Tuesday, October 31, 2006

back on task

Oh yeah, this is 'potter's blog'. Seems we get off task sometimes. Time for a cute elephant teapot.

Halloween Hello

from Mrs Pottersblog. Looking good in her leather mini skirt even though she is headed down that slippery slope to 50.....

Mashed hand

I am not a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist, but I have joked in the past that I have surgeon’s hands, just a lower salary and a lot less smarts. I only have my hands for work and life, and I try to vary activities so I don’t get some nasty repetitive motion problem, I also don’t snowboard or parachute out of airplanes. As a matter of fact, I exercise, take vitamins, all the rest.
So, Monday I was at a raunchy and awful biker bar with my wife and a 300 lb. redeneck named Bubba insulted my wife’s honor AND the purple color of our house. I took him out back, and let me tell you, I may be all of 145 pounds, less than half of Bubba, but I worked him over good and....
Well actually, it happened like this. I got a call, after my dreams of hockey the other day, to suit up and play left wing (never right wing!) for my neighbor’s semi-pro youth hockey team, and when that 225 lb. defender got mad over my 7th goal and tried to deck me, I pulled off the gloves and helmet and gave him not one but TWO black eyes, and let’s just say that he can’t chew gum anymore.....
No, no, those are not the real story. But I whacked my left hand, and HOLY CARP it hurts, on the railing as as I was loading up for a garbage run to the dump. Totally not glorious or glamorous. Everything moves in my hand, thank gawd, but it has swollen up like a son of a gun and hurts worse. Ibuprofen helps, as does letting it rest. Peeling a banana is agony, driving worse, so--no exercise, no pots, no cleaning the bathroom and no blogging. Actually, I have to clean the house, right handed I guess, obviously I can BLOG, and as for clay, I may see how it goes later. Sheesh.

I want candy

Bow Wow Wow ‘Iwant candy’
if this isn’t one of the coolest tunes and best videos ever, what is? My life is so much improved, thanks to youtube. I found myself the last day or 2 using Halloween type tunes, this vid is perfect perfect perfect. So, OK, I can’t show pics of all the cool pots I didn’t make, due to a sore left paw, but here is our candy bowl, made a short time ago, with a caterpillar and frog. The folks next door say we won’t get too many kids, so I had to get candy I want to be stuck with. Wegmans, if you can believe it, was already OUT of Halloween candy, and is putting out all the red and green wrapped stuff. Man, how the time does fly. Before you know it, me and my pals will be talking baseball, going to Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame game and roasting tofu pups on the beach.

A nightmare for Halloween

I dreamt I was growing my huge mustache again. THAT is pretty scary, says my wife.

Monday, October 30, 2006

DAVID B. in action

October, 1986--so there I go, cleaning up around the place, and look what I find?????

Yes, 20 years ago!!!!!!!!! Here's our man David, busily helping me trash Denis's room. We got in somehow and filled it with newspaper then dissappeared. Man, I was a terrible person. Anyway, as I said, David, Denis and I along with a few certifiable lunatics (we were the NORMAL ones) lived our freshman year in a suite in Leigh House of Bennington College, and four years later, Denis and I found ourselves in the senior suite of Franklin House, but David had a cool bachelor pad off campus. David is actually a very nice person, although you would never guess it from this picture. Don't worry, David, not that many people read this blog. Just in the dozens, or hundreds each day.


My petit and obnoxious little net caught the little fish I was trying for: David wrote me a really nice email from the UK. I have a history of being obnoxious to both Denis and David, who are totally loveable (is this how a person is with one's freshman year college friends? will it ever end?). Me and my psycho room mate Freshman year, Scott, tried to hold David upside down out the second floor window one day, for example, and he didn't do anything to deserve that. As a matter of fact, he was and is a gentleman. I remember his wicked cool little boots: normal, leather lace up boots, with a groovy little buckle across the top.
Anyway, David writes that he and his little family, cat included, are well and fine in the UK, but after nearly 20 years in Japan.....

Sheffield Pottery and ME

(Diane Cowan, whose family runs Sheffield Pottery, with my delivery of cups and bowls on the counter)
Sheffield Pottery in Massachusetts http://www.sheffield-pottery.com/
is my favorite gallery, and I have been involved with them since 1994, when I taught at Cushing Academy http://www.cushing.org/
and they were our supplier. They are an unusual outfit in many ways. In the 40s, the senior Mr. Cowan started making pots from clay dug in the back yard of his farm house. He moved on from there selling clay and pottery making supplies to potters and schools throughout New England and New York. The business is now run by his son John Cowan, and his wife Diane, pictured here. There is a huge hole behind the ceramics warehouse and storing facility, where they dig clay. It is rare these days, however, for clay dug from one spot to be perfect to work with, so they probably mix theirs with a little clay and sand and whatnot from around the country. So, in back in a large building they make clay and store supplies for glazes and such. Up front, on rte. 7, they have a huge barn turned into a retail gallery of pots, featuring among others, me. I like the fact that this is:
-a family business
-they dig clay out of the ground and process it on site. that's cool
-they sell my finished work, from clay dug in the back yard! very tidy.
So, basically, I drive over with a truck load of pots and come home with a truck load of clay. The situation this weekend was worse than I thought, and they will need LOTS MORE of my work, and soon, for the Christmas season.
Drove over and back, in and out of the snow, but up on top of Windham Mountain they could start skiing soon, there was a lot stuck on the ground.

it all starts here

Clay freshly dug from the ground, behind Sheffield Pottery, Sheffield, Mass.

Clay pugger

raw clay gets mixed in here

My display at Sheffield Pottery

Note: only 2 piggies left, and a lot of empty space.

This tune will spook you out

Also from 'Queen of the Damned', a scary little performance from Korn.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I SEE YOU, David!

There was a visit this morning from Brighton, England. WONDER WHO THAT WAS??????
C'mon on in from the cold, David.

More Pre-Halloween Tunes:

'Ghost Town' by the Specials. Like Ross says, 'ska is the music from the planet of beautiful women'.

scruffy looking potters

(These are the finished bowls pictured below, which were just prior to glazing and glaze firing to about 2200 degrees. That is what is so sweet about pottery: the transformation of the catepillar to the butterfly!)

So I am at the busy grocery store mid-day buying cat food and go to the ten and under line. There is this seedy looking dude sort of near the line, looking at Soap Opera magazines and eating an apple. I wait for him to go ahead, and tell myself ‘hey, its Ithaca, he may be a particle physicist, and dang, you look pretty seedy yourself, Gary’. Well, I do sometimes, after all, I am an artist. So the guy goes to the checkout lady and holds out the finished apple core in one hand and a dollar in the other and says "I want to pay for my apple" but the lady says "I have to weigh it, but I can’t weigh that!" And it goes back and forth, until finally the seedy guy shrugs andwanders off.
Then last night the missus and I go out to a massive costume party, and I went dressed as a scruffy potter. Well, we had forgotten the costume part, and I was less scruffy than most of the day, having put on a clean flannel shirt. I can dress up nicely, and once or twice a year I do, but anyway, there was this guy at this party dressed like a homeless teenager, although my wife, who worked with him once, says he always looks like that, no costume needed. The irony? HE IS A PARTICLE PHYSICIST. OK, like I was sayin’.....

David B, please report to the ticket counter

(bisque bowls prepared for glazing, now see above for the after)
Last night’s dreams included a return to my last term in college, which was a disoganised mess and I was happy to wake up and find I am not a disorganised mess. Speaking of which:

OK, important news. I noticed, using my special James Bond style software, that I have had visitors to this blog from far and wide, including, of course, Denis in Vermont, and also another of my oldest pals, DAVID B, of Brighton England, sometimes Japan. At 17 I went to college, and landed in a suite with 8 other geeky losers, OK, that’s not nice, I wasn’t a geeky loser like them, and Denis was two doors down. David, fresh from the UK was next door. Havn’t seen him in almost 20 years, havn’t written in a few, but DAVID, YOU HAVE BEEN FOUND! WRITE A COMMENT OR SEND AN EMAIL! PLEASE!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Alice Muhlback and dreams

(I am a patron of the arts: painting by Alice Muhlback)
Dreams again. Of course! Sometimes you wake up, after the cats have played trampoline on you half the night, and you are NOT rested. I sure got 40 winks last night and feel fresh as a daisy now. It was an active night, though, for my subconscious.
I have heard that sometimes people who can’t walk can walk in their dreams, and people who have lost their sight can see in their dreams, etc. Heck, they are dreams, after all. Again, I dream of skills I don’t have, and wake feeling heroic and macho. I don’t skate very well, and havn’t been on ice for 10 years, but dreamt I was a left wing (never right wing, of course)on a men’s adult league hockey team and whoooee, I got around on the ice and our team could really kick some ice. Then, of course, I dreamt of Amish neighbors that I don’t have, except these were forward thinking Amish types, and they were souping up their carriages into wicked cool aero-dynamic buggies, silver, made of composites and alloys, good for racing, which they did.

We move straight from dreams to dreamy paintings by my friend Alice. I always say that if I wasn't a potter I would be a rock and roll drummer or an illustrator, neither of which I can do, but Alice is the illustrator and painter I would be if I could. If you remember the movie 'A Christmas Story', the father buys a really tacky lamp, which is a woman's leg in a stocking. I brought home some wild stuff last night which I had traded for, but fortunately I have TASTE.
OK, Alice Muhlback paints some most excellent things that are wild and funny, so I got the cowboy in the dress and the fish below. I am a seriously lucky dude, to know people like Alice, and that she is the guiding light at Spirit and Kitsch art garage
(site is updated, but needs to add ME)

So, in answer to the question how she got to Ithaca, the answer was she drove around looking for a new hometown and liked it here. Same with us! Her illustrations are all over this site.
PS- scorecard for cm: an afternoon at the cash register resulted in 12, count ‘em 12 voided transactions. I would NEVER hire me to do even the simplest job.

Deftones, tunes o' the day

(fish painted by Alice Muhlback)
The Deftones put out this great tune, then seemed to disappear. This video is an excellent pre-Halloween spook fest. From a movie I havn’t seen, ‘Queen of the Damned’, but I read the book once upon a time. I was job hunting in the summer of '90, and I read a lot of Anne Rice books, but then found, after about 8 or 10 of her books, that I had pretty much gotten my fill of angst and gore.

Friday, October 27, 2006

blogger is playing a strange game of hide and seek

So here is some yellow stuff with pigs.

The Russian Campaign

I dreamt I was an officer in Napoleon's army. I had a huge sword, but wished I had a horse like other big shots. There was snow, dueling and all the rest. I felt rather heroic upon waking.

Dancing Dogs

All right, things didn’t quite work out as I first thought. That’s the nature of experimentation. Zebra torso and head are to be the knob atop the lid of a rounded box with columns and....
OK, the box was wrong, the lid was wrong, and I didn’t do a good job fluting the columns. BUT, I saw how I could get it together, so that stuff went onto the scrap pile, and Friday we start again with new columns, lid, body. The zebra, however, was like walking into the jungle without a map---how do you make a zebra, anyway, if you never have, and you’re too lazy to look at a picture? Well, I have made horses before, simple ones, so I was making something a bit bigger than that, more detailed, and ultimately, white and black. I spent a large part of Thursday afternoon fiddling around, and dang if it wasn’t successful. I checked my encyclopedia picture after it was done, to look at stripe patterns, which doesn’t mean I would follow them, and realized the little guy needed a mane, which he got. He also got a toothy mouth. I had intended this to be a serious piece (HA HA HA HAR!) I did, really, but I seem physically incapable of doing anything but the funny or the cute. Some potters and sculptors have a hard time taking my pieces seriously because of that, but hey, the heck with them if they can’t take a joke. Next to the little zebra is the jar from the previous day, with an upside down dancing dog on top JUST BECAUSE.

Tunes o' the morning and cups

Tunes o’ the morning fer ya: Echo and the Bunnymen, ‘The Killing Moon’
Tunes like this help me remember my youth in a more favorable light, like Proust and his cookies, one looks back fondly at dance parties in 1983 and forgets the geekiness of self and bad mood of late adolescence.
You know, I wonder if the band was like ‘OK, you get to be Echo, why do we have to be bunnymen for gawd’s sake?’. Sort of like Steve Buscemi in ‘Resevoir Dogs’ --"How come I have to be Mr Pink?"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mrs Pottersblog going out into the snow and rain

"Lovin' you", sweetie.

ruffles have ridges

Sometimes you're just in the mood to make rippley pots.

silly videos again for tunes o' the day

Don’t you just love Echo and the Bunnymen? Here is 'The Cutter'. Here in the purple house we love them. Again, here is this great tune, but the boys look so nerdy and the video is what a nerdy bunch of guys would make in the 80s--silly and repetitive.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

what the heck is this? a one hundred dollar pot

I was muttering some nonsense the other day about caffeine, architecture and zebras. Really! So, phase one: pot and lid, which will have little knobs below for feet, columns on the side after I whack the pot, and a zebra on top of the lid.
I plan to make the zebra as usual, with dampish-firm clay, and then carve details in it as it dries, which I can imagine doing, but havn't done before. Making it up as I go, you see. I have made pots with lids and columns too, but not together. This whole thing is going to take a lot of time. So, on the one hand you have your mugs and cereal bowls at an everyday price, then you have my NEW PREMIUM line of pots/sculptures, which will cost you dearly, oh yes.

monkeying around again

OK, showed you this piece when I was making it, now it has been glaze fired with its monkeys, and it's little brothers on the bowl and cup. Detail isn't terrific here, but you get the idea. The thing is, we have a special exhibit starting Nov 1 at a place called 'Smart Monkey Cafe', and so I made some monkeys for the first time in a year, to go on pots. I hadn't made them peeling bananas before, but heck, its cute. Apparently, and this is important around a place like Ithaca, monkeys given an organic banana and a regular store banana will always eat the organic. And they eat the organic banana, peel and all. If they are only offered a regular banana, they peel it first. What exactly are they smelling from those pesticides and whatnot? Anyway, that is the premise behind Smart Monkey Cafe, and more on that exhibit when we get it hung, but my pieces look good. Our traveling show goes to Starbucks this winter, and no matter what you think of them, Starbucks is a place that should be able to sell my work, therefore I can buy groceries and catfood.

Post # 250! And tribute to Ghost of a flea

250 posts: that's a lot of nonsense and pots in two months.


Ghost of a flea is a Toronto blogger and pretty smart guy, and I hadn't thought of the Cocteau twins in years! Thanks FlEA!
Cocteau twins!!!
Puts me in the mood for the last band I had forgotten about, but Flea brought back to memory,

Dead Can Dance!

Plastic surgery

(part of my display at Spirit and Kitsch, 210 Elmira Rd, Ithaca)
Speaking of dreams, I need to do a special report sometime soon on Alice Muhlbach, the guiding light of the Spirit and Kitsch Art Garage Cooperative. You could say 'who cares about her!' but by saying that you would be missing something. She is the wild and dreamy illustrator who paints every square inch of furniture and walls with birds (like raven in the painting above) and little men in dresses and hats.
Man, I am still dreaming this morning, so much so that there were complaints about breakfast. I had some serious facial disfigurement and Maude's cousin was a plastic surgeon and in my dream my whole head and face were being taken apart and sitting there on the table, needing to be worked on and put back together. As of wakeup, my jaw was sitting there, not yet attached.

Oh yeah, kiln is open, little monkey pots cooling and looking sharp, pics later!

approximately 1990, 1991

So, who had the best tune of the (approx.) early 90s, between whatever new wave gave us in the 80s and the delights of grunge in the late-early 90s? I absolutely love the group James, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jf97_XwCNE 'Born of frustration' but then there is The The 'Kingdom of Pain'
singing something moody and solemn and dreamy.....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Save it for a rainy day

Here's a late afternoon tune, mellow and such, from the Jayhawks, 'Save it for a rainy day'. It is rainy and snowy today, and will be until the fourth of July, next year. The Jayhawks, despite being the name of Univ. of Kansas teams, and a nickname for Kansans anyway, are a band from Minnesota actually, and if I was gonna make a fraternity, I would invite these guys first, I mean, I like this band so much, more than any other on earth, I wish we could all sit down and have a pizza.

ridiculous, but par for the course

Wegman's put up their Christmas tree display back around October 1, then put up the Halloween stuff.
I cannot recall an October where I havn't seen snow, or an April without, and a little in May from time to time.
It is yucky outside--rain-snow-rain.

hazelnut and ME

(row of elephant pitchers and cups, elephant teaset, in the window, Spirit and Kitsch Art Garage)
Let’s talk caffeine and inspiration. Much has been said lately about this mysterious mystery coffee, Hazelnut, http://www.ludgatefarms.com/
from Ludgates. Sure, hazelnut may be the most popular coffee flavor out there, but something about this stuff, maybe the Ithaca air and water are extra psychedelic ( a very real possibility) but that stuff powers my days lately. I have heard that one reason the English rose to power 400-500 years ago was the rise of coffee and tea houses, while the rest of Europe got out of bed and started drinking wine and beer.
Anyway, I was feeling, as I said Monday afternoon, like turning horses into zebras, getting crazy with the cheeze whiz, as Beck said. So, I made some doodles. Now, when I finish monkeying around with those monkeys, later today, I can do something new. I am often surprised at what comes out of the muddy murk of my brain. I don’t talk about it much, but at college as art students, we had to study 2 topics. Mine were, as you know, ceramics, the other was architecture. I was a poor architecture student in many ways, because there is a level of precision I was too lazy to pursue, and also the teachers and visiting jurors were MEAN. So, at Bennington College, downstairs was this vast mess of a ceramics studio, always full of mellow dead heads and other messy types (such as myself!), and kindly and esoteric instructors who only wanted you to work hard, finding your own direction, improving. Upstairs there were sharks circling in the architecture studios, and I made a habit of avoiding the late-every-night smoke cigarettes and draw up buildings and talk about how brilliant you are crowd, instead working at home or in the morning. I still love architecture and design, in an abstract and incompetent way, but can you see how I came to that career crossroads??? Architecture study made me hate architecture, but yes, I LEARNED something. A few things. Therefore, to bring all this around to my point, I am sometimes surprised at the way I strive for certain designs and shapes, and a balanced appearance (I hope). I studied architorture, as we called it, and bring some of that training to the pots, this post to be continued when I get some of these ideas actually made.

Oh Canada...a tribute to Kingston the Capital of Cool


Kingston, Ontario is THE place to be. We talked last month about Sarah Harmer living in Kingston, but did you know that Dan Akyroyd and the Tragically Hip are from Kingston, too? Can you believe it? The missus and me moved to the outskirts of Kingston this past spring. Well, only 4 hours drive or something like that. You could ask why Kingston is so hot, but maybe it has something to do with Queen's University, or maybe the crummy weather is an incubator for creativity, or maybe Kingston's rather large inmate population creates certain creative tensions. So, enjoy ‘Grace, Too’ from the Tragically Hip, and dig those amazing guitars.

In the front windows....

Of the Spirit and Kitsch Art garage, Elmira Rd, Ithaca.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Time to stop picking on Canada and...

(pic from wiki) Take a Beastie Boys Break. A trip to the dentist, a monster cup of strong and magic hazelnut java, and I get wild thoughts. Sort of like the day God woke up, thought of horses, and decided it was time to have some fun, get crazy with the cheeze whiz, you might say. I need to mess around with these monkeys, but all these wonderful colorful paintings and Lyn Smiser-Bowers pots make me want to:

Blame Canada

I have many Canadian friends like St Dickeybird, cm, Paul, Alan, Denis (50% of the time) and celeste. But I have had it with Canada! I’m mad as can be and I’m not gonna take it anymore! Sunday the wife and I are enjoying a pretty sunny morning. Blacks clouds and rain blow in, straight from Canada according to the weather forecaster, with snow showers blowing this way tonight. As a matter of fact, ALL of our bad weather comes from Canada! Shouldn’t there be a treaty or something, stating they have to keep that stuff on their side of the border? The South Park crowd have it right, when they Blame Canada.

Guest artist John Lyon Paul

John Lyon Paul OK, on the art trail around Ithaca Sunday afternoon, so we depart from pots and look at sculpture and painting. John and his wife Katy are friends of ours, and live on a hilltop with 3 ponds and many acres, plus of course, massive studios. John is unafraid to make sculptures weighing thousands of pounds that take years to make, and then he has this fun painting studio upstairs, where he can get crazy with the colors.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

and finally....

Dreamt I had a teashop and pottery studio on a commercial street in New Orleans. I would love to have a place serving pastries, tea, and pots for sale, but I am not sure why the dream took me down there.

These 2 groovy (they really are groovy) teasets were at a teashop that caught on fire 2 months ago. I need to make more and see if the shopkeeper has 'de-fired', or salvaged, these guys.

Let's talk inspiration

Lucia writes about her cute little corgi, who waits for her to return from traveling the world. That got me thinking. Until May we had 3 dogs, Petey on the left was oldest. We found him living on the streets of Chicago in 93, and the vet guessed he was 6. He was tiny, probably a corgi -dachschund mix, with bloody marks on his face from fighting, and he ducked fearfully,at first, when you reached to pet him. He was no scaredey cat though, but a fierce dog when he had to be, and in our walks over the years, saw him defend himself from an Akita attack, also a pit bull and 2 different German shepherds. Anyway, he lived to be nearly 19 and he was a heck of a dog and I miss him terribly. He also spent his every waking moments at my side, sleeping too, and when he died, Jack, our 11 year old lab on the right, started following me around in his place. For a work at home guy, these are my loyal co-workers, but oh, so much more. I model every dog on every cup or bowl on the dog lying at my feet. I don't own a pig or frog or bunny either, and certainly not an elephant, but the dog sits in for them.


There There

Fake Plastic Trees
OK, Radiohead week. Sure, there was a break, but now we love them better than ever, of course, and here is good stuff. ‘Creep’ put them on the map 10 or so years ago, and everybody loves ‘Fake Plastic Trees’. Happy Sunday with these 3 tunes o' the day.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

nap time, or...

It's a really quiet day. I think we should play 'Faint' by Linkin Park.

Buster is enormous

What the heck, toss in a picture of Buster and me.

Pachyderm pitchers on parade

It isn't too often that Mr and Mrs Potter'sblog go out and paint the town. Last night Irvin Mayfield and his jazz orchestra came to Ithaca's old State Theater, and baby, they were GOOD.

http://www.myspace.com/irvinmayfield Tunes o' the day, obviously, from Irvin Mayfield. There is all kinds of jazz, like Kenny G (blech) and others, but these guys play big band like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Perfect. Cornell University's president, Dr Skorton introduced them, and the band invited him up at the end to play sax.

http://tompkinsweekly.com/ Missus Potter'sblog interviewed Irvin for the newspaper, page six here I think, and had only one day to find the guy's publicist, get the interview, and write a thousand words. She managed to do it, despite having two other jobs. We told the publisher that she deserved free tickets for delivering so quickly, and wouldn't you know....

I had shown pictures of elephants pitchers last week, in the making. Here is the finished, glazed product. Lucia had some cute pictures of elephants from her last trip to Africa, and you can check them out below.

Friday, October 20, 2006

pics 4

Typical artist-at-work type shot.

pics 3

Maybe this one. I look kinda macho and rugged. You would think I get up at 5am everyday, paddle 35 miles, throw a load of bowls, make a dozen pigs, and cook up a mess of burritos for dinner. Um, that doesn't stretch the truth, toooo much.....

pics 2

Maybe this one. Me at my best.

Sammy is a star

We interrupt this morning with pictures. I need a picture of self for a gallery exhibit. I don't think I willl use this one, although Sammy looks handsome and my nose doesn't have any boogies in it.

feverish dreams, no fever

Dreamt of a strange magnetic cult leader out to control the local pottery market....
Thursday: hot, sunny, golden, finally my head fog lifts, but dang, I was restless. After making a monster batch of monkeys, frogs-pigs-dogs (my formula for success, those 3), cleaning the house, I was fresh out of inspiration, but life is just a chair of bowlies, therefore, I threw a rack of bowls. Nothing easier to make, sell, and fill the kiln with. Potters don’t get potter’s block, like writers, they just make bowls when they would rather be out in the golden fall sun eating popcorn.

OK I am boycotting Radiohead week still, so let’s check out The Catherine Wheel. Good news: great tune; bad news: stupid video!
Then watch them looking wicked good with their guest Tanya Donnelly here, live, ‘Judy Staring at the Sun’

Lynn Smiser-Bowers

OK, Lynn Smiser-Bowers, the last chapter of our KC potters week. If you live in the midwest, go and buy some of her pieces.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm sick of Radiohead

That's the problem with themes: I get bored. Thank gawd I work for myself, I can do anything I want, as long as I am doing something.
I just love Echo and the Bunnymen. 'Lips like Sugar', has there ever been a band, and a song that better represented the 80s-new wave-big hair-English guy-bands? Somewhere in this video, which is pretty stupid, the singer wears a certain type of black leather jacket that every cool dude in college wore, with black Levi's and big boots and mucho macho.
OK, don't let the dumb video distract you from the awesome techno-pop tunes o' the afternoon.

Irish coffee, the saga continues

OK, you people tune in to see pots and think about pots, let's talk pots. A variety of Irish coffee cups here, made by your host over the past 8 years.
1 and 2 were early attempts at cups on a pedestal, circa 1998, and look darn good, esp. 1. That cup is actually the first I ever made with a pig lounging on the handle. 2 is a little fatter and less flared. 1 has a nice swirly line, good flared shape, nice color contrast green with pink pig.
3 I made last year, in turtle celadon. I love rumbly ridgey pots, especially bowls. I don't think this is the best Irish coffee cup shape, better for a simple goblet.
4 was made shortly after 1, and is a little espresso cup.
5 was made last month, and consists of a bunch of weird experiements, and is somehow too big.
6 is a perfect little cup, happy pig on the bottom, nice swirly yellow color, 7 is the same, just a nice celadon glaze with swirly other colors and a little dog on the handle.

The point here is that I keep coming back to certain ideas, and exploring them.

she is watching the detectives

My drift was astutely comprehended in comments, and the world can now rock openly to Elvis Costello.

Work by GR

OK, remember, you people see this stuff backwards, so I posted first this am about our KC guest potter, below, now some of my own pots.
Irish coffee cups don't have to contain coffee or whiskey, but they represent basically a cup on a pedestal. 'What's the use?', you say. Well, a little cup on a pedestal removes the hot liquid above the table, therefore you don't need a coaster or saucer under your hot cup, because the base won't get hot. (AHA! you say, because now you know) Last week, as I said, I had seen the perfect little Irish coffee cups--perfect because they were medium small. I made one last month that was whopping huge, and looked a little strange. Anyway, I came home and made a bunch of little guys, just out of the kiln now. The pedestal gives you decorative possibilities: the little pig has this cool little spot on the bottom to sit comfortably, out of the way, or as usual, up on the handle. I also decided to swirl the glazes all around in stripes. OK, more on Irish Coffee cups later.

More L S-B

Lynn Smiser-Bowers. Think of all the time she spends decorating a piece.

Lynn Smiser-Bowers, KC potter of the day

Ok, still hanging out in Kansas City. My third favorite KC potter is my MOST favorite, as anybody who knows me and my work might have guessed already. This woman’s work is so colorful and fun and well made, I wouldn’t mind spending a months’ grocery and cat food money on one of her pieces, and I wouldn’t say that about anybody else’s work in the world! My favorite potter on earth!!!!! As Wayne said to Alice Cooper "I’m not worthy!", but also as celeste would tell me, "patience, grasshopper", which my wife now uses as my nickname. Maybe one day I can be cool like Lynn S-B. OK, I will keep plugging away. Her resume, of course, lists a BA at KC Art Institute, and we can guess that Ken Ferguson got her started, etc. Like I said Monday.

North Korean Death Rays

According to Mrs Potter'sblog, everybody in the city has a head encased in cotton candy. What is this head fog, with attendant stuffed nose, sinuses, scratchy throat? Well, I place the blame squarely on Kim Jong Il, and although that is funny to joke about, it actually isn't funny to joke about. We are downwind of North Korea, after all.
Stuffed heads lead improbably to creative thoughts. Dreams of dog sled racing in far northern Manitoba, followed by some kind of of sky scraper and a rapid descent of stairs in order to get married, all over again, because I have been married nearly 14 years. Feverish, yes?


Radiohead, day 4, ‘Kid A’, LIVE. Thom Yorke dancing, great tune, nice camera job by some average Joe in the audience, in Dublin.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

what a lovely firing

These are groovy cups. Hot off the press, freshly baked, luscious. Kiln openings are like Christmas. Well, good firings are. More stuff manana.

Everybody's favorite Welshman

Something's wrong with me today. I don't feel too good. Usual start, but then flew into the clouds, sat down with a peanut butter sandwich and woke up feverish 2 hours later. The good thing about working for yourself is that nobody cares if you fall asleep over your p.b and j, the bad thing is that work still needs to be done, in the other room, and unless you're dead, you do it. I love working for myself.
OK, some rousing tunes from Tom Jones to get a move on.

Steven Hill, Red Star Studios, KC

OK, also heading back to Kansas City potters. Steven Hill today, maker of bodacious and beautiful pots, setting new standards in functional work, and techniques. Maybe he is the best known younger potter of our day, or the most popular?


He and other artists took over an old yeast factory in KC and make pots there, and he travels all over giving workshops. He glazes in multiple layers of color with airbrushing, but one thing that makes him unusual is his once-fired technique. Basically, people like me dry the pots then bisque fire them (call it a half firing) which makes for easily glazing and handling, before you fire them all the way. If you once fire, it is hard to handle the pieces, they are brittle, and you are adding water back to the piece, so it has to be dried carefully too. All right, who cares about all that, look at his wild colors and shapes!

havn't you...


So, back to Radiohead, day 3. ‘Let Down’ here, an atmospheric thing. For tunes o' the day.

OK, back to monkeys too. The big guy on the right will have monkeys soon. I was toying with the idea of doing a ‘see no evil, hear evil, speak no evil’ thing, but prefer goofy monkeys instead, eating bananas and hanging around.
No dreams in memory, but Jack, our 11 year old lab, had another seizure, his 3rd in 3 weeks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Radiohead week brief break for best of the 80s


OK, best tune of the 80s: Big Audio Dynamite, ‘E=MC2’ OR

Smith’s, "How Soon is Now’?

I doubt if Celeste will vote for the Smiths.

monkeying around

Here it is 8 am and I really need to get the stuff down there glazed and firing, but with the nice comments earlier, I felt I could show off a bit, besides, I am totally stoked on this hazelnut coffee--so potent! So energizing! So happy!
Anyway, I dusted off some pics here from summer 2005. The two teapots below are in the fairly ordinary category. As in, simple round teapots, with the animal used as a knob. There is a supplier in California that has cane handles from England and bamboo handles from Japan (or China?) and they are just soooo good looking. This guy above is the last monkey thing I made, for a special order in 2005. It is in the category of 'let's do everything to this teapot we can think of': whack the bottom, slice the sides, slice the lid here and there, and then fit some monkeys on there too.'
The Spirit and Kitsch Cooperative Art Garage has been invited (there are about 30 of us) to a special exhibit at Smart Monkey Cafe. I am doing monkey things this week in preparation, and will post that stuff later. There will be bananas too, I think. Special exhibits are fun because you are challenged to make something....different?

two teapots

Nekkid in Iceland

Picture shows all the stuff made
Monday. I had this hazelnut coffee from Ludgates http://www.ludgatefarms.com/ and it fuels the beast it is so wicked tasty, I can potter til I drop.
It occurs to me, sometimes, that all these complicated and experimental cups need to be balanced by plain cups--as plain as I get, take a look at those 2 bright and swirly finished cups on the table. Just straight sided, but with the pig or dog, swirly glaze, easy to make as falling off a log.
But that thing on the left is special. There is this monkey exhibit coming up next week (????) that I will tell you more about, but yes, I am rising to the occasion.
Dreaming last night: OOOOPH! Talk about public nekkidness. I was at a spa, hot springs place in Iceland and the natives all knew how to change (or did they just go nekkid?) before going in, but why did I end up in the gift shop with only my boots to cover myself and a lot of Icelanders hanging around looking at me?
No, I don’t make this stuff up.

KC and Ken Ferguson, part 2

Ken Ferguson, part 2. OK, a couple more pictures. Note solemn elongated rabbits, and turtle on top!