Monday, December 17, 2012

Pottery out of the kiln

Bulldog Pottery,  Seagrove, North Carolina

Thank you to all that came out this past weekend, sent us an e-mail, called us up, helped us get the information out about our kiln opening, and everyone that thought about us this last weekend. We had a great response to our newest pottery, and we are quite happy about the results of our efforts.  We had a wonderful weekend, great conversations with folks, and are energized about pottery and life. We feel grateful for all of the support we receive in our pursuit to make pottery comfortable to use, and beautiful to look at and enjoy.

We want to wish everyone a Very Merry Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Bulldog Pottery,  Seagrove, North Carolina
We are very happy with the results of our recent firing, and ready and excited to get back into the studio to make more pottery.  
Bulldog Pottery,  Seagrove, North Carolina

Samantha Henneke, Pottery Mug

Samantha Henneke bowls and vases and Bruce Gholson's plates

Gloria, Ed, and Sylvia helping polish the pottery after unloading the kiln on Friday

Ed, Don, and Sylvia helping polish this pottery after unloading the kiln on Friday
We cleaned up the middle of our studio where we had been glazing, and spread our work out on tables for display.
Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina 
Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina 

Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Glazing and Loading for the Holiday Pottery Opening this weekend

Bruce Gholson carving details into his shino fish
 Well it is official. We load the kiln today.

We have been glazing around the clock this past week for our Holiday Kiln Opening, December 15, 2012, this Sat, 10-5. Bruce has been working on his shino glazed porcelain, while I have been glazing with our Moka glaze.  We have been glazing in two different buildings. We are not used to being apart in the studio and really don't like it. Over the holidays we are going to get our glazing area set up in our new space so we can glaze together from now on.

Bruce's shino glaze is as allusive as our crystalline glazes. We know its range, but we don't know if the glaze will turn out really grey with carbon trapping, or peachy. The glaze in itself is tedious to work with. Some glazes go on smooth, without drips, kinda like butter. The shino glaze that Bruce works with is foamy and show drips badly, so must be fussed with after dipping.  The surface is fragile after decorating, and the pottery needs to be handled with care.

Bruce Gholson working on his shino dome jars
 Bruce is walking the pots out to our gas kiln. Our kiln is located in the old hog parlor behind the studio.  We built the gas kiln from twice used bricks when we first moved to our property here in Seagrove.  We were able to get the first two shelves loaded yesterday. We still have a few more pots to glaze today and then we will finish loading, probably into the evening.

Bruce Gholson walking pots over and down to the kiln

Below are images of Bruce's shino work. 
Bruce Gholson, Shino Fish Mug

Bruce Gholson, Shino Fish Yunomi with lots of carbon trapping.

Bruce Gholson, Shino Fish Mug, on the peachy side.

Bruce Gholson Shino Fish Pitcher

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bulldog Pottery Holiday Kiln Opening, Dec. 15 2012

Bulldog Pottery Dec. 15, 2012 - Holiday Kiln Opening

The Carolina Arts contains information about the Visual Arts in North and South Carolina. You can read all about it in the Carolina Arts Online Newspaper. Together Tom and Linda Starland have been putting together this newspaper for 15 years. A few years ago they went from printing the newspaper to online only.  You can download their Arts newspaper monthly.  You can also read about our Holiday Kiln opening on page 22. The following was the press release we sent out. 

The Courier Tribune also helped us spread the information about our upcoming kiln opening. We want to thank them for their help!

Read about what is going on in Seagrove in December's edition "In the Grove", compiled together by Rhonda McCanless of Eck McCanless Pottery. 

Thank you to Paul Kowalchuk who maintains the Studio Pottery Archive Blog for posting information about out Holiday Kiln Opening.

Samantha Hennke Covered Jar

Handmade Pottery – Useful Art 
Art that can be used in Everyday Living

Seagrove’s Bulldog Pottery artists, Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke, love glazes. And they have a keen eye and a delicate touch when they create the shape and form of their work. With their glazes and forms they make their functional pottery into an art to be used for everyday living. 

Bulldog Pottery’s Holiday Sale is set to take place Saturday, December 15, 2012, 10:00-5:00, at their pottery in Seagrove, located around five miles from the geographical center of North Carolina. Come out to meet these two potters and enjoy their company while checking out their newest pots.  For their special event they have filled their insulated brick kiln with 170 plus pieces of new work, which will be ready for their opening.

Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke are studio potters who have made pottery their life-long work.  They make ‘that plate’ not just any plate, but an expression of design and beauty. Pottery is a decorative art form at a reasonable price, and it is art that you can share through use.  This husband and wife team celebrates the rich history and vitality of the Seagrove community’s clay artists, and invites you to invest in the local economy. When you buy local pottery, you are supporting a local entrepreneurial enterprise, a truly small business. 

Bulldog Pottery can be easily reached 5 miles south of the traffic light in Seagrove, at 3306 US Hwy 220 Alt., look for the distinctive blue water tower beside the driveway leading to their studio. Seagrove, located in central NC, is synonymous with ceramics--where a unique group of over 100 potters and at least 60 open pottery shops are located in a 15 mile area, which makes it a destination for serious pottery shopping.  Visit Bulldog Pottery for their kiln opening - pick up a pottery map and continue the pottery adventure. For more information call Bruce Gholson 336-302-3469 or 910-428-9728 or visit

Also having kiln openings on December 15th (that we know of) are-
Ben Owen Pottery, Donna Craven Pottery, Chris Luther Pottery, and Johnston and Gentithes Pottery.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wrapping Up

Bruce Gholson putting his pottery in our home-made hot box

We are finishing up our first firings of all of our pieces that we have made for our upcoming December 15th Kiln Opening.  The first firing is called a bisque firing, which hardens the pottery and makes it physically strong enough to undergo the rigors of glazing. The pieces still are delicate and need to be handled with care. We waxed the bottoms of our pots yesterday evening, and we are all ready to have the glaze-athon over the next several days.

Under this accelerating crunch time, we had to set up a hot box to speed dry our pots. This year we set up a table, draped plastic over it, and put a dehumidifier underneath with the pottery. This has worked well in the past for us. The pots are fairly dry after 24 hours and with a long soak in the bisque firing they are dry enough to take on up to temperature.

Many varied emotions are happening now in the studio. We want to make more pottery--our ideas are flowing and we are all warmed up to keep throwing, but our deadline is on us and we must switch gears. We are also pretty tired after working in the studio non-stop, and staying up in the evenings. We want another week. We want more glazes, we want to develop new glazes, and more pots to put them on. Basically we want more time in the studio, which is kinda funny because almost all our time is in the studio. As we are glazing and working in the studio, it is hard to explain, but it would be nice to have an hour between the hours to do all that we strive to do.

Bruce Gholson with the pottery that we are drying in our home-made hot box

Bruce Gholson Puts a handle on a pitcher

Samantha Henneke finishing a rim on her thrown vase

Samantha Henneke brushing slip onto her cups

Bruce Gholson trimming his large bowls

Bruce Gholson with his large bowls after combing slip onto them