Archive for October, 2008

There is some serious GOTV goin on

 from the inbox:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 But what happened?  Nobody…The Vote didn’t even get Baracked…

Calling all potters…


[Big Thanks to Cynthia, your mug was received and Greatly Appreciated!]

The Carbondale Clay Center is gearing up for their 11th Annual Benefit Cup Auction!

The Clay Center took me in as a young potter, gave me time to develop, a family of potters to learn from and has taught me the meaning of community.  It’s no secret that questionable economic times impact the ability of community art organizations to make ends meet. With that in mind…

Once a year we ask the larger potter community to step up and help us keep the wheels a turnin’ and the kilns a burnin’.  Over the years hundreds of potters have been kind enough to send cups our way to be auctioned off at our very popular Cup Auction.  This is the most direct synergy between our local community and the national clay artist community, and I’d like you all to be part of it.

11th Annual Benefit Cup Auction

Friday, December 5th 2008 Featuring more than 100 cups, mugs, tumblers, and tea bowls donated by ceramic artists from across the country.  All proceeds support CCC’s year-round programming.  Doors open 6p.  Bidding 6-7:30p

If anyone out there can see fit to donate a cup it would be most appreciated.  Every $50 goes a long way to helping us spread the word.

Cups can be sent to:

Carbondale Clay Center
135 Main Street
Carbondale, CO 81623
Phone – 970 963 CLAY (2529)
Fax – 970 963 4492

We often receive boxes of multiple cups from potter rich areas.  Ask your local collegues if they are donating and ship together to save on FedEx charges.

It would be great to receive them by the 1st of December.

We will happily publicize each and every donor

  • Share your website URL if you would like your name linked from our website to yours.

  • Feel free to include your resume, business cards, or postcards. Buyers and collectors always ask! The auction is held on Friday, December 5th 6-8p in the CCC Studio @ 135 Main Street in Carbondale, Colorado. For those of you nearby, we hope you’ll join us!

Thanks for your indulgence.

We now return to regular programming.

An Inquirey into Values

Robert Pirsig 1974

” if you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against.

the struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.”

~Sent-t’san c.700ce (not pictured)

I’ve been chewing on that for about a month now.  What with the excitement of the election season and my generally  judgmental nature I see it as a real jewel, but a tough jewel to implement.

My attempt to make sure that I am making pots that contain integrity, value and quality have got me in a tricky spot right now.  I decided awhile ago that I can’t be creative and critical at the same time.  When I attempt the two simultaneously neither the analysis or the subject object of that analysis prove terribly valuable.  My instincts are telling me that it is time to hunker down and sit with my mind, try to evaluate the quality of what I’ve been up to in the studio, but I really want to make pots too.

This has all got me thinking about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  I first read the book as a teenager on my way to college.  I’m not sure how much of it I got, but I did walk away with the sense that there was a universe to contemplate and I really wanted to dig in.  The value of a life examined got under my skin and I decided that that is what I wanted.

Putting the philosophical content to the side, the style of the book has great value for me.  The author, Robert Pirsig, (pictured) moves from narrative to dissertation like he is taking an easy bend in the road, you don’t feel a thing.  The nature of the book is that it calms you with talk of the weather then seamlessly engages the reader into questioning the meaning and concepts of “quality”.  I’d really like to make pots in that spirit.  I’d really like to make pots that have that quality.

I’m wondering if one doesn’t get there by purging the mind of ‘for’ and ‘against’.

So often I think and speak of ‘good’ pots.  I’m going to try to change that sentiment.  I think it should be less a declarative judgment and more a question.  Something like “what is the value of this pot?”

I’ve got a date today

I’ve lucked out and got a beautiful Saturday to reclaim some clay.

My slop buckets and trimming scraps have become oppressive and I’m almost out of wet clay.

Thanks to the Carbondale Clay Center for letting me use their mixer.  It’s just like old times.

The Obamaware Tally Is In…

Happy Candidate

Happy Candidate

Ayumi has crunched the numbers and Obamaware has earned…

lots of money

I’m a proud potter and a proud democrat today.

Thanks Ayumi and fellow Obamapotters.

Working Red

Bowl; circa 2oo0

Bowl; circa 2oo0

This is the only pot I’ve held onto from the series of work Ron Philbeck was kind enough to write about the other day.  This is wheel thrown terra cotta fired to Cone 1.  The surface is composed of layers of white slip, terra sigillata, sgraffito and tin glaze.  A lot of these elements don’t like each other much, at least they didn’t enjoy the way I introduced them to one another.

Aside from the wear and tear of the 1/2 dozen moves this poor bowl has suffered with me over the years there are also glaze pops, organic discoloration and the rim looks like a very small beaver got at it.  The question is Bugs or Features?  For me it is always a mixed bag.

Below are some of my favorite pots thru time:

Neo Babylonia; c.600BC

Neo Babylonia; c.600BC

Egypt; c.100BC

Egypt; c.100BC

Crete; 13th Century

Crete; 13th Century

Great Britain; 13th Century

Great Britain; 13th Century

*(still having trouble w/ formatting, thanks for your patience)

It’s the chips, cracks, rubs and patinas on these pieces that really turns my crank.  It is the power of pots like these that made me want to make pots in the first place.  So it seemed natural for me as a young potter to try to get THAT stuff into my work.  I feel that I was successful to a degree with the bowl above and other work from that time.  I still like looking at that bowl as it sits in retirement upon a high shelf.  I am still proud to have made it, but I do have my questions about it.

These days I wonder about the honesty, integrity and quality of that poor little bowl.  Those pots from history earned their scars over centuries and millenia.  Mine has yet to pass a decade.  It is a pot about good pots and in that way I worry that it has no chance of being a good pot itself.

Now this is all water under a bridge but it does speak to some of the challenges of working red.  I’d like to sit here all day and try to come to conclusions but I find that the only satisfaction I ever acheive about big questions like these occurs in the studio.  I’m sure I’ll chip away at these issues of quality as the days go on.  After all it’s Autumn and a good time to think about these things.

The Internets IS Fun.

I’ve had my doubts about becoming an active participant of cyberspace.  Since 2oo3 I’ve been a lurker and occasional commenter on a bunch of lefty political blogs.  But as a socially illiterate troll I always thought it better to stay in the shadows.

It’s not so bad out here in the sun:

Thanks Havana, RonMichael and Judi for stopping by and saying hello.

Ron, I’ve been thinking about those old leaky pots and you’ve encouraged me to look back on that time of making.  I’ll put a post together about that tonite.  Thanks for reminding me.

Fresh Mugs

Fresh Mugs in the studio

Fresh Mugs in the studio: White Slip on Terra Cotta

We’ve just had our first snow on the ground here in Colorado.  Nothing serious but a warning that Autumn is just a state of mind in the Rocky Mountains.

In preperation for snow season I’ll go ahead and do a run of pure white pots.

Get Your War On: White Mans Burden

laugh so you don’t cry edition:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

We all love our country…

Now this is a fighting Dem!

Senator Obama again shows the brilliance of his pick for VeeP.  This is how we will win and this is how we will govern.


dianekenney on i saw
October 2008

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