Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Moka Glaze

,Last week we unloaded a series of Moka Glazed pots from the gas kiln. We sure have had a busy time here at Bulldog Pottery. We are happy with the results and always enjoy unloading this soft and buttery smooth glaze. The silkiness of this satin matte is so inviting to the touch. The variety of glazes we as potters can acheive amazes Bruce and I. We can formulate a glaze to be rough, shiny, bumpy, sparkly, transparent, and on and on. We are so excited to have Val Cushing our teacher from Alfred coming to join us this year for "Cousins in Clay". I sat in on his clay and glaze calculation class three times when I went to school in Alfred. Once for the credit, and the other two times just to sit back and take it all in. Val is a master of glaze and clay knowledge, and so good at presenting the material in a clear and comprehensive manner. He has also prepared an excelent manual/workbook that is incredibly helpful in understanding the materials and how to use them for clay and glazes.

No matter how we try to schedule our time we end up getting into a wicked crunch deadline when loading this kiln for some reason, and this recent one was no different. The last couple of days and nights I glazed and decorated most of the pots, hence all of the dots while Bruce washed and waxed and loaded the pots into the kiln--reminding us that we need to exercise.

We have been focused on organizing Cousins in Clay this year. Gloria and Ed have been designing a website for the event and they also have designed an ad that we placed in the Carolina Arts for the next two months. They are becoming the Bulldog Graphic Design team. If you pick up a Carolina Arts newspaper and see the ad in it for the month of April we wanted to let you know that the dates are a bit off. We printed the dates from last year 6 & 7 and not this years which are 5 & 6. It is funny, but no matter the amount of proofreading we did, something as important as the dates got by us. We will continue to work on the website and add other links soon. It is an exciting work in progress.

Here is Ed and Gloria polishing the feet of fresh pots that we unloaded out of the kiln. Maxwell is trying to entice them into a little ball play.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


We have been making pots.
Now we are in our crunch time of washing our pots, waxing, glazing, loading, firing.... We are looking forward to having some new pieces in our shop here in Seagrove. Here is a picture of Bruce lightly sanding down the edges of the horse design I drew on his rimmed bowl. This is a wash away/carving technique that we have started working with as a way to decorate our pieces. I started playing around with this process on the Yunomis I made for AKAR's Yunomi exhibition last year, as well as, this year's Yunomi exhibition. We are looking forward to designing some more pieces using this process. The above rimmed bowl was thrown by Bruce especially for me to try this out on. I drew horses on one of the bowls and crabs on the other.

We are preparing for the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival that is coming up next week on March 27. Bruce and Ed will be going to Hickory together to set up our display and sell pots. I am going to be setting up our work at the Moore County Arts' Campbell House during the Palustris Festival in Southern Pines, while they are in Hickory. I will be there along with Bobbie from Thomas Pottery, and Charlotte from Humble Mill Pottery. We all will be taking turns giving demos.
Gloria will be watching the Bulldog Pottery shop.
Below I am waxing the lid on one of my covered jars. It can be tedious at times but once we get into a good flow and rhythm I can get a nice clean line.

This is the collaborative horse platter as it came out of the Moka glaze kiln. Bruce is working on it in the first image of this post.
Detail of horse platter.

Friday, March 12, 2010


We were looking at some photographs that we took in the morning during the last snow here in Seagrove, contemplating the composition, colors, and reflections. We look at and are inspired by similar scenes, feelings, and emotions that painters are, but instead of painting what is in our minds eye, we make our art and express ourselves through mugs, bowls, pitchers, vases.....Functional every day objects. It is interesting and very challenging to be in the position of trying to bring out some of these feelings/memories to an everyday object. I think potters have an important place in today's world. We can bring texture and visual/tactile sensations that the owner of the object can enjoy and share.

The oldest ceramic object known, excavated in 1925, was the Venus of Dolni Vestonice from Czechoslovakia which dated back to 23,000-27,000 BC. The first pot made is thought to be from the Joman Period in Japan. The first Joman pottery shards from a single vessel has been dated at 16,500BC. (Info extracted from the article "World's First Pottery Created in Joman, Japan")

There is something magical about viewing life upside down.