Monday, May 30, 2011

Virtual WoodFiring 2011

Over the pond in France, Eric Soule came up with a fantastic new event this spring, a Virtual WoodFiring.

 He invited ceramic artists to send him small works to be included in a firing in an Tunnel kiln firing. The big surprise was finding out Lee & Yolande of Burnt.Normal Church Pottery were on hand with their critters helping fire off the kiln.
For me, the whole idea of a firing event is fun enough. Make it woodfire that pulls in work from international artists and it starts to become something very different.

Thanks Eric for letting me play. I want to actually get to show up for a firing one of these days.
But hey, if wishes were fishes...

Special note: the Tennessee Blay Clay Flashing Wash is evedently everything I dreamed it would be in a woodfire and oh, oh so much more...
I've got to figure out how to get this work into another wood or soda kiln real soon and see what happens. 

"To Go" call for artists

The Mendocino Arts Center is one of the West Coast's secret destination spots for the Arts.
I'd say more, but that'd be giving away the secret.
I am happy to say, with a Crista Assad pawing through the submissions, this has the makings of a truly fantastic exhibition. (note: the link for Crista is an interview provided by the San Francisco blog, "Handful of Salt". This one of my favorite blogs centered in the Bay Area and really shows how to shine a spotlight in a community.)

If you enter one show this year... make it this one.
Down Load the exhibition prospectus at

Kiln Porno

Here's a wonderful link to the creation of an AnaGama Bizen kiln.

The whole blog is absolutely wonderful and provides great insight into Bizen ware. I've been learning a lot from this site and I encourage anyone interested in woodfiring to explore this gem.


 Pushing some small sculptures through the kiln after I was give the hint that my more sculptural works would be appreciated for an up coming local show.

 Both sides of a cairn that came out of yesterdays kiln. Now it just needs basing.

Here's a blast from the past... a stop motion video from one of last years blog posts showing how these forms are made. It's all pretty strait forward, but these forms are used as blank canvases, they are an excellent vehicle for play.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


 Busy, busy, busy... 
it's day 2 of a 3 day weekend and I'm playing in the larder. I'm starting to push through April and May's works though the kilns

 One of the down sides to working a full time out in the gardens and grounds is I don't often get to match up all the words with the pictures. 

Posting a few posted-up notes from the day.

Unloaded the cone 6 from the kiln...

 Small spice bowls and tea bag trivets.
An excellent excuse to make tiny jewels.

I needed a handful of small victories to pick me up.

Crackle'n Crawl

Alchemy is so satisfying...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Crackle'n Crawl

It's nice to fall back into the chaos I know once again. After 2 weeks of pushing a test run of cone 10 greenware through the studio, getting to play with something as unpredictable as the studio Crackle'n Crawl is a relief.

Nothin but Love

She's getting big so fast...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Visions In Clay 2011

The relaunch of the Visions In Clay exhibition last year was a smash hit. It was a fantastic celebration of what's happening in form, surface and texture, and once again proved to be a "Who's Who" of emerging talent in North America. I'm expecting no less this year with over $1800 in prize money up for grabs.

Here's a quick link to enter online...

Deadline: June 6
Judith S. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Director of Sculpture in Craft Media
New York University
Awards:  Best of Show – $1,000,  2nd Place – $600,       3rd Place – $350

Entry is open to artists residing in the U.S. Ceramic works of any thematic and stylistic presentation will be accepted for entry. Clay must be the primary medium. Works may be functional, decorative or sculptural. Assembled works may not exceed 4ft. in any direction, and 50lbs in weight. 

On-Line Entry Process
  1. All Calls for Entry submissions are processed on-line by clicking on the link:  Smarter Entry
  2. All artwork images are to be viewed anonymously by the juror, Judith S. Schwartz, Ph.D. for this exhibition. Until the final artist selection is made, accepted artists’ names and contact information is held confidential by the Gallery Director administering the calls.
  3. When entering on-line, please use the Process Notes section to include the following information: materials, dimensions, weight (3D only) and any additional work process or technique methods.
  4. Images may be added, exchanged, or removed up until the very last day of the call deadline.
  5. Each exhibition call lists specific eligibility guidelines and information, and all calls for entries have the same general guidelines listed after the individual exhibition calls.
  6. Payment of entry fees and submission of images for judging signifies the artist’s understanding and acceptance of all terms and conditions of the call for entry general guidelines and for the corresponding exhibition.
  7. Fees are non-refundable unless the exhibition is canceled by the Gallery.
  8. Artists are not registered for the call for entry until fees are paid.
 Entry Fee: $30 for 3 work entries. Additional images of work and/or detail images may be purchased for $5 per image, limited to 3 additional work entries, for a total of 6 work entries and unlimited detail images.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Morning Deee Lite

The end of the world has a sound track and it's got Go-Go girls!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Are “Thrown Pots” Sculpture?

Here’s a Thought Bubble

I got an e-mail from a friend regarding an upcoming show this summer at a neighborhood gallery.
It’s was a gentle reminder that it’s sculpture show that’s coming up… thrown pots just might not fit the bill.

Fair assumption
I quite honestly hadn’t given the notion of whether thrown functional ceramics were “sculptural” or not. I’ve been operating with the notion that they were, but I hadn’t really taken a few extended moments to work though exactly why.

After a day spent in the gardens thinking it over, I believe it all comes down to “intent”.
If the maker intends something to be sculpture, it simply is.

A piece of paper standing on end is a sculpture if that is the intent of the person that stands it on end.
Whether its Art is a completely different matter…
Simply put, a “pot” can be a sculpture when it's created with intent. Anyone can easily see that there are a wide variance in the degrees of intent applied to the forms and surfaces. It's also noted that not all pots are actually created with intent (that distinction is a much lengthier thought).
There is is.
Thrown Pot + Intent = Sculpture

Now I'm wondering if this a valid view point, or an over simplification of a big can of worms?

ArtMRKT 2011

I live 70 miles from one of my very special happy places... San Fransisco. What makes it a little slice of heaven for me?

Head over to ArtMRKT's facebook page to paw through the details of this event.
These people really know how to throw a party.

artMRKT San Francisco - The Contemporary and Modern Art Fair from Arbiter Productions on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Assumptions

It's the end of the week again and everything is upside-down drying. I've been scaling up an experiment that came out of the kiln last week... (that'd be the two chawans at the right), this time through, I'm throwing the crows in for good measure just to see how this all works out.
These two are still bottoms-up and waiting for their pedicure.
Drying, Drying, Drying...

 It's been a busy 6 days working steadily on a body of "RedDot" to not only test the new design, but I've been curios to see what I can realistically expect to get done during a 2 week work cycle. Studio time is basically set back to an "After Hours Studio" again.  The 2 week trial is meant to include cutting all stencils needed, throwing and trimming, blocking in designs, and all the fiddly details that go into a small run of work.
Week one has (7) yunomi, (4) small canisters, (2) 8 pounders and (1) 18 incher.
It's not a lot of work, but there's a whole lot of hope going into this run. I'm trying to keep it simple this time and I feel good about what I'm holding.

At least the greenware looks good.
Now I'll see what happens in week 2.

The Elusive Tea Bowl Workshop

Sunday, May 8, 2011

SmashPot Day

They say "the world changes one funeral at a time". The same principal applies to a studio's collection of work... So swings the Hammer of Judgment...

I've been looking forward to this year's Smash Pot Day for a few months. The balance of oddballs to proper work finally tipped. It was simply too embarrassing to have anyone in the studio and seeing them looking at the clutter of 2nds. I was beginning to fear the crap was defining me rather than the work I wanted people to see. It was hard to get started, but once I got going it felt good to put a few hundred pounds of work to rest.

So swings the hammer. Let it swing!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

End of the Week

I've fed myself this particular morsel of BS over and over agin for a few years now...

" If I manage to find two gems in a load of experiments, I should be happy." (Unfortunately, I've been getting way too used to smashing work again... we are missing an easy dozen of "Crash and Burns" posts that may never get posted. I'm still adjusting to the new time constraints of living full time in the gardens rather than the studio.)

What studio time that's been available, has been filled with lots of  tests.
Luckily, a single success is an excuse to play in a field of failures.

This is a Willie's 6 Tile Slip over a Laguna cone 10 B-Mix.
Bisqued and given a black wash before being glazed with a clear Chun on the exterior and a Nuka glaze used as a liner. The result is very heavy crazing in the Chun. (This combo doesn't "ping" when flicked, but I like the depth of the surface.)

The additional difference is that when the Nuka is used at the lip, it feels odd. Kind of like like drinking with a swollen lip.