December 31, 2009

Prosperos 2010

As we count down the last hour or so of 2009 here in Georgia, where the dirt is red and sticky, I wanted to wish everyone out there a very prosperous New Year! Thanks for making 2009 a banner year here at the Dirt! We'll be back in 2010 with some exciting new stuff and of course more pottery craziness!

Happy 2010 Ya'll!

December 30, 2009

Pots in Action (On The Road)

Lillian in Knoxville with vintage klineware in action!

As 2009 nears it's end, we rest between celebrations and I found time for a quick little post! We've had a wonderful stay in Knoxville with family for Christmas! We usually stay with Stacey's mother Jackie. My very supporting and loving mother-in-law Jackie has probably the second largest collection of klineware east of Great Falls, MT!

(That's where my Mom lives.)

Always on the prowl with the camera, wherever we go, I snapped a few corners in Jackie's house where my pots preside. I'm especially proud of this corner of the kitchen that has a few rare pots, the "ashes" and "knees" pots of some unknown craftsman, and a few of my oddities . The flat dish leaning against the wall is a molded dish that was supposed to be a square bowl, but when I flipped the drape mold over the clay slowly sat down flat. But it is a very popular dish at Jackie's. The jar in the corner was from an early firing of the wood kiln and is a little under fired, but not without its charms.

These two jars are from the first Etsy kiln opening. (see what I mean about Jackie's continued support!?) This is first time I saw these guys in action but I didn't have anything to do with the broken spoon. (disclaimer: as far as I know, the jars had nothing to do with the spoon's demise)

You can't tell it from this photo, but the platter in the foreground has been lovingly glued together. It's from my Penland residency days and is an early example of the cut rim edge I have been doing since then. The edges of this platter/bowl have some pretty bad cracks that Jackie has filled with some sort of wood filler or epoxy. It has some really nice painting of underglaze with an amber glaze on a light clay body.

We had a great time celebrating Jackie's 70th birthday the other night and there were even more Kline pots at my in law's home holding some really delicious "snacks"! Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the Colocotronis Collection of klineware. But it's in every corner. What great family support! In the beginning of most fledgling potters careers, the "friends and family" plan is what gives us the encouragement to keep going. After 22 some years I continue to be blessed with encouragement from my family and I'm most grateful.
Lastly, here's the dish rack at our house tonight as we take a break from the holiday party's and festivities and enjoyed some of Stacey's cauliflower soup on this cold winter's night. How many potters can you spot? (aside from the obvious klineware)

Well, we're off to our "New Year's Club" annual meeting tomorrow, so this could possibly be last post of 2009. It's been a unbelievable year. But I hope to do a wrap-up post before it's all over.

If I can't get to it before we leave,

Thank you for your support this year and thank you for making it a fantastic year here at ye olde blogge!!


December 26, 2009

Oy Poetry

Here and here are a couple of rhymes by Oy Clay!!!Pottery at the clay club blog!

I'll be back in ernest next week! I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

December 22, 2009

Top Ten List

I've always loved numbers and the numbers are good these days here at ye olde blogge.

Here are the top 10 countries reading "the Dirt",

  1. U.S. of A.
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  5. Israel
  6. South Korea
  7. Argentina
  8. ?
  9. Germany
  10. France
Thanks for reading!

December 21, 2009


Walking in the snow the other day I realized that our dog Jack isn't a white as I thought! This contrast got me to thinking about color and how we perceive it. As a potter I base a lot of my decisions on the pot as it appears before me at any given state. The reddish brown in its wetness, the pinkish hard bisque fired state, and the finished, glazed, and fired piece. The latter stage is maybe so complex that it's hard for me to put into words. Anyway, let's just say there is a very important player that isn't included in this drama.

To illustrate, let me go back in time, a little. A couple of weeks ago I was making a pot roast and needed some fresh thyme. The thyme was in the Lindsay Rogers pot up in the studio window. When I got there I needed a taxi for the thyme.

So I reached for this bowl that sat in a pile on a shelf. The bowl was in this pile because as I unloaded my last kiln these pots seemed lackluster and uninteresting, and put aside. Uninteresting until I put one into action!

I snipped bunch of thyme and dropped it into the bowl and hurried back to the kitchen to the roast. On my walk down I looked intot the bowl and noticed a liveliness that didn't exist when the bowl came from the kiln. The bright green of the thyme and the brown and gold flecks of the bowls were a thrill. (don't you think?) Well, I thought so.

There are many layers of subtlety to my experience as a maker and sometimes I have to put the blinders on and just make. But in this case I am missing out on so much potential. One of the processes that anyone working with clay (with the intent on firing it) grapples with is seeing with the mind's eye. The glazes and clay change so much on their path to being finished that one must imagine what it will look like, feel like in the end. It is a process that can can debilitating or exhilarating. I have to be somewhere in the middle of intuition and practicality.

Using this pot invited me to look at its qualities, it's colors, and form a new experience. After all of the pots I have made in my life, I still have to remind myself why I am making them.

Well, that's the excitement of ceramics!

December 20, 2009

Snow Days

Too bad my 8 hp Ariens snow blower sits in my shed in a pile of peeling orange paint and rust. In the twelve years since I moved to North Carolina from olde New England I could've really used it this time. But as I've done in the recent past, I will wait and let the sun do it's work.

snow curling from the back of the shop

too bad the generator wasn't working, either!

It has been a treat to do some major sledding with the girls and hopefully our slope is so packed we will have some more tomorrow!

I'm still getting orders from the Etsy Sale and am very pleased with the support! Thanks to everyone!

December 17, 2009


Today I shipped the last of the etsy sale pots. Have no fear, there are still some pots left on the shelf to buy if you want.

I also tried to get ready for the big snow storm we're expected to have tomorrow. Unfortunately my snow blower sits out by the shed rusting and not running. Oh well. Guess we'll just sled around if, in fact we get the white stuff. I can't tell you how bad the weather service here is at getting accumulation right. They call for 10 inches and we might get 2. At any rate, the wood is stacked and ready to warm the Snow Creek bobsled team when they come in from the cold.

If you purchase pots at my Etsy shop I'll do my best to get it in the mail by tomorrow evening. Not to worry, I've had 10 years experience driving in the snow and ice of Massachusetts!

The sale will continue through December, tell a friend, K?

In other exciting news, my guild, the Potters of the Roan will convene with our rival potters guild, the Penland Potters, tomorrow night for our annual Christmas party and karaoke face off. I'll try to get some video so you can see how our potters can belt out those tunes. Any requests?

December 16, 2009

Secretary Carlisle on Tonight's UNC-TV's North Carolina Now

from the Toe River Arts Council:

Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle continues her blitz of the state spreading statistics, stories, and incredible good will on the Creative Economy and how the arts contribute to North Carolina's economic recovery and future. Tune in on Wed, Dec 16, at 7:30pm, on UNC-TV's NC Now. Secretary Carlisle will be the "newsmaker" section of the program. We are news. We are good news. Spread the word and speak for the arts.

Penland Clay : Summer 2010

hayne bayless and lindsay rogers
penland, summer 2009

Maybe you've already heard about summer 2010 at Penland, but thought I would share this if you haven't. This schedule is still subject to change.

Complete information will be posted in early January (or maybe a little bit sooner).

Clay 2010
Session 1: May 30 - June 11
Kathy King and Paul Wandless--Print and Clay Buffet (both studios)

Session 2: June 13 - 25
Kristen Kieffer--Altered, Ornamented & Electric
Alice Ballard and Jenny Mendes--Cross Pollination

Session 3: June 27 - July 9
Judith Duff--Japanese Style: Forms and Shinos
George Kokis and Rodney McCoubrey--Clay, Myth, Fairy Tale

Session 4: July 11 - 23
Bede Clark--Wheel Pots: Geometry and Vitality
Carlos Alves and Katrina Plato--Meaning and Mosaic: Ceramic Tile in Community

Session 5: July 25 - August 10
Sam Chung--Fusing Form, Surface, and Idea
Kenneth Baskin--Successful Slab Construction

Session 6: August 15 - 27
Elisa Helland-Hansen--Pots for Food
Tip Toland--Gesture, Psychology, and the Human Figure

Session 7: August 29 - September 4
Michael Sherrill--All Things Malleable
John Byrd--Mixed-Media Ceramic Sculpture

December 15, 2009

Pots Still Available

Here are a few pots still available after today's opening.
If you purchase pots before the 18th I will most likely be able to get them to you by the 25th!

Etsy Sale

We're off to a good start!

I'm getting the orders packed so I can get them on
the priority sled that leaves this afternoon!
Still plenty of pots left to buy.
Thanks everyone!

Etsy Sale Starts in 1 Hour!

I hope you will join us for this "just in the st. nick of time"
Christmas Gift Sale over at my Etsy store.

40 grade A pieces saved from my last firing
just for this last of 2009 sale!

December 14, 2009

You Say Et-See, I say Eat-Sea


Apples and Oranges, Birds and Vines are in "store" at the Store tomorrow at noon (EST)


Christmas colors
this little gem will be in the sale

The "Better Late Than Never" Etsy Sale will begin tomorrow at Noon EST. I have over 30 pieces that I've put aside from the 33rd firing of the kiln. There will be some nice gifts there and if purchaseded by Friday will be delivered by Christmas.


basketball activated glaze fountain!

Well, not much of a contest. No prize. If you had looked at the pictures on Tom's page you would have probably seen the picture above. I'm feeling rather dull these from these rainy mountain days, I guess. Also after looking at all of the pics I have taken for the upcoming Etsy sale!

here's a sneak peek pic

Check back to find out when it's happening. Hint: it's going to be very soon.

December 13, 2009

Tom's Back

what is it?
check back tomorrow morning to find out.

My buddy Tom is back from his residency in China. He has just uploaded a bunch of pictures on his web site. Check them out here.

December 12, 2009

Ayumi Horie Pottery Sale

Get READY for Ayumi's sale! Pots sell quickly! It's good to sign up on here web site (if you haven't already) before the sale begins @ 12Noon Monday Dec. 14th.

Last posting of the year! Featuring plates, bowls, and lots of cups Expect to see plates, bowls, and lots of cups with newer animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and beavers, plus the classic animals- rabbits, love birds, whales, deer, pigs, goats, sheep, and monkeys.

As long as orders are placed before the 18th, boxes will arrive in time for Christmas, no problem. Sign up for account early, pots go fast.

December 9, 2009

And The Winners Are...

The winner's of the yunomi nominations for next year's upcoming show @AKARDESIGN are:

Thanks for helping me sort this out! I'll line up the others and have Micah take'em out with his shotgun. [just kidding]

But I have some exciting plans for the blog in the new year and I'll tell you about them very soon.

If you don't hear from me in the coming days it's because I will be out of town and incommunicado. You all can privately breath a sigh of relief and read something else for a change. I'm heading over to Brevard, NC on a field trip with Evelyn's class! We're going to be living in a 1840's village, so don't call my cell, don't text or tweet me, but you can write nice comments to each other here on the blog! Talk amoungst yourselves! Bye for now...

Coffee Break vol. 25

I'd forgotten how much I dislike packing pottery for shipping! It's really hard on the hands. But that's how we move these pots around the world.

Speaking of pots moving around, I just got a box from the mail guy and I knew who sent it by the funny card taped on the outside. Yes, Tom White as Santa Claus. But I couldn't wait for Christmas, so I tore into the box and found this rockin' mug from Tom. It was not doubt fired in my buddy Sam Taylor's kiln in Westhampton, MA.

Sam and I happened to be on the phone for quite a while this morning going over plans for a reunion workshop at Snow Farm in May. It will coincide with my show at the Artisan Gallery in Northampton, MA that will open on Memorial Day weekend. See how far in advance these things get rolling? (and I've been talking to the Artisan Gallery for almost a year!) gallery owners/show promoters take a hint. It takes a lot of lead time to put together successful show campaigns, especially with the wood fired pottery cycle.

Anyway, enough preaching (rule of thumb, "don't bite the hand that feeds you, or for that matter the thumb"). This cup helped me get really jazzed up about a weekend with my old, and I do mean old, pals, Sam Taylor and Mark Shapiro and a masters workshop at Snow Farm. The coffee was strong and the ideas about the 'shop were exciting. The catalog hasn't even been published and you're hearing about it first, right here. So stay tuned in as the details get hammered out.

And Thanks TOM! for the mug!

It just so happens that Tom is having his 30th Annual Christmas Sale this next two weekends!! So you better get over there and get some pots like this one. I'm sure he'll have lots of beauties to choose from his kiln and Sam's! Tell him I sent you and maybe he'll keep the payola coming my way.


December 8, 2009

You(nomi) Pick

Here are the yunomi (cups) that are ready to be shipped to Iowa City for the big show opening on March 26th. Now it's your turn to choose. Let me know which 5 cups you would like to see in the show. Leave your vote as a comment. Thanks for helping me me choose!

Here's the link to last years show @AKARdesign.

December 7, 2009

Jenny at Red Lodge

mask yellow face, 2009
jenny mendes

Check out my buddy's new stuff here.
Nobody does it better.

December 4, 2009

Finally, Images for Blogger

while cleaning the wall by the
wedging table(l) and smearing clay all over it anyway, I
decided to try a little wall drawing with a clean throwing sponge!
It was fun!

The Toe River Arts Council Holiday Studio Tour began and we had a pretty good day despite the slow traffic. Everyone who came today, with a couple exceptions, bought pottery or jewelry, or both! As usual I was still getting the studio set up with sanding and pricing the new pots, when the first customers came. After doing this tour for 12 years now, I have a steady following and it's always nice to see folks!

So, this evening, I've finally found some time to crop the pictures for blogger. It's very easy to upload images to Facebook and Tumblr with taking the time to re-size, etc. But here are a few faves from 33!

i did a lot of slipware trials in this kiln load and
it's some of my favorite new stuff!

this pitcher was one of the few
pieces glazed with my dwindling bucket of
willie hillux 5% copper glaze
and one of the first pots to sell at today's sale!

this pattern is inspired by a baseball seam

I like the cartoon-y look of this bird!

I painted this bowl with the restraint that Dan suggested

stacks of cereal bowls

this is a sweet half gallon jug that was one of my faves
mainly because of my new favorite motif, the jack or astericks

serving dish with blue stained glass placed on the rim before firing

more combing inspired by blogger Matt Grimmitt!
the slip is #6 tile and the glaze is tenmoku!