Pottery.... Naughty or Nice?


This is It! 
The defining moment of color for Potterycove in 2010. 
Who will be deemed naughty and who will be nice green or blue? 
Only you can decide 
which is naughty 
which is nice.


1) Vote using the poll I created at the top of this article 
2) Leave a comment at the bottom of the page in the comments area.

***If you don’t leave a comment with your contact info I can’t add your name into the draw because I won’t know if you voted and that would be sad cause I am giving away the winning bowl. If you are concerned about privacy please email directly with a comment at kellymoen@potterycove.ca 

The contest is open to everyone and if you are not already a follower of the 30kellys fan page on face book you will need to email me your address at kellymoen@potterycove.ca so I can contact you if you win or simply become a Fan at 30kellys!

Draw takes place New Years Eve
Merry Christmas!

Pottery Contest – And the Winner is……

First and foremost I would like to thank everyone for their involvement and great comments! I look forward to posting the next free give away December 15th for a draw December 31st 2010.

Today at 1 p.m. my co-worker and friend Brad Gibbons of Brad Gibbons Photography, made the official draw out of the names from everyone who voted, commented and clicked the“like” button.

Congratulations to GARY KOZIOL the first winner of our monthly give away.

Your name was chosen out of a hat today by Brad Gibbons Photography among 35 other entries. Thank you for your vote and comments on 30kellys – PotteryCove.

The Winning Mug - Gary:  The blue and white on each other give this mug a cleaner, classier more contemporary look in my opinion. It probably helps that blue is my favorite color!

Pottery Christmas Craft Fair

 My first independent craft fair. I was nervous and excited. Not sure what the day would bring. I think the nervous part came from the possibility of a zero sale day. Although I have never had a zero sale day when the intention was to make a sale, I have to say I was very thankful for my parents, in-laws, and friends who came out to support me and see my wares. They even got into the spirit of things and started to help sell the wares to passers by. It was very motivating and so much fun. I was exhausted by the end of the day but so worth the experience. I can't wait for the next show.

Like your mug!

Win a Free Pottery Mug

The 30kellys Facebook fan page is rebranding to PotteryCove. In celebration I have selected three mugs for a contest.

Pick ONE out of the three mugs that you like the most. Hit the like button AND leave a comment of why you chose that specific mug to like. On November 30th 2010, I will put all the names of those who left a comment AND hit the like button in a hat. I will have a co-worker draw the name of the winner of that particular mug. Free Shipping!

How to throw a Pottery Bowl

*** For my Students


No matter what Clay body you are using or even if you are using porcelain following these steps are a sure fire way to achieve success in any size bowl.

Weights of Clay are 400grms

Step One - Cone Your Clay Up

Step 2 - Cone down, Center and clean up your base

Step 3 - Open your bowl into a V shape
Step 4 - Bring your clay toward the heal of your hand and then up

Step 5 - There May be excess Clay near the bottom, Push in and clean up the base

Step 6 - Pull up and out in a V shape the remainder of clay caused from pushing in the base.

Naked Raku, it’s not Porcelain but still…

The finale to my summer project, crackle glazed hollow donuts for my yard. All I need to do now is find the right tree that goes with this structure to plant along side my driveway.

What did I learn about this project? It was hard, tough, hot, fast, dangerous and exciting all rolled into one moment of reduction.

At the last minute I decided to use a white crackle glaze instead of the naked raku technique. The reason for the sudden change in this project is it is meant for outdoors. Being outdoors, I would need a glaze that can withstand the elements. If the naked raku technique is outdoors it has a greater opportunity of experiencing oxidation and losing its appeal decoratively, compared to being indoors.

The naked raku is still a desire to learn and understand so I have a project slated for the spring. Someone asked me if I would do this project again. I said I would, but the work will of course be smaller and less heavy as it does not need to withstand the winter and I am sure the naked raku will live up to its raw name and beauty.

I put together a small photo slideshow of the process for you, and thanks to everyone at Studio Link for your teachings and friendship!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Inspiration from a bottle?!

I saw this Awesome form in the magazine Ceramic Art Daily. It is truly a wealth of information and inspiration for projects you maybe be looking for as well as a great medium to give clay artists exposure such as Frank James Fisher.
Frank James Fisher was born in 1962 in Detroit, Michigan. Frank is an American ceramic artist. Fisher’s explorations of western raku exaggerate the graphic qualities of his work. Innovative clay construction methods push the limits of complex, ultra-thin porcelain sculptures fired in a raku environment. Fisher has evolved a variety of glaze application techniques, giving his ceramic surfaces a look of controlled chaos.

His ceramic art reveals a narrative of his life or current events found in the media. His most current works not only add beauty to the world but also convey a deep sense of thought toward consumerism. Well that’s what I got from it anyway.

Take a look at his site and let me know what you think and watch for my posting of how my own personal message in a bottle project went. Will it be a work of beauty and thought or a message you do not want to ever speak of again?

Glaze - Lessal White (LESS - AL)

People have asked how I make the Winter Blue set of mugs.

I have to admit it was by trial and much frustration to find the right effect. For those of you who want to try the recipe on your own grab pen and paper or better yet save a tree and cut and copy!

Lasalle White cone 6
Custer Feldspar 30
Silica 22
Whiting 22
EPK 11
Zinc Oxide 7.4
Titanium Dioxide 7.4

If fired over cone 6 it can turn yellow and run. If fired less than cone 6 it can turn blotchy so it is a finicky glaze. Have a go at it and let me know how you did.

Porcelain Dress - Any one for Tea?

When it is Tea Time you are expected to showup in certain dress.

Well it looks as if Artist Li Xiaofeng has done it again, any one for tea?

li xiaofeng is Beijing artist who creates clothing piece made from traditional Chinese ceramics. He makes the clothing from ceramic shards coming from the song, Ming, Yuan and Ging dynasties, which are sewn together on a leather undergarment. Some of his projects include a suit jacket and tie as well as a number of mid-length women’s dresses. In xiaofeng’s studio, piles of ceramic pieces sit in bins sorted by date, colour and shape 

Porcelain vs China

Moby’s not the only one who put porcelain on the map. So did China hence why some dishes we use are called China. Porcelain can informally be referred to as "china" in some English-speaking countries, as China was the birth place of porcelain making  

Porcelain is a ceramic material fired to temperatures between 1,200 °C (2,192 °F) and 1,400 °C (2,552 °F). The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain arise mainly from the formation of glass and the mineral mullite within the fired body at these high temperatures.

I have heard that throwing porcelain on the wheel is much like attempting to make a bowl out of a stick of butter. But I think it may just be the next step or evolution of the Naked Raku donut sculpture I am currently working on.

Accidents happen....

What does Thomas the Train say - Accidents happen now and again
Sometimes just by chance. You gotta pick yourself up and dust yourself down. Put it down to experience.
Lesson # 105.1

What to do when your hard efforts blow up in the kiln.

Time to reflect and say SLOW DOWN!

It was, and is still, going to be a great learning process for me. I have never fired a raku kin for a piece this big before. Maybe I am just crazy but the final imagery that I see in my mind has to be brought to fruition. I can’t stop thinking about it.

You see, when clay or green ware is ready to go into the kiln for a bisque firing it needs to be 100% dry. I thought my sculptures were dry. It had been a week but perhaps they needed two or three to dry completely. If they are not dry you run the risk of having your pieces explode and take out other pieces in the kiln.
I will move on and make another round of sculpture circles/donuts out of high fire clay and let them dry completely this time. I hope you can learn from this over eager beavers mistake! Thanks for sticking with me and I promise you a final product by the end of summer!

Naked Raku

I am about to embark on something hot and naked. No it’s not what you might think! What I would like to introduce to you is an art form from the Japanese ancients. Naked Raku!

So what is Naked Raku?

Naked Raku is the random action of a resist medium (Liquid Clay) combined with the heat of the fire and the kiss of smoke against the clay provides the magic that is "Naked Raku".

A specially formulated thick and gooey medium, the resist, is applied to a previously bisque-fired pot. Immediately placed into a hot raku kiln the medium begins to shrink and crack as it heats and dries. Upon reaching the desired heat (between 1400°F and 1500°F) the pot is removed from the kiln with long tongs and placed in a reduction chamber containing sawdust.

The resulting flames and smoke are contained and controlled by covering the chamber and the pot is permitted to smoke for a few minutes. Then once more the pot is moved----this time it is plunged into a tub of cold water. The medium separates from the pot and the resulting pattern is visible.

Wish me luck and stay tuned for a video post of the final work.

Wares oh Wares that little pot gone

There are many types of clay bodied and glaze compositions. The Following three have been pare for the course of history as it was the Asian culture that inundated the western civilisation style and technique in producing wares.

Pottery comprises three distinctive types of wares. The first type, earthenware, has been made following virtually the same techniques since ancient times; only in the modern era has mass production brought changes in materials and methods. Earthenware is basically composed of clay--often blended clays--and baked hard, the degree of hardness depending on the intensity of the heat. After the invention of glazing, earthenwares were coated with glaze to render them waterproof; sometimes glaze was applied decoratively. It was found that, when fired at great heat, the clay body became nonporous. This second type of pottery, called stoneware, came to be preferred for domestic use.

The third type of pottery is a Chinese invention that appeared when feldspathic material in a fusible state was incorporated in a stoneware composition. The ancient Chinese called decayed feldspar kaolin (meaning "high place," where it was originally found); this substance is known in the West as china clay. Petuntse, or china stone, a less decayed, more fusible feldspathic material, was also used in Chinese porcelain; it forms a white cement that binds together the particles of less fusible kaolin. Significantly, the Chinese have never felt that high-quality porcelain must be either translucent or white. Two types of porcelain evolved: "true" porcelain, consisting of a kaolin hard-paste body, extremely glassy and smooth, produced by high temperature firing, and soft porcelain, invariably translucent and lead glazed, produced from a composition of ground glass and other ingredients including white clay and fired at a low temperature. The latter was widely produced by 18th-century European potters.
Chinese porcelain

It is believed that porcelain was first made by Chinese potters toward the end of the Han period (206 BC-AD 220), when pottery generally became more refined in body, form, and decoration. The Chinese made early vitreous wares (protoporcelain) before they developed their white vitreous ware (true porcelain) that was later so much admired by Europeans.

Regardless of time or place, basic pottery techniques have varied little except in ancient America, where the potter's wheel was unknown. Among the requisites of success are correct composition of the clay body by using balanced materials; skill in shaping the wet clay on the wheel or pressing it into molds; and, most important, firing at the correct temperature. The last operation depends vitally on the experience, judgment, and technical skill of the potter.

Dragon Kilns


This weekend Studio Link is out to the farm to fire some of my wares in a large wood fire kiln.

The difference between wood fire and electric kilns are vast. The results achieved when firing a wood fire or gas fire kiln seem to be the desired technique (reduction firing) by most, but, that is just my opinion and there are just as many arguments for oxidation firing (electric).
The Dragon Kiln has to be one of the most fascinating Kilns I have ever come across. It was use over 2000 years ago. Not just for creative art but for production as well as the kiln could hold 80 000 porcelain pots.
Dragon kilns originated in south China about 2,000 years ago
The extinct dragons lie with heads at the base of the hill and tails at the top. Each kiln had a fire bore, kiln house, and smoke outlet, and could produce about 80,000 porcelain pieces at a time.
The wares were fired at 1100? to 1200? for forty hours or so, and cooled for another 24 before they could be taken out to produce the exotic gold-accented black-glazed porcelain so prized by the Japanese and Koreans

Dragon kiln
1 Door about 75 centimeters (30 in) wide
2 Firebox
3 Stacking floor made of silica sand
4 Dampers
5 Flue
6 Chimney
7 Refractory arch


Crystalline Glazes and Porcelain


Josh Pehrson on Facebook
Working with crystals gives any potter a chance to push the envelope of his or her artistic and technical imagination. If you are looking for a challenge of another dimension and loose a few hairs along the way, look no further than the challenge offered by the combination of porcelain and crystal glazes, especially when fired in a gas kiln. You will be introduced to, if not already known, principles of patience, humility, compassion, and perseverance that will be constant companions on your path to discovering one of the most beautiful and difficult art forms in the world of pottery.

While savaging the internet for pottery techniques, clay bodies, and glaze recipes I happened to fall upon a wonderful You Tube video by Josh Pehrson.

Josh Pehrson was born in 1974 in St. Peter, Minnesota and was raised in Fergus Falls. "My passion has always been to be an inventor every day of my life" says Pehrson. Like so many great artists, his works have taken on many mediums. An accomplished woodworker, he apprenticed for four years at a custom shop in St. Paul where he built, repaired, and restored antiquated pieces of Victorian mansions. A love for designing and building motorcycles has also helped hone many of his talents. He was introduced to wheel thrown pottery by his friend and mentor Lori Charest. Josh's fascination with crystal glazes started three years ago and since then it has become an obsession. Combined with great skill, craftsmanship, and artistic sense, these stunning crystalline pieces reflect his influences from life around him.


Earth to Annie

Have you ever wondered how they do what they do? I had the privilege of discovering Earth to Annie in a wonderful and fulfilling workshop. We learned how to slab build functional wares with texture and my true favourite of the workshop was discovering her creative process and what exactly inspired her work. You can find Earth to Annie on line as well I would recommend adding her Fan Page to your Face book account as this is where you can find an Earth to Annie workshop and enjoy the same experience I did.

Well Done Annie, over and out.

"Life is a garden; I'll make the pots for it."

Ben Wolff has been surrounded by Pottery, Horticulture, and Music his whole life. Ben and his half sister Elizabeth Wolff are third generation artists. Ben’s grandfather, Robert J. Wolff, was an American Abstract artist and a professor of art. His father, Guy Wolff, is a potter, pottery designer and musician.

As a youngster, Ben spent weekends with his father, Guy Wolff, watching him throw pots in his shop in Woodville, Connecticut. Ben first had his hands in clay around the age of 1, and actually threw his first, very small piece at the age of 2. As a teenager, Ben worked on his stepfather’s dairy farm, milking cows. (Terry Tanner Farm, Warren CT) Upon graduating high school, Ben worked in various trades but always made time to make pottery with his father.

Since 1999, Ben has made pottery for both the public and for stores around the country. Ben works out of home in Goshen, Connecticut where he creates all of his pieces by hand on a potter’s wheel. He makes, fires, and ships all of his products with help from his wife, Corinne Wolff. (Puppy Too) The pots Ben makes are based on his own visions and designs, following methods learned at Wolff Pottery and beyond.

What to do with those old tea cups?

li xiaofeng is beijing artist who creates clothing piece made from traditional chinese ceramics.
he makes the clothing from ceramic shards coming from the song, ming, yuan and qing
dynasties, which are sewn together on a leather undergarment. some of his projects include

a suit jacket and tie as well as a number of mid-length women’s dresses. in xiaofeng’s studio,
piles of ceramic pieces sit in bins sorted by date, colour and shape. ‘save as: contemporary
chinese art born of ancient traditions’ currently running at the virginia miller gallery is his
exhibition debut outside of asia. the show runs until february 28, 2009.

500 Bowls

While venturing back to my clay roots I thought it best to take advantage of free knowledge. I could not believe the vast depth there was on line in regards to the pottery trade. I am sure Simon Leach, a third generation potter, has to have the most instructional video on You Tube.

I have found that the social networking site You Tube and other on line communities have been a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. As much fun as it is creating bias masterpieces for my mantle and friends I have to admit the home work is very task orientated as most foundation homework is.

My goal was to take 6 months and throw 500 cylinders, 500 bowls and 500 Plates. This would allow me to rediscover the simple mechanics of throwing clay, much like getting back on the bike or learning to drive.

With simple mechanics of hand movements, clay and speed of the wheel I was sure I would gain my once lost skill from days past. Simply focus and practice, practice, practice until it is second nature

Weights of Clay are 400grms

Step 1 - Cone your clay up

Step 2 - Centering down and clean up the base

Step 3 - Opening the Clay in a V shape

Step 4 - Bring the clay toward the heal of your hand and up

Step 5 - Pull the clay up and out at the same time

Step 6 - There may be excess clay near the bottom. Push the bottom in, and then pull up into your simple bowl shape.

The Potter

What a wonderful Video interpretation of pottery. Student and mentor, bringing the clay to life, giving the vessel breath. True Magic! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Asian influence of pottery

An area of style and technique of my mentors is heavily inspired by Asian influence. It is amazing how this style of pottery can feel so elegant and still look so clunky. While searching the web for more information on this style that I could study I found a four part video I wanted to share with you. I found it interesting how they can create the same piece over and over and the care that they take in the process from start to finish.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Thanks for watching, please remember to subscribe to my channel

What a wonderful wonderful woman and artisan, Best part of my day!

This Following Exerpt is from a video done by VIDEOCERÁMICA

Fantastic Artisan, Amazing Woman

BEATRICE WOOD was born in San Francisco in 1893 and passed away in Ojai, California nine days after her 105th birthday on March 12, 1998. She attributed her longevity to "young men and chocolates."

Wood sspent time in Paris during her late teens. Studying art briefly at the Academie Julian, she was soon attracted to the stage and moved to the Comedie Francaise. She returned to the United States in 1914 and joined the French Repertory Theater in New York. While visiting the French composer Edgar Varese in a New York hospital in 1916, she was introduced to Marcel Duchamp. She soon became an intimate friend of the painter and a member of his recherche culturelle clique, which included Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Albert Gleizes, Walt Kuhn, and others. As a contributor to Duchamp's avant-garde magazines, Rogue and the Blindman, she produced drawings and shared editorial space with such luminaries of the day as Gertrude Stein. In 1933, after she purchased a set of six luster plates in Europe, she returned to America and wanted to produce a matching teapot. It was suggested that she make one at the pottery classes of the Hollywood High School. Of course, she would later laugh about that weekend and reminisce about how foolish she was in thinking she could produce a lustre teapot in one weekend. But she was hooked. She began to read everything she could get her hands on concerning ceramics. Around 1938 she studied with Glen Lukens at the USC, and in 1940 with the Austrian potters Gertrud and Otto Natzler. She remembers being "the most interested student in [Lukens's] class and certainly the least gifted...." "I was not a born craftsman. Many with natural talent do not have to struggle, they ride on easy talent and never soar. But I worked and worked, obsessed with learning." From that time on, Wood developed a personal and uniquely expressive art form with her lusterwares. Her sense of theater is still vividly alive in these works, with their exotic palette of colors and unconventional form. In 1983 the Art Galleries of California State University at Fullerton organized a large retrospective of the artist's sixty-six years of activity as an artist. Remarkably, it was during the artist's nineties that Wood produced some of her finest work including her now signature works, tall complex, multi-volumed chalices in glittering golds, greens, pinks and bronzes. Until shortly before her death she was producing at least two one-woman exhibitions a year and the older she became, the more daring and experimental her work was.

Wood received numerous honors. She was given the Ceramics Symposium Award of the Institute for Ceramic History in 1983 and the outstanding-achievement award of the Women's Caucus for Art in 1987, the year she was made a fellow of both the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts and the American Craft Council which also gave her the gold medal on her 100th birthday. She also received the Governor's Award for Art in 1994, and was made a "living treasure of California" by the state in 1984. Wood took part in hundreds of exhibitions both solo and group since the 1930's ranging from small craft shows, to showing on the Venice Biennale. From 1981 until her death, she was represented by the Garth Clark Gallery. In 1990, her close friend and art historian Francis Naumann organized a major retrospective of her figurative work which appeared at the Oakland Museum and The Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. In 1997 the American Craft Museum organized "Beatrice Wood: A Centennial Tribute," a touring exhibition. In 1985 Wood published her autobiography, I Shock Myself . She continued to write, publishing many books. In 1993 she was the subject of an award winning film Beatrice Wood: Mama of Dada by Lone Wolf Productions.

Beatrice Wood continued to throw on the wheel until June, 1997. She achieved some of her best lustre works in the 90s. Her last figurative work, "Men With Their Wives" was completed in December 1996 and is currently in a private collection in California.

Emerald Green Demise

With much effort my kiln came to its demise over the Emerald Green Glaze I had posted last month. My first Cone 6 firing in my own kiln went very well until I could no longer look through the peep hole. My kiln ended up cooked and the pottery inside was over done. What happens to over done pottery you ask? Well, it melts of course. So my last couple of days off was repairing the damage I had done, and re-firing the kiln with a better eye on the cones. I did manage to pull off the best firing I have ever done in my life! I have attached the pictures for you to see the beautiful Emerald Green Glaze and if you would like to see more of my work please see the links below.

30kellys Fan page

My Pottery Videos

Wares for Sale