Soda firing

A friend let me use his soda kiln to fire my work last weekend. Here is the open kiln as I saw it a couple days after the firing. The firing was a little cold, but I learned alot from it and hope to use many of the pieces in my shows this coming spring.

Hottest part of the kiln. Bottom shelf – front about cone 9 down with heavy reduction

What I learned the most was how my glazes work in soda. Some did not turn out how I wanted them to, but some came out great. My core 3 glazes looked great and I can’t wait to use them again. there were maybe three other test glazes that I will mix up again. Also, there were several glazes that did not work and I hope to sieve them to get the materials to mix better in the firing and perhaps work next time.

Middle shelf front- About cone 8 down with medium reduction, but some carbon trapping.

I’m looking forward to firing soda again, though I dont’ know when that will be, but I hope to do some tests again soon to see if sieving a glaze will improve how it looks.

Me before I unloaded the kiln

Freer/Renwick Gallery permanent collections

The images are from the Freer/Renwick Galleries on 2 separate occasions in September 2019. I have seen the pieces in the Freer a million times as it is my favorite museum, but this is only the second time I’ve been to the Renwick. Both have amazing pieces that I have not photographed or seen deep in their archives. I wish they would rotate their collections more often.

Michael Sherrill Retrospective at the Renwick Gallery

Chance led me to the Renwick Gallery in Washington DC this week where I went through the exhibit of Michael Sherrill’s work. It was amazing. He has moved his focus from utilitarian work thrown on a wheel to ceramic, metal, glass sculptural pieces. All were done with explicit detail and professional appearance. In speaking with him he was modest, contemplative and completely involved in his creative ideas.

Here are some images:

National Gallery of Art

Pic in front of the 3 dimensional painting by Jean Dubuffet
This is not only one of my favorite images, but an inspiration to most of my artwork
Jean Dubuffet, Combat Beard

I visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC this weekend and had a great time looking at the artwork. I only spent an hour there and another one in the Hirshhorn and though, I enjoyed every minute of it, it wasn’t enough time to see and admire all the art work I wanted to check out.

At the National Gallery= East End
Olidon Redon- I don’t remember the title, but a great work

Recently, I have been interested and researching Dadaism and Surrealism and found great works of art representing both of these artistic periods. I pictured a few of them in this article, but there were 2 Max Ernst works that I am very interested in. they are in fact, stuck in my head right now. His work is distubing, but amazing at the same time.

The texture and natural feel to his paintings are impressive
Jean Dubuffet

What type of artwork is inspiring you nowadays?

Matt

Hardwick Handmade studio tour

I am part of the RVA Clay Studio Tour this year. They have been doing it for 4 years now, but his is my first time participating. All my work is going to be out and available for purchase. Both my electric low fire earthenware dinnerware and my wood/salt fired porcelaneous stoneware will be for sale.

I will have snacks and drinks for your pleasure along with the pottery and ceramic vessels available for purchase.

TJ Edwards will be joining me for the sale and he will have pottery and sculpture that he makes down Route 5 in New Charles. His work is beautiful and also available for purchase.

I hope to see you there!

Matt

New Garden is Planted

I bought a straw bale and dug out the middle of it with a chainsaw. Then I planted several tomatoes and a couple peppers and filled it in with soil and compost. I finished by covering the dirt and plants with some of the loose straw for mulch. So far my plants love it and are growing like weeds. No weeds have grown yet, which is better than my normal ceramics planters.

Straw bale carved out with an electric chainsaw.

Reworking my Website

WordPress has revised how the website can be created, so I am in the process of making a store. I’m very excited that I can have a full store set up soon. Don’t hold your breath as soon may not be too soon, but I’m still excited.

Part of my remaking this store is in response to my applications to NCECA and local stores this summer as well as my applications to a couple fairs/markets. I hope I get in and can make enough artwork for them all.

So far, I’m going to have a solo show next March. I’m currently selling at the Pop-Shop by Jo Louise, which is very exciting. The women that work there are some of the best salespersons I’ve ever met. Thank you so much, to them.

-Matt

Pocahontas State Park guest Artist

hand built ceramic workshop out in the rain, but under a tent.

December 1 &2 I was the guest artist at Pocahontas State Park.  The current CCC Museum was once a craft building built for the community to make arts and crafts in 1939. A wood kiln was built as well on the grounds to support pottery making.

Pulling up the sides of an earthenware cup

Each day I threw pottery and did a hand built workshop where the students made pinch pots and worked on different techniques such as rolling coils, attaching slabs, creating textures and making handles for cups.

The rangers did clay workshops with children and built a fire near the kiln. The made smores in the afternoon and talked to people walking or hiking by.

The weather was overcast, but being in the woods and making pottery outside was very cool.

I enjoyed all the volunteers that helped out and the park rangers who participated in making the event a success.

Making pinch pots and working on hand built techniques.

Teaching the volunteers how the wood kiln works, so they can pass it along to those that are interested.

Maybe, next time the weather will be nicer and there will be more people. Either way I would love to work there again. What a great time.

New Work from the Kiln

bee earthenware

I made a few commissions and pulled them from the kiln last week.

$55.00 per mug
Bee mugs

The ones I didn’t sell immediately I took to a work shop I did this past weekend at Pocahontas State Park. What a great time we had, but more on that in a post tomorrow.

Redbud flower dinner plate

back of the redbud flower plate

 

 

 

 

 

There are three different series created and shown here. I’m very excited in them and will tweak them a bit in the next round. The new ones are the bees, macro imagery and the redbud flowers.

I hope you like…

 

Macro inspired dinnerplate