Monday, May 31, 2010

Katsup Ketchup Catch-up

Playing a bit of catch-up in the studio with the new/old "Half Pint" kiln.

2 finished Hamburger Yo-yos that Ron Philbeck had us all playing with back in February.

This yumoni is from a small series of works from April that are a tip the hat to Matthew Metz
This will find new homes as part of a Miracle Mile "CUPS" project.

A few of the spice dishes started making their way through...

A few Flower Vases from March were finally pushed through using 2 different white glazes.

This firing took 24 hours. About 12 hours longer than I had thought it would and it just dropping cone 5, (I was shooting for cone 6). But it was a beautiful load! The only pieces that pinholed were the ones that were supposed to. The GhostBlues in this load were brilliant blue.
Now time to tear apart the kiln panel again and run the multimeter back through everything. 24 hours is a lot of electricity!

Cone 6 Oribe Green

32% Custer Feldspar
24% Whiting
24% Silica
12% EPK
8% Zinc Oxide
5% Copper carbonate

Cone 5-7

(ClayTimes May/ June 02, Pg. 59)

This is a beautiful transparent glossy Jade green glaze. Plan for a bit of vertical movement with this glaze, especially if applied thick. Prone to pin-holing is not soaked at the top of firing.
It works very well over a black slip design.

For Saki's Sake

Saki... sake... whatever... these little sake cups are just over an inch and a half tall...

I get a charge from running other fellow studio potters works through my studio's glazes and kiln. They never fail to bring in fresh views regarding form (everyone experimenting with something or another...) and it's always a learning experience to see how my glazes interact with what they got. These inch and a half tall saki shots took the crackle and crawl glaze very nicely... they feel great and light as a whisper!

These works are from MossBeach studio potter Matt Brown. He was brave enough to drop by and glaze these up a few months ago. Between rain, kiln room flooding, kiln failures, and LOTS of whatnot... actually putting them through the kiln has been put off until this weekend.
I really really like what came out. NICE...
Thanks Matt!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Short Lesson on Leadership

I nearly shot coffee out my nose when I saw this video this morning.

Thank you from all of us Shirtless Guy!

Titillating TeaPots

These are 2 out of a collection of 6 teapots fresh from the kiln of local ceramic artist Bruce Cadman.

I love his work for so many reasons, but what I thoroughly enjoy is getting to watch people's reactions as they try to walk by his work without looking at it.

Naughty naughty dirty old potters!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ring Off

I couldn't stand waiting for parts that I needed to fix the old kiln any longer. I've got a back log of work ready for bisque and glaze, deadlines for 3 shows are literally days away, and most importantly, I get really antsy when I don't get these ideas out of my head. I draw them out in my sketchbooks, but quite frankly that just seems to "draw out" the problem. (that's not a joke.)

The solution was a bit drastic, but reversible... I cannibalized the top ring of the kiln to get the studio moving again. My old 7 cubic foot kiln is now 4 and a half at best. Dropping from 27" to 18"...

This is already shaking things up a bit. Kind feels like my pants are too tight.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another Day of Happy Feet

Last nights city council meeting was a night well spent. First I would love to give a big whoop'n holler of joy to any city council member that is brave enough to type in the word FetishGhost on their computer. Thank you for a wonderful civics lesson, It's scary to hear what happening and the hard choices that are at hand, but I'm very happy to hear that raiding Stockton's Arts Endowment is off the table!
Thank You!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Arts Endowment Fund for Stockton in Jeopardy

I hope you would consider joining us tonight in a show of support against the recommendation of the city manager to use the $1.3 million dollars arts endowment to help provide a short term plug in Stockton's growing budget deficit.

This is the endowment that funded the grant that the local Potter's Guild was awarded to keep going last year.

We must protect the future of the arts in this community. The grants are given out each year with the interest generated by the principal on this endowment. This was designed to be a long term solution to develop the Arts in Stockton and was intended to encourage established and emerging artists while helping mainstream arts organization expand their audiences.



2nd floor City Hall

Please, please attend. this is very important to us all.

-Zygote Blum-

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kako Katsumi

I have to thank Australian ceramic artist and blogger Shannon Garson of "Strange Fragments" for turning me onto Japanese artist Kako Katsumi this weekend. "Thank you Shannon!"

I really try to not geek out on details like this... but I'm drooling.


Kiln porno...

Bare with me on this... I'm still digesting the info I've found on line and unfortunately as accomplished Kako is, there isn't much... Most of theses images and info that I found was pulled from his website and his blog, (Google translator really does read like a haiku when you put Japanese websites through 'em... I like the vague poetic nonsense that comes out.)

Beautiful, beautiful work... we'll be revisiting this...

DogGone It

The neighborhood hosted a dog parade and fundraiser for local animal shelters this week-end. I was expecting maybe we'd be pushing it to get 100 people showing up, but the attendance was easily around 1500!
I pulled the wheel out again and parked it next to the bouncy house and let the kids give it a whirrl.
The neighborhood skate pack decided that maybe they were getting short changed by not getting to do things like this in school anymore. To bad too... they are all naturals.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

June 1st Entry Deadline

Visions in Clay

First prize is $1000!
Second is $600
3rd is $350

Lets see what you got!
The prospectus is online at

Monday, May 17, 2010


Imagine firing an anagama that you could cradle in your arms and fire in 3 hours to temp.
This is one of ceramic artist Akira Yoshida's creations.

A few links...
Making This site is in Japanese but it seems to work fine with Google translator
Website It's a budding movement!
Booklet This quick click to Etsy finds the plans to get started... Thanks for the translation Naoko Gomi!

And look what these babies can do!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spice Bowls

Small bowls thrown off the hump are summer favorites for our local chefs. At this scale, these are like little Haiku(s) in clay. Twenty-five pounds of clay can say a whole lot in quarter pound lumps.

New this year is to simply mark 1 and 2 tablespoon measurements on the interior...

using uncooked rice to measure out volumes in the interior of bone dry greenware.

A dot of cobalt slip will burn through my liner glaze.

More Buttered Popcorn Please

Thanks Adam...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cutt'n Spriggs

Spent a long afternoon in the shade finally getting around to scratching out the small swirl spriggs that I needed as an accent to a series of work using "stream eddies" as a motif.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Oggling the Onggi

Until the kiln is up and running again or until I find a way to get my greenware and bisque moving through the studio again... it might be a good time to get in some practice going bigger. American Onggi potter Adam Field visited the classroom at UOP last September, (here's a short post after his visit), and I've been mulling over making an idiots attempt at developing a mongrelized version of the technique to use in demos at local farmers markets.
Luckily Adam has shared a handful of videos of the process on You-Tube...

Part 1

Part 2


What I'd do with a surface that size?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fried is What I Got

When it rains... it pours...
It didn't take writing my first business plan point out that relying on a single kiln was an unwise weakness to expose my business to, especially an old vintage kiln held together with spit and band-aides. But hey, if kilns fell like manna from the sky... that would definitely be filed under a "Bad Day", so I've made do with what I got.
And what I got is Fried... In the process of replacing my infinite switch, I discovered a few wires that were arching, (hence the replacement of the switch), and my Mystery Noise was found to be a deteriorating interconnect receptacle plug that connects the top control panel to the bottom control panel.
So to keep from swearing and whining, I'm going to remind myself that this is a learning opportunity. It's just a massively inconvenient learning opportunity.

Saturday, May 1, 2010



That was a lot of fun. Walking around downtown Davis is always a treat, but with a plethora of ceramics galleries sprouting up just for the weekend in vacant storefronts, (and I really mean a Plethora...) it's just short of heaven. I took tons of pictures... (well actually it was my studio monkey that took most of them.) Unfortunately I didn't get names to go with a lot of the work.

There were 2 artists that I did manage to get their names.

The first was Clarine Wong. A potter doing good sized platters with amazing cobalt brushwork.

The second is something a bit more astounding. This was a piece titled "Intolerance Unfurled" by Ilena Finocchi at the Artery show. It's a brilliant work and the picture below doesn't do it justice at all. I was drawn to it's surface, (very complex, I can only guess how it was made), but it was the location that dropped my jaw.
This is like finding out your neighbor around the corner has a car kiln and a pug mill.

I had to end this post with a word of thanks going to my photographer. I couldn't pay my hard working monkey in bananas this time, but she did settle for a slice of pizza the size of her face and a shared salad.
Thanks Squeak, you did good.