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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Benefit Auction at Charlie Cummings Gallery

You should all check out the Charlie Cummings Gallery website regarding a benefit auction for Drew Johnson now being previewed online. Drew Johnson is a student attending the University of Florida ceramics department that lost a foot in a motorcycle accident where the driver of the car wasn't able to pay for the damages. This auction is a way to raise money to cover some of the incurred medical costs. I am proud to be involved in the auction as well as being connected to such a wonderful and incredibly generous and talented community. The auction will run from September 21st to September 27th. The following is the list of participants...this is a great way to collect some great ceramic work as well as donate to a great cause. Good Luck!!!

(The above plate is up for auction as is one other. Get em now!)


Heather Alexander, Dan Anderson, Linda Arbuckle, Posey Bacopoulos, Tiffany Bailey, Marian Baker, John Balistreri, Tom Bartel, Deborah Bedwell, Curt Benzle, Sandy Blain, Catherine Boswell, Joe Bova, George Bowes, Bob Brady, Lucy Breslin, John Britt, Sally Brogden, Bill Buckner, Richard Burkett, Jon Burns, Larry Bush, Doug Casebeer, Donna Causland, Ceramics Monthly, Eva Champagne, Andrew Cho, Linda Christianson, Autumn Cipala, Naomi Cleary, Meridith Coen, Nan Coffin, Elaine Coleman, Tom Coleman, Jim Connell, Pat Coughlin, Charlie Cummings, Malcolm Davis, Chandra DeBuse, Josh DeWeese, Eddie Dominguez, Lynn Duryea, Thaddeus Erdahl, Mark Errol, Jana Evans, Lauren Faust, Kathryn Finnerty, Yoshi Fuji, Erin Furimsky, John Glick, Raymond Gonzalez, Heidi Grew, Chris Gustin, Holly Hanessian, Molly Hatch, James Herring, Pam Herring, Jennifer Hill, Anna Calluori Holcombe, Niel Hora, Ayumi Horie, Steve Howell, Matt Hyleck, Sarah Jaeger, Jeremy Jernigan, Drew Johnson, Mark Johnson, Garth Johnson, Brian Jones, Kristen Kieffer, Michael Kline, Phyllis Kloda, Alix Knipe, Lebeth Lammers, Sandy Lance, Martina Lantin, Fritz Lauenstein & June Raymond, Mary Law, Jim Lawton, Simon Levin, Jenny Lind, Suze Lindsay, Matt Long, Jiri Lonsky, Tyler Lotz, Scott Lykens, Andrew Martin, Missy McCormick, Nancy McCroskey, Kent McLaughlin, Joe Molinaro, Mudtools, Kate Murray, Richard Nickel, Kevin Nierman, Richard Notkin, Kelly O'Briant, Mary Obodzinski, Dandee Pattee, Anne Perrigo, Chris Pickett, Don Pilcher, Elise Pincu, Pete Pinnell, Pottery Making Illustrated, Rainbow Gate Pottery, Jeremy Randall, Beau Raymond, Scott Rench, Lee Rexrode, Lindsay Rogers, Chloe Rothwell, Nigel Rudolph, Cheyenne Rudolph Chapman, Cassie Ryalls, Shoji Satake, Kristin Schimik, Mike Schmidt, JoAnn Schnabel, Bonnie Seeman, Nancy Selvin, Leland Shaw, Jane Shellenbarger, Marge Shore, Sandy Simon, Gay Smith, Nan Smith, Collette Smith, Keith Smith, Kevin Snipes, Jane Spangler, Chris Staley, Studio Potter, Stephanie Stuefer, Sarah Tancred, Shoko Teruyama, Julie Tesser, Diana Thomas, John Tilton, Sara Truman & Naomi Mostkoff, Tom Turner, Rimas Visgirda, Mikey Walsh, Wynne Wilbur, Lana Wilson, Varian Wolf, Stephen Wolochowicz, Jenchi Wu, Rosie Wynkoop, Gwendolyn Yoppolo.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The beauty of Machines

Zimoun : Sound Sculptures & Installations | Compilation Video V1.9 from ZIMOUN VIDEO ARCHIVE on Vimeo.

As I was searching through the ever expandind virtual pile of art information today, I came across this which I had seen before and lost track of. I talk to my students about the art of simplicity, and the difficulties in attainment of the simple. This work is quite complex in structure, but it seems as though the structure isn't what the artist is talking about. The sounds that this grouping of work creates is awesome. Such simplicity in individuality can create such a complexity of sound. Awesome.

These others are works by Arthur Ganson. Such playfulness, such delicacy. The mechanization of movement transferred to an object of wonder. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dalton Ghetti Carvings

In starting the new semester with a drawing class, this came across my screen and I really loved it. This is a great example of common materials transcending and how concept and content can be implanted into an object. Pretty great stuff. There are more images if you google his name, and it seems to be a pretty extensive series. Something interesting.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Pond Creek Bogstompers at Kellish

Just a couple of photos that I came across this evening of a recent show we played at Kellish Hill Farm in Manlius NY. Great time had by all, and was kind of the big debut of the band, only to find out that we are probably going to have to change the name. Were working on it now, but everyone has been shortening the name to "Bogstompers" and I'm sure that the bogstompers located in northern vermont may object to us. Ah well, we just need a name before the next booking which is on the 11th of September at the Pourhouse in Trumansburd NY. Should be a good time and the Ithaca area loves old time music and they serve good beer there. And after looking at the billing, "Pond Creek Bogstompers" is the billing so we may be sticking with it for a while. The next gig after will be in Old Forge NY and hopefully the list will keep on growing.

Anyone in the area that pays attention to this thing, you should come out and check it out...we don't disappoint. And we are the only ones billed so we will be able to roll out a night full of old time music. Hope to see you all there!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tarpon awesomeness.

This made my day. It's not trout, but it makes me miss my days in Florida. Having the chance in the past to cast to tailing tarpon, this gets me exited.

Conversations Show at Art Center West

Just an announcement for our upcoming show at Art Center West in Roswell GA. The press release will go out today, and the show is myself and my wife Sarah Panzarella and will consist of about two dozen pieces, focusing on the diversity of work that can be made by spouses in the same studio. I am always supprised at the difference in our work despite the close proximity in which the work is made. We freely give feedback and have an open dialouge regarding the work which is an extremely helpful tool in the studio. Sometimes I wonder what it is like to be a studio potter working alone in my studio without that feedback. Studio practice can be lonely, and lacking of outside feedback at times and there is a trend for artists to get together with other artists regularly to gain this feedback. The critiques of graduate school were always grueling at the time, but now we long for the heavy criticism and constructive feedback. I love that the interchange of creativity is a commonplace in our studio and despite the complexities of having a two artist household, I wouldn't have it any other way (even though a rich benefactor would be nice). Come see the show if you are able, and let us know what you think. Cheers.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Cup Forms.

Thought I would post a few pictures of some new cup forms I have been working on. These will be in a show at Mississippi State University through the next couple of months. I have been on vacation for the past two weeks and thought I would actually take a vacation from the sort of worked.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Drink" Cup show now Online

The "Drink" cup show is now online at the link above. Just click on the image above and it should take you there. Some really nice cups are included and a big thank you to A.J. Argentina, Connor McKissack and Debra Fritts for putting it all together. Enjoy

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Vase Forms in the Studio.

These forms have been pervading the studio lately, and have really enjoyed their planar qualities. I was doing some thinking about form recently and was thinking about some of the Shaker influences that I have looked at over the past number of years. I always have loved the oval stack boxes that the shakers used for various uses, and have become such an iconic image of their handcraft. The reason that they made the boxes oval were for two reasons. The aesthetic of the curve was both beautiful and allowed for less joints and simplicity in manufacturing. The other reason was so they would fit on a shelf more efficiently. I loved this idea of efficiency and had made oval forms for some time because of that. I have always been bothered by round vase forms because of the way that they orient themselves to a table. My mother loved putting large arrangements of flowers on the table, but I realize that they didn't really occupy the space fully. A long rectangular space with a round object in the middle seems odd spacialy to me now. I really love the idea of a flower brick which has been a new staple for many potters altering forms or hand-building pots. I have a feeling that these forms are going to stretch out more, giving the viewer more of a landscape view to the pot. I also love the idea of some of these industrially aged architectural forms spewing forth color and life in the form of flowers and foliage. Seems to be a nice dichotomy in the way I view my influences. I love the forms of old industry and the residue of production, but the produced materials are usually not to my liking, and detrimental to the environment. Duality is interesting.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bass and 'Boo and a good old fashioned fish yarn.

Not all together glamorous, but this fat little bass found it's way to the other end of my fly line yesterday afternoon. It has been so hot lately and the amount of time I have to catch fish has been slight and slim lately that I have been visiting the family pond lately for a quick tug. I've also been having such fun fishing this bamboo rod that I recently built that I cant seem to even break it down to put it away. Such a great little rod at 6 foot. I got really great satisfaction when I first caught a fish on a fly of my tying, and the experience of catching a fish on a self built rod it tenfold. I also love the fact that it was this neglected antique bamboo rod that needed a bit of modification that has been brought back to new life. Super satisfying for sure.

I am going to share a fish story now. I know that these sorts of things are sometimes hard to believe, and the myth is that the fish get bigger the longer the time from the event, but I am going to tell this because it is an awesome story. Not only was it awesome when it happened the first time, but it was even more awesome when it happened not just once, but twice this last trip to the family pond. So here goes...and remember that this story is 100% true.

My wife's family has a great place located in the rural hills of Tully NY, about 30 minuets south of Syracuse. The property is about seven acres or so plush with a great garden, the place where Sarah and I were married, room for the kids to run and someday will be our home and the potential place for a small gentleman's farm that Sarah and I dream about not to mention the studio/pottery where we will get all of our work done. The other thing that the property has is a great pond equipped with zip-line, swim dock and a plethora of hungry Bass that have been thriving for over fifteen years. Deep within the depths of this pond (calculated to be about 8 - 9 feet at the deepest) is at least 1 monster Bass. No I don't tend to go out searching for bass in my pursuit of fish species. But this pond is a place that one can go when they have been skunked on local waters by wily trout, in order to regain a bit of self respect and feel an end of the day tug on the line. This was a day that the kids were sleeping after a morning of play and swim, and the rod was rigged and in the car. Why not.

Now I'll flash back a few years to the start of the story proper and my first encounter with the aforementioned fish. I was fishing one afternoon with a one weight rod and little micro poppers and had brought several small six inch or so sized bass to hand but nothing larger than that. There are a number of larger fish in the pond, and occasionally the will take, but they have smartened up over the years. And a six to eight inch fish on a one weight is a pretty enjoyable time so I kept on fishing. Another cast and another small fish...but this is when it gets good. As I was letting the fish play a bit as I was stripping it in, and all of a sudden my rod doubled over and line started pulling back out and even started taking line from the reel. My eyes got big and had no idea what was going on but whatever it was it was big. So I managed to get a handle on things and started working line back in and managed to make it to the butt end of the leader, and as I looked down into the water I saw the nose of a pretty heafty bass look up at its giant mouth...and spit out the small 5 inch bass intact with my fly still stuck in it's lip. The bass-a-gator turned and swam back don to the depths of the pond. I would probably venture to say that it was 14 - 16 inches and as big around as my calf. I know that the water's surface refracts light and changes how we perceive things, but I would say that was a conservative estimate.

Fast forward to this past weekend. I am standing at the same pond, different rod (the new old bamboo) and different flies but the same mentality. I am looking to get a hold of a few sure thing fish and call it a day. On the fourth or so cast and the second fish, as I am bringing it close to shore, there is a boil at the surface, the line goes tight and then nothing. Whatever it was it snapped me off and now has a bit of jewelry in his lip. Re-rig, another cast, another fish, another boil. My line goes tight and I play the fish and then BANG! The wake from the fish was huge, the tine goes tight and then SNAP! Second fly gone along with the second sacrificed fish. I caught a couple more fish with no more sightings of the loch-ness basster but he is in there. Some day I will find him and I look forward to the event with relish. Soon...very soon. Besides, how long can a fish with no other predators in the water live? I figure I have a number of years to be able to shoot for him.

It was an awesome day, and I can't believe that the experience would repeat its self not only twice, but three times.

"Drink" upcomming show at Roswell Art Center West.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Aurora in the studio!

The Bogstompers had their local debut this past weekend, and were met with good response from those in attendance. The show was on a monday which was tough for a lot of people, but the turnout was good. Nothing like a small town to be able to drum up enough people to come out and enjoy some old time music. For all of those that missed the show we will be playing on August 13th at Kellish Hill Farm in Manlius NY. Not sure of the billing or the time as of yet, but keep it on your calendars so you wont miss it. I'll send out reminders as the time gets closer. I'd love to see everyone and have you give a little feedback. We have a great time and all of the tunes are nice foot stompers. Stay tuned to the launch of our myspace page and soon you can all be friends/fans on facebook. Nothing like a little social networking to provide free publicity and visibility.

The studio has been cranking and I keep getting invites for shows. I feel like at some point I will need to say No just so I am able to get things finished, but for now it is keeping me busy and the ideas are new and the forms are fresh. I also go notice last week that a piece was selected to be included in the 2010 Strictly Functional Exhibition in Lancaster PA which is a great show. It's always nice to have a piece in that show as it has great visibility. Aurora has been showing her interest in making things lately and has spent two consecutive days asking to come out and work in the studio with us. She has been carving a tile of clay over and over and she loves it. It's also been fun being able to work while she is occupied and I can keep an eye on her. The picture above was taken the other day with one of the new vase forms that I have been working on seen in the foreground. Today was spent sigging the pots to get color on them in order to go into a bisque.
Well, the end of the day has come and all of the pots are in the kiln. Time for some well needed rest, and to get up and fire some pots and start the process all over.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Encore!: Upcoming Show at Baltimore Clayworks

If any of you are in the area for this show, it will be a good one. Baltimore Clayworks has always been a steady as far as great exhibitions as well as outstanding support to the local community of Baltimore as well as the clay community as a whole. Check them out if you are not familiar, and go see the show if you are able. Support handcraft!


August 14th – September 25th, 2010
Opening: August 14th, 6-8

Baltimore Clayworks is proud to host Encore! an exhibition celebrating thirty years of bringing clay to the Baltimore community and beyond. This exhibition runs August 14th – September 25th, 2010 with an opening reception on Saturday, August 14th, from 6 to 8 pm. Admission is free.

This exhibition will feature artists who have been an integral part of our legacy and advanced our mission of showcasing outstanding ceramic art. They are part of an elite group who have supported and strengthened our artist-centered community that promotes the best of established and emerging ceramic art.

Invited Artists: Doug Baldwin (MT), Jason Briggs (TN), Ben Carter (FL), Doug Casebeer (CO), Linda Christianson (MN), Richard Cleaver (MD), Michael Corney (NM), Patrick Coughlin (NY), Kevin Crowe (VA), Malcolm Davis (DC), Bruce Dehnert (NJ), Paul Dresang (IL), Lynn Duryea (NC), Melody Ellis (IL), Shanna Fliegel (MT), Debra Fritts (GA), Krista Grecco (GA), Giselle Hicks (NY), Rick Hirsh (NY), Bryan Hopkins (NY), Nick Joerling (NC), Peter Karner (CO), Reena Kashyap (NY), Matt Kelleher (NC), Kristen Kieffer (MA), Jeff Kleckner (PA), Maren Kloppmann (MN), Stephanie Lanter (KS), HeeSeung Lee (PA), Suze Lindsay (NC), David MacDonald (NY), Linda McFarling (NC), Kent McLaughlin (NC), Laura Jean McLaughlin (PA), Brooke Noble (NY), Richard Notkin (MT), Jill Oberman (IL), Lisa Orr (TX), Sarah Panzarella (NY), Brenda Quinn (NY), Jeremy Randall (NY), Allison Rednour (OH), Justin Rothshank (IN), Frank Saliani (NY), Brad Schweiger (OH), Virginia Scotchie (SC), Andy Shaw (LA), Nancy Selvin (CA), Eric Seritella (NY), Tim Sherman (MD), Debbie Sigel (PA), Linda Sikora (NY), Gertrude Smith (NC), Bill Stewart (NY), Shoko Teruyama (NC), Bill Van Gilder (MD).

September 12-25, Solo Gallery: Baltimore Collects
An exhibition of distinctive art pieces donated by contemporary artists and collectors. Artwork will be available for purchase at the Collector’s Dinner and Auction on Friday, September 24, 2010. Tickets available by calling 410 578 1919 ext 17.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My new favorite tune.

As I was going through some recent recordings, this caught my ear and was happy that I had grabbed it on the recorder. This is a tune called Stinsons #2 and we jammed with Rachel Eddy and Kristian Herner the night before their Kellish Farm show. This was a great night and so many tunes were played. This was the first tune played that night, and it is one of the things that I love about old time music. The group assembled had never played with each other all together before, but the first tune out we clicked and it set the tone for the night. Stellar people and a great time.

The assembled were: Rachel Eddy, fiddle; Dave Karam, fiddle; Joe Trudeau, fiddle and mandolin; Andrea Asperelli, fiddle; Joan Meitz, fiddle and vocals; Kristian Herner, banjo; Jeremy (myself) Randall, banjo; Jason Borisoff, guitar; Rick Mason, Guitar; Dave Rybinski, Bass.

Enjoy, and as I go through these files and convert them I'll post more for you. This tune is great.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Pond Creek Bogstompers

For all of you out there that love old time is official. We have started a band and are ready to take the small world of Old Time music by storm. Well, maybe not, but we really are a band with real practices and everything (keep posted for the upcoming CD release and T-Shirts at gigs...hahahah) . We even have our first gig booked for the 26th of July here in Tully at the Tully Community Church. They have a coffee house type of venue during the summer and we were asked to play. We will be playing with the Salt Potatoes, a killer folk/swing band form Syracuse. The Pond Creek Bogstompers are myself on Banjo, Joe Trudeau on fiddle and mandolin, Jason Borisoff on Guitar, and Joan Meitz on vocals. We play old time music solely, and we love to play some of the more obscure tunes from Appalachia and the surrounding areas. We also have the possibility of potentially playing in Saranac Lake this summer, and an idle pass at playing in Burlington. Could be awesome. And after making $100 busking in front of Imagine in Skaneateles for their 1st friday opening (we were employed for the evening and it is my wife and father in law's gallery) we will probably be out there again for August.

The music has been happening a lot lately and I love it. It's been a while since my fingers hurt from playing and I played more than once a month. The last few weeks have been at least once a week if not a couple of times which has been fun. Our weekly practice session this past week turned into a great Jam that included Rachel Eddy and Kristian Herner and was awesome.
There were a lot of tunes played that night, and the best part was that there wasn't a tune that came up that we didn't all know. There were a number of them that really rocked, and a couple of really sweetly played tunes like "Lazy John" and the following version of "Cotton Eyed Joe".

This is the best version of the tune that I have heard, although not all that different from the standard version which I also really like to play and is one that we pull out every so often in Jams. Now, these are very different from the techno version usually played at weddings and such. I'll stick with the old time, thank you. Come check us out at The Tully Community Church, Meetinghouse Road, Tully NY 13159 on the 26th of July if you are in the area. Bring your Boogie shoes.
It has been a super busy week around here with family and studio happening full speed. Aurora and Jasper had great visits with great grandparents which is such a treat. We took the trip to long island to see Sarah's side of the fam, and then came back to spend some time with my side. My 93 year old Grandmother and Aunt (not at all close to 93) drove across the country to come visit for a few weeks which was outstanding. It's always great to see them, but is hard with little ones to have them away for so long. Las Vegas is a bit of a trip to make often, and the kids grow so fast.
Jasper, Aurora and Great Nana

The studio has been rocking, and work went out for the Motley Moxie show in West Palm Beach at the Armory Art Center that opens this Friday. Any of you in the area should go check it out as there is a great list of participants, all of which have ties to the University of Florida. Pavel Amromin, Renee Audette, Andrew Cho, Lynn Duryea, Magda Gluszek, Yumiko Goto, Holly Hannassain, Tammy Marinuzzi, Connor McKissack, Beau Raymond, Shawn Rommevaux, and Alyssa Welch will all be in the show. Should be an interesting assembly of work...too bad I can't take a road trip and head on down.

Some new forms have been coming out of the studio lately, and I am fairly pleased with them so far. I seem to have figured out the sig problems I have been having and the last batch looked great. I have also introduced a new slip which has a dryer surface and looks really nice with a layer or two of stain over it. When it rains it pours and right now the electric kiln is loaded and ready to fire, the test kiln is firing a couple of small cups for a show at Roswell Art Center West, north of Atlanta, and the soda kiln is full bore, soda in and about 45 minutes away from being ready to shut off. Slabs are drying and will be ready to get back to making tomorrow for the next batch. Have a good night out there, there is a beer with my name on it in the fridge which will be great after this long HOT day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wow, an actual vacation

Unbelieveably I am actually on vacation. These photos are the view that I had waking up this morning at 5:45 am with the resident family of swans passing by the house...I suppose that a vacation with kids tends to change the time structure of a standard vacation and 5:45 is just another day. The only hitch was that Aurora had a fever of 103.6 so that was a bit stressful. Thank god for Motrin, although the fever spiked again this evening hopefully it will break over night sometime. The day was good and started with low tide and me oystering before the time tide came back in. Sarah's grandmother lives on the Long Island sound and you can walk across the back yard and over the sea wall and end up in the water. One of my favorite things is to go out and collect a bunch of oysters and then suck them down for lunch. There really isn't much like eating an oyster literally right after coming out of the water. Some don't eat them in the summer months, or those months that don't have an "R" in them, but I couldn't taste the difference. I ended up with about two dozen oysters and a fat clam, which was a great pregame lunch to the BBQ that was scheduled for the evening. Hopefully Aurora will be feeling better in the morning, as we are planning on taking the ferry across from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport CT and thought she would love it. She has been watching the boats pass off the back patio and getting a huge kick out of it.
The studio has been popping lately, and I finished up some new cup forms before leaving. They are these flattened slab forms that have Nichrome wire rims...we'll see. I'll take a fresh look at them when I return and see how they sit with me. I do that with new forms sometimes just to try to get a new look at an idea that has usually been tainted by rattling around in my head for a while. It seems like everything has been happening at the same time lately and I have about six deadlines all coming due mid July. I can't believe it's July already, but the kiln overhaul maintenance is almost complete and I'll post some pictures of the new work soon. I always say that, but sometime shooting the work in process makes it a bit too solid. I enjoy looking at other pictures of work in process, but it makes it a bit too real for me when it's my own.

We head home tomorrow, and I'll get into the studio a bit in the next couple of days. Somewhere here I need to start scraping the house to get it ready for paint. We have anew baby sitter starting soon that will come and hang out with the kids for the day while I am getting work done in the studio. I can't work in short bursts so this may make it a tad easier to get some volume done. It will also help Sarah as she has had an even tougher time of getting things made. Word...I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Back again

Well, I feel as though I am finally able to sit down again and write a bit here, even if it is 11:00 at night. I have turned a corner in my schedule and it feels great. The past month has been a huge stress, and it's not over, but it has settled a bit. I have spent the past month moving my mother out of the house that she had been in for close to 3o years and that I had grown up in. Its a shame that it is no longer going to be a place to spend time. So many good memories as well as some that we not so great but still integral to the person I have become. All of the thoughts of elementary school friends, sneaking out in High school, getting into alot of trouble, spending time with the greatest fishing buddy ever(my Father), learning to cast a fly rod in the back yard, family dinners, and unfortunately Hospice with my father, were there as I cleaned out rooms and boxed up stuff. My Father passed away two years ago, and the house was just too much for my mother to take care of, and too big for one person to rattle around in. Soo on the market it goes with numerous mixed emotions all around.

The house is in Syracuse NY and is a Carpenter Gothic farmhouse built in 1849 for a MR. Nathaniel Burt Searl. He owned a good hundred plus acres in the valley of Syracuse at the time given from a civil war land bond. My folks were both artists and lovers of American primitive antiques, so there was a lot of stuff to go through. It makes me evaluate the amount of stuff that has accumulated in our house after five years, much less than my folks 25 years there. It's scary to say the least. It is interesting to see how that is undoubtedly how I have found my love of the "old" and the beauty that can be found in the patina of age found on antique objects. So many hands and so many lives have added to the bones of these objects and to the House its self. How a structure can become an entity baffles me, but this house is indeed an entity. Two summers ago I spent the summer fixing the exterior of the house so that it could go on the market. Sweat and a few drops of blood for sure are now in that house from me and I have an even greater appreciation of it now. I really did it the way that it needed to be done, and I poured just as much attention to detail that I put into my pots, into that house. The thing that scares me more than letting it go is driving by in a few years and seeing that the new owners have let it go to shit. No control over that though.

Now that the house is empty and Mom has moved in with a friend, the studio has been calling. It is clean, chicken dirt has been vacuumed up, and I spent the last couple of days pulling slabs and wedging reclaimed clay. I love this point in making pots when there is so much latent energy out there, all of this raw material just ready to explode...its exiting. I have new glaze tests to continue testing and some temp explorations to get into and the light at the end of the tunnel has opened up, and the grass is greener for sure. Stay tuned for images of new work, pictures of new fish, and the smell of the creative process.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gundowringa Sheep from Maria Fernanda Cardoso on Vimeo.

I came across this while doing research for some course work I am prepping for the fall. Pretty great project, and a really interesting way to look at a dying method of yet another traditional industry. Agribuisness and synthetics have almost pushed wool out of the picture and this is a pretty poetic response.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chickens In The Yard!

Well, today the chickens had their inaugural trip to the yard and it was an enjoyable event had by all. Aurora was the most intrigued, although a close second was probably our Labrador, Sadie who was curious, but surprisingly calm. I figured you put a dog whose genetics tell it to retrieve birds in the same proximity with chickens at least one wouldn't fair well.
Only five came out to explore and quickly began to peck and forage and were supprisingly tolerant of us, although the rest of them stood at the door watching and were close to joining. Aurora chased them around trying to pick them up and most allowed her to at least pet them, and one of the reds even let Aurora give her a kiss. Not the best thing, but some things you can't intervene with in time.
The ladies seemed to be especially curious of Aurora, even though she chased them around trying to pick them up, and they stayed right around her. The chickens love the coop, and I bought a large metal feeder the other day which means I don't have to feed them daily. It's amazing how much these birds eat and I was feeding and watering them every day. Our schedule is so crazy that this frees us up a bit and the ladies stay happy. It's nice to have them housed and happy and watch them have some more space to move. They haven't found the nesting boxes yet and they kind of nestle into the hay on the floor at night, but they are definitely happy.

So is Aurora...

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Trout That Swim"

Just some words for the day. Found this in Greys Sporting Journal, thought I'd put it up to share with people.

"Trout That Swim"
John Poch

Wait to wade. Streamside, kneel, retrieve a stone
from the wet edge. Beneath slither the nymphs
of flies, a moving prehistoric sketch.

They scuttle their inept attempts at bone
to undermine the light, your sight, and hints
of what will cast successfully. Yet you catch

that shine, that peacock herl. This refusal
whets wish, is charming as a timid princess.
Understand a rock if you would match

(undistracted by the bobbing ousel)
this hatch.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The last two days proved to be wonderful in terms of getting some much needed time building the coop. As of Friday it was framed, the roof was on and the plywood sheeting up which was a bonus as the wood and floor would remain dry, but it had been pretty slow moving and the chickens aren't waiting to eat and grow until I finish the coop. Seeing as how my semester is now officially over, tuesday was a day that I was able to focus solely on building. I had to pick up a few pots from a local show in Syracuse, but for the remainder of the morning and all afternoon was spent driving nails. It was a really satisfying day to be honest. I forgot to eat until six o'clock, and my plans were pretty fuzzy so I was figuring things out as I went. I finally figured out how to get the nesting boxes to work which are the overhanging structure on the side of the coop. I started to trim things out in order to finish the door and get the window in, and things started to really take shape.

It was really awesome to see it go from roughed out openings and plywood, to actually having a resemblance to the drawings I had done as preliminaries in just one day of work. This evening I went back out to try to figure out the little chicken door that will allow them to leave in the day and return to the coop in the evening. I decided to put the door on the front so that we could see the activity of the chickens from the house, and it also breaks up the solid front wall a bit. I threw the little trap door together while Aurora came out and helped a bit. Her visit was a bit short lived as it had been raining most of the day and everything still was wet. She went back in and I got the little chicken ladder together, screwed it to the coop and called it a day.

The coop is a seven by six foot footprint and is six feet tall at the front of the coop and slants to four feet in the back. There is an added sixteen inches of depth plus the thickness of the wall for the nesting boxes (with a trap door lid for collecting eggs). It seems as this should be enough room for a dozen chickens, and it's funny how through this process I feel the chickens should have a little bit more elbow room. It's hard for me to not do all of the snidley nit-pickey things because that is the stuff I love. My studio mate Matt Shaffer in Grad school was (and still is) a figurative sculptor and he used to call all of the finish work the "Gravy". I loved that term and still use it as well because it is indeed all of the stuff that goes on top to make the meal that much more tasty. I still have a little bit to do like closing in the soffits and putting in some roof ventilation, a bit more trim, and of course paint. My summer project this summer is to paint the house and the barn, so the leftovers will go on the coop. I'm having a bit of trouble finding some portable fencing so I can move the ladies around as they graze. Having a lab and tempting genetics with birds in front of her nose means "free range" needs to be a bit more structured. I really need to get the girls in the coop though, as they are quite large and could use some room to move. Hopefully I can find some fencing relatively quickly and get them into their new home. I give it another day or two...

Friday, April 30, 2010

What a week!

Well, this week sort of kicked my tail. It's the last week of the semester so classes are working on final projects and I am running around trying to get my crap together. Some nice stuff had been in the works, and we were in the middle of an Anagama firing at the Syracuse University kiln plus raku mania during class wednesday. All in all pretty eventful. I even managed to get the floor framed up for the chicken coop so the chickens will be able to move into their new house and I will be able to have the studio to myself again. I thought clay was dusty, those chickens take the cake there. This post will be a photo post so enjoy!

Evan, a great student who isn't even an art major.

Raku firing with my ceramics class.

Chicken Coop floor getting leveled up.
All framed up and ready for plywood and some walls.
Even had a little to try to fly a kite. Not enough wind but some great time spent with Aurora.