Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Week Four

This woodfired vessel was used in the Ikebana Display at last weekend's pottery show. A Sogetsu artist finished it with this lovely simple arrangement. It doesn't take a lot of expensive flowers--just a good eye with the right floral materials.
This piece is about 22" long - $175.

Below is one of my "Split Vases" with an arrangement and an example of how they look without flowers. I enjoy making these odd vessels that need to be finished with flowers. It's interactive and gives me great joy to see how they are used. Beginning arrangers shouldn't be afraid of them because they make arranging fun.
14" tall - $175.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Week Three

I've got a show coming up at the Convention Center in Portland (26th Annual Ceramic Showcase with 200 other potters-April 25-27, 2008) and at The Arts Center, Corvallis, (April 23-May 20) but unfortunately this lovely little pot won't be amongst the wares. A slight hairline crack that didn't go all the way through, opened up in the firing even with a good sealer glaze inside. I liked this piece too much to not fire it, but knew better. I just have to use a liner so I can enjoy it at home, or yet another "garden pot". I seem to make a lot of those.
NFS porcelain pot.

Friday, April 11, 2008

More Brown Pots

This pot should've come out lighter with warm waves of orange colors. Instead, I'm learning to appreciate how the flames licked around the sides and left hot ash deposits with just a hint of fumed redish orange undulating in the center.

Why do we love these little brown pots so? Because of the toil, vapor, ash and heat that put each and every mark there. The flame keeps informing us just what shaped pots we should make. And so we make rounder shoulders and fatter bellies or use different clay bodies and stack our wares just so to get the ash to paint beautifully on our works. Of course there are disappointments, but sometimes a few months down the road even those pieces tell us something about what to make next.
"Oval Vase" - $200.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Week Two

While March was leaving like a cold snowing, hailing, wet lion, a group of us were also trying to woodfire in the Oregon Coast Range at Jay Widmer's Anagama kiln ( This includes stoking a large fire breathing dragon for two days, eating mass quantities of wonderful potluck food, and being immersed in a group process that yields lasting bonds and a few wonderful pots. On Friday we unloaded to sights like this.

Woodfiring is humbling. Pots that seemed perfect for the firing come out showing every flaw, that the liner glaze was a mistake, and that it really should've been made from a different clay altogether. Then a piece that almost didn't get put in because I wasn't quite sure whether or not it "was worthy" comes out being one of the gems.

I will never be the perfectionist potter that I wish I could be and woodfiring continues to point that out to me with a big "Nyah, nyah." But it also encourages me to let go of that notion as being silly in the first place because in woodfiring there is no control.

Below is Week Two vase after she was cleaned up a bit.
"Vase with Stripes" - 8"x8" $195