Friday, October 30, 2009

Lincoln Center's "Mugs, Bowls, and Casseroles" is up!

I stopped by the galleries at the Lincoln Center last night to check out the setup, and it's one slick show.  It's open today (12-9) and tomorrow (10-9).  My understanding is that the Gallery will remain open on Sunday as well, but it will be in "show" status only, so no sales.  For your enjoyment, here's a sampling of the pots that I put into this show (click on it for a bigger view).

I'll be glazing pots this weekend, most likely, and will offer a full recap of my Lincoln Center experience, as well as details about the Guild's Fall Sale next week.  Until then, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Post #100 - Snow Day!!!

Well, I was thinking about doing something fun on the day I hit post #100, but instead the day did something fun for me, and brought an autumnal blizzard of such fortitude that the whole world (in Colorado at least) has had to shut down.  So I got to go home from my "real job" early.  This was the view from my office window this afternoon:

I can normally see Long's Peak from here (40-some miles away).

And the courtyard in front of our apartment.

So there you go.  Nothing exciting from me on post #100.  I guess we'll have to wait for the next big milestone.  Mostly, though, my wife wants to go play in the snow, and I'd like to join her.  So this will be brief.

I'll be getting new, fired, glzed work pretty much constantly until the Guild sale, so I'll be posting just snapshots of new stuff.  Here are a few:

Testing for quality control of the fruit bowls. 

This is Krystal's favorite.  I have a few more yet to glaze... I'm thinking I maybe should have made more.  Like several dozen.

That's it for now.  More work coming continuously, and "Mugs, Bowls, and Casseroles" opens tomorrow.  Full report on that sometime next week.  Stay warm!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Productive Weekend - Photoblog.

Today I don't really feel like writing that much, but I have a lot of pictures from the weekend, so I'll be doing a quick photo/caption-based update on the progress.  Krystal was out of town for the weekend, so I spent way too much time in the studio.  Overall it was very productive and I'm pleased with the results of my weekend, but I did have a couple of pieces that just weren't going to make it.  On account of the upcoming Guild show, there is a deadline for greenware (dried pottery) to be bisqued, and that deadline is tomorrow.  Which means that to guarantee my work dry for firing, it would have be completely decorated and trimmed by yesterday.  Which I just wasn't able to accomplish with a few things.  C'est la vie.  Here are the pictures:

Platter 1 of 2 for the weekend.  Good sized - 15-16"

Platter 2 of 2 for the weekend.  Comparable size.

Trio of white bowls to be decorated - possibly a set.

Smallest of the above trio - a preview.

A family of Vases (Clockwise, from top-right: Papa Vase, Sister Vase, Brother Vase, and Mama Vase).  They're like the Berenstein Vases, except they probably don't end each adventure with a moral lesson and maxim to live by.

Bowls.  12" across.  I like the one on the left.

Everything hanging out on the top shelf drying.  See all the happy vases?

So that's my weekend in review.  There were a vew other pots thrown that didn't get photographed, but you'll see them sooner or later.  Also got another batch of glazed stuff out - I'll try to get some photos up in the (nearly) immediate future.  Tomorrow is the big day where I drop my pots off at the Lincoln Center (not the one in New York) for this weekend's show (see poster/banner at the top of the page) and the fall sales begin.  This is the first real test to see whether any of my recent work is at all likeable.  I guess we'll find out.

Endure your Monday! 

(Because "Enjoy your Monday" is just too optimistic for my blood).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Late Night...

Yes, it is 12:45 AM, and I just got back from the studio.  I had a very productive evening full of all sorts of pots, bowls, vases, plates, recycling, decorating, trimming, throwing, and cleaning.  I probably should have been done an hour ago, but sometimes it's important to slow down and converse with your studio companions.

In short, I've accomplished a lot this week and will probably have a post up with pictures tomorrow.

In other news, I'm approaching post #100 - perhaps we can have a party?

Good night!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Glazed and Glazing...

Studio time last night was devoted to my favorite thing ever - glazing.  Yup.  The good news is that I got some fresh work out of the kiln, with (almost exclusively) pleasant results.  This is nice in that it almost inspires me to glaze, rather than deflating that already non-existent desire.  Here's the new stuff...

Little white-clay vases.

Glaze got a little thick.  Still pretty cool.

No, I don't have particularly large hands - it's a baby vase.  Love this color.

And several more full shelves of pots waiting for the firing...

I'll be back into the studio tonight (most likely) for some more throwing, and some glazing, and hopefully recycling some clay as well.  We're coming up on our deadline for bisque firings at the guild, so I'll be putting in some long hours this weekend on producing to fill in some gaps that I see in my stock.  That's all for today, folks.  Have a good one!

Monday, October 19, 2009

What did I do this weekend?

There was no studio time this weekend as there was much other merriment to be had.  I did stop into the studio in hopes that a glaze firing would have occurred last week, but no such luck.  The majority of my pottery-related time this weekend was spent tackling this:

Yes, that's a lot of pottery that needs pricing, inventorying, and in some cases, banishment from my sight.  I have to turn in an inventory list to the "Mugs, Bowls, and Casseroles" show this week, which means I have to figure out what's going there, and price it.  Not my favorite part of being an artist, but I guess it comes with the territory.

I also was able to get out in the natural light of the sun and take some "official" shots of some of my newer work, which will be posted shortly.

The rest of my weekend was spent eating free food complements of my day job, watching Season 5 of The Office, a nice long run, and enjoying some live music.

Friday night we got to enjoy Relient K at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.  It was phenomenal.  They're a band that I probably would have passed on if not for a friend who really wanted to go, and I have no regrets.  It was amazingly fun, and also great to see how these guys have grown as musicians and performers since the last time I saw them headlining (6 years ago).  Really just a great performance, great music, and a great venue.

Sunday night took us to Boulder for a live taping of eTown featuring musical guest Cake, who have long been one of Krystal's favorite bands.  And they were phenomenal.  Outstanding perforance in a unique and intimate environment.  And did I mention phenomenal?  I don't know that I've ever seen a band with a tighter groove in the midst of such convoluted rhythms and time signatures, not to mention vocal harmonies to rival the Beegees.  And the vibra-slap!  Never before has it ever been used with such genius!

Needless to say, Relient K and Cake have moved closer to the top of my list, and I encourage you to check out eTown's website to find out when that performance will be broadcast near you. 

That's it from me today, and be on the lookout for pictures of the new pots.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Week(end) Wrap-Up

Official "Friday Wrap-up" or whatever.  It seems to happen that I regulary make up for my failed posting on Fridays.  I should probably give it a title and make it official.  Mostly, though, are the pictures from Tuesday that didn't make it up earlier this week.

Bowls.  Simple, basic.  Slight texturing to the exteriors.

Vases/Jars:  I'm really liking these, and should probably make some more this week.

This last little beauty decided to tip over on me when I tried to wrap it up and move it to my shelf.  Like, tipped over onto its side and became flat.  Some people would add texture, and bash it in a little bit more, and glaze it in a "pigeons-on-a-sculpture" style (if you know what I mean) and call it "art."  But I'm not into that so much, so this one is recycled.  I'll throw a better one this week anyway.  But this here represents a certain amount of work that was lost in 0.04 seconds, and sometimes that's frustrating.

And, because it's the weekend, let me leave you with something fun.  Please let me know if you actually take the time to watch all 6 minutes of this video, because I did.  I find Cosmo Kramer to be the only sympathetic character to appear on Seinfeld, even if it's because he's completely out there.  But he has no delusions about it, and never pretends to be a better person than he is, in comparison to the trio of complete schmucks he hangs out with all the time.

So here it is, each of Kramer's entrances (and at least one egress), in chronological order.

Oh, and if you happen to be rolling in dough, please consider buying me this for Christmas...

That's all for this week, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Glazing, and a drawing for you.

This here's a drawing, on account of how I haven't done anything in the studio warranting (the time required in) any photography.  And by drawing, I really mean a doodle from one of my notepads at work.  But there it is - some visual addition to my Tuesday's Text.

I did get to spend some time in the studio this weekend, but I soon realized that the amount of bisqueware I have sitting around has gotten out of hand and the only reasonable way to deal with all the bisque is by doing some glazing, which is never my preferred task, but had to be done.  Lots of little, baby, white vases that needed glazing.  I'm experimenting with using some vibrant colors on these little vases.  I hope it turns out alright, but you never really know.

Back to the studio tonight - I have some bowls in desparate need of some trimming, and should really do some more throwing as well.  On the docket for this week is taking stock of my inventory, so I can figure out what needs to get thrown between now and the upcoming shows.

That's all for now - maybe a pottery update tomorrow.

UPDATE - so, apparently I only saved, rather than actually posting this after it was written (48 hours ago). I did get to the studio for a bit Tuesday night, and did get some pictures, but it was mostly trimming and decorating.  Little bits of throwing, including a nice vase that tipped over as I was prepping to wrap it up for the night.  So that didn't work out too well... That's it for studio this week - maybe I'll get the pictures up tomorrow in Friday wrap-up.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Punctual Friday Update: Plate, Pots, Memorial Show

Unlike last week, where I began a post on Friday and didn't put it up until Monday, this one is actually on time.  I'm going to begin on a low note:

Circled there in red is a crack.  A crack that goes all the way through to the bottom of the plate.  A crack that renders this piece ruined.  This is one of those times where you can't necessarily account for what went wrong.  I don't think this crack was there when I moved it to the firing shelf, which means that I didn't trim/dry it too fast.  However, it is possible that it still wasn't quite dry enough at the time of firing.  Breaking this plate (because, hey, it can't be finished, and breaking stuff is fun, right?) revealed that it was evenly thrown and not unnecessarily thick in the cracked portion, though perhaps a little thicker than it needed to be.  I'd say this plate was pretty evenly 3/8" thick, which is reasonable for a pot this size, although 1/4" would have been a better choice.  The good news is that this was the smallest of the three large plates shown here.

So that's what I walked into the studio on Tuesday night to discover, and it kind of soured me on pottery for the week, but I still put in a decent effort on producing some more new work.  I failed to get any photos for most of the week, which included throwing and trimming some large white bowls, throwing a half-dozen nice-sized vases/jars, and recycled 25 pounds of clay.

I didn't take any pictures of the recycled clay, as exciting as that may have been for you.  Here are the pictures I got last night:

Jars/vases waiting for some decoration, and another baby vase.

 Mountain pots - if I figure out how to glaze them, I think they'll be sweet.

So, that's what I've been working on this week.  I think I'm stoked about these new designs.  I think I'll be applying them to more pots, after I make said pots, with said recycled clay.  Maybe some little mountain tumblers? 

One more thing before I sign off for the weekend - if you find yourself in the tri-state(IA/MN/WI) area anytime before November 1st, do yourself a favor and swing by Decorah to see Life's Work: The Tim Langholz Memorial Show on exhibit at the Hotel Winneshiek.  Tim was an amazing gifted potter, and my uncle, whom I wrote about here.  The opening is this weekend, and what I wouldn't give to be there.  I think that's about all I can say about it here, and right now.  Check out the above links for more about Tim.

Tim at work.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Other People's Pots

The folks at Slipcast-The Ceramics Blog added me to their database a week or so ago, and if you're interested in all varieties of ceramic arts, and you don't hang around Luke Langholz Pottery solely because I'm just that awesome, then you may be interested in checking Slipcast out.

(How's that for a run-on sentence?)

First of all, Slipcast is itself an interesting blog to peruse.  It does seem to focus more on cast pottery found around the web, as opposed to thrown or handbuilt, but there is definitely plenty of interesting (and diverse) stuff to look at. 

Second, blogger Matthew Katz seems to enjoy the English language as much as I do, and has been known to feud with other artists over such issues as "ceramicist" vs. "ceramist" - I much prefer ceramicist myself.  No matter how proper it may be, I maintain that ceramist is, and always has been, a Pepsi product

Third, and I think most interesting, Mr. Katz has taken it upon himself to compile a comprehensive list of pottery blogs on the web.  His list recently reached 500 in number.  I most certainly have not had time to visit each of the blogs listed, but I think it is a truly great resource for connecting the online ceramic arts community.

Which brings me back to my opening statement:  if you're not here because I am just that awesome, but you're here for the pottery, and you're interested in finding more pottery, check out the list at Slipcast.  Seriously.  There's like 500.  Click randomly.  Go alphabetically.  Or reverse alphabetically.  Or use a random-integer-generating-algorithm to select your potters at random.  But check out some of the other potters.

Because even though I am just that awesome, there's some other really sweet potters out there as well.  Here's a couple that I read regularly:

Sofia's Dad's Pots: Jim Gottuso is a potter who lives and works in Kentucky and blogs about pottery, fatherhood, and little floods in his basement.  Periodically he posts the outcome of a Scrabble game as well.  Fascinating pots, and a genuinely engaging writer. 

Hannah McAndrew - Slipware Potter:  This artist lives and works across the pond, and does some fascinating work with sliptrailing.  Fun to see another example of an artist who uses slip.  I've tried sliptrailing before, and my results were rather disastrous.  She does a very good job, and posts similar topics as I do - photos of work in progress, good and bad days in the studio, events, and even pictures from vacation.

So, those are the other potters I read regularly, and they are both listed in the 500-potter list.  Check them out, and let me know if you find anything exciting on the big list!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Late Friday Update

This was intended to post Friday, but it's Monday and clearly that didn't happen.  Sometimes that's just the way it goes.  I had a productive couple of hours in the studio Thursday night trimming and decorating - no throwing.  Here are the results:

Trimmed these lids - I'm not sure I like the feel of the lid on the left.  The more I think about it, the more comfident I am that I will probably not even go through with firing it.  The one on the right is kind of cute though. 

These bowls had been trimmed and slipped earlier in the week, and only needed decorating.   I think I effectively finished them in a manner so that they could work as a set, but they're not identical.  We'll see what happens with that.

Finished decorating this bowl/plate.  It's a fun little shape, and I enjoyed doing the sgraffito on this one.

I think the lids on these two are pretty cute.  I think.  I really like what I did with the sgraffito on these as well - the mixing of two slips creates a pretty neat earth/sky motif, with some arboreal forms between the peaks.  I'm thinking I'm going to try to finish up a batch of little pots/jars with some more intentionally alpine decoration.  They're fun, something a little different for me, and I think they would probably do well with the fall/holiday sales coming up.

I was able to put in a couple hours of throwing yesterday, but it left me feeling more deflated than inspired.  It's been a long, grayish week(end), and that just isn't doing too much to inspire me.  At least I got into the studio and did some work.  I'm not sure how I feel about any of it - there's several bowls I'll end up keeping, and one or two that should probably be scratched now to save myself the trouble - but I was there and I made some progress.  I need to do some heavy throwing this week yet, and then I need to commit myself to getting some of my bisqueware glazed - make sure I'm on schedule for everything.

In other news, I've had Death Cab for Cutie's The Open Door EP on repeat for the last 4 or 5 days and enjoy it immensely.  "Little Bribes" has been on radio for a couple months now, and I am still enjoying it unapologetically.  I used to not be much for lyrics - more into the music, maybe after 20+ listens I'd start to really listen to words - but Ben Gibbard writes (and sings) with such a clarity toward painting a picture that it's hard to miss, and the stories he tells, the pictures he paints, fascinate me.  And don't even get me started on his use of metaphor.  Anyhow, I highly recommend it, or any of the band's other releases.