Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter Time and the Livin's Easy (What?!?)

So, once again the post holidays have been spent at home and out of the studio. It seems like every year for the past little bit, I have the hardest time making it back into the work cycle. Although, it has been nice catching up on some household projects (finished assembling and installing some bathroom drawers that were a Valentines' Day treat...2008) and hanging out with my little boy Nolan, pups Sambuka and Neaka, and honey Kara. And being in the studio isn't everything, right? Regardless, I have a pretty good line up of shows starting in March, so I'd best get busy.

I did start back teaching a couple of weeks ago. I have a Cups class and a Narrative Vessels class at Claymakers in Durham, NC and a much anticipated cone 6 Soda Firing class (it filled in a manner of hours of registration opening!) at the Artscenter in Carrboro, NC. The Cups class is full, and I have a great deal of enthusiasm for this class because I love making cups, I've submitted a Cups class proposal for a couple of years now with no takers and I feel like they are taken for granted and given a Beginner's project rep. Cups can be very sophisticated functional and aesthetic objects and its nice to have 12 students focusing their attention on such humble forms. We are starting off with mugs and steins (handled) and are moving into tumblers and "unomis" (handleless), followed by goblets (assembled) and teacups and saucers (sets) if time allows.

The Narrative Vessels class is on Saturday mornings, which usually prove to be more laid back classes. Basically, the class is a flurry of surface techniques, including sgraffito, uber-sgraffito, slip inlay, pushing out and pushing in forms, brushing, terra sig, glaze layering and resists, etc. My work almost always involves some aspect of a story or tell a tale beyond simply being pottery, but I am a little nervous about the developing narrative aspect of the class, because I usually find my way through my stories as I work on a piece. Sorry students! Hope you're okay with the hide and watch approach to storytelling.

So, I have been in ceramics studios for the last little bit, just not my own. The classes are good and it is good to be back in teaching mode. We'll see how my enthusiasm waxes or wanes when I'm at full steam in my own studio.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Per Jen's Request

Check out the link to some photos of pots from December cone 6 soda firing. I've included some detail shots and may put some more photos up soon. I'll also try to put some specifics about clay bodies, slips, and glazes in the comments sections of the pix. Enjoy and I appreciate any feedback.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Yar!

Before

My New Year's resolution is to keep up with this here blog in a more timely and consistent manner. Hope y'all had a good New Year's celebration and that you are looking forward to a new president's inauguration, I know I am. I talked about a cone 6 soda firing in my last entry, and I have some photos from said firing to fit in this entry.
The firing went well, smoothly, and makes me ponder the need for ceramics to be fired to cone 10 in atmospheric kilns. I know there are plenty of reasons to fire hotter: durability, certain crystalline effects, flashing, color, etc., but I was pretty pleased with the range of color, glaze reactions, and flashing from my last firing, and I know that Mr. Doug Dotson, whose kiln I fired and who normally fires a cone 10 soda firing, is intrigued by the concept of less fuel, less time, and some pretty similar results at cone 6. More info and pics later, and let me know what you think of firing lower, pros and cons. Catch you in a few.

After