Mar 27 2011

Spring is here

The pecan trees have finally started to leaf out so its fair to say that spring is here and there’s no turning back. As the weather warms up other visitors come out as well. Here are just a few of the guys that have come out here in last week or so.

Tree frog at nightGreen Tree Frogtree frogGeckoWater mocassin - cottonmouth


Feb 22 2011

In the studio today

Well the conference is over, the weather is fine, and I’m finally back in the studio. Yay!

Bas Relief on porcelain

Continuing to work on carving some bas relief designs on porcelain pieces I had thrown before the weekend. Its a bit of a leap of faith.. you commit all that time carving a design and hope for the best that they come out fine in the firing and all the glazes do what they’re supposed to be doing. ..on to the bisque firing they go!

Dogwood relief

Well on Saturday, despite the greatest of intentions, I didn’t end up taking very many pictures at all, but here are just a few more shots from the conference for you, this time of the three presenters: Chris Gustin, Misty Gamble, and Christa Assad.

Chris GustinMisty GambleChrista Assad

(fyi Next year’s conference will be in Birmingham and run by Scott Bennett)

It takes a few days to fully digest what one has seen at any workshop or conference. Sometimes you come away just brimming with excitement, inspiration and ideas, and are just rearing to go! Other times, well,.. it just takes a bit longer.

I have a question for you now.. If you were to attend a clay conference, what would you expect/like/want to see? What would you like to take away from the experience? Any dislikes…? Please comment


Feb 18 2011

Throw me something, Mister!

On stage at the Alabama Clay Conference

Just got back from the first day at the Alabama Clay Conference that’s being held in downtown Mobile this year (yes, I know, I slipped out of town before the Mardi Gras Parades began.. sad huh?). This year’s presenters are Chris Gustin, Misty Gamble, and Christa Assad. I’m not quite decided if I like all three presenters on stage at once, but thankful there were big screens on stage (and that I had enough coffee this morning to keep up with it).

Conference continues tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are just a few of the pictures I shot today at Space 301 and at the Eastern Shore Art Center (in Fairhope) last night.

Show at the Eastern Shore Art CenterEstella FransbergenClay exhibit at the Eastern Shore Art CenterSpace301 clay exhibitAlisa HolenChrista AssadMisty GambleSpace 301


Feb 5 2011

Bovine beauties

Another little aside from pots again.
Bovine Beauty He looks as though he could talk.

Caught a few shots of this beauty and his herd companions a couple of days ago on our way home from town. (I *think* he’s a Texas Longhorn. If you know different, please post a comment and tell me what these are). Like the pelicans I posted pics of previously, these guys were perfect models, seemingly unphased by my presence.

Sometime in October or November, my camera died (that’s why I had no sales listings posted online most of the fall). Then, just before Christmas, my dead camera was finally replaced (!). Its amazing that a mere 6 years can make such a difference in technology. You can get so much more camera now and for a fraction of the price of what they were a few years ago (super holiday sale deals sweeten the price well). Hoping this cam takes just as nice shots of pots.

Bull

Coco


Jan 22 2011

Back from the great beyond

new roadHere it is, 2011.  I didn’t realize, but (egad!) its been over a year (!) since I’ve posted on my blog or done any maintenance to my web site, short of renewing my domain and making sure the site would still be hosted.  That’s not much of a way to keep a blog alive or peek interest but.. it is what it is. With a fresh year ahead, I’m hoping to make good and have more regular new entries with photos of work and life around the studio.

As I remember saying in one of my previous posts, I discovered Facebook and Twitter 2 yrs ago and, I admit, its been responsible for a good bit of my negligence here.  (For those of you who are on Facebook already, our page is http://www.facebook.com/WebbPottery.)  Let’s face it, some days its a lot easier to microblog than come up with a full post. Despite some reservations, its been a great way to network and I’ve connected and reconnected with  so many people, old and new friends alike.  It seems the world has become an increasingly small place.

So what happened last year.. well, I demonstrated at the Gulf Coast Clay Conference in Pensacola in February, I made it back to Canada this summer for a rejuvenating visit, and started giving lessons again this fall. Those are kind of the highlights of the year.

Now for the not so high points. Last year was actually a particularly rough year for us.  I don’t usually mention much about our home life here, so you are probably not aware that we have a developmentally delayed daughter.  She’s 8 years old but functions more or less on the level of a one year old.  Last year she started to have some serious behavioural and social issues which really put a strain on life at home and school (she’s been in a special ed program since the age of 3).  It was essentially a whole year of her going ballistic, hurting herself (and others, including beating up on her sister, classmates, teachers, and whoever else came in her path), and breaking and destroying things in her tirades.  She could go off in an instant for no apparent reason and needed constant care for her own safety.. exponentially moreso than usual.  It was impossible to find a babysitter or caregiver who felt up to the challenge of dealing with her, and with no family support, the tension was constant and overwhelming. …sigh.. Let me just say, it was pretty rough time on all of us and it really took a tole. Many things were neglected and suffered as a result. Anyways last August there was finally a breakthrough and, with help of her wonderful teachers, doctor, and a consult to a neurologist, she is back on a more even keel again, restoring at least some quality of life for all of us, including her. ..phew! Its not “normal”, but its definitely better. Recently, she has been moved to a smaller class which seems to have helped enormously, as well.

Oily tidal pool at Orange Beach July 4th weekendSo on top of that, then came the BP oil spill last April, taking a further toll on an already waning Gulf Coast economy thanks to the recession.  (Here is a picture I took from the pier in Orange Beach AL on July 4th. As you can see the normally snow white sand is covered with tar balls and disgusting brown sea foam. While you can’t see in this shot, some of the tar still on the beach were about 3 to 4 feet across. I haven’t been to the beach not 20 miles away since.) Key industries this area relies upon are fishing, construction, real estate, and tourism, and everything just trickles down from there.  Most realtors in Baldwin County have had to seek properties elsewhere to deal in order to survive because nothing is moving here. Building had come to a standstill for months.  One land surveying company rep told me that things better turn around by spring, or there will be no surveying companies left in this county.   So here we are left in the aftermath, trying to regroup and figure out how to deal with the mess we’ve been left with… ecologically and economically. ..regardless..

It will be interesting to see how the year unfolds for those working in the arts down here as well..


Oct 16 2009

Blog, Facebook, and the Grand Festival

I have a confession to make. I think I was being fairly conscientious about keeping up with my blog up until the past few months, when I got sucked into  Twitter and Facebook.   Its all good though.  We have a new Webb Pottery Facebook Page there at http://www.facebook.com/WebbPottery/ . If you’re on Facebook, check it out. 

28th Grand Festival of Art, Fairhope ALThis weekend we’ll be at the 28th Annual Grand Festival of Art in Fairhope AL, from 10 am – 5pm both days. 

 The Eastern Shore Arts Center hosts 2 shows a year, one in the Spring, and this one, in the fall.  A few years ago the fall festival was moved from The Grand Hotel grounds in Point Clear, to the park by the Fairhope Pier. 

This year, however,  it will take place right in downtown Fairhope which will be a lot more convenient for both exhibitors and patrons.  For more info regarding the show, please contact the Eastern Shore Art Center at (251) 928-2228 or by email at esac@esartcenter.com.

Please look for us.  You can find us in Booth #50 located on Fairhope Ave., toward Church St. . 

The weather should be great (sunny both days with temps in the mid 60s), so be sure to drop by our booth and check out some of our pottery.   Look forward to seeing you there!

 

(Also while you’re in Fairhope, be sure to check out  the Alabama Coastal Birdfest  at Faulkner College across from the Fairhope Library)


Aug 4 2009

APTV Alabama Craft & their Online Art Auction

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Alabama Public Television, a few months ago, had aired their wonderful two-part documentary Alabama Craft: Tradition and Innovation, which featured seven notable and talented craftspeople  from across the state, and their work.

Peacock Feather Lidded Raku VesselFrom July 16th through August, APTV is hosting an Online Art Auction via eBay, featuring work by the artists in the film as well other contributing Alabama artists (including yours truly. My piece, pictured here, will come up for auction Aug 6th).  “All of the funds raised will go to support the education mission of Alabama Public Television, and help us continue to make films like Alabama Craft.”

The list of artists include: Mozell Benson (Folk Quilts), Cal Breed (Glasswork), Jerry Brown (Folk Pottery), Steve Dark (Folk Pottery), Frank Fleming (Porcelain Sculpture), Ham Allen (Folk Pottery), William Gene Ivey (Instrument Maker/Fiddles), Bettye Kimbrell (Heritage Quilts), Cam Langley (Glasswork), Bruce Larsen (Mixed Media Sculpture), Charlie Lucas (Folk/Mixed Media), Bertice McPherson (Ceramic Sculpture), Eric Miller (Folk Pottery), Steve Miller (Folk Pottery), John Phillips (Metalworks), Tut Riddick (Paint), Charles Smith (Pottery), Anne Webb (Pottery), and Yvonne Wells (Quilts).

To learn more about the auction, the artists, and the art, please visit the   APTV Online Art Auction Home page.

Make your bid today to support a great cause!


Jun 9 2009

‘Shared Expressions’ Exhibit at the MMA

Looking for something around town to do?  Lowell and I, along with 2 other fellow members of the Coastal Artisans, Charles Smith and Maria Spies, are pleased to be taking part in the Shared Expressions  exhibit on now through to Sept 13th at the Mobile Museum of Art.  The exhibit is a compilation of work by regional artists working in a variety of mediums, from painting to fibre to lapidary, to clay.  For more info, please contact:  http://www.mobilemuseumofart.com

sharedweb


Feb 3 2009

AlabamaGoods.com

alabamagoods.com Coffee and Webb Dragonfly MugWe were contacted last fall by the folks at AlabamaGoods.com who wanted to add some of our pottery to their shop online.

Opened in 2007, the  AlabamaGoods.com site is focused on selling items from Alabama, ranging from pickles to pottery to clothing items.

Pictured here, our stoneware pottery mug has been paired up with some O’Henry’s CoffeesSumatra Gold Roast and offered as a corporate gift box set on the AlabamaGoods.com site:  http://alabamagoods.com/clay-mug-coffee.html


Nov 24 2008

In Pursuit of Perfect Clay.. part deux

A couple of weeks ago we had a dumptruck load of clay delivered from the new clay deposit.  I guestimated the pile was around 5 tons or so, but as it turns out, our neighbor, who drives for the same kind of truck, told me one of those trucks heaped up with clay like it was, holds something closer to 27 tons (or more?)!!  All 27 tons, just for the cost of trucking it to our studio not 15 – 20 miles away.  (If you have bought commercially prepared clay, you can probably do the math for what the equivalent would be).

We’ve left the dumped clay uncovered and open to the elements now for two weeks or so, in order for the rain to wash away a little of the residual sand off that was picked up in the dump truck onto the clay’s surface. The mound is already starting to turn from a reddy orange to more of a amethyst-y pink clay color.  Yesterday I broke apart a clump  to reveal a piece of nice, clean, sandless solid clay.   Since the time the of the delivery, three or four batches of clay have been mixed.  I have thrown some of it,  and the rest I have left to age a little more.  ..well, until tomorrow, at least, when I start my throwing cycle again.

best digging toolBefore it was time to mix the second batch, though, Lowell took me out to the new deposit site for the first time to help gather some dryer clay for the mix, since the clay we already had at the studio was still a little too damp to crush to a powder.  So off we went..

We drove for about 20 minutes down familiar roads and around familiar turns, when all of the sudden Lowell turned into a little dirt driveway entrance.  It was a lot closer than I thought it would be.

clay mountainWell!  I thought the truck load that was delivered was a lot, but I saw where it was excavated from and it took barely a dent out of the mountain that lay before me.  Here is a picture of what I first saw.  It stands about 20 feet high and is at least 60 feet long .   Its mostly pink clay, though there are layers of white, and red, and a layer further in the middle of some dark shale-like material which I assume is the remnants of decomposed vegetation .

I was chipping away dry surface clay and filling up my bucket, as  the fog gradually cleared.  It was almost like a dream.  Off to my right, was another clay mountain .. and yet another further on.

excavated hillside revealing striationHere is a photo of a hillside that had been excavated with a backhoe.  Sorry,  I couldn’t get the entire hill in the shot but you can get an idea of the various strata.   This layer starts down about 6 feet from the surface and, in this spot, is about 4-6 feet thick.

I’ll try and post more pictures as I can.