Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tool Time

Haven't blogged in awhile. I thought that I'd put up a picture of the pugmill/table set-up. Usually my life isn't really all that organized, and my pugmill set-up is truly out of character.
Getting clay just right is one of great things in life. When there are no lumps and it's just the right stiffness, and there is the prefect twist to it, a good day becomes a great day.
I worked on getting the table heights just right, so that wedging becomes an easy bit of work. Good to be blogging again. Time to read what everyone's been up to.
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Saturday, July 26, 2008


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Today seemed to be one of those random days that are completely disconnected with the normal flow of life. No pottery related activities, really no responsibilities at all. Usually one activity will dovetail into another, today there is this space in between. What an odd feeling, think I'll go for a bike ride and see if the randomness continues. Oh, the statue is totally random also. Enjoy the rest of the weekend... connect on Monday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

America's Most Wanted

The Northern Clay Center's flyer for their annual American Pottery Festival arrived. If you are in Minnesota the first part of September it would be a must see. They have 24 guest artists this year, lots of demonstrations, slideshows. Here is a link to the Clay Center that has all the info. Northern Clay Cent

Artists featured in 2008 are:
Chuck Aydlett (MN), Naomi Cleary (PA), Bernadette Curran (PA), Josh DeWeese (MT), Kowkie Durst (OR), Paul Eshelman (IL), Marty Fielding (VT), Kathryn Finnerty (OR), Steve Godfrey (AK), Sarah Heimann (NH), Bryan Hopkins (NY), Gail Kendall (NE), Elizabeth Lurie (MI), Warren MacKenzie (MN), Ron Meyers (GA), Sequoia Miller (WA), Jeffrey Nichols (KY), Brenda Quinn (NY), Alison Reintjes (OH), Mark Shapiro (MA), Chuck Solberg (MN), Liz Zlot Summerfield (NC), Munemitsu Taguchi (PA), Betsy Williams (NM).

Not to shabby!!!
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Letter

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The letter arrived today. A call to " All Staff Duty Day", course syllabus, attendance policy, and, well enough. It's still summer, I'm going to lose the letter for a least another week. Maybe write a syllabus for a course called " The rest of July". It would be a pass/fail course... attendance mandatory. Extra credit... liberally given.
Enjoy the rest of July!!

Ken Matzusaki

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This morning I pulled out this cup. I'd been thinking about shino glazes and this one of Ken Matsuzaki
caught my eye. I enjoy the way he has blended the modern to the traditional thinking of Shino glazes. A nice wood fired pot.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The pond

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This lone pelican showed up on the pond today. Probably scouting about, for the fishing report.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday's morning cup

This nice yunomi is one of Yuan Craig's. The yunomi is wood fired and salt glazed. One of my favorite finishes. Yuan gave it as a gift when I visited him in Japan. He makes a wonderful pot that works as well as it looks. Yuan has developed a wood fired kiln that is very innovative and fires extremely efficiently and well.
Born in Australia and now living in Japan, Yuan is a successful bridge between the Eastern and Western outlooks on pottery.
He has A blog:
Euan The Potter
Which is a good read.
Well time to finish the morning cup and get on with the day.
Make good pots!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday's Morning Cup

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Here is an old favorite that I haven't used in awhile. It's from Frau Hoffa's kiln in Hohr-Grenzhausen, Germany, a kiln that is no longer fired. I believe that Otto Blum still fires this type of kiln. This is where in 1967, I first saw wood firing and salt glazing. They have been making salt glazed ware in that area for about 700 years and continue to produce great pots. One of the things that strikes me about this pot is the technical excellence. The clay is fired to complete vitrification. You could use this for a hammer after you drink your coffee!!
The handle is a traditional style that you see on most of the pots made there, for a couple hundred years, rounded and very slightly tapered. The shape is abit off the page, most cups have the "stein" feeling to them.
The salt glazing was done in a traditional Westerwald style wood fired kiln. They are large two story tall updraft kilns. Once very common there are only one or two still in operation there now. Most ware is now gas fired.
There is also an excellent museum in Hohr-Grenzhausen that not only shows pottery of the area but a lot of the tools etc used to produce pots. The best part is the great food at the restaurant at the museum!!
Well the coffee is gone, time to make some pots.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday and it's Hank's Teabowl

I pulled out this beauty for the morning cuppa. Hank Murrow a fine potter living in Oregon, made this one. Hank has been obsessed with shino glazes for, well forever. This is a good example of that obsession. Hank has been making pots for about 50 years now. His pots are confident and relaxed. He is a real stickler for "fit and finish".
Hank gave this bowl to me when we were in Mashiko a few years ago. I am always delighted and amazed how using pots conjure up images of that person or events. This one reminds me of the Buddhist shrine on a mountain outside of Mashiko.
I think I'll finish my latte' and mentally visit the shrine outside of Mashiko.
Have a great day!
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

bumpin pots

Some young fellows wandered into the studio and informed me that these were some "really bumpin pots". Now everything this week is bumpin. Not sure what it means... I think it's relatively a good thing.
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Wednesday's morning cup

I grabbed this nice bowl/cup from the cupboard today. It is one that Svend Bayer made. Simple, clean line, generous and completely thought through. The glaze is a wonderful celadon that takes ash from the wood fire well. A nice way to have your cuppa in the morning.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Morning Cup

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Like all potters the cupboard is filled with cups from other potters. They float in and out of the rotation. Sometimes a cup will get used for a day, maybe a week until a different one beckons. today Jeff's mug seems to fit the hand well. It looks like it will be a good day.... if I read my mugs right.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday morning bowl of tea

It was slow going this morning so got out the matcha and whipped up a nice bowl of tea. That will usually get me though a morning of wedging!!Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 13, 2008

St. Kate's art fair

Yesterday took a trip into Minneapolis/St. Paul. Stopped at the Northern Clay Center and picked up my friend Lee Love, and then went to the art fair at St. Katherine's in St. Paul. Willem Gebben was there and I picked up this nice little tea bowl. I couldn't resist taking a picture of Lee taking a picture.
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cleaning and Finishing Wood Fired pots

Cleaning pots after a wood firing is always a chore. Here are some of the tools that I have found that make this odious job a lot easier. Most of these tools can be gotten at Granite City Tool, or other stone and quarry supply. The first picture shows the trusty Dremel tool with diamond bits. The set of bits are from China and are really inexpensive. You can buy more expensive ones, they will last a loooooong time and cut really well.

These next two pics show a great find that has revolutionized my pot clean up. They are diamond hand pads they come in a variety of grits, from 60# to 7500#. I have been able to take the most abrasive surface and bring it to a gloss!! They are great, and last forever. They work wet or dry. I like wet. You can create some truly incredible surfaces with them.

Last but not least are diamond pads that you can put on a angle grinder. They have a velcro back so you can change them out really fast. They can clean really fast... sometimes to fast. Again they last a long time. I have quit using the flap wheel because of these. They are flexible to!!
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Saturday, July 05, 2008

June Show

I had a nice little open house in June. Finally got around to posting a few shots of the work.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Walking to work

The pottery is about three blocks from the house. Usually I hop on the bike and roll over. That seemed a little hurried as I would roll on by the incredible flowers and mill pond. Yesterday walking seemed to be the right pace to enjoy the colours and heady aromas of the blooming trees. The lilypads on the pond have come up but haven't bloomed yet. This is a small cove on the mill pond.

Here are some off Mrs. Dilly's Blue Bells, and below are some Irises blooming in front of one of Svend Bayer's large planters.

Monday, June 30, 2008

beer glasses

Last of the beer glasses!!! After the spring firing, next was an order for 2600 beer glasses. The strange thing is, I don't even drink beer.

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Svend's Garden Pot

There is one of Svend's large planters on the front lawn. This year we planted a tomato plant in it. Usually it's just flowers, for some unknown reason we are planting more vegetables this year.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Onggi Trash Containers

I saw these nice pots outside a small shop in Korea. They were using them to collect aluminum cans for recycling. After awhile it seemed common place.
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