Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bulldog Pottery E-Card

We sent this e-card out yesterday about our upcoming event called "Cousins in Clay"
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Hello Pottery Lovers,

"The Cousins" are coming --To Seagrove, NC. At Bulldog Pottery-Gholson/Henneke & Art Pottery-Johnston/Gentithes

On Saturday (June 5), "Cousins in Clay" begins at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm and on Sunday (June 6) between 10:00 am-4:00 pm.

Seven potters -- Two Locations - June 5&6 - Saturday and Sunday - Seagrove- in central NC.
Val Cushing (Alfred, NY) and Michael Kline (Bakersville, NC) will be joining us -- Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke -- here at Bulldog Pottery.

Allison McGowan (Concord, NC) will be joining Fred Johnston and Carol Gentithes at their pottery.

We would like all of our Bulldog Pottery supporters to know that next weekend will be a very special time for us. Our teacher, Alfred University's Professor Emeritus Val Cushing, from Alfred, NY is coming to join us with his most recent pots fired specifically for the "Cousins in Clay" event.

Please take the rare opportunity to enjoy a visit with Val Cushing. Val has been a major influence on us, regarding our approach to glazes, glaze testing, and just a pure enthuisam for the alchemy of glazes.

We are very excited to be hosting our Mountain Cousin Michael Kline and our very special guests Val Cushing and his wife Elsie. The potters will all be present and looking forward to greeting and talking with you on Saturday or Sunday.

Bulldog Pottery will have a selection of our molybdenum crystalline glazed vases, along with cups, teapots, insect and fossil fish jars, and porcelain wall paintings.

Follow us on our blog and stay updated at "Around and About with Bulldog Pottery" to find out what is happening at the Bulldog Pottery studio.

Bruce and Samantha

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Bulldog Pottery
Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke
3306 US Hwy 220 Alt North
Seagrove, NC 27341
Bruce's cell 336-302-3469

Monday, May 24, 2010


All important ingredients to a fantastic and productive Sunday at Bulldog Pottery

Sieving and making batches of glazes is always one task that comes before every glaze cycle. We currently are using around 45 glazes, but we have had over 100 on our shelves. Glazes go in and out of favor for one reason or another, and we are always dreaming up new colors, and hoping for that one glaze that we have never seen before. Do you remember that song by Huey Lewis-- "I want a New Drug"? This is our theme song during days like today. Bruce and I sing this in the studio, but we sing "I want a new glaze".

Maxwell's job is an important one, and that is to keep a keen eye on his ball which at this moment has rolled under my chair.
Definitely in her element these days, Gloria has become one with the sunflower.

Garden May 24. Tomatoes are in, eggplants covered with row cloth and we are eating chard. Bruce picked shitakes off of our logs this morning. There is a stir fry in our future.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cousins in Clay June 5 & 6, 2010

We are in the throws of glazing now for Cousins in Clay. This is always such an exciting time for Bruce and I. We so enjoy pulling out our vases with our iridescent crystalline glaze. We will be working on some cups and wall glaze paintings plus some other pieces like teapots and mushroom jars with insects on them. Stay Tuned......

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pot Jam in D.C. at Hinckley Pottery

We started the evening off on top of Nancy Oneill's apartment building Saturday evening before going over to Hinckley Pottery. Nancy has been taking classes there and is now making the glazes for Hinckley. Hinckley Pottery is located downtown Washington D.C. and is a place where you can sign up for 10 week 2.5 hour classes during the year. There are 5 different instructors besides Jill Hinckley, and classes can be taken during the week with children's classes offered as well. Hinkley Pottery has been there for around 20 years, you can read about Jill Hinckley here (also if you click on the other instructors faces you can read about them too). Her partner Susan is the other 1/2 of Hinckley.
The crowd for the Pot Jam numbered around 45, and all were enthusiastic about pottery and seemed to enjoyed the 4 demos that we gave simultaneously. People went from wheel to wheel to see what we were making, all of us doing something different.
I think the four of us enjoyed giving the demonstrations as much as they enjoyed watching them. I will have to admit that it was a challenge for me because this was the first time throwing in front of so many people. I have had a lot of practice talking with Bruce in our studio here at home while throwing, but not so much in front of an audience.

Sam Taylor's Hands
Mark's Hands
Samantha's Hands

Bruce's Hands

Bruce's and Sam's Hands

This was Sam's idea.

Mark just finished editing a new book that will be coming out in August about Karen Karnes.

Can't wait to get our copy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pot Hop in Washington DC

Bruce Gholson, Sam Taylor, Mark Shapiro, Samantha Henneke

We had a great time this past weekend. Met new and wonderful people. It was such a thrill for Bruce and I. We have seen Mark's and Sam's work for years and it was a treat to meet the artists behind the pots. We brought home some of their work for our collection. Bruce is holding one of Mark's mugs in his hands. We had to slow down our visits to Sam and Mark next door because we kept wanting to bring something new back with us.

Below is our work displayed in the home of our hosts, Cass Johnson and Matt Radford. They were incredibly generous, and we thank them muchly for their warm hospitality. They had this amazing garden, and now that I am home I thought I had taken more pictures of it, but I only have a few. I was totally taken by their beautiful roses, and they had such a sweet scent. I sat in their garden and relaxed for quite a while examining our pots making future creative decisions.
We passed out Seagrove maps and found many people excited about visiting us and the other potteries in the future. There were many that have heard of Seagrove and wondered if it was the center? Well, we are all the center of our own universe I think, and well yes frankly we are very near the geographic center of North Carolina. There is a marker around 5 miles south of us in Star.
We set up a table in Cass and Matt's garden. I like how our crystalline looks in the day light.
Here I am (below) in their living room. A beautiful baby grand that was refurbished and put back together. Thinking back, I should of tried sitting at it, but I'm not sure why I did not. One of these days I will pull out my electric piano from its case. Not quite the exquisite piece of furniture that Matt and Cass have. I played the piano when I was a kid and Ed and Gloria replaced our piano with an electric one when I went to college. I love listening to music and picking out the piano chords.
Here are a few of our pots out in the garden.
Wonderful windows that lets the light in and views of the garden.
We hopped on down to Sam's and Mark's place frequently, where their host was Mark's sister, Judy and husband Rick. Sam has a wonderful selection of t-shirts. We recognized the creator of the images on Sam's shirts as an artist by the name of Ray Troll. We need to get some new fishy, skull, and fossil shirts for Bruce. Marks and Sam's pots were interspersed with each others on the shelves, it was a great mix.
Here is a selection of Mark's work. Another slender Tall bottle maker. They remind me of Cycladic Sculpture.

There are more pictures on our Bulldog Pottery Facebook page if you would like to see some more images.
We were at Hinckley Pottery Saturday night for simultaneous demos. More pictures to come in next post.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pots, Garden, and Max

Here are some examples of what we pulled out of the kiln yesterday. We are getting ready to leave this morning for the Pot Hop and Jam in Washington D.C. See the two previous posts for details. Ed and Gloria will be home here at Bulldog to greet anyone that comes to visit the shop.
Yesterday we received notice that we were included in the list of "50 Inspiring Pottery blogs" to read. Check out Graphic Design Degrees to see the other blog authors that were also included. Pottery Cousin Mike the author of Sawdust and Dirt is in there too.

The handled urn is one that we made last year along with the Crab Urn. We switched our display around at the Visitors Center and wanted to bring the piece along with us to the Washington DC home show this weekend.
Ed and Gloria are a team. They have wanted to hang out in the garden for a long time, and now they are in their element. Their house in Blacksburg was in the woods with many trees, too much shade, clay, and plagued by deer. If the deer thought they could get away with coming inside, they would eat the house plants too. There are many positive attributes of living amongst many trees; shade, no mowing, and privacy, plus no mowing. Did I say no grass?
Garden May 13
And Max always ready for another toss.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pot Hop and Jam & Hinckley Pottery & Washington DC

We have a glaze kiln firing right now with a few pieces decorated with fish and insects. On Friday we are off to Washington DC for Pot Hop and Jam - a joint home show with Mark Shapiro and Sam Taylor. There is a Pot Jam -- four potters demonstrating--scheduled for Saturday evening at Hinckley Pottery. We are looking forward to visiting the big city and meeting new people. If you are in the area we hope you will be able to come out and see us. If you have any questions or need detail directions please give us a call or e-mail us and we will call you. Our e-mail is bulldog at
When we get back it will be full throttle onwards to Cousins in Clay on June 5 and 6!

Here is some of the info for the demo Saturday. Visit Hinckley Pottery's website for more info and directions.

Four Potter Improv at Hinckley Pottery in Washington DC on May 15-8:00pm-10:30pm
Sam Taylor, Mark Shapiro, Bruce Gholson, Samantha Henneke
North meets South, glaze meets slip, eight hands meet clay, you meet the diverse approaches of these nationally recognized clay artists as they simultaneously take on some of their favorite pots. What will emerge is unpredictable but guaranteed to be illuminating and fun and filled with stimulating discussion.

Fee: $30.00 in advance nonrefundable, $35.00 at the door.

Call 202-745-7055 for more information. Or email us at

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Finishing up in the studio!!

Well last night was the final evening of throwing for us here in the Bulldog Pottery studios. Now onto trimming the thrown pots and start glazing. I made a series of my mushroom jars which I will adorn with crystalline glaze beetles and butterflies.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

One more Day of Throwing in the Studio

We are making porcelain works for Cousins in Clay which will take place here at our place in Seagrove on June 5 and 6. We have one more scheduled work day in the studio and then we will begin to glaze. The first glaze kiln coming out on Thursday, will be out just in time to pack up and head towards Washington DC for the Pot Hop and Jam with Mark Shapiro and Sam Taylor. I am excited about the tall bottles that I am working on this week. It is a great feeling when we bump into a form that we feel motivated by. I made two of these at the end of last year and we enjoyed the way the glaze moved and looked on the tall forms, so I will continue to explore them further. I have begun to call these my Jesses. I have named them after a wonderful fellow and collector that has been adding these tall forms to his collection. He has one of the most incredible personal pottery and painting collections we have had the honor to visit. He has chosen all of the artwork for his personal enjoyment and vision. These tall slender bottles fit in just wonderfully between all of his other pots.

Below I am working on a few over sized plates. I am hoping to glaze them with a combination that we did some years back. Gloria has a couple of those plates in her collection. We think it is a great idea for us to keep work that we have made throughout the years. This helps remind us of glaze combinations that we have worked on in the past. Such pieces are a gentle reminder of glazes and processes that we need to unearth and revisit.
Bruce is working on throwing a couple of tall urn shapes using a two piece "capping" technique of throwing the top part first then adding it on to base and then throwing it further up and out. By doing this the base piece can be thrown much thinner and still support the piece, giving a bigger pot and using less clay weight for the same size. This is especially true with porcelain as it tends to fatigue quicker than stonewares do when throwing large forms.