I’ll be at Vine Bakery and Cafe selling mugs Friday, February 22, 5-9 pm and Saturday, February 23, 10 am – 4 pm. I’ll be offering three mugs styles, pictured below. Prices will be $18 for students, $22 for non-students. For those flying in for the event, Vine is at 627 N Main, Gainesville, Fl. I look forward to seeing you @ Vine :-)
I’ll be selling work at the District Clay Center Spring Sale, on Saturday, May 5, 11 am – 4 pm. The event will be at DCC 2414 Douglas St NE, in the District.
Almost 30 potters will be selling their work. I’ll be selling mugs and bowls of the varieties shown below. Please join us!
Yesterday, I delivered several dozen new mugs to my home cafe away from home, Vine Sourdough Bakery and cafe, in Gainesville. Most of the mugs are from late 2017 and early 2018 firings, though a few were fired as far back as 2015. I’ll now sit back at Vine for a few weeks and enjoy being around others enjoying — hopefully — my mugs :-)
Vine customers will be able to purchase some other mugs at Vine, on Friday and Saturday, February 23 & 24. Sale details will be provided in a subsequent post.
Two late January glaze firings in the District Clay Center gas kiln were successful enough that I will be able to bring a slew of pretty nice new mugs with me to Florida in early February.
I’m still having issues with two key glazes — White Salt and Woo Blue — but I’ve successfully substituted Leach White for the former and have simply deemphasized the latter, for the time being. I’m also getting excellent results with Blue Black (essentially VC AA Blue Green, but with bentonite) on a particular mug shape that I informally call Thin Curvy. Examples of both Leach White and Blue Black glazed mugs are below.
The Florida-bound mugs will be distributed to friends and at Vine Sourdough Bakery, some for Vine to utilize for customers, some to sell on a yet to determined date in mid-February.
It can be a challenge to fire an unfamiliar kiln for the first, or even the fourth, time. The Bailey 34/22 at the District Clay Center has been no exception.
I’ve now fired the DCC kiln four times and am still a long way from understanding, not to mention mastering, it. Unlike all the other kilns I’ve fired — which were essentially slightly elongated (vertically) cubes — the 34/22 is a decidedly tall column. I’m still trying to figure out how to manipulate, or at least coax, it with the ideal mix of gas and air.
The kiln has some cool spots, which I’m only beginning to identify. Also, it has a large and very efficient exhaust system, which does a terrific job of sparing the studio from firing fumes, but also obscures one of the key ways I’d grown used to “knowing” a kiln: through the smell of exhaust escaping from it.
As a result, glazes that I’d grown to fire with ease have been very fickle, resulting in about a 50% success rate. My refuse collectors are no doubt getting tired of the weight of my rejects-laden garbage can :-(
Still, I’m starting to get some keepers out of the kiln, the most notable of which are as follows:
A lovely workshop with Gay Smith at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill (TCA), on Cape Cod, ended today. The 5-day workshop, called Fresh Approaches to Functional Pots, was a hands-on affair, and while I attended Gay’s morning demonstrations, I spent the afternoons working on work from home that couldn’t wait. I also had time to enjoy uniformly spectacular early summer Cape weather — mid 70s, sailing breezes, remarkable light — and buzzing Provincetown, before the arrival of the full summer crowds.
The TCA has been offering workshops since 1971, but this is the first year it has been able to provide accomodations to workshop participants, thanks to the recent acquistion of 11 acres and several buildings about a mile from the main campus.
Gay’s inspired instruction, a wonderful living space, and an attentive TCA staff, made for a terrific week on the Cape.
The Alfred firings marked the first time in about seven years that pots of mine were fired by someone other than me, in this case Alfred ceramics graduate students. Given the super high volume of pots fired during the workshops; the heavy utilization of a new kiln; and the availability of almost exclusively glazes unfamilar to me, I was very pleased with some of the results. Particularly successful were one tall jar and some darkly elegant cereal bowls.
As noted, the March 2017 Morean firing also presented its challenges, in this case of my own making. Nonetheless, it was not an entire fiasco. I was particularly pleased with the results of a new tallish, concave mug form that I intend to explore further.
I’m now back in the studio, beginning production for at least one firing in the DC-Baltimore area this summer and two in St Petersburg later in the year.
Feeling the need to at least temporarily remedy my state of relative creative isolation, I’ll be attending two July pottery workshops at Alfred University in Western New York. Situated about an hour west of Ithaca, Alfred features arguably the country’s top academic clay program.
I’ll be combining a two-week workshop — led by Linda Sikora and Matthew Metz — with the last two weeks of a four-week workshop, led by John Gill and In-Chin Lee. Sikora and Gill are professors in the Alfred ceramics program. I’ve long been familiar with the work of Sikora and Metz; Gill and In-Chin Lee, not so much.
Hopefully, the month will provide experiences and benefits I wasn’t expecting. At a minimum, I’m looking for some serious creative recharging, and some bald critiques of my recent work. And, unlike all my previous workshop experiences — which were the traditional 3-day, weekend affairs — this extended program will provide me the opportunity to apply new things on the wheel in the more long-term presence of the sources of instruction and inspiration.
Beyond the clay, I’m looking forward to some pastoral biking in much less than 99-degree temperatures; a meal or two at Moosewood; a couple of minor league baseball games in Auburn, involving the Pirates’ New York-Penn League affiliate; and perhaps a day at the roots and zydeco-tinged Grassroots music festival.
The best results occurred in what I’m calling the “Graphic” and “Shino Blacksplash” mugs, captured in the front and back rows, respectively, in the accompanying photo and in the first two of four images on Page 1 of the Mugs gallery page.
Mugs similar to these, out of the same March firing, will be on sale at Vine from April 10th through the 17th.