Let’s just see how this plays out…

I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time, but getting past the gatekeeper that guarded the etching press that’s sitting idle at UOP had proven problematic. The problem mostly being that the gatekeeper is a complete bitch, ( I guess some see granting access to a community resource as a small game of “king of the hill”).

So when Jess dropped her press that she just pulled off the mountain top into place downtown, I knew now was the moment I’d been waiting for. 

Jess’s Sturges Press in place at the Write Place

The plan is simple. Use the plastic remnants left over from cutting out paper stencils to block in a design. Soak a sheet of watercolor paper and use the press to emboss the design into the sheet. Simple…

… and it worked!!!

Just Daydreaming

This was what was in front of me…

The work always starts with knuckling under and flowing into the details…

But Jess has my head floating somewhere else. With added encouragement from friends, we’ve been looking for a space downtown or a cleared an vacant property to drop our kilns into. We need to stabilize our studio and set down some roots and in the process, start training a new generation to burn kilns. ( I can’t wait to describe Jess’s full idea.) The evil plan has gotten pretty well rounded out… not overly complex, but it’s simplicity has the power to make changes. 

Out of all the logistical and financial questions floating around, the big question is “Will the city let us do this?” The city of Stockton isn’t currently known for being open to progress and definatly not known for its long standing defense for the arts. In a relitivly short time, this space could house a kilnyard with multiple gas kilns’a learning studio, gardens, and basic quarters. Everyone has to just not say “No”.

We are thinking about dropping in a Q Cabin for the main kiln shed. 

Simple studio spaces can be stacked up as needed. The quarters and gardens… well who knows.

Back to the details in front of me. Enjoying spending a short hour in the night studio with a glass of wine, engaging conversation with my favorite smile, and more collab work with Jess. This is what we live for.


Still touching base on my firefly obsession with a new test design. No point in letting the motif go just yet. Using the fireflies as a metaphor for love just makes so much sense to me… That and they are compositionally compelling, adding variation and rhythm to the design. They even seem to lend a feeling of nastalgia, like an old simple block print. 

All of this is just speculation until the final firing, but it’s still a nice after work daydream that Jess and I get to pass back and forth. 


Filing those wareboards up slowly but steadily in batches of 2’s and 5’s. 


Fucked up is easily more interesting than pretty…

It’s a simple statement that, if it’s taken at face value, says quite a bit about the maker that believes it to be true. It’s a safe leap to assume that anyone using this as a precept to propel a body of work forward is a sure sign of someone perpetually in search of problems to work through and/or problems to rally against.

Unfortunately, I believe in this precept.
I apparently need drama in my story line in order to validate the story. 

There’s no real story happening without the story being shaped by at least one struggle.

No struggle.

No story.

It’s as simple as that.

Omnus Terra

7 Australian artists, 7 American artists.

Gallery 114 

1100 NW Glisan St. 

Portland, OR.

March 21 – March 25 9-5pm

Opening reception Friday March 24th, 5-8pm

Australia and America face each other across a fast Pacific ocean. Two large continents, nations of the Pacific rim sharing a sea space. Omnus terra means all lands. Creating a dialogue connecting two cultures, two continents, two histories though clay. Australian Artists: Shannon Garson, Vicki Grima, Fiona Hiscock, Megan Puls, Jane Sawyer, Fleur Schell, Gerry Wedd American Artists: Joel Blum, Troy Bungart, Linda Fahey, Brett Freund, Michelle Gregor, Malia Landis, Crystal Morey

Canister by Joel Blum aka Zygote
I’m honored to be part of this exhibition at this year”a 2017 NCECA conference in Portland. Stop by Friday evening, introduce yourself, and enjoy the festivities.

Always looking for an excuse to make more new friends 🙂


I watched Jess push this one through the studio the week before we left for NCECA. It came out looking and feeling soooooo good. We were happy to have gotten to meet the person that took it home, but felt her loss when her friend wrote us to tell us that it got broke later that night. It happens, but so soon it tragic for everyone involved. If we had access to the shards, it’s be worth laquering it back together and handing the piece back to her.


The Seduction of the functional arts is the possibility of overlaying the familiar with a sense of wonder…

I feel no need to apologize for being a functional artist. For decades, I believed that I was a more complete person when I was serving others in some way. Creating objects felt like the most natural way I could do just that. The fact that the things I made had identifiable value because of it’s usefulness, let me feel like I had value too. It’s a comfortable feeling and I still feel this way most of the time. It may be just something that’s in my own head, but I know that I’m not alone in this thinking. Outwardly, making objects that are beautiful for beauty’s sake is an activity that helps lift the spirts of others by giving people something beautiful to discover for themselves. Inwardly, it’s an activity that allows me to discover the beauty and wonder within myself. 

Isn’t this the purpose of art?