Monday, August 30, 2010


To wadd or not?
For me, the answer is just a line of reasoning. Even well washed kiln shelves can accidentally make short work of a beautiful piece. The spot of extra time it takes to go through the steps of making the wadding, wadding up everything that's at risk, and knocking off wads and cleaning up the foot, is well worth the effort if I came come out the other end with something I can proudly put in front of a collector, gallery owner, or local customer.

Otherwise I have to shuffle my feet when customers see this... a chipped foot!

We knew that this was labor intensive when we took the job, Eh?

Tea Time

 One of the best things about the switch to a 17 cubic foot kiln is that there's enough space to invite friends to play too. Just show-up with bisque and glaze 'em up on the spot using the studio glazes. The 2 teapots above are made by Bay area potter Matt Brown. These look great even without any handles put on yet!

Here's one of mine... I'm using this as a bribe to set-up a display of locally produced teaware at our neighborhood Sushi House.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Steve Pate's gas kiln had a decent sweet spot... a turbulent hot spot at the flue, and an amazingly under-fired cold spot that sat inches from the hottest zone in the kiln... weird.
I'm hooked!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Still Waiting for the Anvil to Drop

I've kept an eye on the sky all day today, the way my luck has been running lately I have to keep watch for falling anvils...
 So far so good. A beautiful morning spent with a few students in the gardens and an afternoon unloading the gas kiln...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What's Art?


Thank's for the link Mr. Bauman!

Burner Diapers

I did a double take when I peeked under the kiln this morning and saw this...

All of the burners were wrapped with foil with a single hole poked through with a pencil.

The explanation was that during candling with the ball valve just cracked at low volume, the gas could actually burn back to the orifice due to the high ox to gas ratio. The flame sitting on the orifice is just asking for complications.
Steve's solution to is to cut back the primary air with the tinfoil... the hole poked through adds a just the flow of air needed to balance out the burn and keep the flame burning above the burner right where you want it.
Just pull off the foil when it's time to really crank'em up.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hoofing It In a 105

I've been feeling like "I'm on a road to Mecca" with this firing... it's been a long journey of non-stop trouble, lot's of think'n, lot's of growing, and now heat...
One of yesterdays' many highpoints was an afternoon carting each piece  a block and a half away by hand and by wareboard, (17 cubic feet of work), in a 105 degree day. It felt good to actually have to comitt each piece to the kiln, wadding and loading everything into place.
It spilled over a bit into today's 108 degree day... WOOF!

You can do amazing things with a wide brimmed hat and a gallon and a half of water. The zen is to enjoy it without getting hurt...

Steve Pate will be showing me how he burns his updraft tomorrow morning and I'm hoping to see the kiln door open late Friday afternoon. (He's already sharing golden tips...)

Fair enough.

This is my first attempt to take just a few of my cone 6 electric glazes though an updraft gas kiln. So bare with me... this ain't pastels! Win or lose... these are giant steps.


"Hey dad, Whatdoyouthink?"

 I think we're gonna have fun keeping you engaged and stimulated with creative learning, oh daughter of mine...

Cheers kid!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cone 6 Wadmore

This next weekend's firing opportunity seems like a great time to explore using wads for a cone 6 firing, lifting the work up off the shelves for better heat convection in a gas kiln.

 700 grams of cone 10 clinker slop, (recycled cone 10 clay).

50 grams Alumina Hydrate...

Saw dust... (add and mix in until the slop becomes wedgable, then wedge-it up, divide it, and wrap up the batch for damp box storage.)

This may or may not go unsaid... apply small wads to the bottom of wear by dipping wads lightly in wood glue thinned with a spot of water.  This is enough wadding for a very liberal application in (2 to 3) 17 cubic foot kiln loads of work.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Suzuki Violin - Minuet #1

I know I'm being rather obnoxious by posting stuff like this, but hey, this tune is a has been playing nonstop in my head ALL DAY, and thought I needed a reminder tomorrow morning where it left off at...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More Titillating TeaPots

After all the think'n about Art vs craft and the general lack of ability to critically write about what it is exactly that we are doing, (here's the link to the editorial that's got a lot of us think'n)... I had to take a break and get back to fun.

Bruce Cadman brought by 2 more teapots to put through the photo booth this morning. These are just getting better and better.

Whatever you think about his work, it does make you stop and look.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I'm starting to habitually look up, scanning the clouds for any signs of falling anvils or baby grand pianos headed my way. It's just been my luck lately, I think I must living under the view of an evil eye. The kiln I rented is an old Paragon kiln rated to cone 10, but it's stalled dead at 1389 F.

Time to shut down and quickly come-up with a plan C.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shifting Gears

It often takes me a few years to get around to put what I know is a good idea into motion... this weeks current example deals with larger works.

I've been a dipper for years, gimme a bucket of glaze and I'm set... but at larger scales I simply can't afford to whip-up big enough batches to dip effectively and pouring just hasn't proved to be reliable. It's been one of the factors that has been limiting the scale that I work with. 
The above work came out of the kiln this morning and a major change is afoot...

 I'm finally giving an air gun a go... REVOLUTIONARY!
This is in a last minute effort to create a new body of work for this weekends block party, (more on that later). With the death of Half Pint last week, I pulled the pity card and rented Bruce Cadman's kiln for two weeks.

It small, but so far, it's keeping me dancing! Better dance quick cuz it's going home real soon.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Visions Highlights: Yoko Sekino-Bové

I've been claiming all weekend that there are only 4 "pots" in this whole show. Studio Artist Yoko Sekino-Bové made 3 of those 4, but now that I'm taking a minute to review the show, I'm revising my previous statement back to shrugs. There are quite a few works that were most likely thrown and altered, but nothing quite like Yoko's work...

The above piece took 3rd in the "Visions in Clay". Honestly though, any of her submissions were contenders for the top 3 slots in the show. All of Yoko's work was a pleasure to explore as I unpacked them... very fine and very delicate, (great job packing by the way Yoko... nice attention to detail.)

This last piece is my favorite out of all of the works that Yoko offered for the show. Everything that she submitted are amazing examples of craftsmanship, beautifully thrown and trimmed... and best of all, she creates amazing surface details that Bruce and I are enjoying simply sitting back and just guessing at how she created. It speaks deeply that the juror Arthur Gonzalez choose all 3 of Yoko's submissions.  Personally I'm jazzed that a few of the McKnight Fellowships for Ceramic Arts awarded by Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis are making a show of it in this exhibition.

Like all of the works in this show, everything needs to be seen to be appreciated, but to handle work of this caliber is an experiance...

Cheers Yoko!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Meet my New Little Friend

A 17 cubic foot updraft gas kiln less than 100 yards from the studio's backdoor.

Steve Pate is letting me rent out this beauty to make a quick foray back into cone 10 reduction to add to this falls collection. 
Very cool! 
I initially started out as a gas burner at Arizona State University and reluctantly made the switch to electric 4 years ago. That change over made me realize that as I developed my sense of form and craftsmanship, I had to give special attention to developing my surfaces.
As my 7 year old says when we sit around talking about these things... Duh...
Well, ever since last springs 09 soda firing with Matt Brown, I've been chomping at the bit to get to try putting my surfaces back through atmospherics kilns. Time to revisit a first love... so here we go...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Foam Printing Results

A quick look at the results from the foam printing test a few weeks ago.
This definitely has possibilities...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

SharkSkin White

Maybe it's the way I work, but I'm starting to think that a disproportionate amount of the new surfaces that pop-up in the studio are the results of accidents rather than planned tests... honestly, everything that goes through my kilns are tests, but some things really do surprise me and this is one of them.
It's a simple electric cone 6  EggShell White recipe that I've used on and off for a few years now, the only difference is that it's been fired to a flat cone 4 and the result is rather extreme. At cone 4, this glaze is very much a texture bomb. It feels like shark skin... As long the is lip is functionally glazed, this is a fantastic surface for the hand to enjoy.
I'll post the recipe when I can actually once again fire this mix to the intended temp. Until then I think I'll personally test this for a week or two.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vision Highlights: Hunter Stamps

 "The Space Between" 
27" x 19" x 18"
glazed ceramic

17" x 27" x 17"
glazed ceramic

 Once again, heaping servings of both form and texture. The pictures don't do Hunter Stamps work justice. These pieces draw a person in in a big way. All three of his works were selected and I'm very glad they were, I've been watching people wander in while we've been setting up and they inevitably drift towards "Metamorphosis" stopping to orbit the work like a captured new moon
The piece below is the work that captured second place...
Congratulations and Great Work!

 "Naked Lunch"  
26" x 16" x 18"
glazed ceramic

Monday, August 9, 2010

Death of Half-Pint

Half-pint has been firing low and slow since June. Half-pint is the old hand-me-down Paragon kiln that I've kept together with spit and band-aids over the past 4 years and it's been taking a hard nose dive over the past few months. I was hoping that the solution might be simple... a handful of elements here and there, some new wires, an infinite switch... but after bringing in a pyrometer to get a really good look at what was going on during a firing, I've relinquished my hold on nostalgia and realized it's literally time to pull the plug.

Frankly, I simply can't afford to keep firing this as an electric kiln.
The last 9 hours of a long 24 hour firing was stalled around 2040 and actually dropped to 2018 in the last 3 hours.
That's really messed-up.

When I finally made the decided to turn it off, I realized I lost another infinite switch and had a run away kiln again.
I am not a happy camper, but at least I know where I stand and I finally have some sense of resolution...  

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Visions Highlights: Gail Bartik

20" x 20 " x 2.5 "
soda-fired porcelain in wood frame

Surface, surface, surface! 
Gail's pillow tiles are lush studies of line and inorganic chemistry. I've easily spent over half an hour exploring her surfaces on this work and will gladly spend another before this exhibition is over. Fantastic!
I love a good show...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Visions Highlights: t.s. Linzey

"Posicles & Bedpans"  
10" x 6.5 " x 9 "
acrylic on clay

Over the past 2 weeks now, I've been opening boxes and boxes of works that has been arriving. Joyously swamped is a very good descriptive term. Unpacking other artists works has proved to be the amazing experience I hoped it would be... every single package is just how I like too enjoy remembering Christmas when I a whole lot younger... it's all about the thrill of discovery...
The very first piece to arrive wasn't in a box, it just magically showed up, hand delivered. I loved it as soon as I saw it and it has set the tone of the whole show for me. This year, this is a ceramic sculpture show... no doubt about it.

Here is a few other bonus works pulled from t.s. Linzey's website. I totally love this...

3.5 ft X 5.5 ft X 1.5 ft
Acrylic paint on ceramic & metal rod 
 18" x 17"1/2 x 9"
Acrylic on ceramic

Thank you Linzey! Here's to hoping that we get to cross paths soon! 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Still Making the Doughnuts

For better or worse, I'm starting to feel like Huck Finn. I've been convincing a few good friends to help whole bunch to lend a hand pulling the Visions in Clay show together. For the past week and a half, it's been labor time! We've been putting in more than a few 6 hour days, fabricating 27 wall mount pedestals and 11 freestanding pegestals specifically for this exhibition. 3 coats of paint later we are nearly done with construction and I'm thinking next week will be a busy week bolting these to the walls and building islands of pedestals.
This is so totally worth it...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Schaller Gallery: Flora

Adam Field

This exhibition is a real treat... I love a show that has a few friends, a few favorites and a few new surprises.

Schaller GalleryFloa: flowers and plants and flowers

August 01, 2010 through August 31, 2010

Curated by: Kyla Strid Artists Include: Linda Arbuckle, Kyle Carpenter, Victoria Christen, Naomi Cleary, Adam Field, Ursula Hargens, Molly Hatch, Richard Hensley, Cathi Jefferson, Forrest Lesch Middleton, Brenda Quinn, Phil Rogers, Stacy Snyder, Kyla Strid, Daniel Ricardo Teran and Ann Tubbs

A quick sample...
Cathi Jefferson
Kyle Carpenter
Molly Hatch
Naomi Cleary
Forrest Leach Middleton
 These last two are new to me, but I love what they got going...
Stacy Snyder

Daniel Ricardo Teran
 A few weeks ago we were raising hands on whether surface or form played a leading role in current trends in ceramics... I've got to say that it seems once you have form dialed in, it's all about surface.
If you haven't clicked over to the exhibition yet, here's the link... Cheers!