Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stone Tools from the British Museum

 Stone Tools on display at the British Museum
Neolithic Axes from around 4000 BC
The top ax is called a Jadeite axe-head.  There is more info on this piece at the British Museum's website.

I took these images at the British Museum for Bruce.  Bruce loves looking at stone tools and will often scour the ground around our home for anything of interest. I am always amazed at his ability to locate arrowheads (mostly pieces) and other treasures from the ground.  Or when he points to the pond and says do you see the fish? He describes the location for me to look at, and as hard as I might I just don't see them. He says look the dark shadows you can see them moving.   I can locate Moby, but that is easy, just look for the white shadow moving around on the surface.

The next two images are of the same grouping but from different views.  These are assorted ax stone tools.
  I wish I had taken a picture of the description tag.    
As usual we always tend to reference things in terms of pottery and these are inspiring in terms of form and surface.

This stone tool below is a Levallois Ax dating from around 200,000 years ago.

Wow.  When Bruce and I saw this we were in awe.  To be looking at something that is this old and beautiful makes our legs quiver.  In the book "The Atlas of Archaeology" by Mick Aston & Tim Taylor,  I read that this shape and type of tool dates back to around 1.5 million years ago when a new evolved species of human called Homo erectus spread from Africa to the rest of the world.  The earliest stone tool pictured in this book is from 1.9 million years ago and is called Oldwan Chopper.  These tools are simple in shape and are hard to distinguish them from naturally broken and cracked pebbles in the field.

Here is the Paleolithic Hand Ax that we saw at the British Museum.  This is about the only image that I did take and image of the tag.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A little Bit of This and That at Bulldog Studios

As I finished my jars and pitchers Bruce was asking me questions and trying to get me to remember something that I did 10 years ago.  I walked into the other room and found him sitting and sorting through an old bag of clay tests that I did during my years at Alfred University.   I shared the work with a woman named Sandy Lance. She made the tests up and I added the water and made them into little buttons (one set for her and one set for us) and then she fired them.    The clay below bloated.  Pretty darn cool.  Bruce fantasized how it could be possibly used in future work.  
He asks me what does B mean?  A?  Where is the formula? What type of firing?  Yikes, well I hope I have the info somewhere.

Below are the jars and pitchers that I had under wraps this past week.  They were waiting to be finished, while we had shifted gears to work on our Yunomis for the upcoming show at AKAR.
These are medium sized pitchers.   This size would work well for bringing a little juice or water to the table.

I found Gloria out in garden getting the ground ready for early spring planting.  She is planning on planting some beets, spinach, peas, and lettuce.  

Ed and Gloria are wanting to put in asparagus.  I am not sure if it will happen this year.  We don't know where we want to put it.  Maybe on the lower side of our house.   We are so jealous of Jennie and Wes's asparagus beds.  Aren't they beautiful?!   

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Decorated Yunomis in the Green Stage

We have finished decorating our Yunomis.  These cups are Bruce's.  He turned three different clays together which we call agate.  We found that using smooth small particle clays that mature at a similar temperature, and of course similar water content works well for us.   Sometimes Bruce will layer clay up and let it age in a bag together so that the clay is consistent when he turns it.  He applied a few skull sprigs and insects on some of them.  The others will have slip-trailed fossil fish.  We plan on using our flowing crystalline glaze for these.

These cups are mine.  I threw them out of porcelain and then applied a red clay slip.  I carved and did a wash away technique to reveal various designs.   I also plan to use our flowing crystalline glazes on these.  This will be the first time doing something like this under our glazes.  I made plenty so I will have many to pick from.  I am excited as to where this experiment will lead us.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Samantha and Bruce Trimming their Yunomis

We are trimming our Yunomis.  One more day of finishing work and our teabowls will be ready to set out to dry.   Looking at these images reminds me that we need to step back away from the wheel and rotate our necks.  No wonder we have neck aches in the morning.

Sometimes the agate is so beautiful on the foot we don't know where to or if we should sign it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bruce Gholson's Yunomi's from 2008

Here are the 5 Yunomi's that Bruce sent to AKAR last year.  Ed fell in love with the above Yunomi with skulls and planned on buying it the day the show opened.  Unfortunately the piece was already sold by the time we were able to log on.  Which was too bad for Ed, but great that someone liked it as much as Ed did.  The teabowl sold during the first 15 minutes that the show opened online.
The upcoming Yunomi Invitational 2009 will open on March 27.  Last years show, AKAR invited over 150 artists to send around 6 Yunomi's each.  You can view this show online at their website.  

The image below is a close up of the bottom of the foot of the Yunomi above.  I really like how the different clays are swirled together.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yunomi Deadline Causes Change in Plans

Bruce is working on one of his Yunomi's for the upcoming Yunomi invitational at AKAR
We thought we would have time to make enough pots for our reduction fired gas kiln, but we looked at the calendar and realized "no way".  Quickly, we are changing gears to throw teabowls and focus on getting these done for the upcoming Yunomi invitational at AKAR. We wrapped our pieces really well that we we were working on for the gas kiln and pulled out some different clays.  Bruce is focusing on some agate Yunomis, and I am focusing on porcelain yunomis and plan to decorate them with red clay slip.  These will be fired with some combination of our flowing crystalline glazes.  There is nothing like pushing a deadline to the end.  Bruce and I find ourselves in this position more often that not.

** Yunomi - a form of tea bowl, being taller than wide with a trimmed or turned foot, without a handle; made for daily (or informal) tea drinking. 

Bruce is trimming away the surface slurry to reveal the different clays 

These were turned using three different colors of clay: porcelain, red and a deep brown

I am throwing porcelain in the image below

I like throwing with white clay.

I am trying to get enough teabowls to work with.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow, Snow, Snow.... in Seagrove, North Carolina

We woke up this morning to an unusual beautiful view aspect for these parts.  Bruce is walking down towards me sporting his snow boots that we purchased when we lived in Alfred, New York.  He does not get to wear them very often here in Seagrove, North Carolina.   I am amazed that he was able to find them.

   Yesterday was Gloria's and my big day out in the city of Raleigh, shopping at our favorite grocery stores and running some house errands.  The stores were packed and lines were long.  I was wondering to myself, "What is the deal?"  I pulled the last vodka red sauce off of the shelf and Gloria grabbed the last Alfredo Sauce.  (Some of our favorites from Trader Joe's)  As I was checking out, the cashier said are you looking forward to the snow?  This was the first I had heard of real possibilities of snow, and did not really believe that we would see any.   I proceeded to tell him my LONG snow/thaw/snow story from Alfred (not quite sure if the person behind me enjoyed it, I am sure it slowed down checking out).  

Well, this morning we woke up to a blanket of snow.    We wanted to share some of the images with you of our property.

Our Home

Old Chicken House, We are hoping and planning on  "rebuilding" some day.  Well, maybe a few sections of it. 

Our pond and old animal shed.  I love images with leaning poles.

Our garage.  It needs a little repair work too.  Our property is filled with beautiful decay.   

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Owen/Owens reception at the Pottery Center

There was a great turn out yesterday for the reception of the Owen/Owens : 178 years of Pottery, at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, North Carolina.   Wonderful exhibition and definitely worth a visit to see this display of pottery.  I know that we will be going back to take a closer look at the work in the near future.  

The cars filled the parking lot at the North Carolina Pottery Center

Inside the NCPC the visitors had a great time talking and looking at pottery.

The crowd joyfully listened to the old time music played by the Owen/Owens and friends.

Stay tuned for the next round of pictures.  Posted soon here with Samantha and Bruce at  Around and About with Bulldog Pottery's blog.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Layered Icicle Fountain Cake at Gary Spivey's Star Hotel Bed and Breakfast

We worked down in Star yesterday.  Bruce spotted Gary Spivey's water fountain lavishly iced in a white crystalline glaze.  I grabbed the camera when I went home to bring back lunch.  I wanted to document this unique sighting.  We don't usually see sights like this here in Star, the geographic center of North Carolina.  Gary erected this fountain last year with a rose garden surrounding it.  It stands in the yard on the side of his Star Hotel Bed and Breakfast.  

As Gary always says "More is More".  His fountain has now turned into a layered Icicle Fountain Cake.  Maybe he could do this for the next wedding that takes place at the Star Hotel Bed and Breakfast?

The side view of the Star Hotel Bed and Breakfast in Star, North Carolina

The front of Star Hotel Bed and Breakfast