Archive for the ‘ceramics’ Category

Xmas Comes A Bit Early…

December 22, 2009

I don’t get a lot a gifts for xmas and that’s the way I like it… don’t really need anything… except maybe a new sewer system connected to the house or a nice soda kiln in the backyard or if someone could magically make the demon dog stop trying to kill me. She’s a sweetheart really but only sometimes and I’d like to go on record that if I die in the next 3 or 4 years, it’s most definitely her fault. Anyway, I thought that even though I don’t make enough money on pots to actually buy others’ pots that I would treat myself to one gift and just chalk it conveniently up to xmas. Well, the package I’ve been waiting for arrived yesterday and here’s what was inside…

These two beauties I got from Joel over at Fetishghost. I love his work and I love this glaze so much that I unsuccessfully sacrificed several cups trying to get something similar and the verdict was that my firing down profile must help to heal the natural crawly tendency. It was fun experimenting though. Anyway, Joel has it down and every time I look up close at those crawlies it reminds me of how our brains look… not that I’ve seen mine but I’d imagine it’s not that much different from the pictures I’ve seen. So head on over and check out Joel’s pots if you get a hankerin’.

Au Revoir Chamois…

December 18, 2009

For those non potters that may be reading this, many of us potters use a chamois (pronounced sh amee but I like to pronounce it sham wah mostly because it sounds more French and it rhymes with au revoir) cloth to address the rims of our vessels while they are being thrown. It is a very soft and supple leather that makes the rim look smooth and finished. Well, first off… this is a real chamois,

Chamois cloth that one buys at the automotive store can be made from sheep, goats or deer and is used more often by grown men who are in love with their vehicles and want to polish them and their windows. If you’ve seen my car you are certain that this is not what I use them for…

So anyway, I have a piece of chamois and I cut a little square off and use it until it disintegrates, then cut another… no big deal. Yesterday I was throwing and I reached in my wee bucket of water for the chamois and voila (<-french), it wasn't in there. I have to preface this by saying that looking for things that have always been in a certain place but now are not has become a big part of my life recently. It was bad enough with just Mom but now Sofia has joined in. I turned the entire house upside down for at least a half hour looking for my car keys the other day. I started thinking that I may have left them in the front door lock, went to bed and then some nefarious individual came and took them and was now plotting a heist (as if there were anything fence-able in my house) but found out that Sofia was playing with them and put them in one of my empty plastic glaze containers. In the last week alone, I’ve looked for keys, my neckwarmer, my glasses on several occasions, a CD that’s been in the car for 5 years, a metal ruler, the little paper CD sleeves, sesame oil that I just bought and I even looked for a tavern that I’ve been to several times. Except for the tavern, none of these things were where they usually are and when I ask if anyone’s seen them, no one has. So I'm fishing in the bucket, looking on the floor next to my wheel and thinking I never take the chamois away from the wheel, where could it have possibly gone? Then I see her

So I figure she pulled it off the rim of my water bucket when I left the room and she must have taken it somewhere and chewed it up. I look in every room for shredded chamois and porcelain stains and can’t find any… I guessed I’d find it when I least expected. So, I cut a new piece, throw some more, leave the room again for a bit, go back, throw some more, reach for the new chamois… it’s gone. I end up looking around some more and finally come to the conclusion that she didn’t tear them up, she ate them. It made more sense to me later when I realized that the leather is just like some of the chew toys that dogs eat. Went to a great Chinese restaurant with pals, Jeff Campana and Sebastion Moh. We’re all potters and it was good conversation about all things ceramic and the food was not the normal American-Chinese fare. Yum… my. Speaking of things Chinese, here’s a piece of my friend Ig’s Blanc de Chine…

I’ve Been Musing About Mud (ded)…

December 14, 2009

When I started blogging in February of this year, one of the first blogs are started visiting was Carole Epp’s Musing About Mud. I’m sure most of the ceramics community is aware of Carole’s blog because it is an invaluable repository for all opportunities clay. There are notices for calls for entry, gallery exhibitions, employment opportunities, residencies and almost anything else that might interest a ceramic artist and it’s international to boot. Well, twice Carole has decided to have a month of Artist Of The Day posts and yesterday she posted Sofia’s Dad

Thank you very much Carole, I’m very happy to be included amongst the artists that have been featured. Carole is quite accomplished in clay and maybe she will feature her own work as the last post of her Artists Of The Day posts. She actually does two distinctly different and compelling veins of work. On the one hand she makes beautiful functional ceramics like this beauty…

and in addition she has been making provocative conceptual clay sculptures for several years. Here’s one called “Never Trust Anyone Over The Age Of Thirty” (at least I think that’s the title) and some detail shots…

There are many more sculptures on her other website, caroleepp.com. I start to wonder how she gets it all done and like yours truly, she has a little one to watch over too. So, if you’ve got a hankerin’, visit Musing About Mud and you will see a new artist featured everyday for some time to come. Thanks again Carole!

Just Buggin’…

December 12, 2009

Not much going on today, just buggin’ with the bug. We’ll be heading over to the Red Pooper after we walk the dog. We have to make Mom an Xmas card or two or twenty depending on Sofia’s concentration but other than that we’re free for the rest of the day. She’s sitting here beside me eating fruit, first an apple and now she’s on her 3rd orange and she just said… I’m an orangehound. Here’s the bug doing her ballet although to me it looks like it might be a bit of the yoga, either way better balance than dad…

I may have mentioned this before but there are 4 of us Murray State University alums (there’s more than that I’m sure) that were all there the same years. Last year we were all 51 and we go out on each person’s birthday, last year to celebrate Club 51 but tonight is the first meeting of Club 52 as the years just keep rolling by. Two of us are sculptors and two work in clay. They will be going to Sergio’s (the world of over 1000 beers) and I will be meeting up with them after Mom gets home. I better start thinking of what kind of beer I should have. Sofia just started her 4th orange… what an orangehound! Here’s the bowl I posted to Etsy yesterday…

Concrete Expressionism…

December 11, 2009

I was just cold yesterday, I didn’t mean to suggest that our coldness was comparable to other regions’ coldness and since I enjoy some of the older idioms that I thought were funny when I was younger, I may have wasted it’s use on a day that wasn’t nearly as cold as it’s going to get (the title of yesterday’s post). Colder than a well-diggers ass was one of my dad’s favorites and someone suggested the infamous “colder than a witches teat” but my favorite was one from my college friend, Mattie, who always said, “it’s colder than a brass toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg.” I figured it might have been native to that state that many wish was successful in it’s attempt to secede from the Union but maybe that’s because he was always lampooning said Texans and usurping their accent. When I was young my dad reserved the term “horse’s ass” for the people who really behaved poorly and as a teen I always felt that it lacked teeth. No hard “k” sounds in there and I went through a couple of decades perfecting what I thought was a more vitriolic and effective string of expletives to hurl at the insanity of the world. As is apropos of the cyclical nature of life, I have now come to believe that “horse’s ass” is a much better phrase especially if one visualizes the ass of a horse and considers that the power of most vulgar expletives has been sapped by their expropriated use in popular movies, music lyrics and fiction. Last week at the doctor’s office, I overheard a man while waiting to check out say… “like a hair in a biscuit”. I learnt this in western Kentucky in college and since I moved to Louisville have never heard another person use it even though I say it frequently. I was floored and wanted to strike up a conversation with him about it but I was a bit preoccupied with whether or not I had a blood clot. Anyway, I’m always open for new ones although I’m certainly not interested enough to comb through google looking for them. Recently, I was made aware of an older phrase that I liked and had never heard before… “never trust a man whose ass is wider than his shoulders.” You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a good reason to use that expression. Here’s a bowl that I posted yesterday (first click to Etsy, others enlarge)…

It’s Colder Than A Well Digger’s Ass…

December 10, 2009

That was one of my dad’s favorite idioms and when we were young if we laughed when he said it, he would proceed to tell us why the well digger’s ass was cold… because apparently the well wasn’t all the big of a hole diameter-wise and in order to be in the hole and keep digging with a shovel, the digger’s ass would be pressed against the opposite wall of the cold, wet earthen hole. Actually it’s 21 degrees out and it going to get colder still but last night the wind was whipping with gusts of 40+ mph which made the 21 degrees feel much colder. I braved the weather last night to meet up with fellow potter, Jeff Campana, and have a few beers (they’ve got Bell’s Two Hearted Ale on tap) at a great local tavern named the Nachbar. It’s always fun to get together with Jeff because I don’t really get to hang out with many potters and just talk pots, which we did for most of the time we were there. We talked about making pots, selling pots, shows, galleries, online marketing and on and on and it was good fun. I had forgotten that on Wednesday, local jazz musicians play there at the Nachbar and for the last hour that we were there, there was live jazz. We were both equally surprised at the end of the evening to find out that each other was a fan of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Here’s one of Jeff vases…

On a blog related note… I moved my old “recent bowls” out off the Recent Bowls page to the Bowls page and put my actual recent bowls on the Recent Bowls page… upper right corner of this blog under “Pages”. Most of them have been displayed in posts over time but if you have a hankerin’ to see them all together go ahead and check it out. Here’s one…

Scat Nostalgia…

December 6, 2009

Yesterday was Dad and Sofia day and we had a fine day. Early on the bug put on her latest accessory and wore them all day… even to the Red Pooper. They must have been a hit because I noticed many envious stares, of course Sofia was oblivious to them and I think she forgot that she had put them on…

It got me thinking about when I was in the ceramics program at Murray State University studying under one of my favorite people, Fred Shepard. Anyway, there was a student… a young girl from Ecuador whose dad was a famous painter in Quito and he had managed to trade painting(s) for her tuition into the art program. She was beautiful and I was smitten and to make a long story short I started going out with her. In addition to being beautiful she was extremely superstitious in a manner that I have become more aware of over the years but at the time I chalked it up to a combination of me thinking that she was putting me on and the language barrier… plus did I mention that she was beautiful? So I went to central NY state for xmas vacation and she wouldn’t come although I pleaded with her to make the trip. At home I found a pair of glasses that had no lenses (because my dad was blind in one eye and used to collect sunglasses from people, including my mother, that had the lens for his blind eye popped out – his version of recycling I suppose) and we were taking pictures and we took one of me with my Mom and Dad and me wearing these women’s sunglasses with no lenses. I wrote my Ecuadorian girlfriend a letter because the break was quite long and I thought she needed cheering up and told her that while I was home I had my eyes checked and found that I needed glasses and that I had picked out some frames and hoped she liked them… and enclosed the picture. To skip to the end, she didn’t get the joke and took the picture to a mutual friend and told him that she couldn’t be seen with me anymore because the glasses looked bad and no matter how much he tried to convince her that it was a joke, she wouldn’t have any of it. When I got back, we were broken up and it was not up for discussion. While thinking about Murray and at the risk of making certain my age, I remembered at the time (1980 or so) the big thing was “boom boxes” (portable cassette tape players) and although I had hundreds of LP’s, the idea of being able to carry my stereo around (and more specifically, to the clay studio) was too much so I took part of my student loan money and got a portable cassette player. The problem was that I had no money and I also had no music on cassettes. I managed to get someone in the dormitories to record two tapes for me and I’m not exaggerating when I say that I played these two 90 minute tapes constantly for years, hundreds of times. At the time I had become entranced with scatting and because of this my 2 double LP albums that I chose to record were “Ella and Duke Live at the Cote d’ Azur” and “Look To The Rainbow” by Al Jarreau. Sofia and I went on YouTube to see if I could find her some scatting and found this…

I forgot how much I love this album as I don’t have it on CD. In retrospect, I believe that my eventual love affair with jazz was probably largely due to my poverty at the time and having “only” Duke, Ella and Al to listen to while I was working. Here’s another bowl that’s on the AKAR site

Work @ AKAR Is Live…

December 5, 2009

The work that I took to Iowa on my way to visit my friend Ig is on the AKAR website now along with some new work from other potters. Check it out if you have a hankerin’, here’s a few shots that Cliff, AKAR’s photographer, shot (click to enlarge)…

It’s a buggity bug bug day today and tomorrow and it went below freezing last night so looks like a chilly weekend.

Don’t Ya Just Love The Holidays?…

November 21, 2009

Well, it’s bug day and then it’s Thanksgiving week so this is probably my last post before we go off the grid again. Those pilgrims were so thankful weren’t they? My favorite story was of the Jamestown “pilgrims” who actually were there before the Mayflower and after ingesting datura stramonium were said to have appeared coming out of the woods days later completely naked and a bit worse for wear (later after the effects were known, it was apparently used to poison the British soldiers). Jamestown weed became one of the common names along with thorn apple, devil’s weed and devil’s apple which after time was mispronounced into the current common name… Jimson weed. So how about a new holiday?… ThanksJimson Day? Sorry, still not quite myself, I managed to get a bit of work done yesterday and now another week before I get back in the studio again. Here’s a glamour shot in black and white…

I had lots of company again yesterday and we got out some colored slips for Sofia to continue “painting” her vase. I think it’s turning out a bit deKooning-esque…

Here’s a shot of the dynamic duo, Sunglasses has since had a bath to wash away the markers but there’s still a bit of yellow in places that makes her look like she’s might be coming down with a bit of jaundice…

So by the next post I should be well again (famous last words) and then only 3 weeks til more dreaded holidays… my favorite time of year, said the curmudge sarcastically. We watched “Food, Inc.” last night and although I attempt to stay apolitical here in blogtown, this movie is very disturbing. It is clearly not propaganda and although I believe everyone ought to see it, I know that mostly only the people who are already convinced will. It is absolutely deplorable in every way what these companies are doing to farmers, laborers and the public… if you intend to see it, you may want to wait until after the holidays because it will definitely ruin your dinner. Hasta luego.

Keep Me Hangin’ On…

November 20, 2009

Well Wednesday I thought I was better, actually I was better. Hit the studio with my helper and tried to get back up on the horse (the spinning horse). It wasn’t the most productive day but felt good to get back in the clay. That night went and had a couple beers and woke up the next day with either a relapse or a whole new cold. It doesn’t feel the same. I was super pissed and tried to work yesterday regardless but just didn’t have the energy to make a good go of it… had to cancel my big scrabble game last night. Anyway, I don’t want these posts to sound like I’m complaining because I’m not… merely reporting the facts. My helper, on the other hand, was quite productive. The cleaning of the studio and putting the love seat in there has somehow turned the space into Sofia’s favorite place in the house. She’s been there for days and I love the company. Two nights ago, while putting her to bed, she said… dad, I love your studio. Here’s how she showed up for “work” yesterday…

We’ve been having tea each day about the same time and she has all her markers on my work table. She started making cards and once she gets going, the production goes into high gear…

Then she moved on to decorating an old vase I had around that was bisqued but not glazed…

I’m looking forward to firing it. Then apparently when I went upstairs for a bit, she ran out of paper to make more cards and, ever resourceful, decided to mark up the nearest white thing she could find…

And of course, here’s the toenails… I have no idea how she got Sunglasses to sit still to paint her toenails. I could barely get her to allow me to take these pictures which I took a day later (as you can tell by the toenail polish already starting to wear off).

Linguistics…

November 18, 2009

If you have a child you are probably already aware of this and I’m sure in some deep distant neuron lost in my brain is the memory of myself doing this (Mom, if you’re reading, feel free to pipe in), but Sofia seems literally obsessed with certain words… the most fascinating one being poop. I do remember as I retold in this post getting my grandfather to tell me the Italian word for poop and also remember saying it for years but in my mind the frequency of it correlated to the novelty of saying it in another language that, in my mind, not everyone knew. Well, remember George Carlin’s act “The Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV”… the funny part to me aside from the words themselves was the manner in which he rattled them off in one long string. Apparently Sofia has her own seven words and has been reciting them in much the same way over and over and over. The 7 words are as follows: poop, pee, throwup, diarrhea, blast, butt and… my favorite, trashcan. This string of seven really started out as 2, then quickly became the first 4 which she has said incessantly for months as well as inserted into the lyrics of songs. I guess I should point out that blast was my fault as I taught her this in place of the baby word poot because I imagined how funny it would be when she casually said it in front of the grandparents, it wouldn’t be vulgar but still much more powerful than poot. Then Sofia and her cousins must have tried to add others to the string and could only come up with butt and trashcan. Trashcan gives me a bit of insight into how their little brains are working, you know, what else is gross?… oh I know, trashcan! Oh well, on to other things… these are two of my favorite pots that my friend Ig has in his house along with dragon closeups. They are approximately 35″ tall….

There are quite a few of these at Ig’s house including some that I didn’t get any pictures of and they are all dreamy. I will post more later.

Fighting Vainly That Old Ennui…

November 11, 2009

Gotta love Cole Porter. My biggest problem with being ill aside from the being ill is the absolute boredom. I’ve always been reduced to a total wimp… I can’t read, work, watch TV, certainly not play with the dog or the bug. My energy gets completely sapped. I suspect that this is not the case with others as I see other bloggers blogging away or Facebooking away when they’re sick and I can’t even bring myself to sit in front of the computer. Sofia actually said that she wished had “powers” (not sure where that came from) and that if she did, she would make it so I never got sick. My certainty about how wimpy I am when I get sick has been cemented by and always makes me think of Michael Jordan playing in a game 5 against Utah while he was sick. I’m not a big sports person anymore but I always loved watching Jordan and just happened to catch this game. He was so sick that he had to be helped off the court (way sicker than I’ve been) and still he somehow willed himself to outplay his opponents. It made me physically drained just watching it. That being said I must be on the mend because blogging has resumed but still yesterday I was unable to make it into the studio and it’s been calling me for a week now. The weather has been unbelievably pleasant for November and it would have been a productive and wonderfully comfortable week to have worked in the studio and I fear that once I get back to it I’ll be facing that winter clay phase with cold air, cold water and cold clay. So anyway, a whole day of boredom is equal to nothing but the boredom itself to acknowledge. I designed a new business card and signed up for Netflix and although I think I’m finally coming out of this thing, I’m not sure I will get to the studio today. There was one interesting thing that falls under the heading, “Things I Never Thought Would Be A Problem Even With A Child”… I have a relatively strong little magnet that’s in the shape of a disc that I’ve used for years (especially when I was remodeling all the time) to find studs in the old plaster walls of the house. I would just slide the magnet around on the surface of the wall until it stopped and that’s where a nail head would be just under the layer of plaster. Anyway, Sofia found the magnet and a screw and she’s been experimenting with them for a couple days, putting the screw on one side of a board or tabletop or rug, etc. and the magnet on the other side and making the screw move by moving the magnet. So after putting her to bed, going back downstairs and finally going back up to retire for the evening I saw a glint of shiny metal at the top of the stairs in the middle of the pathway from our bedroom to the bathroom (a path used at least once a night). Here’s what it was (photographed in daylight)…

magnet

Is this or is this not a plantar fasciitis sufferer’s worst booby trap nightmare? As Kurtz said… “the horror”. Here’s the latest cups posted to Etsy, first click to Etsy, the others enlarge…

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Speak No Evil…

November 10, 2009

I guess judging by my last post, one might think that I had recovered from my “cold” but I felt worse Friday, much worse Saturday and by Sunday I was completely exhausted and could speak no evil nor anything else for that matter as my laryngitis had reduced me to a mere whisper. Friday I figured it would be gone and felt in a terrible funk all day and that night went to the “One Of A Kind” exhibit of the Louisville Clay Club over across the river in Southern Indiana. The next day my niece (Leeann) and nephew (PJ) arrived from Lexington and DC respectively. I was really bummed out that my ability to be a host was compromised by feeling like dog doo. Anyway because of typical college student life (locking keys in the trunk) they did not arrived until around Sofia’s bedtime. This pushed back our pizza plans and we ended up having pizza, beer and conversation until well after midnight. The weather was in the 70’s and it was really beautiful so we ate out on the sidewalk in front of this pizza joint where all the colorful people of Louisville walk and drive by in a constant parade. The conversation was very good and I feel like I probably talked more to Leeann than I ever have in my life and was very proud of the young woman she’s become. PJ is in graduate school in DC and I haven’t had a good long talk with him in some time too. All in all, it was a very good outing save my ignoring that I was sick. As I’m sure they both felt I talked too much… the proof was in the tasting as my throat hurt terribly and I was barreling toward laryngitis. So out too late, up at 7 with the dog, then an over excited kid and dog until PJ’s friend Maria met us and we went to the Vietnam Kitchen for lunch. Here’s the gang wearing out the dog (thank you)…

cousins

I tried to get a picture of everyone but Sofia was so wound up that she wouldn’t cooperate and my picture taking tenacity was severely compromised. Consequently, all I have are blurry pics but this is actually how it all felt to me anyway…

cousins

They finally were able to control her enough to get a picture with her head not blurred or eyes not closed but they practically had to hogtie her to do it.

cousins

Anyway, it was really great to see them and to meet Maria and I hope they had a good time and they didn’t catch my H1N1 (just kidding). They all left about 3:30 or so and I crashed and burned. Went to the dr. this morning and still not feeling all that hot. I’m in the process of changing my dr. from my old general practitioner to my new one and this was my first visit today. It’s a coincidence that I’m ill because I made the appointment before I got sick. The reasons that I’m leaving my old doctor are way to long to try to explain here… maybe I should start a series called, “The Healthcare Crisis: A Poor Potter’s Perspective”? Not sure many would be interested except other poor potters… suffice to say (or suffice it to say) when I get chest pain, I have to bet whether I’m gonna pay 10,000 for an ER visit because my heartburn is acting up or if I’m actually dying. So far, I guessed right every time. I would also like to thank Charan Sachar over at Creative With Clay blog for featuring one of my cups on his “color of the week” feature. Please give the link a click and check out Charan’s blog… he makes beautifully slip-decorated ceramics that are Bollywood inspired,

charan

He does this once a week and gets quite a bit of traffic to peoples’ Etsy stores. It’s difficult with my limited palette to have a color come around that I actually have a piece in and lucked out this week with olive green.

Memorie Italiane (part 2)…

November 6, 2009

I loved my stay in Firenze back in 1999 and you know how hedonistic everyone became because of the Y2K meltdown that was gonna be the end of economies all over the world and of course the mandatory jumping off of roofs because of the certainty the world would end… yada yada yada. We were just rompin’ around Firenze eating good food, drinking cappuccino, walking miles and miles, looking at beautiful frescoes and slowly wishing there was someone that spoke our language. The initial isolation of not being able to communicate was refreshing because you can’t understand what you overhear other people saying. So whilst enjoying my 3rd coffee of the morning, instead of overhearing the 18 year old seminary student from down the road pontificate about his certainty of all things holy to his companion or the clutch of young women at a nearby table dishing the dirt on their coworkers, all I could ascertain was an endless stream of Italian babble that could have been espousing the meaning of life or the intricate details of their cel phone plan… who knows? The apartment that we rented was upstairs and directly below was a coffee shop. Angelo was the proprietor and I started the day every day with coffee there… of course the Italians weren’t much for sitting at a table and drinking like us Americanos, they just pop in, order an espresso, chat for about a minute, down the espresso in one swig and leave. I would sit at the only table nursing my coffees and reading. There was a young girl that worked for Angelo and eventually she revealed to me that she was American and she had come over on a summer art program and went native. I had already been there for weeks when I found this out and she went on to tell me that Angelo was a communist (oh dear! just like Obama) and that he thought Ig and I were gay… so I guess this rampant homophobia is not restricted to the good ol’ USA. Anyway, I started thinking of my past attempts at conversations with Angelo, who I had figured out was from Sicily originally (like my grandfather), and I tried to relate in my broken Italian that my grandfather was from Palermo. Later on I got out my dictionary and it seems I may have used the word for boyfriend instead of grandfather (not sure) but even so Ig is Chinese and it was very unlikely he was from Palermo. I found out that what I did have in common with Angelo was Van Morrison. He loved Van more than anyone I had ever met and he had a few cassette tapes that he would play over and over but he seemed to be limited in where/how he could get more. I managed one day to get out of him that he had the ability to record a tape from a CD and the next day loaned him about a half dozen Van CD’s that he didn’t have. From then on we were tight and his demeanor toward me changed. Of course if he had seen me around town with my teeth he might have changed his mind back…

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Here’s some mugs I posted to Etsy yesterday, first click to Etsy, the other enlarges…

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Tattoo You…

November 5, 2009

There comes a time in everyone’s life now where they face the conclusion that they can’t just go through life without a tattoo. This decision has had me agonizing for many years because of the permanency (relative permanency now) and because I like to look at tattoos and there are some really bad ones. I always imagine myself as an old man with white hair and sagging wrinkled skin (this part is getting easier to imagine by the day) trying to explain to my grandchildren why I have a stretched out portrait of Van Morrison on my spare tire with his mouth right where my belly button is or whether I should tell them that the large iguana on my shoulder just happened to be the best thing to cover my ex-wife’s name. I know that when scientists found one of those frozen icemen on some mountain years ago they were fascinated by the tattoo on his lower back that was merely 3 sets of vertical lines about 2 inches long and I thought that’s more up my alley…

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Of course a copy of a Kandinsky or Matta painting on my whole back still beckons after a few beers. That being said I’ve been under the weather and am on the mend (maybe some beers would help) but yesterday I actually went to bed during the day. I really cannot remember ever doing this in my life as I have always loved the idea of a siesta but can never fall asleep. Sofia came to visit me and decided that coloring my fingernails and giving me a tattoo would make me feel better. Fingernails are brown and the tattoo is a narrative of pots that from wrist to elbow that goes thus… her making a bowl, then a teapot, then a coffee mug, and last me making one of my bowls with the squiggles on it. Too bad it’s in washable markers…

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I posted a couple more mugs yesterday (first click to Etsy, the other enlarges)…

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Black Beauties…

November 4, 2009

I believe these are 10th century black beauties. They’re all from China and I snapped pics on my trip to my friend Ig’s house in Iowa. Sorry about the last pic but I shot it twice without my glasses on and it’s a bit blurry. The first one is the tallest one, probably around 30-32 inches tall and the rest are maybe an inch or two shorter but they’re large pots all the same. My fave of these is the first one because the black glaze is either matte or has had something happen in the past 1000 years to make it matte.

10th century black

10th century

10th century

10th century

Apparently the collectors of these pots refer to the ones that have a rounder, fuller form as the females and pair them up with the less rounder, fuller ones that are supposedly males. I’m sick and pretty pissed about it… I haven’t been sick since last November and was just starting to get uppity about going over a year without getting sick. Anyway, not sure how long it’s gonna last… it’s not as bad as I’ve been on other occasions but I’m not sure it’s full on yet. Here’s a couple fat mugs I posted to Etsy yesterday, first click goes to Etsy… the other enlarges.

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Rode Hard And Put Up Wet…

November 3, 2009

I guess I should’ve been prepared for the whirlwind couple of days that is Halloween followed two days later by the birthday hullabaloo but it must have been easier when Sofia was younger. It was all fun for her but too many “special” events packed into 3 days, plus candy, plus presents, cake, parties… it all wore her little butt out and of course I was worn out before it even happened. Thankfully today we resume our ordinary existence until the Thanksgiving rigmarole… there’s still the sorting of the booty, candy and presents but we don’t have to be anywhere or do anything. Well, I have to get some work done. Here’s the dynamic duo… Gwyneth is her twin bat on Halloween. They’re eating pistachios…

sofia_gwyneth

Here’s last night’s birthday party with her cousins. Trying to corral these three for a picture is where the expression “herding cats” comes from…

sofia_birthday

And check this out, days after returning from my Iowa adventure where I discovered the new sculpture park, this appeared in the NYTimes with many of the details I forgot. Here’s some cups I posted to Etsy yesterday… the first one goes to Etsy and the others enlarge…

cup

cup

cup

Man, That Dude Is A Total Pothead…

October 31, 2009

dad

I was coming home from running some errands yesterday and Mom snapped this picture of me wearing my new hat. Actually, there’s a store in town called the Spice Merchant that Sofia and I go. I like it because it has tons of spices, teas and teapots and Sofia likes it because the owner, Linda, gives her a tea mint whenever we go in. Anyway, she asked me to put some pieces there and see how they do over the holidays and she asked me to make one of those little “table tents?”, you know a piece of paper folded in the middle to set by the pots with a statement, a picture and “Made in Kentucky” on it. I don’t have any good pictures of myself mostly because I don’t have Sofia’s photogenic-ness (photogenicity?) but also because I’m the only one in the house that doesn’t struggle with the focus of the camera. In addition, I’ve made the mistake in the past of posing in a studio setting and they always come out looking stodgy. Some of my friends refer to the picture of me that’s on the AKAR site as “the child molester” picture. Anyway I didn’t use the one above because at best it seemed a bit obtuse and at worst the racially oversensitive might think I was making fun of the Asian workers that built our railroads. Here’s the one I did use and Linda giggled and said it was cute so that’s probably a good indication of how it will be received…

dad

Mysterious Goings On…

October 28, 2009

Yesterday Mom and Sofia were getting ready to take Sunglasses for a walk and Sofia let Sunglasses out the front door before Mom could get a leash on her. This is usually bad because she just runs away and doesn’t respond to calls as she criss-crosses the city streets. Anyway, she caught up with the dog in the alley behind our house and wrestled her to the back door, which was locked. I ran downstairs when I heard her knocking and upon entry she said almost crying… there’s a dead puppy in the alley. I asked where and she said it was right between the fence to our yard and the alley. I went out to investigate and sure enough a little pup was there so I reached down to see if maybe it might still be breathing but it was cold and had blood on its nose. I looked around and there was no one in sight so decided to get a trashbag and put it in our trashcan because the alley is the route that Sofia and Mom take the dog on and I didn’t want Sofia to see it. I went in the house and got a trashbag and returned (total time, maybe 45 seconds)… no dog. I again looked up and down the alley, in the neighboring yards, all around and not the slightest movement anywhere. I cannot imagine who would have come up during my brief trip to get a bag, seen the dog, and picked it up and taken it away. Oh well, mystery unsolved. Here’s some pics I took yesterday of one of the bowls I’m delivering to a show over in Indiana…

bowl

bowl

bowl

Here’s a bowl of Ig’s that is one of my favorites from his collection. I’ve always loved this bowl ever since he first got it, it’s about 6-7 inches in diameter. I believe that it was found in the ocean which accounts for the matte finish… it almost looks as though it’s been lightly sandblasted.

ig bowl

ig bowl

Cold Snap…

October 18, 2009

Another fun weekend… Friday we went to the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts openings of two related but separate shows which I and a couple others happened to have pieces in both because one was a show of people whose work is in the KMAC gift shop and the other was a show of the Louisville Clay Club. It was fun as openings go and I meant to take a bunch of pictures but we ran into people and started talking and then had to leave to pick up the bug. I took one picture of a fellow Louisville potter, Sebastion Moh, he makes the sweetest little teacups and here’s two (I apologize for the photo)…

sebastion

Dolita, another member of the clay club who also runs the clay club’s blog, posted a slideshow of the work that was in the show and it is here if you’re interested. That evening the temperature dipped and we decided to turn the heat on. When I got up the house was still cold. The burners come on and the exhaust fan but apparently the blower is kaput. I spent the morning playing phone tag with a couple furnace repair places and they wanted 140.00 to come take a look and this would not be applied to the cost of repairs. I guess I should take heart in the fact that it had been so long since I had one of these guys out to the house that I missed the prices going from 40.00 to 140.00, of course they said that this was because it’s the weekend and the weekday price drops dramatically to a mere 80.00/90.00. I decided it wasn’t all that cold and am waiting. The problem of course is that I’m hitting the road early Monday and cannot hang around all day for furnace people. Fortunately, it’s supposed to be rather temperate next week. In addition to this rigmarole, Sofia and I had our Dad and Sofia lunch at the Red Pooper where Sofia constantly talked about poop, pee, throwup and diarrhea. She’s been singing the do-re-mi song from the Sound of Music lately and substituting these words at all the fortuitous intervals and I have learned that throwupy is an adjective, as in throwupy hair. Fortunately the patrons of the Red Pooper are directly from China and don’t speak English very well so maybe they haven’t learned all those words yet. Then the bug went to her cousin’s birthday party and me and my very best friend, Keith, went to dinner and then to see the Louisville Orchestra play Shostakovich. The opening piece was a Haydn symphony. The Louisville Orchestra is quite well known internationally for playing modern pieces and some of these can be quite esoteric. My belief is that they always pepper their concerts with a nice romantic piece so as not to have the audience have to stretch the whole time. I’m glad they do because I love all the Beethoven, Mozart, Tschaikovsky, and in this case Papa Haydn. Anyway the Shostakovich was really great! The conductor took a minute in the beginning to explain the context of the piece by illuminating the life of Shostakovich as it related to the rise and eventually death of Stalin. He was subject to Stalin’s whims during his reign and this had a somewhat perverse affect on him as it did many artists of the era. It was a no holds barred performance and was really great and the seats I won were the best seats I’ve ever had at a concert… row E, fifth row back, dead center. So I’m Iowa bound and will be off the grid for this week (not sure if I can post from Ig’s or even if I want to). Here’s one of the pieces I’m delivering (it’s a large bowl for me at 12″ diameter and about 7″ tall), I took a couple pictures on Friday but the lights were a bit off so the color is a touch off…

bowl

SAYANARA


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