Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Craft of the Potter from BBC

,Here are some great clips I found on youtube. Michael Casson interviews Lynne Reeves, Walter Keeler and Alan Caiger-Smith. The decoration videos have Alan Caiger-Smith, he explains and demonstrates how he paints and fires his lustre pottery.
Michael Casson

BBC The Craft of the Potter - Glaze and Fire (Part 1)
BBC The Craft of the Potter - Glaze and Fire (part 2)

Alan Caiger-Smith

BBC The Craft of the Potter Decoration part 1
BBC The Craft of the Potter Decoration part2 

English Delft part 2

The last post covered some of the issues with English Delftware that I do not like. So here I would like to discuss some of the aspects that I prefer in the style. One problem is finding images to help illustrate my thoughts. Toronto's Gardiner museum has a limited selection available online. The Museum of London in England has a wider range of images online (I posted some images here), many of the tiles

English Delft

The Gardiner museum maiolica collection of is worth visiting. Here are some pill-tiles from England they have the Latin motto OPIFER:QUE:PER:ORBEM:DICOR (“I am spoken of all over the world as one who brings help.”) source. Objects used…
Pill-tile with the Arms of the London Society of Apothecaries

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another little trip

Tiles, tiles and more tiles. I would like to write about tiles in my next few blogs. It may be an interesting opportunity to show tiles that interest me and some tiles that  I have made. Some sketches for tiles may also be shown in the next few posts. But as a little teaser here is an interesting website from London England. It has an interesting collection of European pottery from the Neolithic period to the 20th century. I fell in love with this website two years ago while I was doing research in preparation for my second year at Sheridan. Here is the link to the page where you can find these tin glazed (maiolica) tiles. This little journey will take us from England through Europe and end up in Turkey.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The exciting prequel!

So the other day I posted a little video clip. I wasn't completely honest about it. It was related to clay, that squirrel was on a tree behind me when I was digging up the clay. I think it was worried that I was looking for its food. I would like to apologize for the poor quality of the video and to the squirrel. This is clip of the find, just another obscure ceramic moment. Here are some pics of maiolica pieces I made 2008-2009.

A care bear stare or a stone in the bosom.

Here are some images and thoughts that I would like to share with you.

"The kanji characters 懐石 used to write kaiseki literally mean "stone in the bosom." These kanji are thought to have been incorporated by Sen no Rikyu (1522-91), to indicate the frugal meal served in the austere style of chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony). The idea came from the practice where Zen monks would ward off hunger by putting warm stones into the front folds of their robes, near their bellies."

Here is an image from a great blog cake For some reason I thought of the Tea Ceremony and how I haven't made any cake plates. I am currently without a studio or kiln but I do have two hands and a heartbeat so I have been thinking of making some prototypes and then molds if I like any. Here is a food dish from the Freer Sackler online collection this dish is in a Ogata Kenzan style a famous Japanese potter. I wonder what would happen if these images were used as an inspirational starting point for a cake plate. It looks like its time to get to the drawing board.
Food dish with design of blossoming plum
late 19th century
Miura Ken'ya, (Japanese, 1821-1889)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Questionable Ceramics Content

I probably shouldn't be posting this video here. But I am going to anyway, in the meantime here is a short side story.
 I have mentioned several times that I am a graduate from Sheridan's Ceramics program. During the summer before our second year we were given the task of finding our own clay from a natural source. Excluding "natural" sources like PSH or Tuckers. I was living in East York a neighborhood in Toronto. My apartment was near the old Don Valley brick works so I was sure my task was going to be simple. And it was there was clay every where it was easy to find along the many Dona Valley trails. Here is a little video that isn't really related to clay or ceramics. I just felt like I had to post it for others to see.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dancing with glazes

 Nothing was as I had thought. A head (I soon discarded whole figures, they were simply too much) became for me an entirely unknown thing, without any secure dimensions. -Alberto Giacometti

Shino is a type glaze that I enjoyed using. It was developed in Japan and was the white glaze to be used their. This Tea bowl was wood fired and you can see the wood ash deposit showing up in the glaze as dark speckles. I was playing around with

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Borkum on our way to Delft?

I had a chance to visit my Oma today. I haven't had as many opportunities to visit my Oma as much as I would like over the past few years. It's always fun to look at pictures and objects she has collected and to hear the stories that surround them. After my Oma and Opa were married they moved from Heidelberg to Borkum shortly before moving to Canada. For fun I have included driving directions to Delft in the Netherlands. If you for want to check out any of their

Monday, July 19, 2010

A blog to follow

I often enjoy this blog.  Today's post is about Pendant TEELICHT an unconventional ceramic tea light. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday on the Square Art Shows

Today I made my way to my hometown, London Ontario. An artist at the Covent Garden market has organized this event which is in its second season. Here is a shot of my set up early in the day a few weeks ago. It was interesting to sit and consider the responses from people. The event is relatively new and hopefully it will catch on. The weather was warm, breezy and just a few clouds in the sky. It was a fun day meeting many new people. Today was the second time I attended to sell work. I will keep you updated on my next sale.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another bowl of tea.

"A tea spoon should be made in the way that it does not look beautiful." -Rikyū
The preceding quote clearly expresses the tea ceremony aesthetic. I have had an interest in Zen Buddhism for several years now. It is probably one of the reasons I fell in love with wood-fired ceramics and the tea ceremony. Sen no Rikyū was an influential figure in the development of the tea ceremony. If you have an interest in this subject and or Sen no Rikyū you should read The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura. Rikyū along with Chojiro are responsible for the creation of Raku ceramics. Though I shall write about this later. The Royal Ontario Museum (here is a link to the image collection on the ROM website) is a good place to start to see some of the Ceramics used in the Tea Ceremony. They also have a replica tea room on display which is always fun to go and see. Well now for the pictures here are some more samples of my woodfired work. The second image is a porcelain vase that was soda fired.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

More Video and pics from February

Here is another installment form the February wood firing. I would like to post one of Jenny's speeches and some pics of Kass, Jenny and the pots we fired. I'm not sure how but I lost the high res images from the kiln unload.

Mad Potter in action!

If the video is still broken Here is the YouTube link
I still have to catch up on posting my work from the last year. Here is some video from our second woodfiring. I had posted a short clip of Kass unloading the first kiln. Well here is a short of clip of Jenny. And here is her blog.