First off, Happy Father’s Day and much gratitude to my Dad for the support he has given me and my pottery life. Thanks Dad, you’re the best.
It’s been awhile since I’ve made any pots and I am missing the heat and glow of the kiln, the processes leading up to a firing, and the sound of glaze dripping off a pot. The mystery of the fire with all it’s magic and power supports the alchemy of transforming clay into ceramic and glaze into glass. The wet clay in my hands as it spins on the kick wheel is one of the most calming and centering feelings ever. The clay is not the only one being transformed.
I’d like throwing pots to be even more of a daily practice to recharge my batteries and bring me to center. I’m a much nicer person to be around when I make pots. I have more patience when I make pots. I am more present and a better listener when I make pots. I feel so much more connected to myself and others when I spend time making pots. I love the process. For me, the love is in the doing, the making, the glazing, the firing, etc. much more so than the results at the end of a firing. I love seeing the results too, but by then I am already making the next load full of pots.
I usually make about 80-100 pots at a time because that is about a full bisque kiln worth depending on the size and shape. As it turns out after glazing, this same number usually fills my favorite gas kiln for the cone 10 glaze firing. Glazing more than this number of pots becomes a chore unless the design is simple and repeated. Space in a small shop is limited and with new pots being made all the time, about 100 to 150 pots waiting for the kiln is about all I can handle. The finished pots are cleaned up and displayed on shelves for me to study and learn from and the rest are kept in boxes ready to sell. I’m about due to build another display shelf so I can unpack a couple more boxes.
It’s father’s day today and I’m going to be throwing some pots outside in the warm northern California sun. I’ll post some pics next time.
I’ll be participating in my first show this year and I am so excited to finally be putting my pots out there for people to see. It’s the annual Spring Show at the Potter’s Studio in Berkeley, CA. I’ll have some of my recent work on display and for sale. If you are in the area during the first two weekends in May, please stop by to see me and hold one of my pots in your hands. You can also see the studio where I work and make my pots.
As a humble potter my aim is to make functional pots for everyday use and the making of each pot is completed when it’s put to good use. I hope to combine function and beauty in an interesting way that enhances the experience of eating, drinking, cooking, and sharing meals with family and friends. All the info is on the beautiful postcard Ajira created to support me and my pottery. Please feel free to share or post this to your facebook, etc. I hope to see you there.
I got a commission to make two custom bowls the other day from a guy named Jameson. Thanks so much for the custom order. I appreciate the support and send peace and gratitude to you on the highest level.
It’s amazing how things work out. I was selling some stuff on craigslist and he answered the ad, came over and bought more than what was in the ad. We got to talking about this and that and I told him I was a potter, he told me he was an artist and wanted to see my pots. I showed him some in the kitchen we were using and he said he wanted me to make him two big bowls like the one we use for fruit on our table. We talked about the design and he wants letters on the side saying “OAKLAND, CA” and “GALLUP, NM” to honor the places he has lived.
We really connected in what we were sharing with each other and I wish him all the best. I was inspired by his words and I hope to finish the pots for my new friend within a month. The bowl in the photo is the one he saw on our table. It’s made of stoneware clay and has a glaze on it called yellow salt. The texture on the outside came from a serrated trim tool I used when the clay was leather hard. I’ll be sure to post photos of his pots and link to it here once they’re up.
Here is a table full of pots ready for the next step. This photo was taken back in November and I’ve since glazed and fired them in the gas kiln at The Potter’s Studio in Berkeley, CA. I’ll post photos of the finished pots soon.
It’s been so long since I have posted anything I just had to put something here in the new year.
I recommit to posting once per week and letting go of the need for it to be perfect. It is a daily practice after all and the point is to post often to show my progress and the results of my practicing.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to my family for their continued support.