Sunday, December 2, 2007

My display at Mud & Spirits. This doesn't seem like a lot of space,

but my inventory was quickly replaced when a piece sold.

Mud and Spirits was fun.
Mud and Spirits has a different atmosphere, it's a very nice show. People attend because of an interest in pottery; it's not the casual entertainment wandering-around of most art fairs. Maybe it was just a good day, all around was happiness. Such a stark contrast to my weekly workday.
I picked the pooch up from the 'doggie spa' this morning. His spa is in the country and I took a short cut on roads that were even more back country. The snow had drifted a foot and a half in some places. I plowed through them with the AWD and studded sawdusts. Now that was fun (POW, SWOOSH!!), I still have loads to do in the house here, but for a while considered finding more backroads and spending the day swooshing through them. (That would have had disaster written all over it.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Eagerly Anticipating

Another purple pitcher, but a different style both in shape and glaze application

The Mud and Spirits Pottery Show this weekend in Post Falls. Twenty potters and ceramic sculptors all with very different work set up in a lovely remodled old church, now community center; with live music, purty decorations, and wine tasting & snacks. This will be my 3rd. year participating with them and did very well those previous times.

Yes, I also love glazes that are not purple and loosly applied.
This is an example of my celtic knotwork pottery. The drawing on these pieces are all done freehand.

Wish I had time for one more firing before the show. I have plenty of work completed, but then do a lot of re-firing if the glazes are on the not-exciting-to-me scale I re-glaze and haven't had a chance to since my last firing. I guess I won't take those with.

I'm looking forward to much talk with other potters since there will be folks from several regional cities selling there.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Palouse Potters at Cowgirl Chocolates

Platter with purple glazes, I am going to keep working on this style!

The Palouse Studio Potters Guild Show at Cowgirl Chocolates begins Saturday, Nov. 17th. and goes through the Christmas season. We are holding a reception that afternoon as well with snacks. Marilyn has been very generous with us. Still, space requirements are such that we can't bring many items, so I am arguing with myself over what I want to bring. When they sell, I will replace them.

These pitchers are influenced by
the Medieval 'baluster' shape
but the surface decoration, glazes,
and glaze application are 21st. Century!!

Whatever the venue, I always want to bring the most recent things that came out of the kiln, although older work might be better sellers....I don't know, if I did know I would be a much wealthier person. Finally got to unload the kiln today. Some worked out well, others not so much. The glaze experiments didn't work out as well as I had hoped they would, the kiln fired at least a cone hotter, possibly more, because I programed a very slow cool-down, the temperature rise is counter-intuitive, but there you go.

This bowl has about a 2 qt. capacity
It really shows off the "huckleberry"
purple glaze

I am still discovering and amazed by the color of these purple glazes when applied to the textures I am using on the pots. The purples are so strong.

Friday, November 9, 2007

More on Medieval Pottery

During the Medieval European era eating from pottery was not favored by the Aristocracy. Wood cuts and illuminated manuscripts of the times show us that ceramic pots were more likely to be found in the kitchens or in the taverns. Still, ceramics were ubiquitous; shards of kiln wasters and broken pottery are found at almost every archaeological site. So many discarded pieces have led some to describe Medieval European pottery as the equivalent of the modern paper plates or Tupperware.

Her Antirian Majesty Miranda Faoltrina prepares to enjoy Amberguard's Harvestfeast.

In our “Modern Middle Ages” though, pottery is a popular and valued craft. People use ceramics for feast ware and there is increased interest in redacting medieval recipes and preparing them with the cooking methods and styles of pottery used during the period. There are some very ugly medieval pots out there. They were a utilitarian tool, often made without adornment and care for the shape. I suspect much of the clay near available near the land’s surface was short, lacking the kaolin that helped make the Chinese clay of the same period so plastic and which resulted in beautiful shapes.

Arthur Dearhurst, Baron Wastekeep, with his balluster drinking jug

I am not interested in replicating work unless I am delighted with it, this encourages me to research until I find shapes I consider strong and beautiful, of which there are aplenty. There exists a variety of styles of many of these medieval mainstays; I choose the styles I make through my own interest, from suggestions of customers and “beta testers”.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

These Medieval clubs

Constantine sautes pork in a pipkin with rice cooking in the lided pipkin on the edge of the braiser.

Chances are you have seen us clashing loudly with swords and armor in city parks, looking comfortable promenading through Renaissance Fairs, or demonstrating everyday activities of a Medieval Household at Libraries.
In particular the medieval organization named The Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA, has been growing and changing since the 1960s when it began. Now with 30,000 paid members and many more unpaid members. Other than a fervent interest in the medieval era there seems to be very little in common between the individuals Medievalists, who run the gamut of education, professions, age, and aspects of the various medieval organizations they favor. From the extremes of people who just like to party in odd clothing, through the range of those who try to live so authentically among other activities they part with their eye glasses for the weekend event. Most participants, however, fall in between the two extremes and, as much as we love spending weekends camping in pavilions and wearing ‘garb’, we are more than aware that it isn’t possible to be completely medieval and we are happy to be back in a land of refrigerators and central heating when the event has concluded.

Hrafnir Fiachsman roasts a pork loin in a pipkin.

Since the 1960s when the SCA began there has been a noticeable increase in medieval scholarship and putting the crafts and tools of the era to practical use in the form of experimental archaeology. It is not unusual to see a Viking starting his campfires with flint and steel, a Norman grinding the pigments for her Illuminated Manuscripts, or a Celt carving bone needles for embroidery. The focus of my medieval experience is pottery.

Katerjine kneeds bread for baking and uses the jug in the foreground for adding liquid when required. In the background craftsmen prepare to cast pewter. Others enjoy the beautiful day

Friday, September 21, 2007


Welcome to my blog.
This is where I will record and consider my ceramic progress and the life issues that contribute to my work. I hope you find it interesting and informative.

At this time in my art journey, there are two strong facets that will occasionally blend together beautifully, at other times they are centuries apart.

The photograph at the left is an example of my interpretation of a historical pot. I have a great love of history and research constantly to find the most handsome and interesting pots. I also do "experimental archaeology" to test the functions these ancient designs served.

The original of this "drinking jug" was unearthed in Exeter, UK. It was from the Twelfth Century and thought to have been imported from France. I like everything about it, the strength of the shape, the surface design, the glaze application. The owners centuries before must have been so proud to set this jug on their table or to pour libation from its handsome form.

My other style is Contemporary Studio Pottery.
With this work I am constantly experimenting and trying unique ideas. My goal is always to make a work of art functional for everyday use and appreciation.

The mug in the picture above is my most recent style. I employ textures everywhere and multiple glazes. I enjoy adding multiple touches to this style, while they are leather-hard I attack them with stamps, rollers, scratching blades, extra tiny bits of sprigging. Glazing follows the same spirit have a general idea in mind when decorating commences, but no plan to follow. I just let my right brain loose on them and the pots love it. An appreciative customer titled the new red-purple glaze I've been working with "Huckleberry". I especially appreciated this, I grew up on huckleberries and consider them my "soul food". So how perfect a name for my soul work.