Have you visited the NCECA web site lately?
For those who are not potters, NCECA is the “National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts”. Their objective is to enrich and promote the ceramics through education. Most people know NCECA for its annual conference they put at different locations across the country, their exhibitions, and publications.
One of their upcoming events will be a symposium this fall in Jingdezhen, China!
NCECA/Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute International Symposium –
Shared Journeys: Chinese/American Ceramic Art Education
October 22 – November 2, 2008
On the Preview page of the Symposium are slideshows from around Jingdezhen, the Ancient Kiln Museum, as well as a few great Quicktime videos of people there skillfully making and decorating pots, all compiled by Richard Burkett and Joe Molinaro when they were there earlier this year .
The pure magnitude of some of the pots produced there and the skill of the craftsmen is, to say the least, somewhat humbling. ..five foot platters, 4×8′ handmade porcelain tiles, 6/9/12+ foot tall urns… almost unfathomable, especially to those who have worked in porcelain before and know its finicky and particular nature.
So what is their secret? Apparently, I was told, the porcelain in Jingdezhen isn’t like the smooth plastic body we know here in the west, in fact its not very plastic at all, but they have learned to work with this. They throw thick There’s a picture of one segment of a particularly large pot on the Symposium page being thrown by a team of 3 people. For large pieces such as the massive urns pictured on the website, sections are thrown separately, let dry to bone dry, then the segments are bonded together using slip. Once that’s done, they trim the assembled vessel and decorate.
There are still some spots available too.. I sure wish I could go.
Lowell came in this morning with this little baby mockingbird he found hopping across the road with no parents in sight, no nest in sight, and on his way to getting run over. Pretty obvious he had fallen out of his nest. He is quite a skilled hopper, even for a little guy.
For now, we are spoon feeding him and hopefully we’ll be able to set him free once his flight feathers grow in. As anyone who has found little wild chicks like this can tell you, it can be a challenge to keep baby wild birds alive once you take them in. I hope this little guy, who my daughter has already nicknamed “Tweet”, makes it.
To feed him I am using a tiny baby spoon which is actually just a little narrower than the inside diameter of his beak. A teaspoon can also work well if you bend the edges of the spoon in and kind of over to fit inside the bird’s beak enough to get the food down its throat.
Hooray! Finally, a day without any rain in the forecast so I can do a bisque firing!
Late yesterday we were out on the boat and took a ride up the river to see if I could catch any photos of the shoreline, shore flowers, and hopefully an egret or heron. There’s so many things out there in nature to look to for inspiration. We did see a blue heron but, unfortunately, he flew off before I got a chance to get close enough to grab a shot. (Did I mention its hard to snap shots with a chatty and fidgity 4 year old in an aluminum boat)
I’ve been curious about the movie function on my digital camera for a while and how it would look once I uploaded it to YouTube. Unbelievably, I’ve had this camera for close to 4 years now and have never used the movie function. Anyways, on our trip up the river, I tried it out. (Maybe now that I have straddled that hurdle, I can start putting together some demo clips. ) Unfortunately, I discovered, the zoom capability (macro) on my camera only works when taking still shots. For now, though, I will just have to work with the technology I have.
I had a bit of fun last night editing it with the MyMuvee AutoProducer software that came with my computer then I uploaded the clip to YouTube so see how much distortion there would be. I am glad to say, I noticed no difference playing the video off my hard drive than online. I had hoped to just upload a straight shot, but the editing software I was using (that I’m not all that familiar with yet) kind of forced me to use a “style”, so I chose “classic sepia”. Its not all that bad though because the sepia and the addition of a bit of music seem to distract from the roughness of the filming.
Knowlty Creek is not 2 miles from the studio. Its part of the tributary system that feeds Weeks Bay, Mobile Bay and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. Its part of the Weeks Bay Watershed. It is also part of one of the two remaining water postal deliver routes in the U.S..
I found this lovely video/DVD put out by the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) online and thought other people might like it as much as I do.
For those of you who raku, or simply love raku pottery, you may or may not know that Paul Soldner is known as the father of modern raku as we know it today… but that is only part of the story.
This video is available at: http://www.playingwithfirethemovie.com
Please check out this video trailer of the film I’ve linked in from YouTube below: