Wednesday, October 28, 2009


One of the hardest switches down here is that since the studio isn't next door, I can't ask my wonderful wife to come by and help very often. Today, I needed the help to re-organize the studio and luckily...she obliged. We didn't change too much but we were able to make the studio flow a little better. We also created some space for finished pots...which means another trip to Ikea is in the works tonight to get some more display shelving. The East Austin Studio Tour is coming up in a few weeks so I do need to get my finished work out of the boxes and get the new work through the kiln.

Anyways, here's my main worktable with a view to the back of the studio. my office area is on the right by the chair and my lounge(ikea sofa) is on the left. Those boxes next to the sofa will be replaced by som bookshelves soon.
Here's another view to the back with some shelving visible. Apparently...shelving is supposed to be used to organize and hold stuff. The floor is not the correct place to put piles of stuff. Thank you sweetie!

Here are a few pots drying for the next bisque. Not sure how that polychrome piece will do but it may at least make it into the bisque.
Bisqued pots, ready to glaze which means it may be time to mix up a bucket of something.
Another bisque is already started. I'll probably fire a glaze afterwards...I'm used to cycling through for a larger kiln so I need to adjust to just make, bisque and glaze fire a shorter cycle but old habits are hard to break.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Off to Gruene

If you're in the area you should be to.
For more info check out their website.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I've never really thought throwing plates is an efficient use of time or clay. Well, not so much the throwing of the plates, but perhaps the trimming?

Time to learn how to slipcast?

Now Back to our Regularly Scheduled Blogging

I fired my first bisque here in Austin yesterday. I had to head home before the kiln had finished and was pleased to return this morning to find out that the kiln works after the move and that the studio is still here after the first firing.

I bought a kiln vent from Bailey. I got the double-kiln vent even though I only have one kiln at the moment. As I was started the kiln I looked at the instructions and it said to get a standard 4" pipe cap if you only have one kiln hooked up. I didn't have the "standard" pipe cap on hand so I made do with what I did have.

On the making front, I got a round of plates thrown. I have to send a plate to an upcoming show at the Ferrin Gallery so I'd like to get these in the next bisque. I'm planning on giving these guys the CityScape treatment that most things seem to get these days.

Javi's Day Off

It was parent teacher conference day on Monday so Javi had the day off. It was a boys' day and we started on South Congress for lunch. Javi took this first photo. I have to create a folder of all the pictures the kids take. They get some good ones and thank god for digital cameras...because they take some terrible ones as well. Sort of like me photographing my pots.

Javi with the some of the more recognizable South Congress stores in the background.
Then it was off to HomeSlice Pizza. It's very, very good....and I'm a pizza snob raised on Sal's Pizza. The little ones in our family don't get soda very often so this root beer was thoroughly enjoyed.
Hmm....which piece?
That one!
Then it was off to the studio to try his hand at the wheel. He's popped his head in the studio before and I've always handed him some clay, a few tools, a paddle but this was his first time on the wheel. I may have helped him center and raise the walls a bit.
But he wasn't interested in my help. It was sort of like the time my father-in-law thought he knew how to make pots.
He wanted to make a mug for our babysitter so I helped him out a bit.
Here are his 4 pots of the day. See if you can pick out the one he did by himself.

Remember the Alamo

We took a much needed one-day vacation to San Antonio over the weekend. My mother-in-law picked up our youngest on Thursday and shuttled her off to Houston. This allowed us to take the older (and more agreeable) children for some fun times. We started at the Alamo, which they loved. They each got a couple of pennies stretched and stamped....all for only 51 cents!

They got to look at all of the old guns and knives, and since he's 6 1/2, it's kind of all he talks about right now....granted....he's a Texan now.
Look out!!!
After a very touristy and enjoyable time in downtown San Antonio we headed out about 15 minutes and stayed at a great hotel for the night. They had a man-made tubing river around the property. The water was a little chillier than I had planned on but once the kids went in there was no choice but to join them.
Evangelina has learned how to vacation as a parent in style. Tubing with a child and a margarita....I guess it helps warm up with the cold water.

A single night in a hotel and a full day in the pool and riding bikes was such a cool treat.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Musical Interlude

Last weekend was the big ACL Festival in Zilker Park. We had originally thought we were going to be out of town so I didn't buy any tickets even though the lineup was pretty incredible.

We could hear the main stage from our house at night and our street had turned into a semi-official parking lot for the festival. It was painful to see all of those people park their cars and walk down to check out all of the bands. The only thing that made it somewhat alright was knowing that 55,000 people were there and I've never been a fan of crowds. That didn't matter...I was jealous.

On Sunday afternoon I lucked into tickets when my friend Paul called and said that he had an extra ticket for the festival. We didn't get there until late in the very muddy but rainless day. We did get to see a few great acts; The Arctic Monkeys, Dirty Projectors, Dead Weather, GirlTalk and Dan Auerbach. Paul stayed for Pearl Jam, but I headed downtown to catch an aftershow with my friend Greta that Bon Iver was doing at the Paramount Theater.

I've been listening to Bon Iver a lot and if you don't know the music. Check it out. The show was sold out but I wasn't going to let that stop me from seeing Justin Vernon and folk play....thank you Austin Craigslist!

It was a fantastic show that was basically wrapping up a tour and the emotions being felt by everyone on stage at the end of the tour was incredible to witness. There was a mix of the acoustic guitar, steel guitar, amped up electric....including a fantastically loud and noisy rendition of Blood Bank. My favorite moment though, was a sing-along version of Wolves. It was unbelievable! I've never been to big a fan of sing-alongs but I'm glad I got into the moment this time.

Speaking of sing-alongs. There was another one at the Wilco show that Evangelina and I went to last night. Jeff Tweedy said that some people don't like sing-alongs and they can just shut up...go get a beer, go to the bathroom or tweet about not liking sing-alongs. So, once again, I sang. This time it was Jesus Etc.

It was another great show. Strangely enough in this music mecca of Austin, the Wilco show was 20 minutes north at the new Cedar Park Center built for a minor league hockey team. As Jeff Tweedy said, "you know...just hanging out...playing music in a hockey Texas." and "Wow! Arena Rock...well, existential arena rock." Sprinkled throughout the setlist was a bunch of songs from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot reminding me that it is one of the greatest albums ever. And, if you like Wilco and haven't seen the documentary, I Am Trying to Break Your should.

It's nice to be doing things here in Austin. For two months I've felt a little lost in this city running back and forth between being a dad/husband on one side of i-35 and a potter/recluse on the other side of i-35. For the first time, I've felt like Evangelina and I are taking advantage of some of what is going on here...after all...we didn't pick Austin out of the blue.

Between all of this music and almost hipsterness, I've been making some pots that I'm really happy with. This cityscaping is really coming together on my work. I've also been working on some collaborations. I'm working on a designed line with a friend of mine....more on that soon as the brainstorming/research phase turns into the making phase.

Well, it's back to being a potter on the east-side for a little more during this rainy day before I become super-dad later today and head northwest to check out FallFest at my daughters' pre-school.

Next week is more designing and making then it's time to start finishing some pots. And it will also be a comedic interlude as we're going to the David Cross show at the Paramount.

Friday, October 2, 2009


These are my keys.

I need these keys to get into my new studio.

When I got to my studio this morning after my 20 minute commute, I did not have them with me.

I had to drive back across town, then back across town.

Damn it!!!

I didn't need keys to get into my old was at my house. I never got locked out of my old studio. I think I miss my old studio.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More CityScaping

I guess I'm excited about living in a city again. Here are my cups and saucers which were inspired by watching and tweeting about Mad Men....I know....pathetic.

To make this useful, I even put a little step by step of the handle process together. When working with stoneware I usually pull the handle directly off the piece but I'm worried about overworking the porcelain so I'm trying this technique out:

Below are the finished cups sitting on their's been a long time since I've made cups and saucers.

And here they are after receiving the CityScape deco(tm?)
The only decision left is whether or not these will stay relatively simple or whether some stains will be involved with either the buildings or the background. Luckily, I can wait on that decision.