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...

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... 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.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It Begins

We have just launched a new MudFire blog and are really excited. We've got a ton of posts and articles in the works and will frequently have cool art, studio member profiles, best of kiln photos, how to and technique information, and all other sorts of art, clay, and community goodness.

The first post is a cool video made at Burning Man, without which, perhaps there would be no MudFire? Perhaps it was inevitable but it sure speeded us along.

Visit the New MudFire Blog