Monday, December 21, 2009

Semi Productive Weekend

This new pitcher form is I think just about right. It was thrown in two sections inspired by a video I saw of Linda Sikora on the craft in America website. I feel that, as Linda talks about in the video, throwing in sections really ads a lot more potential for interesting forms. I like the clean break between the belly and the neck. I think this is pretty much my ideal pitcher form and I will definitely continue to work with this process.
These new mug forms are essentially the hand cup "yunomi" style cups that I showed in my last post, but with a handle. Although these cups are originally inspired by Tom Turners cups I feel like I am slowly moving away from his design. After visiting Tom it has been really hard for me to break away from his influence, probably because his pots are so good! My main influence for putting a handle on these cups was from Don Sprague. Don has started to work with making tumblers/yunomi/whatever out of the same form as his mugs. I think that this is a very cool freedom because it allows you to do what the pot calls for, rather than deciding right away whether it will have a handle or not.
I have been working towards throwing larger forms, this one is about 6.5 lbs and about 9x9 inches. I like the form a lot and will probably leave this with no surface decoration and save it for the wood kiln. I find that the wood kiln helps to emphasize a good form while the electric kiln can make them very static and boring.
I have been making a lot of jars recently simply because that's what I feel like making. I tried out some new ideas on these two and I am reasonably happy with the results.
All in all I would say that I tried out some good ideas this weekend and have some good stuff to go off of. I am still working on getting up the second "journey of a cup" post which SHOULD be up in the next week or so.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Journey of a Cup

First the cups are thrown on small square bats to a gauge. The bats allow me to leave them on bats but not take up alot of space. The gauge alows me to throw them all to pretty much the same size.

when the cups are soft leather hard (next day) they are paddled with a textured paddle to a pentagonal shape. They are then stamped with various small stamps on each face. Then they are turned over and allowed to dry to leather hard before trimming.

Not all of them make the cut!

Once leather hard they are trimmed and allowed to dry the rest of the way
Keep an eye out for the completion of these cups. I will post my glazing process and then a picture of the fineshed set!

Keeping On

I've been keeping on in the studio trying to make some pots for my portfolio. I'm also trying to make a lot of pots because I find that when I unload a kiln all my pots are traded away or sent off to shows. I don't care to much about using and living with my own pots, but I think that it is good feed back to be able to use your pots and see what works and what doesn't. Aside from these pots I've got a bisque to hopefully unload tomorrow which should eventually leave me with some of my pots to keep. Ive been working on testing some cone six glazes so that I can become less dependant on wood firing. The only reason being that I have somewhat limited access to wood firing and I want to be able to finish more work. Also I think it will be cool to be able to have more control over my glazes and more of an idea how they will turn out. I am currently working on a very runny transparent amber glaze and an off white satin mate to use together. I have also been working on a celedon but after many frustrating tests has been put on hold. I have recently been working on making "My pots" as opposed to copying others. This is one of the reason I tried out the over the top handle on one of the teapots. I like the idea but the form needs a little tweaking. I feel I have some good ideas for making this new handle work, which is good and I am excited to see how they work. which handle do you like better? I also just threw these two lidded jars which I think I am going to try some new types of fluting on. That's all for now but I've got a post coming of my process of making cups from start to finish.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Home Made/ Found Tools

Tools are a very important part of being successful at whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. When it comes to pots, lots of very good tools can be bought at pottery supplies stores (mud tools and van guilder) to name a few. Although lots of tools are readily available sometime found objects can be used and or altered into a tool. Pretty much anything metal found in a hardware store can be used in one way or another. Door knobs, hacksaw/jigsaw blades, and drill bits are some of my favorites. Also wooden dowels work really well to carve into a stamp. Making your own tools, in my opinion, is a very important step into finding your own voice or style through your pots. Pretty much anything can be used in some way to aid your making process and seeing something where others may not can lead to amazing pots!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I just got some fresh pots from the wood kiln. Thanks to Mark Terry I was able to get a few pots into a recent firing at his Noble Hill Anagama. Marks kiln is built on his parents Christmas tree farm near Verbort Oregon. This was my third time firing at Marks kiln and every time has been awesome. I got a few other pots out of the kiln that I will post some pictures of soon. These two pots are the two that I have selected to enter into George Fox Universities High school Art North West show. The deadline for submissions was today so I had to photograph the pots and burn the images to disc(well thank you Amy for doing that) and then drive the disc up to Newberg to GFU. I cant complain though it was definitely worth it to get these two into the show!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Don Sprague Workshop

A couple of weeks ago I attended a workshop by Don Sprague at Chemeketa community college. It was a two day workshop from about 9-4 on a Saturday and Sunday. Don demonstrated many of the forms he makes and gave a brief slide lecture. The workshop was awesome and I was very intrigued the whole time. Among other pots Don demonstrated

A very large platter (about 30 inches)

A square SureFormed bowl

A large Square salad bowl

A Large Pitcher

The workshop was great and I learned a lot from Don. Don is a great potter and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the future.