Sunday, March 13, 2011

ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...

Life keeps moving here at Windy Ridge. I found myself a job outside of the pottery to help make ends meet. I started working last week for my friend Alex Green. He has a portable sawmill and does hardwood flooring, and timber framing from local hardwoods. Along with building houses from scratch using various green building methods. You can find his web page here: Red Beard Lumber. With Christy in school full time now I knew I needed to find at least some part time work outside of the pottery. I have to admit I was wasn't looking forward to finding a "real" job. I think I really lucked out though. As far as work outside of the pottery goes, I think this will be pretty good.

In pottery related news I've almost finished up our portable shelving for displaying our work at the Madison Market, along with any other shows we might do in the future. We set up the shelving for a quick picture that we needed for a show application.



My father-in-law helped me put together the oak uprights. The shelves are pine. I still need to biscuit/glue together the pine shelving, do some sanding, and basic finishing. I'm pleased with how they look so far though. Does anyone have any insight into the best 10x10 tent to purchase for taking to craft fairs and shows?


In less concrete news I feel like I'm finally starting to become comfortable with my pots. After leaving my apprenticeship at Mark Hewitt's I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what kind of pots I wanted to make, making some good pots and many bad pots in the process. I arrived at Mark's with a deep appreciation of the pots of Warren Mackenzie, Will Ruggles and Douglass Rankin, and Claire Illian. Mark's approach to clay was very different from what I had known. Leaving Hewitts after the two year apprenticeship I didn't really know where to begin. I certainly didn't want to continue on making Hewitt replicas as I had made when working for Mark. However, I couldn't go back to making the Will and Douglass style pots that I had aspired to after spending the last two years of my life focusing on throwing Mark Hewitt style pots with strong curves, clean lines, and very thin walls. I spent a good amount of time floundering around trying to figure out where I was going.

I feel like I'm finally headed in a good direction. No longer feeling self-conscious about "borrowing" visual cues from Mark, but also moving slowly and surely in a direction of my own. Only took me eight years....

Joe

14 comments:

Sue Pariseau Pottery said...

The new shelving looks great and congrats on finding some outside the studio work. The Trimline Canopy sure looks nice, but the price is pretty high. I've had a Caravan Canopy for the last five years. It's a little more sturdy than the EZup, but similar. Have a great week.

ang said...

sweee!! on the new job, shelves and stylin!! It's amazing how things change peeps influence and experience...looking good Joe

Ron said...

Looking good. I don't think I knew you had those influences (Warren, Clary, W&D) Pretty neat to know that as those are very much the pots I was drawn to early on and emulated that sort of work. It's cool how over time we sort through much of that and find our own way. Eight years seems about right, although it's taken me longer since I had no ceramics in school or any sort of real apprenticeship. Anyhow, here's to the years ahead of making many fine pots!!

As far as tents go, we love our LightDome. We have the Finale model with the barrel roof and bought the sides and everything. 8 years ago it was around $900 but I'd feel safe in a heavy down pour in it as long as it was anchored. Easy enough to put up once you've done it a few time.

Have a good week. Hi to Christy.

Joe and Christy said...

Hey guys thanks for the tent suggestions, keep them coming.

Ron- to be clear it's been eight years since I left Marks. I made pots for several years before that as well. A slow process to be sure.
Joe

yolande clark said...

beautiful display, guys! I understand the advantage of outside sources of income! Wonderful that you can work for a friend, and with your hands.

Trial By Fire Pottery said...

i go to outdoor markets twice a week for most of the year up in canada. i use a caravan 10x10 or a big box store knock off, about $200 and they last a few years then i sell to another vendor and get a new one before they get too trashed to sell. set it up before or just after you buy it because some of them were on the bottom of the pallet in shipping and NEVER set up easily, try it and be picky, week after week they get a bit annoying. make sure the shape and size is okay for the market you will be attending. Hilary

Nate said...

Hey there folks,
I make pots with local earthenware and thought you might be interested in my clay body! I fire to cone 1

60 Local red
15 Fireclay
10 Ball
10 Redart
5 Neph Sye
1.5 bento.

Can see some of the pots here www.natewillever.tk

Joe and Christy said...

Nate,
thanks for sharing your clay body recipe! From the looks of it your local red clay is quite different from ours, as I don't think this recipe would work to well with our local red clay. Still interesting to see...
thanks
Joe

JLK Jewelry said...

I don't do many outdoor shows so bought a Caravan steel framed tent from costco.com. It was about $200 a couple years ago and is only $229 now. We made weights using pvc pipe with caps, handles and o rings into the cement. Never had a problem with it and the stell is much better than the aluminum Easy Up tents.

Tim Ayers said...

Joe, I feel like your pots have been distinct from your Hewitt body of work for years, but I am glad you are seeing it now too. I do wish more of his former apprentices would match your effort into creating their own approach to form and decoration. Keep up the great work!

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I was surprised that I didn't see your yunomi in the Akar show, in fact several of my favorite potters were missing and some of my favorite potters .

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