Friday, April 29, 2016

You're Damn Right I Got the Blues

You're damn right I got the blues from my head down to my shoes.
I can't win cause I don't have a thing to loose. _ Buddy Guy
I got da blues. I've tried everything from alcohol, drugs( like Bill Clinton I didn't inhale), yoga, meditation, therapy, exercise and self help books. The blues are back. People like it when ya have the blues. The more you suffer the better they like it.
Unloaded the gas kiln just now and I have the blues big time. This glaze is really forming some nice crystals like ice break up on my near by Lake Erie.
We have Dick Aerni coming to Pinecroft at the end of May and Dick and I or a bit of soul mates in that we have both been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. He is a master glazer with a spray gun. I'm a dust man. I like to add layers of dry glaze on horizontal surfaces. I just scrap the stuff off the sides of the glaze bucket and sieve it on with a kitchen screen. For vertical surfaces if I'm worried it is going to blow off on the way to the kiln I just spray it with a bit of water and sugar.
I learned this many years ago from Old Bull Ron Roy. I have a very nice "Snow Plate" of Ron's. He sprayed a terra sig on porcelain and then put a crumbs of a white glaze on the rim. It is a beauty!
Well I got to get hustling. Final prep for my grand opening of my new little showroom. It isn't big but it's small!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Who's Crazy?

I came home from North Carolina with a new passion as if I needed another. I got hooked on Outsider Art after reconnecting with my pal Clyde Jones and him graciously giving me a painting of the two snakes. I had visited Crystal King pottery right after getting my painting. Krystal said she had been flirting with Clyde for years and he had never given her anything. Crystal is a bit of a southern expert on Outsider Art and has some nice pieces for sale at her pottery.  I couldn’t get this piece “Love Nature” by Georgia Outsider Artist Jeff Payne outta my mind. So I was turning 65 and becoming a geezer so I treated myself to it. I figure I will put it in the Rat’s Nest to keep Ronnie’s Rat and Clyde’s Two Snakes company. This is my guest room. I wonder if they will stay long?
Here is a translation of Jeff Payne’s narrative on the back of the painting. “If nature was a flower petal that would always be a beautiful meadow where flowers grow on every hill and critters gather in the hills below.”

Now ain’t that beautiful! Maybe the rest of us need to be institutionalized and let Jeff and Clyde well enough alone in their world that only sees beauty.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Will work for food!

I got my new little outdoor showroom ready to rock and roll. I’ve got mostly old stock and some good seconds. If there is something wrong it meets the hammer so they are good pots just not gallery quality. The little gallery has the new work and the seconds and old stock are on ware carts under my covered deck where the food and wine will be.
I need to make some money this weekend to go do some heavy duty grocery shopping. I want to stock up just in case I have to house a bunch of my American potter friends that may well be considering becoming refugees. Americans are not just like any kind of refugee. They eat more so you can see my dilemma. I’ll be able to put them to work around here for a short period of time but eventually they’ll want to move into the cultural center of the province –Toronto. Gee, most of the city has been claimed. Toronto has Little Italy, Little India, Greek Town, China Town and others. Most of the central core of the city has been claimed so I figure Little America will have to be in Scarborough out on the Golden Mile. There are lots of fast food joints out there and temporary accommodation could be
had at The Hava Nap Motel. You can stay long term, by the day, or the hour.

Just fired off another kiln and it went like clockwork. Back in the zone. Come out this weekend if you can.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Kiss me baby

 I am taking precautions with my lungs while cleaning the shelves with the angle grinder. I've been hacking and coughing far too long to start it up all over.  Call me neurotic with ear protection, eye protection, lung protection and Cones 04, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 but I am Founding President of the Cover Your Ass Club. I like to see Cones dropping when we fire the wood kiln. Sometimes even when the temperature is not climbing heat work is at work. Time often drops those cones just as temperature would. I have a brand new crew rolling in for a firing starting this coming Monday and I want to be able to set a Cone objective and stagger off to bed for a few zzzzzzz's and come back to see they have done their job. I won't be able to sit, point and grunt like I did with the HPG mentorship group.
I sat on the couch with Cassara and the dogs in the kiln room and looked at that big beast of a beautiful kiln and thought how I've missed it. As long as I am able to draw a breath I will light a fire under your ass you beautiful thing you.  I took off my mask looked around to see if anyone was watching and I gave the kiln a kiss. I love it so!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Shit Happens!

Just when ya think you know a lot about firing kilns it turns out ya know Jack S*#T, Diddely Squat and Bugger All. The kiln devil brings you to your knees and has you beg for mercy. Please let me be a Wal Mart greeter! This being a potter is too dang hard.
I have just had a couple of weeks from hell with my computer operated gas kiln. It’s a beauty and I love it but all things have a built obsolescence. The motor on the damper has a estimated life expectancy of 10 years. I bought this kiln from a friend who had it for over a decade. The motor died.  So the new motor arrived from California and lucky for me there is a young guy in town that is an industrial electrician with experience with controllers.  Motor installed and firing under way. When it was supposed to go into reduction at 1600 the damper opens as far as it can and the gas drops to zero and woof off goes the kiln. Another phone call. The cam on the motor needs to be adjusted to the controller . Oh this is scary engineering stuff.  I have confidence in my young electrician.  Fire it up again. This time it shuts down at 1680.. Another electrician visit, another adjustment and fire again. This time it stalls at 600F and inches up to 700F in 3 hours. Call Rob the genius electrician he arrives and figures because of the adjustments we made he needs to reprogram it to “run” program. Firing continues and it is successful.

Now, I’ve been firing carbon trap shino for almost 20 years and I figured I would have lost it because it had oxidized at 1600 3 times. Well I just opened a lovely firing of beautiful carbon trapping. When I was younger I knew almost everything. Now I readily admit I know a lot
Complex and deep surface

less than I thought I did.