Friday, August 29, 2008

Details .... it's always in the details

In examining lots of spouts on pitchers, my biggest complaint has always been that most would pour horribly, and the rest would dribble or worse. When I saw Mick Casson's pitcher spouts, and later Robin Hopper's... I knew there had to be a way to emulate their spouts.

I think handle attachments are one of the most crucial details for a potter.

All of my bowls are signed in sgraffito through a nice dark slip.

This is the chop Nancy uses to sign her work, along with our studio stamp with our address on it.

I've often been asked what I think separates one potter's work from another's. I think it generally boils down to the details. Any potter worth their salt should be able to throw just about any form with relative ease. That same ease manifests in intrinsically interesting ways when one examines the finishing details more fully. Case in point: Look at feet. Look at spouts. Look at handles and attachments. These details speak volumes about the intimacy a potter expects to share with the user. Careless, casual, attentive, abrasive, conversational, impatient, meandering.... all describe ways of relating to these fascinating details.

My hope is to take more pics over the next couple weeks.... of other potter's work. I would love to open this up to general dialogue. Any ideas are always welcome.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kid at the Fair

I couldn't pass up this shot. We had been taking pictures all over the fair for over two hours as the sun went down. Aurora captured some AMAZING images. (see my earlier blog entry)

As we were watching the kids on the bumper cars I asked her if she planned on going on any rides. She quietly mused how she might, but she wasnt sure... she didnt want to ask for more money for rides, but just the same she wanted to keep taking pictures. It's hard having to decide what's more fun....

The look of amusement and relief on her face when I said she should go get some tickets just made this picture seem perfect.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Awesome Opening at Salmon Pottery last weekend

Last weekend, Mary Ellen Salmon hosted an amazing opening for CD release of

"Le Canard perdu"

The music of Brittany by Alize

I'm not sure what I was expecting from the opening, but it more than exceeded my expectations. Lots of excellent food, great company, and the wonderful music of Alize. Here are a few snapshots from folks at the opening. I cant wait for the next opening!!! Here is a link to a few more pictures of everyone having a great time at the opening:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Trumansburg Fair 2008 - Aurora's pictures

sunset in the street in front of our house - by Aurora ©2008

the Zipper - by Aurora ©2008

Yoyo swing ride - by Aurora ©2008

the Zipper - by Aurora ©2008

Yoyo swing ride - by Aurora ©2008

the Zipper - by Aurora ©2008

Revolution in time

Time was, this kid was scared of movement. All of a sudden fast things are good. Today we tried out rollerblades. Started out slow and tentative but soon left that behind completely. Now she's looking forward to the next session so she can work more on her form and SPEED.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nearly finished

91398B - untitled detail ©

111398A - Mint Crackle ©

I keep saying that. I mean it this time. We are NEARLY finished shooting the platters. My best guess is that in 2 more days of taking pictures we'll finally finish. Here are a couple close-up macro shots to tide you over till we finish.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


42998VIII ©

After bringing home work from the Johnson Museum at Cornell University earlier this week, we reluctantly left all the platters in the back of the mini-van. As luck would have it, this weekend we needed the full use of the back of the van. So, as is always the case, we had to move one thing, to move another thing, to get another thing to find its rightful place. In the end, the day was spent moving lots of platters, and luckily, taking pictures of eleven more! Here's a quick glimpse of a detail of one of my favorite ones today: 42998VIII

There are 22 more to come.

Okay, so WHERE are the pots?

I keep asking myself that question. Seems like for every entry about pots or platters, there are 10 entries in this blog about photography. Must mean I have a fun hobby. Hmmm.

This past week was an awesome week for selling pots. The downside to being busy in the shop selling is that I am a whole lot LESS productive in terms of MAKING pots.

Right around the time of night when I would normally be curled into bed, I found myself out in the studio. The music was loud, the lights bright and the pots were flowing from my hands. Oval vases are now stacked up like cordwood all around the studio waiting for finishing today and tomorrow.

Today... BOWLS. I keep saying it but today I HAVE to do it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Not Really Sure How This All Fits

At the end of every week I find myself more and more excited about the photos I'm shooting. This week I only had a few chances to get out and shoot. I had more than ample opportunity though to be inspired by a number of amazing photo blogs. Found this one fellow up in Canada, BLEW my mind. I love Sean D. McCormick's blog called Neutral Hills Stills His sense of color and value is just amazing. It inspired me to go back through some of the pictures Nancy and I shot back in June. Ran them through some new Nik filters and now they just zing!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Photo Ramblings

This week Aurora is back from Montana and the weather has been awesome. Not too hot, though some would argue it has rained too much. I'm happy though.

Admittedly, I should be up to my ears in making pots right now, but instead I am spending quality time with my kid. I wouldn't pass up this time for anything! This week we have hiked at Taughannock Falls, Watkins Glen and even found time to ramble around Sheldrake Point. Hopefully we can get the kayaks in the water before the weekend. On our ramblings, we have both dutifully remembered to bring our cameras along. As a result we've had ample opportunites to catch great light and create some interesting images. Here are just a few.

Back from Glacier

Aurora just got home from her trip out west. Here's the link to some of her pictures.
Next up are some of her pictures from the local marina as well as some from our hikes in the local gorges. Fun stuff!

Monday, August 11, 2008

What's the Canadian word for awesome?

9298A - untitled

82098I - untitled

We had the pleasure this weekend of meeting some awesome folks from the Greater Toronto Area. Lisa and Steve stopped in our little hamlet on Sunday to look at pottery... but I think I can safely say it was the platters from the Glaze Tectonics series that left them agog. There were two platters they were especially taken with, but they weren't sure enough to make a hard choice on Sunday. Well, fast forward a day and they were back.... but this time, they wanted to see more! That can be hard when these platters are boxed up in huge wooden crates. As luck would have it, we have been shooting ALL the platters over this summer and we have collected enough pictures to say authoritatively, that we have catalogued about 40 platters now. I think...
So we pulled them up on the computer and we leafed through them all. MUCH easier than trying to open boxes of platters that weigh 30-50# each.... much easier.
In the end, two platters found a new home this week. They weren't the ones on the wall of the gallery, but instead one was out in a crate and one was still in the van after coming off the wall from the de-installation (is that a word?) of the Ithaca Ceramics exhibit at the Johnson Museum.
Thank you Lisa and Steve. It was both a pleasure and an honor to share this weekend trip with you both! We'll see you on our next jaunt to Toronto.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Where do you bury your dead?

It isn't everyday you find out that you have an archaeological dig happening very near to your backyard. In nearby Mecklenburg, there is an ongoing unearthing of an Iroquois site. I had the pleasure today of meeting the lead archaeologist (and budding potter) when she and her partner stopped into the studio. As we poured over sherds and talked about probable causes of certain stains and coatings on the shards, it really brought back memories of my undergrad years in the Amherst MA area. I guess mostly it drove home the desire to be back in academia again. I miss that atmosphere so much!

After they'd left I was thinking about assumptions we make about history when we view it through shards and artifacts. I think sometimes we find very far fetched solutions to an archaeological conundrum when in all likelihood the simpler solution is more likely. Occam's stone arrowhead?
It left me with the question from Edgar in Men in Black..... where do you bury your dead?


Are worth what? I have been really enjoying my "new" dslr.... but now I wonder, how do I get these images to pay their way? Is it feasible? Given the proliferation of digital cameras, as well as the ease with which one can steal just about anyone's images from the web, WHY on earth would anyone BUY my pictures? Ideas anybody? Help me understand the reasoning so I can design some sort of business plan. Right now it feels sort of hollow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Peacock, 1899 - copyright 1999

One of our favorite platters has found a new home. On one hand it is hard to see this piece leave. It has generated a tremendous amount of interest. On the other hand, it means we get to dig out another platter from storage and see how that shakes things up. I'm excited on both accounts!
A huge thank you to our newest collectors: Meredith and Justin in Brooklyn.

Ithaca Ceramics exhibit is nearly ready to close

For those of you who haven't had a chance to check out this show... here's a slide-show walk-through. These pictures were provided by the museum and then turned into a slideshow by yours truly. August 10th approaches fast!

Ithaca Ceramics

Here's hoping the next exhibition of these platters is not so far from now.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Interest in Platters is Up

62098G - untitled detail

62098G - untitled

122198I - untitled detail

122198I - untitled

We have had quite a few visitors to the studio lately. Considering that what draws most people to our studio is our functional line of studio pottery, the interest in our big platters from the Glaze Tectonics series, is phenomenal. Yesterday we spent a good chunk of the evening with a young couple, discussing glaze phenomenon, artistic intention, installation devices, ... all sorts of fun stuff. All of this helped me feel validated for all of the work I am going through to document these monstrous platters.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Frustrations and exultations

I am not sure that I can explain the combination of agony and ecstasy that I get from doing post-production work on my photos. I usually can tell if I snagged a pretty good image when I take a look at the LCD on the camera or when I see it full size when I get home. But until I have wrung it through the mill in Photoshop, I dont really know for sure, if the image is a winner or not. I would love to hear thoughts/comments from anyone on these images.