Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Well, I'm back to my usual two weeks between posts.  While I have been into the clay a couple of times, I must confess I haven't really committed THAT much time to the pottery over the last couple of weeks, due to a number of distractions, specifically on the weekend.  Last week I blame the Friday-Monday bookends of Krystal's birthday and Valentine's Day, meaning that the weekend was hers, and so was my time.  I still did get into the studio for some minor throwing, but not so much in general.  This past weekend was a holiday weekend, and the first time I've had President's Day off, actually.  We decided to take advantage of the extra twenty-four hours and make a quick jaunt down to Colorado to visit dear friends and mountains.  We made a quick pitstop on Friday night to hang out with some new friends in Rapid City.
For those not in the know, that's Jars of Clay.  And they're awesome.  And now we're buds.
MercyMe's "Rock & Worship Roadshow" tour made a stop in the Rushmore State on Friday night, and while we're (neither Krystal nor I) aren't crazy about MercyMe (or anyone else slated on the tour, actually) Jars of Clay is always worth the trip for a live show.  Especially when you can purchase advance tickets for an intimate pre-show Q&A and acoustic set.  I'm pretty sure there are other artists out there who would cancel or blow off an event if only six people bought tickets for something like this, but Jars of Clay aren't that band.  I recall going to see them in late 2002 when The Elms (exciting!) were supposed to be opening, but had to cancel due to family illnesses.  With no opening act, Jars of Clay stepped up and played an extended set for us including deep tracks and covers ("Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"?  Yes.).  This is a band that steps up and delivers, through and through.  All that to say:


Though they've leaned into their indie rock influences on the last couple records, it was an amazing experience to hear them get back to their roots (anyone remember that song "Flood" from the 90's?).  Two acoustics (their own signature model Taylor guitars), one rhythm shaker, and four voices harmonizing in a room the size of our kitchen.  In addition to creating the purest sound I may have ever heard in my life, these guys were the epitomy of authentic humility.  My only complaint is that they didn't blow off their later set to sit down and play their entire catalog for us.  But seriously, one of the neatest experiences of my life, and definitely near the top of my list of live music experiences.  Maybe the top.  Probably. 

But I've digressed.  (It was amazing!)

On to the pottery.  I've had some pots sitting around drying for quite some time.  Some were trimmed a couple weeks ago, some just last week, some tonight (not photographed).  I still have a little more work in the studio before bed tonight, so I thought I'd save those results for a later post (maybe within 24 hours?!).  I'm thinking I'm nearing a full load of greenware to load up a bisque firing, but I'm waiting until our local temps get back above freezing before I go stand in the garage for an hour loading the kiln.  Not to mention that firing kicks our car out into the cold, so the less cold it is, the happier our car is.  And if Volvo ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  So here are the pots!
Some bowls, and a bigger vasey thing.
I rather like these pots.  I think they've got quite the lovely shape going on.  Excited to glaze these, actually, without any additional decoration.

Bowls!  Of the decorative variety.  These are slightly larger than a kookabura, and probably would not fit into a breadbox.

Alright, that's it for now.  "Catch ya on the flip side," as the hip folk say.

P.S. For some fine listening experience, here are my top 5 Jars of Clay Albums, in no particular order.  Actually, in Chronological order:

Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay: Self-titled debut.  Classic, acoustic post-grunge.  Has anybody gotten tired of this one yet? 
Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage
Furthermore: Double album includes live concert recording, plus collection of reworked classics and new songs in a very acoustic vein, giving a foretaste of...
Who We Are Instead
Who We Are Instead: They cover America's "Lonely People" and go folk.  The touring in support of this album was stripped down and gritty: upright piano, acoustic and pedal steel guitars.  This is Krystal's favorite, by far.
Christmas Songs
Christmas Songs: The only Holiday album I listen to year round.  It's just beautiful.  Mostly original songs, you'd think they were old standards by how Christmassy they make you feel.  Plus, covers of the Charlie Brown Christmas song and Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime."
Jars Of Clay Presents The Shelter [+Digital Booklet]
The Shelter: Their latest.  Because it's just that good.  And I couldn't actually pick a #5.  Because they're all just that good, uniquely.  Although I'm also partial to their widely underrated sophomore effort, Much Afraid.  The back half, as we would say if it were on vinyl, is a haunting collection of modern hymn-ish tunes.  Gosh.  They're all so good!


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