Sunday, June 29, 2008


Slow weekend in pottery blogland.  Pulled pork was a success!  It only took 12 hours to slowly roast.  It was definitely worth the wait.  I tried but I just couldn't put the Texas BBQ sauce on the pork.  I made a nice vinegar based Carolina style sauce for the sandwiches.  I'm glad I was fantastic...if I do say so myself. 

Spain pulled off the win in Euro Cup.  I guess it was an all-around good day up here.  

I'm hoping that I can get that bisque loaded tomorrow.  Things are still a little damp and it's mighty humid but if it's sunny tomorrow I'll get everything out in the sun early and then give it a nice long soak in the kiln and all should be alright.  

Pottery blogging returns tomorrow.  

Non-Pottery Related Post

Euro Cup 2008 Almost Liveblogging:

¡¡¡Vamos Torres!!!

Unbelievable Goal.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Drying Time

I think my cycle of earthenware is just about done.  I've got about 75 pounds left of clay so I think I'll be making another round soon but now it's time to get everything dry, into the bisque and then a quick turnaround for a glaze firing. 

I'm looking forward to seeing how quickly I'll be able to get everything through.  I'm used to filling a much larger kiln with a much longer firing cycle so this should be interesting.  I need to mix up a few glazes now that I have all of the ingredients but that might wait until Monday.  I have a couple of pork shoulders sitting in their dry rub getting ready for a slow roast tomorrow.  I know....Michael, Ron and all of you potters from the Carolinas can get the real deal BBQ Pulled Pork whenever you want but we're not as lucky up here on the Cape.  So I'm making my own for tomorrow's Sunday Dinner with friends.  I don't have a pit or any good smoking wood so it's going in the oven for a long, slow roasting at about 275º.  It's still good but can't compare to what you Southern potters can get.  And I'm combining BBQ styles since I have some sauce from The Salt Lick which is located near my future home town.   I'll let you know how it is.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the last round of pots for this cycle.  I'm hoping that everything is dry enough for me to fire a bisque on Monday.  If all goes well I'll be able to get everything glazed up by Tuesday night and get the kiln back on.  A Wednesday firing might be more realistic.  Either way I'm excited to have some new pots by the Holiday Weekend.

First up are some small squared mugs with some fresh slip...yummy.  They'll get the rest of the decoration tomorrow.

Here's one of my larger wobbly vases....

Some lunch plates...

A couple more wobbly vases....

Here are the tumblers I threw the other day that might be too large...perhaps they are now small vases.  Next to them are some more mugs with some more of that bright yellow underglaze.  

If all goes well maybe we'll get a picture of some pulled pork up on the blog tomorrow.  Anyone have a favorite cole slaw recipe to go along with BBQ?  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  
¡¡¡Vamos España!!!
Euro Cup 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mugs & Cups

Still plugging away in the studio.  It feels like I'm not getting that much done.  Maybe I'm not but slow and steady progress is better than nothing.  It's pretty humid in there and I have a few more things that I want to make for my electric kiln firing so my idea of getting it all done before this weekend isn't looking promising.  

I made a few more wobbly vases yesterday and a few new tumblers which are pictured below. There is another pic of some mugs that have been sitting under plastic for well over a week.  I think I should always throw a ton of mugs at the beginning of the cycle because they seem to take forever to meet their handles.  I should make a few more later today but I'm planning on sitting down to watch the Euro Cup Semi-Finals shortly.  I've been trying to watch Wimbledon in the studio but I keep looking down at my work and missing anything interesting.  And, it sure isn't worth listening to the commentary that ESPN2 has going on.  I was happy that Marat Safin won yesterday.  He's one of my favorite players and expresses on the court what I sometimes feel like in the studio.

Also, you are all very nice.  In my high-fire snobbery I guess I never had learned to spell earthenware.  I had been putting an extra "r" in the middle.  Maybe all of those comments using the word correctly were gentle reminders but I never noticed.  It took an email from my mother asking if earthernware is the same as earthenware.  And silly me....I kept ignoring the bright red marking that Blogger uses to let me know that I've mis-spelled something.  I thought Blogger just didn't know the intricacies of pottery lingo...guess it was me.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I had planned on having some more pots made by now but that hasn't happened yet.  I have been cleaning my studio and helping customers in the gallery.  I also shipped some work out to the Blue Heron Gallery up in Deer Isle, Maine for the first time.  I'm excited to have some work up there.  

I'll hopefully get back into the studio this afternoon and get some more work made.  I just ordered a few more materials that I needed to mix up some of the earthernware glazes.  I'm hoping to get a delivery before the weekend and maybe get everything finished up shortly.   

Monday, June 23, 2008

Some more decorating

Thanks to all who've visited the new site and checked out the webstore.  I really do appreciate your feedback.  I'm looking forward to getting more pots up there and tweaking some of the little things but it is all working really well and it's nice to finally see it up there on the internets.  It's been quite a process....thanks for dealing with boring web-related rants.  I think I'll stick with Scott's rule for now on and keep the blog about pottery only.

So, in trying to keep this about pots.  Here are some more earthernware pots after slip and decoration.  This is a little platter, probably about 14 inches in diameter.

Here's a ware-board with the pitchers and those wobbly squared vases.

Here is a more detailed view of the wobbly pots.  I can't decide what I think of them yet...but since I'm going to try to make some bigger versions next time I'm at the wheel I think I'm intrigued,

Here's a salt-fired vase of mine from 2-3 years ago.  It was squared and has Tile-6 and black slip decoration.  The new earthernware pots are pretty closely related to this little guy.  

I think it's fun when you notice that you're re-visiting forms and decorating ideas without even realizing that you're doing so.  We all have such a vocabulary of forms within.  It comes from our time in the studio making our own work, from books and magazines as we thumb through and see a pot that catches our eye, when we visit a friend's studio and see what's new, and now from checking out what is current in the world via all of these great pottery blogs.  It's always nice to re-visit these ideas from a new direction and with new skills and techniques.  

The shop is closed tomorrow so we'll probably take a little family time down to the beach if the weather cooperates.  I have some catching up to do in the studio but everything might have to hang out under all that plastic for one more day.  

Earthenware Progress

Here are some of the pieces I've been working on as I attempt to figure out this strange moving, weirdly smooth, lower firing clay called earthernware.  I decided to go small as I lost the first few pieces as I was throwing them.  I don't think anything here is over 5 pounds.  I've been enjoying it now and I may try some 6-8 pound pieces later today if all goes well.    It's been a while without any pics of pots so here they are...

Here are a few 3 pound pitches and a few small altered vases.

Here are a some of those pieces decorated.  Left to right...Triangular Vase, Squared Vase, Oval Vase, Oval Vase.  The oval on the right has some commercial yellow underglaze on's bright!  I had it laying around from a tile project I did with Javi's pre-school class a while back.  I thought I would try it out.  I'm a little worried but we'll see how it looks under a might have to go under an opaque black glaze.

Here are a few 3 pound jugs.

And finally, here are the pitchers and some altered squared vases.  I pulled up on the rims on the two on the right which I've never done on vases before.  I always have to lift the spout of the pitcher a little more so I thought I would see how it translates to these forms.  I'll post some details after I get them decorated.  

In other news....I have quietly gone live with our new site....check it out and let me know what you think.  The webstore is open but I wanted to see an initial response before I send out the big announcement email.  I still have to get some more pots uploaded but it's time to kiss my baby and let her out into the world.  I'm literally selling pots online now.  Enjoy.  

And...if anyone does get into any navigation problems, please let me know about it. 

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My studio is a mess!

An absolute disaster. And until I clean it pictures. I have some mugs, pitchers and jugs needing handles but I don't have a clean surface to work on them. I already mixed up a white slip for the earthernware I've been working with so, if I can get this place a little more organized I should be able to get everything finished up and maybe even slipped tonight.

I got a late start today. My sister-in-law graduated from her surgery resident program up in Boston last night. She's already in the car driving down to Orlando to start her fellowship program on Monday. That's a nice weekend off after working 5 years straight after med-school. What's her fellowship in....?


Colo-Rectal Surgery! It's a nice conversation piece, don't you think? Anyways, we got back on Cape late and I've definitely been moving kind of slowly so far today. Well, better go clean, get some pieces finished and then maybe get the studio and this blog back on track. I feel like it's been a while since I've gotten anything finished and the blog has been suffering because of it.

Oh, and yeah...the website isn't ready. Well, it's ready on my end but the webstore is still having some issues but I'm told Monday morning...of course I was told Friday afternoon yesterday morning.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Earthernware.... a little strange. I threw a few pieces yesterday and it didn't quite go as planned. The clay moved a tad differently than my normal clay and it definitely took some getting used to. Today I got a few pitchers and bottles made. I'll shoot some pictures and write a little more later.

I've spent half of the day on tech support regarding a few computer issues. I thought that I had lost my database with everything from the shop this year....I was a little nervous about that. It's resolved and luckily all is working again. I guess it's time for a backup.

Time to help some customers in the shop...might be a little rude to keep typing!

More later...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back to the studio tomorrow.

It's been a while since I've been in the studio making pots. After the firing I laid low and spent most of the time either in the gallery, photographing work or working on the website....most of the time it was all 3 at once. Today the gallery was closed and even though last night the weather called for rain it never showed and it was a gorgeous day. I took a true day off. I even made it out to play some tennis with my friend Brandon. I only spent about an hour working on the site. It is truly almost done. All of the pages are built I'm just waiting to make the shopping cart secure so that the webstore can handle credit card orders.

I think it looks good...I'll still be cleaning it up and making small changes once it's live but I'm ready to get it out there. I'll put it up as soon as it is secure and let you all know about it here. I'd love to get some feedback and see if anyone comes across any problems. I won't do the big announcement via email newsletter until I hammer out the rest of the small details and make sure there are no glaring errors.

Tomorrow it's back to the studio. The photo setup is losing it's place of privilege on the main table so that I'll have somewhere to put some pots once they're made. Hopefully, by mid-day the classic "fresh pots on a table" will be photographed and put up on the blog. I feel like I'm cheating on my pots but I'm going to spend a couple of days with earthernware starting tomorrow. It should be interesting.

I have a very large planter left over from last year that hasn't made it into the kiln yet. It's already been bisqued it just never got glazed. The planter should take up a good amount of space in my next reduction firing so I'll able to make some pots for the kiln fairly quickly once I finish a little playing with low-fire.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I forgot to post this's my favorite shot of photographing Randall Darwall's scarves. It's Kreeger Pottery's new model....

Sunday Morning...again.

Our sidewalk sale was a success yesterday.  Town was full of people, many with shopping bags....a good deal of them from Kreeger Pottery.  It was nice to see some people we haven't seen in a while and it's always nice to see new people come in and explore the shop.  Thanks to all who came.

We were going to set up a table outside again today but the weather isn't cooperating with us so we set up a table within the gallery.  We'll break it down today.  I've never liked having a "seconds" area within the shop so we'll save what's left for another time.  

My kids brought me cards in bed this morning and I even slept in a little bit.  That left Evangelina and the kids in the kitchen getting some delicious waffles ready for breakfast.  I have a nice new frame with a great series of pictures in's one from the series:

I've still been plugging away with the website and photographing work.  I've spent a ton of time photographing pots but never gave much thought to the other work so I got a nice little tutorial on how to shoot fibers yesterday.  The new site has some much better images and the webstore will have multiple images of just about every piece.  Of course, that means that I better get back to shooting the work.  The site should be secure by tomorrow and after a few more mods to some basic layout stuff I'll go live with the update.  I've resigned myself to the fact that just like my studio, and just about everything else.....the website is going to need constant tweaking.

Today will be spent shooting more images and getting ready for our friends Bruce and Amy to come by with their kids for what was supposed to be a Father's Day afternoon at the beach and cookout.  It looks like it's going to turn into a Father's Day afternoon with the kids in the basement and something being cooked in the oven instead of on the grill.  

Enjoy your Sunday.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sidewalk Sale!!!

Following up on Emily's successful sale last weekend in Chicago we'll be having a little sale here on Cape as well.  If you've signed up for our mailing list you should have gotten a little newsletter about it today.  

There is a sidewalk sale all through town this Saturday and we're taking part in it for I think what may only be the 2nd or 3rd time.  I've got a lot of pots hiding on shelves in the studio that I have always called "not quite seconds".  This seemed to be a good opportunity to find these pots a good home.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Light Posting

I guess it's light posting until I get cruising in the studio again.  I'm still shooting images from the firing and trying to get everything uploaded for our new website....I promise it's coming. 

Today is going to be mostly a gallery day and I'll be sitting on this computer plugging away at the site and using Photoshop to get all of the images sized right for the webstore.  Hopefully, I finish enough photography that I can break down the lights and regain a studio.  Even if I don't I think a cleanup is in the works this afternoon and I'll be ready to start making pots again tomorrow.  I'm kind of sick of looking at the background paper on my table that should be full of freshly thrown pots.

Tonight is the Strawberry Festival at the kid's pre-school.  Songs and Strawberry Shortcakes for all!  Javi and Ale will each be singing tonight....we'll see if either of them actually sing loudly enough that we'll be able to hear them.  

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's a hot one...

Not as bad as the rest of the East Coast but it's still pretty hot.  I've got the A/C running in the gallery and the lights off to cut down on the heat output.  There doesn't seem to be that much activity in town today.  I guess everyone is either at the beach or hanging out trying to beat the heat.  I'm definitely going to be making an adjustment when we get to Austin.  

No A/C in the studio so I won't be heading in to do anything more today.  I shot some more images this morning so I think I can break-down the photo setup tomorrow.  We're closed tomorrow so I'll be leaving the premises for the first time in a while.  Wednesday I'll finish the studio clean-up and get ready for the next cycle.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gallery Time on a Beach Day

It's another absolutely beautiful day out here.  I'm in the gallery waiting for beach time to end so some people can come on in and check out the new work.  Evangelina took the kids to meet some friends at the beach.  That's what happens here in the summer.  

We finally got all of the work priced and out to the gallery.  It looks really good...if I do say so myself.  It's always hard to soak in the new work fresh out of the kiln and under the fluorescent lights of the studio.  My main concern was how the reduction fired work would look with my salt-fired pots already in the gallery.   It worked out okay....and there are some pics below of the new work in the gallery for you all to check out.  I have some really good ideas on what I want to do for the next reduction firing.  I mixed up a test batch of a gold matte recipe from my Anderson Ranch set of recipes and I'll be mixing up a larger batch of that.  I'll also be tryinng another celadon glaze to try out.  I realized that this may be my first firing that didn't contain a single piece with a shino glaze on it.  I had a pretty good reduction throughout the kiln so maybe I missed out on that one.  It's always something, isn't it.  Regardless, I have about a half a kiln load already glazed up so I should be getting another firing through before July 4th weekend which is my next deadline up here.  

I mentioned earlier that I have some earthenware to try out for the first time so I may start with that on Wednesday when I start making pots again.  I'll have to dig through and find some good recipes.   I'll take any suggestions if anyone wants to send some low-fire recipes my way. Until then, I'll be photographing pots and working on the website again....don't worry, I'll try to keep the web design frustrations away from the blog this time.  

Here are the new gallery pics...

These tables have a mix of reduction and salt-fired ware and I think it balances out okay..
Here are 3 reduction fired pieces.  The vases on the left are the triangular vases that I tried for the first time.  I think I may try them by squeezing the base into shape next time....I'll post that when I try it.  The platter has some slip underneath a celadon glaze.   I'm excited to play around with that combo again.  The platter is 15.5 inches across and the vases are 12 and 15 inches tall
Here is another setup of the reduction fired ware.  The triangular vase is about 16 inches and has a Temple White glaze and Willy's Helix on it.  Here are the steps I used...
1 Put the latex resist on.
2 Glaze with the Temple White
3 Put regular wax resist on the entire piece
4 Remove the latex resist
5 Glaze the piece with Helix
Here are some mugs up front with white slip, sgrafitto and then a celadon glaze.  The pieces behind are salt-fired slipped bowls with a shino liner glaze.  
And here's the biggest difference in the whole gallery....A big Tile-6 and black salt-fired piece, some Avery Slip and black tumblers and some really shiny Copper Red bowls.  I haven't used a Copper Red in about 6 years so it was pretty weird unloading them.  The bowl on the left was at the very top of kiln and the red always does better in the middle but I like the variations on it.
Enjoy what remains of your weekend and wish Brandon well on his nuptials.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Sorry it took so long....I'm pleased overall. I used a lot of a new celadon glaze that came out with less of a green and sheen as I had hoped but I think it came out well. Like any firing...just not quite what I had pictured. I think it may need a thicker coat next time and it seems pretty stable so I'll try that next time.

The reduction kiln has such a different feel from unloading a salt kiln that I think it's going to take a little while to absorb the information. I think that this firing is going to lead to some really good ideas for next time. I'll discuss more of that on my next post but I'll start with some pictures with what I consider to be successful.

Here are some square bowls with a brown slip underneath the celadon.

some cups, mugs and a lone juicecup/shotglass
here are a few jars that I'm really happy with.  They all have cut feet and the two on the left have a squared bottom with the briscoe technique that I grabbed off of Ron's blog.

Three more successful jars.  
Here's a platter/serving bowl that has a lot going on.  Not quite sure what I think yet...the drips may be too much.  I need to think about this one.  There is another serving dish behind it that came out really well.  I used the latex wax resist on both of these.  

I'll shoot some "real" photos over the weekend and get them posted.  I usually spend a great deal of time photographing my for the blog are just a little bit rushed.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Absolutely gorgeous day on Cape.  The kiln is cooling and the shop is closed so I took off on my motorcycle until Evangelina got home from Yoga.  We played tourist and rode to a great place for lunch and ended the ride with some ice cream from Sundae School.  

The shop is closed tomorrow so we'll probably unload the kiln either tomorrow night or Thursday morning.  It will probably be light posting until I unload.  I'll snap some quick pics and during the unloading.  I took a quick peek through the spies this afternoon and it looks good so far.  I couldn't see much but the kiln was even top to bottom so that always feels good.  

Monday, June 2, 2008

Still Firing....

But it seems like a day of rest.  I'm used to firing day meaning getting ready to spray some soda in the kiln, dump some salt in and wait while it works it's way through the kiln.  There is no up close and personal feeling with this firing.  I'm not getting the sprayer right in through the ports.  I'm not watching the pots glow and see how things change when the soda and water are introduced into the kiln.  This seems easy....almost cheating....if I don't think of the huge amount of work that went into getting the pots in the kiln in the first place.

I've already mopped the floor of the glaze area which ended up with more glaze than some of the pots.  I used to make 80 lb batches of glaze in big garbage cans.  It was great because not only did it make for mixing glazes less often but it also meant glazing medium sized pieces was still easy as I could dip them.  The past couple of years I have switched to the trusty 5 gallon pail.  If these new glazes work out I'll probably mix up a few large batches of them for the next firing.  I would much rather be able to dip a large platter than either pour the glaze over it or take it outside to spray it....and my yard.  Not to mention the fact that it seems like half of the pitcher full of glaze that I pour ends up on the floor....even when I try to pour it over a bigger bucket.  I noticed in a picture from Michael's blog a while back it looked like he had a nice compromise of sizes....I especially like his rig to put the bucket at a good height for glazing.  As everyone knows, we do enough to our backs to have to reach down to glaze our pots.  

I guess this is the waiting time when I start thinking of not just the pots but of the process and more importantly my methods.  What can I do to make my pots better?  What can I do to make things go more smoothly within the studio?  Which methods worked, which ones made things easier and which ended up making things more difficult?  What's next?

If I didn't have so many questions I guess I wouldn't be heading back in the studio for more answers.  

Time to check some cones.  

Firing Day

I meant to post some more last night but that didn't happen.  I tried this morning but somebody broke blogger.  I think it must have been all of us potters clicking through from site to site to see what everyone is up to.  More likely though, it's all of us clicking through the lefty blogosphere to catch up on the never-ending yet almost over primary season.  Regardless of how blogger got broken, we're back....and on Saturday someone stole my Obama yard sign....again!  

It's firing day here at Kreeger Pottery.  I keep saying that I haven't fired my reduction kiln in a while and that's very true.  I fire big pieces in it every once in a while and when a friend needs a kiln I'll gladly lend it out and throw in a few of my pieces.  As I became addicted to atmospheric firing I sadly gave little thought to the reduction kiln.  Because of that, when I glazed for it I usually just threw on a shino, tenmoku or acero glaze and called it a day. 

I'm realizing that I missed an opportunity to explore what I could do to get work out of the reduction kiln to relate to my salt, soda and wood-fired pots.  Once my soda kiln tanked, rather than explore these options, I bisqued, glazed and transported my pots 3.5 hours to Mark's kilns out at Stonepool to fire.  It was safe and I love salt firing....really love it.  But it isn't the easiest thing to rely on someone else's kiln....especially that far away.  I always love spending time out at Stonepool but that much time away from my family isn't so much fun.  This time of year, it's nearly impossible because of the gallery.  

I really used this cycle to try a variety of new glazing ideas to get the play of textures, glazes and layers that I'm used to getting in my salt-fired pots.  So, it's basically a kiln full of tests and new ideas.  I was worried about putting that many new glazes in this that I'm waiting for cones to start dropping I'm getting a little more anxious about it all.

If it doesn't work out as I had planned, oh hell....I have a few new ideas and tricks to try for the next salt or wood firing and I'll also just try a new round of ideas for the next reduction kiln.  

Oh, and because I haven't tried enough new stuff lately, I have a couple hundred pounds of earthenware to play around with.  After checking out the blogs and all of the great stuff out there and enjoying my new Ayumi Horie mug I thought I would give it a shot.  More on that decision to well as some other thoughts....but now, I have a nice earthenware mug that is full of coffee and calling my name.  

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Kiln is on!

Pilots are lit.  It's time for a quick bite to eat before I get the mains on.  It was a long day but worth it.  It started with a bike ride with Javi and Ale and it ended with actually getting the kiln on.  In between was a visit from Katie and Brandon on their way to go surfing and a fundraising dinner/auction for Autism Speaks.  I have pics of a whole bunch of stuff but I need to get out of my glaze covered clothes and get some grub in my belly.  

More to come.  I have a couple of turn-ups tonight so I'll probably post something while I wait.  

The studio is a glaze disaster but I think I'll deal with that tomorrow.