Oct 27 2011

Potters of Japan

Someone the first part of this video series by Peeler Ceramic Art Films, on Facebook and I thought I would share it here as well.  I’m not sure what date these originally came out, but they kind of look like they’re from the 60s or earlier.  I love seeing these older pottery documentaries and hope you do too.

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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Feb 12 2011

The Art of Slip Trailing

I’ve long admired the skill it takes to slip trail a design on a pot and make it look right. Not only do you have to execute an artful design and be sure of your line, it takes some coordination, being aware at all times of the exact amount of pressure you have on the bottle to control the flow of slip and have it come out in a controlled and continuous flowing line. Air bubbles in the slip bottle can be disastrous, and a clogged tip can break your flow too.

Here are just a couple of video links I came across by people who have got it down. The first is Scottish potter, Hannah McAndrew. Her work is quite lovely and in the long slipware pottery tradition of Great Britain.

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And here is Minnesota’s own Paul and Denise Morris of Morris Pottery, who do wonderful slip trailed designs on wood fired pots. Denise, slip trailing here in the video, sure makes it look effortless.

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Enjoy!


Nov 17 2008

Even the big boys have disappointments

Ontario Clay and Glass AssociationSeveral years ago, when I was *very* new to clay, I attended my very first clay conference.    It was really my first introduction to the clay community.  I remember it being a wonderful and unforgettable experience.  I got to try rakuing for the very first time at the preliminary workshop hosted by Ottawa Valley artist Leta Cormier in her, as I remember, extremely immaculate studio.  I also got to take part in my first mug exchange in which I remember receiving a lovely salt-glazed mug by potter Jackie Seaton.  My name was even drawn and I won some nice oriental brushes. But that was not all (and this was the pinnacle for me), John Leach, of  Muchelney Pottery, was the main presenter.  His pots were like nothing I had seen before (I told you I was new to clay) and I was impressed by what a real person he was … very gracious, generous, and down to earth. He left a lasting impression on me.

I recently discovered John’s brother Simon Leach has posted a series of videos on YouTube over the last year or so, showing demos, kilns, visits back to England and to friends’ studios, his philosophies, etc etc.  What I like is he presents things face on and shares his victories and disappointments, the good and the bad,  taking it all in stride.  I don’t think a lot of people are aware how hard it can be to be a potter and that things, quite beyond your control, can go extremely wrong after many, many hours of hard work, and all for naught.  Here is the 2nd of 2 of Simon’s videos taken while unloading Seth Cardew‘s kiln:

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Jun 21 2008

Animoto.com

I was messing around with a Animoto, a website that helps you put together videos. Simply upload your pictures, choose some music, and voila.. a video. 

A selection of stoneware pots

Animoto is still quite new to me and have to work out how to embed the video window properly here in WordPress..


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.