Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Listening to Music in the Studio

Quote of the Day: " . . . and both hands, now use both hands. oh, no don't close your eyes . . ." Ani DiFranco

I often hear potters ask other potters on whether they listen to music in their studio. Some find it to be distracting, others experience that they are more focused, and some just have it on for background noise. I personally rarely listen to music in the studio, except when I'm away from the wheel - such as making clay or glazing pots for a kiln firing. I find that making a pot is a relationship I prefer to have just with the clay, my hands, and my mind. And I use both hands. Sometimes everything falls into place, like the Earth spinning perfectly at 70,000 mph, and sometimes gravity is too much of a force for my pots. That's just the way it is, and that's the way I like it.

Peace.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Items in my Online Shop - 50% OFF!

Quote of the Day: "Don't break my heart with your brand new look." Ike Reilly.

This bowl came out of the last firing, and I just had a chance to really look at it now. I usually open the kiln like kids do on Christmas morning, ripping threw presents, and looking for more. I'd like to slow this process down a bit, and enjoy it more.

I like how the colors here contrast well throughout the bowl, as sometimes I feel that there's a concentration of a certain color in a certain area of a vessel. I like making these kinds of pots, mixing the colors together and seeing how they turn out in the kiln. I have found it is very important to know when to stop marbling the slips together, as the colors will become so muddied the pots look uninteresting with all the noise.
Take a look at my online store, http://mochaware.etsy.com. Prices are slashed 50% for the month of May.

Monday, April 28, 2008

You win Ikea, Target, and Walmart

I can't compete with your set of 8 dinner plates for $19.99, and your 12 coffee mugs for $30. Should I stay or should I go? I was feverently creating the next big thing in pottery, all the while 130,000 more square feet of Earth under your next control. "What was I thinking!" I ask myself. I must have been wasted thinking I could go up against you. Or is it you I'm even against; where have all the appreciators of handmade items gone? I think I saw one or two of you glancing back at me over the gas pump apologetically, "it's not you." I looked back, and said to myself "I understand, someone always a hand in your back pocket." I'll keep creating my pottery; I do it because I like it. However, I urge those reading this, to pass this blog site (http://mochaware.blogspot.com) to whoever you know. This is the future of art, is it better off dead? If not, support me by purchasing my work at http://mochaware.etsy.com.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What a weekend! Snow, and the Saint Paul Art Crawl

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for checking in now. I was at the Saint Paul Art Crawl this weekend, which is about 1 mile from my house. It snowed of all things in this last weekend of April, so the attendance at the Art Crawl was low - but the people who came were fun to talk to and many were amazed at my demo of mochaware (an acid-base reaction). I'll get a close-up video posted sometime this week.

Another artist joined me at Evoke Gallery, his name is Patrick Ginter. He was fun to listen to, and even brought his stratocaster with a little amp to pep it up on Sunday. Information about Patrick and his Rock Star acrylics can be found here, http://citypages.com/databank/26/1296/article13731.asp.

Here are a few vases drying out in the studio after some interesting slip decoration.
A bisque load fired this weekend of my redware. Hey, there's even a pie plate in there, and a couple of pilsners!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Saint Paul Art Crawl, Friday April 25th-Sunday April 27th

* FREE PARKING WHERE INDICATED ON THE MAP AND A SHUTTLE *
Evoke Gallery is at location #18 on the map.

The Saint Paul Art Crawl in downtown is this weekend. I will be at Evoke Gallery on 5th and Wabasha. I have had my work in there gallery for quite some time, and the owners, Julie and Nikki are a blast to work with. I will be at the gallery the following times:

Friday, April 25th: 6-8pm
Saturday, April 26th: 2-5pm
Sunday, April 27th: Noon-3pm

Information regarding the Art Crawl can be found here: http://www.stpaulartcrawl.org/ and regarding Evoke Gallery: http://www.evokegallery.com/index.html.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Let's make it happen every single day. Here's to the future.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Pictures and Saint Paul Art Crawl

Hi Everybody!

A beautiful day here in Saint Paul. Yesterday was not so great, a little rain and overcast had me in the studio for a few hours. I made 52 different things, sort of like Baskin Robins ice cream (?). 10 plates, 1 platter, 15 bowls, 4 medium sized popcorn/fruit bowls, bud vases, a drop-rim bowl, several large jugs, dog bowls, and a pie plate. It was quite a ceramic-bender. I got the items slipped today, and now they are drying a bit before I trim them up.

I was accepted into the Eagan Arts Festival, and will post info about it shortly, but in the meantime check me out at the Saint Paul Art Crawl this weekend! I will be at Evoke Gallery selling; http://www.stpaulartcrawl.org/. If you can, I will be there on Friday, 6-8pm, Saturday 2-5ish, and Sunday 12noon-3ish.




Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Contact Email, mochaware@gmail.com

My other email, mochaware@yahoo.com has been severely compromised by SPAM. Hope everyone is having a good week! Check back later this weekend for new pictures.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Close-up of Mochaware dendrite pattern


More Mochaware, and now on Ebay!

Hi Everybody,

Thanks for your patience over the past week while I've been busy in the studio. I'm back on track with posting here everyday.

Here are a few pictures of recent work that came out of the latest kiln firing.

A tri-colored slip-decorated bowl, with light brown, dark brown, and sky blue slips mixed together in an interesting pattern. Sorry about the glare in this picture I didn't have the time to play around with lighting today.
Mochaware decorated vase or spoon holder. Four really nice seaweed decorations, and what I think is nice banding on the shoulder of the vase, alternating between black, yellow and red color. I'd really like to further experiment with the banding on my pottery; banding is prevalent in Period examples.
My pottery is now for sale on Ebay! Just go to www.Ebay.com, and search for Mochaware. I have a really nice vase for sale there now.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stoneware Plates

Quote of the Day: It is rare to find learned men who are clean, do not stink and have a sense of humour. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Mathematician, 1646-1716.

Have you seen my videos? Scroll down the page and check them out!

I'll try to keep the stoneware pictures from creeping up too much on this blog, as the intent of me posting here was partly to delineate from my Mochaware decorations but in addition my old blog was becoming too dilute. However, inarguably stoneware creations are part of my pottery history just as much as Mochaware now. I've been making pots out of stoneware clay for 9 years now, and just recently moved into low-fire redware. I think I'll continue to keep doing both over the summer, and see how they do in the market.

Here are a set of four dinner plates glazed in Anderson Ranch Red with three black lines. These are for sale in my online shop which now accepts PayPal (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express): http://mochaware.etsy.com/.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tour of Studio - New Video!

Quote of the Day: I wanna be bigger than Jesus and bigger than wrestling. Bigger than the Beatles and bigger than breast implants. I'm gonna be the biggest thing to hit these little kids. Bigger than guns, bigger than cigarettes. Atmosphere, Song: Guns and Cigarettes, 2001.


The following video is a nice little tour of my studio, enjoy!


I'll be putting up a schedule soon of the art fairs and festivals I'm attending this summer.

video

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Someone reads my blog? Really? C'mon, seriously?!

Quote of the Day: This could be the very minute I'm aware I'm alive. All these places feel like home. Snow Patrol, Song: Chocolate, 2004.

Hi Everybody,

I'm amazed that so many people have joined me here on this blog - thank you! I put a counter on this site about a week or so ago as I was discouraged that I thought no one was reading it. I enjoy writing here anyway, and would do so even if nobody else was reading it - but being a potter sometimes is a lonely lifestyle, at least that's what I thought.

I have a few more pictures to share from the recent kiln firing. The following is a spoon rest decorated a la' Mochaware on a wonderfully smooth and colorful red clay. The inspiration from this piece came from the Body Worlds exhibit which I'm sure most have seen by now (or chosen not to!). Anyway, in the exhibit they had up here in the Cities, they had several species of animals that only showed the blood vessels either for ther whole animal or an appendage - and I was amazed at the sheer number of blood vessels, and the closeness of each one to others.

This piece is of a stick figured man (or woman); you'll have to use your imagination a bit sort of like those Rorschach ink blots, http://www.medical-library.org/journals/mddx/Rorshach/sld002.html.
A small little plate for crackers and cheese or other snacks. I usually don't make too much work in terms of black, but I do like the subtle contrast the green has here with it. This is slip-decorated, and a clear glaze is applied.
Close-up of marbling on one of the bowls.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Marbleware Pictures

Hi, and thanks for checking out my blog today!

I just unloaded the kiln tonight, and I think the pieces really turned out great! Better than I expected honestly. I love the color combinations I had chosen for the slips. Like anything, the process can be refined further, but I'm happy where I am with Mochaware and Marbleware decorations on my pots.




Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mochaware Video

video

Mochaware Video: First video on the blog! Thanks for checking it out. Let me know what you think, good and bad, and what you'd like to see in the future. Next time, I'll be sure to have a few discrete points about Mochaware decoration, instead of just rambling - which I tend to do!

Linda Christianson

I had a nice talk with Linda by phone today. She is an experienced potter here in Minnesota. We talked about my Mochaware, and how I should stop up during the St. Croix Pottery Tour and introduce myself. I think I will. It is in a few months time, in early May. I have found that more 'experienced' potters prefer phone calls compared to emails, and so I'll try that method in the future. It should be a good way for me to connect with other potters here in the area, as often I feel out of touch in that way. I'm definitely over the co-op studio thing though, been there - done that, wouldn't do it again.

Uploading Video

Good Morning. Still haven't had much luck uploading a video. I tried twice last night. I'll keep working on it. The file format is acceptable, and I have broadband which is a decent connection; I have a few ideas though. Kiln is firing right now. A bisque firing. I'll write more soon, thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mochaware Necklaces

Quote of the Day: I make such a good statistic, someone should study me now. Ani DiFranco, Song: Fire Door, 1997

I'm going to load up the kiln tonight, and figure out how to get a video uploaded.

These are some necklaces I made that came out of the last firing. I made them with my Mochaware design and Marbling technique, with a nice leather cord and locking metal clasp. I'm not sure about them yet, so I haven't priced them.