50/50 Wash

I’m This is the go to wash in our studio.
It was brought to my attention by Jess a few years back and I huffed and puffed when I first saw her use it, but I quickly came around after playing with it, and was floored after seeing results when it’s used in conjunction with the stencils, Since then, we’ve seen it referenced by John Britt in his glaze books.
(2) tablespoons gerstly borate
(2) tablespoons masion stain
(1) cup water
I imagine that any masion stain or oxide can be used when mixing this up.
I use this instead of using an underglaze wash when layering on shino glazes.
Brush it on.
Sponge it off.
Sand the surface.
Wipe it down.
Sun dry and set aside for glazing.

#101 Spring 2010

3.25″ by 3.75″
Thrown in a cone 6 Laguna “Calico” clay.
The surface design is done in a black slip. The exterior has been glazed using a thin application of Nut/White and the interior is a studio white liner.

Burnin For Joe

It’s been months since someone last let me fondle the valves on a gas kiln. Except for last spring’s excursion into soda firing with Matt from MossBeachCeramics, I’ve been exiled exclusively to electric firings for the last 4 years. Since then I’ve learned to enjoy worshipping the coil, but hey, I love the flame…

This week, the local community college ceramics professor, Joe Mariscal let me burn one with his new studio tech in their old Alpine updraft. I had forgotten what pandemonium an

undergraduate classroom could be like at the end of a semester and I was given the opportunity to find out that a community college classroom is quite a bit crazier. As nutty as it was, it was totally worth it. They were looking for someone to help push through a reduction firing and viola, I’m still a burner at heart.

God I love that old kiln smell…

Agate Ware Bowls

Still at it with the bowls… 52 more thrown and trimmed. I’m trying to get a good variety of surfaces in. Got a double handful of stenciled slips on the ware boards drying along with a bakers dozen of agate ware and even a few plain ones.

Usually I kind of enjoy throwing out in the cold(ish) fall and winter months. Boil up a bucket of water for the throwing slip, put on an extra pair of socks and pull on the long underwear and voila… no problem. This year though, it’s just humid enough to really slow down the drying and the greenware is getting a bit backed up.


Here’s a spot of video that we shot while throwing the agate ware yesterday. This’ll be spliced into the stack of videos that we’ll show in the background at the Souper Supper Event in February.
Let me know what you think, the feedback is really helping to move this project along.

Michael Cammack

One of this weekends 3 featured PortCityMud artists on the Miracle Mile in Stockton, CA. was Michael Cammak. He’s ceramic work is fun and light hearted despite the references to some of the world most infamous faces. Michael creates larger than life busts that are instantly recognizable for who they are despite the whimsy of his characterizations

The more I’m around this body of work, the more I appreciate his approach. I’ve been watching the reactions of the pedestrians as they walk past the windows. They drag their eyes along the glass looking at every one’s work out of the corner of their eyes as they pass by, but when they hit “The Heads of State” grouping they pass by… stop… and back pedal and get a good look at the heads. Never fails… They walk away smiling a crooked little smile.
I’m still working out why. We’ll definitely be taking this up later at the groups “philosophy” session at the neighborhood pub.

Stroll and Jazz on Miracle Mile

Avenue Autumn Showcase
Stroll & Jazz Concert Friday, November 13th
The night starts with a stroll on Miracle Mile at 6:00PM with gourmet hors d’oevres and fine wines.This is going to be tons of fun!This is our first outing as PortCity Mud and we’re excited! We got brought in on this project at the last minute, but we have been looking for just this sort of event to goof around at so we were prepared… well kinda.
We had the pedestals on hand already. (We enthusiastically made them a few months back in prep for a storefront gallery project.) We had artists lined up. (That’d be us. Our ugly mugs are posted on the side here.)

This is an evening event, so with that in mind we decided to make use of the impressive amount of glass in the storefront with a projected video shown directly onto a sheet in the window to go along with the exhibition. We sat down with a few beers and tested it out last night with lots of success. It really got people’s attention.

So we’ll be at the old Wells Fargo Bank Building at 1906 Pacific Ave with an exhibit of ceramic arts, video demonstrations shown in the store front glass, along with live demos and wine inside. The event starts at 6:00PM.

Glenda the Good

A really quick shout out to one of my favorite local artists…

If anybody is in town, her opening is 4- 7pm Saturday the 14th at the Goodwin gallery on the Miracle Mile in Stockton, CA.I’d love to see you there.

 Glenda Burns

She a multi-talented artist that excel’s in painting and ceramics. Her use of color in both media is reminiscent of the Fauves movement from the turn of the last century. My favorite aspect of her work is that it’s as fun and uplifting to be around as she is… Both brighten a room and cheer me up.
Guess that’s a darn fine mess of peas.

Decal Ketchup

Time to get caught-up with what’s been happening around the studio now that the flurry and excitement of this weekends show is past….pant pant pant. So many kiln loads went through over the past 2 weeks, I’m still overwhelmed by the pile of photos to sort through and work to be cataloged.

I was surprised by the results of the load of work with decals. I’ve gotten so used to seeing a kiln load of experiments head off in a direction other than what I had in mind, but this time things generally worked out how I had envisioned. My transparent green and transparent blue glazes milked up a lot with crystals, (bummer), but I didn’t put a whole lot of work in with those glazes so no big loss, (yea!).

It was really fun to revisit some of the older pieces and attack them with the decals. The results made for some particularly nice left field work.

I was trilled that the Witch/Bitch pieces were really well received. I thought they were a hoot!

The canisters were fun. Even the sides of smaller canisters provides a lot of real estate to play with. Now that a bit of time is opening up, I’m curios to explore a few the possibilities that are springing to mind.

Another Midnight Post

I’m baby sitting that last leg of the final kiln load needed for this weekend’s Witchapalooza event. Spent the day playing with my wife in the kitchen. We were putting designs on the “Nilla Ware” (as in plain vanilla ware) that went though the kiln the day before. The kitchen usually isn’t a sanctioned studio space for obvious reasons (the main reason is that I’m a habitually clay covered pig), but this time

I was allowed in the back door under the condition that I hadn’t wallowed in anything yet. We were working with decals that we had just printed up. This was the maiden voyage for the printer that we brought into the studio to help with a few side projects as we move further into fall. We ended up pushing through about 30 pieces before deciding that was a big enough first time commitment to this project and loaded up the kiln happy with a handful of the designs.


That’s what’s burning in the kiln now, so we have to wait until 5pm tonight before we get to see if they actually survive.

Are we pushing it to close to the deadline?

Tool Porno

Just a quick spot of tool porno from Adam Field’s demos at UOP on Tuesday. I just can’t pass-up posting a few of these tools that he shared with us. A few of these tools I had never seen before.

The kick wheel is a traditional Korean wheel he brought back. The set-up is a workshop mock-up of a studio throwing pit. Normallt the wheel head is at floor level and the pit walls are close enough to rest your feet on. The wooden wheelhead/drum was inset with bearings that simply slid over the steel shaft shown above. Just a single kick makes it fly…


Adam’s paddles and anvils have been carved from green wood and faced with leather. Adam said that these tools were kept perpetually wet and it showed… they looked like driftwood.

This is the handle of the anvil he uses for paddling the walls. Cool huh?
If you want to see Adam in action, Click here to check out his videos on U-Tube.