Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kicks, bats and geeze those suck!


The dugong is a sea faring mammal  that is pretty darn ugly.  In this picture for instance, it looks like a cross between a rock and a vacuum cleaner.

And now for a quick update on Battlestar Galactica.  The original 1978 series is complete.  Despite the sometimes simple story lines and the rather crude 70's production value, it was a good show.  Season one left off with what would have been a nice segue into season two...if there was a season two.  Instead it picked back up in 1980... and was terrible.  All kinds of weird stuff going on, like super powered boy scouts.  I stopped watching it.

Now, for studio news.
I got a new pair of kicks for the studio...do the kids still says "kicks"?
I finally wore a hole through the Croc type sandals that I had been wearing, so it was time to get a new pair of something to cover my feet. 
Originally I was looking at legitimate Crocs, but apparently they cost a little more than I was willing to spend.  I even looked for off-brand Crocs, but to no avail.  I finally settled on this pair of...whatever you want to call them.  Shoes would be good I guess.  The only problem was that they were not water proof.  Were I said.  I also purchased a can of spray on water-proofer and sprayed the curse word out of them.  Now I can saunter in and out of the studio without soiling my socks.  Huzzah.

I also recently got a nifty little plaster bat system.  What's that you say, a system of bats made of plaster?!  That's right friend!  I now have an entire system with which I can create bats made of plaster for mere pennies!
I got molds for a 13" flat bat and a 14" plate.  Here are a couple of the plate bats patiently drying.
And here they are after using them to throw a couple 10" lunch plates.
Roll out a slab, throw it on the plaster bat, rib it smooth and add/throw a coil on the bottom for a foot ring.  No struggle centering large amounts of clay; no trimming; these things save a vast amount of time.  The plates actually turned out a lot flatter than I thought they would.  I was able to put them back on the wheel right side up and pull the rim up a bit though.  They are not perfect.  It will just take a little practice figuring out how to get these things right. 

And here we have a bird-man-thing.
I am trying to make more of these things.  I have plans for them...maybe...maybe.  I think this guy still needs something, though.  I was toying around with wings, but I'm not sure if that is right.  Any suggestions?

And finally, I have been playing around with the rims on my ice bucket/wine cooler things.  Apparently I get bored rather easily, so I have decided to change things up a bit.
They have a wavy, undulating, asymmetrical thing going on.  They are loosely based on the work/techniques of Martha Grover.  I am not very happy with them so far.  The forms are weak to be sure, and the alteration needs a little more symmetry, but there is definitely potential. 

Ok, that is all for now.  Up next...dragons are real!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Custom geekery, the big restock and a surprising lack of content...

I recently started watching the  cult sci-fi classic Battlestar Galactica.  Not the newer version, but the original 1978 series.  I am not really sure why I started watching this, but it has been mildly amusing.  Imagine a Star Wars TV show.  The production is pretty disappointing though.  I know, it is from 1978, but once you have seen what is possible it is hard to go back to 70's production value.
Right now I am slogging through the last 11 episodes of the original series so I am caught up before I start in on the 2004 continuation of the series, which (I hope) will surely be made better.

On to the surprising lack of content, especially for a two week hiatus.
 The sell-out pumpkins are all finished up.  Well, mostly.  The bottoms still need to be sanded and such, but they are out of the kiln. 
I like how the brown ones turned out but I wish I would have added some color to the white ones.  They are just a tad too...sterile?  sparse?  I don't know; something is just not quite there.  No mishaps or stuck lids or anything though, so that is good.

 And here we have a few planters I have been working on lately.  They bear a more folk-y style in their decoration...a bleed over from the red earthenware cups I have been making.  And I just realized that I never took any pictures of the cups after they were decorated!  Well, suffice it to say the decoration theme was more folk/traditional than what I usually do.  And now that is starting to influence my other work apparently.

Below is a picture of some custom geekery.  Not sure if it is really evident through the blog, but every now and then I get a little geeky.  Not in the biting the heads off chickens sort of way (although I can't say I have ruled that out yet), but in the gadgets, comics, sci-fi sort of way.  That is why it was kind of fun to get an order for a computer geeky, fortress of solitude surprise mug.  It would be better if I knew exactly what kind of geeky this individual was, but I guess a computer is as good a start as any.
And in the background you may spy a custom oval planter featuring a pheasant.  Quite a bit of detail going into that one what with the feathers and all.

This past Saturday I made a run up to Krueger Pottery in St. Louis to get more clay.  I was down to my last 25 lbs then...
...Shazam!  1100 pounds of fresh clay!  1000 of the utility Laguna B mix for the regular ware, then an extra 100 lbs of L & R Red Earth for further explorations into the earthenware genre.  I am always surprised at how little space one thousand pounds of clay takes up.  

And finally, something completely unrelated to pots.  
For a while we have had a small fire pit thing on the back patio.  I have spent many hours on many brisk spring or fall evenings enjoying the fires it contained.  The only problem was that it was completely contained by metal mesh lattice stuff; top, bottom and all four sides.  This meant that the heat was also somewhat contained and any wood used had to be cut pretty small to fit in.
So this past weekend I got a wild hair and decided to build a new fire pit out of a pile of extra patio bricks that has been sitting around for the past 4 years or so.  
I think I will end up buying a few more bricks to even out the top.  The barrel will be cut down so it is shorter than the bricks...or I could build bricks up around it and make a mini barrel kiln!  No...no I am probably not going to do that...yet.  Either way, I have already spent a few hours enjoying the warmth emanating from the fiery barrel.  And with pieces of wood as tall as me!  No more cutting wood into bite sized pieces! 

And with that I am done.  Up next...dugong!