Sunday, February 26, 2023

Kiln Surprise!

The best thing about clay - one of them, anyway - is that there’s always something more to learn. I’ve been firing this kiln for a little over a year; my previous kiln was built for the Gail Nichols-soda-salad method. This kiln uses the more common spray-in method. I find any little change can produce a different result! In this case, there were 2 changes. I used the same amount of soda, but in hot water, and , due to a surprisingly quick climb, sprayed the soda all in right at ^10. (I then fired to 11, but I have done that before with no major effects.)

There is much more soda glass on these pieces than I usually get! I can think of ways either one of these changes could account for this. Don’t get me wrong, I love surprises, I love learning about firing, & I love the pearl grey color on the b-mix. I know these will be harder to sell, though; it’s harder to see the tranquility of grey than the vitality of peach or orange. 

The brown clay pieces are truly stunning. No complaints there! 

Anyway! I went out in the single-digit cold in my bathrobe to have a look. Time to put real clothes on and start unloading!

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Safe Travels to one of the Greats: Dan Anderson, 1945 - 2023

I studied with Dan in the early 90s & was deeply saddened to hear of his passing this month. In a way, it's difficult to believe; he just seemed more alive than most people.  

I learned a lot from Dan - about ceramics, obviously, but more important stuff, too: to own your enthusiasms, to not hide your quirks, to not fear looking silly. Dan was always unapologetically himself; the walking, talking embodiment of the aphorism, "Embrace your weirdness, for it is also your genius." 

The ceramics world - indeed the whole world - will miss him. 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Clay in the News: Balloon Dog Pops

A small sculpture valued at $42,000 (£35,000) by the renowned artist Jeff Koons has been broken at the opening night of an art fair in Miami by a woman who gave it a little tap.

The blue sculpture, part of Koons’ famous “balloon dog” series, was perched on a pedestal featuring the name of the American artist when the woman – an unidentified art collector – was said to have tapped the sculpture, which then fell to the floor and shattered into smithereens.

Read the whole thing here:

Friday, February 17, 2023

Dopamine Dining

 I keep reading this phrase: dopamine dressing. I hadn't heard it until recently but I immediately knew what it meant. We've all done it! Colors that make you happy, jeans that make your butt look amazing, clothes that just feel very you & make you happy. 

I've started to think of using handmade dishware as dopamine dining. A mug or bowl that you love, that reflects an attitude of joy or serenity or high energy, or makes you smile - gives you what I call joy-zings but what might also be called dopamine hits. If you improve your experience of ordinary activities - & what could be more ordinary than preparing & eating food & drink? - you've improved your daily life. And guess what? Your daily life is the only life you have!

Tl;dr: Buy & use handmade pottery. See ya at the Maine Pottery Tour, May 6 & 7! 

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Flash Sale! I think


One of my New Year's resolutions was to learn to use social media better for business. I usually keep my New Year's resolutions, or at least make a mighty effort; this one was challenging, as I feel older & less tech savvy by the day. 

But I think I got it figured out! Here goes: for 48 hours - midnight February 15th though midnight February 16th - enter code FEBFLASH at checkout in the Fine Mess Pottery online shop to receive 15% off! 

I hope somebody actually buys something so I know if I did it right!