Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ramp it down slow baby oh yeah...

off to pot..more to come....so..i had some disasters with the large platters...lost two huge ones in the bisque(weren't dry, my impatient ass), and four that "popped", dunted..during cooling.. i have figured out the firing issue, which i hope will resolve the thermal shock and awe shit that has been occurring, causing me much distress. haha. the current firing i am slowly going through the 900-1100 degree f. phase, both in the heating and cooling. also controlling the cool down, not allowing for it to cool faster than 150 per hour! talk about a long bisque fire..try 25 hrs!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

good advice..

being an artist on facebook can be both good and bad... good for being able to check out others's work, staying connected with friends, comrades, customers, and getting advice on all kinds of issues pertaining to art..there are thousands of years of experience on the fb. pretty cool. here are some great tips i got, wasn't expecting this level of advice, potters rock!...maybe you can use it so i will pass it along:) here is a video of the large and xtra large platters i am going to try and successfully fire. whew, i need a larger kiln...Justin Rothshankslow down everything. bisk, glaze, and cooling.
Yesterday at 10:24am · Delete

Shannon epk underneath the platter will help (works as ball bearings)
Yesterday at 12:27pm · Delete

Lee Also heard recently, that if you fire the platters braced in a verticle position, this helps. (Rather than stacking the flat.) Have no first hand experience on this, as haven't yet done platters.
Yesterday at 12:42pm · Delete

Richard P Compress the plate very well while you're working it on the wheel. They're right,,,slow down the production processes. Slow dry,slow bisque with controled down ramp. Use something that acts as a agent that lets the plater move during firing.Down ramp the glaze fire also. Large platers are a pain.
Yesterday at 3:18pm · Delete

Euan I haven't bisqued for 15 years, so there is a lot of shrinkage in the firing.The largest I have worked with are 95cm fired, but I haven't done anything that big since moving from the pokey little house with the big studio to the big house with the pokey little studio. The percentage doesn't change regardless of size, but the actual shrinkage distance does. So for a 22" plate, with 10% shrinkage, that means it shrinks 2.2". That's a long distance to drag across a kiln shelf, so the advice about EPK (thanks Shannon and Richard) or some other powder that acts like flour when you roll out dough is really good. I personally use Alumina, as I wood/soda fire and Kaolin can flux out, sticking the pot to the kiln shelf.

If the cracks you get are firing cracks rather than stress/shrinkage cracks, then you need to go slow around 573 Celsius, when the alpha beta quartz conversion happens. If your heat source is directional (as mine is with the wood kiln) the front of the pot can heat up faster than the back of the pot. So with a large platter one side could reach expansion point before the other, expanding the silica by 2%, and the stress between front and back (or outside and inside on large encolsed forms) can cause firing cracks.

There is always the possibility that the cracks occured during drying. Again, the shrinkage stress. You need to get them off the throwing bats as soon as possible. I dry large work on two sheets of newspaper with corn starch dusted between. It allows even drying which prevents warping as well as the free movement to avoid shrinkage stress. ...
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Yesterday at 6:15pm · Delete

Patricia Euan certainly is right on target. The only difference for me is that I do bisque. Upside down on 50 mesh grog. I also slow it way down doing the alpha beta quartz conversion on the way up and on the way down. I also put aluminia hydrate on the shelf for the glaze run. Good luck!
Yesterday at 7:11pm · Delete

Richard Wow,,,what fantastic skills are out there. It's all solid advice Jeff . I use grog. It's cheap and has done the job for me for 35 years.It doesn't srew up an element is it get on it.
Dale Neece and I use plaster board cut to dimention to rest and dry our mega plates on. It obsorbs the moisture and supports the ware,covered with plastic to control the drying. Compression is a really big issue. Large platers are still a pain..........
Yesterday at 9:35pm · Delete

Jeff Martinwow..i am printing this comment run out, very solid advice. thank you so much, i feel like i have some tools to use going in. i have done platters around 20" and always lost 50%, so it was quite discouraging. i use drywall board, it seems to pull moisture fairly evenly, but the cornstarch sounds helpful. euan , are you putting a piece of paper on ...
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Yesterday at 10:03pm · Delete

Agp ArtstudioYou guys are the best! I made a note of everything and will definitely take things a lot slower in the future with my large platters. Thanks,
10 hours ago · Delete

Euan Call it a double layer of news paper, underneath only, with cornstarch between the layers and between the paper and the pot. It serves the dual purpose of allowing the plate to shrink without friction and also even drying. The exposed top surface of the plate or slab will dry normally, and the newspaper will "Crinkle", (in the potato crisp sense) which allows air to circulate underneath the plate as well so that you get even drying, therefore less warpage.
5 hours ago · Delete

Jeff Martin brilliant! newspaper is the duct tape of the paper industry...
about an hour ago · Delete

Monday, December 14, 2009

you wind up peeking down a keyhole upon your knees...

this is just a video test. ..i used to throw them on the wheel, but they always came out too round. i like the roughness of the form when i combine hand-building and throwing together..they are still in the greenware stage, i am using slips, and underglazes to build up a composition..next i will add another layer after bisque...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

swing wide your door

i haven't posted shots from the previous show, so that will be the bulk of this post. stacey's work was a big hit, i liked it myself, very fresh, i got the #3 piece. her work would be great installed in a skate/snow/surf shop.... felt the show was two-pronged, a success in terms of exposure, attendance, and my own feeling about the work. the other prong was weak sales, which is okay, it was only a one night show, i was bummed, but have let that go, so really lets just call it a one pronger now! i can still move the work around to galleries. and a few pieces have sold post-show-word-of-mouth. really the issue, is that i put high expectations on shit, and the same lesson is handed down to me each time. a simple universal equation..high expectation can equal high disappointment. really the direction of my work has opened up a big door of new areas i can take my visions into the clay. to let the painting and the clay become closer is absolutely lovely. i couldn't be more excited...i am slowly moving away from purely functional work, toward color composition, and sculpture. i am a lucky man indeed. this is a great unlimited world in which to explore and express. those are the two ingredients for me to live in the realm of inspiration. i have had some requests for my black and white sgraffito work, but cannot go there. it would be unfair to the buyer and myself, to produce uninspired work. life is too short, sure i take a hit money-w ise, but i must stay true to my inspiration and really i have never made much on commission work anyways, it can be allot of trouble making something tuned to an other's vision. i am currently making a series of large platters that will go up in a high end tapis bar called crave. crave that says it all for me......

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

going up and coming down..

scratch away...here i am at at turning point in my life. i just finished doing a show with stacey simmions, and it was a success in terms of the people that cam out, and the response. it was stacey's first show in town, and people responded well, buying a good bit. i have mixed feelings about the show. i did not sell much, but got alot of compliments...personally i was very happy with the direction my work went, i explored a new clay body, and and used hand-building as the main tool in creating the pieces. i have a whole new skill set, and the last couple of pieces felt like the beginning of something much bigger. on another note, i felt depressed about the sales, i had but alot of energy into the show, and was depending on making money to pay the bills. really i just broke even, although i am reminded by others, that i have inventory now, and the show was only one night...still i made 20 t-shirts and only sold a couple...something about making art for aliving is hyper-emotional for me. i get very involved in my work, and when the sales are not what i expected, i get down...whatever. maybe it is good to have some bombs every now and then, keep my fragile over-inflated ego in check!...
i am now in a fresh space, i feel re-energized about the next direction i am going, and the big lesson for me was 1.don't put all your eggs in one show basket, i had been neglecting my galleries, and etsy. not smart. the more streams the better. 2. expectations on a one night show, should be kept low. 3. people will drink ALL the alcohol you buy 4.t-shirts for a show are a big risk. 5 i love taking risks so, i will make show shirts again i am sure.6..thank god there is another day to make art for me.
so...my camera is broke right now, but i will be posting show/piece pics soon., i have some x-mas commissions that i will be working in stone ware, doing the sgraffito process. besides that i am going the sculptural route, i willl make large platters some wheel thrown, some hand built, busts, wall pieces, and what i am most excited about is a line of funky planters. i made one planter for the show, and it was a major break through for me, i have all kinds of visions for different ones. the concept of my work will focus mainly around texture and colors. i want to bring a painterly conversation into the work, mixed with a raw feel and look of the earthen ware. also on the home front, i watch the show hoarders on a and e. i have decided i am a class one hoarder, most of americans are class 2 i think. anyways, i will be putting most of my shit that i don;t use in boxes and bags. not label them. and in the spring if i cannot remember what is in them, i will have a big yard sale and let it all go. all i want in my house is art, plants and rocks. i have too many clothes, dishes, magazines, random shit i don't even know what it is for...my daughter emma is a class 3 hoarder, but that is normal for 3yrs old..still i am getting rid of all her toys mostly. she doesn't play with 90% of them. she like bugs, rocks, clay and paint. clutter breeds clutter. right. well i am outta here, got to clean up my studio, from the deadline glaze bomb that exploded. cheerios...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

but the one thing i know....

i been led downtown, and felt outta-sight..here are some process picks of my week, loving the progress i am making this upcoming show, i feel alive while working, and my direction is new and everyday is a discovery....one of my favorite places to be..kids, do you have a favorite place to be?...ahhh mr.rogers is a permanent stamp in my psyche, how beautiful..i heard an interview on him maybe it was this american life..regardless, he is a very soul full person, and had much wisdom in how simple he saw the world...he loved to always be at the piano, and said silence was to be the most respected, since it came first. was he a Taoist or what!..here's to your inner mr.rogers, wherever you are....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

and you go home with miss sally ann....

great day, very tired, might expound on the new work tomm..all i can say is i love my daughter more each day, and she my heart, having her start to be able to work with me and create is very high on all-time satisfying activities in my life..she really digs painting and working in the clay...ahhh the rain is falling hard now..goodnight.

Monday, November 16, 2009


i am spent long day, working in multiple mediums, never a dull moment..i am much to tired to elaborate on much..arted all day, the gym, then gallery meeting...ready to hit the sack. i am currently reading China Men, by maxine hong kingston..put on a kevin costner movie,and then realized that was a bad idea..the book is much better!...the photos are snapshots of projects happening, and my lovely daughter the consummate professional photographer

Thursday, November 12, 2009

just draw my cigarette till you make my good ashes gone..

cigarette blues by bo carter...damn good song..man you gotta hear it before you die kinda song. anywys, this will be short, i am very busy, getting ready for a big weekend with the fashion biz and starting to produce work for the show in dec....i got experience my first fashion shoot yesterday. it was fun! i was the make-up guy, photographer, and bottle water(well tap water) provider for my very patient and awesome model elizabeth. i was going for a sultry look with the make-up a little over the top and her hair was the main prop, trying to catch it in action. this led to her getting frustrated(not really) but i wanted her to look a little mad, she seemed to start laughing every time i said "get angry"..so i just shut my mouth...watched too many fashion shoots on t.v. caused me to be a little pushy, when really she did best left to her own devices...it was an over-all success, and i look forward to shooting with some nice clothes from american apparel soon. i have got alot of good advice and know the direction i will take this. also the backdrop could be a little more funky..i need a red brick wall. a funny side note the blush is red-oil pastel i shaved with a razor. there you go ladies a secret fashion tip from yours truly...thanks elizabeth! and thanks crystal! for letting me borrow your awesome camera....these shirts are available in my esty shop, and i will be putting the rest up later today...

Monday, November 9, 2009


when they said repent, i wondered what they meant..yes it has been a leonard cohen morning. funny how he always sets me in a philosophical,contemplative mood....hmmmm....don't have a camera right now, it was possibly stolen at the gallery opening friday night, or i just set it down in a strange place when i walked in. i hope the latter, why someone would want that ragged out taped up, slightly bent lens ed camera is besides me..but it was in a nice case. this week is a strong paddle stroke in the direction of my work. it is two fold, luckily i have two paddle in my boat! first i am spring boarding back into the art on clothes business, i have the opportunity to learn the process in detail, and rent out the shop to do my work. this is perfect, i will have complete control of the design process from start to finish....i printed out two small runs last week and have the fever hot coursing through my veins now....i plan on filling my etsy shop up with clothes..that mean i get to be come a fashion photographer...fun! i have always wanted to work in fashion design industry, specifically in the skate/surf/extreme sport genre...these were the clothes that i grew up with and still turn me on. i like the urban atstectic, and feel my work will translate well in this arena. i have a ton of shirts that i got second hand to work on my style and designs..second oar with be pulling my ceramic work in a new direction for this month. something completely diff i am hoping. any ideas?i have a fuckin' show with a girl from nyc in one month! ahhhh! her work is very collage like aith a strong urban feel to it. hard to explain. she is taking old antique carousel horses and well you you will have to wait and see! dec.7th is our show date..shit better get to work see ya!...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

more evil..less perfume please..

well well, i am busy today. just finished a dark painting in acrylics for the nth show tomm. the show started off as a halloween show, and now will be res-shown for our towns art-crawl tonight. the theme was dark halloween shit, and i was told to paint something to fill in a blank space on the wall. i tried to get dark, but was feeling very un-dark yesterday...so i painted this 2x3 ft masonite, while listening to happy music and chatting with customers who came into hands gallery yesterday...really didn't know where i was going with it, has been a couple of years since i messed with acrylics, but i liked the fast pace in which i could work them. the painting went through several stages, as i try to show here.besides that today i am decaling slip-ware, casting pots, and buying t-shirts for tomm. screen-print run which i am pumped about, since james is letting me get my hands dirty with the process and screen some of my shirts...soon i hop to be completely in control of the whole process..i am buying the shirts from the thrift store since, and will use the money made to buy some nice shirts for the next run...also, it is possible to wear too much perfume ladies, i will never buy conventional spinach(sprayed) again(tasted like metal), and obama seems to be another cog in the great machine..albeit a shiny and pretty one..wassup health care-reform package? bullshit! these are my organic free-range opinion of the world for today...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ceramic cleavage

no reason to explain. i am back never really left. just been swallowed whole by the face-book social whale....so my art-life marches on, always evolving, and bored by the finished product mostly. i am stuck in the high of process and new territory...the main focus has been a ping pong dance back and forth paint and pot...mostly now i am slip-casting, which has thrown me more into the surface design, and less into the making of each piece. when i get honest about it, i am just trying to get my paintings on my pots..is that such a crime? maybe, but i always felt most deviously comfortable in translating the lines of obscurity. painting is both the poison and antidote. yes, i want to abuse ceramics and sling around tradition. hell i don't even feel like a potter these days..like i am robbing the vaults of ceramic history for whatever loot can help to glue my vision of color and collage. been experimenting with slips, stains, underglazes, glazes, and next decals...all in the hopes of transposing the images of creation and decay, through color, texture and language. these are some tea-cup shots from my last show... so in short i still don't know shit and am very happy finding out something new in my art everyday.