I decided to make a few koi pendants. legend has it that a huge school of koi tried swimming upstream in the yellow river in China. When they reached a waterfall many of the fish turned back. The koi that remained contained to try to swim upstream and leap over the waterfall. After a hundred years of trying to reach the top of the waterfall one koi finally reached the top. The gods recognized the koi for its strength, perseverance and determination and turned the fish into a golden dragon, the symbol of power and strength.
What are kiln gods? Quit simply they are little handmade sculptures that are placed on top of the kiln to overlook the firing process. Many Potter's make them. I started making them while taking pottery classes at bemidji state university back in the late 80s. Every body there made them so I just followed suit.
Here are a few recent kiln gods that I have made.
Part of my "Femlin" beer mug series. Throwing the mug is easy and fast enough to accomplish but the glazing is a bit time consuming.
I used a white earthenware clay body for the mug, pulled the handle on the form and bisque fired it to cone 05.
Next step was to apply a base coat of white majolica glaze to interior and exterior of the mug. Once that was dry I penciled the femlin on the form and painted the hair and clothing. A layer of liquid latex was applied and I carved through that for the fine lines. Next I painted a black gloss glaze into the lines, and painted the exterior of the form with the same glaze. The interior is the white majolica base glaze.
Glaze fired to cone 04.
I can't even remember when I threw this plate, but I finally finished it and I think it is my favorite out of the famous paintings series.
I had no idea how all the majolica glazes would interact with each other but it works for me.
I drew the image on a white base coat of majolica with a pencil and basically just started started painting.
Fired to cone 04 and sent to my mother for a Christmas gift.
I can't believe I haven't posted anything on my blog for such a long time. I guess it is because I have been working too much overtime and haven't had the chance to write anything or make any new pots.
I just received my new potter's stamp ("chop") from http://www.4clay.com/. I love it. I'll be using this on all my pots I make this year.
I just ordered up a bunch of new supplies for the studio so hopefully I'll start throwing again real soon. Some of the things I have planned are horse hair pots, saggar fired pots, and a lot of burnishing. Stay tuned.
I just came across this video yesterday. It is fantastic. It is also a very strange coincidence that my very first hand carved chawan was done the same way as in this video. Furthermore I went on to make my own trimming tools and made them the same way as seen in the video. This is like 5 years ago. Anyway, here is the line to the video "How To Make A Chawan."
I made this toad house for my friends Dan and Amy and posted a photo on Dan's facebook page. That photo post resulted in a Toad House Boom. I think that day I received about a dozen requests, which resulted in more requests. I guess I'll keep making them till the demand dries up.
Took my first clay classes at Bemidji State University in 1989. In 2002, after a long break, I started more pottery classes at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI.
I do not have one area of interest, but that isn't to say I am unfocused. I enjoy making everything from coffee mugs to trompe l' oeil. I work with highfire stoneware, and low fire earthenware. I'm just clay crazy.