Monday, December 20, 2010

Posting About Other People's Pots

small handbuilt espresso mug with fake ash glaze, c/10 reduction, 1998

loosely thrown mug with magnesia matte glaze, c/10 reduction, 1997

woodfired tumbler, c/10, tenmoku liner, 1995

Alex Solla 1996©, salt fired with crackle kaolin slip marbled inside and unglazed clay surface for the outside.

Alex Solla 1996©, salt fired with crackle kaolin slip and wollastonite slip on the outside surface.

Even though I am no longer making pots, they are still a big part of my life. For the past few weeks I have been primarily shooting product photographs, which means the studio is set up for table-top shooting. I figured while I have the whole lighting rig arranged, and the gobos set up... why not take advantage of the arrangement. To that end, I am photographing as much of my collection as possible this week.

These pots are from my time at Utah State. In the first two years I was there, most of my pots were either salt fired or wood fired. When I couldn't squeeze pots into those firings, I fired gas reduction. All in all, there was an awful lot of experimentation from those years.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Boil Bubble

81998H - Pink Pustules and Toothpaste ©2010

81998H - Pink Pustules and Toothpaste ©2010

There are so many things one never expects a glaze to do. These platters threw that idea in the garbage. (which makes sense considering how many hundreds of these platters ended up in the dumpster!)

I never imaged I would keep a platter with pink glassy pustules covering the surface. I never expected I would be excited to see frozen examples of cracked glacial toothpaste. Go figure.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looking Back

Back when Nancy and I were first getting Cold Springs Studio Pottery off the ground, our focus was on making kick-ass retro stylin' pots which could work just as well in a modern asain-aesthetic lifestyle. To that end, Nancy and I looked at piles of magazines and books trying to understand how to convey that message with our images.

At that point, I had gone through my first back surgery to fix a herniated disk which had ejected disk material which had become lodged in the spinal canal. Not fun. Left me with my right leg partially paralyzed. Post surgery though, I had a six week recovery at home. Keeping me from going out of my mind, I decided to pick up digital photography. I had shot primarily with slide film in the 5 years prior to that point, but digital seemed easier.

We borrowed cameras from folks we knew, from different departments that would loan them out at Cornell... even tried a few in stores here and there around town. After doing a fair bit of internet searching, I settled on the Olympus C-5050Z which at the time (2003) was a pretty high end camera. I couldn't afford a dslr yet, and this could do almost everything that my older 35mm camera could do.

With the Oly in hand, Nancy and I set up all sorts of shots in our make-shift studio. We had virtually nothing that anyone would recognize as lighting gear. A cobbled together lightbox hung suspended from the ceiling in our throwing studio. Made from foam core, lightweight wood and spare electrical parts, this lightbox formed the basis for our photography work for the next 7 years. Here are a few images taken back then... and then revisited in Lightroom this week. Pretty interesting to see how these images can be re-imagined.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Still sorting more stuff

Okay... I have collected a mountain of stuff for the pottery studio over the past 20 years.
I mean, we're talking TONS of stuff. The time has come to start saying goodbye to much of it. That said, most of it is now up for grabs. Seriously. My library is now up for sale. I have a great pdf explaining each and every title.... and prices too! Anything that I can't sell (cheap!) to a potter, I will put on ebay at the going rate (which is a lot more than I would ever consider asking of a fellow potter.) [Okay, we have had numerous folks emailing, asking me to send them the pdf for the books.... HERE it is!] (I will do my best to update this daily as books sell)...another caveat: this pdf is 7 pages in color, it isnt a small file, so please be patient while it loads.

I am also getting rid of a lot of display stuff from the studio. Props, plate stands, plate hangars, and miscellaneous stuff one acquires so as to best display one's work. Pictures are available. Suffice to say, if you saw the display stands in any of my earlier studio images... those props are now up for grabs. Make me an offer and I will pack up a box for you.

I am also selling off massive quantities of Mason stains. Obviously, having worked in bright colors, we have a LOT of Mason stains. In many cases, well over 10# of many of some stains. Make me an offer on the whole lot and I will be a happy guy. Otherwise, I start breaking this all down piecemeal. I will probably be grumpy about this in the end.

I have a wonderful digital balance from Ohaus (Scout) model available. $50. CHEAP. Paid over $100 for it and it has been a fantastic addition to my glaze bench.

For folks who weigh out their clay before throwing, I have two medium scales (weigh up to 25#) available. $15 each.

I am happy to ship in whatever manner folks want to pay for. If you happen to live locally, so much the better! Come and get it. I will be making this list more comprehensive in the weeks to come.

Full PDF of the booklist and yes, this is a BIG file. Drink some coffee while it loads.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Clearing out the magazines

Now that the studio is closed, I am selling/ giving away most of my ceramic magazines including Ceramics Monthly back to the 60s, Ceramic Review (UK), Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Technical, Ceramic Industry, American Craft, Craft Horizons, American Ceramics and more. Make me an offer and they are yours!

This is a MOUNTAIN of journals. I would guess this stash to be at least 200# of magazines. I sure hope someone out there sees this as an opportunity, otherwise these puppies are heading for the recycle center next month.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Meant To Write About

When I shot this, back in April 2009, I was on a tear. I had pulled together some of my favorite pots in my collection, shot them from multiple angles, all to show the incredible range of craftsmanship and all the attention to detail. Pottery needs to be handled, but allowing for that impossibility in many cases, I figured images would have to suffice.

Somewhere between then and now, these images got lost in the mountain of photos I keep shooting. So why bring them out now?

Well, Bruce and Samantha at Bulldog Pottery are sending Nancy and I two amazingly beautiful mugs. I seldom find myself going gaga over other potter's mugs. To say these mugs are something special is an understatement.

Bruce and Samantha produce an array of amazing forms with luscious glazes, full of character, detail, crystals and more. Always a surprise. Every time I have shown this pot to another potter, the first words out of their mouths has always been "wow!" I think that says it all.

So how did I come by this yunomi? Back when I was living in Utah, my friend Carrie brought me this Yunomi of Bruce's. She told me that he made this while he was preparing for his graduate exhibition at Alfred (NYSCC). Suffice it to say, I have nothing comparable in my collection! Thank you Bruce for adding a wicked cool yunomi to my collection! I am so excited to know that you and Sam are sending me two new mugs.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pale River

9298H - Pale River, cone 8, fired for three days, cooled for 48 hours

This platter has always held a special place in my heart. It is quieter than many of the rest that were made at the same time. The level of crystallization is phenominal. Almost like ice!

As a studio closing special, Nancy and I decided that we would post a special rate on all the platters we're showing on the blog. This one, Pale River, normally was listed at $800 in the studio... but for this week we'll not only drop the price massively, but we'll cover the costs of shipping anywhere in the US as well. So, $500 will enable this Pale River to grace your wall.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Purple-black Storm, 9298B

9298B - Purple-black Storm, cone 8, fired for four days, cooled for four days, $600, 20"

Friday, August 27, 2010

More Than A River

9298C - More Than A River, cone 7, fired for four days, cooled for three days.

9298C - More Than A River, detail

9298C - More Than A River, detail

9298C - More Than A River, detail

9298C - More Than A River, detail

I am always somewhat reluctant to post images from these platters... not because I don't love them, but because I feel like I have so little to say about them. I guess for folks wanting to know more about them, I am open to questions. Unless mentioned otherwise, they are for sale. Shipping isn't as bad as I thought it would be, considering that most of these platters weigh upwards of 50# and are in most cases 18-22" across. BIG is an understatement.

So, fire away with questions and comments.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cold Springs Studio is now Closed

The sign on the road has come down.
The signs in the yard have been taken down.
The pots are (mostly) sold.
The last orders have been boxed.
The lights in the gallery are off.
The music has been turned off.
What else can I say?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Saying Good-Bye

62098H - ©1998 Alex Solla - Glaze Tectonics, untitled, 17" diameter

62098H - ©1998 Alex Solla - detail

This week, another beautiful platter sold and will be heading to Maine as soon as we get it boxed up. It is always a bittersweet separation when one of these massive platters sells. On one hand, I am thrilled that someone wants one in their home or office. The sudden cash influx certainly doesn't hurt either. But there is always some part of me that looks at the piece, one last time and realizes that I will likely never see this platter ever again.

In the case of this particular platter, it has some interesting differences that separate it from the rest of the series. For one thing, I was experimenting with a brown slip glaze around the rim. Later in the course of making these, I would only use the dark black slip for the rims. Another thing that makes this platter different from so many of the platters is that there is a rippled texture under the glaze, and due to the transparency of the fluid glaze, you can see what look almost like wave washed shoreline, under the glaze. Since I felt that this effect was so successful in this platter, I made similar efforts on quite a few platters which followed this one. None were anywhere near as successful.

And with that said, I say good-bye and good luck.

Second to Last Firing is OUT and on the Shelves

We have one more firing cooling down today, which will be on the shelves first thing tomorrow morning. Then we're out. What you're seeing is what we have left. Great colors, and fantastic pots. Our aim was to go out with a bang and I think we nailed it with this last firing!

There's a lot of lime, matte purple and other great colors!

Down to the Wire

This morning we unloaded an armful of gorgeous oval trays, more salad and dessert plates (and a few special things for those waiting for orders!)
Alas, the driveway was quiet today. Not nearly the onslaught that Tuesday and Wednesday gave us. Tomorrow and Saturday are it.

Saturday at Noon we take down our sign. Anyone who shows up in the driveway after high-noon had better be bringing pizza, ice cream or something chocolate-ish.... 'cause we'll be celebrating and grieving and lamenting and reveling. It's the end of an era.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We're BACK

Only five days left to go.....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday's Pots - Straight from the kiln

Apprentice's teapot in Pear $120, 1 matte purple sorbet bowls (Sold)

Blue teabowl $36, small pear mixing bowl $60

Small mixing bowls in Matte Purple and Pear (SOLD), $60 each.

Matte purple salad plates ( 2 SOLD), $30

Small serving bowl in Matte purple $48

Small serving bowl in Matte purple $48, Blue canister $50, pear salad plate $30

Tiny teabowl in Turquoise $36 (SOLD)