Saturday, February 28, 2009

This Saturday's adventure took Ian and me to Old Hickory Clay Company in Mayfield, Ky. We wanted to see if there was any clay that we could get in bulk to make some pots out of local Kentucky clay. They were closed but the gate was open so we drove around and had a self guided tour. I have never seen so much clay. Seems like this place only houses the dug clay because we did not see any packaging or distributing areas. I plan to email them later to see if any of this clay could be used for our needs.

Also, I made my secon mold today of a bourbon bottle with Ian's help.

I plan to create a series from this bottle for the soda firing in two weeks. I want to begin creating my "sandwich" series as well. I found a good pig to cast, but it looks a bit advanced, so I made the bottle form today. Be on the look out for some clay sandwiches later. The sandwich is a metaphore...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

After reconsidering all of the free wood in Paducah due to the ice storm, I have spent the day cutting wood for my next firing. There were several limbs down in the yard and neighbors as well and since I was cutting them up to move, why not cut some for a firing?

This pot is one of the first vessels that I wood fired at East Carolina University. It is quiet and the more I live with it the more I enjoy all of its gentleness.

With Ian Thomas arriving tomorrow, I am excited to have a fellow potter in town to help with the preparation and firing. Glaze vs. raw? I am going to see what happens....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bar-B-Q Ashes

Today I celebrated my Valentine's love for bar-b-q by visiting a new spit in Paducah, KY. I have passed this place several times and have always wanted to stop. It was okay...good baked beans.

Lately I have been thinking about doing research on various bar-b-q ash glazes.
The idea is simple:
Travel to numerous bar-b-q pits that used hardwood and collect ashes for glazes sampling.
Create one of a kind pots with that particular ash glaze. See what happens...

Anyway, just a thought. Plus, I have two samples of ash so far.
One from Strick's Bar-B-Que in Hattiesburg, MS and another one from Harned in Paducah, KY.
I have been using Stricks for over two years now and thought other ashes might give special effects. Thus the experiment.

There are several bar-b-q spits here in Kentucky and it would be fun trying the bar-b-q while collecting ashes from the spits to test in glaze recipes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

inclement weather

Frozen in memories....just like these holly berries are the days of inclement weather. On January 26, 2009, Mother Nature sent here crazy cousin, Jack Frost, to Western Kentucky. He must have been coming for the bourbon....
I sat at home and watched the ice fall and sleet accumulate on the ground and roads as I prepared dinner. When we sat down to enjoy the meal the lights went out with a thunderous pop buzz bang! It sounded like a bomb went off next door. We jumped to see what had happened and ran to the window. A huge limb crashed to the ground and ripped down my aunts power lines, which were also our power lines as well. We knew it was going to happen so we searched for some candles and continued to enjoy our meal. We spent the night listening to so many other limbs plummeting to the diamond encrusted floor that Jack had created. It was hard falling asleep that night. CRACK! SMASH! BOOM! THUD! all choreographed with an amazing light show from the transformers blowing through out the night.
The next day was magical. I was eager to get out and around to clip off as many photos of the storm as my camera could hold. I layered my clothes and slid out of the house to find all of Jack's frozen delights sprinkled through out the town.
I say it was magical but it was also saddening too. So many trees had lost their limbs to the weight of the ice and some even topped over shattering their frozen limb Popsicles everywhere. First, I went around the block. Then, meandered throughout the neighborhood. Next, I had to see the river and made my way downtown. What an adventure. Treasures were at every curbside, every angle, simply everywhere I looked. The trees looked like chandeliers shimmering in the sunlight. I quickly filled up my camera with the treasures and nightfall came quickly. More quickly than I expected and I hadn't prepared myself for the night time cold.
I was fine running around and the excitement pumped my veins with warm enthusiasm. But once I sat down, I stopped to listen and there was an eerie cold nothing sound. Thank goodness for natural gas! The fireplace saved me. It filled my imagination with primal thoughts and gave warmth to my cold hands and my dried out my soaked shoes.
The next day it snowed four inches. Most of the limbs fell the first night but now almost every limb fell with the added weight of the snow. I wanted to take more photos, but had filled the memory card completely up. I had to explore more. I jumped on my bike and headed off to see what else had happened. After pedaling for a while you get used to the snow and ice. It really isn't as slippery as walking. I went to the cemetery and rode through all of the smaller streets. The major roads had filled up with sightseers and panicked survivalists. These folks were the ones you had to look out for. They flocked to the stores for gas, batteries, and food. And in that order.