Friday, October 31, 2014

Pink Mohair Hat

Well it was moving day yesterday and today and I was sure that the first item into my new home was my Uncle Jimmie's pink mohair hat. When he died the family asked me what I wanted and the pink hat was to be mine. I covet it like the Holy Grail. Hell, I've even secretly talked to it and asked for advice about this crazy mudslinging life of mine.
The people I bought the house from were kind enough to leave me their dad's tools. You can tell a lot about a man by his tools. His work bench is nicely organized with all sorts of tools, screws and here is the tell tale item for me. There wasn't a Philips screw or screwdriver to be found. No sure he had only the Canadian invented screwdriver The Roberts which is by far the most superior screwdriver. The Philips is forever stripping and in general is a pain the arse. The old man of this house knew his screws. Gotta love a man that knows his screws.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

No tables clothes

Well I'm getting ready for the 260 Fingers Show in Canada's Capital City- Ottawa. Man this is looking like a classy event with wine and finger food for the opening and a beautiful dinner Saturday night for all the artists. I'm bunking with 3 or 4 really top notch potters so I am sure there will be some conversation, much laughter and a tiny wee bit of indulgence.   I got this directive from one of the presenters- "just like it to be classy-like as we are all about showing ceramics to NOT BE cheap rubbish a la Guild sale-o-rama: NO TABLE Fucking Cloths for example". Oh this will set off the fires of my blog readers. Hey you want to be invited to an invitational show then live up to it. I've been at this almost all my life so it is time I took the high road. It is a traffic jam on the low road and it ain't doing much to educate the new demographic that are sizing down or the young that ought to be choosing interesting.
Choose interesting is my motto!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Emma gets nasty!

Well the walnut firing was a war! We fought to keep the firebox clean as the dang wood kept coaling up. We did everything under creation to keep the kiln from reducing. We had the woof, woof, woof  from the primaries almost throughout the firing. We struggled to get Cone 10 down after 36 butt scratching hours. Lucky for me I had a team of damn fine women to back me up. I wasn't sure we had got quite hot enough but upon opening it is the best firing we have had in 7 firings of the big bourry box. That walnut ash is the most beautiful soft yellow/gray you can imagine. Everyone in the group had a couple of real killers. Here is the team Emma Smith, Jen Drysdale, Unha Yi Hill and Amber Zuber. Unha is always eating so she has pastrami hanging out of her mouth- very attractive!!! Here are some of her paper clay/fiber tiles that were leaning against the back wall. Emma is starting a mountain range so she had some in the firebox, some on the bagwall and some back chamber- all are stellar! Congrats ladies- bon feu!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pretty nasty

Got my ladies coming tomorrow to get the big bourry box loaded and then we fire Friday and Saturday with all that walnut. I spent 2 days glazing and decorating. I've put some pretty marks on some nasty pots. I'm calling them marks and not brush work in honour of Andrew Kellner who will be missing this firing as he studies in Jingdezhen. He told me I had to make 20,000 marks before I would be any good. Ah it doesn't take the students too long to get sassy. Hey, he has been sassy since day #1. I guess that's why the student teacher relationship became a long term friendship. I like people that speak their mind. Amber Zuber is coming tomorrow and she is the female version of Andrew. Very perceptive and she calls what she sees. I think the world needs more people that have back bone. Wishing you were here Andrew. Have a bowl of noodles and a bing p
ijui for me will ya?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Here's to the corners yet to turn

I haven't done a show in a loooooooooong time and I thought I never would again. 260 Fingers in Ottawa is the brain child of my friend Chandler Swain and I think it may well be the path to follow. Good potters inviting good potters to be in a show. None of this I am a member of the guild so I get to show my pie cutter work. This is an invitational show, a badge of honour and not a right of passage. I'm rollin' the dice with this show as I haven't done anything like this solo for decades and the work I have made is somewhat edgy, somewhat nasty, somewhat pretty and nasty and if the kiln god's are kind could be the best in a long time. I spent the entire day glazing and decorating less than 50 pots. I would usually have glazed the entire kiln load. I go back at it tomorrow. I'm excited about the work and that is worth dreaming about. Here's to corners yet to turn.  Here's to bridges left to burn. Here's to the whole thing coming undone. Here's to the life of a potter!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Confirmation of my good taste

I picked a Joan Ulrich teapot as Best in Show at the Tableware Show at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia back in the spring. Of course you walk away wondering if you hit the mark. There were some awesome pots. I wavered between Eric Botyl and Mathew Schieman. Anyone of these potters would be welcome on my mantle piece. So it was somewhat of a relief to see that Joan got second place in the highly acclaimed Best Functional Show. Congrats, Joan you got a look about you that is working. I wish I could remember my juror's comments on that night but in a nutshell it was about attention to detail. Every single part of Joan's teapot was considered and a delight to look at. Here are some of Joan's pots.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

On the move!

It all hit me like a ton of bricks but I'm moving again. I hope this is my final resting place. Building up 3 studios in 24 years is more than any one potter has any right to try to do. I'm back full circle where I began at my uncle and aunts pottery. I bought a wee house a mile from work and I finally feel settled. I'm in the small town of Aylmer and I love it. People say hello and even talk to you. 

As most of my royal readers could read between the lines I am solo. My plan is to turn my house into a home where all friends are welcome to eat, drink, talk pots and stay over. I have always maintained that it takes a friend to have friends and I plan to live up to that. It starts next week when Amber, Jen, Emma and Amy? are staying at my place to fire the wood kiln. As shifts change we will be like ships passing in the night but we will celebrate with a feast when the beast is slain and we can rest. It sure feels good being me.