I just shipped my three favorite cups from a recent wood-firing to the 2017 Juried Cup Show at Clay Arts Vegas, juried by Nolan Baumgartner. I feel very honored to have had all three cups selected, and I can't wait to see the show on their website when it's up in February, since alas, I can't get to Vegas myself.
I took my Clay Coil Illustration workshop down to Moshier Art Center in Burien, WA over the weekend. I had 12 very enthusiastic students coiling away their day--some of whom had never rolled a coil. They did amazing work. It's fascinating to see all of the different ideas that come forth from people using the same technique; how I inspire them, and how they inspire each other. These ladies were supportive and nurturing of each other. Every time one of them flipped their work to the right side, everyone gathered around, oohed, ahhed and cheered. It was great fun for us all--and I think some of these gals are now hooked on coiling!
I recently ventured to Seattle for a long weekend workshop. After watching my good friend, Isaac Howard, develop and master his soda-firing techniques over the last year as a resident at Pottery Northwest, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in a workshop under his tutelage.
I can't begin to express how much I learned over the course of a few days--and I'm still thinking(and dreaming!) about it a week later. First, I'd never fired a gas kiln, so that was all new. Then, of course, I went into the class expecting it to be very much like wood-firing. As I loaded the kiln (my first time actively having control over the loading and stacking in this way, mind you), I had my experience watching the wood-kiln loaded tucked firmly in the back of my mind as a reference. Well, it turns out that while similar, the two methods of atmospheric firing are very different--which I better understood after the unload. Both methods require careful thought to pot shape and placement, however, stacks that would have created amazing marks in a wood-kiln, were disappointingly dry and blah in the soda-kiln (thus, the shard pile, pictured).
It was a grueling--and sweaty--couple of days with minimal sleep, thoughtful and crazy conversations, and an ever-expanding awareness and understanding of working with clay. And I have some mighty-fine pots to show for it, too.
Here are some pictures from the experience, and in my online shop you'll find the cream of the crop soda-fired pots available for shipping or pick-up now.