Saturday, December 28, 2013

Like a Fish to Water

The beginnings of a barn are emerging at the farm! This will be the new location of my pottery shop, finally close to the kiln and out of my house!
This has involved digging large holes to pour concrete footers for the piers of the barn. Allow me to introduce you to a useful tool here in North Carolina. This is a spud bar or a pry bar (not the man, but the item in his hands):
In North Carolina it is also called a post hole digger. When you hear "post hole digger" you might think of this item in the hands of the man with short shorts in this photograph (on the left):
However, in North Carolina, that item in the photograph above is more of a "Yankee Contraption" (as my brother says), used in a land where the topsoil is thick and the clay is not less than 10 inches below the surface. In the land of clay, the spud bar/pry bar becomes the post hole digger!
So what was my reward for helping dig said large holes that were 24-30 inches wide and 24 inches deep?

Clay! Glorious clay! I think clay is to a potter like fish is to water- natural and unable to exist without the other. The farm does not have any red clay that we have yet found, but rather seams of gorgeous, smooth yellow and gray clay. I have carted off several hundred pounds thus far and intend to keep collecting. I don't have intentions of using the clay to make pots, but rather to experiment with it in order to see what a glaze will look like with a few additional materials.
The above photograph is an exciting preview into a new project I will announce next week. I am really excited and hope you will stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

First printed English Christmas card. Read more about it here:

For whatever holiday you celebrate, may you be in the company of good family and friends, and may those days of celebration be merry! I envy anyone who woke up to a white Christmas this morning!
Historic photograph of kilns in Stoke-on-Trent, England
For all of the potters, I hope this may be a short respite from work. I anticipate getting back into the studio tomorrow and gearing up for some new adventures for the New Year. Happy holidays, y'all!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Markets

The Charlie Brown cedar Christmas tree is up at the Heindl house!
Happy holidays from Liberty Stoneware and Emmaus Farm!

Just wanted to share a reminder that we will be at the Greensboro Farmer's Curb Market tomorrow, December 21st from 7 am- 12 pm and on December 24th from 7 am -12 pm.
We will have lots of carrots, some cabbage, bunching onions, and kale available tomorrow from the farm. Come early if you want veggies!
Our black lab snoozing under the tree
The online Etsy store is also still open, but it's a little late to get things mailed out to arrive before Christmas. Shop for New Year's! Safe travels to everyone who is going out and happy memories for all the holidays and get together's celebrated in the past couple of weeks and the weeks to come.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Last Chance Holiday Shopping!

Slip Cast Porcelain Ornaments

Lots of lovely things are still available on the online Etsy store! If you are not clear across the country, I can likely get things shipped by Christmas Eve if orders are in by this Friday morning.
Here is a taste of what is online:
Compost Crocks

Gorgeous Teapot

Luscious Pitcher

Small Dishes
 This piece below I am particularly fond of, it is my little "beer pig" as I call it, or a small 3/4 gallon keg on legs. It's a lot of work to produce, but boy is it wonderful!
Small keg

We will also be at the Greensboro Farmer's Curb Market this Saturday, December 21st from 7:00-12:00, and again on December 24th from 7:00-12:00. Come visit! Buy veggies AND pottery!
Hollow Slip Cast Ornaments

Here are some more items currently on Etsy:
Wine Cups





Friday, December 13, 2013


I have had an idea in my head for several years, stashing broken pots, and saving bits of pieces that did not survive the kiln firings. I am mesmerized by jewelry made from broken porcelain, and I am a sucker for archaeological anything, so I thought, "why not jewelry made from stoneware?"
A friend helped me with a great saying- "From stoneware to stonewear!" It's an archaeologist's and ceramic geek's dream! (I say this lovingly and playfully, and others who are not archaeologists or ceramic geeks may also take great pleasure in them!)
Earrings made from rims of a mug

I select pieces of broken pottery and break them down into smaller pieces. Then I grind the edges into shapes and make the edges smooth to the touch. Using a large drill press, I then drill a hole through the piece following by a little cleanup with a few tools and then the hanger! The drilling seems to be the trickiest and I am lucky to have another half who has a machining background!

Earrings made from the rim of a dish
I have this jewelry for sale on Etsy as well as at the Greensboro Farmer's Curb Market through Christmas. Stop in and see the upcycled stoneware! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Exciting News- It's a Publication!

No baby announcement as the title may lead you on, but perhaps next to having children is the excitement of publishing an article!
"America's Historic Kilns: A Potter's Perspective" is in the 2013 American Ceramic Circle Journal with an overview of kiln furniture terminology, forms, and kiln styles and firing techniques. To celebrate the publication and "bath day" yesterday, I am going to go cuddle up with this face in the "big person bed" :

Monday, December 9, 2013

Exhibition Open

The exhibition I curated at the North Carolina Pottery Center opened this past Saturday. The exhibition, "Old Ways in Mind: Historical American Pottery and Contemporary NC Potters" explores the influences of historic American pottery on North Carolina potters and their work, their kiln firings, and their decorations.
It has been really great to get the pieces up on the pedestals and see everything together rather than just picturing it in my head.
Michel Bayne and his influence from pottery of the Edgefield District of SC

Matt Jones' jug with lettering and his influence from David Drake of the Edgefield District of SC
Mary Farrell of Westmoore Pottery and her influence from Alamance County, NC pottery

I particularly enjoy seeing the contemporary potters' work paired up with images of, or intact examples of their inspirations or influences.
I also included a section to talk about historic kilns, how they were fired, and how the pots were placed in the kiln. I'll be posting some lessons I learned about kiln furniture from this installation!
Talking about the process for lead glazing and other kiln firings and decorating techniques was also a focus of the exhibition. For the most part, I left the exhibition text with each potter's case in their words, primarily in first person, so the visitor can feel like they are listening to the potter talk about their work while viewing the pottery.
The exhibition is on display through early March, so be sure to stop in for a visit!