Sunday, December 9, 2007

time passes

Carbon Trap firing with Sue was not a success. I hear some pieces came through with interesting surfaces, many didn't. Technical issues made for great difficulty. Looking forward to seeing the work... and posting some images soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

cold spring unloading

Woke up to a few snow flakes mixed with rain, and then the sky cleared for a fine cold fall day's unloading in Cold Spring. Tony Moore's kiln held a large amount of work... many fine pieces emerged this morning. I'm on a big learning curve, and discovered more about clay bodies and how they act in wood firing. Heard several people recommend Sheffield T-1 stoneware for wood firing due to it's tendency to produce excellent comet trails when hit by flame. Dan G. recommends Archie Bray porcelain -- and with it he's achieved beautiful color on all of his pieces.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

irrational profusion

This excellent group show is well worth the trip...

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents Irrational Profusion: Nicole Cherubini, Marc Leuthold, Joyce Robins, and Peter Schlesinger. The works of these four artists produce a diverse contemporary dialogue on the traditional medium of clay. Through their incorporation of unconventional materials including rabbit fur, gold chains, and paint, as well as their references to painting, drawing, and sculpture, these artists share an interest in pushing the boundaries of and contributing to the medium’s possibilities .This group exhibition is on view in the First Floor Drawing Gallery from September 28 through January 14, 2008.
Irrational Profusion
On view September 28 through January 14, 2008

Thursday, November 15, 2007

cold spring firing

Had a marvelous experience firing with Tony Moore and crew in Cold Spring last week. Tony's kiln is beautifully designed -- efficient, large yet compact. Enjoyed stoking with old and new friends. My circle is expanding as I meet more folk who are into wood firing. I forgot my camera, this shot of Bill taken with my phone. Unloading coming up this Sunday. I will remember my camera!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

one more day

Firing begins at Tony Moore's anagama/noburigama kiln tomorrow! I'm eager to experience the kiln -- how will it differ from the Anagama at Peter's Valley? This and more to come in few days, including pics of the kiln on fire.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

back to fire

6 AM up and early drive to arrive 9 AM to a beautiful windy and chilly fall day at Tony Moore's kiln in upstate NY. Met many new people during the loading. Was glad to see old friends Sue and Paul and Jane from past firings at Peter's Valley and Sue Kotulak's gas kiln.
Tony packed the first chamber tight and clean. I smiled to see that my work - including a first teapot, tea cups, bowls and vases - showed evidence of increased skill. The sun began to set and I had to leave. The loading wasn't yet complete and may spill over into tomorrow. I forgot my camera but a few friends promised shots, and when they arrive will post them here. Will drive back up this Wednesday to be part of the four day firing.
Anticipation growing.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Rupert Ravens Contemporary gallery opened last night in Newark, NJ, with a spectacular group show entitled Sanctuary. My piece, Energizer, is installed in front of the second floor window. This detail shot (thank you Carl Hazelwood for the image!) offers a feel of the sculpture at night. Spotlights focused on the work generate a blue cast, and it reflects light and colors from passing traffic. I'm delighted to be surrounded by the likes of Agnes Denes and Vija Celmins. With 30,000 sq. ft of exhibition space, Rupert Ravens Contemporary is the largest commercial gallery in New Jersey.

Monday, October 22, 2007

work in progress

Here's a peek at a sculpture in progress. No, it's not part of my current ceramics obsession, and it is part of an ongoing series of sculptural installations engaging light with monofilament in space. I promise this piece will be completed this week as it's part of the opening show at
Rupert Ravens Contemporary gallery 85 Market Street in Newark, opening this Friday, October 26th 6-10PM. There's going to be some serious partying going on starting with Shabazz HS drum corps on the sidewalk at 6, R&B group lil bastad and more will perform in the gallery.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

prep days

Tony Moore's wood firing is three weeks away, and Sue Kotulak will be doing a carbon trap firing in her excellent gas kiln soon. In preparation, I'm steadily producing work. Mostly I'm making tea cups, bowls and vases. Using the ceramics studio at the day job, I'm able to make an average of three vessels daily. The electric kiln at work has a glitch and the hold function isn't working, so ample time is needed for air drying before bisque. A friend gifted me a small electric kiln last year. Its a basic model, no automatic timing here, but it will be fantastic to have the option to bisque work in my own studio -- time to have a heavy duty electrical outlet installed so that I can run it. This weekend my daughter, who is studying at SVA and living in Brooklyn, came home for a visit. We went into the studio and threw pots together - what a delight! I'm planing on including her work in the wood firing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

fire bitten

This pot, from my current work exploring volume and fullness, came out of the PV anagama firing... porcelain with helmer slip, approx six inches tall by seven inches wide.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

more anagama images

pics arriving in waves this week ... here from ariel, some great shots of the anagama firing.

the mighty Quinn

Quinn Kimball -- Pianist, Singer, Conductor and anagama firing freak has sent a link to his super videos of the Peters Valley August 2007 firing on youtube
Thanks for sending the CD with images Quinn!

gavin's excellent pics

Gavin Noyes ceramic artist, assistant at the August PV anagama firing and pizza visionary, has sent a link to images from the firing. Check them out at
Gavin writes:
"I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone and experiencing the firing of this great kiln. Highlights for me included: swimming in the Delaware River, eating all the fresh fruit and veges from the farm stands, learning how differently this kiln fires, seeing the wild turkeys, enjoying all the great scenery at Peters Valley, playing the craziest game of HORSE imaginable, ping pong, watching over a thousand pieces go into a single kiln, and finally seeing the excitement on everyone's faces as greeted the results of all our hard work."

"Since returning to Utah I've been busy getting ready for a November firing..."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

wood firing coming up

I'm discovering that the world of potters and ceramic artists doing wood firings is fairly close knit. Sue Kotulak received word that sculptor Tony Moore, who has a Noborigama/Anagama kiln is doing a wood firing in early November. I'm just back from helping stack wood in preparation. Yikes, this is exciting... another wood firing !

Monday, October 1, 2007

gas firing with kotulak

Sue Kotulak invited me up to bring some work for her gas firing Friday, re-fires allowed. It was a clear cool fall afternoon and the landscape on the drive up was beautiful. So I brought up a few pieces that had awkward ash left from the last wood fire. After a warm welcome from Sue we set about loading my pots. Then Paul Boucher arrived and we completed the loading and fired up the kiln. Temps had to stay low as many pots had been outside and needed to dry slowly. We talked over wine and dinner. The strategy for the firing was discussed and we settled in for a long nite. I lasted till just before 3 AM. Sue and Paul staggered their rest periods as they kept watch over climbing kiln temp. At 7 AM I was up, and excitied to see the firing was well under way. Paul had to take off at Noon. I was happy to be able to stay till 5. Sue led us on a walkabout of the property. And then she taught me to use her new hydraulic extruder -- wow, that is a cool tool! The end of the visit came all too soon. Many thanks Sue for a wonderful experience!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


August 2007 Peters Valley, NJ. Four day firing begins.

John Dix stirs embers

I'm stokin'

late work hours leads to ... but seriously, bandanas, sunglasses and hats required attire for feeding the fire

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Loading the anagama kiln

1000 objects were loaded over two days.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Our fearless leader at Peters Valley August 2007, John Dix, master potter from Japan, working in the Bizen tradion.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

sore muscles testify to the week's work

Work made the week before the firing, drying in the sun. Missing is a photo of the big black bear crossing the road a mile from the kiln... we were in a car and um, quite relieved to not be on foot!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


This summer I was introduced to wood firing at Peters Valley in Layton, NJ. Now I find myself smitten by the fire bug. With yearning and joy I recollect this first experience with fire:

John Dix, master ceramic artist living in Japan and working in it’s ancient clay tradition, was resident artist. He spent a week demonstrating traditional and innovative approaches to making vessels, and a second week managing the anagama firing. Many thanks to Bruce Dehnert, director of the ceramics program at PV for all the amazing prep and support. Studio assistants Danny Crumb and Cori Beardsley, and Charles Lid, ceramics instructor in New Brunswick, NJ, did a lot of the grunt work in kiln prep, and all twelve participants pitched in loading and stacking over a thousand pieces of work. Finally we worked in teams round the clock, stoking the kiln every 10 - 15 minutes. Temperatures grew -- it was fascinating to witness the fire's life growing as the temps peaked, stall out and then begin climbing again. By the end of the fourth day temperature was in excess of 2300 degrees. It would take five days for the kiln to cool down enough to unload and see how the firing turned out. And we were delerious with anticipation. Finally the day came for unloading