Leaf Herder in Training

Busy busy busy…

I’ve been overly occupied with tying-up old loose ends and setting up new pins…
A few weeks ago I was surprised with an request to apply for a local job opening. It was an opportunity to do something I’ve always dreamed of getting to do… work as a grounds keeper and gardener for an Ivy League campus, one of the most beautiful in North America to boot, the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.


Now it looks like I’ll be holding a very high powered leaf blower for the next few months while I get to know the campus and it’s big o’l soda kiln. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge… Anyone see where this is going?


Pop-corn time!
If you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall for a Peter Voulkos workshop… here it is.
Voulkos is one of the more prominent peaks of American Ceramics during the past 50 years.
A whole bunch of us have pivoted on this particular peak. It’s amazing when you sit down and watch the entire series. The resulting conversation is obviously much better handled in a bar.
This is vintage Voulkos posted by Ken Stevens… Here is a link to a full workshop! If you have the time, grab a bottle of gin, a pack of smokes, a six pack and kick back for a few hours of insight into American  Master.

Peter Voulkos part three from Ken Stevens.

Here is a bit of background and lead-up to this series originally posted by Ken on Clay Art in 2003.

“Hi All,
While attending the Kansas City Art Institute, I came across three large
video reels in the dumpster near the ceramics building. At the time, I was
dumpster diving for ceramic heads- the sophomore students had made clay portraits of themselves for a class assignment. I found a lot of great
heads that year to put in my yard. More importantly, however, I found these three reels.
At the time I thought they were movie reels, but soon with a
bit of research I found out that they were old reel-to-reel VTR (VCR type
tapes) from the 70s. The format and the giant machines for the reels were
out of date by some 20 years (I found the reels in 1995). The reels were
labeled =93Peter Voulkos 1976 demonstration=94 and together last about three hours long. They then sat in my basement for eight years, so now the reels are 27 years old. They may not have been seen for as long as 20 years now!

After the unfortunate death of Peter Volkous, I once again remembered the reels in my basement and decided for the sake of preserving this historic event I should try and find a way to restore them. I sent the reels to have them professionally saved to a DVD before they become unsalvageable.
To save these reels professionally it will cost me a large chunk of money,
but I think it will be worth it to see what Peter Voulkos was doing in his

Ken… I seriously owe you a beer.

Buckets Out

Well this years fall wet season began quite a bit sooner than the Farmers Almanac predicted…

The up-side is that the gardener in me is happy a few beds got turned and planted while I was digging trenches and grading the new prairie grass meadow.

The down-side is that the potter in me goes into sandbag mode trying to deal with the holes in the roof 3 buckets at a time.
Seems easy enough, fix the roof, but that takes out a bit of the romance here and diminishes the point of working in an outdoor studio.

The point of an outdoor studio is that it’s open only when it’s open and it’s open only when the gods let it do it’s thing…
I’m covering up a lot of the studio this fall while a few things are sorted out.
I am getting the uneasy feeling that big changes are ahead so it’s a good time to reminded myself that sometimes it’s tactically wise to downsize expectations if I want to stay reasonably  happy. As it stands, I’ll be more than happy just being able to push through 30 cups every 3 or 4 weeks if I could mortgage off the idea.

I’m still in a cone 10 mode and I’m romancing the “Tile 6 slip”. This week, the “Hundredth Monkey” effect seems to be bleeding though because I’m seeing that I’m part of a much larger crowd playing with this particular recipe.
Sometimes it’s good to be part of the crowd.

Until then say “Hello” to my little friend.