and distinctive new vessels. As an amalgamation of surface, color, texture, and mass, clay in its fired state is potentially one of the richest art mediums. The concept of pots as “objects of virtue” is attributed to the late master potter Byron Temple, who championed the idea of potters as artists. With this exhibit, Bedford Gallery presents artists from across the country who share the idea that something as humble as a pot can have the import and mystery of a fine painting or sculpture. In every detail, from the shape of the vessel’s footing, to the finesse of a lid, to the overall shape of its body, the pots in Objects of Virtue demonstrate a concern for both beauty and function.

- Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions & Programs

Bedford Gallery is housed in the City of Walnut Creek's Lesher Center for the Arts, and enjoys being the largest community-based visual arts facility between the Bay Area and Sacramento.This is a beautiful gallery and arts center that shows what can arise from a community’s investment in a future of pride and vision.

The picture at the right is from the "Full Deck" Exhibition this summer... Totally cool show... totally.

What a treat!
I’m looking forward to finally getting to see what the exhibition juror, Julia Galloway, has selected for this show. Reading down the roster of artists that they pulled in nationally for this event, this’ll be a fun show to drop in on.

So many amazing things are currently happening right now in the field of ceramic Art, (notice the big “A” on that one) national exhibitions like these tend to be eye openers even for seasoned gallery hoppers and ageing studio rats like me. I’m very honored and happy, (giddy really), to have been selected to participate in the “Objects of Virtue” exhibition this year. (Alright alright, I did do an elaborate happy dance involving a few celebratory beers and a bit of hoot’n and holler’n.) I’m never quite sure what a juror is going to be looking for when they are selecting works for a show. I realize that there may be a stated theme for a show, but I also realize that as artists, many of us tend to shoehorn in just about any work on hand into a show’s particular theme. Whether we are fooling ourselves or not is beside the point. I tend to try to avoid doing this but in the end, I entered 3 works that I enjoyed from this year’s body of work that were simply still on hand. Luckily I felt that they truly met the theme of the show. (That is what we all say though.)

Out of the 3 pieces submitted, I was a bit surprised to find out that it was one of the Bone Orchard Chawan’s that was selected. I have to admit I’m full of question marks, but I’m comfortable with that…

Here are the other 2 that were considered but fell aside.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bruce Cadman

The 2nd ceramic artist that was involved in last weekends "Stroll & Jazz" on the Miracle Mile in Stockton, was ever amazing Bruce Cadman. (Actually I'm very happy to say he was more than just involved, he was the major motivator for this entire project.)
Thanks Bruce!!!
I'm always thrilled to be sitting next to Bruce. His ceramic work is very definitely unlike anything else ccurrently out there. It's imaginative, thoughtful, and full of obsessive detail. Yum! The best part is that I'm getting to watch an artist in a transformation period. His work seems to be very quickly evolving into something even more compelling and evocative. His MO is to only creates a small number of pieces a year, meticulously pouring over the details and putting them though a range of atmospheres in search of a finished surface. Judging from what I'm seeing in the studio right now, I'm really curios to see where he's taking his work this next season.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Michael Cammack

One of this weekends 3 featured PortCityMud artists on the Miracle Mile in Stockton, CA. was Michael Cammak. He's ceramic work is fun and light hearted despite the references to some of the world most infamous faces. Michael creates larger than life busts that are instantly recognizable for who they are despite the whimsy of his characterizations

The more I'm around this body of work, the more I appreciate his approach. I've been watching the reactions of the pedestrians as they walk past the windows. They drag their eyes along the glass looking at every one's work out of the corner of their eyes as they pass by, but when they hit "The Heads of State" grouping they pass by... stop... and back pedal and get a good look at the heads. Never fails... They walk away smiling a crooked little smile.

I'm still working out why. We'll definitely be taking this up later at the groups "philosophy" session at the neighborhood pub.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stroll & Jazz on Miracle Mile

Avenue Autumn Showcase
Stroll & Jazz Concert Friday, November 13th
The night starts with a stroll on Miracle Mile at 6:00PM with gourmet hors d’oevres and fine wines.

This is going to be tons of fun!This is our first outing as PortCity Mud and we’re excited! We got brought in on this project at the last minute, but we have been looking for just this sort of event to goof around at so we were prepared… well kinda.
We had the pedestals on hand already. (We enthusiastically made them a few months back in prep for a storefront gallery project.) We had artists lined up. (That’d be us. Our ugly mugs are posted on the side here.)

This is an evening event, so with that in mind we decided to make use of the impressive amount of glass in the storefront with a projected video shown directly onto a sheet in the window to go along with the exhibition. We sat down with a few beers and tested it out last night with lots of success. It really got people’s attention.

So we’ll be at the old Wells Fargo Bank Building at 1906 Pacific Ave with an exhibit of ceramic arts, video demonstrations shown in the store front glass, along with live demos and wine inside. The event starts at 6:00PM.

Glenda the Good

A really quick shout out to one of my favorite local artists…

Glenda Burns

She a multi-talented artist that excel’s in painting and ceramics. Her use of color in both media is reminiscent of the Fauves movement from the turn of the last century. My favorite aspect of her work is that it’s as fun and uplifting to be around as she is… Both brighten a room and cheer me up.

Guess that’s a darn fine mess of peas.

If anybody is in town, her opening is 4- 7pm Saturday the 14th at the Goodwin gallery on the Miracle Mile in Stockton, CA.I’d love to see you there.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

B/Witched Yunomi

Alright, alright... I know, I know, but I needed a few of these for the holidays and they dissappered too quickly last month. This is a small run of 15 tounge'n'cheek yunomi created using toner decals that have been fired into the glaze.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Winding Down

These 4 cups were part of a small series of 13 stenciled works that were mixed in with 25 vanilla glazed cups that I pushed through for decals. This small series was intended to revisit and retest of some of this years glaze experiments. Nothing too crazy, but glaze combos and applications that seemed to work well at the time and needed restating. Looking back over the year, I'm really happy how the relation of the form, the foot, and the lip has really progressed into a consistently beautifully balanced object.
I love how this series has turned out. The red stoneware really warms up the White Liner glaze...

This is the second time through this experiment with a black slip and Amber glaze. I love the interaction of the Amber and the White Liner at the rim. A thicker application of the Amber glaze will make these jewels.
I've been falling in love with my simple white liner glaze again. I wasn't really happy with the predictable thin & stable application of this glaze over the cobalt slip stenciled work, but I've grown fond of multiple dipped and poured layers. The design shifts just slightly, but the surface is rich.

This is the yunomi that the kids and I filmed being made last week. I like how it came out of the kiln, but I well aware it's not to everyone's taste. It has texture in abundance. It's been made to be a tactically beautiful cup... a cup that not only functions as it should, but as an object that's a joy to hold and explore with your hands and eyes.
It really is something special.