Saturday, December 20, 2014


I used to swap emails with the Queen of Carbon Trap- Malcolm Davis. We traded theories on how to trap carbon. I was always of the belief you glaze and get the pots in the kiln ASAP, spark the pilots and let it rock and roll. I'm now sharing a kiln and had to wait in que for my turn to fire so the pots had to sit and wait till the kiln was available. It is a good sized kiln so I needed a head start on the glazing and decorating so they have been glazed for two days now. I covered them in plastic in the hopes the soda ash wouldn't evaporate into La-la land. Andrew got home from China and came for a visit and told me of Dick Lehman's theory of letting the pots sit for 2 weeks. I had some nice chicken pox on the pots from the soda ash migrating to the surface. Pilots are going and burners in the morning. I totally missed Santa's sleigh for Christmas 2014 but I got a whole new plan for 2015. Sorry Santa if you leave money for people maybe I'll have some gooduns' I can ship. I have a bottle of Maker's Mark bourbon
I'll leave out for you and some cookies that have this strange effect on people.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Toilet paper chin

I used to buy cheap razor blades until one day coming home from a workshop I shared a seat on the plane with a guy that worked on the oil patch in Fort McMurray. He told me he had stocked up on Gillette Fusion razors. He said they were what all the guys up there used. I tried them and yes they are great. No more putting toilet paper on the cuts and knicks from my cheap blades. Then FB found me and told me about Harry's an online razor company. Harry's blades are German made, cheaper and they are great and the service is amazing. I have ordered some for my friend Dan Finnegan to try out.
As for other friends Dennis Allen and Catherine Thomas I have a musical endorsement that also came to me by way of FB. I ordered Guy Clark and they suggested Rodney Crowell. I had never heard of the dude. I bought Tar Paper Sky and damn near wore it out and now just got Fate's Right Hand and I love it even more. I think FB knows more about me than just about anyone. Big Brother is watching you!

Friday, December 12, 2014

I've been found out!

Today in the mail I received this Superman t-shirt from Joan Ulrich. With the advent of cell phones I have been having a devil of a time finding a place to change into costume to help save the world. What is a super hero to do? Even with my yellow glasses I was spotted doing good in this world of ours gone crazy.
This kind gesture was a joke between Joan and I. It also speaks to me about the person behind the pot that I selected as Best in Show at The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia back in the spring. It is what you do when you don't have to that makes all the difference in the world. Joan had already won and cashed the cheque for 1000 clams. She had been there, done that and bought the shirt. This kind of follow through showed in the work. I have already explained in a previous post how Joan had paid attention to detail in every part of the teapot. There were details and surprises everywhere on that teapot that brought my approval. 
So Joan thank you! That surprise was Super Woman!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

You know me

Enough of the high drama politics of the Guild and their rules and regulations. It tires me and I want very little to do with it. I have a wood fire mentor ship sponsored by the Guild which means a great deal to me . I will do an awesome job of  that and then maybe I'll roll a seven and be gone, gone, gone!
Got an invitation today to the Akar Invitational Yunomi Show in Iowa City, Iowa. I have been in it before but was disappointed to not be included when I was in Hamilton doing e-ware. Glad to be learning to fly again. The show is a badge of honour really and not what I would call a money maker. 100 potters are invited to send 5 yunomi's to be sold online. Akar does an amazing job of this show and the pots are really top drawer. In fact Akar may be one of the best galleries in the country to shop for real pots. Here is a pic of a pink one!

Gargling Pesticide

Did you know if you use mouthwash in the morning you are actually gargling a pesticide? Do you have mercury fillings like I do? Do you drink a wee glass of wine at night

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

No holds barred critique

I am not sure why but I haven't been able to get my old buddy John Chalke off my mind the last two days. I was invited to the critique of the Sheridan College second year students yesterday. On my two hour drive there I thought of John and the importance of the critique. John gave me permission to say what I think about pots and to write. It was through John and the love of his life Barb Tipton that I was encouraged to write essays. I also attended a "No Holds Barred Critique" by John at the Harbourfront Center. He was soooooo kind to those that were new and enthusiastic. He was also absolutely brutal to those that thought their pooh didn't smell. He cut right to the bone and exposed what most of us thought but didn't have the guts to say.
I think that is a major problem at Art Centers, Guilds and pottery classes. Everything is pretty! Oh that is so pretty even if it is horribly crafted and aesthetically ugly. No one wants to be the fall guy.
I am proud to be part of the process at Sheridan. We have a fantastic faculty! We don't all agree but we have total respect for each other and the opinions put forward. The students benefit from our collective experience and
are very lucky indeed. The ceramics community misses you John.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dear Lord

What have I done? We have had a series of Intro throwing classes at Pinecroft. They are Saturday sessions where they start from scratch and try to end up with 3 thrown pieces. This morning one of my ladies just had a manicure and was laden with jewellery.  Rubber gloves were part of the equation. At this stage of my career surely I should teach someone that is willing to hawk the rings, buy a wheel and be willing to break a nail. Lord what can I do to reinvent myself??? I'll be good, I promise!