Kiln Update

FINITO! The stoke hole doors are on and now this kiln is ready to fire. The doors are designed to open and swing the hot face away from the stoker.

Old Church Cup Show

This kurinuki sake cup, glazed in oribe, was selected for exhibition in "In Hand", juried by Bruce Dehnert. The show will be held at The Art School at Old Church's Mikhail Zakin Gallery from May 10th - June 14th, 2024. There will be an opening reception on May 11th, 6-9 pm. The address is 561 Piermont Road, Demarest, NJ.


Kiln Update

Here's a peek at the doors for the small down-draft kiln being fabricated. Excellent work by Jesse Ryan of Florence Welding!

San Angelo National

This oribe tray will be on exhibit in the 25th San Angelo National Ceramic Competition. This show will be on view from Friday, April 19th through Sunday, June 23rd, 2024. The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts is located at 1 Love Street, San Angelo, TX.


Tea

It is a pleasure to have this woodfired kurinuki tea caddy selected to be shown in "Tea: An Exhibition of Clay Forms", being held at Artspace Gallery located in Richmond, VA. Juried by Mitch Iburg, this show is in conjunction with NCECA's (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) annual conference being held in Richmond this year. TEA will be on exhibition and open to the public from March 20th - April 20th, 2024. The gallery's address is 2833-A Hathaway Road, Richmond, VA 23225. www.artspacegallery.org

Chinese Blue

When I was living in the area adjacent to Seagrove, NC (1986-2002), I had the opportunity to work part-time for Ben Owen, III, at Ben Owen Pottery, right after he graduated from ECU in 1993. I didn’t do any of the pottery production, but I was there to help with glazing, clay processing, assist in  loading and firing the groundhog kiln, work in the sales shop, etc. It was wonderful to be in that environment and become knowledgeable of many aspects that Ben Owen Pottery was known for. Getting to become familiar with the traditional glazes, such as Frogskin, Chinese Red, Chinese Blue, Dogwood White, etc. was one of the most noteworthy experiences of my tenure there.


The glaze that intrigued me most was Chinese Blue. Its history began at Jugtown Pottery and was developed by its owner Jacques Busbee. Ben Owen, Sr., who started working at Jugtown as a potter in 1923, was also involved with this particular glaze. After  the death of Mr. Busbee in 1947, the glaze's use was discontinued at the request of Mrs. Busbee in memoriam to her husband. Upon Ben Owen, Sr.'s departure from Jugtown and the subsequent opening of his own establishment (Old Plank Road Pottery) in 1959, he revived the Chinese Blue glaze based on his knowledge gained while at Jugtown Pottery. After Ben Owen, Sr. retired from making pots in 1972, the shop closed until Ben “Wade” Owen, Jr. reopened it in 1981. During Wade’s time running the pottery, the use of Chinese Blue was, once again, revived. When Ben Own, III took over the pottery, he continued the Chinese Blue legacy.


During my time there I became interested in formulating a glaze that would replicate, as close as I could, the Chinese Blue. I had no idea what the Ben Owen Pottery Chinese Blue glaze consisted of, but pulling from my Ceramics education received in college, I set about experimenting and putting tests in a few of the firings. I had one test come out which a collector of early Jugtown Chinese Blue told me it was very reminiscent of the old glaze. After helping Ben, III for four or so years, I stopped working there and, subsequently, abandoned further pursuit of the glaze.


Fast forward twenty five years. With the completion of my small down-draft wood kiln, I aim to pick back up with testing my own formulations. Having been fortunate to see how the glaze was applied and how it was fired in the groundhog kiln, I feel this kiln will provide a good setting for further experimentation. I have always thought it to be a beautiful glaze, and it is one with an important North Carolina pottery heritage.


Stay tuned!



This is an example of Chinese Blue from the 1930's-'40's era of Jugtown Pottery when Ben Owen, Sr. was making pots.



I purchased this Chinese Blue piece from Ben Owen Pottery in 1984 when Wade Owen was operating the pottery.



A turtle I made and glazed in Chinese Blue while working at Ben Owen Pottery. This shows what the glaze looked like in the mid-1990's.



This is one of my Chinese Blue tests that I was working on while at the pottery.



This is a current piece by Ben Owen, III that shows the contemporary Chinese Blue glaze.

Glaze:Timeless Appeal

“Glaze: Timeless  Appeal” will open at Schaller Gallery on November 21st, 2023. The show will open online that day at 2:00 pm EST. Here is a selection of oribe that I will have for purchasing. 

Kiln Update

The small down-draft wood kiln is nearly complete. The back and front walls are now in place. Next is to insulate the top of the arch with refractory fiber blanket and insulating soft brick. Doors for the stoke holes are being designed and constructed.

Interior Design

It was an honor to have Dell Mitchell, founder of Dell Mitchell Architects (Boston, MA) select a group of my work for a client's winter home in Palm Beach, Florida. This is an image showing how they are being displayed.

Kiln Update

After a couple of tries and not being successful with getting the arch on the small downdraft kiln to hold, I sought out the help of Ben Eberle to get this in place. Third time was a charm! Now all that is left is to continue the front and back walls up to the top of the arch, and get the chimney dampers in place. 

Cup: The Intimate Object

Charlie Cummings Gallery has been featuring their phenomenal annual cup show for years. This year marks the 19th one. It is always a pleasure to be a participant, and especially an invited one.

This show will open online on Friday, October 6th at 10:am EST. These are the five cups that I will have in this exhibition.

Visions In Clay

This wood-fired sculpture, part of the "Fragment Series", will be exhibited in "Visions in Clay" at the Horton Art Gallery, San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA. This show runs August 23rd - September 21, 2023, with an open reception on August 31 from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. It will be available for online viewing beginning August 31st.

Full Article

Here is the full length article that Monika Gass wrote for New Ceramics magazine.


New Ceramics Magazine
 I am very pleased to have an article about myself and my ceramics in the May/June 2023 issue of New Ceramics, an European based international ceramics publication. A great big "thank you" to Monika Gass, of Germany, for writing it.
Invitational Cup Show

It is always a pleasant feeling when I get invited to participate in an exhibition. These three cups will be included in the "2023 Invitational Cup Show" being held at the Hudgens Center for Art. The exhibition dates are May 13th - July 22nd, 2023. The Center's address is 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA.

Work Delivered
I delivered quite an assortment of work to Studio Tashtego on Saturday, April 1st. Here I am with the lovely gallery owner and director, Julia Caldwell.


International Ceramics Exhibition

It is a pleasure to have these two wood fired pieces selected to be shown in Blue Line Arts' international ceramics exhibition, “Off Center”. The show runs April 8th - May 20th, 2023. Blue Line Arts is located at 405 Vernon Street, Suite 100, Roseville, CA. There will be an opening reception on April 15th from 4:00 - 7:00 pm. 


National Art Exhibition

This Oribe Chawan was recently chosen to be exhibited at the Academy Center of the Arts, located in Lynchburg, VA. The show runs April 7th - 29th, 2023. There will be an opening reception on Friday, April 7th, from 5:00 - 8:00 pm, and an informal talk at 5:30 pm by the juror Hiromi Okumura. The address is 600 Main Street.

Studio Tashtego.
I am pleased to announce my affiliation with Studio Tashtego. This gallery is a contemporary art and design gallery specializing in ceramics, glass, furniture, lighting, textile and sculpture. The gallery is located in the historic village of Cold Spring in New York's Hudson Valley region, and it is a pleasure to be represented by Julia Caldwell. Studio Tashtego's address is 49 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516; telephone: 917-794-4643; email: studio@studiotashtego.com
Collaboration with Jack Troy

Over the past year Jack Troy and I, thorough emails, have discussed the glaze Oribe. Recently he sent me two cups that he had thrown out of his porcelain clay body and asked me if I would glaze them in oribe. For doing that, I got to keep one of the cups, which is shown. This was quite an honor and I was thrilled for the opportunity.

"Fragments" Exhibition

This wood fired clay sculpture will be exhibited in "Fragments", to be held at Strata Gallery, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 3rd through January 21st, 2023. It will be one of 46 artworks, chosen from 740 entries, on display. Strata Gallery's address is 418 Cerrillos Road, Suite 1-C. 

Kiln Update

Building a kiln presents its challenges, and many are not concerning the kiln itself. I have been the sole laborer for this entire project, with the exception of digging and filling the kiln pad with gravel, erecting the trusses, and pouring the cement for the chimney support. Thus, I have had to research and ask questions to knowledgeable people in order to come up with the best solution for a problem.

For me, one of the biggest has been figuring out how to access the peak of my kiln shed roof in order to carry the chimney through and work safely.  After securing a pair of ladder hooks, a set of Ultimate Ridgehooks, and a Chimney Bracket, I am now able to stack the chimney brick above the roof line. The next challenge will be flashing the chimney, but that will, hopefully, be an easier task.


Chimney Bracket in place, mounted on Ultimte Ridgehooks. Ladder on roof is positioned with ladder hooks.


Staging in place using 2" x 8" lumber, and 2" x 4s positioned and secured with Simpson Ties. This allows me to get to the other side of the chimney to work.


Brick as it is being stacked to come above the roof line. It will rise 3 feet above the roof peak. Angle iron bracing will be put in place along corners.

Emerge Gallery


It’s always a great feeling for me when I have the opportunity to exhibit my artwork in the town (now a city) that I grew up in (Greenville, NC) and went to college (ECU), where I first started working with ceramics. These two wood fired pieces will be at Emerge Gallery for an exhibition that will run October 7-27, 2022. There will be an opening reception on Friday, October 7, 2022, from 5:00-8:00 pm.


Strictly Functional Pottery National

This oribe sushi tray was chosen by jurors Carolanne Currier and Jack Troy for inclusion in the 30th annual "Strictly Functional Pottery National Show". This exhibition will be showcased at the Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA , and runs September 17th - November 5th, 2022.


Clay International 2022

This oribe hanaire/vase was selected to be exhibited in "Clay International 2022", being held at Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA. The exhibition runs August 6th - October 9th, 2022, and will be viewable "in person" as well as "online".

Kiln Update
The metal bracing is in place and secured, as well as the arch form positioned and shimmed. Now its onward with constructing the sprung arch. Then, this down-draft wood-fired kiln will be finished!
Enduring Surfaces

I am participating in Schaller Gallery's exhibition, "Enduring Surfaces: Glazes IV". It opens on June 14th (Tuesday) at 2 pm EST. This is one of numerous pieces that I sent.

GeoLogic

This wood fired hanaire/vase was recently accepted into "GeoLogic", an exhibition being held at Atlantic Gallery, located in the Chelsea District of New York City. The show runs June 21st through July 9th, 2022. An opening reception is slated for Thursday, June 23rd. Juror was Bruce Dehnert.

Yunomi Invitational at AKAR Gallery

These six oribe glazed kurinuki yunomi are headed to Iowa City, Iowa for the June opening of AKAR Gallery's "Yunomi Invitational".

Progress on Wood Kilns

I made some good progress on my kiln construction during the fall of 2021. Jamie Guggina, a potter in Florence, MA loaned me his brick saw, which was a game changer. (Thanks to Westhampton, MA potter Sam Taylor for making that happen). The primary focus has been on the small down-draft and chimney. I had to get enough of the tunnel kiln up so I could extend the chimney, which is necessary in order to fire the down-draft once it is finished. There is still a bit of work to do, primarily bracing and putting the arch on, and getting the chimney up through the roof. Winter has put a hold on things, but I  will start back up early spring. Here are a few images to show where I currently stand.

Front view of small down-draft; ready for arch.

A portion of the tunnel kiln constructed to allow for the chimney to be built.

Chimney's passive dampers that are below the damper slot.

This shows how a ledge was created for the damper to slide in and out upon.

Lintel placed over the damper slot.

International Wood Fire Exhibition

Kilnship: International Wood Fire III

This show idea started with Phil Rogers being a guest curator and putting together an invitation list that was wide, diverse, and filled with unbelievable talent. While wood-firing has become largely an aesthetic choice, these Makers continue to use this labor-intense firing process to create their work. Known for its ability to create luscious ash deposits, warm flashes of color, and unique surfaces, wood firing continues to draw makers to the fire. Participating makers include Troy Bungart, Joe Bruhim, Linda Christianson, Doug Fitch, Samuel Johnson, Shinsuke Iwami, Mami Kato, Osamu Inayoshi, Lucien Koonce, Ryan Smith, Ken Matsuzaki, Hannah McAndrew, Andrew Satorious, and Dexter Woods.

Exhibition opens November 16th at Schaller Gallery, in Baroda, Michigan, and online.

www.schallergallery.com

The Teabowl: East Meets West

I was recently given Bonnie Kemske 's book, "The Teabowl: East and West". It is a humbling honor to be mentioned in such a fine publication.



East Carolina University Alumni Exhibition

I first began my journey in clay when I was attending East Carolina University's School of Art. I grew up in Greenville, and a block away from the campus, so it always had been a part of my life. My intentions were to study another discipline within the Art Department, but from the first day in Ceramics Survey, I knew that clay was to become my focus. I wasn't an "arty" person, I didn't take art classes in high school, and I didn't grow up around art. But I could identify with functional vessels, I enjoyed working with my hands, and there was "fire" involved...lol.


Long story short, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to exhibit a piece in the School of Art and Design's Alumni Exhibition. This piece, "Fragment" (wood fired stoneware, 6.50" H x 16.00" W x 4.50" D; hand formed stoneware clay with native NC clay, and natural ash glaze; wood fired in the anagama side-stoke area for 5 days to c/12; 2018).


The alumni exhibition is at several venues, but this piece can be seen in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery, Joyner Library Complex, located on East 5th Street. The show runs August 25th through September 25th.

Sculpture National

This wood fired piece is being exhibited in “Clay Center Sculpture National”, April 3 – 25, 2020, at The Clay Center of New Orleans, 1001 South Broad Street, New Orleans, LA 70125.








 

San Angelo National

With most art museums being closed in the United States due to the virus, many continue their exhibitions online. This year is the 23rd Annual National Ceramics Competition at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, located in San Angelo, TX. Held every two years, this is an outstanding juried show, and it is my pleasure to be exhibiting there once again. The show runs April 17th - September 6th, 2020. Here are my two accepted pieces:










 

Yunomi Invitational 2020

While the current virus situation has cancelled most exhibition venues across the country, ClayAKAR's Yunomi Invitational, which is always "online", will happen! The show opens on June 12th at 10:00 AM Central Time. Here are the five wood fired kurinuki cups that I will be sending:






 

Article from The Herald

A nice piece written about the sake vessels exhibition at The Stratford Gallery, published in the local newspaper.

British Sake Association

The link to a very well written article on the British Sake Association's blog regarding the sake vessels exhibition I curated for The Stratford Gallery last November.

https://britishsakeassociation.org/2020/01/20/jewels-from-the-kiln-sake-vessels-as-a-cross-cultural-icon/

The Stratford Gallery opening

The opening of "The Sake Vessel: Contemporary Interpretations", The Stratford Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon, England, on Saturday, November 16th, was a huge success. The sake tasting event and the gallery opening were well attended. Click on the title, above, which will take you to the exhibition page. Here are some images from the lectures and gallery opening...














 

Time-Honored: Glazes

I am currently in an exhibition being held at Schaller Gallery: "Time Honored - Glazes". These are four of the eight wood fired kurinuki pieces I have in this show...









International Ceramics Exhibition

These two wood fired pieces were recently selected for "International Ceramics Juried Exhibition", being held at The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedmeister, NJ. This exhibition opens November 9th and runs through December 21st. Out of over 400 submissions, 52 were selected for exhibition. 



Cup

These five guinomi are being exhibited in "Cup: The Intimate Object XV", being held at Charlie Cummings Gallery, 2040 NW 6th Street, Gainsville, FL. The exhibition opens on October 5th and runs through October 31st. There will be an opening reception on Friday evening, October 4th, from 6:00 - 9:00. The show will go online Saturday, October 5th, starting at 12 noon. www.charliecummingsgallery.com









June Anagama Firing


The June firing of Chris Gustin's anagama resulted in some very wonderful pieces. It was an excellent firing for everyone involved. Here are a few of my works from the firing:
















NYC Exhibition

I will be exhibiting in a group show, April 25 - May 26th, entitled "Rough Stuff: A Celebration of Wild Surface". This exhibition will be at Cavin-Morris Gallery, located at 210 Eleventh Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY. These are two wood fired pieces that I will have in this show.



Sushi, Sake, Tea

I have been invited to exhibit in Schaller Gallery's (Saint Joseph, MI) upcoming exhibition "Sushi, Sake, Tea", which opens this coming April. My work will include three small sushi plates paired with chopsticks rests, four sake cups, and one sake flask. These are two of the pieces that will be shown.




  

National Clay Exhibition

I am always pleased when I have the opportunity to exhibit in my native state of North Carolina, especially if it is where I lived for many years of my life, those two being Greenville, and the Robbins/Seagrove vicinity. This wood fired Ikebana vase will be shown in the "Art of Clay", at the North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC. The exhibition is in conjunction with the North Carolina Pottery Conference, and runs March 3rd - June 15th, 2019. An opening reception is scheduled for Sunday, March 3rd, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm, and the public is invited to attend.


 

Sake Vessels Exhibition

I am pleased to be curating my third sake vessels exhibition, this one being showcased at The Stratford Gallery in the UK. The exhibition will be titled, "The Sake Vessel: Contemporary Interpretations", and is slated to open mid-November of this year (2019). It will include 35 ceramicists from six countries, and there are plans to publish a full color exhibition catalog.

Here is the list of artists exhibiting:

USA

Joe Bruin
Rob Fornell
Anthony Gaudino
Mitch Iburg
Lucien Koonce
Dick Lehman
Kristin Muller
Tim Rowan
Akira Satake
Jeff Shapiro
Hitomi Shibata
Takuro Shibata
Mike Weber
 
UK
Eddie Curtis
Margaret Curtis
Lisa Hammond
Akiko Hirai
Phil Rogers
Sim Taylor
 
Sweden
David Louveau
 
New Zealand
Elena Renker
Aaron Scythe
 
Japan
Watanabe Akihiko
Ikeda Asato 
John Dix
Tomoo Hamada 
Shigemasa Higasheda
Osamu Inayoshi
Mami Kato
Hiromi Matsukawa
Ken Matsuzaki
Richard Milgrim
Yoca Muta
Koichi Nishi
 
Germany
Uwe Lollmann