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.

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