Jul 22 2007

Mixing clay.


Today was the first run of our “new” clay mixer. In the spirit of recycling, the mixer is a converted 1915 dough mixer from an old bakery.


As you can see here, its powered by the still useable motor portion of an old generator.

(Our other mixer, which served us well but finally rusted out this spring, was made from a Second World War anti-aircraft gun.)


Feb 3 2007

Raku pot in progress….

The only pictures of designed raku pottery I’ve had up on the blog have been finished ones. I thought it might be kinda cool to see what these pots look like in their raw state.

Here are a few I’ve been working on that are still very much in progress. One has an iris design and the other, bay magnolia. After studying a subject, whether it be a peacock feather or a particular flower, and making my sketches, I visualize the design layout then carefully carve it into the surface of the “leather hard” clay.
Green Webb Pot with Incised Iris design
Carving a design into clay is much different than drawing or painting it. The positioning of the tool initially can be tricky and carving, like anything else with pottery, takes practice. After you spend all that time and effort making that pot — throwing, trimming, and waiting for the clay to be just the right consistency– you have a lot invested and you don’t want to mess up. Once you lay your tool into the clay and make a cut, there is no going back or correcting it, so extra care needs to be taken.

Incised Bay Magnolia Design - raw clayAfter the carving is complete, the pot is left to dry usually for about a week or until it is “bone dry”. It is then bisque fired, glazed, then fired raku kiln. (Please see my post from July 18th for a description of the raku process).

I will try and post pictures of these pots again once they have been glazed and fired.


Dec 24 2006

Pottery Fresh from the kiln, The Coffee Loft, Fairhope Alabama

Webb Pottery Stoneware Mug for The Coffee Loft, Anne Webb 2006 Annually I make a series of custom stoneware mugs for The Coffee Loft, one of two coffee shops in and around Fairhope, Alabama, on Mobile Bay’s Eastern Shore. Located on North Section street, this popular spot attracts a broad range of people, mostly on account of the excellent coffee and customer service, but I think also because of the wonderfully laid-back and eclectic feel of the place, a far-cry from the typical impersonal cookie-cutter style coffee franchises that have crept in and popped up everywhere.

You can usually find something a little different to look at everytime you go in, whether it be some new art for sale by a local artist, or even just the people who walk in the door (i told you it was a diverse crowd). Just yesterday I popped in (for some real coffee on my way home) and on display was a new crop of whimsical art by Ameri’ca Jones Gallaspy, Gloria Tullos, and a few others.

Webb Pottery Stoneware Coffee Mug for The Coffee Loft, Anne Webb 2006They serve freshly brewed coffees, teas, baked goodies, sandwich wraps & other fare made on-site. They also have a nice assortment of coffee beans, ground coffee, and teas to choose from. (My fave to get are the chocolate covered espresso beans!)
The Coffee Loft is located just down the street from the Eastern Shore Art Center, at 503 North Section Street, Fairhope AL
(251) 929-2299

Comfortable & roomy seating. Lots of parking.
Good Hot Coffee
Open 7 days a week.

Dec 21 2006

Webb Pottery: Coastal Artisans, Potter Charles Smith, Gulf Coast Kiln Walk Anagama Opening

Well Christmas is right around the corner and December seems to have passed as soon as it came. There were a lot of pots made in between illnesses and the different obligations and distractions that typically pull you away when you have 2 small children.

Our much anticipated Coastal Artisans Art Show took place on December 2nd (the invitational art show that we had been busily organizing since early last spring) and I am so very pleased to say it was a great success, thanks to a lot of elbow grease on everybody’s part, great community support, and, of course, a buying public. It was a very positive experience and imminently rewarding. We have a really personable and eclectic group of artists and I feel very fortunate to have been able to get to know them over the last several months. I really look forward to working with them again next year. In case you who were involved are reading this blog, I wish to thank all of you who participated and to everyone else who so generously helped us make everything happen.

Designed Stoneware Tripod Vessel by Charles SmithOne of the members and a co-founder of The Coastal Artisans, is Charles Smith. A native of Mobile, Alabama, he is one of the region’s most well known, widely recognized, and certainly respected professional visual artists. He is a true craftsman with a shrewd business sense, a great sense of humor and a heart of gold. Some of you may be interested to learn that a number of video interviews with Charles have been posted on YouTube, where Charles reflects upon technique, design, and artistry, among other things. To view these eight videos, including a slideshow of some of his pots, go to http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=smithpots.

Something else that has gone on in the early part of the month, as mentioned in my previous posts…… On Saturday Dec 16th, the Gulf Coast Kiln Walk Society had the official opening of their anagama kiln. Sadly we weren’t able to make it over be there for the event, but not for lack of desire (my 4 year old brought home yet another cold from school and this time, everybody here got it.). According to a recent email from Marty and Brenda Stokes, the firing took 5 days, as it did last year when Brian Harper helped them fire it. I can’t wait to see the pictures and, with any luck, a video of the event on their web site.


Sep 23 2006

Webb Art Pottery Stylized Art Nouveau Oleander Design – Raku Vase

Webb Raku Vase - Stylized Art Nouveau Oleander

Vase with Art Nouveau Stylized Oleander Design
Incised design, Raku fired

Approx 12″H x 6.5″W

Anne Webb, Webb Pottery, 2006

Recently listed on ebay: Item #130030461617


Aug 18 2006

Webb Raku Art Pottery on eBay: webbpots

Peacock Feather Motif Vessel
Approx 4.5″ H x 3.75″ W

Anne Webb, Webb Pottery, Magnolia Springs, 2006

This vessel was recently listed on ebay:
Item #130017712794
under Art: Self-Representing Artists category

NEW WORK POSTED ON OUR WEB PAGE
If you would like to see more raku pieces, please visit our web page and click on the “Original Art Works” section.

Thanks!


Aug 15 2006


Raku Pottery Vessel

Purple Tulips, Stylized Floral Design
Approximately 9.5″ H x 5.5″ W

Anne Webb, Webb Pottery
Magnolia Springs, 2006


Jul 18 2006

So about our Webb Raku & Stoneware Pottery…

Raku Bottle with Peacock Feather Motif, by Anne Webb,2006

In the past few months, I’ve posted pictures of some of our pottery here on the blog and on our web site, now here is a little info about it.

All our raku vessels, are individually formed, carved, brush-glazed, and fired, using an American variation of the Japanese firing technique known as raku.
Lowell covering a red-hot piece just taken from the kiln, with sawdust
A glazed pot is heated to approximately 1825 degrees Fahrenheit. Its then taken from the kiln while its still red-hot, gently placed in a bed of pine shavings, and then covered (as you can see in this picture, we use a wheelbarrow or on other occasions in a metal wash tub as our pine shavings receptacle). When the oxygen in the air surrounding the pot is depleted by the flame, the flame then looks to the glaze for more oxygen molecules to consume. A chemical reaction may take place in the glaze, causing spontaneous and random flashes of color and metallic lustre. As the pot cools, a random crackling (or crazing) of the glaze occurs as the clay and the glaze expand and contract at different rates. What also happens is the carbon from the burning shavings fuses to all the unglazed surfaces and cracks in the glaze, turning them black. The piece, still hot, is then extracted from its bed of shavings and is quenched (or rapidly cooled) with water. Doing so not only cools the pot to the touch, but sets the colors before theglazes have a chance to reoxidize. Some of the results can be quite spectacular and its easy to understand the allure of pottery fired in this way. No two peices ever turn out completely the same and every one, in its own way, is one-of-a-kind.

Lowell Webb Digging native Alabama clay from local depositsThe majority of stoneware clay we use for our functional pottery is from abundant native Alabama clay deposits, usually found within just an hour’s drive of the studio right here in Baldwin Country. The deposit Lowell working on here is right along a local roadside. The clay that seems to work best is whitish or, better Native Clay Gallon Pitcher with Iris Brushworkyet, almost a bubble gum color. It fires the highest and has the least amount of impurities which is perfect for durable functional ware. Our functional pottery is individually formed, most of it on a potter’s wheel, is individually decorated, and then high-fired in a propane fueled gas kiln to approximately 2400 degrees Fahrenheit.

I’ll have to cover in future posts some of the primitive-fired pieces we do as well as the ongoing journey of the building of our small wood kiln using recycled materials…


Jul 14 2006

Webb Pottery Apparel and Accessories on CafePress


Just opened, our new Webb Pottery CafePress store!

Shirts, hats, aprons, custom postage, and other paraphenalia with the Webb Pottery name and images from our original artwork (as you can see here).

Also available, apparel and accessories including bumper stickers, hats, etc. with fun pottery mottos and messages, as well as some others meant to motivate and inspire.

Visit often as we add new stuff!