Sunday, April 23, 2017

Arabia Mountain

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Ocmulgee Heritage Trail

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Collaboration With The Kiln

One of the joys of wood firing is how the kiln decorates our pots. I don't like to use too much glaze on any pots that I'm putting in the anagama kiln because I really enjoy how the decoration from the flame treats the surfaces. It tells a story about what has happened in the kiln. I love that story.

In this most recent firing at Roger Jamison's, I made pots from some porcelain that was given to me. I have rarely used porcelain, I usually work with stoneware clays and they are rather different materials. They feel different when they are thrown, they dry differently, and they look different once they are fired. Porcelain is a beautiful white that can be so thin it's translucent. I can throw thin, but not that thin.

Ceramic Wood Fired Porcelain Vase by Lori Buff
Wood Fired Porcelain

I think I may have thrown some of these pots a little too thin, they moved in the kiln. I can picture them dancing in the heat. After the firing, someone said, "I'm sorry about what happened to your porcelain." The thing is, I find them quite beautiful. I'm reminded that this piece of pottery, that is now rock hard, was very soft and malleable a few times in its life. I feel like these pots have lots of motion in them that many of my other pots don't have. I love them and they are giving me something to think about.

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Monday, April 17, 2017


Sometimes a very simple clay and glaze combination make the prettiest pots. I feel like this mug achieves that with simplicity.

The clay is Standard's brown speck, the glaze is Stan's White fired to cone 6 in oxidation.

Handmade ceramic coffee mug by Future Relics Gallery

Happy Monday

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Special Anagama Firing

This was the 25th firing of Roger Jamison's anagama kiln. The big wood kiln takes several days to load and several more days to fire, followed by a week of cooling. Before each firing wood needs to be sourced, cut, split, and stacked. After each firing the shelves need to be scrapped clean and coated with kiln wash. It's a lot of work with no promise of good pots. But, since it is so much work, a bunch of potters get involved. So it's a lot of fun, and always worth the time and effort.

To commemorate the occasion of the twentyfifth firing Roger's wife designed and printed these great tee shirts for all the folks that participated. I think that's a really special way to remember the occasion. Besides the really pretty pots and visiting with our potter friends.

To see more pictures from the firing and unloading check out my Instagram and Facebook pages.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Fish Platter

This fish platter was made as a demonstration for my pottery class.  I thought it came out pretty nice so I fired it and glazed it with this water blue glaze. It seems like water blue is appropriate for a fish. Don’t you agree?

This platter was made on a hump mold. The way I do it is to dust the mold with corn starch since it is a plastic mold. If the mold was made of wood, plaster, bisqued clay, or some other porous material I would not have to use the corn starch, the mold would simply absorb the moisture from the clay and help to facilitate the release. Molds made of plastic, glass, metal, or any other non-porous material should be dusted with corn starch or talc to help the clay to release. Otherwise, it will bond to the mold and we don’t want that.

Next I roll out a slab of clay, drape it over the mold and smooth it down so the texture transfers to the clay from the mold. Then the excess clay is trimmed off and it is time to start playing the waiting game.

Ceramic Fish Platter by Lori Buff
Fish Platter

When using a hump mold you have to pay close attention to the dryness of the clay.  If you remove the clay too soon it will start to flatten out again.  If you don’t remove the clay early enough the clay will dry too much and crack on the mold. Clay shrinks as it dries but the mold is not flexible, that is why it will crack.

I might do some more of these with a little color in the fish. What do you think?

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Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Friday, April 7, 2017

Wood Fire

Last night I worked my shift at Roger Jamison's wood kiln. The deal is that if you help him with firing, loading, unloading, and occasionally splitting wood you get to put some pots in the kiln. I;m happy to do this because it's fun, interesting, and I always seem to learn something. I also have gotten some really pretty pots from the kiln. It's totally worth the effort.

My shift was not chaotic as some shifts can be. Our goal was to try to hold the temperature in the front of the kiln at about 2000 - 2010 degrees Farenhieght while coaxing the back of the kiln to raise in temperature and catch up to the front. It was at only 1660 degrees when we started our shift. This may not sound like it’s anything really exciting but it has its moments.


During the time in between stoking the kiln, we have a few minutes to chat about pottery and politics or whatever interests us. The ukuleles were played for fun. I'm still really, really new on the uke so I'm very glad that nobody took a video of my playing. The thing is, it's a ukulele, it's just fun. Plus, it's a wood fire. it's just fun. Now I wonder if playing around a simple campfire will pale in comparison.

The firing will be completed this weekend and the pots unloaded the following weekend. I'll post some pictures for you from the unloading festivities.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Soda Kiln

Atlanta has seen a lot of rain this week. Luckily we had a break at the same time that this kiln was being loaded. It's a joy to load a kiln when the weather is nice but not so much when it's miserable. Even the cold weather doesn't bother me too much because I can warm the kiln, dress well, and because when I focus on where the pieces are going to be placed really takes my mind off the cold weather. It’s similar in hot weather, I just find a fan and drink plenty of water.

Rain isn't a friend of glaze so it's important to try to keep the pots dry while they are being loaded into the kiln. Plus, I don't like standing around in the rain. I always feel bad for the actors when I see a rain scene in a movie. I assume it took all day to shoot that. I'd just want to go home and take a bath. I, know, it's weird to want to soak in a tub of water when you're already soaked to the skin from rain. What can I say, I’m weird.

Soda Kiln Loaded

Anyway, I think the loading went well and that we should have some nice pots from it. I sure hope so since I have 3 shows coming up at the end of April and this is a large amount of the work for those shows.

We have a Studio Assistants Sale at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, which runs for the first few days of Fired Works in Macon, GA which runs into the Inman Park Festival in Atlanta, GA. Yes, I’ll have some overlap so I won’t have any pots to spare. Check out the links or the calendar in the sidebar to get the dates and details. I’d love to see you there. I do suspect I’ll have some pots left over which I hope to put for sale on-line.

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Checkout the new gallery page: www.FutureRelicsGallery.com

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hike to Disaster

Have you heard about the 52 Hike Challenge? It's something I've been doing for fun and exercise this year. It's really good for my soul to get out and walk. I seem to have been doing a mix of urban hikes and woodsy hikes. It’s been a lot of fun and the dogs love it.

This week we took a section of the Atlanta Beltline and did some rubbernecking at the site of the I-85 Bridge collapse that happened a few days earlier. What a mess. It's estimated that about 250,000 vehicles use that bridge on a normal day. That's a lot of people that will have to change their commute. I hope many of them start using mass transit or carpooling.

I-85 Bridge Collapse

We stayed a safe and respectable distance from the site since they are doing a lot of work repairing the bridge and investigating the fire. It did seem weird to see no traffic and then the huge hole. It’s a wonder nobody was hurt.

My pots are in a wood kiln right now and we’ll be loading the soda kiln tonight so I should have some fresh pottery pictures soon.

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Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Oval Casserole with Texture

Spring show season is upon us and I have been working like crazy to make enough pottery to make the shows a success. It's a bit weird to think that I want to have enough pots that I don't have a sell out at an art show.  I remember going to the American Craft Council show in Atlanta one year and seeing Alex Matise sitting in his booth with just one very large pot left. I think it was his first year there and he does make some really beautiful pieces. I hope he was just very pleased with the sales and he was not regretting bringing more ceramic work to the show. I've never had that experience so I can only guess how I'd feel.  How would you feel if you were in that position?

Oval Ceramic Casserole

I've made several of these oval casseroles recently.  They are all a little different which makes me happy. They will be going to the pottery sale at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Fired Works in Macon, GA, and the Inman Park Festival in Atlanta, GA. If I have any left after those sales I'll put them on-line for the rest of the world.

This casserole, like most of my functional pottery, is conventional oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe.

Thanks for visiting and for your comments.

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Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Monday, March 27, 2017


I love making these little soap or sponge holders. I also love coming up with new ideas for them.

These pandas are the latest idea to come into my head. I made them a few weeks ago and just now got them out of the kiln so I don't even remember what was the biggest inspiration in making these guys.

Panda Soap Holders

Of course, I do love panda bears. They are pretty and fun to watch. They are also endangered so Zoo Atlanta and several other zoos have started a program to help keep them alive. Several pandas have been successfully born in captivity and Zoo Atlanta has given the first twin pandas ever born in captivity to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China. You can read more about that here: http://www.11alive.com/news/panda-twins-sweet-send-off-from-zoo-atlanta/347182227.

Many years ago I did a little behind the scenes tour of the panda area of the zoo and was even able to feed the pandas a few cookies. As cute and cuddly as they look in pictures up close it's clear that they are large bears with large teeth and claws. Real pandas can hurt you, these soap holders, on the other hand, will simply hold your soap or sponge or whatever else you want to put in them.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Several years ago I made this mug as part of a series of works that I called "The Emergence." The pots were inspired by some of the old buildings I've seen where a brick wall has been plastered over but the plaster has started crumbling off the wall to reveal the bricks and a message.  Often the message is simply an advertisement but sometimes it can be some graffiti that makes a statement about the time in which it was written.  Now that the Senate has tried to shut up the voice of Senator Elizabeth Warren as she spoke the words of Coretta Scott King I am thinking about this mug again.

I wish I had a better picture of it. The message reads "We will not be silenced" but part of the word "silenced" is still covered by the plaster.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Friday, January 6, 2017