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.

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.

TideWater Souper Supper Finished Bowls Part 3

I’m aiming to hit the hoop this week. This was the third and final kiln load of bowls for the TideWater Souper Supper. It was a gas firing hosted by Delta Community College’s ceramic’s department.
Thanks’ Joe!

Bowl Project Bowl Project Bowl Project Bowl Project Bowl Project Bowl Project

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to put a good amount of faith into student glazes. Any questions that were asked about the suggested application or behavior of any of the glazes were met with shrugs.”Eh?” Guess that’s par for the course. Love a challenge though. Here are six of 30.

TideWater Souper Supper Finished Bowls Part 2

This is a quick selection from the second kiln load of 40 bowls for this year’s TideWater’s Souper Supper fund raiser. I’m really happy; there are a lot of very nice pieces this year. I’ve only lost 3 bowls this time through. One more kiln load to open still. This last load is part of a kiln load up at the local community college’s gas kiln. Professor Joe Mariscal volunteered to donate kiln space for a community cone 10 gas firing in support of the project.
Thanks Joe!
It’s been cooling down for a few days; it’ll be ready to be opened first thing tomorrow morning. The anticipation is needling me.

Bowl Project Bowl Project Bowl Project Bowl Project Bowl Project Bowl Project

Slipped Rim

This project spun out of this winter’s bowl marathon for the Tidewater Gallery’s annual soup feed. I throw about 7 batches total, 10 to 17 bowls at a time and break these down into smaller separate groups for handling the surface decoration. This is how I generally prefer to create my work. I enjoy working in series of 5 -15 pieces at a time, this lets me explore any new idea or technique a little before drawing any initial conclusions and making any changes in my approach.

Slip Pouring Demo Slip Pouring Demo Slip Pouring
This started with a big 3 gallon bucket of white slip I made using the trimmings from my standard white clay body. The trimmings were added to the water and allowed to soak overnight. After a night of soaking I mixed it up with my trusty paint mixer on a drill and added a tablespoon of deflocculate (sodium silicate) and more water until the slip reached the consistency of a thick heavy cream. The sodium silicate lets the clay platelets to slide over each other easier so I don’t have to add so much water to the mix to get the slip to the consistency I want.

Slip Pouring Demo Slip Pouring Demo
Next, I had an idea of what I wanted to try… might work, might not. Going to find out though. So I made some thumbnail sketches to keep me pointed in a direction. I’ll usually have 2 or 3 experiments going on at any one time and I have a tendency to become easily distracted. I’ve learned it’s a good idea to leave a trail of bread crumbs leading back to the project at hand.

With this idea, I’m using a contrasting red stoneware clay for the body and I’ve applied a simple paper stenciled sponged cobalt slip design around the lower half of the belly.
After the stenciled design has dried sufficiently to gently handle, I invert the bowl and pour the slip over the upper half.
Slip Pouring Demo Slip Pouring Demo
 I really like the effect and I’m excited about trying a dynamic gaze combination I’ve been thinking about…

stay tuned…

TideWater Souper Supper

Souper Supper 2009

What do you say if the local gallery asks you to produce 250 bowls in 60 days?They’ll pay for the materials, the firing costs, provide floor space at their gallery to host a spring show, and even feed you at a fantastic gourmet soup feed surrounded by 250 local patrons of the arts.

I say “YES!”

Souper Supper 2009

Since 2002 I’ve been part of the stable of ceramicists that have helped contribute to this event. I’ve always looked forward to this event, being very happy to be just part of the background. It’s always been an amazing opportunity to explore and develop new ideas for surface designs and forms. It’s a project that’s never failed to propel me forward into a new year.

Souper Supper 2009

Souper Supper 2009
This year was something very new though… they asked me to recruit and organize the ceramic artists needed for this year’s event and I’ve found 10 amazing local ceramic artists to stand with me so far. With 27 days left, and over 200 plus pieces still in green ware, we’ll see how this all works out. You’ll be hearing more about this as the due date February 6th approaches.

Souper Supper 2009

Souper Supper 2009
Stay Tuned…

Fetishghost’s One Year Etsy-versary!

What a difference a year can make!
Last month my wife and I noted of one year Etsy anniversary, but it’s this month that we are celebrating a year since our first post on Etsy.

Fetishghost Etsy AnniversaryFetishghost Etsy Anniversary
Fetishghost Etsy Anniversary

Quite honestly, I think that first post was one of those amazing unexpected pivot points where you can feel your life shifting and moving in a completely new direction. This change was no small thing for me… I literally couldn’t turn on the laptop my wife had gotten me, I had no idea how to get on the internet and just about lost it the first time the damn thing went into hibernate.

Fetishghost Etsy Anniversary Fetishghost Etsy Anniversary Fetishghost Etsy Anniversary Fetishghost Etsy Anniversary
Now, really big chunks of my studio activities are connected in some way to the web and I’m thoroughly enjoying learning to work as part of larger communities. Another big thanks to Etsy! I’ve met so many great customers, craftsmen, and artists through our stores and street teams. A big shout out to the Etsy Mud Team and the always amazing SteamTeam! Thanks everyone!

Fetishghost Etsy Anniversary Fetishghost Etsy AnniversaryFetishghost Etsy Anniversary Fetishghost Etsy AnniversaryIt’s been an incredible year! This just keeps getting better!

Fetishghost Etsy Anniversary

Licks, Love, & Luck…

Mixing Up A Simple Slip

Making a super simple slip starts with collecting up some of your trimming scraps from your current white bodied clay. You don’t really need much… 300 grams is a good single batch amount to play with for starters. Multiply that by whatever number you might have in mind to experiment with other oxides and stain mixes.
Here comes the fun part… my kids joyously referred to this particular chore as “let’s whack Daddy!” They volunteer for it every time and quite frankly, it’s got me rather nervous, but it’s got to be done so get whackn!

Making a Slip

For this chore I use an old pair of blue jeans, (I know you were saving a pair for something like this). Just load up a leg with a manageable amount. You’ll figure out how much is enough pretty quick. Special note, if you pack it too full your crotch will pop… really messy.
Now grab your trusty small hand sledge and just lightly pound the hell out of it. Like I said, my kids think this is hilarious.

Making a Slip

Making a Slip Making a Slip

Making a Slip

This is still pretty chunky, but it’ll work just fine.

At this point I feel I should point out another advantage of using crushed clay to make your mix… it’s a lot easier to get an accurate weight ratio of clay to colorant you’ll need.

Making a Slip

I like strong colors, so I multiply the weight of my crushed clay by 5% to 10% to get the weight needed for my oxide colorant. Commercial stains seem to like the 10% to 15% ranges. It’s really up to you how strong you like your colors. This is where you get out those test tiles and experiment.
Making a Slip
Slowly add your crushed clay and oxide mix to the water. Keep at it, slowly building up an island in the center. The island will subside below the waterline as it pulls water into the mix. Keep adding your crushed clay mix until it all in there. Kind of give the tub a small shake to collapse the island one last time, and let the mix slake overnight. In the morning, just pour off the excess water and stir well and “Voila!” A simple slip.
Making a Slip