Monday, November 10, 2014

Countdown day 363

Carolina Pottery Festival Set up, Nov. 7, 2014
We had a great festival this year, went pretty smoothly and all the work was beautiful. Now the countdown begins for next year. This means the rest of the year is on the downhill coast for me because this is one of the most time consuming volunteer jobs that I also participate in as a potter. So now I can focus on just making work, filling orders and doing some experiments on new pieces. I have a new website design up and will be moving the blog over to it as soon as I learn how to adeptly use the program. Happy Fall Potting!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Artist Statements: Defining your motives with words

How hard it is to fit all the things you do and think and hope to create and the "whys" behind all that into a concise paragraph. This is my most current attempt at my artist statement:
I am a ceramic artist making functional and decorative pottery.  Nature  is the inspiration for my work. Themes of leaves, flowers and branches weave their way into cups and bowls, plates and vases. Carved images and textured patterns echo leaf veins and vines, the striations of bark, etc. and offer a palpable, tactile experience to a user, which is as important to me as the visual images. I create my own glazes to compliment the textures of the pieces and layer them one over another subtly. I strive for complex and varied color and achieve this by continually experimenting with my glaze palette. Clay is my chosen medium because of it's history, it's permanence, it's three dimensionality and it's unpredictability. I know that even as I strive to place limits on how the clay and glazes will react, there will always be an unknown element when the firing is complete. For me the unpredictability is the adventure and the transformation is the magic.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A completed basket with braided handle. This piece was based on a photograph of a palm tree bark that I took in California. The grey glaze is one of the experimental ones I have been working on and black underglaze was used in the crevices and depressions that were carved in the piece. I love combining different handle options on these pieces.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sometimes you just have to fly your gaudy flag

A 2013 shot from Mingei Museum in San Diego. They were having a Chair Exhibit. I saw this piece and was instantly transported back to New Orleans during Mardi Gras season. I mean, really, what better way to display your doubloon collection? And what are you going to do with all the school locks that you can't remember the combinations from so you are afraid to ever close them? Growing up in a town that was always  "over the top" conditions you a bit to love that certain tinsel and gaudiness. You know it's not real, it's just an illusion, but what fun to relish in it for a while. Summer's almost up, time to fly your gaudy flag.........

Monday, July 21, 2014


Museum of Man, San Diego
Shot this last year on a trip out "west". This little elephant was hanging from a swinging seat chain. Can you just imagine swinging out high and happily with the scent and sight of beautiful flowers surrounding you and the breeze sweeping by?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Earth and Fire Fest in Shelby, NC

The opening for the Earth and Fire Festival in Shelby, NC was last night and it was great fun. Saw lots of old pals and met new ones and some nice pieces went home with some really nice folks. The show will be up through July 25th. The interior of the gallery space is the old train depot, which is beside some very well travelled tracks. There were a few trains whizzing by last night at a pretty fast clip. I've always liked trains. My grandfather and uncle worked in the railroad industry and my biggest disappointment in 4th grade was the fact that our school field trip had to be cancelled. My class was supposed to ride the train from Bossier City to Oil City and we were supposed to be served Coca-Colas during the journey. Pretty simple expectations back then, huh?

Monday, June 23, 2014

From Chip and Dip to Flower Design

This is a set that I created as a functional piece for chip/dip or serving piece but was inspired to do a flower design. The sauce bowl holds hosta leaves and a Japanese maple branch in a flower pin frog. I can envision water in the basin with floating leaves or candles. Just love the hosta leaves--so much texture and form. This set (minus the arrangement) will be available at the Earth and Fire Pottery Fest, Kings Mountain Art Center, June 28 to July 25th.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The joys and difficulties of customized orders.

I took on these little oil containers thinking they would be simple. Even spent a lot of time carving them....against my better judgement that I should invest minimal time in them until I had worked out the kinks. I think there is hope but they do not pour like I had envisioned. And the little hole that was supposed to direct any drips back into the jar must not be positioned correctly yet. So back to the drawing board. My really big mistake was inserting the neck into the body without trimming it, so it acts like a collection point for liquid when the volume gets low. Hindsight being perfect I realized I had created a dam inside the piece.  Others will be in the works to smooth out these issues. I am nothing if not dogged in finding a solution.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Carolina Pottery Festival, Shelby, NC on Nov. 8, 2014

Just got the new promo materials for the Carolina Pottery Festival in Shelby on Nov. 8, 2014. Will be sending out to the participating potters very soon so they can hand out or mail to their pottery customers and friends. I really enjoy designing these pieces every year. I have watched different people's work blossom and change over the years of the festival and it is kind of like watching the growth of the individual as well. Featured on this year's cards are the works of Hal Dedmond, Hal Dedmond Pottery, Corine Guseman, Peace Pots Pottery, John and Donna King, Puzzle Creek Pottery, Ron Philbeck, Ron Philbeck Pottery, and Debbie and Randy Sells, Homeplace Pottery.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bright little bowls

When you develop new glazes, that means new images, so I have been working on some new shots featuring these little bowls. I love the way the texture reveals the glazes and they are just fun to work with. Recently sent a huge order of these to the Visitors Info Center in Charlotte.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Peacock Pottery on Etsy

I'm working on stocking the Etsy store with Peacock Feather pieces. You'll see more over the next few days. You can go directly to it with the link above

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Oh, Peacock Feathers

Maybe they'll change the saying about horse feathers to peacock feathers. Recently Jim helped me set up for an out of town show and his comment was that they looked like eyes. Myself, I don't really see that. I just love how they change colors depending on the light. And, they let me incorporate all my new glaze tests together.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Artistic movie background

Lights, camera, action........These were a few scenes from a video that was shot in the studio last week. I had been contacted about being filmed while throwing chalices as background for a musical video. The big lights, multiple cameras and creating pieces for the scenes were all exciting. Knowing what they wanted to film, I made chalices beforehand that would be ready to carve and then threw new pieces so all parts of the process could be shown. It will be fun to see how it all comes out. My hands were the stars!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Customer requests

This is another request that I will try to duplicate. It was a piece very dear to a lady's heart since her father passed it on to her. The coil may be the end of my sanity--we'll have to see. Last night I had a little lightbulb go off and I thought maybe wrapping the coil around a flexible hose might work. Hmmmmmm......

Friday, May 16, 2014

Clay Basketry

The beginning of a new series of clay baskets. I'm using different texturing methods. These were done by cutting strips of clay from a big slab, then using an MKM roller to texture one side of the strips. I love the crisp patterns these rollers make. A limited number of them may be available at the next show, May 17th, in Winston Salem. We'll see what happens in the kiln firings this week.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Customer Requests

An oil container from Italy. Thought it was so clever. The rim around the spout has a little hole in it so any drips can seep back into the bottle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Studio Tour

These are images from the gallery space in the studio. I have been updating various online presences for Bluegill Pottery and posting casual shots of the gallery.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Before the deluge

Had a great show this weekend in Charlotte and saw lots of folks from over the years who have bought my pottery. These are scenes before the bottom dropped out of the sky. Got everything packed up and loaded in the deluge and thunder and made it home soaked to the skin but happy.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Saturday Morning at the Barn, Claymatters Pottery Festival

May 10, 10am to 4pm

8300 Monroe Rd., Charlotte, NC

McAlpine Business Park

Come out, rain or shine and catch me in Booth 8, which is left of the barn as you are facing it from the road. Hope to see you there, and think "NO RAIN" until after 6:pm!

Dogwood inspiration for new ideas

My shop/studio is situated along a very busy highway now, but years ago it was not as developed. My next door neighbor has been there for about 50 years and planted young sapling which have grown into massive trees. These pictures are from a month ago when their dogwood--a pink and white variety was in full, glorious bloom. I have to assume that this tree was once just a pink dogwood and has now resorted back to it's orginal white stock, which it must have been grafted on. Anyway, the combo is striking and lovely.
I love the idea that new ideas graft onto old techniques and in time they meld into a unique combination that wouldn't be possible otherwise.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Redbud color

Gosh, isn't this just glorious color? Driving through town when the redbud trees are blooming is amazing. Brilliant color--no subtleness to their spring declaration at all. My favorite is the really chrome tin purple color. SMACK, "Notice ME!" they are saying. And I do, always wishing I could duplicate the color on some of my pots, but in a transparent way...........

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pottery in the home

A few candid shots of my pottery at the Mississippi show. It was a lovely home show hosted by my sister, Tammy. Her house is filled with antiques and is such a beautiful venue for handcrafted pieces. The warmth of the wood furniture is a very nice background for the colors of the glazes. It also gives a feeling of USE--how work might be displayed or used in a home setting. Of course, Tammy has more of my pottery than I do, so she had to move all the pieces she owns so no one would try to buy them. This has happened in the past! As collectors go, she probably has the largest collection of my work from the earliest time to present, followed by my mom. They have always been my biggest fans and supporters and I love them dearly for all they have done to help me work creatively and with passion in this field.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fish experiments in underglazing

These are what my large fish platters looked like after underglazes were applied to the bone dry greenware. My idea was that the colored underglazes would act like a colored primer and enhance the glaze colors. We'll see what the fired results look like soon.