the Winter 2010 Ceramic Collection

Just picked up my pottery from the studio, where Frank does a wonderful display job for the whole studio…

Just table after table so we can compare glaze results and asdmire and ask questions to the assembled masses.

I’ve been working on those handled vases, a refined version of them I’m very happy with.  Here’s this crop.

And I also kept working on my quatrefoil bowls, which please me immensely.

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Published in: on December 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Shop locally (locally to me, at least)!

Okay, these people opened up this year and already have a direct link to my checking account.  David and I both love the eclectic mix of antiques and modern, functional pieces featured at Smith & Chang General Goods (www.smithchang.com).

And I would have said that even before they started selling my pottery there (honestly, check my Quicken log.  Smith and Chang has it’s own category).

Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  

This year’s Studio Tour

I was joined by Steph and Phil and Rob for this year’s Jersey City Artist Studio Tour.   How could it not have been a resounding success surrounded by such talented friends?

A closet full of vases…

A table full of bowls…

Some of Phil’s photography (www.roamingpixels.com)

One of Steph’s giclee prints (www.bookteacher.com)…

Just some of the art Rob had on display (www.crutonia.blogspot.com)…

Join us next year!

Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 12:11 am  Leave a Comment  

The first handle vases complete; or, The Wonders of Glaze!

So, all of the studio work for the winter session was fired, and we gathered en masse for the unveiling today (very exciting results from the new oxidation kiln… I’m looking forward to using oxidation next session.  All of my pieces were fired in reduction still, though, so these colors are one-of-a-kind.)

Here’s the whole studio’s output:

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Out of which I was able to find my six pieces…

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Now, before we look at each piece’s close-up, don’t you think we should compare them with how they looked before the firing?  Let’s go piece by piece, shall we?

Remember this piece?  The last of the symmetrical handled pieces…

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Add glaze:

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Then we started going asymmetrical…

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More on that theme…

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Glazed simply…

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Another asymmetrical piece…

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Notice especially a happy accident which happened to the bottom of the handle on the left side…  I wasn’t paying much attention on these early pieces to the internal connections within the ribboning.   Look what happened where the handle separated slightly.  I love it!

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It actually adds support and an airiness that I like…

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Then we did the over-the-top, God-reaching-for-Adam vase…

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Glazed (notice how there’s some movement, or slumping, of the handles, which change the relationship a bit, and how the ribboned handles hold glaze, sometimes enough to create a nice glaze drip or bubble)…

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And finally my studio mates convinced me to break away from the linear plane on the handles…

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Which glazed seems to auger well for the pieces I left for glazing next session, don’t you think?

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So there we go.  Thanks, everyone, for the input on glazing.  Let’s see where this new direction takes my work, okay?

Published in: on March 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm  Comments (2)  

The last of the red clay handle pots…

Next session I may switch to porcelain for a challenge.  Also, I want to start making these vases in smaller form (these below are currently over 15 inches tall, which is difficult for firing…)

Let’s go through the process together one more time, shall we?  All together now, we start with the rough pieces…

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Then we trim them…

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Then we fuse them together…

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Then we look through the handles we made the previous week…

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And we let our imaginations run wild…

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But now we do something new!  These pieces are not exactly the easiest to turn upside down to look for my signature, so I’ve made two signature stamps.  I pressed out a bunch of stamped signatures…

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And then had to decide where to put them.   First I tried on the front of the pieces, near the handles or near the base…

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But that didn’t seem right, so I removed them and then found the perfect spot… inside the upper rim!

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These will be glazed in the spring session for firing with the new oxidation kilns, so it remains to be seen what color palette I will be using.  Hope you enjoy!

Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 5:50 am  Comments (1)  

This week’s home game!

Starting with these two vase bases…

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And these two neck flutes…

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And these funky extruded pieces I formed last week…

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What would YOU come up with?

I had no idea.  But then, playing around with the pieces, first I made my first piece which doesn’t have the handles exclusively in a single plane…

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And then there’s the piece I made which according to my fellow potters is a “Creation of Man/God reaches for Adam” vase…

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Published in: on February 16, 2009 at 5:16 am  Comments (1)  

Well, I never saw these coming…

What am I making with these composite vases?  This is an entirely new direction for me, and I am loving it.  I started these last week, and I threw the four separate pieces…

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Which I then trimmed this week, and paired together…

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and joined (here’s the shorter bulb, taller necked piece)…

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Now, last week, I also went a bit crazy with the clay extruder, and I formed these handles, which have been setting up over the week so I could work with them…

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I had no idea what I would do with them, and didn’t know the lengths of the pieces, or how they would work together.  But, well, here’s what I put together tonight…

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Here are those handles again.  Maybe this can be like those pictures in Highlights For Children… can you spot all of these handle pieces in the final vases (and, yes, I wound up using all of the pieces.  I hadn’t planned on it, but I really liked how they developed)?

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I will take any advice on how to glaze.  Any at all.

Published in: on February 2, 2009 at 4:09 am  Comments (2)  

It’s the engineer in me…

So, when I was getting my engineering degree, a teacher illustrated the process of being an engineer (as opposed to a scientist) as the ability to think logically for the first few steps of a project, and then taking a leap three steps forward without having to show the intervening steps.  You build the confidence in your theory or calculations early on and then just take them to the next level without having to show all calculations.  I think that’s what I’m doing with my pottery all of a sudden.

You saw me start working last year on composite vases as a way of getting the body shape I wanted with the height I required, something I didn’t want to do in a single pull of clay.  Then I started working with the clay extruder to make my own handles.  Then I started trying to think creatively about the handles and move beyond the traditional.  My new concept is to work either symmetrically or asymmetrically about the negative space created by the neck of a piece and how to employ the handles. 

Look what this hath wrought…  all still in the initial setting up phase prior to the bisque firing, so they may not survive, but the fact that the cantilevering made it through the week is encouraging. 

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What?  Let’s see that from the other side, shall we?

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These take a lot of work and care along the way.  But I hope they are worth it.  Here are some action shots (can you see Patrick Swayze just behind me?  And can you sense that I’m telling him to get the heck away from me before he knocks my arm and I have to go all exorcist on him if he ruins this piece?)

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Are these the first photos of me on this blog?  I think they may well be.  Maybe I should look up.  (I hide behind my pottery?  I live in it.  You will be in this pottery.  I cannot divide my feelings up as easily as you… or maybe I just need sleep.)  Smile for the camera.  Then get back to work.  These vases don’t just make themselves, you know.

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Published in: on January 26, 2009 at 1:16 pm  Comments (2)  

A fantastic kiln firing!

Frank has done it again… we unloaded all of the work from this semester at the Academy and WOW!  The glazes just popped and made everything come together.  This is a two-parter, if you look at the composite vases below, and the rest from this firing for me.  I’m a happy, happy potter today.  Any suggestions as to what I should make starting in January?

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An oval, footed serving dish.  And its cousin, the square, footed serving dish.  These were both made as a combination of thrown walls which were then manipulated and built onto with hand-building techniques.  Stuff I haven’t done in years, but it all comes back to you.

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Here’s a small round vase.  An attempt at a new silhouette for me…

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And two tall pieces, from when I started working in the composite style, but taller and a bit more traditional than the crazy, Ohr-influenced handles I’m working on now.  These were too large to finish in time over the summer, so they languished unfinished until now.  But so nice to see them after all this time finished.  The vase first, then the pitcher…

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Published in: on December 21, 2008 at 1:10 am  Comments (1)  

Composite vases… finished product!

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A long process, yes, but I think worth it, no?

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And one last one…

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Published in: on December 21, 2008 at 12:37 am  Leave a Comment