Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tom Turner Visit

Tom Turner visited my class at Penland last week and invited us out to his house to see his studio and view his collection of pottery.
The man is very precise in his work and very intelligent in his approach to making beautiful pots.  After 50 years in the pottery making business he should be.
This picture shows only some of his glaze testing work.  I'm not sure I have the patience to do this, do you?  
His collection is amazing, he's got pots from many different countries, famous and not so famous potters from America and even 1000 year old pieces from China.  He also offers three day workshops where the student works right next to him.  I think it might be a bit awe inspiring. 

Other Stuff:

Tom Turner  
Glaze Testing 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pottery Notes

Here are the pots that I brought home from the Tom White workshop at Penland School of Crafts.  I also made a few mugs that I sold or donated to the school and Mitchell county animal shelter and a couple of goblets that were auctioned off at the end of session auction, which is a lot of fun and a place to get some great art deals.

Most of these pots do not represent my best work by any means.  I did not go to Penland to make great work while I was there.  I went to learn how to make better pots.  I think of these pots as my notes.  When I was in a class in school and needed to take notes I did not focus on proper spelling, grammar and penmanship.  I focused on getting down the information that I needed to remember, to have a reference place where I could find information when I needed it.  That's what these pots are, they are my notebook and a reminder of what to do, and what not to do to repeat the processes that I learned in the workshop.  I really think that is the best way to approach a craft workshop.  What do you think?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Shopping At Cousins in Clay

The Cousins in Clay sale is at Michael Klein's studio this weekend.  Michael and Bulldog Pottery of Seagrove, NC have teamed up to bring us a wonderful collection of pots.  Since Michael's place is only 10 minutes from Penland I was more than happy to head over there to check it out.  Of course I made a purchase and when Michael was filling out the receipt he recognized my name which was quite thrilling for this emerging artist.  That lead to an invitation to stay for lunch and a tour of the studio and wood kiln.  I felt like a kid in a candy store.  Michael's wife, Stacey Lane came home and we were introduced.  I've seen her here at Penland as she was teaching a metals class.  It was great to see how inspired she was by the student's work.  I love thinking about how cyclical teaching can be; the teachers inspire the students who inspire the teachers.
It was also fun to meet Samantha Henneke and Bruce Gholson of Bulldog Pottery.  They are very sweet people who also made me feel very welcome and at home.  It was interesting talking to them about Seagrove and the potter's there and how things have been evolving the past few years.  They've further inspired me to visit Seagrove.  Like I need another excuse.
If you're near Backersville, NC do try to stop by the show, you won't be disappointed. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mushrooms of Penalnd

Probably because of the amount of rain in the woods around Penland huge variety of Mushrooms grow here.  Rumor has it that Lucy Morgan, the founder of Penland School of Crafts, used mushrooms as a table center piece for an important dinner.  I can only guess that the guests must have been enchanted by this creative setting.
While hiking I took some pictures to share with you.
Looks like Coral

Love the contrasts on this one

I call this a sunset mushroom

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Michael Klein Visit

Michael Klein came to Penland as a guest artist. He gave a great demo about his surface decorating technique. He talked about how he pigments his wax, how he maps out drawings and even how to best care for brushes. It was quite informative as well as fun.Michael Klein Decorates a Bowl BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kiln Unloading

Lucille and Julia are finished cooling. We unloaded Lucille already and have learned a few things from the firing. We also saw quite a few nice pots. Now we're reloading her and will unload Julia shortly. Lucille Julia BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Firings

Last night the kilns were loaded and the firing started. We are firing two kilns, Lucille, a salt kiln and Julia the salt and soda kiln. The fire is always exciting, especially as the sun starts setting over the Penland hills.Lucille Julia BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Friday, August 19, 2011

Phone both

Here's Tom White making a phone call in the new salt kiln at Penland. We suspect he also changes into his super potter cape in there. It's been a great workshop. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Penland Bone Yard

Here are some of the pots in the bone yard shelf in upper clay. How many potters do you recognize? BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Friday, August 12, 2011

Going to Penland School of Crafts

The truck is all washed and packed up, I'm heading to Penland to help out at the auction and then take a two week workshop with Tom White.  I'm really excited, not only because it's such a great place, I'll see some old friends and make some new ones and I'll learn a lot.
Last year when I was there I didn't post as much as I wanted to because of the difficulties getting away from the clay and to my computer.  This year I have an app for that on my iPod touch.  I love this little gadget but I promised myself not to become a slave to it but rather to use it as a tool for entertainment and productivity.  I'll have to find the setting that turns off the sound whenever and email arrives.
Speaking of tools, here's my travel bag of tools.  It's many of the tools I normally use while creating my pots, and some extras that I seldom use.  I tend to use just a few simple, standard tools but you never know what you'll need in a workshop.
Do you have a large tool collection?  Do you use them all very often?

Other Stuff:
Penland Benefit Auction
Tom White Pottery
Atlanta Clay Store - source for pottery tools
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Other People's Pots - Berkshire Pottery Lamp

Like many of you I have a nice collection of pottery that I didn't make.  I have a good selection of pots I did make but could not sell for some reason like the pot has a defect or Janet couldn't part with it, but I also have pots I've bought or traded throughout the years.  Since the people that read this blog seem to like pottery for one reason or another I thought I'd take some pictures of these pots in use and post them periodically.  They are too nice not to share.
The first piece I want to show you was made by Berkshire Pottery in the 1970's or 80's.  This is the era when I first fell in love with pottery due to a ceramics class I was taking in High School.  The pottery is located in the area in the New York state mountains where my family used to vacation for a couple of weeks every summer.  The picturesque setting, peaceful way of life and connection to the land was very attractive to me even as a kid.  Even though I currently live in the city I live in an old farm house and grow some of my own veggies.  I guess it's still attractive to me today too.
If memory serves me correctly this lamp was given to me by my parents as a birthday present.  It has traveled all around the country with me and has not been broken or lost.  I'm not sure I can say that about anything else that I own.
I love the style of this lamp, it's very old school European and speaks of art as function.  I love the color of this earthenware and the simple design.  I think I learned about wax resist from studying pieces from Berkshire pottery.
I'll post more pieces in the coming months, keep checking back here.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, August 8, 2011

Inman Park Crawl Sat Aug 13

Come Crawl through Inman Park this Saturday!92.9 dave fm presents the very first Inman Park Neighborhood Crawl happening this Saturday from 11am-6pm.

dave fm's Sully will be hosting the crawl from 11am-1pm live from the new Zhaddy's Cafe. Shoppers are encouraged to visit the  participating Crawl businesses (including us!) for your chance to win gift certificates at each location between 11am-6pm.

One grand prize winner will get to pick their own prize, by selecting up to FIVE gift certificates from the places they visited!


This is a great way to meet our neighbors, discover a new favorite business and simply enjoy the neighborhood!

Learn more about the Inman Park Neighborhood Crawl

Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter


Amalgum Arts
A Fine Line  
Barkha's Custom Sourcing
Bear Maker Bakery
C Glass
Claire Was Here
Crusty Bakery 
Frock of Ages
Future Relics Pottery
Ideas are Us
Inca Kids
Ginger the Knitter
Gorilla Sacks
Hirsch Glass
Jen Liam 
Joe Mcknight Photography
J William Hill 
King Pen
Kristen Lee Jewelry Designs 
LG Designs
LeAnn Christian Glass Art 
Luna Potenia Designs
M* Jewelry
Marian Collier Designs 
Marsha, Marsha, Marsha Jewelry
Nanjeng East
NJ Edge Designs
Peace of Fe
Nelms Creekmore
Redstilts Designs
Rodina Kanfeld 
Sally B's Skin Yummies
Scott Elrod Garden Art 
Sirius Silver
Southeast Succulents
Suz Seams
The Pop Shop
The Uncommon Finch 
Those Barrett Twins
Tutta Bella 
Wieda Duncan Fabric Art
Winsome Expressions
You Look Hungry 

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Got Testimonials?

By Martha Carnahan, Business & Life Coach

So many entrepreneurs tell me they want to get some great testimonials… but they put this task on the back burner. They also claim it’s a pretty easy thing to do… and yet, they have few or none to include in their marketing. If it’s so easy, why haven’t they done it?

Because, like many things, collecting testimonials is “easy,” but complex at the same time. For most of us, it feels a little weird to ask people to say nice things about you. What if you come off as a pest? What if the customer says “yes” and then writes up a quote that doesn’t sound very good? What if the customer never gets around to it, and now you have to nag them?  Yikes!  And if you are selling anything online, testimonials – good ones – can make or break a sale.

This is precisely why Lori asked me to share with you a new e-book I’ve written, Brilliant Testimonials Toolkit.  I wanted to share a very graceful process with you, that not only results in great, authentic, non-hypey testimonials, but, done well, the process actually enhances your relationship with your customers.

Some of the benefits of testimonials may be obvious – building trust and credibility, for example. But here’s one you may not have thought about: Testimonials harness the power of story. Here’s an excerpt right from the book:

“Stories evoke an emotion. They engage your listeners’ hearts as well as their minds, bringing information to life. Facts and statistics are the commodities of our info-centric world. Telling great stories adds a fresh voice to the party. People tend to remember stories more readily than they remember facts (or those marketing bullets on your website.)” ~From Brilliant Testimonials Toolkit

I hope I’ve given you a few nuggets of encouragement to get going on your testimonials project (I know it’s right there on your giant to-do list – if not, it should be!). If you buy this $11 e-book too, that’s just an added bonus because it was fun to write and I love sharing it with others.

And, actually, you can also show your love for Lori, our favorite potter, by using the links here in this blog post because she’ll get a commission for each one sold. Kind of like putting a tip in the blogger’s tip jar, but better!

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Penland Auction Needs Volunteers

You may have heard that benefit auction patron numbers are up. Unfortunately our volunteer numbers are slightly down and we really need more volunteers in order to pull this thing off in the way everyone is accustomed to. I know staff is already doing a lot to support the auction, so we hoped you might just be able to pass along our need for volunteers to your friends and neighbors.

Jobs available are on the form.
We request that volunteers commit at least 2.5 days of work in order to qualify for housing. Otherwise we run out of housing!
All volunteers get a t-shirt, all meals while working, a big-ole thank you, and the satisfaction of a job well done for a really great cause. 

The auction is Aug 12 and 13th and volunteers are needed a few days in advance too.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

August is here, it's time for vacations, lazing around the pool or your favorite swimming hole.   It's called the dog days of summer because of the star Sirius proximity to the sun making it really hot.  Sirius is also called the dog star.  Which makes it a really good time to celebrate your best friend or adopt one.
This weekend At The Collective will help you out with both possibilities by creating a pet inspired weekend.  The First Friday event will feature artist who create crafts for your pet such as dog tags and collars.  It's always a bit of a street party with free live music, appetizers, beer, and wine.  It's a great place to hang out before or after dinner at one of Inman Park's fantastic restaurants.
Then on Saturday At The Collective will host pet adoptions so you can find a best friend to spend the rest of the dog days of summer walking in the park together.

Other Stuff:

Dog Days Story
Sirius the Dog Star
Pet Adoption and Fostering

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ronan Peterson Weekend Workshop Review

Ronan Peterson came to Mudfire recently to give a workshop about his style and process.  I love his work and, although it's not my style, was very excited about attending the workshop.  The man's energy and enthusiasm blew me away.  Seriously, this man is as vibrant as his pots.  He's also a very good teacher, he kept the class fun and interesting It is probably one of the most fun workshops I've ever taken and is a second (after John Britt's glaze workshop) for the most information packed into three days.  Many of the other people who attended the workshop said their heads were about to explode from trying to absorb so much information.  My advice is to bring a camera and a notebook to a Ronan Peterson workshop.  I also advise  you to go to one of his workshops, you'll not regret it.   
The workshop covered how Ronan throws and builds the forms from the clay and how he builds the surface decoration.  One of the steps he stressed a lot during the forming process was to compress everything very well.  This may sound pretty elementary but it is something easily forgotten when we start working in new ways and I was glad to hear it.  It's so sad to take pieces out of a kiln that are broken because of a lack of compression.
Surface decoration consists of lots of layers using slip, slip trailing, tera sigilata, wax & paper resists, and glaze.  The beauty of learning all of this in one workshop is that, even if you don't use all of them on one pot, as Ronan does, you'll have them in your bag of tricks.  He did give out the recipes for the slips, and some glazes also.
After the workshop I've been working in my studio thinking about the processes that Ronan showed us and trying to apply them to my work.  As expected some things I tried worked well, some need more practice.   I like that, I feel like if I practice with a new process I'll also be inclined to work it into my style. 
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery