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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I made some vases, listened to some tunes.

I found some time for pottery over my long weekend.  Nothing too intense, mostly just a couple hours Friday and Saturday mornings while I let Krystal sleep in.  Not a whole lot of throwing, but plenty of time and effort committed to trimming and decorating and such.  And then Krystal woke up and decided we needed to paint our kitchen/dining room, so there went the rest of my weekend.  Plus, of course, a joyous Easter with more ham than anyone could possibly know how to handle.  I got back down to the studio again Monday night for a little more decorating, and I'll be back into throwing mode later this week/weekend.

Speaking of this weekend, if you find yourself in the Pierre/Central South Dakota area (why wouldn't you?) come on down and check out the Short Grass Arts Council's 12th Annual Gallery Show held the Pierre Chamber of Commerce.  I will be entering five pieces, and it is (apparently) a great place to see work from local artists and area high school art students.  My first foray into the local art scene.  We'll see how that goes.  To my loyal readership in Iowa, Colorado, and Guam: I understand if you can't make it, but I'm pretty sure I would give you free pots if you did.  Because that would be tight. 

Back to the pots.  Had a little help in my early morning pottings, keeping my floors clean and my feet warm.  Tempy is figuring out her place in the studio just swimmingly.  Also, I think she may be suffering from pica given how much clay I didn't have to pick up after my trimming this weekend.  Here are some pictures of what I've been up to. 
Right at home under my wheel.  Sitting on my left foot is a good place for her.  Right foot would be more problematic.  She also likes to sleep under/behind the stool, but when I get up suddenly it's a little treacherous as the stool is apt to motate.
Big blue.  This guy got decorated Monday night.  There's a picture on my phone I may try to get up here, because, really, I know y'all are waiting with bated breath.
Big whitey on the wheel, still a little wet.  Needed some trimming to help out with that thyroid issue.
Trimmed up a little.  Actually, I think I took this one a little farther even.  Why don't I have a picture of that?
All decorated and such.
All the cool pots dry themselves upside down.
So there you have it.  Some pots.  I'm going to take a break from the vases for just a little bit, I think.  Need to get back to some bowls, and get cracking on some plates and platters and big flat things.  That's the hope anyway.  Also have a number of personal clay projects that need to be taken care of quickly, too.  But not much to say about that right this second.

That's it for the pots.  Some music thoughts below if you want 'em!

I've had some good tunes in the studio lately; I've been working through my iPod alphabetically, by album title, one-per-letter.  So I started with Mutemath's 2009 release, Armistice before moving on to The Civil Wars' 2011 debut, Barton Hollow, and so on and so forth, et cetera, ad infinitum, in cognito.  Mostly I felt the need to mix it up a little and thought this was a good way to do it in a systematic, though still allowing room for preference, way.  Here's where I've been so far (all links go to AmazonMP3, except for "D."

ArmisticeBarton Hollow
The Chess HotelDarling Maybe Someday
Everglow, TheFutures
GhostsHello Hurricane
IlluminateJars Of Clay
Armistice - Mutemath Excellent sophomore release. Electronic-influenced rock for fans of Muse, Radiohead.  This is a band made up of virtuosos, as far as I'm concerned, on all fronts: guitar, bass, drums, keyboards (keytar!).  For a real treat, pick up the live DVD from this tour. Favorites: Spotlight, Armistice, Clipping, Goodbye.

Barton Hollow - The Civil Wars Debut album from alt/indie/folk duo. Blowing up all over the place. Explosive and oh, so good.  Most of this record is one guitar and two voices.  And nothing is missing. Favorites: Barton Hollow, Poison & Wine, 20 Years.

The Chess Hotel - the Elms 2005 release. Gritty, raw, roots rock.  Some amazing guitar work here, and even more amazing lyricism.  Krystal's favorite song (ever?) is on here, and I'd say it's one of my favorite guitar records.  Favorites: Nothin' to do with Love, Black Peach, The Towers & The Trains, The Way I Will, I've Been Wrong.

Darling, Maybe Someday - Tyler Burkum Solo release from Christian rock group Audio Adrenaline's ax slinger. This is a phenomenal collection of songs from the heart. Country/folk with a really subdued production.  He's reminiscent of Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers.  Favorites: Hurricane, California, Body Moving.

The Everglow - Mae This record put Mae on the map, especially with college radio and hipster, spiritual-not-religious types. Beautiful storytelling, lots of piano, very heavily produced. Rather enjoyable on the whole.  Favorites: Cover Me, Mistakes We Knew We Were Making, The Ocean.

Futures - Jimmy Eat World I mentioned this one last week. Great alt-punk record, good guitar work.  Moody music, good for late-night drives. Favorites: Futures, Work, Night Drive.

Ghosts - Sleeping at Last I've been a fan since I discovered this band on tour with Switchfoot in the fall of 2003. This is a beautifully nuanced record full of guitars that are drenched in reverb and some beautiful vocal work from singer/guitarist/pianist Ryan O'Neal (no known relation to the actor). As mood music go, I'd say it lands somewhere between Futures (above) and The Postal Service's Give UpFavorites: Currents, Skeleton of Something More, Trees (Hallway of Leaves).

Hello Hurricane - Switchfoot Tied for best album of 2009 in my book (tied with The Elms' The Great American Midrange).  Modern rock that's got spirit and soul.  I don't think I've gone more than two weeks without listening to this one since it came out.  Key tracks: The Sound, Yet, Hello Hurricane, Always.

Illuminate - David Crowder Band The broke the mold for modern worship music.  They have, at times, three guitars and a violinist.  Who also plays turntables.  They converted a GuitarHero controller into a viable midi-instrument.  Runs the gamut from experimental electronic rock to tender ballad.  Favorites: Open Skies, No One Like You, Deliver Me/Coming Toward, Stars.

Jars of Clay - Jars of Clay Eponymous debut from perennial favorites.  Classic.  This one took me for my run this morning.  The original acoustic post-grunge? Deep lyrics, rich harmonies, deft guitar interplay, lush strings.  He's not spotlighted, but Charlie Lowell's piano/organ/keys are really tight here.  Favorites: Liquid, Worlds Apart, Art in Me, Love Song for a Savior, Flood.

Briefly

This is what happened last night. Full update on my weekend potting soon.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pots from the First Glaze Firing - January 2011

A little late in arriving, my official slides of the pots from my first glaze firing back in January.  I think there may still be one or two not quite represented from this batch, but this is the majority (of the good stuff).  Enjoy!

Also, I have been back into the studio - more throwing, trimming, etc.  Also, you may have noticed an updated look on the main page.  I'm not a programming genius, but the Blogger platform has made it pretty easy to get a nicely customized design.  I'll hopefully be outlining the major additions soon - in the meantime, poke around and enjoy the pots!

For the record: have been digging Jimmy Eat World's 2004 release this evening while working on this stuff.  Takes me back to college.  *sigh*  Not that I'd be willing to go back.  Great chapter of life, wonderful time, but I'm over it.  With the exception of bills and responsibilities and putting in more than 12 hours of obligatory commitments during the week, adulthood is a far better place to be sitting.  Just my two cents.
Futures
Futures, Jimmy Eat World: really haunting collection of alternative pop-punk, or whatever it is.  Very good album that's worth going back and taking a listen to.