Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Slip-up 2

I was secretly happy that it rained off and on today... I got to spend a few hours this morning putting the finishing touches on the greenware from this weekend and I got to watch a bit of the streaming videos of demonstrations from the pre-conference at Montgomery Community College while the rain fell here in Northern California. What a treat!

After it was over, I felt empowered to get back to work pursuing my own vision... In the spirit of sharing, here is a demo that shares peeling away paper the stencils on today's canister.

Note to self... I need to figure how to turn the video format 90 degrees without squashing the image.

MCCC Bookmark

Montgomery Community College pre-conference live on line today!!!
Here's a link to the schedule
Here's the feed.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Slipping Up

Well yesterday's canister slipped up nicely. The design seems to be working to hide the join marks that were left behind in throwing the stacks. The marks that are really obvious, are gouges left behind by my rib. At the time, I felt that they added a certain something in full daylight, but now I'm having second thoughts. I like leaving in a good amount of surface scumble (did I just make that word-up?) to help add depth to the final glazed surface, but it's a bit hit and miss.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Canisters

Spent most of the week in trenches installing irrigation lines for the test gardens... It was a beautiful, beautiful week to be out streching the muscles. (Oh my Back!!!) Unfortunatly my studio time was limited to just a few hours at night. Just enough time to finish the designs on (8) 3.5 pounders above, put through a bisque load, and give a bit of thought about what to work on this weekend.
I'm going to see if I can choke in the waist on a series of 17" to 21" tall canisters without collapsing the pile. I build these up in sections... unfortunately you can just make out the joins on the one below by following it's profile. I'll flip it over tomarrow and see if I can chuck it up securly enough to cut a foot. That should be interesting.

Until then, I'll throw a few more tonight and see if I can get the profile I'm looking for.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hanging With Matt

This was a bit of an indulgent weekend. Matt Brown of MossBeach Cermics, came inland over the hill from the Bay Area to attend a "Willow House" function. (The work shown was some of what Matt brought along with him to share...) This is a developing new arts project for our neighborhood that pulls from the old ideas that surround the concept of an Art Salon. Ideally this is an opportunity for artists, curators, educators, and patrons come together for a night of discussions about evolving ideas, aesthetics and defending and new works through a critical process.

It makes for a good night.

Anyway, Matt is just one of the many reasons that I love Etsy. I met him a year and a half ago though the Etsy's MudTeam and we quickly became great friends! Now I look forward to making the best of any chance to get together just to talk shop for hours and hours. This is something that is totally lost on non-obsessed MudHeads...
Thanks for coming out Matt!
A great way to start spring! Cheers!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wish'n for Fish'n

Here's last night's cover of Ron Philbeck sgraffito.
Been wish'n I was holding a fishing rod with my dad... it must be spring.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March AgateWare

Another peek at what went through last weekends kiln load...

I love the simplicity of AgateWare under a clear glaze. Yum!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BoneOrchard meets the Orchids of Osmos

Here's four finished yunomi and chawans from this last kiln load. These are finally getting posted on my Etsy. With spring right around the corner, I've been getting to spend my daylight hours out working in all of my favorite gardens.

I really like how this new stencil set worked out. I couldn't help throwing a skull or two on a few of these... bare with me, I'll post sans skulls later.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cone 6 BoneMarrow Glaze

How's that for a name for a glaze combo, eh?

I don't know about all of you, but it still makes my head spin when I accidentally find out that my common studio glazes interact in a really unexpected ways... I've been living with these glazes for 2 years now, and I test for these things after all. But this glaze combo slipped through... until now.

This is my standard WhiteLiner over my Amber glaze.

I haven't made this combo jump through any hoops yet, but it seems to be acting like a cone 6 OilSpot glaze. Small Amber bubbles are floating through the WhiteLiner and healing over.

Happy Dance!

Laguna Cone 6 Calico

The fired cone 6 Laguna "Calico" clay body has a look I've been dreaming about for a while. It's the floating iron flecks (or whatever they are) that I'm fixated on, they help add a depth and richness to the finished glazed surface that needed to see.
The downside is that the bare clay burns to a very very rough surface. I like a smooth foot, but this clay has tooth! That's an apology waiting to happen...

Sandpaper rubber cemented to a bat offers a quick solution.

A few seconds of wet sanding and...

Butter smooth!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Here's a look at one of my favorite emerging artists.

Nico Blum

I feel very lucky, there are so many things that I learn from watching her work. She has an amazing sense of composition that can't be confined by the edges of her canvas. She is quickly gaining skills, creatively loading and manipulating a brush, and the confident and expressive use of color... WoW!

Ahhh... the joys of being 7.

This is one of her chawans fresh from the kiln.
Gonna put this girl to work this summer.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring Vases

It's nearly spring again and it's time to get around to throwing a few flower vases to celebrate the new blooms popp'n up in my gardens. The vase above was one of my favorite peices from last spring. Unfortunatly I only had just enough time after it was pulled from the kiln to photograph it before it needed to be delivered to the "Expressions" show just down the road in Tracy. It was sold and I never got to spend any time with it... I really liked where it was headed so figured it's as good of time as any to revisit the idea again and see what happens. Now it's this weeks model for a 3 piece series of stacked and thrown vases.

I still have a way to go to get these 3 over the finish line, but hey... it's fun to make the run.


Well here's the finished piece... it made it through the first round of construction last winter, and now it's made it through the last weekends kiln experiment without any unforeseen what-nots taking it in whole a new direction, (whew).

A quick look at the results of the low-fired yellow glaze infills from last weekend's experiment.

The whole point of this project originally was to test out a idea that would allow me to base works and get results similar to what we would get in the bronze studios.

What I have in mind is built around a simple assembly of welded threaded rod and angle iron, lost-styrofoam cast bronze spacers, and a base.

I started off by sinking the cairns in a bucket of sand so they can be leveled off. Next came the expanding foam... It's Great Stuff eh?

I filled up most of the interior volume with this stuff to keep the weight down and help make it bottom heavy.

After the foam cured, it was a simple matter to sink the welded steel assembly into a concrete plug. The process still needs a bit of refinement, but I'm a bit stoked on how it worked out.

The cast bronze spacers let the piece "float" over the base.

This system allows me change my mind... I can make a base switch if I need to. After all, it's all about presentation and that's still not one of my strong points.

Here's the finished video of this piece making it's way through the studio. Even as a stop-motion, it's a bit long. There's so much that I left out that it almost seems wrong, but hey, ya gotta pick and choose what to show to keep it as short as you can.
The music might not quite fit the mood of the video, but the kids thought it'd be a good touch.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cone 6 Amber

30.27 Custer Feldspar
25.65 Whiting
36.53 Silica (325 mesh)
7.55 EPK
11.66 Red Iron Oxide

This is a beautiful warm translucent glossy amber glaze plays a versitel role in my studios Cone 6 glaze line-up. It's a very stable glaze up into Cone 7 and still It does well in any cool spots in the kiln. It also plays well with other glazes (expecally my white liner) and it's translucent nature is best put to good use with hakime, stamping, straffito, slips, ect... the iron oxide in the glaze really shows off any texture on the clays surface.

Very stable from cone 5 to cone 7.

This recipe came from ClayTimes May/June 02, page 59