Thursday, July 31, 2008

Paper Clay to the rescue

We were busily loading a kiln last night.  In the above picture Bruce is cutting paper clay to size in order to place under one of his pieces.  Some of our glazes can be very runny and we need to have something to put under them to protect our kiln shelves.   Having paper clay sheets on hand to cut for placing under the pieces in the kiln is what we have figured out in dealing with this issue.  A quick brushing of kiln wash makes them slightly plyable and lay flat.

This is our elderly pooch Moka.  Patiently waiting for us to take him home.  I will introduce our boy soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Glazing skulls and bugs,

We are busily getting ready to load a glaze kiln today. Bruce is brushing the glaze on his skull vases. The Skull heads are hollow so he needed a smaller brush to get inside. I just asked him if he found it hard and he reported back with a "yeah, it was tedious poking the brush through the eye sockets and trying to get an angle enough to get it all glazed on the inside." I agree.

Below I am finishing up one of my insect jars with a small brush. I am adding another color for the bug's eyes. I always get a bit of a neck kink when I glaze. I try to remember to get up and walk around through the day. The garden is a great place to stroll and there is always something that needs water.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Before and After

We have been glazing this past week. I have been working on my insect jars. Some of these pieces will selected for our upcoming AKAR show. We will also be selecting a few pieces for our upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh (scheduled for the month of October).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bulldog Gardens

Here is one my recent photo shots from our garden. Ed and Gloria have been doing an incredible job in the garden this year. By this time of summer, Bruce and would be threading our way through a tangle of weeds in the garden to see if anything is ripe and ready to pick. It is amazing what one can grow admist thigh high weeds (we called it bio-intensive). I much rather have a garden that looks like this. Mom just loves working in it. She is in her element. Me too because I can now go out into it to observe the insect life there without worrying about what will drag me down below the undergrowth.

Here are some recent pictures Gloria's and Ed's Bulldog garden

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Getting Ready to Ship

We have selected the first six pieces to send to AKAR. At the beginning of the year Bulldog Pottery was asked to be featured artist for the month of August 29 - September 19 month. The two studio potters that will be showing their new works that month are Sequoia Miller and Sam Taylor . Before we pack and ship the pieces to Iowa, we like to document and take the measurements. Make sure you check out Michael Kline's recent show at AKAR. If you like the looks of the caliper Bruce is using he bought it from Garrett Wade tools. This is one of his favorite catalogs to peruse in the morning while waking up with a cup of coffee.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Introduction-Ed Henneke

My dad.
Ed retired last year from the Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) department at Virgina Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. He was a professor and researcher for many years and then became Department Head of Engineering Science Mechanics. The last six years at Virginia Tech he was the Associate Dean of Engineering.
Dad grew up in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. One night when we were watching The Wire he bounced out of the seat exclaiming, "That is my home where I grew up and there is the awning my grandmother was so proud to put in place!!" Very Cool.
Dad would stay the summers with his grandmother. Great grandmother May lived on Bush River right down the street from my mom. He met mom there at Bush River when he was 12 and she was 8. I love that story.
Both my dad and my mom are very excited about retiring here in Seagrove. They love growing vegetables and the day to day living around Bulldog Pottery.
Bruce and I are excited to have them around!

Glaze sieving!

Friday, July 25, 2008

North Carolina Pottery Center

Fossil Fish Jug by Bruce Gholson
15 3/4" x 10 3/4" x 10 3/4"
$600.00 plus shipping
All proceeds (including the shippng cost) will be donated to the NC Pottery Center

The North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, North Carolina will close its doors if it does not raise $100,000 in the next two months. Since the writing of this appeal $20,000 more has been collected, making the total donations thus far, $30,000.

Bruce and I have chosen the above Fossil Fish Jug as our support piece for the Center. All proceeds collected from this piece will be donated to the North Carolina Pottery Center -- a non-profit organization. We have decided to do this in response to the letter that was written by a group of dedicated supporters for the Pottery Center. They have mailed out an appeal. You can view this letter in its entirety at Michael Kline's blog, Pottery Center Appeal. If you would like to purchase this piece from Bulldog Pottery, mail the check to us but make it payable to the North Carolina Pottery Center. For address and contact information go to Bulldog Pottery.

If you are not a member of the NC Pottery Center please Join!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Carolina Arts reviews Native American Art Exhibition

North Carolina Pottery Center

I read a review of the Native American Art Exhibit this morning by Tom Starland, Editor/Publisher of Carolina Arts . He visited the Native American Art Exhibit at the North Carolina Pottery Center. He wrote a great review of the exhibit. We have always enjoyed picking up a copy of the Carolina Arts whenever we see it at museums and art centers. We remember reading his How to Write a Press Release a long time ago. It is a real hoot. Tom Starland has done the Arts in the South and North Carolina a continued good service by publishing this Arts newspaper. Thank you.

Please Join and become a member of the North Carolina Pottery Center.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Introduction-Gloria Henneke

My Mom
My mom and dad have retired and moved to Seagrove, North Carolina. She has been enjoying her summer in the garden (When the bugs aren't biting her). Unfortunately for her, she is one of those very sweet ladies that the bugs can't do without. My mom was born in Maryland and grew up on Bush River with her 6 brothers and 1 sister--all older than her. From Maryland she lived for a short spell in Florida (where I was born) and then up to Blacksburg, Virginia for the next 37 years. Between taking care of my brother and I, working as an executive administrative assistant at Virginia Tech, cooking wonderful meals, and everything else she is involved in, she truly lives up to the nickname her mom gave her -- Goey. It is wonderful having my parents living here with us. Tomorrow I will introduce my dad.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Celebration of Seagrove Potters

This is the location for the first inaugural Celebration of Seagrove Potters. We will be selling our pottery under the roof of the historic Luck’s Bean plant in Seagrove. This is a pottery sales event organized by the Seagrove potters featuring the Seagrove potters. Bruce and I will be displaying our works here. Bulldog Pottery will not be doing the Seagrove Pottery Festival at the Seagrove elementary school where we have been for the past 8 years.
Most here in Seagrove are very excited about coming together as a community of working potters and taking control of our future. The Seagrove potters live within a 20-25 mile radius of a town called Seagrove. We live in one of three counties -- Bruce and I live in Montgomery, and the other two are Moore and Randolph. There will also be demonstrations, local music, food, children's activities, and a pottery auction. Please come and join us the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 22nd and 23rd. The hours are Saturday 9:00-6:00 and on Sunday 10:00-4:00.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Skull Amphora

 Bruce's newest creation.  
He gave the skull heads a nice dental cleaning before putting them on the vase.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Decorating my covered jars with attached sprigs, using a mix of red clay and porcelain.  I really do love making covered jars--my favorite form.  I have left spaces on some of the lids around the leaves for me to cuerda seca an image.  The sprig molds were made during the beginning of spring when the leaves were starting to poke their heads out.  Now I wish I had made more.   Alas, I will need to wait until next spring for the leaves to be little again.
Bruce likes to sprig too.  Here is his spider skull!  

Note: Warming Up:  I posted an image of my finished covered jars.    

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Yesterday Gary Brewer, an excavator from Westmoore, began to dig the 6 foot deep trenches for our geothermal system being installed by Comfort South.  Gary is the husband of Nancy Brewer, she works with her brother Boyd Owens at Original Owens Pottery. We will be using a geothermal heat pump to cool and heat our new home and studio. We were thrilled when we came out of our studio to find the variety of clays and materials that were coming out of the ground.
 It is amazing the quick change in the material veins. Colors ranged from a rich maroon to white.
Bruce is compelled to get samples of the various materials for testing in clay bodies and glazes. Very exciting!!! Ben Owen III just told us that the white material is sometimes called "Buck Taller" locally.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

North Carolina Pottery Center

The North Carolina Pottery Center is located in Seagrove, North Carolina. Their mission is promoting an awareness of North Carolina's Pottery Heritage through exhibitions, education, self-guided and guided tours, outreach, and visitor services.

I visited the North Carolina Pottery Center yesterday. They have a wonderful exhibit up right now called Contemporary Pottery from North Carolina's American Indian Communities and Contemporary Catawba Indian Pottery. The exhibit will be on display until August 23rd, 2008. 
To see more images of this show you can go to my Flicker page.

The Pottery Center is a wonderful museum filled with old North Carolina pots and new ones too. It also has top notch rotating exhibits three times a year. Like all non profits these days the budget is tight. They are initiating a membership drive to get them through these times. Please consider becoming a member of this wonderful organization. They have a secure site on their website! Please Join!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Warming Up

I threw a bunch of covered jars yesterday.  I plan to throw feet onto these jars.  I will try to remember to take an image of them after they are done and we will get to see the difference in their shapes.  These jars are the last series I will be throwing, for now.  I feel I am finally warming up to the wheel again.  It always seems like as soon as I loosen up and get a rhythm going we have to stop and glaze so we can have pieces ready for a show deadline.  Bruce and I are going to need around 18 pieces to send to AKAR by the end of this month.  A great gallery over in Iowa City.  It has a wonderful online presence with lots of good pots to see.

July 15 --  Just finished my jars today.  I threw feet on all of them.  Pretty funky.  I hope I don't get too much cracking around the foot.  I have had this happen to me before.  Bruce suggested that I dry them on two pieces of paper so the jars' feet don't hang up as they shrink.  We will see.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Introduction -Bruce Gholson

Hello, This is Bruce with our dog Moka.  Bruce grew up in Stillwater, Oklahoma and discovered clay at Oklahoma State University while majoring in biology.  He dropped everything but his Evolution class and focused all of his energies on pottery.  He ended up at the University of Georgia in Athens, and graduated there in the late 70's.  After that he worked in Berea, Kentucky as a graduate apprentice and then settled down in the hills of Floyd, Virginia.  He found himself going back to school at Alfred University for his masters degree and now here in Seagrove, North Carolina!  Wow what a jouney in clay he has had.  He is an awsome clay worker and has a creative mind (I'm allowed say that because I am his wife).  He loves to search for arrowheads, fly fish, watch vampire movies, and read science fiction.

Skull vases

Bruce has been making vases for "dead flowers"  though I think live flowers would look wonderful too!  He has been getting his hands dirty with the red stoneware clay.  He usually throws the stoneware and red clays down in Star where we rent extra studio space.  He finally released his wheel here at home from a porcelain clay only rule and just went for it.  We have been so busy around the property with our new home and studio construction that he has not had time to go to our studio in Star.