Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Albie number two

This is fun!!!


I've had two on and lost 'em both. Captain alan just brought one in.

Gone fishing

Heading out for the day. Let you all know how of goes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lunch Break

Pizza with Evangelina & Clarita.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Favorite Tool

This is quickly becoming my new favorite tool.  It's been floating around my studio for about 6 months but I haven't used it much.  I've never been one for cutting or faceting clay but I'm enjoying squaring a whole lot of forms recently.  Until tonight I've been using the "shredder" to shape and "trim" the bottom of my squared forms.  Tonight while I was using it on the bottom  of my teapots I decided to flip the pots right side up and really square off the corners.  I think it worked well, although I went awfully close to too thin on one.  We'll check on that one in the morning.

Just about every supplier sells them now but if you haven't seen it here is the site.  

I've had a good weekend with the kids while Evangelina has had a great weekend down in Florida with her sister.  It poured down rain here the whole weekend.  I had big plans of working another couple of hours but that feels very unlikely now.  It seems to be a more remote possibility as I type.  

Tomorrow should be a full day in the studio as Evangelina gets back late tonight and Javi and Ale head off to school bright and early.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wait Wait Don't Tell Me

I'm currently listening to NPR in the studio as I have been known to do.  Mo Rocca on the great Wait Wait Don't Tell Me just had the best idea yet to solve the financial crisis.

"Can't Cindy McCain just put the $700 billion on her (Black) American Express Card?"

Back to bowls.

Checking in..

After the kids got to bed I spent the evening in the studio throwing soup bowls while I watched the debate.  I'll keep the politics out of this post because it's late and I'm tired.  I'm sure McCain has been given his Ambien by now and is off to dream up his next "bold" leadership move....alright...maybe I'm not so tired that I can't take a shot at McCain.  I figured I would stick with soup bowls so that as I got angry at the TV I wouldn't lose my concentration on a complicated form.

No pics.  You're just going to have to trust me that I've been productive.  I even had to clean off a few shelves of junk/stuff/things so that I had space to put some freshly thrown work on. 

As is always the case when I'm getting  good deal of work thrown it's been pouring all day and my studio is as damp as can be.  I have some more stoneware to throw tomorrow and then it will be trimming/assembling/managing the drying of everything.  

Evangelina is off playing in the sun in Florida visiting her sister this weekend.  Luckily, I have Morgan, our sitter/Clarita's pre-school teacher, coming over to help out for a good portion of the day so I should be able to get some more studio work done.  I unfortunately decided against heading out to Truro to check out Randy Johnston's workshop.   The upside is that I'll have some dedicated studio time tomorrow to focus on work.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Missed Opportunities...hopefully not

Just a quick post as it's late and I'm still tired from getting home from Fenway at about 1:30 last night.  I'm getting a little too old for that.  The Sox lost last night but tonight they clinched a playoff berth...bad luck for us because the party was just about right in front of our seats with all of the players coming out of the clubhouse after being doused in champagne.  Papelbon literally stole all of the bases and gave them to fans.  Mike Lowell sprayed champagne over the fans who stuck around to watch the festivities.  Too bad....if they had won last night our first ever trip to Fenway Park would have been ridiculous.  It was still a great night and I'm glad that I was able to surprise Evangelina with the tickets...she was thinking that we were just going to dinner.  Well, I guess we did....hot dogs and overpriced beer.  It was fantastic!

Anyways, I got an email from Truro Center for Arts at Castle Hill letting all of the Cape Cod Potters members that there was still space in the Randy Johnston 2 day workshop this weekend.  I hadn't been planning on going but I feel like this is one of those moments that I'll be kicking myself over if I miss it.  Evangelina is heading out of town this weekend so I'm not sure how much babysitting I can line up on this short notice.  I already have a sitter coming on Saturday to help out so I'm thinking if I can at least sneak up there for a day it will be worth it.  I have taught workshops at Castle Hill often and I've always enjoyed heading out there.  They have a great variety of artists teach but it's typically in the summer so even if it's someone I'm dying to see there's no way I can sneak out of the gallery to check it out.  

If the stars align correctly hopefully I'll be out in Truro this weekend.  It's been years since I've been to a workshop.  Maybe it will do me some good as I'm smack dab in the middle of a throwing session getting ready for my November shows.

Fenway Pics tomorrow....and maybe even some pics of pots I've been working on.

Monday, September 22, 2008

At Fenway. Have a good night everyone.


I'm just sort of catching up on the rest of the trimming and decorating that I didn't finish over the weekend.  I've also been looking into some heat for the studio.  Since this is my last winter here I don't really feel like putting in a whole new system consisting of a new boiler and fixing whatever is wrong with the baseboard heat.  The quote I got was pretty large and since I won't be around to see any of the return on the investment it didn't make sense to pour money into it now.  I've been looking at some infrared overhead warehouse type heaters but I have low ceilings and I have absolutely no clue how much those cost.  I might take a trip to the woodstove store to look at wood/gas/pellet stoves for some options.  I guess I shouldn't have traded Mark a woodkiln for all of those firings a few years back.  

Anyone have any ideas for cost-effective heating solutions for this winter?  Last winter was spent with a space heater and clay that averaged 40º-45º isn't going to cut it this year.  Glazing wasn't too fun either. 

I got accepted to the ACC Baltimore Wholesale/Retail show so I need to have a productive winter.  My freezing cold studio definitely slowed me down last year.  But, it's not too bad because this is my last Northeastern winter as next year will be spent with some A/C on down in Austin.

Tonight we're off to Boston for our Anniversary.  Evangelina and I have never been to a game at Fenway and I thought, rather than go out for a nice dinner...how about some hot dogs, over-priced beer and a baseball game.  I can't wait.  I don't follow baseball that closely but apparently with a win tonight the Sox can clinch a playoff spot.  Apparently, this year is either copper or wool for the gift....whoops.  Next year is pottery so that should work out well.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Last night I set out to trim those large bowls and platters I made earlier in the week.  Problem was, I don't have a bat large enough to trim them on.  I really didn't feel like making a wet chuck for them since the bowls are fairly deep.  

So today I'll be borrowing a jig saw from my friend Ben and then I'll be out back making a couple new bats.  

If all goes well I'll trim those bowls , finish up some decorating, get a quick clean-up done so I can get a fresh start together for the morning and still have time to take a quick ride on the motorcycle.  That's pushing it though...that's a lot to get done for me on a Saturday and I would also have to either sneak on my bike out or get permission to leave Evangelina with 3 crazy kids during crazy afternoon time.  We'll see how it all goes.  Monday is our 7th anniversary....it would be nice to make it until then.

Once I decorate and trim I'll try to get some more pics up.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Honduran Pots

I'm tired and it's late.  I did have a fairly productive day even though the morning was taken up with errands in the big city of Hyannis.  

Here's another pot that Evangelina and I brought back from a trip to Honduras a few years back.

It finally made it's way into my work.

And...some more incised line decorations on another pot.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll have some words to go along with these images...but for now, it's off to bed.

Going Big

I decided to really work on scale.  My next big show is CraftBoston Holiday in November.  I'm planning on laying out my booth differently and bringing more substantial pieces rather than focusing on smaller functional wares.  I'll bring that as well, but I want to feature some medium and large scale work.

These first 2 images are a 24" wide platter that I threw yesterday.  The clay was mighty stiff so I basically beat it down and then centered and opened it.  I'm hoping to make another video soon.  Maybe it will be a large platter demo...we'll see if I ever get around to that.  I would have to clean up my studio a little first.  Anyways, it's been years since I've made a platter this large.  The downside of relying on someone else's wood kiln for most of your firings is that I have always been hesitant to bring larger pieces over.  Firing my reduction kiln again changes all of that.

I really liked how the platters came out last firing so this is a big bowl with the same incised lines.  It's about 20 inches across and maybe 10 inches tall.

I started to throw this 10 pounder of clay and sort of lost my way...or I may not have had a real plan going in other than bigger than my typical 4-7 pounds of clay.  I squared it and then looked at it and I liked it but it didn't seem to feel like one of my pots.  I then asked myself what the traditional and stiff looking rim was for.  I then made a few more without a defined rim...closer to my smaller wobbly vases.

Still a little stiff, but I liked the direction it's going.  These are going to be fun to decorate.  

I have a few more of these squared and semi-wobbly vases.  I'll take some pics and put them up after lunch.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Old Fashioned

As I've said...Evangelina and I have been watching a lot of "Mad Men" on AMC.  The main character, Don Draper, keeps ordering one of my favorite drinks.  I haven't had one in ages so I think tonight's cocktail is going to be one of these...

And, apparently, if I was an ad man I could be having one right now instead of the coffee in Mark's mug. 

Now, where did my assistant go?  I think we need some ice in my office.   


Here are a few of the platters with the incised lines, celadon glaze on the B-Mix clay body.
I'm pleased.  The first one is already sold and being shipped out shortly.  There was a little pinholing in the second one.  I might try to re-fire it.

They are all roughly 16 inches in diameter.

Big Bowls

The rest of the firing came out well.  The larger platters and bowls turned out really nicely.  I'll try to get some pics posted soon.  

I just finished making 2 large bowls in the studio this morning.  I'm hoping to make a couple more later today.  I'm always reminded of this set of pictures from one of Susan Peterson's books when I'm making large bowls.  This is nothing like how I make them but I did use this technique of setting the rim very early on.  I think it worked pretty well.  I'll get some pics of my own posted soon but for now I'm going to wedge up some more clay for a few more pots before lunch....or so I'm ready to go right after lunch.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Just a few....

I guess the food blogging will have to wait because the kiln is almost cool enough to unload and I have some actual new pots to write about.  It was a little cool at the bottom but everything except one pot looks like it got hot enough.

As I said earlier, because of the larger pots I didn't get a whole lot of pots in so I ended up using the rest of the space to test out a new glaze and some ideas.  I'm happy with the results...or at least as happy as a potter can get when one unloads a kiln.  Why is it that it's never good enough?  Do I expect every pot to work?  

The big pots and platters are still too warm in the back of the kiln so maybe this will be a double posting kind of day.  Here are a few pics to start off the day.

This is a bowl with the incised lines filled with black slip and it has a new what I thought was a blue celadon on it.  Even though the glaze isn't what I thought I like the result.

At the last minute I decided to glaze a couple pots with the black on it with a white glaze on top.  I know...so cliché...but I like the result.  The circles are obviously done with wax resist.  I like this piece and I like how it relates to the earthenware wobbly vases which were made to relate to my salt-fired work.  
Evangelina has already "borrowed" this pot and put it to use.
Again, the celadon on the B-Mix body.  I really like this pot even though the glaze isn't what I thought it would be.  I'm glad that I have more decoration on my work than I used to.  If I was relying only on the glaze I'd be in some trouble unloading this kiln.  

I'm curious to see what happened in the back of the kiln.  I wonder if the celadon issue is a thickness of application problem, a firing problem or a mixing issue.  I haven't used a celadon glaze since the studio and college and I remember the glaze being so simple to work in the kiln.  I fired the kiln with a nice 45 minute body reduction and then left the kiln in a mild reduction for the remainder of the firing...I guess it was a Skidmore style firing.   Anyone have any celadon words of wisdom?  

More pots later today.  

Thursday, September 11, 2008


...& pilots are on.  After a great dinner I was actually able to come on home and finish loading the kiln.  I just turned on the pilots after soaking my cone packs in the oven.  Hopefully, that extra pre-heat will help them from exploding during the ramp up.  

Since most of the kiln is taken up by larger pots and I stacked it just about as loosely as is possiblem it was pretty easy.  Definitely not the most efficient stack ever but I needed to get a few orders out and will make do with a light load.  In no particular order are some pictures of pots below.  It's been a while since I've posted anything pottery related so here you go....

I'll turn the mains on shortly and then get a couple of turn-ups done throughout the night.  I guess I'll go watch another episode of "Mad Men" on iTunes.


Kiln was half loaded when I realized that it was date night.  Evangelina and I went out to dinner and had a great meal down the road at Pisces.  At Brian's request, I've added another posting about food here at Kreeger Pottery.  

Pots get so boring when there is such good food to be had.  The pictures not great...it was taken with my phone.  The Mediterranean Style Fisherman's Stew on the other hand was great...as was the Knob Creek on the rocks that I had with dinner.  

I've been watching Mad Men on AMC and I have to say that those guys sure knew how to drink at work.  

Thought of the day

Glazing is very messy.

That might have been too general a statement.

I am making a huge mess glazing.  Especially since I am glazing larger pots.  

I only have one to go but it is a monster.  Time to go outside and glaze with a kiddie pool to catch the mess.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Getting on with it.

As true to form if I actually make it into the studio first thing I can actually get some work done.  I just mixed up a couple glazes and I'm back the computer to figure out if I have enough silica to make one more.  I did have copper today but it's time to get an order of some of the basics together.  I'll screen the glazes shortly and then glaze this afternoon.  There's not too much to glaze but most of them are larger pieces which are always tough to figure out how to glaze.  And, I mean what to glaze them with and how to get glaze on them without spilling it either all over my studio or our backyard.  I'll try to get some pics later.  

I made one big bowl yesterday and I'll get a move on some more of those while I fire the kiln.  It's definitely going to be a session of bowls.  I've already got a few dozen balls of clay wedged up for some soup bowls.  So, between the soup bowls and the large bowls and platters I want to make I guess this will be a cycle with quite a bit of trimming. 

Time to figure out the silica shortage situation.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pasta Night

Well, the end of summer and the first week of school have finally passed and I think I'm ready to restart my life as a potter.  I don't even really know what I've done the last couple of weeks.  The last couple of weeks of summer are always a blur.  Even though it's a short season up here on Cape it's definitely exhausting.

Now it's time to really get back to work.  My reduction kiln is still waiting for those pots I've been talking about all of August.  I organized the studio a bit this morning and tomorrow I'll get serious about getting back to work in the studio.  This kiln is full of a couple of orders and some bigger pots.  I really want to get this firing done because I want to get some new pots made.  More on those pots once I get this kiln loaded and fired.

But...it's not like I haven't done anything.  We had a really busy week of first days of school on three consecutive days for each of the kids.  Today, we watched the Harwich Cranberry Festival Parade go right by our house.  While we were watching the parade the sauce I had started in the morning was slowly simmering in the kitchen.  It turned out to be a delicious Pasta al Ragu.  The pasta came from Nantucket Wild Gourmet, which,  in addition to having great pasta and other things makes some of the best smoked salmon and irish brown bread around...and don't forget the pickles.  

Here are some pics of tonight's dinner.  The pasta, Strozzapreti, is known as the priest choker.