Odds and Ends

OK. Lots going on, and I thought this might be a good time to note them.

The Arts Council’s annual Soup and a Bowl will be held this Sunday, January 25th at the Arts Center on N. Queen Street in Kinston. Pick from delicious home-made soups, select a handmade pottery bowl to take home, and have a great time at the Arts Center. Check out the Artists Table, featuring a great selection of pottery donated by the Potters Gathering, a group of potters from Lenoir and Greene Counties.

The Overland Gallery’s “Beauty in the Dark” juried show will open  on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 with an artists’ reception from 4 – 7:30 PM and is open & free to the public. This event is is still developing, but the art submitted so far is quite varied and should end up being a great collection for this show. There’s usually pottery in the Overland’s shows, and plenty in the gallery any time. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in town.

And a little farther down the road…

  • Eastern NC Pottery Festival – New Bern, NC, April 11. Potters take over the North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace, right beside the Farmer’s Market. It’s an amazing gathering.
  • BBQ Festival on the Neuse Arts Market – Kinston, NC, May 1-2. Kinston’s BBQ-centered festival turns downtown into an amazing celebration. The Arts Market, housed in an old buggy factory, offers a wide variety of great arts and crafts from area artists and artisans – including potters!

Lots of great opportunities to get out, have some fun and support your local potters. I hope to see you there.

Unseasonal Visitor

TheDoorKeeperWhile waiting for the kiln to cool yesterday, I was thoroughly surprised to catch this little guy under the studio door while closing it! I thought I’d smoothed him, and to some extent, I did. I moved him out of the path of the door, barely moving, but not done in. This morning,while in a different position,  he appeared to be dead. On closer inspection, I noted a small head movement. He was still alive and I felt quite relieved.

At lunch, I found him much more mobile and not at all dead. He had moved a bit and was pointing toward the light from outside. I’m not going to try to move him, letting him recuperate as long as possible. He did sit up for his portrait.

This is a very unusual time of year to see an anole in the studio. During the summer, they’re regulars, and keep the bugs at bay – welcomed and honored guests. I’m going to hope this old trooper rejoins the ranks next spring.

UPDATE: Two days later – the anole is now hanging out at the base of a bucket full of water. I think it’s warmer than other places in the studio. I haven’t seen him move, but I have noted that he’s in a slightly different position every time I enter the studio. He seems to have moved further from the door today during another all-day kiln firing.

Warren MacKenzie Video Clip

My friend Melanie Waters posted this Vimeo video about Warren MacKenzie in a Facebook group, and I wanted to make sure it’s a widely seen as I can help it be. So, check it out. Mr. MacKenzie is one of my favorite potters and this video is a nice, brief interview with him… [http://vimeo.com/video/13374437]

If you liked this video, there’s a longer DVD program called “Warren MacKenzie: A Potter’s Hands” which is excellent.

Thanksgiving and pottery

I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s about being with family and friends and sharing the bounty of life, or whatever it is that life is about this year. Whether it’s feast or feathers, at some point, everyone sits down at a shared table, and that’s where the pottery comes in.

At our house, there’s pottery everywhere. There’s the stuff I’ve made over the years. And then there’s the pottery my wife and I have collected over the last 30 years, and it’s mostly all stuff we use all the time. It’s an eclectic table with mugs and bowls and plates and serving dishes and lots of little things – some match, some don’t, but they all belong.

Tonight, my mother-in-law had dinner with us. She suggested we ought to have a room for our pottery. I quipped back that we do, and we’re in it. Then she pointed out that there’s pottery in every nook and cranny in the place. That made me feel happy. Looking over it all, I wonder what the potters are doing now? I wonder if they would be happy knowing some of their work gets lots of use in our house? I know I would. As we’re getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, I’m having fun looking at each piece of pottery we’re handling, thinking about where each came from, or when it was made. The table will be set with old friends, in wait for family and friends to arrive. I think that’s what I like so much about Thanksgiving.

And the food, too, of course. Best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving celebration for you and yours!

Hacking the grammar of art


This is a really interesting thread on the philosophy of art and it’s presentation. I’m reblogging it because I want you to see it and because I want it as a reminder of the participatory nature of art in the community. As a potter, I want my work to be touched, enjoyed, even taken for granted as part of daily routines and rituals. The invitation to participate, to engage, is the crux of the work for me. And this post from Carter Gillies gets at the way we use words which determines how we think about art and our realtionship to it. Give it a read. You might also like following Carter Gillies blog. Cheers!

Originally posted on CARTER GILLIES POTTERY:

I listened to the 2nd installment of Michael Kline’s podcast interview with Nick Joerling the other day and had a fantastic time eavesdropping on these two great potters and friends. Michael does such a marvelous job of setting a relaxed conversational tone. Its almost as if you were right there with them, sitting at a table over dinner, or leaning against the bar with a beer in hand. There is a difference between formal and informal interview styles, and most of the great ones veer off into the territory that Michael is exploring. If you haven’t listened to any of the first five podcasts he’s delivered I’d like to recommend them. This is the second one with Nick Joerling:


Anyway, its interesting that an interview can be either formal or informal in the first place. They are just words being spoken, but somehow some of those words can tighten…

View original 1,869 more words

Mid-November Results

We opened the kiln early yesterday and found some fun results. Most of this load covered requests or commitments, like prize mugs for a disc golf tournament this weekend! One of the glazes didn’t behave as I would have liked, but for the most part, good stuff. Here are a few photos of some of my favorite bits. (Clicking them will open bigger versions.) Now back to work. Gotta get 25 mugs out by Dec. 9th!

Also, the Overland Gallery announced a new show call for late January. Contact Cynthia Dunn for more information about “Beauty in the Dark”!