Monday, June 24, 2013

Dish Camp

It was a great weekend at Eastfield Village where I have been in the company of pottery enthusiasts, scholars, collectors, and professionals for the annual Eastfield Village workshop weekend focusing on pottery. Here are a few photos from Eastfield:
This is the chapel where we have all of the presentations

This is an original store from the early 1800s

I did a presentation which combined images from my days at Berea, to Winterthur, to my study of historic kilns, my kiln building, and then how I make, decorate, and fire my pots.  It was an excellent opportunity to reflect on my research on historic ceramics, kilns, etc., and how it has impacted my work as a potter.
At Eastfield we are provided with a hearth-cooked meal on Saturday evening, which is always a treat.

After the lovely supper I prepped some pots for the Sunday demonstration and was eaten alive by mosquitoes! When I asked Don Carpentier for a board of wood to put my pots on to set up, he brought me a piece of wood with a tongue, like for tongue and groove paneling or flooring. I said, "oh, what house did that come from?" to which he responded, "Just an 18th-century Dutch house." So there my pots awaited overnight, on their 18th-century Dutch board.

On Sunday I did a demonstration, talking about throwing techniques, contemporary and historical, and how to recognize various methods of pottery manufacture.  I just got back to North Carolina today and made a mad dash for Starworks to get some clay for the coming week's production. Last week or so of wet work before the kiln firing!

Here are a few more images of my demonstration:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Herds of Pots and Kentucky Stoneware

All-farm dinner
 The farm is geared up and running full force into summer and we've been having some exciting all-farm suppers. The photo above is a chicken from the farm, with carrots, beets, potatoes, garlic, and onion, all seasoned with sorghum syrup we grew on the farm last year. Yum!
I've been rampantly making pots in the studio trying to get the bigger pots finished before this week of running around out of the state.

Herds of compost crocks, vases, dishes, water coolers, and other forms have been piling up!
An exciting note from my research on Kentucky stoneware was a recent find that two potters from Maysville, Kentucky in 1836 patented an improvement on a machine for press-molding pottery. Here is a photo of the machine and patented parts:
You can read more about the patent here.
I'm in Kentucky now presenting at the Kentucky Historical Society on "my" Kentucky potters and then off to "Dish Camp" at Eastfield Village in New York tomorrow, keep and eye out on Facebook for photos I may post over the weekend!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Thinking Ahead

I always tell people either when demonstrating, or teaching, that you have to have in mind what you are going to make before you start. Otherwise, if you're thinking about a bowl, but intending to make a mug, it will end up like a weird, wide, funky mug. The photo above shows what I have in mind when I have been making these vases- I see the end result, or have an idea of it in my head while I work.

Lots of bigger pieces have been coming off the wheel this past week as I prepare to do some traveling for lectures and teaching. It's sometimes hard to think 3-4 days ahead in order to have lids finished, pots glazed, and slips on at just the right time, but things seem to be working out somehow.
I'm off to glaze some water coolers and vases- never ending!