Monday, June 16, 2008


So, I haven't thrown anything new in several days now, and I'm going into withdraw. I have tons of stuff left to glaze, but I truly hate my glazes right now. They are all commercial cone six glazes, and I've had tons of trouble with pinholes. I have done everything suggested to me by my extremely helpful Mud Team, and none of it has worked--at least not consistently. Glazes that normally give no trouble at all came out terribly in the last firing. I basically have three glazes that work well, and I am sick of them.

The predicament that I have right now is that I am soon going to be changing to cone ten, and I really don't want to invest in a bunch of cone six glazes to finish up what I've already got bisqued. Then again, I can't waste all of this work that I've
spent time, energy and money on creating. I guess I'll just have a bunch of stuff that all looks alike.

I'm still trying to get everything together for the kiln build--I'll call again tomorrow to pester them to get me what I want!! hehe. I am really anxious to get started experimenting!

In other news, I finally got a graduated background for taking images, and it works pretty well. I will be building a homemade
soft box for getting rid of some of the glare. Here's a couple of pics I took the other night while playing around.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Funny story

So I was sitting at my wheel trimming some bowls with the garage door wide open and a little girl that lives down the street walked up to me. I had seen her before and she had told me how much she liked art in school and that she wants to be an artist when she grows up. I would have to say she is eight, maybe nine years old and sweet as can be. Well, today she walked up and said how much she liked my pots, and asked if she could have one. I said sure and gave her a little juice cup I had sitting on a shelf above my head. She was so excited and told me how beautiful it was and that she loved it. She then ran home as fast as she could, holding the little cup with both hands. Her younger sister (about five or six) was standing in the street a ways away, and after she saw that her sister got a new goody, she made her way over to me. I asked her if she would like a cup as well, and she quickly nodded her head. I gave her a cup just like her sister's, only a little smaller. She then said thank you and took off after her big sister.

For some reason the opinion of an eight year old really meant a lot to me, and the fact that she called my humble little cup beautiful with such enthusiasm really made my day.

I'm still waiting to hear back on the burner for the kiln--he assured me that he could give me some more info on Monday. I really can't wait to get started, and I am now thinking that I'm going to try doing my first firing to cone six and do some testing on the glazes I already have. I'm not really expecting it to work, but I've got a ton of stuff made in my cone six clay. If it doesn't turn out, I'll try to use up as much glaze as I can and get all of my cone six stuff out of the way. I'm working on my last fifty pounds of cone six clay, although I have a couple hundred pounds of dry reclaim, but I am a lazy potter and don't feel like using it unless I have to. Have I ever mentioned that wedging is my nemesis? With glazing a close second?

Anyway, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What's Happening?

So...I haven't posted much lately, but I really want to change that. I have been reading a lot of really great pottery blogs lately and I am getting inspired to devote a little more time to my own.

I have been working really hard, and it is paying off nicely. I am really liking some new forms and I am just enjoying the creative process. As always, I am constantly inspired by things around me, specifically other pottery online. I've thrown a couple of large platters and lots of new bowls and cups, and it's like I am starting throwing all over again. I am really drawn to smoother forms than I had been making and a couple with some exaggerated feet. Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of work in process.

The only problem is that soon I'll have to start glazing. Bah! I am still having a terrible time adjusting to cone 6 and I thought that I would start mixing my own glazes again, but after selling some work and having some disposable income, I've changed my mind and am now going to build a soda kiln out of an old electric. I really miss cone 10 and can't wait to start experimenting with soda again. I have the kiln itself all lined up, and have placed an order for a burner system, and some ITC 100 HT to coat the inside of the kiln and hopefully make it last a good many firings. Once I get all of the stuff together, I'll post the whole process on here and give as detailed instructions as I can. I found a few examples of kiln construction, but I really want to develop a step by step manual on the process, including all of my inevitable mistakes :)

One day, I will get the property that I want so I can build a REAL kiln and make the next step toward becoming a full time potter. It is my one true dream to make pots full time and I can finally see that dream coming true. I still feel like I need to develop a more complete and fluid body of work, and I think I am finally taking steps toward that. I think one of the hardest things for a potter to do is create work that is recognizable as their own. To have pots that someone can look at and say, Oh that's a pot thrown by Ben Stark. I am not there yet, and even my current work is very common and not anything inspiring, but I feel like I am finally moving forward and that is truly a good thing.