The Cousins Are Coming

founding cousins (l-r) Gholson, Henneke, Kline

It's hard to believe that in just two weeks my Cousins in Clay will be here unwrapping their pots for our Labor Day weekend pottery show. Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke will be arriving from their Seagrove, North Carolina home and pottery. Kyle Carpenter will be pulling into the drive with his converted trailer/camper from Asheville, NC, and Troy Bungart, all the way from Three Rivers, Michigan will have just wrapped up his workshop at the nearby Penland School of Crafts.

Together there will be hundreds of cups, bowls, pitchers, plates and platters of a seemingly infinite palette of glaze colors and pottery shapes.

Guest Cousin Troy Bungart, Three Rivers, Michigan

Guest Cousin Kyle Carpenter, Asheville, NC
Here is the schedule of events for the weekend at:

Michael Kline Pottery
4062 Snow Creek Rd
Bakersville, NC

September 1 & 2, 2018

Saturday  - 10 am - 6 pm

FRESH WOODFIRED PIZZA and cold beverages. 

2 pm demo by Kyle Carpenter

Sunday - 10 am - 5 pm

light refreshments 

2 pm demo Troy Bungart

plenty of refreshments at Cousins in Clay

Playing with Clay and Stamps

I’m taking a page out of my apprentice’s playbook in this new approach to stamping and inlaying. This bowl was stamped wet on the wheel and then stretched/thrown from the inside only, distorting the original stamped impressions. (see wooden stamp) I look forward to firing this piece this weekend among a LOT of painted tableware. Look for a online shop refresh next week. 🤞✨🍶✨

Joel Willson Pottery on Instagram

Check out Joel's Instagram account for more great posts and don't forget to follow! Here are a couple of my favorite posts for you.

Joel Edinger-Willson

I’m very excited to introduce you to my first official apprentice, Joel Edinger-Willson. Joel and I met in Minnesota, where he was recommended to me by Steve Rolf for whom Joel had previously worked. Joel moved to NC with his wife Serena about a month ago and hit the ground running in his new space filling up some boards with his pots. He’s quite a keen eye and has taken some really great pics of the pots he’s making, so check out his Instagram. Click on the pic below and 👉follow @joelwillsonpottery 👈to see his story.

Platter for Archie

This platter was made at @arrowmont_school during this winter’s #pentaculum2018 and now it’s on the way to @archie_bray for their annual benefit auction! It’s a collaboration between Mike Gesiakowski (@mgclay) and myself. Mike took a stamp and transformed the pattern by enlarging and repeating it in photoshop and then made a vinyl print that we transferred to paper and created a slip transfer. I hope that makes sense. Basically Mike did most of the creative work! i just did a little stamping and brushwork to finish it off. I think it’s pretty stunning and am happy to donate it for the awesome cause of helping the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena MT. Follow the link in my profile for more details. Bid often and bid high for this organization and its mission.

Thimble-For What Ails Ya


Last week we saw the rock supergroup, possibly mega-supergroup, Journey and I was wowed and brought to whooping by the drumming of Steve Smith. As expected, the band played their songbook of platinum hits and during La Do Da (Infinity) Steve Smith unleashed an amazing solo. It was the highlight of the show for me. I'm not a drummer but I can appreciate his artful playing. Here's an interesting drum "clinic" that I recently watched, completely mesmerized, and so impressed with his technique! Drum craft!


Early Yunomi with Inlay

Deeeeee V Deeeeee

Here's another clip from my Ceramic Arts Network DVD.  I have just a few copies of available. SO I thought it would be nice to have a sale! Get free shipping when you check the FREE SHIPPING box in checkout! Here's a little excerpt about making NC swirlware.  The video is 1 hr 45 min and full of good stuff, including a not to be missed blooper reel and a gallery of hi res images.


D veeeee D!

I have just a few copies of my Ceramic Arts Network DVD available. SO I thought it would be nice to have a sale! Get free shipping when you check the FREE SHIPPING box in checkout! Here's a little excerpt about making NC swirlware.  The video is 1 hr 45 min and full of good stuff, including a 'not to be missed" blooper reel and a gallery of hi res images.


Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Patreon

Support my friend Ben Carter by contributing as a patron of his Patreon program!
I donated this bowl that Ben gave away to a lucky patron. Check out his podcast and become a Patreon patron today!

Ramen Bowl Painting Pt 2

Here's the other half of the ramen bowl brushwork/painting. It somehow escaped the other post and it's Part 1. ;-)

Painting Video--Rough Draft

I'm loading my kiln today, but managed to have Lillian take some video of my brushwork. I think I need another take or two, but for now I thought it would be nice to share this with my readers as an advance rough-cut, and when I am finished firing I will put these together in a more polished version.

 I will be in Seagrove this coming weekend for the 10th Annual Cousins in Clay. More info on that show can be found here! I hope to see some of you who can make it.

Edges and Wax Resist


Guillermo Cuellar

Guillermo, me, Laurie Cuellar

It’s been an honor to show alongside Guillermo Cuellar at his studio during the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour. Guillermo invited me to the 2016 tour and I showed for the last 3 years. Here is an excerpt from his statement that can be found on his website,

Clay is infinitely receptive and expressive; it records the character of the maker, the circumstances of making and the use given to it. In use our hands can sense every mark, every ridge and dent, left by the hands of the potter. Maybe that is why so many potters love to cook, it gives us an excuse to handle and appreciate these wonderful pieces.

Exquisite beauty can be found in pots made primarily for use. They may dwell more comfortably in a home, a kitchen, or the dinner table, than on display in a gallery or a museum. But to me their significance comes not only from the preparing and sharing of food but also from bringing that unique beauty into our daily lives.

Drying in the Sun

Here are the last pots for Tuesday's firing out drying for a bisque firing. It's only been a week but I made as much as I could for the upcoming Cousins in Clay These inlay pieces are more of a departure from floral patterns, but I'm enjoying the geometry.