Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fresh Pots! North Carolina Mountains here we come!

We are just about all ready for our road trip to Michael Kline's Pottery in Bakersville.  A bit more packing and clothes collecting and then we are headed to the NC Mountains.  Bruce is on the phone right now with Michael, making sure that we have everything packed up. We need to grab our box of shims.
Overall the firing came out really splendid. We are excited about the glaze on the mug above. It has an incredible iridescence and it works beautifully on stoneware as well!  A lot of exciting possibilities for the next firing.

These are images of the pottery that is all packed up now and in the van. We have heard a hurricane is coming up the coast. We hope it doesn't mess up too many art and other events that are happening this weekend, and that the folks on the coast will be safe.

We hope to see you at Michael's this weekend for red beans and rice, hand made by Michael's father in-law! Rain or shine we will be there for the first annual Cousins in Clay weekend in the Mountains.  Here are the directions to Michael's.

 We sent out our e-card a couple of days ago. Here is the link to Bulldog e-card.  If you would like to be on our e-mailing list you sign up for it to the right of this post.  We also have a Bulldog Pottery facebook page where we share what we are doing and other information or interesting links. If you want to "like" it and follow along that would be splendid.

Cheers to all of you blog readers and thank you for checking in on us to find out what is going on here at Bulldog Pottery.

We lost one of the jars below (big one bottom right) when cleaning them up. A lid decided to fly out of Bruce's hands and right into a bowl taking it out too. These accidents happen.

This is one of Bruce's shino fish bowls

This is one of Samantha's plates decorated with a swirl pattern

This is the other side of the plate which is decorated as well

Bruce will have a few of his fish mugs too.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Finishing up the glazing

 We are just about finished with our glazing, well at least to this point.  We will pick up where we left off when we get back from Michael's next week.  The Potters Market Invitational will be right around the corner!  Above is a plate that I have decorated with a winged insect.  This is a little something different that I am trying and look forward to see how they glaze out.  Hopefully they will because this is the series of work I want to display at our upcoming show at the Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh in October.

We have been listening to a story called the 'Trader Tales, Quarter Share" by Nathan Lowell.  These are a series of stories, we are on the first one.  A quiet and subdued story about a trader ship in space. It is (so far) a bit Utopian. People working together for the common good of everyone, pushing themselves and pursuing knowledge. Nice thought and a wonderful feeling to the story.  There are even some scenes with the feeling of being at a craft show/ flea market.   I was listening to CNN the other day while glazing (this is the first time listening to news in a long time) and it just seemed so tragic, so negative, so upsetting, everyone trying to bring each other down.  We don't have t.v. I have not watched cable t.v. since I left Blacksburg to attend Alfred University when I was 21, that was around 20 years ago.  I still watch it when we are at a hotel a couple of times of year.  That can be strange.  Anyway we have enjoyed listening to podcasts while in the studio. There is a world of authors out there that have a passion for writing and the new technology allows them to spread their talents.

Bruce is glazing with his shino again.  This is the beginning of a world of testing in a different atmosphere for awhile.
Bruce commented that it is cool to bring back his old techniques, and revisit his muse from his creative past and add in something new.  Below, Max is Max.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Cousins in Clay" at Michael Kline Pottery in the Mountains

We are excited to join our "Clay Cousin" Michael Kline next week at his pottery studio in Bakersville, NC.  We will have a fresh group of Moka and other glazed pottery to pack up and bring to his place.  

All of us have had so much fun the past three years with the event "Cousins in Clay" here at Bulldog Pottery in Seagrove, that we have decided to grow "Cousins in Clay" into a twice a year event. We are excited about doubling the potential of new experiences, the camaraderie of sharing, collaborating, and invite potters to join with us that love and have a passion for clay as we do.  It is inspiring to work with Michael in this endeavor, and we love talking with people that love pottery, and want pottery to be a part of their daily lives.  We enjoy meeting people, conversations, making friends with all of you that make all of this possible for us to keep making pottery as our profession.  

On Memorial Day weekend, Cousins in Clay will take place here in Seagrove at Bulldog Pottery, and this year "Mountain Cousins" will take place on August 26 and 27 (Friday and Saturday) at Michael Kline's Pottery in Bakersville.  (In the future it will be on Labor Day weekend, so easy to remember!) This year (2011) Michael will be teaching a clay workshop at Arrowmount on Labor Day weekend.

Below I am all set up in our old space to glaze. We have yet to move this part of our process. It just takes us time to set up, clean up, and especially to organize.  Organizing is so important, it really takes just as much patience to do it, as making our pots. We want to learn how to give organizing our mind energy too.

Bruce has moved down to the new studio to glaze his pots with shino.  We are looking forward to organizing (there is that word again) everything that you see behind him! We will one day glaze there too.

Bruce has begun to glaze test again! Yip Yip! I am also looking forward to seeing him work with his shino again. Beautiful work. He made incredible pieces back in the 80's and early 90's.  Someday I will have to show some images of the beautiful snake platters we have hanging on our wall.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Barrel Pitchers

During the last half of July, Bruce revisited a pitcher form that we have dubbed - "the barrel pitcher".  He has made a couple of series of these since we have been living on our property here in Seagrove- how time flies.  We need a group of days in the studio uninterrupted for a complex form like this.  He made around 5 of these that we will fire soon in our gas kiln.

Below Bruce is attaching a tall foot to an oval bowl form, we call this a pedestal bowl.  He worked on making a few of these forms, as well as trying out some bisque hump molds that we made.

We like to use our barrel pitcher as our daily water pitcher in the studio. Bruce made this piece a handful of years ago.  This was the day that we received our box of Michael's "Cousins in Clay, Mountains" postcards.  We are really excited to be going over to Michael Kline's pottery in a couple of weeks for the first annual Mountain Cousins in Clay!  Due to the successes of Cousins here in Seagrove we thought expanding the pottery show and sale to Michael's would be excellent.  We get to host one another.  We host a Cousins in Clay with honary guest Clay Cousins here in the Piedmont and Michael hosts Cousins in Clay and honary guest Clay Cousins in the Mountains.  

Maxwell in action

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Working in the Studio

Bruce is throwing the top part to his barrel pitcher form

     This summer we have been busy at work, changing our schedule around a little bit.  We are happy to announce that since "Cousins in Clay" in May, we have been successful in keeping up an exercise routine.  I am spending my mornings in the studio drinking coffee while designing tiles instead of drinking my coffee in front of the computer.  I have really enjoyed this. Though it does mean less blogging and other computer stuff happens.  Bruce will sometimes come in with his coffee and we will talk about life and pots, otherwise I will listen to a new podcast.

We have become podcast addicts.

     There is a podcast that we have enjoyed listening too called Art and Story - The Show that Digs Deep into the Craft of Cartooning. Three cartoonists talk about comics, illustration, and storytelling.  They are funny, they laugh, and they talk about interesting topics. There was one podcast show called The Big Lifestyle. They talked about a cartoonist's lifestyle - exercising, ergonomics, eating well, and some of the stuff they face when working on the computer for hours.  Which has direct reference to our lifestyle as a potter of working for hours at the wheel or intense glazing.

Selecting the right knob for the lid calls for plenty of possible options.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Heidi Heidi Heidi Ho! Thank You Cab for a whooper of a song

Heidi Heidi Heidi Ho!

We are jamming in the studio! Listening to The Rookie by Scott Sigler, making lots of pots and feeling good.  I think we have made a few strides this past month and looking forward to figuring out how to use our new wooden molds for rectangle and square dishes, glazing new tile designs, Bruce has been throwing Okeewemee stoneware clay made locally at STARworks in Star with local clay materials.

Mountain Cousins at the end of the month with the Potters Market around the corner.  Sailing our way into our solo show at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, and the Pot Hop and Jam in D.C. in the middle of October. Whooooooweeee!