Sunday, May 24, 2015


For over 25 years I have had a Mac computer. I have always been interested in the marriage of old and new technologies.
I have had some brilliant moments since returning from Korea. The Puncheong stamping suits my love of doing simple routine things.  For example I love to split wood. The idea of sitting there and scraping all that slip off though seems too much like torture so I am going to bisque them. When time for glazing I’m going to brush on my white shino, wash it off the high points and let it fill the impressions and then I will glaze them in my darker shino.  I am not interested in a completely smooth surface so there will be some tactile quality to the puncheong.
As for the crane. I love that bird. It means good luck to me. So the good ole Mac provided me with a vinyl image of a crane that I can use to resist glaze on my bisque destined for the wood kiln. Here he is perched on my Mac along with my other favourite things- ribs and blues in Georgia, Hiut Denim’s  and American ingenuity found in good US sporting stores.  Oh and I do love my Mac. We’ll see how long this marriage lasts!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Brother where art thou?

Hey Brother Yeong Chul I don't want you to think your lessons on puncheong where lost on me. I am a slow learner.  I need time to digest stuff.  It's Saturday night and I am listening to my favourite radio program of Blues music and stamping these dang boats. Tomorrow the slip and the scraping but I couldn't wait to show you.  I am missing you all. ! I'm not missing the bus, the waiting to be lead around, the not understanding the language, the feeling that I am a dog on a leash. I like to talk so today I talked to you. Yes, you were in the studio with me. Of all the masters I would love for you to come here and work with me. I would love to fire your work in our wood kiln with a shino glaze and a longer firing. Perhaps a show afterwards???????

For those that are wondering the thrown handles alone are 4 lbs. I made the hull of the boat on a mold, the sides, the foot and the handle were thrown. What you could use these boats for I have no idea. I like to think they have a visual function.
Yeong Chul we have to talk about a cross cultural exchange. Your English is better than my non existent Korean so how about you come here to work with me first.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

No mistaken!

Since I'm home from Korea I made some cups and bowls to get my feet under me again. I have been diggin' deep for my creative mojo. I made these cylinders today that I am going to stack log cabin style in the wood kiln.
Andrew arrived yesterday to talk pots. My very best students when they visit me they visit my collection of pots as well.  They handle them. They turn them over. They examine them. They comment on them. They know pots! Oh, where did you get that Matt Scheiman jug? Oh, I like that Chris Pickett bowl you got. They could pick out a signature in a heap of pots. The signature being the person's work. What makes that work unique to the maker. There may be a lineage of potters that came from the same teacher or mentor but they get where it came from.
So with that in mind I made these cylinders and thought oh they could be anyone's. Then I put those handle ears on them and thought ya they look a bit like mine but one of my student's would  look over at 50 paces and still have to walk over since I usually have more volume in my work. So then I put the double bridge handle on them. No mistaking them now! The fourth one the handle looked a bit weak so I added some whopdie doodles and they looked rather I dunno dare I say frilly. So I added a another handle. Next time I do that I will bring the handles closer together.
Andrew left saying "The harder you think the less money you'll make!" What a low blow to a thinkin' man.
I started some ships this aft. Thinking of my Dad coming over the Atlantic and me going over to Wales as a presenter. Hey Mick Casson I'm coming to honour you and the profound impact you had on my pots and my

Off to a music concert tonight. I am blessed to be surrounded by creative people. Life is good for those that know that life is good.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Capital- T

I am presenting a workshop in the Nation’s Capital City- Ottawa on June 18-19. This is a hand’s on workshop of wheel work and additions.
I have been told that what is so special about my workshops is that they are not only about “how to” make but “why” we make what we do.  My travels to England, Italy, USA, Japan, China, Korea and of course my beautiful homeland- Canada have given me a deep well to drink from. It has also brought with it an appreciation of developing a signature in your work that remains true to who you are. This workshop will help us all identify who we are and what we are trying to say in our
I read my horoscope every Thursday and here is a part of it:
“I think you'll thrive by embodying that dual spirit: being graceful, sensitive, and harmonious and yet also feisty, piquant, and provocative. Can you manage that much paradox? I think you can. “
Well , I think that pretty well sums up my life. I do love the piquant though. I had to look it up. It means interesting and exciting, pleasantly tart or biting.
I think I can manage that. Hope to see you in Ottawa. After being in Korea and not being able to say much I got a lot on my mind.  I promise not to disappoint. See ya in the Capital- T

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Teeny weenies

When we had tea served to us I couldn't believe the size of the teeny weeny teabowls. I had some at home but I thought they were for a teeny nip of something strong. I guess the light should have come on before when a former student from India gave me the one on the far right. She told me you got some sweet tea at the train station in these cups and basically drank the tea and threw the cup out the train window. Tells ya something about the value placed on  the potter's craft in some places in the world. That wee wood fired cup was their equivalent of our styrofoam cup.
So from left to right. The first teeny weenie is from Seoung Tae Kim of Korea. This is my new treasure. It is beautiful to look inside this beautifully decorated wood fired celedon. The second teeny weenie belongs to my old prof Dan Murphy. It is my favourite cup for a top shelf bourbon.  It is reduction cooled wood fire and I love the casualness of the rim and the trimming. The third one the maker is unknown to me. My buddy Frankie Tucker gifted it to me from Japan. I almost cried when I got it. He knew I'd love it.  I love the trimming done with a sea shell. The fourth one is done by the unknown craftsman from India. Thrown effortlessly from the hump and untrimmed. It has hardly reached bisque temperature. Here's a tip of the teeny weenie to makers past, present and future.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Small feet

You know what they say about a man with small feet-------------------------------------small shoes!
Here is a pic of a beautifully carved bowl I bought from Huang Gu with a teeny tiny foot. Perhaps these small feet work for the Asian style of eating which is virtually holding the bowl. We on the other hand leave the bowl on the table and go at it with a spoon. Huang Gu's bowl would tip over in that case. Really and truly though his bowl is a piece of art that I might have a spot of tea in on a very special occasion.
I made my foot rings smaller but they are still huge in comparison. Hey I need all that foot for the information it contains. I do also like a whoopie in the trimming. My foot rings are more Japanese in their reference to a nod of bamboo. The Korean foot seemed to almost be cylindrical, quite deep and flat.

Monday, May 18, 2015

I didn't die

I didn't die! This unflattering picture of me only makes me look like I am dead. After a day of lots of walking up some pretty steep hills our hostess Mrs. Choi took me to the sauna and then a massage. I had been running daily so the exercise wasn't all that bad.

I swear they were out to kill me in Korea- live food, hills and then a hot sauna. From the state of my t-shirt I had a lot of detoxing to do. Although the massage was absolutely heavenly my lady told me I had stomach problems. She could tell by my feet- hmmmmm reflexology!  I'm pretty sure now I picked up a parasite. I have been doing a parasite cleansing and feel much better.
I'd really like to build a sauna at my house. I slept like a dog that night. Saunas are very popular in Korea and I saw families with young kids going to the sauna together.  I went from the sauna to hot water and then cold water. I then had a hot shower and shave. The one hour body massage was next. Heavenly!