Monday, January 25, 2010


Ok... so this doesn't look so bad... but if you look close you can see the hand pump by the stairs. Well over 800 gallons of water moved 5 gallons at a time over the course of a week can tire a body out. If you are over 40 and do the math you'll know why I'm feeling it.
Who says potters don't get enough exercise.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


You show your age a bit if that title makes you hungry for a hamburger… No explanation though, just snickers… but this post isn’t about thoughts of another missed lunch… this is about opening the kiln on a rushed load of bowls and finding the telltale signs of… well a rushed load of bowls pushed through the bisque kiln. We all know what happens, but after a while, some of us begin to wonder whether the work needs to actually be completely bone dry or how dry does the work actually need to be to survive a bisque… even a slow bisque.


I don’t think it’s as bad as all of that. I’m only seeing only one bowl with a foot efficiently reduced to grog, but that’s just the top shelf and I haven’t even started unloading yet.


A Last Nod to the 2009 TideWater SuperSupper

As we pull into the last week and a half of finishing this years contribution of bowls for the TideWater's yearly Souper Supper, I feel the need for one last nod to last years' contributing ceramic artists. They produced over 200 works specifically for this event.

I wish everyone had a link that I could link to, but alas... it's a new age we live in.
Contributing ceramic artists for 2009's event last February were...
Bruce Cadman
Frank Sheldon
Glenda Burns
Helen Dollahite
John Lechner
Linda Osborne
Steve Pate

Viva 2010!
See you there!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rudy Autio

Getting ready to do some rainy day slip painting on a double handful of bowls. Thought it'd be a good exercise to give Rudy Autio a nod and play with the human figure while mopping color around. Here's Rudy making it look easy...

Unemployed Philosophers Guild

Gotta share this one from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild...

I think this may address a lot of questions regarding mug usage.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Clay and Blogs; Please Pass the Soap

I know I’ve said this before… nearly all of what I do in the studio is analogous with “singing in the shower”… I do it for mostly my own amusement and, from where I’m standing, I usually enjoy the results. This strategy is loosely based on the idea that if I can’t sell what I’m making, it better be something I can live with because... well… I’ll be living with it. So with that in mind, I put my head down and I keep busy. I think a whole lot of us approach what we do in the studio this way.

My studio blog was originally started with the same thoughts in mind. It was simply a studio diary that gave anyone that might be interested a bit of insight into the studio life of a niche ceramic artist in Northern California. The blog had a purpose… it was simple… it was to show people that I wasn’t simply pooping out studio ceramics. (Some artists may actually do this… not me… I joyously sweat mine out.)

The blog has changed and grown since then. It wouldn’t have gone very much further if it wasn’t so much fun… so it’s back to that “singing in the shower” analogy… (I really do enjoy myself).

Now I’m still in this shower (just to keep the analogy going), but now I’m finding a whole lot more people in here singing away too! A whole lot more! Most everyone seems to be enjoying themselves grandly while singing a different tune.

A golden moment happened a few weeks ago…Meredith from WhyNotPottery asked me if I’d be interested in stepping out of the shower and show what I got… (just keeping with the a fore mentioned analogy going so to speak).

It was an inventation to show at the “Clay and Blogs; Telling a Story” exhibition in Seagrove, North Carolina along with 32 other fellow ceramic artists. It’s a group of artists and writers that I am very, very honored to be asked to stand up with.

Just as a special note, the behind the scenes on this show has been a big hoot so far, so stay tuned on this one… the chorus from the shower could get REAL good!


Snug as a Bunnie, Happy as a Bat

Jim over on Sofia’s Dad’s Pots had posted the latest in winter fashion accessories on his blog this morning. And I have to confess… I love monster fuzz... The furrier the better.

I’m not sure whether this counts as a sickness or a condition. I think the cause is buried somewhere in my upbringing, maybe it was the result of a secret Sesame Street plot, or possibly it was something in the water. I know a few of us that escaped from our hometown have a similar condition and I’ve noticed a whole lot of people with a similar condition.

I guess it was just a matter of time before one of us broke out in a Fuzz. DJMermaid (she made the letter “M” one of my all time favorite letters in the alphabet) and her crew out in Oakland decided to take matters in their own hands and do something about it.

If you Love’em … Fuzz ‘em! This stuff is Great!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

San Joaquin Potters Guild Show at the GoodWin Gallery

A new season of local openings are just beginning here in the San Joaquin valley. This was the second opening in as many nights for Nico and myself. We didn't need much extra feeding by the time we got home both nights. As always, she earned her keep helping set-up and speaking with all of the guests, (what position is that... professional mingler?) Tonight's opening was the SJ Potters Guild presenting their members works at the Goowin Gallery.
Good show everyone!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Strainers, Spouts, Handles

After hearing how darn cold it is everywhere else right now, I thought I'd go ahead and brave the balmy 43 degrees out in the studio. It still feels like a icebox to me though.

All of the teapot bodies and parts hadn't firmed up enough to confidently hold without consequence, but I don't get to work this wet very often and it's a quite thrill. The clay was just stiff enough to hold its shape but still very plastic and almost tacky. The lids are still too wet to trim without damage though.

A nearly finished teapot with the strainer lutted into place, and the spout and handle firmly attached.

Dreaming a Big Dream Part 3

This is posting is a bit of a moot point now that Hyla pointed out that stairs + adult arts center + clay = not well thought out.

Still, its a cool building that's relitively cheap-ish.

Makes me wish I was a painter. I guress there's nothing like 10,000 square feet of well lit floor space to stretch out in to take up painting.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jump, Jump!

Ok… for all of you that thought it'd be a good idea and lots of fun to encourage a little man to keep "Dreaming Big"… here's site number two for a proposed adult arts center.

It's a bit dilapidated, (note the fence on the sidewalk to keep the curious from getting their heads caved in by souvenirs from the buildings crumbling façade… Cool).

Admittedly it has issues. Being a bit of a fixer-upper is top on the list. The Spooky neighborhood is a close second…

Cool huh?


Everything dries r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y this time of year here in Northern California's San Joaquin Delta. It's a good time to get an early jump on throwing and assembling a load of teapots. At least I don't have to worry about them drying too quickly.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stay at Home Vacation

Well this must have started with a wish… I had been feeling a bit burnt at the edges the past few weeks. I’m not sure why exactly. I have suspicions… but hey… my for the record answer is that, “Over the years, I’ve become a sun child and, seasonally, the weeks of overcast skies doesn’t do me (or anyone around me), a bit of good. “ That’s for the record.

Any way I knew I needed a break, but what I really needed was a vacation. I needed to go somewhere with lots of sun… some snow or ocean (preferably both)… maybe a bit of adventure… and it needed to run $35 or less. It was follow neighborhood blogger, TotusMel who clued me into a fantastic poorman’s/woman’s vacation…


I haven’t played much in the way of video games since the kids were old enough to effectively monopolize the controllers, (honestly I really haven’t had the time to blow anyway), but…. This is where the wish comes in… I got the flu!

Best darn thing to happen in a while. I sat in bed with a fever, joyously slogging though hours and hours and hours and hours of adventures. (Hours)

Ahhhh, the glory! Here is a shot of me with the village chief. It’ s not really a good shot though… my eyes are closed. Doh!

It really worked though… I’m feeling much better now and it’s back to filling spring orders.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dreaming a Big Dream

There is nothing quite like starting the year off by dreaming a really big dream. Maybe way too big… The up side of dreaming a “too big” kind of dream is that when I fall just short of what I had in mind, I can still enjoy a sweet victory because I usually end up growing in ways I really hadn’t initially imagined. I highly recommend this over enthusiastic daydream exercise to anyone who has a stomach for failure or a wad of cash to throw into any hole you dream up.

This particular daydream is the culmination of a single years worth of standing on tables, jumping around waving my hands, dropping my proverbial pants, and generally making an idiot of myself in my local arts community. (There’s a back story here, but I can’t seem to find the link at the moment…) Long story short… very recently the local grey hairs who had been using the local community college’s art department as their own personal, long term, free rent, studio space, were asked to find the exit door (budget cuts…) In the explosion of grumbling rage that ensued, someone started a whisper campaign running around about creating an adult arts center to serve this community. It would be centered on providing individual studio spaces, classrooms for painting, ceramics, and drawing, (gonn’a plop ceramics right in the middle of traditional “Arts” disciplines), adequate space for an onsite gallery, and a specialized photo studio for art work, a basic computer lab, and a “general store” for needed supplies.

Are we dreaming yet? Well here’s the first choice... It’s the old office of the Sperry Flour Mill established in 1859. It’s a cozy 5050 square foot historic brick office building located downtown with a parking lot and located in a stalled out growth district along the waterfront.

What’s the price tag to buy our way in the door? Just $725,000!!! But wait there’s more… it’s old and there are oodles of things that need attention and fixing… lots of extra expenses… a hell of a way to try and scrounge up a bit of studio space.

Maybe this particular dream is too big, way too big... But WoW! If a community wanted to make a statement… here it is… Arts on the waterfront in Stockton.