Me, Me, Me

I decided earlier in the week that this was going the be the 'Week of Ron'.  I was going to do whatever I wanted to reward myself for all the work I've done over the past couple months making pots, doing shows, etc.

I saw late last week that George McCauly and Ron Meyers had loaded up the Ratagama down in Athens, Ga for a cone 1 earthenware wood fire.  I've been communicating w. George online and I thought now would be as good a time as any to go meet him in person. Plus, the pots would be out of the kiln by the time I made arrangements with he and Ron to have a visit!!

Here's an image I pulled offline of the loading.

George has been working on a film about Ron over the past year.  It's going to debut in April, 2013.  I'm very excited about this.  If U.S. ceramics had National Living Treasures Ron Meyers would certainly be one of them. You can learn more about the film and how to make a contribution by clicking HERE.

I had a very good visit w. Ron and George.  There were lots of pots in Ron's studio.  Some were the painted work, some salt fired, and the ones from the anagama firing.  Here are two that I brought home.

Cat Head sculpture with Bird.  Wood fired (not this firing)

Candle Stick Totem w. Fish.  (from this firing, you can see it in the loading picture.  Far right front).

While in Athens I also got to hang out with my old pal Andrew Lentini.  We met years ago at John C. Campbell Folk School.  It was nice to go to Andrew's home and get to have dinner with him and his girlfriend and their kids.  Plus, there were some delicious homemade Christmas cookies just out of the oven.  Andrew let me crash on his couch over night.  I was happy that I'd have another half day in Athens b/c I wanted to knock around down town and to visit with Carter Gillies.

Carter and I met up early Saturday and had breakfast at The Grit.  It was super yummy.  We chatted on and on about pots while enjoying our breakfast.

Here's a pic of Carter and me in his kitchen.  He's got loads of great pots all over the house.

Finally after hitting some shops in downtown Athens I drove the 3 hours back home.

I got home just in time to celebrate another event for Ron Week.  A beer brewing class!!  It was sponsored by Dragonfly Wine Market in Shelby.  I had a great time and learned a ton!  This could be my new hobby ( I don't really have a hobby at the moment but this seems promising!).

The class consisted of 6 newbies, including myself, and our fearless leader/brewmister Jay.  We went through the whole process of making a batch from an extract kit and later bottled and capped some beer that Jay had ready.  We also tasted several beers throughout the night. 

We each got to bring home a 6 pack of the beer that we bottled. It will be ready to consume on Christmas day.

Okay that's all for now.  There is however one more thing happening tonight to finish off the Week of Ron.  I'll save that for a post over the weekend.  But I'm sure if you follow me on FB you 'll be seeing some pics later on. 



Holiday Studio Sale

The last sale of the year for me is coming up this weekend.  I'll be having my Holiday Studio Sale this Saturday and Sunday.



Saturday Dec. 8th 10 am till 4pm
Sunday Dec. 9th Noon till 4pm

757 Wallace Grove Road Shelby NC 28150

I'll be putting up a video showing a preview of the pots in the showroom soon.  It's a really great selection of work. Over 300 pots in stock.

Also, don't forget!  The Etsy shop is totally stocked.  However I do not keep separate inventory for the online shop.  So as pots sell here over the weekend they will be removed from the Online Shop.

Click HERE to see the online shop.

Thank you all again and stay tuned for the video. 

Last Craft Show of the Year

Thank god it's over!  I am thankful for everyone who bought my work over the last few months at shows and for those who told me how beautiful and fun it is.  But I am glad to have the traveling over and now just get to stay at home and have my Home Sale in a couple weeks.

Here's my new booth.  It was set up for the first time at the Carolina Designer Craftsman show in Raleigh this past weekend.

I was really proud of this set up and I love having that extra space behind there to store backstock and to hide out in and have my lunch.  Thanks to my pal Brandon Phillips for all his help in answering questions while I got this thing constructed.


Shellacking and Getting Fit

I fired off a bisque load of shellacked pots last night. 

It's cooling now so I'll get unloaded tonight, glaze tomorrow and hopefully fire the kiln off again early Saturday.  

It's been a hell of a week.  I joined CrossFit on Monday and stupidly worked out way too hard.  I've been sore all week and today is the first day I can fully extend my arms without major pain.  I'll get back in for a workout tomorrow or Saturday but I've really had to give myself a few days to recoup.

The Carolina Designer Craftsmen show is a week away.  I've been stressing about getting my new booth finished.  It has sat out in the shed for two months waiting to be painted and for me to finish constructing the shelves.  Today I finally got the paint on and I'll get the shelves made on Saturday.  I should be okay and ready to take it by load up time next Wednesday.

I guess that's it for now.  I'll post some images of the new pots when they come out.  For now I'll leave ya with this Sunflower plate from my Etsy site.  

Sunflower Luncheon Plate.  9" diameter.  $44

A good Show day

I had a good show at the Carolina Pottery Festival yesterday.  This show is in my home town, only 8 miles away from my house and the booth fee is $100 I think.  Anyhow, I had good sales, not a lot of sales but still enough to add up to the best show of the last three I have done.  (Finally!) (Yay!)

Of the 90+ potters in this show I am one of two with the most expensive pots.  Also, and I'm not bragging here, but I'd say I am in the top five of the best potters in the show too.  I am mentioning all this just to say that there is a hell of a lot of competition in the show with pots that are of fair to average quality and most all of the items at this show are priced very low.  I'm fine with people making what they want and charging what ever they want for it.  It's my responsibility to be true to myself to make the best work I can and to price it for what I feel it's worth.

It took me an hour before I made my first sale.  It was for a nice vase that was $130.  I had watched a few potters near me wrap up pots for customers from the beginning of the show.  They were selling like mad.  Their prices were 40-50% less than mine.  I continued to sell pots over the day, slowly, not like mad, but slowly, and it all added up to a good day.  

I often question my prices and my work.  But when it comes down to it, what I'm making, and what I am charging is right.  I cannot compare my pots to those people who sell mugs for $18 or $24 or have a 3 piece canister set for less than $100. They are making different work, and for all I know have very different financial needs than my own.

One of the questions I am asking myself is how do I get my pots in front of the right people.  What shows or exhibitions do I need to do that will be worth my time and effort and produce some profits?  There were probably over 1000+ people who came through the show yesterday.  Of that number, just fewer than 20 bought my pots.  Many of them liked my work and gave me very nice compliments, but only a small percentage paid their hard earned money for my pottery. (Thank you!).

I have a big show in two weeks and I'm nervous about it because I've never done it before but I am hopeful about it too because it's in a big city and it will hopefully bring out customrs who appreciate the work I make.  I'm also debuting a new booth set up and a new stratagy for displaying my work.  Fingers crossed that it comes off well.

Anyhow, I just wanted to write a little about my experience yesterday. I think a lot of you enjoyed the posts I did previously on craft shows so I thought this would be good.  Here are the links for those posts:  CLICK and CLICK

There are several key issues that I touched on here that could be expanded upon.  That will be for future posts.

Okay, tomorrow is a big day for decorating.  Get ready for more hydro abrasion!


Another Show.

Hey folks. I've been out loading up my truck for the Carolina Pottery Festival which is happening tomorrow.  Link HERE.  I think I had too much caffeine this morning.  Plus, I'm totally out of shape.  Whew.

I have put up loads of new images on my Facebook Fan page.  You can visit by clicking HERE.  I'll try and get some images up here too maybe on Sunday or Monday. Here's a couple to hold you over.

I have been pretty let down by my past two shows.  I sure hope I have a good day tomorrow. Then I have the Carolina Designer Craftsman show in Raleigh, NC over Thanksgiving weekend.  I have really been making some nice pots so I would love for them to go to new homes.

Okay, well I better get back to work.  More later maybe.

Finished Hydro Abrasion Pots

Unloaded some pots today including the ones that I used the shellac resist on.  Here's a video

I'll show some of the other pots later.  I have tons of work on the shelves ready to be drawn on.  Getting ready for my last few shows of the year.

Video. Drawing on Leather hard Pots

Yesterday I shot this video showing a couple pots that I drew on while they were leatherhard.  I have been mainly working on the decoration at the bone dry state so that I can build up a large number of pots and get into decorating for a couple of days.  That way I don't have to keep the pots under plastic and I get into a groove of working.  For many years I slipped, glazed, and decorated my salt glazed pots at the leather hard state.  I felt like I became a slave to the pots so I eventually stopped.  I was also not bisquing during those years, firing raw.  (which I really enjoyed).  Any how, I am re-thinking about when I should be doing the drawing and carving on my work.  Carving bone dry pots is hard on my body and the dust is also an issue.  I'm going to write more about that later as I've had some new thoughts on it.  For now here's the video:

Ready to Glaze. And some Sketches

I have a table full of bisque ware waiting for me this morning.

This will take me a good part of the day to glaze plus I have a couple of tests to mix and apply to tiles.  Some of these pots will go back on the shelf and wait for the next firing.  I am testing some lighter amber glazes as well as color accents of oxides under those ambers.

I have had an up and down last couple of weeks.  I've been excited to try out some new ideas but at the same time I've stressed about the idea of doing any thing different than I am currently doing.  It's something I've struggled with my entire career with clay so you'd think I'd be used to it by now.  Actually I am a bit better at recognizing it and not letting it get me way down.

Yesterday I had a lift as I was unpacking my work from last weeks craft show.  I had my hands on my pots and I got a good look at them and felt happy with them.  It's a good place to be but it's easy for me to lose sight of it.  I am always thinking about what I can do differently to make the work more energetic, casual, approachable.  Really, what can I do to make the work more 'me'.  

I hate being in a static place.  Plus, I have recently been caught up in looking at those pots of Jean Nicolas Gerard.  They give me the same feeling as Ron Meyer's work.  I really want my pots to have that same spirit.  It's a fine line with me though because I can only take so much of that loose-ness in my pots.  So balance is what I'm after.

I think it's good to not to be satisified as an artist.  If I get too satisfied with things then I know I'm going down the wrong path.

A few of the pots that came out today have a combination of my drawing along with some energetic lines placed around the pot.  I like how they look right now and am anxious to see what happens after they are glazed.  Especially if I decide to put a bit of color on them.  

Okay that's all for now.  Here are a few shots from the sketchbook.

I can't think of a title

It kicked my ass doing all that drawing yesterday.  My body hurt all day today.  The kiln is on though and I should have pots to glaze by Friday.

Today I made some plates, bowls and dishes just really basic stuff. Oh yeah and some mugs.  All for fun and to experiment with some oxides under the honey glaze.

The leaves are finally starting to change color here.  Or some are just blowing off while still green.  I'm not ready for winter.  Blah.

It's been a weird day. Up and down.  I think I'm just tired. Maybe early to bed tonight would be good.  I really would like to finish all the decorating on the pots I have made.  The shelves are still full or pots in waiting.  I need to prioritize.  I can feel my end of the year clock winding down.  It's a bit early yet but I can tell I've almost made all the pots I want to for 2012.  


So long for now.

Lots of drawing going on.

I've had two really good studio days.  The shelves were completely full of pots ready to decorate so I had to stop making and throw myself into the process of drawing on pots.

These plates got incised yesterday.  They were the last pots to be finished for the bisque.

Today I finished up the carving and details.

I lost track of time but I think these took a good 4+ hours to finish.  

I'm feeling a bit antsy lately and wanting to do something new, or at least experiment a bit.  I do have some work in the kiln that got mainly some energetic line work and that I plan to add a bit of color to in the glaze firing.  I have to run some tests first so stay tuned for that.  I feel sort of tied into what I'm currently doing and I think that's not so good for me.  I want to break out a bit.  It's hard mentally to think about what to do or even to just give myself permission to experiment.  Ugk.

My last craft show was sort of disappointing.  Well it was disappointing money-wise but it was very nice in that I got a visit from a well known potter in the area and he and his partner gave me big compliments on my pots.  That was super!

I just remembered I have 2 cups that I need to decorate for this bisque.  Better go finish them up.  Special orders.  Okay, thanks for checking in.