Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
You can tell where my thoughts have gone in the bottom picture, I posted above. I didn't get to fish, but once last year and it ended in a very funny story.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Candy roaster soufflé>>
6 tablespoons butter>> 4 cups butternut squash, parboiled>> 1 cup sugar>> 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk>> 1/2 teaspoon salt>> 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice>> 2 teaspoons vanilla>> 4 whole eggs, slightly beaten>>>> Take parboiled/softened squash and mix with butter in a mixer. You can use> candy roaster squash or other squash. Should have no lumps after boiling.> (I puree with a hand held mixer). If you use fresh squash, it will be very> hot at this point, after parboiling.>> 2. Add sugar, cream, salt, vanilla, but not the eggs, till it cools a bits and will not cook the eggs. Mix well when you add the eggs and pour into a> casserole dish.>> 3. Bake at 350 for 45-60 min.>> 4. If you prefer, you can add 2 teaspoons each of Cinnamon and nutmeg and> remove the lemon juice.>> Notes: I double the recipe and it makes a half hotel pan full.>> Serving Ideas: Crumble pecans over the top after baking or marshmellows.>
If you double the recipe cook for one hour and 15-20 minutes.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Will Baker and Joy Tanner helped to finish off the kiln on Sunday night, I was exhausted by 10 oclock Sunday night, they stayed till about 1 30 am to turn cone 12 down. This kiln fired so much more differently than the single chambered wood burner I had.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I also have a great deal of respect for McCain and his concession speech was from the heart and I believe he will work with Obama to turn things around. It is great that he stopped the booing of Obama, during his own speech of concession and the fact that he also corrected a senior voter's impression that Obama was a terrorist. Men of integrity and courage are few and far between, especially in Washington. McCain is on my list (this is a short list), although I do not agree with his politics.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Olen Bryant (pictured) was my sculpture teacher, mentor, and friend at Austin Peay. His influence framed my thoughts and ideals in art. My exposure to the arts was incredible, Lewis Burton formed my foundation, Roger Evans pushed me to create images on canvas, Philancy Holder and Tom Brumbau (Verderbilt University) helped me to understand the reasons for art. Austin Peay State University had just received its university status the year I enrolled, but I felt that I could not have gotten a better foundation. Thanks to all of you at the Peay for the gifts you gave everyday.
Cynthia Bringle, she sat me down and showed by example what constructive criticism could do. She taught me in a couple of weeks what I had not known in several years of work. She showed me what I was lacking in skill and how to do it much better. It's hard not to throw a pot and not see the influence she is for me.
The reason for the above is two fold, I'm sentimental today, and I wanted other folks to see the work and persons that directed me into clay and painting. I hope you will enjoy the imagery that I enjoy and draw inspiration. More photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23384527@N04/ in Flickr.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Maria and I decided to keep the pup, he is as good a little fellow as can be for us. Squeak, our cat at the house, has warmed up to Spud, slightly, the fur is down now, but Malcom, my cat at the shop, jumped the pup first thing, he's such a bully. Maria says, "what goes round, comes round." The pup will grow up and with Malcom afraid of everything, we'll see who is the bully, later.
For the pass month or so, I have been trying to pump my determination up a notch or two. I'm looking at as many new images as I can to be inspired. I'm also going to pump up the amount of work I do each day, but not to the level I had done before, I want to make each piece a little better than the prior piece, define more surface as to how it relates to the whole, sometimes it only takes a little to make the whole form come together, "a little dab will do ya", for those that remember Brelcream, and then again, I've seen some fantastic forms that have been cut and beat to make a whole new concept.
Got to head out of here, if anyone has some work that they are looking at, please send me a link. So, go make them good pots.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
It's just about time to get out of here and head to the shop, day before yesterday I threw 50 cups and I need to get them handled this morning. With the rain, I am going to have to build a fire and get the place warmed up, first.
The Spruce Pine Potters Market is this weekend, and I am trying to stay optimistic with as good an attitude as I can, The more news I listen to, the more that attitude crumbles and changes. But, I am positive that the "market" is a very good direction for this area to take. A lot of my customers like to come to the studio, but with gas so high and studios scattered, the "market," becomes ideal for them to see new people and visit with the older studios. Good luck to us for the market being the best ever. Make them good pots.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Last night I was chatting with a young man who pointed out that collecting pottery has its issues, since pottery can chip or break. This is true. And this is another aspect of the Japanese concept: 物の哀れ - mono no aware: the beautiful sadness of things. It is the understanding that life is fragile, that all we hold dear will chip, crack and ultimately pass away. The pottery I own I hold in trust for future generations, but I know that someday, perhaps even while it is in my possession, it will be nothing but shards. Much like the very concept of the Living National Treasure — Shimaoka is 88 years old at the moment. The treasures he has created will live on after him, but the treasure that is the sum of who he is will fade as surely as the cherry blossoms that fell from the trees last week. And that's what makes our lives, and beauty, all the more precious.
Mike Smith fired overnight candling, Pat "the bear" Houston and Shane were at about 600 to 700 degrees when I got there. Will Baker and Joy Tanner showed up and Joy jumped right into the middle of it. I had a lot of fun, and met some really good folks, hope to see more of this firing as I go along. Shane was getting worried about my aggressive behavior, something about Hammer 2, I thought it was doing rather well, myself. I told him he had had just a little too much of that soup he called coffee. Shane has more on the firing at his blog site, check it out.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
These photos are of my son and granddaughter. Momma was taking the picture. Laura, Chase and Shelby are in Japan for another year or so, but Chase says that they are going to try and come home for Christmas. Shelby is growing up way too fast for me. I am excited for them to get here, so I can spoil Shelby, and Chase and Laura. Don't you just love those pink Croc's Shelby is wearing?
I fired some work in Shane Mickey's kiln this pass week and unloaded this pass Thursday. I got some work out that I really enjoyed. I had almost forgot how much of a surprise (in a good way) I get from a wood kiln. Maria and I went up to the shop and worked on the foundation for the wood kiln I have planned. I dug a large footer for the stack, so it wound not sink or tilt. I'm going to go ahead and pour the footer for it this week if I have time, still making work to reload Shane's kiln again. I got some ideals for test glazes and slips to put in this upcoming firing. Well, I need a nap, so go make good pots.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
It was good to meet some new folks at Charlotte, and renew some old friendships. Sales were brisk in the morning, but slide off in the afternoon. It became hot as all get out and I had to go sit under the big shade trees in back of the booth. Maria sat the booth and seemed to enjoy time talking to folks, she is still excited by these road trips. It's a local show and I don't mind them too much, it also gets me out of the studio.
Make them beautiful pots and post them, love to see new work.
I've added a photo of my Matisse influenced painting "Lady with a Palm".
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Yesterday was an excellent day for throwing and glazing, I was throwing some 15-20 pounders for most of the early afternoon. The globe shapes are forms that were some of my first forms that I learned to throw. Tashiko Takeazo (sp) is a close friend with Olen Bryant, my mentor. They both went to Cranbrook Academy in Michigan. Olen had a very large collection of her work, which he kept at his office at school and more at his home. I got to where I could pretty much duplicate the work, so to show her how much I loved her work and learned so much from having it available. I thought that I would honor her by showing one of the forms to her. " She got upset with me, when I showed her one of the spheres, Olen said that "she was upset that an upstart "me" could mimic her work." Now that I recall it, shortly thereafter Olen had told me about a "guest" that was coming for a lunchin" and that he wanted me and another fellow to meet her. She is a Psychiatrist that finds "artist" interesting. Even though I had not made a claim to lofty titles, Olen introduced us, the runt and I. Afterwards, Olen told me that she had not found me very interesting. OK, I was humbled. I view the event now with suspicion, because, I think Olen felt I had gained too much ego from my encounter with Tashiko, therefore the lesson.
Well, it is time for me to find my camera, so I can take some shots of the racks of pots that I like to show off. "Luther, dammit, where is my camera?".
So, have a good one today and make beautiful pots.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Emily Murphy has posted a blog that is very informative. This post has given me loads of tools to use for developing a website, she just posted her new site and it looks great. I have a listing on the sidebar for her blog.
websitegrader.com is an excellent tool to determine if your website is effective and it tells you things that need added or taken away. I put my website in the form they provide and it went over my site and listed things that I would need to improve. To say the least, I have started working on a totally new site (gads, I thought I was doing so well.) It does not critique your layout, only gives you advice about the number of pictures, etc. It will grade you site against other similar sites
http://wordpress.com/ is another bloging site that Emily talks about on her blog, it might be worth checking out the site.
Time to head to the shop, make good pots.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The Potters of the Roan (POTR)were thrilled to welcome in Jenny Sherburne and Michael Kline ( See Michaels Blog on Dashboard) to the group. Their energy and skill will be a great asset for the group. The food was outstanding, POTR's advocating in eating good food and presentation just keeps surpassing itself, of coarse I took a tupperware dish, the contrarion(?sp)in me. Thank you, Lisa for putting the slaw in a real dish.
I have thought about putting together a crafts artisans cookbook. Ree Schonlau, director, Craftsmen Gallery of Omaha in 1982, published a cookbook of Artist from the Craftsmen Gallery, included such names as Betty Woodman, Bryan Temple, Jeff Oestreich, our own Stanley Anderson, and other notables. It was in Black and White, but records an array of forms and foods, from which I still take recipes. Ree titled the book, Earthcooks.
Well time to go to work, I'm a little late this morning, but I am full of energy and ready for the day. Make pots.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
When fuel cost went up before, I was able to go to home fuel oil and fire my work, but now that cost is higher than the propane I had normally used for my reduction kiln. Kent at Fork Mountain Pottery has burners that use cooking oil or reclaimed oil to fire his work, he says it smells like bar-b-que when he fires and it makes him hungry. wood burners can be very thankful that there are a lot of sources for that fuel.
Fuel cost has over doubled the pass year, and the fact is you will not get to double your product price. In retrospect, I have had to use bartering in the sale of items in my gallery and since fewer buyers are stopping to even look at the work, exposure becomes a major hurdle for creating demand for your work. The national average for food has risen something like 18%, feels like more. A vast majority of us will not be able to attach that rise to our product, in fact I think we will be lowering our prices to attract buyers.
Some studios give a discount for coming to their studio gallery, others have grouped together and formed pottery markets, which are located in one location, so buyers only have to come to one place to look at a large selection of work. I would love to hear from folks about alternative methods.
I'm going to stop here, because of the subject matter I want to pursue: Doing road shows, wholesaling, and galleries.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Back to the pottery, I fired on this past Friday and I keep doing real dumb stuff. I get lazy about working test tiles up and working the problems out before I use the glaze on a lot of pots. The Shino I use, has aged for a month or so and it has gotten darker. I've been trying several slips to help smooth the shino out and get rid of the pitting that occurs with Shino. Well, I had put the slip on bisque, then dipped it in the glaze, lots of crawling, so, pay attention Slagle.
Its been very hot over the past couple of days. I try to do things in the garden or in the shop, today I worked a while in the garden, till the sun came up and started cooking every thing. I'll head for the shop in a little bit to get some badly needed cleaning done to the studio and my wheel area.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Last evening I had sat and drew up the plans for the new kiln and try to estimate how many brick it will take to build this anagama. I have considered a Norigama, but the ideal of just a single chambered kiln makes more sense to me.
Monday, April 7, 2008
This was my first kiln load with an amount of work from my changing the way I throw a piece of work. Basicly, I'm slowing the wheel, to imitate the motion or speed of a kick wheel, and pulling the clay as fast as I normally would throw. Using ribs rather my finger tips. The results have been delightful, with work showing a freshness and qualities that I have tried to do over the years, without much success. The process makes me focus on each step of the throw, concentrating on the foot, the wall as it is pulled and forced into place, and the lip, it's finished shape.
If you have not seen the Hamada and Cardew film on YouTube, Do a search and watch the two different approaches to throwing. These are wonderful documentations of Masters at work. I have learned so much from just watching the techniques and skill that are used with each potter.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
It has been almost a year since my wood kiln chimney fell in, and I have cleaned up the stack area and laying out where my new kiln will be built. I have been gathering brick for the pass two years from several different spots. My wife Maria had located two large pallets of odd brick for a barrel shaped kiln that are used at the plant where she works. I will have to tear the old kiln completely down and clean up before I can pour the footers.
I am looking at a two chambered kiln with an exterior firebox, so I can reduce the ash that is deposited on the work. The Will Ruggles design (I have now) was just a bit too much ash and my drawings just disappeared under the ash. It was a very good kiln to work with and learn on, but I need a larger and cleaner firing kiln. I'm considering the first chamber as a car kiln sprung arch ( I need to think about this a bit, not much information available) and the second chamber be a salt/soda chamber. There is another potter, Bandana Pottery, that has built a single chambered anagama kiln that is as large as a small house and can be fired in less than 24 hour. Take a look at it on michael and Naomi's web site: http://www.michaelhuntpottery.com/ .
I am glazing and loading my gas kiln, it has taken me longer to load than usual, I guess that I am taking longer to design and draw the image on each piece, but I hope to finish today and fire it tomorrow. Have a good one today, make good pots.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I was leaving Noah's and I stopped and talked with Mac, his son in law. Mac told me Noah never felt right about selling his horse, the cattle, he would not sell, and when his health slowed him from walking around the home place. Mac told him that he would feed and take care of them, so he could enjoy them from the porch. This is the manner and generosity of his kin, and I never knew his politics, because it was never that important.
Noah, to me was the last of that generation that I knew as a child, who populated Sweet Creek and made their living from the small patches of land, that had been cleared by hand. He knew my grandfather and grandmother when they were young and struggling, and he worked literally from sun rise to sunset, saying "he loved to work, he was never happier than when he was behind a set of plows." I remember the sled that he would stack full and have his mule and horse team pull to the barn where he stored everything, I wondered why he never put wheels on the sled, I guessed it dawned on me, sometime later, that if there were wheels, it would roll off the mountain, plus just something that had to be fixed, frequently. Besides, when you parked the sled, it stayed put. Like my own grandmother, Noah could tell me when to plant and how to plant , just about anything. His garden was always full of the best vegetables and fruits.
There wasn't a day that you would visit, that you would not be asked to stay and have supper. I always recall pork neckbones in soupy potatoes with cornbread or biscuits. Every fall Noah would bring me sausage or some cut of meat for my pot. My mom said that it was custom that when the pigs were killed each fall, you shared with your neighbor. He only had about five or six households of his family to feed, and he'd bring me apple butter, pork, pickled beans and corn and canned hominy, a most prized collection of goods to enjoy.
His gentle gate and manner will be missed, but I am always reminded of him when I see or talk to his children and grandchildren.
Monday, March 17, 2008
I'm getting ready to fire the reduction kiln, so I'll be glazing today and trying to load the kiln. I've got several ideals I want to test this time, using slips with color in them. I would like to see some yellows come about, adding underglaze color. I use several clear or waxy glazes and #6 Tile slip is very nice under temple white, song dynasty, and Binn's Clear. I'm trying a couple of stains and redart clay or pure metal oxides.
I mentioned last time that I have been trying to teach myself another way of throwing, and I would pass along some ideals about it, that have attracted me to the work. I took the work out of the bisque kiln and looking at them, so I would have an ideal about the direction of the glazing. My last cone 10 firing was full of Korean style grass decoration on bowls and plates. There is some very exciting stuff going on, but the work reflects korean work and not my own impression.
My wood kiln went down last year and I have been unable to get going on a new one, but I have give a good deal of thought as to the design. I'll start with a external firebox that will produce heat for the first and main chamber, which will be a sprung arch with approximately seven foot of internal height, I don't like small kilns. The second chamber will be a bit smaller cantenary salt or soda. Its a hill climber and a fairly steep grade, so there should be lots of draft with a 22-24 foot stack. I am looking at Kevin Crow's firebox grates, which are made of firebrick, for the primary firebox and maybe firebrick for the other grates in each chamber. The stainless pipe I used in the old kiln, had to replaced fairly often and it has become very expensive, so the reason for the brick grate.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Grey skies and a drizzling cold rain, has set in for the day. I had just used my last bit of clay to finish some work that I had thrown yesterday. This week has been a good week in the studio, because I have enjoyed throwing and being on the wheel, but my mixer has been flaking big sections of iron flakes into the clay, creating lots of problems. The mixer is only 32 year old and is made of regular sheet steel, so I have decided to replace it with the same steel rather than pay three times the price for stainless ( I doubt if I'll be around when it starts flaking again).
So today, I cut the work short and came to the house because I needed to do a little work on the computer. Coming across this site, via another potter, I liked the ideal of this as maybe a diary of my time as a potter, I'm not going to go back and rehash anything, unless it would build a foundation for what I'm trying to explain. Maybe just keeping a few notes could benefit someone else.
I've been in clay for almost four decades and for the most part it has been fairly good to me. Recently, I have been redefining the way I throw and what I am trying to acheive, and some very interesting things are happening with the work. I hope this log will help me to see a little better what the clay is telling me. Anyway, I am slowing down the wheel, and discovering another world of work that I have never experienced. It has become very exciting to throw new forms and shapes. More on this later as I gather a little more experience with this process.