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”!




Japanesque Show Followup

The Japanesque show reception at the Overland Gallery was a lot of fun. The show contains a truly amazing array of subject matter and media. I had a great time at the reception. To follow up, I’m posting my submission images, and some photos from the show reception. The show is up through November at the Overland Gallery in Kinston, NC.

cup-print lantern meoto-yunomi




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Japanesque Exhibit

The Overland Gallery in downtown Kinston is presenting a juried exhibit called “Japanesque”.  In this exhibit, artists were challenged to create a piece of artwork with a Japanese influence.

Free to the public on OCTOBER 15 from 4 – 7:30 PM
Music provided by violinist Emily McLawhorn

A very impressive body of work by regional artists in a wide range of media.  The artwork will be exhibit and for sale until the end of November 30th

There are three Barley Hollow pieces in this show. In preparation for the show, I read “The Unknown Craftsman” by Soetsu Yanagi, studied several other sources of images of Japanese historical pottery, and modern ceramic trends.

31e75d99-bd99-4cf9-909a-7df2a924b76cOver the years, I’ve found I like making a three-piece outdoor lantern, similar to Japanese snow lanterns. Mine tend to be smaller, and feature a solar light, but the proportions intrigue me. So, I worked on a design to meet the historical norm half way – sort of snow lantern meets NC pottery.

I also entered a pair of cups, “meoto yunomi”, or at least my take on the married pair concept. The two share a glaze pattern, and form, but the sizes are different.

The third piece isn’t pottery, but rather a piece of stone that acts as a base for one of my block prints. The image is of a yunomi, so it’s related.

I’ve seen some of the other works in this show and I’m really impressed with the scope of subjects, range of media and amazing quality of the work. If you’re able to visit, I think it will be well worth your time. Cynthia Dunn has done a remarkable job pulling this all together, and deserves big kudos.

See you at the reception!