Monday, April 20, 2015

I'm a Wooster Booster

Sometimes weeks go by with nothing that is interesting enough to share with everyone, then there are weeks like this last one. Last summer I got wind that Dan Finnegan and Gay Smith were both presenting at the Functional Ceramics Workshop in Wooster, Ohio. I have known each of them for several years and though their pots are very different they are both inspirational in their approach to the material and the impeccable quality of their work.  Ronan Kyle Peterson was also presenting and although I had heard the name, I was not that familiar with his work. I think I may have been the first to register.  Thursday  I drove to Wooster, checked into the Best Western and went over to the Wayne Art Center for a look around and an opening reception. The WAC is in an old school building and it offers a broad spectrum of classes but this weekend it was clay all over there was a classroom for the reception and for the participant sale the next day. There was another for registration and the presenters sale. A third held an exhibit that included the presenters and others who had been juried in. I was very impressed with the work by Mike Frasca. He is in Harrodsburg Ky. now but trained in Cincinnati. I know a lot of his clay friends from those days and had heard the name but not seen the pots. WOW!

At the reception I caught up with Gay and Dan, met Ronan, and found up n comer Didem Mert who is a facebook friend who recently had work in Ceramics monthly. It was a nice start to a great event.

Friday dawned early for me. Luckily, the motel starts serving a hot breakfast at 6 AM so I had time to linger before heading out. For a motel breakfast bar, I thought it was very good and there were a couple of women making sure everyone was happy. The workshop got underway in the old auditorium of the school and easily accommodated 200 people. Dan Finnegan led off by moaning about not being a morning person but you never would have known it. He went for two hours straight and never missed a beat. He demonstrated techniques, told stories of his days at Winchcombe, and shared his warmth and good nature.


We had a quick lunch with box lunches from Jimmy Johns. The food was fine and it was so much faster than trying to go through a line where people make their own sandwiches and select which sides to dish up. Turkey sub, Italian sub or Vegan if you preordered one. Grab a drink and move on. 200 people served in about 5 minutes.
Gay Smith led off the afternoon. I had spent a week at Odyssey in Asheville for a workshop with her several years ago. Even though I had seen her techniques before, it is always inspirational to hear her presentation and be reminded of her attention to detail.She approaches the material with great respect and is very smooth and fluid in how she works. She covered Faceting, Fluting, Willow Leaf Ovalizing, oval lids, and detail detail detail !


Finishing the first day was Ronan Kyle Peterson. He was a very entertaining presenter and an excellent choice for the last slot of the day. Ronan ( Ron an) works in earthen ware and showed us how he applies handbuilding techniques like darting to wheel thrown work. He then slips, textures, and decorates to create layers of interest.

Friday night, we went to a place called Quailcreek Farm for a grilled chicken dinner. They have a very nice nursery and garden store that we roamed in with wine and nibbles while dinner was being assembled. Dinner was very good and sharing a table with old and new friends made it even better.
Presentations continued Saturday but unfortunately, I had to leave by noon to get back to Cincinnati in time to hang the street banners for our spring pottery fair. I hated to leave but this job was timed to go along with the community council taking down their banners for another event  and them helping us hang ours. If you ever get the chance to see any of these presenters, do it. You'll be glad you did. A big thanks should also go out to everyone from WAC for all the hard work it takes to make an event this size look effortless. I hope to be there again next year.
One final note was I did my first official open mic appearance last night with the Queen City Balladeers. I have jammed with them for a couple of years but had not done a solo on stage performance before. I did George Jones' "She Thinks I Still Care" and Bob Wills' " Faded Love". It was well received and I received a lot of nice comments afterwards. My intro included.. Like many first times it will be over before you know it and there many be some kind of clap at the end. Here is a previous video of Faded Love. Thanks for stopping and try to plan on coming to Spring Pottery Fair on May 2 Madison and Woodburn in Cincinnati.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Short Post

Last time I posted a shot of some wine glasses as greenware. Smartcat asked to see them finished. OK Here they are.
I'm happy with how they came out. We'll see if they sell before making them by the dozen.
I am still moving slowly toward Springfair which is approaching quickly on May 2. I am pretty much done making and may just glaze a light load so I can run a few refires through the kiln. I have been compartmenting more case for stuff and really wanted to come up with a way to put all my cereal bowls in one box. I figured I needed 12 stacks 4 high and could not find a bin to suit me anywhere so I built one. It is 1/2 inch birch plywood with reinforced finger jointed corners. There is a top that slides in. The only problem is that loaded with 48 bowls, this thing weighs about 60 lbs. I can manage it but I don't want a van full like this. I'm wondering if it would work to just display them like this instead of unpacking. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by.