Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Sale This Saturday!

THE TURNPIKE ROAD POTTERY
38TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY SALE
SAT. DECEMBER 19
1-4 PM
EVERYTHING DISCOUNTED

MALCOLM WRIGHT
ROB CARTELLI

MARLBORO, VT
802 254-2168

www.theturnpikeroad.com
PLEASE CALL FOR DIRECTIONS

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanks E'erbody

Thanks for all those who came out for gallery walk last Friday and stopped by our show. We had a lot of peeps stop by and we "put a hurtin" that block of Grafton 3 year. Thanks for all those who took some of my pieces home with you. Thanks to all the folks who I didn't know before but got to meet and talk about my pottery with.
It feels so great when someone else enjoys what you make enough to give you money for it. For me it's not so much the financial incentive to making a sale that I enjoy (although don't get me wrong, I like and need money to pay bills), it's the reward of hearing some say why they like a particular piece or even just one small part of a pot; the feedback is what I mean. It makes all the little decisions that all potters stress over in the studio that just as easily get ignored feel appreciated.
If you missed the opening, don't fret the show will be up through December 23rd.

Monday, November 30, 2009

FRIDAY IS GONNA ROCK

This come our to the Brattleboro Gallery Walk and make sure to stop by Through the Music Gallery for the opening reception of my show with the talented Marias (of the Perkins and Chambers kind). I'm going to pick up some Grafton Cheddar Gold for the event, so first come first served.
Friday, December 4th
5:30-9:30pm
The show will be up through the 23rd of this month, so if you miss the opening stop by later.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

new slides!

The incredible John Polack delivered my photos on Sunday. At some point I'd like to get to the point where I can take some of my own photos for the blog and my website, but I know they'll never look this good.







Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Party Preview

The somewhat impromptu Scary Home Companion Arkestra will be performing Halloween-related songs at Mike and Emma's. Here is a sneak peak(look for me on bass):

Monday, October 19, 2009

Crack!

As addictive as the making of pottery can be, sometimes it can get aggravating. Recently I've had some issues with cracking. It happens sometimes at the bottom of my porcelain bowls and is usually horizontal; it tends to aline with the direction of the throwing. It happens in the drying of the piece or in the bisque so it's not a glaze fit issue. I'm wondering if I throw them too thick and am not trimming of enough. I'm going to try throwing them off the hump and see if that changes anything.
And now a different kind of cracking that occurred in the wood-firing. Of the clay that I mixed up I made some bottles, vases, and low wide bowls. Six of the ten bowls did this:
This cracking I'm thinking is definitely a glaze fit issue. These bowls were glazed with a thick coat of temoku only on the inside. I probably won't be mixing this clay up again, so I know just to make vases out of the rest of it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Snaps from the Wood Firing

Here are some of the best pots from the firing. These stoneware bottles with green runny glaze are made of the clay I mixed up from North Carolina and Vermont clay. I love the color of the clay and the stray quartz rocks that made it through the screening and show up as white chunks.
The following are some white slipped with some wax resist and stain designs.


This tall bottle is one of my favs from the the load. I didn't do it justice with this photo, but it stands tall and pround. When I'm throwing big sectional bottles I try for a higher "belly", maybe "chest" works better here. There will definitely be more of these in the future.
A canteen.

These porcelain and flashing slip tumbers are some more favorites. Quinn was helping me sort and price and chipped one of these so it's now the newest member of our cupboard.
A few faceted whiskey cups.
I made a bunch of these porcelain bowls with the inlay lines and was super excited to see that they came out nice and clean. I was a little worried that the fly ash would show in the glaze, but this clear glaze eats it right up.
My clear glaze doesn't usually craze like it did on a few bowls. They seemed to be in the hottest spots of the stack and probably recieved more ash than others.
A smaller bowl.
An out-of-focus sugar bowl and creamer set.
Underneath the lid
Under the creamer
One of my favorite line drawings to make, albeit time consuming.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sneak Peek

A couple of not so great pictures for y'all. At any rate, we unloaded the kiln today and for the most part we were all happy. There were of course some mishaps, but some beaut's as well. More pics to follow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

While The Kiln Cools...

We loaded up Orv's kiln and fired it a week ago now. Tomorrow we'll unload. I've uploaded a couple photo's from the decorating, loading and firing. I'm looking forward to opening the chambers tomorrow, but am keeping my expectations in check. I've found that I can't open a kiln hoping for what I think is the best. When I do that I find that I feel somewhat disappointed, but after "hanging out" with the pots days and weeks after the firing, there are things about the pots that I had dismissed at the opening that later become beauty.

These porcelain vases received some stencil-wax-stain decoration that's new. I'm really into this form and love the proportions on some of them. In the past when I've made these there was no foot at all the wall of the vases went all the way to the table surface. These sort of hint at a foot and I'll probably give them a little more the next go round.
Now you don't see 'em


Now you do

I've been messing around with stencils and wax for about two years and whenever I go to decorate a bunch of pots at once I wish that there was a quicker way; it just feels so slow to wax around some of the animal stencils that I use. I used mostly just these circle stencils to make this go a little quicker this time. I found that I could get a nice grassy look at the bottom of this vase sans stencil, which I believe means I ventured into brushwork that I'm usually very hesitate to commit to a piece.


Here's Orv loading the second chamber.

Here's the third chamber almost completely loaded. The majority of my pots went into this part of the kiln.
Some serious spider webs over the ware racks in the kiln shed.
Around noon on the day of the firing. Orv fires his kiln in reduction so there's a lot of black smoke that billows from the stack and from the blow holes pictured below.

Some vids:
video video
I usually have the first shift for firing Orv's kiln which begins around 8pm and goes to about 1 am. It's a nice quiet time. A great time to simply organize your wood for the next stoke, have a seat, listen to the cracking fire and think.
When I start stoking the first chamber pyrometer reads 200 or 300 degrees, by the time 1 am rolls around it's reading somewhere around 1200 degrees. Orv will show up and take over for the deep night shift. The next day Matt Tell and Grayson take over at 6 am and start stoking the first chamber. Steve Procter and myself take over at noon and finish the first chamber and start the second. Then it's up Rosti and Michael to finish the second and start the third. With most of my pots in chamber No. 3 I helped organize wood and stoke until cone 9 was down in the cool part while cone 13 is over in the hot spot. One of my favorite parts of wood firing is just after the kiln has been clammed up and everything's set to let the glowing pots cool that we can sit down together and have a beer and visit in earnest unencoumbered by the focus devoted to the firing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Inlaid lines



I wanted to share a bit about decorating using a inlay technique. I put lines around the rim and doodles on the feet of bowls and other porcelain pieces using this process. I start by brushing on some wax in a band around the rim maybe two inches wide. I usually do a couple boards of pieces at a time so when I'm done waxing the last piece, the first is dry and ready for the next step. Using a needle tool I scratch through the wax and into the clay. I usually have the piece set on a banding wheel for this so I can turn it at a slow pace. I go for a wavering line, I want a little "action" between the lines (insert crude joke here). Once the lines are scratched I brush off the crumbs and then brush a colored slip into the lines. I use slip left over from throwing mixed to taste with a mason stain. Because the wax has been removed in the lines, the slip wants to hang out in there as the pieces absorbs the slip's moisture. The excess slip stays on top of the wax and is therefore easy to wipe clean, like so: