Friday, August 29, 2008

RNC coming to town, a few new pics


The RNC bustle is already spilling over to Grand Ave.

I hope to write more tonight about my plans for the weekend. Here's a few pics I took a couple minutes ago, gotta go. Have a good night!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Republic National Convention in Saint Paul, MN

The Republic National Convention is going to be a 1/2 mile from my studio this weekend. I plan on wandering down close to the Excel Energy Center where the action is, but I'm planning to setup my pots out on Grand Avenue. I have a 10x10 tent, some pots and shelves to put them on, so I should be set. I just finished firing two glaze loads this week. Lots of great pots which I haven't taken pictures of. Lots of marbleware, some mochaware, and a few of most forms that I make. All-in-all, I'm happy with the pots I've been making the past few weeks.

Regarding the Convention, I get a feel that Saint Paul as a City is a bit nervous right now, not sure what to expect. City officials that have previewed the Democratic Covention in Denver say that we're ready.

Anyway, pottery will be here on the Avenue, and a beautiful weekend for it too. Write more soon, but hopefully just pictures because those are more fun to look at.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Buying in Bulk

lbs price boxes savings
500 144.6 10 12.85
1000 272.5 20 16.7
2000 497.2 40 47.8
4000 914 80 80.4

Cost savings in buying in bulk. This is a calculation for clay at a local supplier, Continental Clay. The more you buy, the better the savings. Of course, storing it may be the limiting factor.

I'd like to dig my own clay someday, plenty of areas to scope out along the Minnesota River and also near Red Wing, a famous pottery in Southeastern Minnesota about 30 minutes from my studio. Several 5 gallon buckets and a shovel should do the job, especially since the ground isn't frozen now. Something to consider. Richard Bresnahan came across quite a find several years ago, This is in Collegeville, MN near St. Cloud, about 2 hours away from Saint Paul.

All this would require testing though. Firing temperature for vitrification, how the glaze interacts with the clay body, reformulation of slips maybe, the list goes on. But an endless supply of useable clay would be a treat.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

That's right. I turned 28 years old today. Planning a night with no clay involvement, some Umbria Pizza, and a nice walk around a nearby lake. Beautiful 80 degrees here today; I might sneak into the studio and load up a bisque, shh!, don't tell anyone.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Linda Starr

Hi Linda,

Thanks for writing. I've recently come to terms what blogging is for me, and that is interacting with other potters. Whether it be encouraging one another when the pots aren't coming out so great or commenting on an exceptional piece or really anything clay related. When I first started blogging, I didn't have any expectations other than people (really, anybody!) reading what I wrote. Over time, my expectations were to use my blog in conjunction with my Etsy site (online store) to help customers realize (or maybe appreciate) what goes into making a pot. It was a diluted sense, and tangential looking back, hindsight is 20/20 right?! However, putting a site counter was the best thing I could ever do. A testament to the fact that people were reading it, maybe not leaving a comment, but at minimum in their minds as they enter the internet . . . What is that Brandon guy doing in his studio recently?

So, here I am, publishing pictures onto Blogger, writing a few words about how my day went in the studio, and what I may work on tomorrow. End of story, but a perfect plot for journaling. However, I wanted something more and I'm striving for it locally and I'm lucky to be in a hotbed - and to use the term loosely, matriarchs. There's Warren Mackenzie, Linda Christianson, Matthew Metz, Kevin Caufield, Mel Jacobsen, Tom Wirt, Guillermo Cuellar, Jeff Oestriech, and countless others in this rich area of pottery. I try not to look at their work too much (other than to be aware of it in a general sense), because as an artist we often make things from our life experiences and what we see with our eyes, and I think that’s what you addressed to me in your email - So many directions, but are they really you or are they diversions into a territory that’s been worked over before.

That’s what has attracted me so much to Mochaware. There are 3-4 artists in the United States making it, and the literature is sparse. A few words here and there from a Robin Hopper book, can’t remember the name of it, and if you really are resourceful you’ll find an article in Ceramics Monthly, but that’s essentially it. From the other Mochaware artists I’ve talked to early on in my foray, Ryan Forrey and Don Carpentier, they do the process much differently, the latter more traditionally, and Ryan more of the experimenter which I can relate to. It’s an adventure getting here. I’ve been making pots for 10 years now, I’ll be turning 28 this week, and look at the horizon of all that I want to accomplish in making things out of clay. There are so many questions racing through my mind, and excuse me if these paragraphs have come across a bit scattered but I only have 15 minutes to type all this, and get down to the studio for what most don’t know, I carry an 8-5 job. So, when it seems like I’ve cranked out a good many pots in a days work, it’s really burning the midnight oil, my favorite time of the night to get dirty.

By the way Linda, at one point I was looking at doing leaf impressions on my pots too, but didn’t have the patience for it. I really like how yours are turning out; I’ll check back and see the glazed result.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saint Paul Empty Bowls,

I'm organizing the 1st Annual Saint Paul Empty Bowls. If you live nearby or not, please let me know if you can help.