December 30, 2013

A Year on Instagram

My good friend and photographer extraordinaire, David Andrews, paid me the highest compliment by printing (on nice photo paper) 96 of his favorite pics from my 2013 IG catalog! I just put them on the wall of my showroom.

I love photography but I'm a far cry from David's talent, but I'm always looking and seeing through the lens. It's a great alternative perspective that I can carry around in my pocket.

Since 2011 I have posted 1519 pics on Instagram. I guess that's where I started slipping away from regular blogging, that, and maybe my frequent blogging on my FB page! Arrghhh,  the options are just too numerous. 

Well, I guess, like Ron, I want to carry on the blogging torch, but it's not so easy. Today's social media's plate is more like a blogging candelabra; split between, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and sometimes, rarely, Google +.

But what's all of this have to do with making pottery? Really? 

Keep those wheels spinning, just don't get stuck in the mud.

December 5, 2013

Richard Notkin on Tales of a Red Clay Rambler: A Must

As archaic it has become, I want to share Ben Carter's interview with Richard Notkin here on ye olde blog. It is a two part podcast and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing what Richard had to say about his life and his work as an artist. I hope you will listen to it and be inspired as I am.

Find the first part of the interview here.

Find the second part here.


Note: You can keep up with Ben's podcast by subscribing to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or like me, on Downcast. Or you can be old school and just come back here at random times to check on the link in the sidebar! Enjoy!

November 18, 2013

I Heart Goldmark Videos

I love what Mike Goldmark is does to promote his artists and their art. Beautiful publications/catalogs and films! Here is a clip from their latest, about Takeshi Yasuda.

What T.Y. says at the end of the clip kinda blew my mind!
yeah, I can make cups and saucers but, then, I can make anything. I don't need to name. I can just make things and think, "how to use?" 

October 18, 2013


Today is #FF! Follow Friday. I like to share some of my tweeps and promote active writers on Twitter. If you're a potter leave a comment here with your twitter handle and I'l add you to my pottery list on twitter and your tweets will show up in my ticker in the right side bar. (thanks)

Check out what potter and art folks are sharing online. Click and follow!

It's all about sharing!

October 11, 2013

A Local Show of National SIgnificance

pulling out all the stops,  the monster truck of pottery shows. 
no fear, mud slinging mitchell and yancey county potters under one roof, this weekend
don't miss it

September 24, 2013


Diana Fayt is teaching an awesome course on designing/creating dynamic ceramics surfaces. It's all online, so no matter where you are in the world you can have exclusive access to her course material!

 From Diana's course introduction:
The course will run for six weeks from September 23rd to October 21st, 2013. During the six weeks we will cover various surface applications on clay such as: mishima inlay, monoprinting on clay, carving and printing with your own block prints. We will explore using unusual objects as printing tools as well as learn how to use other clay drawing media.

Here are some testimonials;

“I also don't know how to thank you enough for this course. It's opened some very big doors for me, doors I didn't even know were there. At times I felt as if someone were tickling me, sometimes to that point where it seems like too much but you don't want them to stop. Thank you for sharing so much of your amazing process with us but also for sharing so much of yourself. I think this has a lot to do with the success of the course. The best workshops I've taken are with people with big, generous personalities. This workshop is the best of the best.”

“This course was absolutely wonderful.  It will take me a LONG time to come near mastering these techniques but they will be fun to work on.  The student work was at SUCH a high level, and the enthusiasm generated infectious.”

“A lot of inspiring ideas and some very helpful tips without having to leave home.”

"Thank you, Diana for sharing your talents with us! This was a great class, packed full of wonderful creative ideas I had no idea about, so I feel very blessed. I was also pleasantly surprised after signing up with how much of yourself you gave during the class--I guess I expected just the demo videos--but you gave a ton of time and attention to us, and I totally ate it up. I will sign up for ANY online class you teach!"

" I thoroughly enjoyed your e-course and learned all the surface decoration techniques I have been wanting to learn about. I think taking an online course is better in many ways than attending a workshop. There are no travel expenses, plus you are right there in your studio so you can practice each technique as you learn it rather than observing a bunch of demos and then trying to remember it all once you get back to your studio. Great video demonstrations, Diana,and thanks for the extras such as Wednesday wonders to get the creative juices flowing"

"What a great class! I am going to be learning from your demos and projects for months."

***Sign up through this link and you will have unlimited access to the videos and course information throughout the duration of the e-course (September 24th thru October 21st) plus for two more months after the course ends until December 21st.***

September 21, 2013

September 16, 2013


Look who's on the card announcing the Spruce Pine Potters Market?!

September 4, 2013


August 23, 2013

Kinship: Donna Polseno

August 22, 2013

Kinship: Michael Kline

Kinship: Samantha Henneke

Kinship: Richard Hensley

Kinship: Bruce Gholson

July 25, 2013

From the Dog Bar Potter

Smaller then a goat bigger then a boat. A tiny shot cup by the Kline Kline via Dogbar rocking the latex

July 4, 2013

#tropicalfirehose Potter's Journal

From my blogging buddy who knows too much about me. Enjoy, or perhaps, "pity the fool that is I"

oh wait, nothing's dryin-version:

May 22, 2013



or not.

While I develop this idea, or not, please subscribe to "tales" and the "jonescast". You won't be sorry.

May 16, 2013


I am wrapping up the throwing for next week's firing, washing clay off the aprons, preparing them for the wax and glaze splashes. I have a little more wood to cut and stack, so I'm off!
aprons drying in the sun

large jars started

May 5, 2013

A Week in Pictures

I started another Facebook page, 12 x 12. Please like it.

Spring is coming slowly


Moustache is growing and is a pleasant addition to the barnyard

metal stamping my pots for this round
looking for some old letterpress for firing number  as well

chicken waterers

looking at this pot a lot and thinking about craftsmanship
 and intention, technical  mastery, and aesthetics 

April 12, 2013

TGIF But Not 4 Me

Seems like I'm blogging more consistently on Instagram, lately. If you're not a Instagrammer here's a week in pictures for you.

i made little pots and big pots this week

Lillian got her rabbit!
thinking about pattern
ye olde peter pugger plunger broke, time to do some welding
jar looking out the window at kiln
pattern on a fork during a ramen lunch
no pattern is ok too
stacking pots for a bisque can be a fun exercise in seeing

heavy slippage with finger wipes and combing
jug and horseshoe
smoothing cut edge
sleepy and hollow

combed bowls
scalloped handle on berry bowl
another cup of coffee before i go (on)
bison trimming machine

springing forth! 

If you want to follow my photography, you can find my Instagram feed here!

Well, TGIF y'all! There won't be a weekend for me, though. Knuckling down for a firing next week. Crunch time!

But I hope you have one and thanks, as always for reading and supporting. BTW, I love your  comments! ;-)

April 10, 2013

Got Flow?

Late last night I had the realization that I always get during this time in the studio session just before a firing, If only I could keep going, the pots are flowing from my fingertips, effortlessly. Well, maybe not that easy, I still have to wedge the clay! But at some point I have to say no to that desire to make just one more pot. Each pot that's made after the wet deadline cuts into the time I'll have to work on the surfaces. I'll try to keep you up to date on the deco-rotating and glazing this weekend.

March 30, 2013

Andy Saftel

"It's always been hard to write artists statements about the art because I always felt that when I sat down to do that it was about everything, and how can you just say that it's about everything? It sounds inadequate."----Andy Saftel

everything from Arrowmont on Vimeo.
It was great to discover this video (via Arrowmont) and see some good friends from my days in Knoxville. 

March 29, 2013

March 28, 2013

Pottery is Everything? Pottery is About People?

This morning I want to share a couple of great videos.

One of the exciting things about the internet is it's interconnectedness and it's ability to share ideas. I started this brief session while making a second cup of coffee after seeing the kids to the bus stop.  A comment here led to a blog, new to me!, that led to a tweet, that led to a video, then to a second video.

Even though these videos have been around since last September, it's the first time I've run across them. Maybe you've seen one or both?

a quote from the Moggridge video, "Design is everything, Design is about people"

Can we say the same about pottery?

Here's the second video (that was auto-magically suggested to me by "the Youtube")

from the video caption, "'Is your school or workplace divided into "creatives" versus practical people?' Yet surely, David Kelley suggests, creativity is not the domain of only a chosen few."

People sharing.

Enjoy and pass it along.

March 27, 2013


marks made with serrated metal rib and wooden ribs in freshly thrown clay

First my apologies with the above photo experiment. It's just that I wanted to fiddle with the picture and clicked this and clicked that until I discovered that I could mask around this freshly thrown plate with a click of a button in iPhoto. The only reason I am using iPhoto in the first place is because I asked Ron how I was supposed to get all of those damn pictures off my iPad, he said "iPhoto!" I said, "Duh!" Sometimes the most obvious things elude me.  That's right, I'm not the geek you might think I am. I haven't used iPhoto much, mainly because I thought it was awful, but maybe it's because I screwed up ALL of  Simon's pictures on his laptop at NCECA 2 years ago using iPhoto (take my advice, never borrow someone else's laptop)

Back to the blog: Just thought I would share the above quirky-wheel-deco-exploration. It seems like too much to me at the moment, but it's early yet. We'll see. I'm firing the kiln soon, need to keep making! Later!

March 26, 2013

Snow Changes Things

The light is very nice and even in my studio this morning. It is also blanketing the wood I cut last week! Even though it is under a roof, the wind blows the snow all over. The poplar  wood needs time and plenty of air to dry. I hope I get more of the latter and I hope the air gets closer to a sensible seasonal temp real soon!

This hope is just part of the territory when your tools and materials are as basic as earth wind and fire.

March 25, 2013

More Comb and Rope

See this image on Instagram-
previously seen on Instagram

Last night I attacked a table full of plastic, several days of 12's, and finally trimmed these little cups as well as bowls and  plates. I practically ran to my bucket of #6 Tile slip to dunk these. You might call it March madness!

This week is off to a snowy, no-school start, but it feels like it might be a explosively productive one! We'll see!

March 24, 2013

Blog Rollin'

Hi everyone,

It's a wet drippy Sunday here in the mountains of North Carolina, a perfect day to catch up on some pottery bloggery and some prog-rockery! Maybe you're doing the same thing? ;-)

I don't know about you, but I find and read blog updates using the blog roll here on and surf from here finding other blogs of interest along the way. Sometime I use Google Reader, but that's not so good, especially come July when it's being canned. On the iPad I like to use flipboard, a really awesome app that consolidates all kinds of content from RSS feeds (blogs and webpages I have subscribed to), to Facebook and  Twitter feeds. I subscribe to many blogs by email, too, and get daily, weekly updates. You can subscribe to this blog and recieve updates via email by plunking down your email address in the Feedburner block in the side column to the right or
subscribe to Sawdust/ here.

But as much as I'd like to read everything, I'm afraid I don't and I start feeling guilty when the posts start piling up like so many New Yorker magazines on the bedside table. But if the blogging is awesome, I like to read.

Alas, I'm always looking to update the blog roll here awesome content and thought you might want to suggest some awesome blogs that you like reading or feel would be of interest to other readers.

If you have suggestions, won't you please leave a comment with a link to pottery/ceramic /art blogs you like? And if you are having trouble leaving comments, it happens,  could you e*mail them to me?

Thank You!

March 22, 2013

Outside Day

The day started out with some hi-jinx in Houston and ended with enough wood to burn up a bunch of pots in April.

in the porta-potty,
hide-n-seekah pottery treasure hunt via Instagram and Adam Field
rick ready 
march madness and wood stacking via iPad
carefully placed out of harms way
almost there
safety first=wood stacked=happy potter
A good day all around.

March 21, 2013

Sine Waves, Hoops, and Pots

thrown roped and slipped plate
sine wave in soft home clay

hoops and pots
Follow me on Instagram. You might just get a clue to something hidden in Houston!

March 19, 2013

Big Oops

Akkkk. The 12 x 12 Challenge was a little bit of a huge challenge for me! Ha!

A lot of keeping track of pictures, URLs, and captions! (more than I was prepared for!)

In the email shuffle, I left out a few potters from the drawing as well as the previous post. ;-(

So, to make up for my shortcomings, I thought I could at least give them props here, today, with their very own post!

Here is the Honorable Mention addendum to the 12 x12 Challenge in hopes that the next one will be a little bit more together. Molly, David, and Jeff, my apologies. You didn't win but hopefully, as my firing buddy says,  you will win "the adulation of your peers"!

First up, Jeff Hulme!

Jeff Hulme
Jeff writes,
Hi Michael,
Thanks for the motivation! I've tried to follow your 12x12 idea in the past without much success, but this time the stakes are higher and so is my productivity! For this photo I finished up 2 long servers; squared off a box and started the slab lid; finished up 4 jars with lids; and I threw 3 planters and the components for 2 juicers(my 1st attempt)!
Thanks again, this is a great idea!
Next up David Orser of Cedar Mountain Pottery up there in Maine.
David Orser

I'll always remember David's generosity and the many others who donated their beautiful work to my benefit sale after my hand accident in 2005. Thanks again, David.

Here's what David told me about these pots,
Well, I usually make these later in the day and then they are ready to decapitate and trim to fit the lids the next morning depending on humidity levels, not an issue in winter. ...
Hey, look at that nice mug in the background purchased at the (now defunct) Foundry Lane gallery in Portland some time ago..
and look at that Jian style hare's fur bowl  that i think relates in some ways to the aforementioned...
 that was purchased from a (also defunct) gallery in Seattle called Thesaurus that dealt in fake asian antiques ( hence their demise... ) another story.. right next to the porcelain depiction of comet Hale-Bopp....
oh yeah and so we got the dogs walked and into the studio by 10 so, yikes, ok, crank out some little jars...
can't make too many of them, they're paying the mortgage. and there is always room for a couple more in the kiln.
look forward to seeing what folks are up to this fine spring day
speaking of comets, there is one in the sky... get binoculars to a clear view of the western horizon just after sunset....more @ 
okay get back to work or lunch or somthin...
thanks for the comet head's up, David, but my western horizon is a mountain with tall trees, but i'll grab the binoculars tonight and climb on top of my kiln shed!  if it's clear I'll check out the comet!

And lastly, WNC's own rising pottery star, Molly Poore. I love the tunnel of handles in this shot!

Molly Poore

Well, until the next 12 x 12 Challenge. I hope you all will go to these artists blogs, web sites, etc. and check out their work!

Thanks everyone!

I'm afraid to click the publish button for fear that there might yet be another forgotten misplaced 12x12 potter out there, but, sorry I'm all out of apologies. Here goes!

March 18, 2013

and the winner is!

WOW! Thanks for all the hard work and all the pictures! It has been a little overwhelming! Here comes the 12x12 parade. 

First, the work! (then the winner chosen by the random number generator)

Robbie Bell

James Larkin
Sandy Miller

Dane Austin Meier

Ronald Deaver

Laurel MacDuffie, prayer rocks
Vernon Smith

Jess La Bella

Lynn Zetzman

Cynthia Guajardo
Eva Gallagher
Fuzzy Schwartz
Colleen Riley
Tammy Josephson

Dennis Allen
Justin Crowe 
Kyle Carpenter

Peter Jadoonath
Linda Bloomfield

Scott Reed and Angi Pogue-Reed

Warren Smith

Julie Walther

Bryce Briscoe
I went to and rather than paying to use their paid number generator  I just used the free one on their home page and took a screen shot.

and the winner is...

no. 14!

Tammy Josephson, of in Atlanta GA!


Thanks to everyone who participated and thanks for your patience. We'll do it again soon!
Now I can finally get to work! Well, after Lillian's basketball game, anyway. 

12 by midnight?