Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sgraffito & Jazz

Happy Tuesday to all! I managed a few minutes in the studio last night for some trimming, decorating, and also recycling clay. Actually, the recycling was done on Sunday (light out on plaster, covered with plastic, and left to dry up a bit), but the wedging and kneading occurred last night. I think I got 15+ pounds of clay out of my bucket, which is always nice.

Fellow Guilder Dave Ellis was in the studio last night with me, which meant it was a jazzy evening all around. Dave's a fan of the local jazz stations (KUVO & KUNC) and I normally can't complain about the variety and quality of the music played. KUVO was the station of choice last night, and it was a really solid batch of music to accompany the trimming and decorating of pots. A full playlist of my hours in the studio can be seen here. Wynton Marsalis, Louis Armstrong, and James Bond jazz - what's not to love? Very good stuff. For more thoughts on the importance of radio in the studio, check out the latter half of this post.

But, back to the pottery. No throwing, sadly - especially sad as I have a couple of new creative ideas which need to be explored soon. But a night of trimming and decorating isn't all bad. Last week I threw a number of my "arizona" pieces - southwestern inspired forms that are particularly fun to throw, and are equally useful as functional or decorative works. I only made it through five of the six, and still have a vase and other bowl which need some work, but I'm not sure when that will happen. I just have to count on them being nicely sealed in plastic until I get to them. June is, apparently, turning out to be a pretty full month. But that's another issue entirely.

Two of the trimmed and decorated, upside down.

The rest of the trimmed - various sizes and shapes.

A couple right-side up. I think they're pretty.

To sum: trimmed and decorated five pots, and wedged/kneaded 15+ pounds of clay. Not to mention avoiding the thunderstorms... All in all a full evening. That's probably it for this week - like I said, June is turning into a full month. As is the beginning portion of July. All told, I think we're going to put 5,000+ miles on our car in the next two weeks.

So, take care, stay cool, and have a great week!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Finally a chance to provide a fair update.

It is with sadness that I must announce that the Guild's fundraiser has been cancelled. Hard to have a successful event if people aren't buying tickets to attend... so, that's a bummer. The pieces that were made for it will still be sold, however. The Northern Colorado Potters Guild will have a booth at the New West Fest in Fort Collins in August. All sorts of plates, tumblers, and general donated pots will be available for purchase and to support the Guild. Also, it just happens to be Fort Collins' largest community festival, and will feature live music from 50+ Colorado Bands, as well as headliners Melissa Etheridge and Ozomatli. So check that out if you're in the area!

And on to my pots: here's some shots from the studio Monday night. I'll be back in again tonight to throw some more pieces. Time to start working on some more bigger pieces, because they kinda seem to be selling alright... we'll see what happens. Throwing Monday was not overly pleasant - I feel like I've been out of it for a while. But it was certainly good to be throwing again. So here's studio pictures, and finished work.

Vase. Maybe 15" tall? We'll see how it turns out. I never know. Patience, though, is what I'm going for lately. Rushing vases never goes well.

And a couple "arizona" pieces of various sizes and shapes. Fun shapes to throw. Not so much fun to trim.

Finally some happy results with this glaze. Still a little creamy for my taste, but just lovely.

Same story. I really like the bleed where the two glazes meet at the neck of the vase.

This was an experimental vase: Red clay, blue slip brushed on, plus some relief carving. Turkish Amber glaze over, with Forest Green (SuperBlue!) inside.

Communion set - commissioned. I was pleased with the glazing.

Bud vase. Cute little guy.

Bowl - same glazes as the bud vase above.

And some non-pottery pictures, cause I think some of you like to see them as well...

My brother (left) was out with us last week, so we enjoyed some time in the mountains.

Then we drove him back to Iowa by way of a Coldplay show.

Pretty darn sweet.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Sorry I've been away. Had a great visit with my brother in town all of last week, and a little road trip this last weekend, so not a lot of time for posting, or throwing. I did manage some time for some glazing last week, but that was about all I had time for.

Soon, though.

I have "official" shots of some new pots, with more glaze results/critiques. Also, some throwing happened last night, with pictures to prove it, and more will occur later this week. But not just this moment.

Also, for any of my followers in Iowa, I recently updated some stock at the Clear Lake Art Center, so if you're looking for some of my pots, check them out there. A link to their site can be found on right-hand side of the page. Purchasing a piece of work from the Art Center directly benefits the North Iowa local arts community, etc, etc, etc. Also, it's just a really cool place, with lots of great art. And everybody loves Clear Lake in the summer, right?

Until next time, adios!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

[finished work]

New pots (within the last 2 months) finally shot. I may have to re-shoot; it's been a number of days (weeks?) since we had a weekend with decent whether. Which is pertinent because I prefer to use natural lighting for shooting pots, and these indoor shots just aren't doing it for me. So here they are, with some narration - I hope the narration doesn't sway your perception too much. Will be into the studio at some point this weekend to pick up some final glazing, but otherwise very little potting will occur.

Trying out a glaze...

Same here. I like this result.

Back to some naked clay.


This vase held flowers on our table for a number of weeks. It has since been galleried.

I like this blue. Plate is 13" wide.


Large and in Charge.

Large - already galleried.

Same new glaze as above - with less success. Or, less to my expectations. It may grow on me.

Same story. It may grow on me.

And, same glaze, same firing, same clay body - different result. Where's consistency when you need it?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Trimming and Glazing. Loads of fun.

Sunday afternoon studio time. Trimming fundraiser plates and glazing a lot of bisque. I actually glazed everything (inside & out) in this batch. We'll see what happens. Glaze and bisque kilns were both cooling as of yesterday as well, so I'll have a fresh batch of finished work the next time I get out to the studio. Eventually I need to commit some time to shooting these finished works so all my fine readers (you!) can see what's new.

Here's the fundraiser plates that I trimmed yesterday. I think they're pretty. I think they should turn out alright. Hopefully.

And, just because AJ asked so nicely, here's a picture from No Doubt last week in Denver. It was a good time - solid show, great band, great venue. Fiddler's Green is no Red Rocks, that's for sure, but it's hard to beat a concert with the sun setting over the mountains behind the stage. Not a shabby backdrop at all. LLPInteractive: Best concert you've been to lately? Let me know in the comments section below.

Family and friends coming into town this week, so studio updates will be sporadic, at best. Mostly on account of the studio time itself being sporadic, at best. Take care.