Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mountain Update

The past few months have been a whirlwhind... we transitioned MudFire to a new management team, moved to the mountains, got busy in our little basement studio for fall shows, started building a new studio building, had bunches of visitors, spent time in Asheville, and.... WENT TO DOLLYWOOD!

We're super-excited to get our new studio setup. Here are a couple in progress shots. You can view more and stay in touch with new additions via the Flickr set.






Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Big Changes

I'm sorry, my friends, for not posting in so long. Life has taken a major series of turns. It's exciting!

Long and short, my lovely lady Luba and I decided last year it was time for a major change. The glamour and attraction of city life had faded and we had a major hankerin' for some tree time and some serious fixin' to pottery-make. You see already my language is affected.

Speaking of pots, there are two must-see pottery shows in the Southeast this coming weekend. A good distance apart, so we'll let it slide if you just hit one.

We are showing with a huge, gigantic, ultra-mega large group of artists at Fired Works in Macon, Georgia. A quick drive from Atlanta. Did we mention there are a lot of artists?

Also, we were tickled pink to be invited to show with a group of our pottery heroes up in North Carolina at the Madison County Potters Market. We were actually tickled bright red, a deep purple, a glowing orange and every other kind of tickled. This is a top notch group and we're a little overwhelmed to be included.

Madison County Potters Market



OK, back to changes. Basically, we lined up an awesome group of conspirators to take the reins at MudFire, allowing us to head north into the hills real soon. We are confident that MudFire is on a newly re-energized path to even more mega-awesomeness. And we have some big plans for the future to fine tune this year.

In the meantime we'll be making pots and growing food (sans-Monsanto) up in Appalachia. Note field. Note tractor. Here we come.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Please Help

I'm excited to be participating in a breast cancer fundraiser called Barbells for Boobs thru CrossFit East Decatur next door. I hope you can help support my fundraising goal by donating at...

https://support.barbellsforboobs.org/individual-fundraising/erikhaagensen/

Together we can save lives by helping provide mammograms and other cancer screening services for the low income and underinsured. Thank you for your support!


Friday, August 24, 2012

New Image Gallery

I'm just back from several months of field research, and happy to be back on my home planet. After years of quietly observing the Critter Pack on planet Snacklandia, I have finally made inroads and begun to earn there trust. They are beginning to reveal information about the flora and fauna of their settlements and allowing me brief glimpses of their social interactions.

I have documented this information on a series of new pots, with samples viewable as a gallery on my artist website. MudFire will be having an online sale in September too, you can stay tuned for news there via the quick signup form.

This new work will also be available at FRANK, Crimson Laurel, MudFire, YoungBlood, the Perspectives pottery sale in Watkinsville, and shows at Cedar Creek Gallery and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. I also had a cup juried by Pete Pinnell into the upcoming cup show at the University of Missouri. Busy summer!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer Shows



Pottery people! We are rocking and rolling along at MudFire and sending a lot of pots out into the wild world too. Here's a quick recap of places to scout out some critter pots this summer...

MudFire.com has a big selection of cups available for immediate shipment.

Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville, NC, just got a shipment of new work.

Swan Coach House has several pieces for their annual Summer Swan Invitational.

I'm excited to be included in the upcoming Form and Image show at AKAR Design. The show will be online starting July 6. My work is included with a small group of other artists that use decals and image transfer processes.

Claymakers in Durham, NC, is hosting a show for myself and some fellow MudFirefarians -- Dow Redcorn and Luba Sharapan. We'll each have a sizable body of new work for the show which opens July 20, 2012.

I dropped off some new work at Young Blood Gallery in Atlanta recently too.

Later in the summer I will be in the annual Perspectives show featuring 50 Georgia potters in Watkinsville, GA.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Here They Come

I've just wrapped up a huge effort decorating over 200 works that had accumulated while I was testing and moving over to a new decorating process. I'm thrilled with the results, and can't wait to start making new forms specifically for this process. I'd stopped decorating for about three months while I made the switch.

Here's one that image that shows a variety of approaches possible... the process and firing for each mug were slightly different. You can visit my website or Facebook page to view a gallery of more pots from this series.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why Decals?

The test tiles came out of the kiln this morning, and the color from our new ceramic decal printer is amazing. Check out these photos of real fired-on ceramic overglaze. This lead-free color system is fired onto the pots to 1500 F. I'll be writing more about this journey in the coming days but wanted to start with a post adressing the question....Why switch to decals?


For years I have been drawing little critters and captions on my pots using a range of high-fire overglazes I developed. I initially used a calligraphy pen but switched more and more to a slip trailer. I've always enjoyed doodling on paper and this was the closest technique I could make work in ceramics. I had experimented previously with mishima, sgraffito, maijolica painting, and straight up glaze brushwork. Both the process and quality of line for the overglaze drawings were very liberating and exciting and special, and worked great for quick, black & white drawings.

Over time I began experimenting with color overglazes, drawing overglaze around glazed colour swatches, and achieving a different feel using varied line weight. I was happy with a lot of the results, but my overglaze drawing technique did feel like it was limiting. The color pallete felt constrained because I was firing high (cone 6), base glaze requirements and likely because of chemical interactions with the frits and ceramic stains in the overglaze.

 While I love the pots and will continue working in this manner, I was eager to try new things.


I had several goals when I decided to evaluate and test the use of decals...

A) Speed. The drawing was the longest part of the process and I had a backlog of pots piling up to draw on. If I spent too much time drawing I would yearn for some wheel time, go throw some, and then realize I now had an even bigger backlog to decorate. Also, if I drew for more than a few hours, my slip trailer hand would cramp up. By drawing once on paper, scanning, and printing limited editions, I am hoping to speed up the decorating phase and keep up with my throwing.

B) Varied Line Weight. I wanted to experiment with varied line weight to achieve a slightly more sophisticated or accomplished drawing.

C) Wider color range. The combination of my base glaze, firing temperature, and frits really limited the colored overglaze "inks" to a handful of colors I liked. Perhaps more testing was in order, but I tested A LOT of options to arrive at that handful.

D) Multi-media. I am interested in lavishing attention on my original drawings on paper, using fine line, colored pencil, watercolor, pastels, etc. Then I can scan these and create decals for my pots. I can also sell the original drawings and/or editions of giclee prints.

E) Base glaze options. With the process I developed, I really only had one base glaze that worked well. Luckily it was the first one I tested because it was my most favorite glaze. However, feeling constrained chafed a bit. I'm sure I could have tested other glazes with other overglaze options using the same application method, but... I'm a dork. I like technology.

In the meantime, here are my first quick tests, using scanned drawings and Photoshop to add color...


I'll post more results as the experiment progresses. You can also read more about the printer evaluation and purchase on the MudFire blog, where I've got a parallel post with a different focus.