Brown Pots

February 4, 2015 - 4 Responses

I took a little break from porcelain in January and made some pots with brown clay, a Standard body, Dark Brown #266, I purchased at Bracker’s Good Earth Clays in Lawrence, KS. Here are a few of the results…
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I left the brown clay exposed on the forms in some places, the rim…
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a little brown “ring around the collar”…
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I made several different typs of forms…
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This is a small coffee pour-over set. (Fareed, you have dibs on this set but I’m not satisfied with the liner glaze. Also, I’ll make the hole in the bottom of the filter a tad bigger. I’ve already thrown another set and will send you a photo when it’s finished.)
But this is a handsome little set and I think I’ll keep making them. It’s a handy dandy way to make a quick cuppa coffee at home or work…
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For now though, it’s back to work with porcelain, my fickle mistress and true love…
pots in dampbox
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Bison

January 9, 2015 - One Response

There is a Bison loose at Rafter E today. This beast was given to me by Sam and I’m trimming plates for Chad.

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Next…off to the Nelson to see the fabulous Native American exhibit. THIS IS THE LAST WEEKEND, PEOPLE!
They will have food for me there, right? I’m hungry. I really am.

Rafter E Studio

January 5, 2015 - One Response

This post is expressly for the enjoyment of one Mike Jabbur. If you are Mike, preparing this is just much easier as a blog post than using email. If you are not Mike, you may look. You may also enjoy this.

So…Mike. As per your request, here are some photos of Rafter E Studio. The building was the corner grocery store back in the day. The street at my left goes from the Plaza to a well known antique shopping area. (behind me, as I take this picture) i.e. …good location.
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I am standing with my back to the front door in this next picture. At the left is a long display shelf that runs almost the entire length of the space. Below are two sections with roll out display cubbies. The next four sections contain wire rack shelving for clay and tools and are hidden by canvas curtains.

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…In the middle of the space, you see the end of one of two big work tables. The bright spot on the right is my work space. This is a panorama shot so imagine away the curve in the wooden door. There are two sets of sliding wooden doors. Four doors total. From back to front, they “hide” the restroom two large closets and this adorable small office…
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Next, a close look at my work area. Again, a panorama curvy photo. Straighten it out.
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…The two work tables here are lower. They are on casters. We turn them end to end against the wall during shows. We store the glaze buckets, also on casters, beneath. (If you are not Mike, you may not know the thrill of having five gallon buckets up on casters. Mike would know.)

For the following panorama, I stood with my back to my wheel. Straighten out the curve and this is a good rendition. You see here the canvas curtains covering the storage shelving. To the right of them, Eck and I each have a damp box. They are plant “hothouses” refitted with more attractive corrugated plastic walls and tops. The shelves are lined with drywall. Great damp boxes. There is a wedging table to the right of the boxes. A nice slab roller for our frequent slabbering and a good sized Skutt.
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Although the above photo is distorted by my panorama choice, it provides a good feel of the workspace. The following photo taken from the back of the room kinda puts it back into perspective…
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(The white chairs that are stacked in front of the slab roller? Well, we also have a lovely concrete back patio, yard, garden, and squirrels.)

So there you go, Mike. Can ya dig it?

Hospital Cups!

December 26, 2014 - 2 Responses

Yes, it’s that time of year…
Today I am delivering Hospital Cups to the 4th and 7th floor of St. Luke’s Hospital. This is a show of gratitude to those who work there, caring for people. They took very good care of me back in 2006. I showed up in a coma, weighing 72 pounds and the nurses, doctors, and therapists did all those little things for me…like save my life and teach me to walk again. Those things that they do everyday, day after day, maybe without enough thank yous and thoughts of gratitude.

Near the end of 2006, when I was able to get back into my studio, I discovered I had only the strength to work with, not 50 lbs. of clay for a platter, not even 4 lbs. for a bowl, but only 1/2 pound. A tiny ball of clay. So I sat myself down and made small cups to thank the many people who had taken care of me that year. After that year, I had no reason to stop. No reason because I am grateful each day for still being here and I think of the people in my life that year very, very often.

If you have a cup from this year, you work at St. Luke’s or you are one of my friends or a family member who took care of me during the year of “My Little Coma”. This is a “thank you” and a show of ongoing gratitude for you, who brought me to this day where I am able to celebrate Christmas with…IMG_7390Scroll down if you would like to see how your little cup was made…

First I cut and wedged two pounds of clay then divided that into 1/2 amounts and tapped those into ball shapes.IMG_7153 The cup, itself, is rather simple…IMG_7318

Then I make more cups…lots of cups…IMG_7170

When the cups dry a bit, stiffen up, I scrape and smooth the bottom and brush on a dark brown engobe. An engobe is a clay slip. Slip is clay with enough water added to be liquid.IMG_7312

After the brown dries (just a few minutes), I brush on a white slip. I pay attention so that the brush marks look good.IMG_7313

After the cup dries completely, I tidy up the rim. Here is a “before and after” picture. You can see that the rim on the right is ready to go.IMG_7327

Now the cups are ready for the first firing. They are fired in an electric kiln to a temperature of 1840 degrees. That is hot!

When they are cool enough to unload, I sponge them off and pour in a liner glaze. Then I sign the bottom and load them up again to be fired a second time. 2170 degrees. Again…hot! Hot enough to vitrify the clay and turn the glaze material to “glass”.IMG_7391 These cups are then sanded. For you respiratory therapists out there…they are wet sanded. No dust for my lungs!

I don’t know how many of “my” original 2006 St. Luke’s people still are there to get a cup. But if you are one of those people, an extra big thank-you goes out to you. If this happens to be your first cup, I hope you enjoy using it and know, along with the others, that you are deeply appreciated.

If you are on my “short list”…my friend, my family…I am grateful that you are still, very much, a part of my life.

Happy New Year to all!

8 out of 10 Squirrels…

December 15, 2014 - Leave a Response

8 out of 10 squirrels enjoy drinking from Rafter E vessels…

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10 out of 10 people enjoy shopping at Rafter E Studio

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We are open on Saturday afternoons and when our sign is out on the sidewalk.

Thank you for a nice weekend…

December 10, 2014 - Leave a Response

Many thanks to those who stopped by during our Holiday Sale weekend. Thanks to you, rent will be paid, mouths will be fed. And we had a lot of fun. Hope you did, too. Here are a few photos our sale, followed by information on our final event at Black Bamboo this Saturday!
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This Saturday, John Eck and I will be showing our work at Black Bamboo along with several other talented, local artists and artisans. Please stop by if you are out and about. A perfect time to finish off that holiday shopping list without the hassle of…you know…those other kind of shopping experiences.
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Ho Ho Ho.liday Sale

December 2, 2014 - Leave a Response

This weekend! It’s the KC Clay Guild Holiday Studio Tour weekend.
Rafter E is smack dab in the middle of the tour map. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start and for that matter, end at Rafter E Studio. Lots of new work to choose from. Please stop by. There will be handmade cookies as well as handmade ceramics!

Here is a quick peek .. at the pots! Not the cookies!

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We will be looking forward to seeing you. Gift items from $20 and up.
“Details”

Small Busyness

November 30, 2014 - Leave a Response

Despite huge corporations, big box stores, and the pervasive manufacture and purchase of plastic crap (foods are in this category), I think that small businesses remain the backbone of the U.S. economy. If only the moral backbone. This is how I have recently helped to support three small, local businesses…

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The adorable, finely executed hat was made by Nancy.

The T shirt (that is the old Katz drugstore in Westport!) is from Made on Main.

Cecil, the Monster, was lovingly stitched by Megan at Monstrosity.

I have chosen one aspect of my life to include exclusively purchases made by hand. As you can imagine, this “aspect” is the newest, bestest addition to my small world. This is why I choose small business…

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You can see that she is on the road to being “raised right”. I am motivated to being a “small business activist”.

Saturday was “Small Business Day”. Did you know this? Please consider supporting small businesses. Buy local, purchase handmade. Perhaps you could choose one aspect of your life to be a Small Business Advocate.

Holiday Sale!

November 29, 2014 - Leave a Response

Yep, It’s that time of year. The Kansas City Clay Guild Holiday Tour is next weekend! Grab a map and visit pottery studios all over the city and a bit  beyond. Please consider purchasing hand made items this season. Your friends and family will appreciate it, the artist will benefit, and you will feel warm and fuzzy all over.

John Eck and I will be selling our work at Rafter E Studio.  Lots of new, fresh functional forms. And dig this… Cookies! We will have cookies! Lots of cookies!

A sampling of our work…

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POW…Pots On Wheels…POW!

November 28, 2014 - Leave a Response

I am participating in an exciting ceramics adventure…check this out and click on POW’s link to learn more. If you love ceramics, you will enjoy this…

Gearing up for NCECA 2015 with a mobile education and outreach

gallery for beautiful handmade pottery–collaboration between over

100 clay artists.

In Boston, we’ve recently launched a project to spread our passion

for ceramics and design. We’re converting a 17ft bread truck into a

mobile ceramics gallery, called POW! (Pots On Wheels) in order to

bring excellent pottery to those who may not have had the opportunity

to touch clay before. Our gallery will display a diverse range of work

from over 100 artists, including Molly Hatch and Ayumie Horie. We’ll

drive around New England delivering workshops and hands-on

education to communities and schools. We believe that fine craft

makes people happy. We want to share the joys of making with a

larger audience. We’ll encourage new audiences, both young and

old, to see, touch and experience well-made functional ceramics,

made by a wide-range of contemporary artists.

Our first official wheeled appearance will be at NCECA in Providence,

where we’ll share our collaborative Cup Project with NCECA

participants. We’re in the midst of raising funds on Kick Starter to

purchase our gallery-truck. There are some great rewards for people

who pledge funds, including t-shirts, totally gorgeous original

ceramics (shipped anywhere in the world), and even a visit to your

location by Mark Shapiro and Sam Taylor, who will make pots and tell

stories in front of your very eyes!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1405237878/pots-on-wheels

There is only a short time for you to participate and enjoy one or more rewards for supporting a worthy cause.

I will be donating these cups and more…
4 cups

The tea bowl is signed…

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like this…
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The cup and saucer has…
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little chairs, too…
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Please consider clicking on the POW link. It’s about education for the ceramic arts…and fun!

psst…shh…you can follow my blog…shhhh

and peek at my website.

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