Sunday, November 28, 2010

Painting/Glazing Highlights


As usual, I'm completely (well, almost) tapped from getting the pots painted, glazed, and ready to fire. Lucky for me, Courtney loaded the entire kiln! I don't have a lot to say. I just wanted to post a few pictures of the painting session (in no particular order) and make some ever so brief comments and then it's off to dreamland so I can be an effective stoker in the a.m.!

Thoughts?

horse-rabbit?

couldn't go wrong with the brush marks in this one.
flowin'!

trying to incorporate my style of leaves.
combing included free of charge.


we'll see if these wiped highlights show up
in the fired article.
a visitor to my studio recently asked if I took notes.
If you are trying something new, take a picture!

big pitcher with random leaf and
dots deco

lillian and her ballerina cup

iron, copper, cobalt

the stack

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Chosen Path

Mark Shapiro is a potter, workshop leader, occasional curator, and now editor! from Worthington, MA. Mark Shapiro has made wood fired functional pots in Western Massachusetts for the past twenty years. Mark's pots can be seen in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Racine Art Museum, the Mint Museum (NC), the International Museum of Ceramics at Alfred,NY, and the Currier Museum (NH). Mark can also be reached at mark@sawdustanddirt.com


I have recently edited the book A Chosen Path: the Ceramic Art of Karen Karnes published by University of North Carolina Press. Over her long career, Karen Karnes has created some of the most iconic pottery of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The body of work she has produced in her more than sixty years in the studio is remarkable for its depth, personal voice, and consistent innovation. Many of her pieces defy category, invoking body and landscape, pottery and sculpture, male and female, hand and eye.

Equally compelling are Karnes’s experiences in some of the most significant cultural settings of her generation: from the worker-owned cooperative housing of her childhood, to Brooklyn College under modernist Serge Chermayeff, to North Carolina’s avant-garde Black Mountain College, to the Gate Hill Cooperative in Stony Point, New York, which Karnes helped establish as an experiment in integrating art, life, family, and community. After twenty-five years of communal living, Karnes moved to rural Vermont with partner Ann Stannard and began making some of the most complex work of her career.

Karen’s life and work illuminate both the golden age of the American craft movement and the ethical, aesthetic, and living choices that all craftspeople face today.

Editor's note: Here are some reviews so far,

Reviews

"Filled with high-quality images spanning 60 years of [Karnes's] work. After reading the book, you will understand why she is commonly referred to as the 'grandmother of American ceramics.'"
--AmericanStyle

"There are too few books that treat pottery as seriously as other art forms; too few that pay sufficient tribute to the achievements of women artists; and too few that situate great art within a rich biographical context. This finely textured book does all three, providing in-depth analysis not only of Karnes's pots and sculpture, but also of the life of the fascinating person who made them."
--Glenn Adamson, Deputy Head of Research and Head of Graduate Studies, Victoria and Albert Museum

"Mark Shapiro has assembled a stellar cast of essayists to explore the intriguing life and work of potter Karen Karnes. They write with a grace, clarity, and reverence befitting this maker of sublime yet curiously humble clay masterpieces."
--Mark Hewitt, potter and co-author of The Potters Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery

"A great book about one of the important potters of our time. Seven artists, critics, historians, and friends, followed by Karen's own observations, document her life and work. Central, analytical, and factual, it is a fascinating story of creativity and dedication. Inspiring and long overdue, it is important reading for all artists."
--Warren MacKenzie, potter

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

From Where I Sit


Here's a quick view of some of the pots I've painted for the upcoming firing. I will try to keep you informed of the other pots I've painted as well as some source images from one of my favorite pottery books before the holiday break!

But for now it's lunchtime and then more brush play!

Questions? Leave a comment! Thanks.




Sunday, November 21, 2010

Full Moon Rising









Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pots & Chores


I finally finished my pots yesterday after slacking with other things and I needed a little warm up to my brushwork ahead and
painted a bunch of invitations to the studio tour coming up on December 3, 4, 5! Are you on my mailing list? [sign up here]

I also cut some wood that is too big/wide to stoke in the wood kiln, but makes nice heat for the house and studio. Nothing is wasted here! Unfortunately this makes for a lot of various pile of wood around the kiln yard. But I developed a pretty quick way of cutting and stacking.


I'll be deco-rotating the pots for the next few day until I haul them over the hill to load with Courtney next week. I will send images of some of the motifs that emerge from the session.
Digg Button

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yunomi

for the 2011 Akar Yunomi Invitational

The upcoming firing is probably the last wood firing I'll do before the deadline for the spring show in Iowa City, so here are a few hopefuls.

This is from the AKAR web site:
3/25/2011 - 4/4/2011
2011 Yunomi Invitational
(ONLINE ONLY)
~200 potters,
5 Yunomis each

- Posted using BlogPress from my uNomi

Coffee Break vol. #30



Bailey's Peak, aka the Peak, is always the focal point when I go in my walks around the field with Jack. Today I took this beautiful Courtney mug with me! It came from the firing last month that Courtney and I shared and has become a regular in my coffee break rotation. The handle fits my hand very well and the size is just right for an afternoon jolt-o-joe. Although you can't see it from this picture it has a nice liner glaze. I think it might be called salt white or white salt. The white glaze is a good way to tell whether the coffee is brewed strong enough. If I can see through the coffee to the glaze I might as well toss it out 'cause if I wanted tea I'd brew a pot of Earl Grey!

By this time next week Courtney and I will have loaded the kiln at her place and we'll be taking the holiday with family and friends. We'll return to fire the kiln on cyber Monday!

Back to work...



[ post posting note: here's another shot of CM's mug showing more detail in the glaze, etc! as always, you can click the pic to get a closer look]

Arrowmont and Beyond!

participants in the ACC Convening at Penland last month

I've just spent the morning doing paper work for my workshop at Arrowmont next September! OOO fun, fun! But seriously, it's pretty exciting to plan a workshop! The paperwork is a reality to assure that everything is in place for this one week adventure into wood firing and pottery making!

Just for you I will leak the course description to be published next month in the Arrowmont catalog:

Wood Fired Pots: Expect the Unexpected

The wood kiln is a great vehicle for expressing our best intentions and celebrating the process and the natural effects of fire on clay. We'll experiment with brushes and discuss imagery to create simple or complex patterns in slips and glazes. BYOB (bring your own cone 10 bisque ware) to be fired in the wood kiln. While we wait for the kiln to cool, we'll make pots of all sizes and join in a series of fun exercises that are guaranteed to brush up your decorating & painting skills!


Here is the longer description:

This will be an action packed week that will begin with decorating/glazing your pots to be fired in the manibigama wood kiln. Bring cone ten stoneware pots that have been bisque fired. We will load the kiln and fire the kiln paying close attention to the effects of different kinds of wood and frequency of stoking. We will use our sense of seeing, hearing and smell to understand what’s happening inside the kiln! While the kiln cools, we will make pots and do lots of fun brushwork exercises. I will demonstrate how to make pots of all sizes, especially larger pots. We will explore brushes, pattern making on the pottery surface, slip/glaze strategies, and other decorating techniques including my pigmented wax resist technique. In addition, I will discuss my blog and how it informs my studio practice. We will discuss various approaches to this online media and how it is shaping our pottery field. At the end of the week, we will unload the wood kiln and assess the results and have an informal critiques of the pots.

As I read these I am reminded of the tone of voice pro athletes fall into when being interviewed, or the tone that a museum docent falls into when giving a tour of a exhibition. You know that tone?

Anyway, I also wrote a brief statement for the American Craft Council's for the symposium, "Convenings", I attended at Penland a few weeks ago. Yea, I was supposed to submit this before the symposium, but just managed to get it together this morning. It's pretty brief because I had to send it in "Now", as the email I received stated! Well, the question was, after all, Why craft NOW?
Why craft now?

As a maker my question is usually why craft then? As a potter I tend to look at the history of my craft as a well to dip my hands into and a fire to keep stoking.
In typical Kline fashion I avoid actually answering the question by restating the question and then giving a rather mysterious and vague poetic kind of answer. Hmmm. Suspicious art speak?

I'd better get back to work. Please take aim at these words. Maybe it's not too late to edit for future consumption.


Oh, and don't be like me and procrastinate! Sign up for the Arrowmont workshop ASAP! The catalog comes out next month but you can preview the 2011 Workshop listing and reserve your spot by calling 865-436-5860!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ode2joy



You know it's a slippery slope to post 3 times in a day. But at the risk of saturating you and plain losing some of you, I submit this last post of the day. Sometimes later in the day, when one is tired and a little bleary eyed magical (at least to me) things can happen. As I was combing these bowls I thought about the feeling I had doing them.

Joy is something that doesn't get talked about all that much, but it is something that guides a lot of what I do. Combing these slipped bowls was a lot of fun and if I had another hundred I could have really gotten lost in it and I'm sure some interesting designs might have emerged. sigh

Alas, (which I think is Gaelic for girl)
Oh....as I was saying, when something feels good and you enjoy it, it's best to follow that feeling. Some might call it passion. Whatever you call it follow it.

I know what you're probably saying, "But where is the vine, Mr. Kline?" and to that I would say, "It ain't over yet."

So thank you if you are still reading this. As always thank you for reading and indulging me!

Stay tuned for some mad deco-rotation in the coming days!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iBegyourpardon

Same Not Same

Some slip combing from this afternoon. After combing 12 of these it dawned on me that I could use the same tool in a variety of ways! They didn't all have to be the same!











- Posted using BlogPress from my iSlipcomb

Human Sandblaster

John has taken on my derelict kiln shelves and his mission is to make them like-new or least "newish". After 36 firing in my kiln and who knows how many firings in the train kiln down in GA (where I picked them up second hand), the layer of kiln wash and wood ash, kiln wash and wood ash, had built up quite a bit. After a ridiculously absurd kiln shelf demo by moi, John went to work on them. About a half hour and a couple of shelves later, John came in to report that we should scrape those suckers completely and start over with the kiln wash! And he was absolutely right. I realized that I was blind to my own kiln shelf status quo (that's Latin for status quo)!!




John pointed out that not only did the layer add weight to the already heavy silicon carbide shelves, but it was also pretty brittle and would come off without too much effort. Well, it's a lot of work, but in the end, the shelves will be a bit lighter and we will gain a little real estate!

Some math: With the current layer of wash on the shelves at about 1/8th of an inch, maybe more on some, I figure with 24 shelves, that's about 3 inches in height! As you can see from the picture on the left there will be a whole lot of kiln wash crispies. I've started a bucket to save them. When John's done we'll weigh the bucket to see how much weight we'll not be lifting every time we load and unload the kiln!

Now it's time for some bisque ware rustling and hustling, some wax resisting and some crockery slipping.

Later.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Four quarts

I'm in the fourth quarter of this brief session in the pot shop and tomorrow I'll start to paint the pots. Here's some little pitchers from today's throwing.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPitcher

Coffee Break vol. 29

I need a big cup of Joe today as I finish up the pots I need to make for next weeks firing! So I reached for this one made by Ellen Shankin! It holds a good bit of java and I usually use this one to make a big cup of tea. The surface/glaze feels like velvet. No, it's not flocking, but the semi matte, rich, chocolaty, glaze has a softness that breaks so nicely on the fluted lines that zig zag from lip to foot . The handle reminds me of a little cup I used to use, before I dropped it, that was made by my teacher, Michael Simon. I guess I call it a trigger handle because one can only fit one finger through the handle and it's nicely back-filled (and I noticed as I look at this picture I just took, that it has the tiniest little chip in it's handle). No problem. It's quite a survivor and veteran of our cupboard! I think Stacey got this from Ellen the last time we were invited to show with 16 hands. (2007?). The proportions are wonderful and the lines of the fluting give the curve of the profile a nice edginess without spoiling the coziness in the hands. The fluting may also provide some relief from the hot beverage as one holds or cradles as I like to do. This cup has such nice scale that fills my hands.

Thanks Ellen!

I just noticed that our friends in Floyd will be having their Fall studio tour on the weekend of November 26-28! Check out the web site and plan your trip now!

[disclosure note: this coffee break™ is not sponsored, nor was it prompted, by 16hands.com. ;-)]

Stepping Over the Line (the deadline, that is)

When it comes to deadlines, I'm the worst. Last Friday was my deadline for last wet day, meaning, last day to make pots. But I moved it to today as there are a few things I still want to make.
  • quart pitchers
  • half gallon jars
  • tall vases
  • more yunomi and tumblers
I'm not sure if this is realistic considering the plastic that covers the pots on my table, but we'll see. I have until 3:30 this afternoon (when the girls come home from school, and maybe after supper. But the late nights are wearing me down and I'm going to try to get earlier starts in the morning during my deco/glaze days.


The girls have been working on their ornaments for the studio sale in December. Lillian was working overtime on her drawing (l) and Evelyn decided to make ornaments of her hands and feet! My little elves wanted to listen to some mood music so I cued up last.fm for some streaming Christmas tunes. I got into the fun too and mostly made round ornaments that I will paint and glaze for the upcoming firing at Courtney's.

Well, I'm off to the studio for my 24X 12! I hope everyone had a great weekend and will be as productive as I hope to be this week!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday is The New Monday: No Rest For the Weary

After the Veteran's Day Holiday and no school yesterday, it feels like Monday. But who am I foolin'? I don't really have weekends this time of the year, anyway! I guess it's been a long week, feels more like ye olde fortnight!

Still gawking at the beautifully clear skies we've had over the last few days and finding that the only time I can really be productive is when the curtains fall on all of that glaring daylight. Last night was another late night, but productive. After getting the handles on these really big tankards and retrofitting the lids on a dozen jars, I tore into making some yunomi(i) for the AKAR Yunomi show in the spring.

I know what you're saying, "spring??" Yes, April, I believe. Working back from the online opening, there's the deadline that the gallery needs the pots in January to begin photography of the gazillion cups Then there's rarity of a wood firing in December, here, and you get making them in November! This pottery doesn't happen overnight, ya know!?

[yes it does]
[huh?]
[overnight, that is]
[oh, I get it]
[ ;---) ]

What? All of that and no pictures???

[imagine image of a board full of roundish cups with
dramatic early morning lighting highlighting surface
details of wooden ribs and fullness of form]

What kind of blog is this anyway?

OK, back to some sort of sanity... Here are some ornaments Stacey and the girls worked on yesterday! in porcelain!! We're lining things up for this years BIG Toe River Studio Tour. Folks come from all over the Southeast to this 2 county 3 day weekend Crafts Mecca event! [If you're on my mailing list we'll be sending out our annual hand painted card to your mailbox very soon, announcing the time and dates. And it's not to late to sign up. See mailing list sign up button on the right. It's instant and it's free]

OK, I'd better put my auto-magical blogging pen down and start punching out items on my little chalkboard. I can't let all of this early morning genius time go to waste!

[it's actually just coffee energy]

Later.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

View From the Crunch



The return of the swirl. These tankards (steins) are made with 2.25# of clay! I'll be taking one these to the Pizza Shop for a fill-up of some of their fine brew! Still potting here as crunch week continues. Last wet day is the 12th but it might have to be moved to the 14th with recent schedule changes with the family. Empty bowls at Penland tomorrow night. More later or in the a.m.

Splash

Haphazard slip job.

Nice, I think. The finished article won't be as graphic, but I find such joy in the moment!




Template For Wednesday

[Insert pictures of shelves and tables filling with freshly thrown pots]

[Insert inspiring stories of charm,wit, and insight]

[insert needle on vinyl record screeeeeeeeeeching.......]

Instead here I am at mid week and find that I've made little progress during this crunch week. In fact it's turning out to be the same as most weeks. Except that I am stressing more about what needs to be done than normal! To g.t.d. today I may,
  • have to postpone progress on the chicken coop that I began building yesterday.
  • have to stay away from any yard work that the beautiful weather outside makes appealing.
on the plus side:
  • I finished up all of my pots that were under plastic late last night!
  • I'm off to start a wood stove in the shop and get an early start!
  • There is still a lot of good clay!
  • I'm excited about making some lidded jars!
  • Adjunct potter John is coming to help today (I have a solid list for him to punch out.)
I hesitate to use the phrase , but here goes,

"It's all good!"

;-)

In the meanwhile, if you have the time, check out these Svend Bayer videos that Support Your Local Potter posted yesterday. They really are all good!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Still My Standard


This Mark Hewitt pitcher (l) is still my standard. I eagerly work towards that day when I make it mine.