Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Compass Rose

Here's a little toss up to the Blog Spirits, there's dozens of orphaned posts that, instead of pressing "fuck it" (otherwise popularly known as publish), they just got forgotten in the pile up of unfinished drafts. This one was from the fall of 2016 when Jess and I spent two weekends up in the hills north of Napa Valley at Scott Paredy's Cobb Mountain kiln shed. Seems like it just happened. Rather than edit this, I'm just pressing the button and gonn'a let it ride. 
More collaborative work with Jessica Fong. There's so much to enjoy when working with someone that constantly surprises you.
A few weeks ago we got a chance to drive up into the mountains and be participants in a kiln building and firing at the Cobb Mountain Art and Ecology Project. Over the course of 2 weekends we got a chance to meet a few new faces, which is almost always a pleasure, and we got a chance to see the difference between our gas fired work and the same work put through wood/gas and soda.
The results didn't disappoint.  
The bisque above Jess threw using a speckled stoneware. The surface was stenciled with a 6 Tile slip.
Cobalt 50/50 wash was painted on and wiped off.
Bell White Liner for the interior.
A thin Red Shino exterior.
The piece above was fired to cone 10 in a gas kiln... love it.
This piece was taken off the top shelf of the soda kiln. Wood ash and blasted by soda at cone 11, It's the same clay and glaze combo but very, very different result.
Same kiln load. 
Different level in the kiln. A cone difference in temp, 10 was flat, and less wood ash and less soda fuming.
Pretty cool stuff!

Run Rabbit Run

While the process itself is throughly satisfying, the lasting satisfaction with the finished work is often a matter of open debate inside my head... I think most of us find ourselves leaning into our next work because of exactly the same feeling.
Run Rabbit Run 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Yep, This Happened

Dropping 2 rolls of burmuda sod, a 1000 pounds each, into place at 1st base. This isn't relevant in any way to what's happening in the studio, other than sharing some of what needs to happen on a daily basis just to get to the point where I'm able to get into the studio. It's the deal I made long ago. Everyday, work to play... 
A day in the life of...

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Repositioning of a Personal Craft

The true function of my craft isn't a demonstration of skill or finesse; the function of my craft has been developed as a tool to help me cope with a life that had constantly been trying to drift out of control.
It needed to be autobiographical. It needed to be metaphorical. At times, it needed to be totemic, kind of how I imagine cave painting might have been seen by those craftsmen that painted the cave walls deep inside the earth.  Personal craft is a means to make internal sense of this big experience. A means to tell myself stories through suggestive iconography rather than through mimetic prose. A mean to sooth myself with rhythm, color, and texture. Something more akin to Art. It's not meant to be an economic engine. It's not meant to chase my problems away with dogma, it's a way to make my problems beautiful through poetry.
"Starling" 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Akar Yunomi Inventational 2018

I always liked being part of the chorus. Everyone's differences in voice adds depth to the whole. It's easy to believe that most of us prefer adding to the beauty of something larger than ourselves rather than pouting when we aren't in the spotlight.  This show, the Akar invitational, has been my favorite annual exhibition since Kyle Houser and Jim Gottuso turned me onto it (and the whole idea of Yunomi and Chawans. Thanks guys!) 10 years ago, back in 2008. Back then, the same as now, 200 functional ceramic artists each contributing 5 works... that's 1000 pieces.  As soon as I saw the first exhibition, I felt like a compass inside me spun and found a direction. I wanted to someday be asked to be part of this event.
This year will be my 2nd time, the difference this go-round is that Jessica Fong and I are exhibiting our collaborative work together under the FetishGhost banner. I'm pretty excited! It's proving to be an impressive lineup and just to be an asterisks in the exhibition notes is all its going to take to make me smile.  
I'm happy with the work that we submitted. A year of experiments and working through the problems paid off. The work is everything I was hoping it would be once it was finally in hand. 
Plesantly tactical 
Nicely sensuous
Still, now that the problem solving is done, the biggest risk that we're taking now is a risk that could very easily leave the work hanging unclaimed... 
We decided to honestly price the work. 
It's priced to reflect the real costs of making the it. 
It reflects its actual value.
We just needed to be content to show it proudly without relenting to the temptation to undersell it in the hope of gaining the validation of a red dot. (To be clear, I still would like that dot though.)
There's more at stake than our ego or dollar signs; honest pricing is about valuing the work that's being done. Sold or not sold, it has a value and before anyone else can be asked to respect that, we need respect the work ourselves first. Our craft is one of the very few gifts that we have to give to the world, it stands in place of us, to undervalue our gift cheapens what all of us are offering... 
Our best selves.
Be yourself and sing with the choir.

Ps all the proceeds are donated to Studio Potter magazine.

Monday, April 30, 2018


   We play in the studio as two lovers because that is what we are... two lovers; reading each other our poetry, picking bouquets to share with the world around us, creating a real world out of fantasy, we play because the world has done the impossible by crossing our paths and given us this moment together.     [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Consummate Bloom[/caption]   "Consummate Bloom" 2017 Mid-range red bodied stoneware fired with a crawling glaze Hallmarked collaboration between Zygote & Jessica Fong $90  

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Spring Starlings

Spring Starlings


Been experimenting more and more with shifting to micro editions of stencils. Cutting billets of 8 to 12 sheets of paper at a time instead of 27 to 32. It still makes for small swarms of 7 or so separate cut-stencils used for each design, but the design run is limited to just a handful before I run out. The big up-side is that it's easier to move on to the next design rather than linger. With time being in such short supply, the time on hand is better spent exploring. I can always return to a design later if I like what comes out of the kiln, (or if the kiln eats all the work that goes in).
Freshly hand cut foot
I've been putting to good use the hand cut feet that Jessica Fong taught me how to cut last summer. I don't really know what others think of them, but I absolutely LOVE the character that it brings to the ware. 
A shelf of freshly stenciled and cobalt slipped greenware waiting for the bisque kiln.
Cobalt slipped greenware waiting for the bisque kiln... The birds are singing songs of spring. 
Jess calls them "Spring Starlings"... It fits nicely.