Wednesday, 15 June 2011


This is a backside view of what will be my kiln shed. In the background is an old grainery I have converted into a pottery shop.

My Dad and I along side of the beginnings of the kiln shed.

Here is the newest member of my household. Her name is Irene. She is a great companion.

Building a kiln is a big step for any potter, and I am feeling the pressure as a young potter living in Seagrove. Although it is a big task I am very excited to be putting down some roots as a potter in my home state. I have been planning and sketching for my kiln for a long time and now have a large hole along with a yard full of bricks to build this puppy. Being a journeyman is great, but it is time to make working for myself and this kiln the priority.
I have decided to go with a kiln that is around 300 cubic feet. It is big enough to be worth firing up and small enough for a quick turn around which enables me to learn and grow as a craftsman quickly. The kiln is big enough for me to fit large scale work inside of which is something I am excited about since they are some of my favorite pots to make.
I hope you enjoyed the update. There are many new things happening here at my new place in Seagrove. Thanks for reading and keep following because there are many new and exciting updates to come!

Monday, 6 June 2011

New Clay

Since living here in Seagrove I have been fooling around with digging clay. I found a few different types but none I enjoy more than the red body. I have fired a few tests and hope to have a refined clay body very soon. I really love turning freshly dug clay. It is one of my favorite things to do as a potter. I hope these pictures show you the raw difference between something freshly dug, and something not.
Only time and firing will tell if I can make this clay look as good fired as it does raw.
I hope you enjoyed the short update!

New Shop Video.

This video should have been posted a long time ago, but I got a little busy. Business as a journeyman has been great lately since the summer has arrived. People are coming and buying pots so potters need me to turn pots. It is great to have plenty of work t do here in Seagrove.
In the video you will see me riding my bike up my driveway and back to the grainery which I have transformed into a new workspace. This grainery was full of junk when I arrived, but is now looking pretty good. I have made pottery here, but it was quickly moved out and sold as greenware to a few local potters for some quick cash. Right now those are the only type of pots being made there, but hopefully that will change soon!
I have found some kiln brick at a very good price and designed a wood kiln for myself. I have been clearing out space and will be putting up a kiln shed as soon as the next few weeks. Hopefully there will be a post on it very soon!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Big Ole Jar!

My good friend and fellow potter Tom Grey standing behind my first big pot since before my apprenticeship.

Here is a picture of it with the lid I made for it.

I was fortunate enough to be contracted for this piece. I was able to sell it to another potter in the green stage for him to glaze and sell. This type of deal is perfect for me right now because I am in need of the quick nickel (as opposed to the slow dime) in order to continue setting up my shop.
I had a blast making this piece and cannot wait to make more in the future for people to enjoy!
Thanks y'all

New Dance

This video was shot at Hot Club of Durham. It is favorite place to dance in on weeknights. There is a very strong core group of people there that have a great time. In the video I am dancing with Genevieve. She is an amazing follow.

Lately I have learned a new dance. I am no longer working as an apprentice. I am working for myself as a journeyman potter. I have found a sweet spot in the lovely small town of Whynot to begin setting up my first full time pottery shop. Being a journeyman in Seagrove is a great way to get started. It enables me to learn various approaches to full time pottery. I haven't picked up this many tricks and techniques since being in college. The people are generous and willing to help me out any way they can, and living in the beautiful Uwharrie hills of North Carolina is a blessing. Being self employed at the age of 23 is something I am thankful for. I feel like I am the luckiest man alive.
I am swing dancing two to four nights a week, and with the weather warming up I have been fishing like a mad man at every open opportunity.
I am finding enough work to keep the bills payed and more. I am also working on a private shop of my own which I plan to have up and running before the fall of this year. Life is good.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Quick Mugs

I shot this video last week while working for cross Creek Pottery in Seagrove, NC. The shop is owned by Vivian Hunt. Enjoy this video and let me know what ya think!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Outsiders Music Video

Just made a music video with some of my friends. it is some cool stuff. let me know what ya think.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

OK, so this post is a new experimental video idea. I am swing dancer and dance up to four times a week depending on when and where dances are. The equipment used to make this video include a video camera and baseball cap. I turned the hat backwards and strapped the camera to my forehead via baseball cap. After that I asked my friend Lily to dance with me. I am sure she felt weird dancing with a guy who had a camera strapped to his head, but she was comfortable enough to disregard the awkward headgear. I think this video needs work, but with a little practice from yours truly the next one should be much stronger. I tried to get shots of our feet multiple times, but it just didnt work out well. I need to make more dramatic movements with my head in order to obtain the correct shot. I plan to use this method to film multiple other ventures outside of swing dancing. Any tips would be apprecited. ENJOY!

PS. I have used this method to document a kayaking trip I took recently. You can check that out here: Click me to see a sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet video!!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Video Posting Project.

I have some ideas on pursuing this blog with the primary focus on the medium of video. I am making this decision because I believe videos are generally more interesting and attractive to readers and viewers. The idea is that it should increase the number of viewers, which should help to progress networking. I am not chasing the dime here, but I would like to be able to sale some of my pots. Haha!
This is a video that may be the beginning of a larger project, which is a documentary type deal in my head for now. I have been living alone and have no one to share many of my beautiful experiences with. Hopefully these short video documentaries will enrich and inspire the lives of the viewers so enjoy my first intro video post!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Rabbit Gum Project 1 (unfinished)

Hey everybody sorry it has been so long since I have posted. I realize this is a problem so I have decided to start getting into doing videos. So hopefully there will be many more videos to come.
Lately I have spent much of my time alone. I am a very active person and look at my time as an investment so even as I am alone (which is often the case) I often search for productive ways to save my money or time in order to properly invest my life in something that will prove to be beneficial for myself and others.
The most recent project has been one I call rabbit gum. I have been a hunter and fishermen for as long as I can remember being alive. My father taught me most everything I know about the subject and his father taught him the same. The practice of hunting and trapping is something that is very near and dear to my heart, and I often find it is hard for most people to understand the respect I have for the practice. It is an immediate tie to my family.
Growing up my dad taught me how to build rabbit boxes. A rabbit box is a live trap in which the rabbit is trapped safely in a box until the trapper arrives to check the trap. He then takes the trap and the game back to wherever it is he prepares his food and prepares it for eating.
I have been practicing this trapping method for a very long time, and am currently practicing it. I have not bought meat to eat out in the cabin a while now (maybe three or four months...I have not been counting. It has probably since deer season began with a bang for me.)
These traps are made of scrap lumber. As with many other activities I build in my lonesome. I have begun to realize I have different mannerisms when I am alone than when I am with others so I decided to video myself in order to study it. This is a very raw video of myself in the upper part of the barn at the Hewitt Pottery. I have finished the boxes, but they are not finished in the video. I will upload the second video very soon.... so you can look forward to that!
I would also like to add that I am still trying to figure out my movie program so it is a little choppy, but this is only the beginning. Thanks! let me know what ya think!
Brad Lail