Sunday, December 28, 2014

North Carolina Potters Conference, Théodore Deck, Zoom Quilt

Clay Share - Tuesday
 The 28th North Carolina Potters Conference 

The North Carolina Potters Conference is hosted by the Randolph Arts Guild in Asheboro, NC every year during the first full weekend of March.  We have been attending the conference since we moved to Seagrove. It is three days chuck full of ideas, techniques, and comradeship. It is a really good time, and is great for all levels of clay experience.

The 28th North Carolina Potters Conference (March 6-8, 2015) registration is now open. This year the conference features artists from Japan... with a bonus day on Thursday, March 5, at STARworks in Star, NC and an exhibition at the North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC, curated by Judith Duff.

On Friday and Saturday there are three pottery demonstrators: Yoshitaka Hasu, Fuku Fukumoto, and Peter Hamann, up on stage making work concurrently. On Friday evening after dinner there is an opening presentation (this year it will be Sandy Simon), and Sunday morning there are three 45 minute talks. Lunch and dinner meals are included and Saturday evening is a real treat getting to see Dwight Holland's incredible pottery collection.

Potters Pick - Thursday
Théodore Deck
Théodore Deck Urn, image from Christies
 Given the strong revival of interest in surface design for ceramics, Théodore Deck set a great precedence. A passion for researching and experimenting, Théodore Deck, was part of a group of avant-garde French ceramicists creating ceramic art at the end of the nineteenth century.

Théodore Deck knew how to turn his passion for researching ceramic materials and glazing into elegant refined objects of art. He designed and made beautiful pottery with intricate layers of lush surface effects.

Théodore Deck, worked as an independent studio potter establishing his shop in Paris in 1856, and became the director of the Sèvres Ceramics Factory in 1888. There is a wonderful selection of pottery on Google Images for Théodore Deck, where you can see a wide selection of his ceramics.

The pottery images I included on this blog where found on the following websites: The Urn, Christies, the Vase, Aspire Auctions, and the Bowl, Live Auctioneers.

Théodore Deck drew heavily from middle eastern ceramics for inspiration. On Ceramics Today you can read more about Théodore Deck in an article by Frederica Todd Harlow called "Théodore Deck and the Islamic Style".

Théodore Deck Vase, image from Aspire Auctions

Théodore Deck Bowl, image from Live Auctioneers

Playing off the Instrument - Sunday
The Zoomquilt
Screenshot from the Zoomquilt - collaboration of artists in 2007
The Zoom Quilt is a collaboration of artists from 2007, a surrealistic creation that follows along the lines of the 1977 film, "The Powers of Ten" by Charles and Ray Eame.

Hints on how to make the most of your ZoomQuilt experience: You can take the slider that is on the left and move it to the right to go forward and left to go backwards in the painting. You can also make the speed go faster, slower, or pause if you would like to look at the details. Once you set your desired speed you can hover your cursor on the right of the drawing to view the full journey.

Screenshot from the Zoomquilt - collaboration of artists in 2007

We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday, 
Potters Pick - Thursday, 
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Portuguese Wood-Fired Clay Oven, Harrison McIntosh, Microcosmos

Clay Share -Tuesday
Building a Portuguese Wood-Fired Oven

We are intrigued by the way the men in this Portuguese clay factory manipulate the clay to construct their clay ovens.

Potters Pick - Thursday
Harrison McIntosh
Harrsion McIntosh, In the Collection of the Alfred Museum, Bowl, h: 3-3/4”, Corsaw Collection.
When I was an undergrad at Alfred University, this bowl, made by Harrison McIntosh was on display on its own pedestal under a vitrine.  This bowl is beautiful and mysterious to me. The glaze soft, and the design a complex circle composition of inside/outside color play. I am enamored by the way the color on the inside reflected the halo color around the dots on the outside. This is a small intimate bowl, one that you can cradle in the palm of your hands.

Through the years, since my first introduction to this bowl, I have often thought of it and would see the bowl printed in a couple of Alfred's newsletters. I was reacquainted with it while touring the collections at the The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art this past summer when we were at Alfred. It was like being reunited with an old buddy of mine.

Born in 1914, Harrison McIntosh celebrated his 100th birthday this year with a special exhibit at the American Museum of Ceramics Art.  Watch a short interview of Harrison and his wife as they visit with some of the pots in his solo exhibition at the AMOCA museum.  Harrison McIntosh says,  "he makes work to please himself, what he finds beautiful. Every piece he made was the best that he could do."
Harrison McIntosh

Playing Off the Instrument

The 1996 French documentary, Microcosmos, was filmed by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou  covering an insect's world in a 24 hour day from dawn to dawn.  The tag-line was "Jurassic Park in your own backyard". Written in The "Wondrous Truth" of Microcosmos, by Billy Budd Vermillion, he describes this film as a "poetic" documentary.

While scanning the internet about Microcosmos we found a document of class notes called A Non-Entomologist's Guide to "Microcosmos", by Marina Caillaud and Bryan Danforth- Department of Entomology at Cornell University. This paper gives a blow by blow of the insects that appear in the documentary.

There were two promo introductions for the film to choose. I love the one showing the early morning rain storm.  There is nothing like droplets of rain hanging off an insect's exoskeleton. The other Microcosmos footage has an amazing visual of a bee buzzing through the air.

We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday, 
Potters Pick - Thursday, 
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Luke Syson, Karen Karnes, World Science

Clay Share - Tuesday
Luke Syson - Ted Talks

Excerpt from "How I learned to stop worrying and love "useless" art" filmed October 2013.
..... "Luke Syson was a curator of Renaissance art, of transcendent paintings of saints and solemn Italian ladies — serious art. And then he changed jobs, and inherited the Met's collection of ceramics — pretty, frilly, "useless" candlesticks and vases. He didn't like it. He didn't get it. Until one day … (Filmed at TEDxMet.)"

The two vases (vase à tête d'éléphant) were made by the Royal Sèvres Manufactory, made of porcelain in the late 1750s, and designed by the designer Jean-Claude Duplessis. These vases are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
(Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1958)

Potters Pick - Thursday
Karen Karnes
Karen Karnes - A photo still from the movie "Don't Know, We'll See" Movie by Lucy Pheonix
Born in 1925, Karen Karnes has had a very full life of making pots and engaging in the Ceramic Art World.  A long pottery career and a passion for ceramics, she has paved a path for many studio art potters. She recently celebrated her 40th year curating the The Art School at Old Church Pottery Invitational in Demarest, NJ. She established this event with Mikhail Zakin (1920-2012) a friend, fellow potter and the founder of the Art School at Old Church, Demarest, New Jersey in 1974.

Mark Shapiro edited "The Chosen Path" a book about Karen Karnes that includes an introduction by Mark Shapiro, a foreword by Garth Clark, and narratives by Christopher Benfy, Jody Clowes, Janet Koplos, Edward Lebow, and Karen Karens. Mark also conducted an oral interview with Karen Karnes for the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

Beginning in 1997 there was a film produced about Karen Karnes by Lucy Pheonix. This documentary of Karen Karnes is called "Don't Know, We'll See".

The Salt Glazed Covered Jar, made by Karen Karnes in 1969 is in the collection of AMOCA (Gift of James W. and Jackie Voell), The American Museum of Ceramic Art, located in Pomana, California.
Karen Karnes, Covered Jar, 1969, Salt Glazed, stoneware, cone 11, in collection of AMOCA

Playing off the Instrument - Sunday
18 Mind-Blowing Images From The World Of Science
Photo by Stefan Eberhard 
The photo above is by Stefan Eberhard, an image of an Arabidopsis thaliana flower, commonly known as thale cress.

Excerpt from Fast Company blog titled Fast Co.Design.... 
"The annual award celebrates the intersection of science and art, reminding us that the best visual inspiration often comes from the shocking beauty of the natural world."

...."The images will be added to Wellcome's vast collection of more than 40,000 science images, culled from researchers, clinical photographers, and illustrators, which are available freely to the public. "

The Wellcome Images is one of the world's richest and most unique collections, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science.

You can see and read about the 18 award winning images at the Wellcome Images Award 2014.

Below is an image by Spike Williams of a Lagena, a class of marine protists with an external shell, made using ‘Spikeberg’ illumination, a combination of polarised light and Rheinberg illumination pioneered by the photographer, and captured on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera.

Photo by Spike Williams
We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday, 
Potters Pick - Thursday, 
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Seagrove Potters Kiln Openings this Weekend

"Seagrove Potteries" book by Steve Compton and Seagrove Potters map produced be the Seagrove Area Pottery Association
We are here to debunk a Seagrove Pottery myth. The myth is that the Seagrove Potters are sold out after the "Celebration of Seagrove Potters", and no longer have pottery left to sell in their shops. There are many of us that continue to be hard at work, making more pots in our studios. A large group of potters have "One more Hurrah" and hold special Holiday Kiln Openings in December. 

Below are some of the potters that are busy and hustling in their studios to make more pottery to fill the shelves of their pottery shops for this season.

This weekend on December 13, 2014 around 15 Seagrove Potteries will have special kiln openings.

Here are the Seagrove Potteries that we are aware of having a holiday kiln opening this weekend.  And without a doubt if you don't see a pottery that you know listed below stop by there shop. We are sure they will be glad to see you.

December 13 -- Join us for One More Hurrah in 2014!

Johnston and Gentithes Art Pottery
Eck McCanless Pottery
Dean and Martin Pottery
Latham's Pottery
Studio Touya Pottery
From the Ground Up Pottery 
Windsong Pottery
Hickory Hill Pottery
Lufkin Pottery
Michele Hastings and Jeff Brown Pottery
Westmoore Pottery
Ben Owen Pottery
Chris Luther Pottery
Blue Hen Pottery
and Bulldog Pottery

Bruce Gholson & Samantha Henneke - Bulldog Pottery, Dec. 13, 2014, Holiday Kiln Opening, Seagrove, North Carolina
This is the Front and Back of the recent Holiday Kiln Opening Postcard we mailed across the United States.

Bruce Gholson & Samantha Henneke - Bulldog Pottery, Dec. 13, 2014, Holiday Kiln Opening, Seagrove, North Carolina

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Studio Potter, John Gill, Xiphactinus

Clay Share - Tuesday
The Studio Potter

Studio Potter Magazine
Have you ever wondered what periodicals potters read?  The Studio Potter magazine is one of those 'must subscribe to' magazines for us.  Focused on aesthetic philosophy and the working potter with an "essential belief in functional pottery," The Studio Potter began in 1972 and is published twice a year. The articles are written by potters, sculptors, curators, and clay enthusiasts.  A theme is proposed and a deadline set for articles submitted to the publisher.

We have collected just about all of the The Studio Potter journals. We are missing a couple of them including the first Studio Potter that was published.  When you become a member you also get the chance to select one back issue.

Studio Potter Magazine

Potters Pick - Thursday
John Gill
Masters : John Gill - photo by Matt Wittmeyer - Amercian Craft Council 
John Gill is a superb teacher and ceramics artist with a gift for transmitting the unconventional possibilities of ceramics and form. John's generous sharing of his unique visions for the potentiality of clay creates a contagious enthusiasm for anyone brave enough to be open to what he can convey.

We had a wonderful time this past July, when we took a summer school class with John Gill at Alfred University. If you want to recharge your creative batteries for ceramics, it would be hard to do better than attending one of Alfred University's "Summer Ceramic Art" classes.

Find out more about John Gill and the other American Craft Council Masters on the American Craft Council Website

Playing off the Instrument - Sunday
Xiphactinus Audax
Lora Robins Gallery of Design and Nature
 Richmond, Virginia

Xiphactinus Audax at the Lora Robins Gallery
Located in Richmond, Virginia, The Lora Robins Gallery is a museum that bridges the arts and natural sciences. This museum is chuck-full of fossils, shells, minerals, and all kinds of interesting artifacts. It also has ceramics! We were in heaven when we visited the large room filled with curiosities.

 You can visit the museum on the campus of the University of Richmond. It has in its collections 100,000 pieces ranging from Jurassic dinosaur fossils, minerals, prehistoric shells, fluorescent rocks, and Chinese ceramics. One of the objects that we fell in love with was a fish fossil which was discovered in Kansas. The Xiphactinus is the largest bony fish in the Western Seaway reaching as much as 17 feet in length. Wow!

Xiphactinus Audax at the Lora Robins Gallery
We post our Clay Share - Tuesday, 
Potters Pick - Thursday, 
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Introducing "Clay Shares," "Potters Pick," and "Playing off the Instrument" - Chris Staley, Val Cushing, Jason deCaires Taylor

Clay Share Tuesday
Chris Staley

   We are going to try something new .....  One evening while working in the studio we brainstormed some ideas of what to post on our Bulldog Pottery Facebook page. We wanted to figure out a way to share with you the clay/art world that we work in, look at, and enjoy. These ideas coalesced into sharing some of these finds with you three days a week- we picked Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

On Tuesday: "Clay Share,"  Thursday: "Potters Pick," and  Sunday: "Playing off the Instrument."              We will gather the information that we share on facebook and group the shares together for a weekly blog post.  So we challenge ourselves to make this a ritual during our ever so busy lives as self-employed full-time artists.

Potters Pick Thursday
Val Cushing
"It is in nature that I find the rich colors, the dynamic textures and the harmonious forms I love to make" - Val Cushing
Val Cushing Soup Tureen and Bowls, Alfred, NY
   Val Cushing was our teacher when we attended Alfred University. I graduated in 1995 with a BFA and Bruce graduated in 1997 with a MFA.  This past summer we attended Alfred University's summer school and saw Val Cushing's exhibition in the Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art. These are two images from the exhibition.  The exhibition was organized by Susan Kowalczyk, the museum’s collection manager, from pieces in the Schein-Joseph's permanent collection and on loan from the Cushing family. Beauty and function are themes of Val's work. Val Cushing (1931-1913) is a pottery legend.

Tomorrow, Monday December 1, 2014 at Charlotte, NC's Mint Museum Randolph, the Delhom Service League has scheduled a presentation about Val Cushing by Herb Cohen.

"I aspire to make beautiful pottery - some to be used and some to function visually as sculpture" - Val Cushing 
Val Cushing Vase

Playing off the Instrument Sunday
Jason deCaires Taylor
Image is from Jason's website
We have been aware of Jason deCaires Taylor underwater sculptures for a few years now. He makes the sculptures and then submerges them underwater. Over time they become an environment for marine life. He has a really good website with wonderful images of his public underwater art.  Sea life encrusts the sculptures and makes amazing colors and textures. We look at this and see glaze surfaces for ceramics.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lots in the Works at Bulldog Pottery

Bruce Gholson working on trimming plates, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, NC
We are happily making pottery in the studio and finishing up one more round of pots just in time for our annual Holiday Kiln Opening on Saturday, December 13, 2014.  We like to ring in the New Year with one more Hurrah! We are making covered jars, platters, mugs, bowls, tumblers, plates, and cups.  All glazed and decorated with our Moka patterns. We will also have a select grouping of vases with our flowing molybdenum and matte crystalline glazes.  

We discovered a new podcast we enjoyed listening too last night for the first time called, Snap Judgement. It is a NPR radio show showcasing a conglomerate of folks telling stories about contemporary society.  We are looking forward to listening to more today.

There are a handful of Seagrove Potters also having special kiln openings on December 13th... the ones we are aware of are, Ben Owen Pottery, Johnston and Gentithes Pottery, Latham's Pottery, Jeff Brown and Michele Hastings Pottery, Westmoore Pottery and us Bulldog Pottery -- and that's more than a handful.

 Samantha Henneke signing her large mugs, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, NC
 Bruce Gholson's grouping of covered jars, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, NC
Below are my covered jars waiting for knobs to be applied to the top. I like having the freedom of adding differerent shaped knobs to the jars. It gives them their own personality.  
Tables full of pottery in process,  Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, NC

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Samantha Henneke, Bruce Gholson and Luna Bella, Bulldog Pottery
Happy Thanksgiving!  
We want to thank all of you for making our artful adventure fun and fulfilling.  We love making pottery---And we appreciate all your support.  Good wishes to everyone on this wonderful Thanksgiving Day.
Gloria and Ed are fixing turkey today (thank you Fresh Market!) --- Bruce and I are working in the studio towards our Holiday Kiln Opening.  We will take a break in the afternoon for some yummies and then back to the wheel to make a few more pieces for Saturday, December 13. We are attaching labels and stamps to our Kiln Opening postcards and mailing them to you this week. 

Best to you and your families,
Samantha, Bruce, Ed, and Gloria  

Samantha Henneke, Bruce Gholson, Gloria Henneke, Edmund Henneke

Sunday, November 2, 2014

7th annual Celebration of Seagrove Potters, November 21-23, 2014

Celebration of Seagrove Potters, Seagrove, North Carolina

We are excitedly looking forward to the Celebration of Seagrove Potters this year. It is coming up soon, and will be here before we can count to three. Well I hope not that fast, many pots to be glazed and fired yet.  We will have a new selection of our decorative crystalline vases for the Celebration event, and then on December 13, 2014 we will have a fresh kiln load of our functional pottery for our Holiday Kiln Opening here at Bulldog Pottery.  

Every year, we the Seagrove Potters, gather under one roof at the Historic Luck's Cannery just a short distance from downtown Seagrove. This weekend is a good opportunity to see the diversity of pottery that we all have available throughout the year. The Seagrove Potters are open to the public just about every day of the year (except most of us are closed on major holidays). We all have individual shop hours and each shop is unique in its own way.  The Seagrove Potters website is a good way to get in contact with individual shops.

November 21, 2014 is the special Gala from 6:00pm - 9:00pm
November 22, 2014 9:00am - 5:00pm
November 23, 2014 10:00am - 4:00pm

At the Historic Luck's Cannery 
798 Pottery Highway 705 
Seagrove, North Carolina 27341

Gala tickets (includes Friday night dinner, $45 per person) can be purchased online by visiting the Seagrove Potters website, and this ticket is good for the entire weekend. The Friday evening Gala is a great time to shop the Seagrove Potter's booths. You get first selection of the potters work and participate in the special collaboration auction. 

Saturday morning the Celebration opens up at 9:00am and Sunday at 10:00am.  On Saturday and Sunday, tickets ($5 per person) can be purchased at the door of the Historic Luck's Cannery.  We are always amazed at just how many pots there are to choose from for this event, under one roof at the Historic Lucks Cannery on Pottery Hwy 705. There is pottery for everyone here, and we hope you make it out to our little town of Seagrove in central North Carolina.

You can follow the Seagrove Potters on facebook at Celebration of Seagrove Potters, and Seagrove Potters. This is a great way to keep up with all the pottery and activities that the Seagrove Potters are working on.
List of Seagrove Potteries Participating in the 7th annual Celebration of Seagrove Potters

Avery, Ben Owen, Blue Hen, Blue Stone, Bulldog, Caldwell-Hohl, Chad Brown, Chris Luther, Crystal King, Daniel Johnston, David Stuempfle, Dean & Martin, Dirt Works, Donna Craven, Dover, Eck McCanless, Frank Neef, From the Ground Up, Gingerbread House, Great White Oak Gallery, Hatfield, Hickory Hill, JLK Jewelry, Johnston & Gentithes, Keith Martindale, King’s, Koepnick, Kovack, Latham’s, Levi Mahan, Luck’s Ware, Lufkin, Matthew Kelly, McCanless, McKay, McNeill's, Michele Hastings & Jeff Brown, Nelda French, Nichols, Old Gap, Patrick Rowe, Pebbles, Potts, Ray, Riggs, Rockhouse, Seagrove Stoneware, Snowhill, Southern Spirits, Studio Touya, The Hutch, Tom Gray, Triple C, Turn & Burn, Whynot, and Windsong.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fooled You Pepper

Fooled You Peppers on Bulldog Pottery plate

Our summer garden is winding down for the year.  We probably picked our last eggplant a couple of days ago. The Fooled You, our favorite pepper plant is still producing.  This pepper variety has been one of our top varieties to grow.  We start it from seed and put the plants into the ground in May.  We pick an abundant amount of peppers from each plant, they are thick and meaty and are perfect for stir-frys.  We have read that their name is Fooled You because they look just like a Jalapeno peppers but they are sweet and mild.  We have been enjoying picking fall flowers and putting them to use in a vase that we held back from one of our August firings.  I am really enjoying this glaze. The color reminds me of gazing into the pond that is on our property.

Our summer has been a busy and productive one, and we are happy.  Our studio pottery work is moving right along and we are looking forward to our upcoming holiday season pottery events.  The Celebration of Seagrove Potters is on November 21-23, 2014 and our Holiday Kiln Opening is December 13, 2014.

Bulldog Pottery Vase thrown by Samantha Henneke

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bulldog Pottery current show at AKAR Art and Design, Iowa City, Iowa

Bruce Gholson, Fossil Fish Jar, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina
AKAR Gallery have invited us to be the exhibiting artists in their gallery into the month of October.  AKAR Gallery located in Iowa City, Iowa and is nationally known for representing an excellent group of ceramics artists. We are honored and happy to be invited and have this opportunity to show our work at AKAR. Our exhibit of 40 ceramic works opens on September 26, 2014, Friday, at 10:00am central (11:00 eastern time).  You will be able to view our show on their website, and also have the opportunity to purchase the pieces online.

We focused on our decorative crystalline glazes for this show. Bruce created his fossil fish yunomis and mugs, bottle forms, covered jars, and a teapot.  Samantha focused on her mushroom jars, insect cups, and vases.

If you are interested in collecting our pieces from our show at the AKAR Gallery you will need to create an account at the AKAR website so you will be ready when the pieces go for sale on Friday morning at 10:00 AM Central Time (11:00 Eastern Time). If you have already registered on their website, be sure your account information is current.

To register as a new customer visit your AKAR Account Login Page. Submit your email and password, and then fill out your account information. You will not need your credit card information to register.

If you have questions about the ordering process or the 2014 Yunomi Invitational, please call the gallery at (319)351-1227 or email

We are really happy with the pieces that we sent!
Samantha Henneke, Porcelain Vase, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina