Friday, February 26, 2010

Nancy Sweezy Died at 88 Years of Age

The pottery world has lost another great. This article shows how much life Nancy Sweezy lived and should help to serve as an inspiration for all in the ceramics arts community.

New York Times article.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

High Fire Under Glazes

I've been doing some research - actually, mostly just search- for high fire under glazes. I've been using mostly Amaco Velvet under glazes which work very nicely in low fire but I have a project in mind that would require firing to cone 6 and some of the Amaco colors burn out at high temperature. A smart person would listen to people like John Britt and do a lot of testing. I'm either not that smart or not that patient or both. So I thought maybe I could get some feedback from readers as to your experiences. I'd appreciate it and I'll give you feedback on my results which could save some testing for everyone.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yosuke Koizumi

Atlanta Clay hosted a demo with Yosuke Koizumi last night.  They also had a pot luck which helped to bring almost every potter in a 100 mile radius to the store.  It was crowded but fun.  This man is amazing.  The demo is an advertisement for Shimpo wheels and the huge bowl he threw at the end of the demo proved the strength of the product but what was most amazing to me was to see how quickly and how well he can throw beautiful pieces off the hump.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Time To Make The Pottery

I've been very busy making pots lately because I have been accepted to the 17th Annual Spring Arts Festival sponsored by the Glynn Arts Association and the Inman Park Spring Festival plus I have sent out some applications to other markets that are happening in April and May.  I want to be sure to have enough pottery for a nice display at each show.  I know April seems far away but considering it takes about 3 weeks for a lump of dirt to become a wonderful piece of pottery the time is short.
I'll be attending a workshop with Ryan McKerley at Mudfire this weekend; it'll cut into my creating time but I'm sure it'll be worth it.  Look for a review on my other blog early next week.

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Friday, February 12, 2010


After reading Jen Mecca's Pottery Blog about her quest to get non-commercial Valentines cards for her kids I started thinking about what commercialism means to me.  This is something I think about often as an artist trying to sell my work and as a consumer.  Yes, I hate commercialism and I see my art in a completely different realm as Hello Kitty wares.  I really don't think promoting my art is anything at all like how commercialism jambs stuff down peoples throats and is always in our faces (and I don't even own a TV).  For Valentines Day my partner and I generally share a romantic dinner for two and really remember to appreciate each other.  To us, that's a great way to spend the love holiday.  However, my father earned his living for many years selling greeting cards.  Valentines Day was a huge money maker which was supposed to provide the majority of the income in our house until Christmas or at least Mother's Day.  Fellow artists know the feeling, a big show or sale is often the primary source of income for the better part of a year.  I don't know if anyone still makes a living selling greeting cards store to store anymore.  And I was really glad to hear that Jen was able to find environmental and socially responsible cards for her kids.  I just got to thinking about how the really commercial holidays impact the small family; I thought I should keep that in mind before I reject these events.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

How To Get Motivated To Work

I love creating pottery; that's pretty much a given since it's my chosen career.  But yesterday I was feeling a little tired and unmotivated.  I putzed around, cleaned up stuff, played with the dogs and checked email six times... you know, the normal procrastination stuff.  I talked myself into taking some time to rejuvenate.  Then I opened the mail and found the acceptance letter to the Inman Park Festival.  I immediately jumped on the wheel and threw pots until dinner.  There is nothing like a great opportunity to get me motivated.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Christmas in February

A few of my friends get together every year to have a white elephant party to celebrate Christmas.  We've started meeting after New Years because it's easier to co-ordinate schedules and some of the best white elephant gifts can be found on sale at that time.  The idea of the white elephant party is that you never know what you'll get.  It may be a really nice gift, it may be a really funny gift.  Of course I like to give pottery because I don't have to go shopping to get some. 
Here's Jay LaVie and John holding the "No Wingnuts" mug.  I don't think they took it personally.
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Over Reporting?

I'm an NPR junkie, I'll admit it.  I love the in-depth reporting, I like that they try to present both sides of a story and I really love "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me."  However, some times I think they, like many other new programs, over do a story.  I am also a loyal Toyota driver so that may be part of my thoughts and feelings by all the coverage of Toyota's problems of late.  I don't expect that the extended news coverage is really going to make my 1999 Tacoma lose it's resale value, and frankly, I don't care.  I'm not planing to sell it anytime soon anyway.  But yesterday I hear an interview that Renee Montagne had with Chris Arnold who agreed that the problems with the gas pedal is not something to take lightly, especially since is has caused a tragic loss of life but Chris did the math and determined that someone is 30 times more likely to get struck by lightening than to be a victim of a faulty Toyota.  So why are we not hearing even 1% of air time dedicated to how to remain safe in a thunderstorm?

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tom in the City

I live in a section of the city of Atlanta known as East Atlanta Village.  It's part of the city but with it's very own flavor and culture.  We have bumper stickers that say "Keep East Atlanta Weird."  It's why I fit in so well here.  But still, every now and then I get to enjoy a new level of weirdness.  Yesterday as I was walking from the village I happened to notice the new animals at my neighbors house.  I'm used to dogs and cats, I even understand having birds as pets but this guy was a little larger than I expected.  Although I must admit, he has some pretty colors.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shino Tea Bowl

I love shino glazes but I struggle with them also.  I seem to have a difficult time getting them to come out just right, it's the nature of the glaze.  However, I also love a challenge so I have a difficult time not dipping a piece into a shino glaze bucket.  Sometimes I'm happy, sometimes not so much.  This tea bowl is one of the pieces that makes me really happy.  Per Pottery magic "...to the tea masters, a glaze such as Shino with its uncontrollable pin holing and crawling is considered beautiful and pleasing."  The kiln Gods were smiling on me, the tea masters might even like this one.
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Monday, February 1, 2010

First Raku of 2010

The day dawned with a bright sun that we have been unused to seeing here in Atlanta the past few weeks.  The forecasters even promised that it would be relatively warm.   This seemed to be a good day for a raku party but it's unusual; normally we fire in lousy weather.  The kiln Gods and the sun were shining on us and we had a great firing with no breakage.  We even fired some test pieces with nice results.  Maybe we should start firing on nice days.
Here is a vase with Rick Berman's Turquoise glaze.  I'll be posting more images on my FB fan page.  Not a fan?  Go to Future Relics Fan Page and become one.

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