Saturday, February 28, 2009

What are you going to do with your log?

This is dedicated to all of the Stargardens shiitake workshop participants that went home with their log full of spores.  Hopefully in 5-6 months there will be  alot of stir frying going on.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Turning for Two

We are getting ready for two upcoming events. One is the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival in Hickory, NC at the end of March and the other is a Spring Kiln Opening here in Seagrove, on April 18th. We are trying to make enough pots to fill the gas kiln twice (one for each event). And here we Go!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Seagrove community woodfiring at the North Carolina Pottery Center

Double Chamber Wood Kiln at the North Carolina Pottery Center

This is a kiln designed and built by Will Ruggles and Douglas Rankin and many workshop participants a handful of years ago.   Michael Hunt, Liz Sparks, and Sogo from Japan were assistants to the workshop.  This kiln is located downtown Seagrove at the Pottery Center and will be in action soon.  A group of potters from the local Seagrove pottery community will converge at the Center to jointly fire this kiln on April 4.  We are inviting the public to come visit with us, watch, and ask questions about the firing process.   In the afternoon there will be a reception for the closing of the The Family Business : 175 Years of pottery by the Owen/Owens.  There will be music, catalog signing, and good conversation.  We are excited about the spring and the warm weather that is approaching.  This is always an exciting time in a potter's studio.  Like the daffodils and the forsythia blooming I feel this is a period that we come out of hibernation from the wintry months of January and February and the creative juices begin to flow.  Let it Flow.

More details at the Celebration of Seagrove Potters website.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Flower Pot fundraiser for StarworksGardens

Anne, Evan, Hitomi and kids

Bruce and Gloria went down to Star to help make planters for StarworksGardens fundraiser.  Here are some action pictures of the staff and friends in action making different shaped flower pots to help fund the spring garden planting.

Santiago at the wheel


Group in Action: Anne, Hitomi, and Casey

Group in Action

Friday, February 20, 2009

Last Years North Carolina Potters Conference - 2008

Hat Thompson, Fred Johnston, Val Cushing, Samantha Henneke

Last year Gloria and I went to the North Carolina's Potters Conference in Asheboro.  We both enjoyed ourselves and had a great learning experience there, watching the three demonstrators.  The three potters were Robin Best from Australia, Jane Hamlyn of Great Britain, and Mary Law from California.  Robin showed some techniques using plaster that were very enlightening. We sat right in front of her so we could catch the details.  
Val Cushing was in attendance for a Sunday lecture with Norman Shulman and Ben Owen III as the moderator.   It was great seeing him again and it was fun to get an Alfred alumni picture.

Robin Best

Mary Law

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

22nd North Carolina Potters Conference in Asheboro

Alleghany Meadows 

Bruce, Gloria, and I all signed up for this years Potters conference in Asheboro, NC.  Asheboro is about 15 minutes north of us, and this 3-day conference is one of the best annual clay get together in the state.  One of us always signs up to go, and this year we decided to treat all of us with a special Valentines present.  Ed drew the short straw and has to stay home to keep the shop open and mind the manor.   

The presenters demostrating are Alleghany Meadows, Mark Pharis, and Phil Rogers.

Dwight Holland and dedicated volunteers organize this conference with the Randolph Arts Guild.  Highwater Clays sponsors the Friday night dinner.  Thank you Brian and Gail McCarthy!

The Sunday lectures are dedicated to the memory of Dorothy and Walter Auman.  This years Sunday lectures will be by:

Alleghany Meadows - A Survey of Alternative Fuels and sustainable practices 
Nancy Utterback  director of the City of Boulder Pottery Lab - Green Ceramics and sustainability
 Anthony Schaller -  Red Lodge Clay Center - Marketing Clay Using the Internet
Mark Pharis

Phil Rogers

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Help Starworks Garden with Spring Planter Fund Raising Event

Angela, Eddie and Phil of Wet Dog Glass helping Adam put up the greenhouse

Where: Starworks, Star, North Carolina

When: February 20th and 27th 4:30pm-7:00pm

Dear everyone,

Central Park NC is planning to have a fund raising for Starworks Garden in this spring, and it's going to be "planter/ flower pot sale" event.

In order to have enough planters, STARworks Ceramics want you all to come join Planter/Flower Pot Workshop in our clay studio and make pots together. We offer studio space, lots of cone 6 clay (Brownstone by Highwater Clays), bisque&cone 6 firings by electric kiln. You can do hand building and wheel throwing. Let's make pots as many as possible. If you don't have much/any experience for making pots, we give you instruction and demonstration. Children will welcome.

Workshop date will be on Feb 20(Fri) and 27(Fri)4:30pm to 7pm. Drinks and snack will be prepared, but it would be great if you bring food for friends. We will let you know glazing day later on. Firing will be scheduled sometime in March. Pots will be sold at the event in this spring and all profit will be used for Central Park NC program fund. Pot sale event details will be announced soon.

We hope you to join it and thank you for supporting Central park NC fund raising.

Thank you,

Hitomi Shibata

STARworks Ceramics

Anne in the new StarGarden Greenhouse

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Pox on my Agate Yunomis

O.K. I have been called out by the blog master himself, Michael Kline.  My agate ware experiment, of which I was highly confident in a successful outcome, humbled me mercilessly.  It is one thing to feel confident in private, but to share that confidence upfront as a blogger to the world is a little too revealing.  And then to get caught in a cover up....thanks Michael. Because the agate post was a while back, the temptation to ignore the outcome was easy for us to do.  But oh no, people actaully do read this and remember.  

Here are the results of the agate Yunomis.  One of the clays, the darkest I used, could not reach the temperature that I fired these cups to.   The dark clay bloated.   I should of known this because in previous use, a very long time ago, the dark clay was obviously riding the edge. Luckily I did not fire them all at once, and I now have quite a few pieces too develop a lower temperature glaze for.
Ed was elated that he gets to keep these cups for his own use.  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bruce's Yunomis for AKAR 2009

These are Bruce's Yunomis for the upcoming AKAR Yunomi Invitational.   They are a mix of sprigged skulls and slip trailed fossil fish on red clay with thin layers of our crystalline glazes.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Samantha's Yunomis for AKAR 2009

Here are my (Samantha's) Yunomis for the upcoming online exhibition at AKAR.  They were exciting to do because I took the opportunity to try some ideas that have been peculating in my head.   It was pleasing to have some of them come out successfully and they will pave the way for further explorations on other forms.

The AKAR Yunomi exhibition opens up on March 27th, 2009.  This will be an online sale.  Interested parties should register ahead of time, before the mornings opening, because the pieces sell swiftly.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bruce Gholson's Wood Fired Flattened Bottle

Bruce Gholson, wood fired flask, 18" x 7.5 x 4.75"

This flask was fired in David Stumpfle's large wood kiln some years ago. We try to hold on to examples of special pieces that we have made, and this is one of them in on our collection. I love the way that the carving makes the bottle look indented and lobed following the curve of the lines. Bruce used one of his stone flakes to carve the pattern and texture.

David Stuempfle is a potter that lives near by that makes great pots. He sells his work from special kiln openings during the year. Visit his web site's gallery to become acquainted with his statuesque pottery.

The other side of the wood fired flask.
Detail of the wood fired flask

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stone Tools in the Bulldog Studio

These are flakes and broken projectile points found in the area.  Over time they have become some of Bruce's favorite combing and carving tools for clay.

Bruce really likes the irregular line quality created by the serrated edges, different sharp angles, and undulating curves they provide.  Below, Bruce is carving an agate tea bowl with a small stone tool.   There is something very satisfying about working with these relics as clay tools.  It is funny how as potters, we so frequently look at objects around us for their potential use in the context of manipulating clay.   Our studio is filled to overflowing with objects we are still evaluating for that potential, also known as clutter. 

Below is the finished carved agate tea bowl.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

From the Tomato Hole

These are some of the finds that we have lucked into on our property.  Bruce was digging a hole to plant a tomato plant in, and these six pieces came out of that one hole.  This grouping seems to be a matching set of choppers and scrapers.

Here is a close up of one of the scrapers.  Bruce is intrigued by the agate like surface coloration and wonders where the material was brought in from?  The surface seems to have oxidized  and the inner core is actually a greenish grey color with a glassier quality.

Here is a flaked edge that shows some of the inner color.

These two pieces were in a hole several feet from the first group.  Since finding these treasures we have not found any more stone tools.  Maybe I should "plant" some more pieces to entice Bruce to keep digging for our garden?