Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the last Four days

what could i possibly say about the last four days i've had... it feels like i jumped onto a horse and took off. although i seem to be making pots all the time..it's been quite a spell since having the luxury of a 4 day, personal art making... binge. Since last Saturday I've been practically living in this space..only coming home to eat dinner or sleep. it's as if i were back in school.. so today i'd love to share with you..the incredible thing that is so precious: studio time. i think a lot of people out there take studio time for granted. at least I have in the past. what an amazing thing to have an area, that's all yours to do whatever it is you want? i felt like a freakin kid.. to see a pile of clay, two tables, two wheels, a big ole rolling rack and all the tools I could need. maybe this is what lots of people go through when the "you finally started working in that insanely better studio then the one you had before" phase. is this normal?

i'd also like to share a fun experience i had late last night...

this story is about how that cylinder came to be. i prepped some clay for a board of pitchers late last night..the clay was awesome... some was a little too stiff, but for the most part, i dried that clay out pretty close... on the last cone of clay, for the last pitcher, i finished my pulls and just said to myself..nah..no pitcher.. how bout a vase type cylinder. i decided to pull it once more..get it really thin.. it was a tall, maybe 14", with a wide mouth, small shoulder and the neck sprung straight off the shoulder at a 90 degree to finish straight up with a thinish lip. Once it was cut, i picked it up and gave it a little shimmy shake/flip-i-di do-da to get a little extra movement in the clay..and to my surprise floppy clay totally..collapsed on me. i tried in vain to pull the rim back up and out..but couldn't do it..so in a flash of desperation i grabbed the form at it's base and flipped it upside down. the cylinder extended back out, looking really awesome....but it was so soft (and upside down) i couldn't do anything but..stand there. if i tried to flip it right side up..it would just flop again. so i'm holding this freshly thrown cylinder, upside down..looking for the answer to fix this problem..because i was not going to let this thing go, dammit!.. and at the same time i think of Takeshi Yasuda( that's his website..and this is a youtube video of him) and some work he did..which was basically, the same thing i was going through... thin porcelain ..that's collapsed and upside down. What I ended up doing was shoving it between my two tables, still hanging..so i could get a torch on it. It worked.. hah... and here is the piece earlier today.. getting ready for it's bisque firing on thursday. i really pushed this clay around. what gets me about this.. is that there's no other way that this thing could be. i couldn't make this pot again if i tried for years... it really just..happened. one happening after another. this is the first time in a long time..when i've really felt.. a deep down connection with something i had just made. i could say that i was yearning for this cylinder to succeed and to be something.

a board of pitchers, one with some rope impressed design. i love pitchers. these and teapots i make the least of.. but i just know if i spent some time making many more..they could get soooo good.

Here's some Clennell inspired handles- bobby style. they feel really nice to hold.

Most of the pieces here are going into a Anagama next weekend. It should be totally awesome. And all this month i'll be showing you guys what kind of bad-ass woodfiring is going on in the great state of Montana, USA!

(chanting of "U-S-A" can be heard in the backround)


  1. the rope impressed pitcher is dead. the handle had a significant crack towards the lower attachment. r.i.p.

  2. That's a cool story about the porcelain pitcher. What a save!! Have you ever seen Michale Sherril's upside down pugmill/wheel contraption? It allows clay to be shaped without gravity as an obstacle--kind of like what you experienced once you flipped the thing over.



  3. ohh that sounds cool. i haven't seen it.. know where i can find some images/info? i googled it..but coulldn't find anything.