Thursday, November 20, 2014

Episode 6 - Courtney Martin

In this episode I talk with my friend, neighbor, and fellow Snow Creek Rd potter, Courtney Martin. We talk about cooking and the pots we like to use serving meals to friends and family, as well as my recent trip to DC, Courtney’s beginnings as a potter, and some of Courtney’s thoughts on pattern. We also answer your questions! We hope you enjoy the conversation!

Names We Drop

Bowl by Matt Kelleher

Show Links


 Follow Courtney 

Follow Michael 
Exhibition and other Show Links

POW!!! kickstarter project
"Days of Endless Time", at the Hirshhorn Museum 
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 
Pottery on the Hill 
Spruce Pine Potters Market 
Signature Show 
TRAC Studio Tour

"Thank" Courtney  on Twitter!

Thanks for listening!!

Check out this episode!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Episode 5 : Nick Joerling Part 2

In Episode 5 of the podcast I continue my conversation with Penland potter, Nick Joerling. Nick has been a member of the community around the Penland School of Crafts for many years and his roadside studio is a favorite to visit.

Find out more about Nick here.

Nick and I at his Penland, NC studio

Episode Highlights

  • living and working in the Penland community
  • recording the object
  • a funny story about ye olde pug mill
  • Jack's 20 Questions
  • words and pots
  • Nick's literary queues
  • food, lust, and pottery
  • using pots or not
  • taking chances and playing
  • the
    boundaries that potters work within
Names We Drop
mug by Nick Joerling
Show Links
Follow Nick
Follow Michael

Podcast Apps

I have been using and loving the Downcast podcast app. I totally recommend it!

You might also like to try Overcast. It's a simple yet powerful app and it looks beautiful as well! So many options! ;-)

Questions or comments for Nick?

Thanks SO much for listening!

Got a moment to leave a review or a rating? I'd be SO thrilled! ;-)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Episode 4: Nick Joerling, Part 1

In Episode 4 of the podcast I have a rollicking talk with Penland potter, Nick Joerling. Nick has been a member of the community around the Penland School of Crafts for many years and his roadside studio is a favorite to visit.

Find out more about Nick here.

Episode Highlights
  • living and working in the Penland community
  • perception of time and the accelerated life
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • hot and cold
  • gut flora and our desire for food
  • the "eagerness to pour" and beak placement on pouring pots
  • Nick's literary queues
  • Nick's early days as a pugger and potter in California
  • turning points in life
  • Time and timing in terms of the material of clay 

Names We Drop
Follow Michael
Questions or comments for Nick?

Thanks SO much for listening!

I promise to improve my recordings and give you a better audio in the future.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Review

Friday, September 19, 2014

Episode 3: Courtney Martin

In Episode 3 I begin a series of conversations with my good friend and neighbor Courtney Martin.

Episode Highlights
  • the economics of reclaiming clay scraps
  • trying to keep up with popular culture while living in rural NC
  • graffiti and 80's hip hop
  • hoarding bisqueware
  • living near in the Penland School community
  • puttering vs. getting straight to work
Episode Rsources
Names We Drop
 Follow Courtney 
Follow Michael 
Exhibition Links
"Two", Lark and Key, Charlotte, NC
"Greetings From North Carolina" Santa Fe Clay Santa Fe, NM
"Designed and Crafted 14"Signature Contemporary Crafts Atlanta, GA

"Thank" Courtney for the conversation on Twitter

Thanks for listening!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Coffee Break vol. 35?

Did I hear someone say #MugshotMonday? Or is just an echo in my memory?

Well neither, actually. It's just another volume in the undying series, Coffee Breaks™here at the Sawdust and Dirt BLOG, not to be confused with the podcast of the same name. This is about the clickety clack sound of the old keyboard but I must admit it is a reprint from another "blogging" platform. But, BOY, can i drop links into THIS format like nobodies business!

At any rate, here is the blog post I set out to cross post in the first place,

I met Marsha Owen at the Penland School of Crafts 25 years ago in a workshop being taught by GA potter Michael Simon. I also met Sam Taylor, Aaron Weissblum, Jane Shellenbarger, Suze Lindsay, and Mark Shapiro! It was quite a group. We were all young and wanting to be potters. Sam had only been making pots for a little over a year.

Suze and Jane were #corefellows at Penland, I had graduated from UTK and had only made pots for 5 years. Mark was probably the most experienced one being a little older than us and making pots since high school. We see each other from time to time.

We were all very much imprinted by Michael's demos and just being together working and playing at Penland for those 3 weeks changed us. Marsha and Suze and myself went on to be Penland resident artists. (at different times) and I teamed up with Mark and Sam (and Aaron for a time) as the brothers in clay in western Massachussetts. We lived and breathed pots.

For the last two winters Marsha has been to Penland to work in the #winterstudio at #Penland and we fired the salt kiln together. This paddled cup was in our valentine's day firing and Marsha gave it to me. But it has been sitting in the office at Penland with a little note. So today, I finally get to drink out of it and think of Marsha and all the rest.

Objects have all kinds of ways of engaging us with their forms, colors, and the memories they can evoke.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Episode 2: Lindsay Rogers

In this episode I talk with Asheville artist-potter, Lindsay Rogers.

We talk about moving to Asheville, NC, life after graduate school, and her work at Haywood Community College.

For you inside pottery listeners we talk about working alone vs in a group situation, commuting and the transition from home to studio. We discuss a video by the Portland Growler Company and Commercial/Industrial appropriation of the small scale/handmade

which led to mention of David Pye’s discussion of the workmanship of risk vs workmanship of certainty.

More studio insider talk about how much to make, and producing numbers and Lindsay’s time working for Natchez, Mississippi potter Conner Burns Do deadlines kill spontaneity or do they give us structure in our workflow? I mention my sketching of pattern idea on paper plates and the intrinsic values of materials and creativity Lindsay describes the evolution of her current designs and the Bull and Beggar event

(Wanna go to the bull and beggar restaurant in Asheville, NC?)

You can find out more about Lindsay Rogers and her ceramics at her

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back To School

After 14 years of "independent study, I am watching and learning as a student! I have enrolled in Brian R Jones 7th Session Class at Penland. The experience so far has been really expansive!

Watching another artist work is always enlightening and can be great sport. Although physically it's passive, watching stimulates change in my way of thinking and is quite the springboard. After Brian's shadow drawing exercise/demo Monday morning we all sprang into action grabbing bisque pots from the upper shelves of the "boneyard" in the Penland upper clay studio.

I chose this Jan McKeachie vase grouping after trying a couple of other pots that didn't quite have the right shadow that appealed to my sensibilities. The next part of the exercise was to look at the shadows that the piece cast. I went outside with black tar paper or sheathing and a piece of chalk. 

observing the shadows 
drawing shadows and cutting them out

rearranging repeated shapes to come up with other shapes

transferring these forms to blue insulating board

cutting out shapes to use as molds for dishes
  As I write this I realize I am late for class! SO I will try to resume this blog later today with more pictures and thoughts. Sorry to cut this post short. Follow me on instagram for in progress pics.


Monday, July 21, 2014

The Sawdust and Dirt Podcast, Finally!

Numero Uno!

Sometimes we start projects without really knowing why. We have an impulse, or we like what someone else is doing and want to try it ourselves. I have always been fascinated with the web and the potential it had, especially for our generation of potters and the work we were making.

At Ron Philbeck’s Potter’s Journal blog, I got to know a fellow who was journaling almost daily from his studio in Shelby, NC just down the road from me.
From his blog I was led to England and Scotland to a bunch of potters there who were blogging, there. Naturally I wanted in on the fun. I have always had the impulse to share what I know and the blog was a great way to share.

Pretty soon after I began posting in 2007, there were dozens and dozens of other potters joining in and there was a whole network of folks talking to each other and sharing ideas, encouraging one another.
Reading my blog roll was probably the first thing I did every morning.
In much the same spirit I begin this podcast.

I devour podcasts of all kinds. For years I have loved listening to interviews on public radio. I’ve loved listening to radio all my life. As a kid I had a transistor radio that I carried wherever I went, much like I do now with my phone. And when I heard the Brian R Jonescast for the first time I got really excited and binged on all the shows that were available. Brian’s podcast led me to Ben Carter’s The Tales of a Red Clay Rambler podcast and again there was much binging!!

So with encouragement from those guys I began to consider getting in on the fun, myself! And after much audio recording obsession and geeking out with various gadgets, I’m very excited to welcome you to the Sawdust and Dirt Podcast.

For this first episode Ron Philbeck, Kyle Carpenter and I get together for some serious shop talk. Apologies for our "inside baseball" talk. We hope to share some of our thoughts and experiences about being potters.

Here are some links to today's episode

Kyle Carpenter Pottery 
Ron Philbeck Pottery
Michael Kline Pottery

Sorry for the odd sounds at some points, the editing was a nightmare, a story to long to tell, here. I hope you enjoy the podcast.

Thanks for listening, please subscribe and leave us a rating in iTunes if you would be so kind! Please share with your friends and family!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fresh Pots for Hilltown 6 and all my western Massachusetts Peeps