Wednesday, October 28, 2009

steve Abee demo

Well today at school we started the day by cutting the door and building on the chimney at the same time. I actually thought we would get the door finished and the chimney up high enough to at least fire the thing(power burners!). The roof has yet to be started, guess the company that the school hired is just to busy to make money? Hell i should have put in a bid!!!! at least it would be finished. anyway, we only got half the door finished and up past the damper on the chimney, not bad. The door took longer becuase i decided since it was soft brick to let the students try their hands at some of those fancy "L" cuts i use. They enjoyed it, as they and I always do. After wards, and the real meat to this meatloaf of a blog post, was the Steve Abee demo (see pics). I have only just meet steve but find him to be a humble potter. The afternoon had discussions of old catawba valley potters, Steve's connections with Charlie Lisk and Burlon Craig, Historical potters and where we all fit in in this big ol stew pot of contemporary potters. I must say that there is nothing better than watching your students watch a fresh set of hands on the clay. Speaking of students i also had the great pleasure of watching one of our students, adam, really take off in the bigger pot department. He was working on stacking cylinders or "capping" as it is also called. He made two really big 7lb vases today, and the satisfaction on his face was unmistakeable! That is the true pleasure of teaching right there, watching it all go down, reliving those early experiences that i remember myself having. The visual affirmation of what I/ we try to impart to these students is the best reward. Well it was a good day and one i will remember for a long time. I feel like i did little physical labor today yet at the same time i am totally exhausted, mostly mentally. but thats a good thing i think. papa out

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the body is fine, so is the soul

well, by body i mean the new salt kiln i have been documenting, my body is not so fine lately, although my soul seems quite well. My back has started to act up which i do not like, but that just means its time to start my exercises again and maybe even try to squezze in some walking time. Studio wise i am pretty happy, i have settled into the fact that not as many pots will be finished at the end of the week, but that is ok. Work towards a november firing in linda macs soda kiln is moving along nicely. the new salt kiln at WPCC is coming along fine, we finished the body of the kiln on monday when we capped the fiber with a nice cement coating, yep, cement. Budget is tight so i had a bag of sand topping quickrete mix that had been in my studio for over 5 years. We addes some clay to it and also a little extra sand. It seems like it will take a few days to harden but it is hardening up. We will cut the door brick and work on the chimney tomorrow. then its just waiting onthe burners to arrive and mount them and plumb em up. Can't wait to fire. In other news, the students went out with local folk potter steve abee to dig some wild clay, then went back and processed it also. We are all switching over to this wild cone six clay today and plan on doing some experimental firings, as well as standard cone six firings. I will keep you posted on that. OK, i gotta go get my hands in some of this stuff! see ya round the kiln. Captian Cone pack well, by body i mean the new salt kiln i have been documenting, my body is not so fine lately although my soul f

Monday, October 19, 2009

another day in paradise?

so, where do i begin??? hmmmmm. Well almost a whole month has went by and what have i accomplished! nothing in the studio, barely got any pots made and that i do not like at all.i am severely starting to miss the rhythms of daily studio life, esp when i have no pots to sell. I am still trying to work up a batch of pots,just to share a kiln with Linda mcfarling. Other than my own studio, the studio at school is busy. And as with any school setting i have some students who try very hard and work hard and those who don't really give a shit. To be totally honest i find some of the students to be down right belligerent, and whiney. I have about had it with those students! so the pictures you see are of our recent progress on the salt kiln. Evan and his mom are away for the week at the beach so i am hoping to move my office from upstairs(to make room for a walk in closet!) to downstairs and spend alot of time drinking heavily and making lots of pots. if you need me look under my pottery wheel under the pile of empty pabst blue ribbon cans. that is all, captain is out!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

kilns, pots, classes

so, its been a steady grind since the begining of the semester. i am coming down to western piedmont community college five days a week this semester and next semester! with a 68% increase in enrollement the school probably needs me! I am wearing thin of the long commute everyday and luckily stella (my little blue saturn ion) doesnt seem to mind it, but i do. We have started the build on our salt kiln here at school for the kiln building class. what you see are two class periods of construction (@4 hours!) I thought the kiln would take forever but it may go faster than i thought, as you can see in one pic, many hands make for quick work! i just have to check and find errors as they go along. With these long days (12 hours counting driving time!) every day i have found that energy for the studio is lacking, I knew in the back of my mind this could happen, but boy, its tough!! I have managed to make a few dozen pots and have a firing scheduled in a friends soda kiln. I even refired some pots in the schools baby gas kiln as a test to see how it fires since its been unfired for some years now (wink wink). they came out very well i thought and have given me a little cushin for some up coming shows. speaking of shows i did manage to go up to blowing rock art in the park this month, but we won't talk about that, no, lets not go there! lets just say i am happy to get a great steady paycheck! well, off to punish students and discuss our production line for western piedmont's craft line that we will be selling at the appalachian potters market in marion NC in december! till next time.... DR. Mickey

Sunday, August 30, 2009

back in the saddle

just a quickie, I cleaned the studio up a bit, more a put a bunch of stuff away kinda deal, but i am back at the potting and it feels so good to be in the studio again. It has been way too long! Western Piedmont community college is back in session and i can already feel the switch to a more fall mentality for old D-Shane. WEll the picture is of the first pots off my treadle wheel, just some simple teabowls. I big shout out to June Perry for sending this wheel my way. She stated that this wheel was made by mackenzie's brother! I may have to channel some minnesota spirits :). well back at it, or maybe i will watch the end of the carolina preseason game? hmmmmmm. ahh doesn't matter, you'll never really know. I'm out, later

Sunday, August 2, 2009

part duece

so here we are, back at the scene of the crime! anyway i put this picture of willis brown, aka, will baker stylin my columbia straw, looking good buddy. we see the kiln with the fiber on and stucco mesh in place. A view from the back on the door side. the ever so excited client mike campbell trying to fire it up before we are finished! YOU GO MIKE! then the usual bag-wall shot. So, just look at that weird thing? what the hell is the captain doing? lets just chalk it up to finishing Cynthia's kiln on a wednesday, then leaving a couple days later to head to VA to start this kiln, so yea, way off my rocker! but i think it is fine, just crazy. Will suggested counseling i think. WEll, we did bust out a kiln and we both managed to slip in a little R&R for two days. nice job boys! So all in all pretty successful. now its time to rest, official hour count for day 5:15 am to now! omg yep nearing up for 24 hours, oooops what happen, guess i shouldn't a' started looking at the pictures off my camera! but got some nice pics of my girls printed off for the fridge. well, not really off to bed, gonna finish this dead concert and then sleepy sleep, gonna sleep in for ever!!!!!!!!!!! better holla if ya want to get me! RED beard of ocracoke out watch out

Saturday, August 1, 2009

update of the last week, OMG!

ok! so i am back in the land of 3-G networks, when we left off i was in culpeper virginia building mike campbell's cat wood kiln. so here we have some more progress in part one of this story. so we see the arch all alone with now wall support and then a shot of the wall going up. hey if they are out of order too bad, i aint got time to rearrange them, forget it, he he. We also see my trusty, crusty, dusty main man will baker demonstrating the fashionable nitrile dipped gloves i got at home depot (they turned out to suck big time fell apart!) the other shot is of an old ceramics store turned latino church. i love this sign, i passed it several times on my excursions into town. I went to wally world a couple times to get supplies, also to a great metal shop, they guy had some wild stuff in the yard!!! i loved the multiple 57 chevies laying amongst the large machines ranging from the early 20's to modern AC units for large buildings! great stuff. anyway, i will now move to part duex D shane

Sunday, July 26, 2009

have u seen this man!?

well, he is a wanted man, but only by a certain individual, if you see him, grab him and send him to counter agent aquamarine! seriously folks! anyway the kiln crew is here in virginia, busted out our first day saturday. i am out in the field gathering materials (i.e. ihop breakfast and wifi!) while my assistant is busily working, he he. you can see from the pics we had a good first day, followed by a thunderstorm of the likes i have never seen, crazy! well, gotta run before the crew gets suspicious! see u at ihop or chilis where i can get internet. D-shane

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

body is fine

ok, so here is what the kiln looks like after the body is fully built, door finished, and irons painted. I am adding the irons painted as standard to all future soda/salt kilns, just a good idea i think. The door and some other parts of the kiln are different colors. Cynthia had a lot of various brick tucked in a variety of places on her property and i used everything that was usable and when those resources ran out i switched to the new soft bricks we had bought. Unfortunately it wasn't until the top part of the door that i got to use these new brick. I much prefer using brand new brick, just use to it i guess. Last night i i tried to work on the burner stands but something told me it wouldn't go well, and it didn't! so now i have to get new materials and start over, sheez! Friday is coming up fast, I still need to get the irons started for the next kiln and what beats all is that my truck is still in the shop. Bessie is on a little health retreat! She better not need another one for a long time, as this is gonna hurt when its all said and done. I may spend more for her spa visit then she is actually worth. oh i shouldn't put that out in public, she may read this and get mad. anyway. i have to get the day started, wish me luck. capt. cone pack, "aka bobo"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

attention to detail

ok, so you've been following this kiln so far and as you see i enjoy my job! but yesterday was the part of the build that i love. The detail cuts! I am a nut for cutting brick. Most folks build with whole and half brick. I build with whole, half, 6 3/4 and 2 1/4 cuts. those are the normal cuts, in the last couple of pictures i uploaded you will see one of my more "creative cuts". It is part of the door wall where the brick is normally cut into an L shape. This is how i create the patented door flange on all the Mickey kilns. This particular brick also happens to have the shape of the arch cut into it, and yes this is a super duty hard brick! so those who have cut brick know what went into that. I do use a wet saw, in fact that's about all i use these days. I use to use my old compound miter saw to grind curves into the brick,but between the dust and having an abrasive blade explode on me, i stopped using it. well the body of the kiln is finished, some finishing details such as peep brick, castable in firebox, bagwall and the door are all that are left on the kiln. Next i move onto to plumbing the gas lines and building burner stands. It seems i will get about 2-3 days to clean my tools, pack my truck and head out to culpeper virginia for the next gig! ok, maybe some day soon i will make pots again! This potters life is anything but pottery at the moment but i love kiln building and it does help pay the bills. stay tuned capt cone pack

Saturday, July 18, 2009

more progress, some time off

so, i am moving along on cynthia's kiln, got the kiln irons up, arch form built, arch in place as you can see! i was just starting on the complex cuts for the hardbrick that go under the arch when my blade died. I couldnt find one locally so i had to run to asheville thursday night, made a night of it. stayed at kyle carpenters place, got up and went to find a diamond blade, then visited the southern highland show and spent too much money, but got some nice stuff (no pots though). So in essence i took friday off! yippee. My old undergraduate buddy michael lease is assisting a class at penland, so him and the instructor stayed here last night. We had an amazing feast of sirloin from hickory nut gap farms, salad, broccoli, and rice. michael and i stayed up late catching up. i rounded off the night with a midnight chat session with my favorite person (WINK WINK). now its time to try to get this old train rolling again. see u people on the funny farm! D-Shane

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

bringling away

ok, so today was one of those days that can just drag onnnnnn...... See, it all started with the welder's wire feed motor kicking off every second weld! half an hour later i would be back melting metal. this went on for a very long time. By the time i packed up the tools and materials i would need for the arch form and Kiln irons then drove to cynthia's studio it was at least 3:30! then i was missing a piece of metal, had to run into town. SHEEZ! so i got back after that trip, and raised the irons in place, then proceeded to begin to mock up the arch and build the arch form. Mocking up an arch can be frustrating when the brick are off a little and this is not uncharted territory for me (Penland salt '06) so i silently (probably singing outloud while playing air guitar) worked on laying out different patterns of brick while listening into what was coming out of my earbuds. eventually i noticed the sun had gone from the sky and was pretty happy with the arch i had layed out. I decided it was time to sleep on it and see what i think in the mornign. the pictures i posted are from this afternoon cutting and welding the irons. I felt that spark that is about to hit my head in the cutting picture, truley did. Other injuries today; back (of course, whiney bitch i am), sore toe (brick!), a blood blister on my forarm from carrying brick, this is actually not a common injury and seems like it should be? anyway, i wish all my fellow artists good luck down at the southern highland craft guild show in asheville. If you dont have plans this weekend you should go out and spend some money at this wonderful show. later taters captain cone pak

Saturday, July 11, 2009

updates and such

so, i have to admit, that the exciting world of old friends on facebook has held my computer time attention lately, hence, no blogging. sorry to those ofyou who do look in on occasion! anyway, after school let out, evan and i took a trip up to maryland to see some friends and family. it was nice to take about a month off from the studio, my back is feeling better some days, and continuing to do excersices helps alot. the break is over and I am itching, needing to make pots. I am nearly out of pots and what is left is a mish mash of pottery. First things first is what u see in the pictures. I am currently working on cynthia bringles new cross draft salt kiln. Me and Eric destroyed the old kiln and after about four truckloads of old useless brick going to the dump, i had the slab clean and have started to build back the new kiln. I am hoping to wrap this job up soon and prepare for mike campbell's wood kiln construction in virginia the last week of this month. i will (as i always promise) try to get back into the blogosphere especially when i get back in the studio which will hopefully be soon! and inaugust i get to take my sweetie and her daugther to the beach for much needed R@R. then back to the classroom for the fall semester. I am doing five days a week, so if you think your commute is bad, wait to hear my stories this fall. be good out there folks.