Saturday, August 22, 2009

Vases, etc.

This week I delved into some porcelain pieces. More bowls, some creamers, tumblers and the vases above, which will get trimmed up a little bit and I'll update with some photos. The vases below were part of last week's production. I'll update with a photo of them once they're trimmed as well. It's been so humid that it takes forever for the pots to dry out.
I'm beginning to find a rhythm within the three days a week I have to make pots for this firing. I try to make pieces the first day that I can leave out and trim on the third day. The humidity sometimes throws a spanner in the works, but pots are getting made and ware boards are filling up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Taste of North Cackalacka

I've had a pair of bags of North Carolina clay that have been in storage until today. They date back to my trip to Penland back in the Spring of ought eight. Upon leaving Penland, I packed up my poor little corolla with loads of pots and clay full of ideas and enthusiasm for making pots from the "wild" clays from the workshop. Now I'm finally getting around to doing that. I cannot wait until it's dry enough to become pottery. I remember using commercially produced clay for the first time after the Penland workshop in which we used mostly dug clay. The clay from the box seemed so sticky and tight. The slipcast clay that was being used where I worked felt closer to wax then clay. I was surprised that the difference felt so stark.
Well now that I'm again aclimated back on the clay from a box, it's time whet my appetite for that southern clay. I mixed up a small batch with some Mitchfield, Cameron, OM#4 ball clay, a little local earthenware for iron and a dash of feldspar.

The bag of Mitchfield or Aumond Pond clay I have is full of some serious quartz rocks. Here's what I screened out.
The clay mixing was my morning and in the afternoon, I made a couple of sectional vases. It took me a long time to make these. I'm finding that I'm a pretty slow thrower compared with most potters I know. Yesterday I made 43 pots, I pretty damned good day for me. In less time then that took me, Malcolm made 98. Alas, he's truly a master potter and I'm somewhere way below that but it's something I need to work on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Turnpike Road Pottery

Today I started making pots at Malcolm Wright's Turnpike Road Pottery for a wood firing in September. Since I work four days a week for vegetable farm (Walker Farm) I only have three days a week for the August to make pots for the kiln. But Malcolm and I threw pots all day long so we're getting there. I made some 1.5 and 2 pound bowls to get used to the clay since I usually use a different body. By the end of the day I had a board of bottles that will get flattened a little tomorrow. Despite the beautiful weather outside, it was a great day to be in the studio slinging some mud.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quechee Aftermath

So the show in Quechee was pretty much a bust. I didn't make booth despite the beautiful Saturday weather. I found that the slow sales pushed me to interact more with the browsers who did happen to stop by and look at my work. It felt as though if I just told them a little bit about myself and the work they'd be more likely to buy something. In one or two cases this worked, but mostly people were not there to buy things. It was pretty discouraging. I came really close to packing up and leaving at the end of the day on Saturday after selling one lonely bowl the entire day. Sunday picked up a little, but it was still dead. I certainly won't be back next year, but I did learn a lot in the process.
At any rate I got some photos after we had set up on Friday. Above is the whole booth complete with "shabby-chic" dirt flooring. Below are some detail shots.

Here is my beautiful wife helping me out. Quinn is the retail manager in a very hip store in Brattleboro called Altiplano. I credit her for making my booth look so good.
These are newer porcelain blue-and-white pieces you've seen in previous posts.
Now that this show is done, I'm working in Malcolm Wright's studio to help fill his wood kiln for a September firing. I'll get some photos up shortly.