Saturday, March 28, 2009


Started rolling on some tokkura today. They are white and tight, it's a good starting point, maybe some slip deco or the shino dip and finger swipe.
The weather was almost springlike and I started measuring out for a small wood kiln for the spring. Things like that are such a treat.
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Friday, March 27, 2009


Today I made some tight yunomi for the tight folks, and some loose yunomi for the loose folks. The weather here has started to calm down a bit. Those poor buggers in the Dakotas are feeling the wrath of Mother Nature. A flood and a blizzard at the same time, hopefully the levee will hold.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Trapped in a Snowglobe

Sometimes I have this feeling that I'm trapped in a snowglobe. These flakes are big enough to cause some serious bodily harm. The snow came down again today for most of the day. Winter has returned. Spring is just to timid for it's own good.
Back to work. The spring (did I say spring) firing is coming up. Maybe I should say the late winter firing. Make good pots!!
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Three Graces

It was one of those days that felt kind of loose. I stacked up these little vases on a whim. There were three of them... hmmmm.. the Three Graces? It's snowing right now.. snow globe sort of snow... huge flakes!!
Enough blogging. Gonna go make some evening pots. Take care and Make good pots.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The nicest person you will ever meet

There isn't much going on at the pottery today. To balance out life, here is this picture of Shinsaku Hamada, Shoji's oldest son. I had the pleasure of spending some time with him, he is with out a doubt one of the kindest persons I have ever met. He gazes into paradise, and shows you the mountain top view. Sometimes just thinking of him makes my pots better. Well, that makes me want to make pots. Which I will do. So have a great day, and Make good Pots.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The meaning of Big

Not much going on today, it's a sort of rainy day. Doing reclaim and cleaning and some odds and ends. I thought that I'd put up this picture for anybody. It's a large woodfired jar with flyash dripping down. It's maybe 3' tall, the size doesn't translate as well as it should. It is one of Svend Bayer's, perhaps one of the largest that he makes. I walk by it everyday when I go into the work room, it says "Well what are you going to make today... it better be good".
Well have a good day ... Make good pots.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

New tea bowl and saucer

I've been goofing around with a new teabowl and saucer to go along with the new teapot design. This is where I ended up today. Not to sure about it. What do you think?
It's turned into a rainy day, perfect studio weather. The rain is melting the ice and there is an earthy feeling about. Love it.
Well back to the studio. I need to pug up some reclaim and get ready for some throwin..
Make good pots!
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Sunday, March 22, 2009


I have an order for some pilsners. These were made first thing in the morning. Usually I like to get the throwing done early as before the day takes over. This is one of my favorite stages of pots, they're fresh and still alive.
It turned out to be a short day in the pottery. The weather was a perfect spring day. We took advantage of that and spent the rest of the day in the yard.
Well have a great day, and keep the wheels spinning.
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Randy Johnston Plate

I was going through a pile of plates and came across this one by Randy Johnston. It's from the mid 70's. Will Ruggles and Douglas Rankin were working with him then. Randy was experimenting with enamels. This is really a wild one for him. It's a shino glaze with kaki trailed, then red and green enamels fired on in a second firing.
This is one of those pots that have been around for so long that are there but you only see them out of the corner of your eye.
Well, I haven't had my morning coffee yet, so first things first and then off to throw some coffee mugs.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

North Devon jug

I pulled this nice North Devon style jug out to show a group of high school students how a well designed pot will anticipate that it will be used. This a large piece, made by Svend Bayer. I'm not sure if you would call it a tall tom or a thirty tales. You can see where it sat in an ember bed during the firing.
Spring is still springing!! These last few days have been making some tea bowls and listening to the birds as they come back to Minnesota.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A flight of teapots

It must be spring, I spotted this flight of teapots on their migration north.
Some day lilies are starting to appear, all this is very good. It's about 60*F today, last Wednesday it was -12*F. It makes one down right giddy!!!
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Protege and good weather

Heather is a protege, that I've been mentoring for a few months now. I'm really proud of the work that she has been producing. This week she will start concentrating on the wheel. It's always heartening to see new people working at art.
Spring has come on like gangbusters these last few days and the temp will sore to about 60F. That's about 70F degrees warmer than five days ago. Needless to say I'll be out working on the kiln for the spring firing and probably start loading next week!! Well for now. Have a great day and make good pots.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


A picture out the back door. We live with snow for so many months of the year that I sometimes forget how beautiful it can be. The winds were howling last night and the windchill was -25F. Friday we may be 45F. This March is starting to be crazy. It's 6 AM, I'm out the door to the studio for a morning of teapots... Hopefully I'll be done with them and start on some large sigaraki jars later today or first thing tomorrow. Have a great day and make good pots!
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Brandon and Izzy

Brandon and Izzy have been working at the studio the last couple of weeks. They are two art students from the High School. I've been showing them how to make slabbuilt pots. They are really doing well and I'm very proud of them. Wednesday is their last day so the pressure is on to finish their work.
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Teapot, tools

Here are some of the tools that are good for teapot making. The traditional water buffalo horn rib has been replaced by a Micheal Shirrell, soft rib. All the other tools are from Yixing, China. The mallet to pound out slabs is really useful, and after a little getting used to is almost as fast as a slabroller... plus I think that you get a better slab. The clay is more lined up and doesn't curl like a potato chip. The tool in the exact center is a spouting knife, it is used sort of like a reamer, it makes the spout super smooth so you get a nice clean pour. If you center click on your mouse the image get much larger so you can see the tools "up close".
Enjoy the rest of the day .... Make good pots!!
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Monday, March 09, 2009


Here is the latest teapot. It is the one that I posted the how to on. It's been firing in an electric kiln.. This is supposed to be a blog about wood firing, so I apologize about that. It's still a couple of months until it will be warm enough to fire the wood kiln. I've started on another 10 of this form for the spring firing. They are in a bunch of different claybodies, from a couple of porcelains to some stony sigaraki like clays, and a few in between.
I don't know why these teapots are being made. I was showing Cody my YiXing teapot tools and the next thing we were making teapots. I really like them, and completely enjoy making them, just never expected to be making them right now. They bring back some good memories of Po and Mei-gun Goo.
Well time to have a cuppa and off to the studio.. the teapots are waiting for their spouts.. patience little pots.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

snow kiln

Here is the sorry state of the kiln after the last snowfall. The shed works really nice for rain, but the snow can blow and drift sideways. It's warming up this week so it will be really great to get out to the kiln and sweep of the snow and straighten up from the winter. I like to keep the kiln and woodpile clean and the wood stacked nicely. Somehow over the winter it gets messy and confused, not really sure how that happens.
No pots today, I have a grant review panel this weekend, so today is reading a couple hundred pages of grants.
Well time for the afternoon cuppa and continue to muddle though the pile.
Enjoy the day and as always, make good pots

Monday, March 02, 2009

A few for the spring firing

Most of the day was spent shoveling snow but I did manage to get to the studio and make a few more guinomi for the spring firing. I really like these little pots. They fit in all those odd little places in the kiln. I use one all day long to drink tea from. A couple sips in between pots or whatever I'm into.
Winter is back in full force with temp at -11F this morning. Nature is pistine with the new snow and cold temp. Everything is white, all the animals are quiet, and all the smells in the air are gone. When it gets about 20F birds will start to chirp again, around 30F smells will start to return. A very good time to stay inside and get pots made!!
Time for some tea and pots. Enjoy your day...
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