Saturday, 31 January 2009

Jingdezhen Bowl in GWU Art Studio

So I found this bowl being used as a still life in the painting room and knew it was from Jingdezhen.
I just think it is so cool to think that that Jingdezhen can somehow get a bowl here.  It makes me wonder who actually bought this thing or brought it.  
Here are some pictures from the actual old village at Jingdezhen.  See how these bowls look so much like the one in the picture except I dont think these are painted with cobalt.  
Here is a picture of a worker taking a break before he noticed me (a tourist) standing there.

Some of the bowls just like the one in the art building drying just after turning.  I hope you can see how cool it was for me to have found that random bowl in the painting room at school.  Isnt that just crazy?

Well.... we are firing at school today and I have a load of pots in the kiln so I am off to work.  I will take some pictures and let you know how it goes though. 

Monday, 26 January 2009

New Pots from work this Morning

I trailed on 13 bowls and finished up some new pitcher shapes.  These are a mix of Devon and North Carolina influenced shapes.  Pitchers are my favorite forms of all.

These are some quick vases I made before I left for school this morning.  The yellow clay is some I dug in Waco out of a creek bed.  I am excited to see how it comes out.  These will be the last pots I turn this week on account of the firing this Friday at school.

Seagrove, and Dwight Holland Visit

On Sunday I got my parents to drive me to Seagrove to spend the afternoon visiting some potters I have been meaning to visit.  The main reason I was going was to see Dwight Holland who I met in China.  This is a picture of the outside of Dwight Holland's house.
These are some of Dwight's collection.  I could have gone all day picking out great pots by my favorite artists.  In my opinion he has great taste because almost every pot I saw I thought was pretty much amazing.  One of my favorite pots in his house was this big one by Daniel Johnston.
He had mugs hanging from the ceiling in his kitchen. 
He also had a very large casserole collection, and this is just a small selection.  Dwight had a whole second floor covered with ceramics.

There was also a large dog that entertained my Dad for a while.  

On the same day I stopped for a chat with Daniel Johnston, and Tom Grey.  Both visits were very beneficial as far as advice goes for my future.  Hanging around people that are passionate about my interests is always uplifting.  Being around some really amazing pots is always quite inspiring as well as humbly putting me in my place.    

First Video Blog..... Trailing Away

As stated in the title of this blog that is my first video.  I apologise for my recently awakened self in this video with his cow licked hair and agape zoned out mouth. hahaha.  I am sure some of my later videos will have better views or something.  I guess you can tell this was put together quicky, but hopefully you get a taste of the studio work I do on a daily basis.
The red slip is iron rich clay I dug and the white is a white stoneware clay I purchased years ago for making eyes, but wet it down in order to use it for trailing.

I actually filmed this video on Saturday morning, but it was being stubborn and would not post.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

trailin' away

So today I got up early to do some decorating and finishing up of some pots as well as orgonizing, and mixing glazes for the salt firing on Friday.

  I have been working very hard to get some different types of trailing slips without making too much effort.  This new black slip is a clay body that I dug from a creek bank.  It was full of sand, but was black as coal so I sifted it and it is gorgeous in its wet form.  Hopefully it does not mess up when fired though.  This was only a test because this pitcher has a cracked handle and the slip is too wet.  I was just foolin' around.  

I also went to Hals place today to cut wood for the firings we will have in March.  That did not take but a few hours in the afternoon and was well worth going.  I made a bunch of bowls this afternoon as well.  I tried to upload a video of me trailing, but it was being stubborn so.... I did not.  Tomorrow I am going to visit Dwight Holland in Seagrove and hopefully I will be able to visit some other people as well.  Sorry I skipped a few days, but life got hectic and stressful with school for a few days there.  

Field trip Friday

These are pictures of the mural my African American Art History class went to see Friday.  These figures are supposed to represent the past and future generations of African Americans.
Railroad tracks to represent seperation  and segregation along with other meanings.  This mural went from floor to ceiling of a 3 story library at Winston-Salem State University.  It was really a sight and one could easily spend hours trying to pick the symbols of this art monster apart.  
Evidently James and John Biggers like to use geometric shapes within thier art.  There are 450 little squares that make up this whole painting.
I gravitated toward the traditional pot shapes painted within this great masterpiece.  

There were two paintings that went from floor to ceiling and were filled with so much great information and symbolism.  I could not capture it all in one shot, but I think I got some decent shots.  I guess you could check out some more about this really great African American art here.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Inauguration Day!!

I did not think I would have time to go and work today, but I did.  My African American Art History class was cancelled because...... well...... I am pretty sure my teacher was overly pumped about the speeches and all.  I watched most of it before I went to class and enjoyed it.    I had a long day of classes and work until I got out of my last class at 830 pm.  WOW! the days are long around here, but I find ease and simplicity within the madness.  Making pots on a daily basis surely calms the nerves and gets my mind off of things.  It is a great way to start my day off.  Listening to music and making pots before class is great!  I will update tomorrow for everyone, but for now I must go to bed in order to arise at an early hour.   

Monday, 19 January 2009

Pots finished today

So I got a little slip trailing crazy on the mugs I finished today, but I really like the way they turned out.  A nice subtle looseness.  I just hope the iron slip I dug from the earth does not melt and loose shape.

These teapots were made on Friday and finally assembled this morning.  These are pretty big  pots for serious tea drinkers.  I wish I could make more, and truthfully I need to.  I just have too much school stuff to do.  I think the next things on the list will be as many plates as I can turn in around the 3 hours I have to scrape by with.  Good day all!!  

Friday, 16 January 2009

A nice work day

Here are the planters I added lids to from yesterday and did some trailing on.  I may do some deco on the actual pot bodies later when they dry up a bit.  I was pretty pleased with these and my mom likes them so...... I suppose the will do well.

After doing those 4 casseroles I turned a stinkin load for the limited time I had today.  I am not working on Saturday because I am doing things t school so I have all of this tightly covered for assembling on Sunday afternoon.  Those are gonna be some BIG teapots.  Those bigger forms are going to be an attempt at some lidded pitchers.  I was also pretty proud of the simple pitcher form as well.  That one is usually harder to nail down.  My awesome dad is putting up some shelving for me tomorrow which should be awesome.  

I am in an African American art history class this semester and my big final project is going to be on Dave Miles from Edgefield, SC.  He was a potter in the 1850's and 60's or so.  He makes some Incredible pots and I even got a new book to do some research for it.  Wow, I am a complete nerd...... haha.   Check out some on this amazing traditional potter here    

Thursday, 15 January 2009


This is a picture I took with my camera phone when I was digging for the new clay. This stuff is top notch! I was able to move a coil around my finger almost four times round without a single crack. (pictured above). This was straight from the creek bed of course. So far all I have done to it is sift it through a window screen and am now waiting for it to dry. I did manage to turn a nice small cup with it without any processing though. I had to pick out some roots along the way of course. You can see that cup in one of my former posts if you like. Finding a vein with clay this plastic is very exciting for me and I am looking forward to digging more of it very soon after testing it.

Yesterday Catchup

These are some of the jars from before that are now decorated with some of my new slips. I am testing alot of new things right now and are just stabbing at most of these decoratrions and hoping they will turn out. Doug is pushing me to do more surface deco at school so that is helping as well.

This is one of the four casseroles I turned yesterday. They are lidded as well and I will post some finished pictures.

Right now it is hard to find time to work with school. I am able to get about 3 hours in every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I am trying to scrape some time up somewhere on Tuesday Thursday, but it may mean sacrificing some other uses of my time. I predict the clay will be ready this weekend some time and I am very excited about it. I am going to make some slip out of it as well just to see how it looks in salt at school.
We are starting to build a small geil kiln at school which should be great for testing out some new ideas and such as that. I am very excited about getting that experience as well. Today I will look at some new salt glazing/slipping ideas because we will be firing at school soon. It will be mostly work by Doug and myself in that one. I got a letter today from the Treasures of The Earth Show. The work from the next firing is mostly for that since all of my former work is either sold or old news.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Long Day, but Beautiful

These are the 15 bud vases I made today in the short time I scraped away with this morning.  I really like the shapes and I feel they are going to be a great way to warm up to larger shape ideas.  I am not sure how I will decorate these yet though.  I need to think of something that will accent these dramatic flowing forms.

I also had just enough time to mix up some white trailing slip.  I just mixed up a little to trail with to see if it works first.  It is the same clay I use for facejug teeth and eyes so I am sure it will be fine.

I am so worn from today because I had so many classes along with working early this morning.  Got up at 7:15 to head to work and got out of class at 8:30pm with next to no breaks at all.  It is going to be hard to do this driving home from school every day thing.  I am only able to work about 3 hours a day because of driving so I am looking into renting some space close to school.  I called some of my buds with garage and building space they aren't using.  I am hoping to be able to rent some cheap, close space.  Classwork is slowly building up as well so hopefully I can manage to keep from getting all stressed with all of the work I have to do here.     

Sunday, 11 January 2009


So we had a beaver chewing down some of our trees lately.  My dad looked up how to set a beaver snare on the internet and well....... it worked like a charm.  We took it to a place to get it tanned today as well.  That son of a gun was so stinkin big and crazy lookin'.  Such a cool critter.  I guess we like to keep our trees around here.  haha!  

Getting Back on Schedule

Here are some jars I finished up this afternoon.  I tried a bit more of a traditional NC shape on these since I have been looking at pictures of some lately at Tom Turners place and in books.
These are the awesome pots I got for christmas from my mom.  She got them sent from England from Doug Fitch's place where I stayed for a week in June.  He also sent me some English tea which made my Christmas more awesome.  It reminded me of the adrenaline packed feeling of missing class to go out in the country to study pots with 'ole Douglas Fitch.  Man I am such a rebel potter!! haha!

These are some recent work examples.  The bud vase I made at the end of the work day just to experiment.  I plan on making a few boards of them tomorrow morning.

My school schedule has all of the classes in the afternoon so I can drive home to make pots in the morning.  I need to have a little more than 200 by the end of February.  I have a list of the pots I need to make and will post on it later.  Basically I go and push out as much work as I possibly can for around 3 hours a day or so.  Then it is off to the collegiate studies of art (and college experience!!).  I hope that helps you all understand more about what I am posting about.  I think if you know how packed my schedule is it helps a bit.  The new clay should be ready some time this week.  I am very excited about it. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

First NC blog!!

This is a picture of some of the clay that I dug here at home since I have been back.  I turned this cup with it straight out of the pit and the other wet stuff is sifted, processed, and drying out for its first test use.  I am extremely excited about this clay and that cup is so tough it is almost like it is made from cement.  
Since I have been back I have been writing and drawing up some of my new shape designs for the first firing of 2009.  I am primarily firing for a show at the beginning of March.  I will also have a salt firing at school before then for the treasures of the earth show in Shelby.
The little lidded soup bowl is designed specifically for the microwave so nothing splatters and it is good for steaming or boiling top ramen noodles.
Some of my mugs or tankards.

And the new trailed fish made it home to an english inspired lidded jar.

Since I have been home I have been visiting some people in my home state that love to make pots much like myself.  Among those are Ron Philbeck, Michael Kline, and Tom Turner.  I also plan to visit Dwight Holland, Daniel Johnston, and some others as well.  I have now realized the great amount of knowledgeable resources that are available through the local potters in NC.   I am in school now,  but have most of my classes in the afternoon so I am able to go home and make pots in the morning.  I will probably be pretty busy until after that show in March.  Hopefully this blog will be kept up and useful for others reading it.