Procrastination comes to an end…

Procrastination comes in a many forms – gotta wash the dishes, I’m shot from work, should do the laundry, clean the yard, relax. It’s productive procrastination sometimes. But I’ve finally got 5 glaze test going with the kiln at 700F and falling. Can’t wait to see if I’m on the right track or if more tweaking is necessary.


Moss ash, Temmoku with moss ash, my marshmallow white with moss ash, standard wood ash, a ru Celadon with some Zircopax. Up front is internally glazed with celadon and externally with moss ash. Bake until bubbly!

Here is the list for anyone interested in the recipes (ru is incomplete, I’ll update full recipe later)


My workspace is in complete disarray  but the shelves are up and I now have a space to mix and glaze and some spare room to house greenware. There are three bags of recyclables being collected for another art project for a friend and you don’t want to see the rest of the place! (There’s a Christmas tree out of frame! Etc…)

Tomorrow I’m meeting up with a few fellow potters to do the math on the new Anagama kiln which hopefully will be built and operational before this time next year. Something similar to this.


Single chamber, smallish but perfectly workable. I mostly do smaller pottery, yunomi a and chawan and the such, so no problems there! We’ll be able to stack high and deep. In fact Jay has no intention of fully relying on this kiln as his livelihood comes from the controlled firings he gets in his gas kiln. But man what fun to see what the fire brings to the collaboration! All 3 of us work within our own styles and that is a kind of symbiotic / synergetic thing! I love that I can get ideas and input from various sources and filter it through my own sense of taste.  We might already have 1000 bricks so it shouldn’t be too much more expensive to get the rest of the materials.

Myself, I have a cone 8 electric kiln which I really have no desire to peruse firing in that manner except for bisque and the ocasional glaze test. I’m prepared for the inevitable frustration of having a priced piece of work come out different from what I envision. Along with that should come some happy accidents and having my physical input into the process is something that I highly desire. Kind of like shooting film and thendeveloping it yourself. It’s a beginning to end process. It is a collaboration after all.

Back to being excited and motivated thanks to getting my diet and supplements in order. Some medications just take it all out of you. So goes life.

I’m also working on a list of decoration techniques (other than form based). Mostly to just solidify different techniques in my brain so I can compliment the forms I make. Probably hundreds more of these to come, just getting started.


So my day pretty much looks like this when I’m able to focus on ceramics. Being a potter with a 45 hour a week side gig at a fortune 100 company is sometimes full of challenges, both logistically and motivationally.


So there you have it! My Fourth of July update. No red white and blue pots, but some gold motivation to keep on pushing. It just takes time to get any better and you got to put in the work. Same goes for anything. Life itself. You get out of it what you put in!

Ohi Toshio (大樋年雄) Workshop

Ohi Toshio – 大樋年雄 is an 11th generation Tea bowl master. I had the privilege of spending 2 days with him at Piedmont College watching him form Chawan, learning about the importance of tea in the Japanese culture and getting a glimpse into the depth and symbolism that tea ceremony and the tea bowl bring in Asian culture. (Think golden ratio kind of deep. Think Shinto kind of deep. Think about layer upon layer of symbolism.)

Mr. Ohi is a fantastic and widely knowledgeable person and I stopped taking notes exactly 3 minutes into the first workshop so that I could just focus and take in as much as possible. This was, I later found out, a 2 week session put into 2 days. The fact that he came at all speaks of his generosity. In my humble opinion you will learn more about the teabowl and the culture from deciphering the man who makes them than by memorizing any kind of technique.

Here is a man who is, a father, photographer, artist, designer, speaker and tea bowl maker (among other things probably as well). He continues a tradition began in the 1600’s while still being an artist who is true to himself. He blends and balances the new and the old through his ideals. Mr. Ohi unfortunately did not have time for me to create a proper portrait of him as the gallery and Japanese consulate were awaiting his arrival. I wanted it to be a a gift to him for imparting so much knowledge to myself and the other attendees. I am hopeful that we will meet again with more time one day.

If anyone has any questions about the workshop I will try to answer as best I can or try and locate the information requested. Please enjoy some moments from the working sessions. I apologize in advance that I did not get more pictures of the attendees but please share links if you have some. I would love to see the perspective of others.

Clay Moisture

I’ve been seeing videos where people are picking up the clay and moving it nearly effortlessly. It takes me a lot more effort to move the clay and to do my pulls. I’m sure it will get easier with more experience but to try something new I  wedged a bunch of 14 oz balls of clay and intentionally made it more moist than I normally throw. Well this works, in a way… it certainly makes the clay more pliable and easier to make the movements and gestures but I had the biggest problem getting it off the wheel head. I don’t use bats. I do it old school, just cut it off with a wire like the olden days! So I had the idea that a small propane torch would do the trick to dry the outside enough for me to get it off the wheel. It works great! I dont think that I am going to continue to throw with the clay moisture at this level though. It just doesnt seem to be worth it.

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