Monday, November 23, 2009


Top from left: Amy Burnham, Tom Turner, Ron Linn, Denis Miners
Bottom from left: Don Sprague, Don Sprague, Scott Mackey, Jeff Campana

Mugs are one of my favorite kinds of pots. Whether made by a mentor, teacher, friend, or just a potter that you admire, mugs are an intimate pot that communicate to the user. I believe that mugs communicate the makers personality and their personal style. While mugs seem to be a somewhat basic form, a lot of thought and planning goes into a well designed and made mug. The lip, handle size and shape, the shape of the mug, and the size of the mug are just a few of many considerations that I think of when making a mug. My point is that mugs are very commonly over looked as an economical or bread and butter pot. (they are made to sell). I believe that this is wrong. Mugs are usually one of the cheapest items a potter sells. With the recent desire for Japanese inspired pottery in the American society tea bowls and yunomi have become very popular forms. While I do appreciate the value of these pots I believe that they are a fad in America. I believe that a mug is the real "American tea bowl" even though American potters are selling tea bowls and yunomi for two and three times as much money as mugs. This is disturbing to me because the original beauty found in Japanese and Korean tea bowls was in the simplicity of them. The American society has turned this tea bowl form into the exact opposite. These are just my ideas, what do you think?

Friday, November 20, 2009

'wedgin' wire

On wednesday I made this wedging wire. I have been contemplating buying one from georgies, the local ceramic supply, but decided to try to make my own. I am very greatful that i did because the one at georgies was about 75$. I made mine in about 15 minutes for less than 20$. I found all the matterials i needed at my local home depot. The design is pretty straitforward, a wire at an angle ontop of a table. I used some twisty bolt things, scientific term, to tighten it and that was pretty much it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pots in Process

small covered jarslarge-ish pitcher
I worked a little in My studio on my Wednesday off from school. I finished up some pots made during this past weekend. I have been working on developing a good pitcher form and most have had this stamped and pushed out deco which i like. I think I like a split rim better than just the flat one. Also I think I need to leave a foot to trim. I like the extra stamping around the bigger stamps and I think I will continue to do this.
The covered jars were both made at the same time so they were sort of a little mini series. It is odd how when working in a series the pots change usually for the better. In my mini series the jar on the right was thrown first and the one on the left thrown second. Even from just making two the second jar was a little more bulbous and the shape a little better. Also the lid was a bit smaller which is what I wanted. The funny thing is that I decorated the one on the right second. This resulted in it having more decoration. I do like the simplicity on the left one though. All in all I think I learned a lot from these three pots and will continue to refine my ideas.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Redux Kiln on the way

I have recently taken on the project of building a small propane reduction kiln. The kiln has to be made on a cart to be transported from inside to outside due to school regulations. This posses several problems. First off the kiln must be a very stable and simple design to be able to be moved without dammage. The cart also introduces size limmitations.
I eventually came up with a plan for an about 7 cubic foot softbrick kiln(with the help of many people). The kiln has one 100,000 btu burner.
I am waiting for the shelves to arrive before i can fire it. The first couple of firings will be of all refiring woodfired pots. This is because i have a general idea of what these glazes should look like at the right temp. and right amout of reduction. I also have lots of pots that need to be refired from previous expiriments.
I hope to be able to fire soon(I will as soon as I get the shelves) and will post more about the kiln when I do fire it.

Bison tools

I recently purchased my first ever bison trimming tool. Phil puburka is making the tools out of his studio in las vegas. I have heard of bison tools by recomendation of countless potters. I have wanted to purchase my own for a long time and finally decided to. The reason that this is a big decision is because the tools are over $50. This sounds like alot of money for one single tool but it is well worth it.

First off the tool itself is a work of art. Great craftmanship is shown from the blade and throught the handle. Also the tool performs supirior to any tool i have ever used before. The blade will stay sharp for years. This tool will outlast any other trimming tool by at least five times the amount of use. And at ten dollars per regular trimming tool this justifies the cost.

I am very satisfied with my tool and would recomend it to anyone in search of never buying another trimming tool again!