New House and Studio (pottery)

Yes, I’m in the middle of moving my home and studio to a new place. I’m very excited to get a new place in Richmond, VA that has a garage where I can set up my pottery. I hope to stay here for a long time.

Why, you might ask? I have way too much stuff and half of it is clay materials, bricks, tools, etc. for my pottery. It is cool to have everything for a working pottery, but way too heavy for the lifting.

On the bright side, I’m getting my workout and I’ll be able to put everything in the same area. Yes!

I’ve been moving everything around from storage units to sheds to crawlspaces to piles of materials out in the desert, so having everything at my studio and home is a big thing.

Now all I have to do is finish moving it…

Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA

Close-up of orchids

I went to NCECA and visited Phipps Conservatory to see if they wanted to carry my dinnerware line. They said they would get back to me on carrying my line.

The self guided tour was amazing. What a dynamic place. One of the first rooms I went in was filled with orchids and they were all in full bloom.

Also noteworthy, though I didn’t take many pics was their administration building which is one of the greenest buildings in the world. I was so impressed with their entire enterprise. Way to go Phipps!

Yellow orchids at Phipps Conservatory

Goblin pottery has arrived

Goblin Mug $55.00

Yes, it seemed that only gnomes would enter the realm of little people seen on hardwickhandmade pottery, but the dark side has made an appearance. A small one granted, but an appearance none the less.

Two mugs have been designed with drunken goblins dancing about in a mushroom filled background with slipware highlights.

goblin detail

This series will draw from the slipware pottery (which are extremely difficult to pull off well) as well as from landscape painting traditions.

 

I hope you enjoy.

Next up is the lonely ogre walking in the forest…

Recent Firing

Hiker Dinner plate

I finished a load of pottery and fired over New Years which was alot of fun.  I had several items that I fired for a commission and then others that I was doing to figure out some design work.

Virginia Bird Series- Titmouse, Goldfinch & Chickadee

The whole kiln came out well. As discussed in the last post, I am working on a commission of eastern songbirds.  I’ve got to do plates and bowls which makes the layout a little more complex.

A group of gnomes were fired as well and I liked how they came out. Also, I did a group of drunken goblins dancing around which came out well.

Here are a few examples.

Bird Bowls & Plates for Hardwick Handmade Dinnerware Commission

Titmouse process painting

I’ve finished painting the bowls and have moved on to painting the plates for my Eastern Songbird commission. I’ve very excited as the results are turning out better than I anticipated.  Some bowls are glazed and out of the kiln as indicated by the featured image of this article, but others are still waiting to be fired. This weekend I will finishe painting the plates. My last one to do is the Goldfinch which takes extra time as I have the bird sitting on a group of sunflowers that requires more work. Luckily, I love what I do.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker dinner plate process

This picture was taken after the underglaze was painted, but before it was glazed. The color is muted, but will pop once the durable clear glaze reaches temperature of 1948 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

13oz. mug with Chickadee in the snow

 

 

The bird cup is an example of what can be done with this imagery on other forms.

I completed a new sample series that came out of the kiln last weekend and looked really good. I made a chickadee bowl, a goldfinch bowl and a titmouse bowl with an abstract pattern background.

Chickadee dinner plates

All my work playing around with backgrounds is starting to pay off. I’m using a combination of painterly brushwork and stamped color that together is organic and colorful. It took a while to find something subtle enough that let the birds stand out.

 

My next round of imagery should be just what I want. 🙂

Matt

Chickadee bowl process
Goldfinch & Sunflower plates

Freer Gallery in DC

Japanese Tea Ceremony ware

I was able to see the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC this past weekend. It is my favorite museum on the Mall and I really enjoyed seeing the treasures they have there.

There were only a few different items set up in the 20 rooms they show items in, but it was worth the trip. They had a Japanese tea room utensil set up which I really admired among the other items.

Tea Ceremony vase
Whistler’s painting from his Nocturne (night) series.

Whistler’s paintings were also up and they had 3 of the Nocturne paintings that I really like. I’ve been thinking of including them in my paintings. I think the Nockturne idea will work well with the goblins and dark fairies I’ve been trying to create as imagery.

 

 

 

 

In the 80’s I was lucky enough to inspect the vault below the Freer. I hope to do that again once I can get enough people together to do it. It is free, but you have to arrange a meeting. They may have a minumum amount of people to go as well.

Guan ware

Handmade Holiday @ Hardywood Brewery

Hardwick Handmade Booth

I just finished a weekend showing my work at a craft fair at Hardywood Brewery. There were a little over 60 booths showing their wares and trying to move their merchandise to at least a thousand people a day. It was a great turnout and I’d like to say thank you to the vendors around me that were nice and gracious with advice.

What a great show! I hope I get in to do it again next year.

Wood Fired Pots

Bourbon/Sake/Tea Cup

Yes, the annual firing was done the week after Thanksgiving and I went and picked up my pottery last night.

I am so thankful for Mike and Alex firing my pots at Tree Hill Pottery, here in Richmond, VA. My work turned out great and I’m excited to show you the results.

I reformulated my clay body to create a red flashing clay body. Unfortunately, I failed again. I researched and studied flashing bodies in Graduate School and lost the recipes I created, so now I’m working to create a new body with less expensive and readily available ingredients.

Bourbon/Sake/Tea Cup
Bourbon/Sake/Tea Cup

I have 4 glazes that are really looking good in the firing. My favorites are the Tenmoku, Amber, Cobolt and Pumice. I have a great Oribe, but didn’t use it in this firing. My next glaze will be a white.

Bourbon/Sake/Tea Cup

I hope you like these as much as I do. They are an Asian aesthetic. The cups are small holding 5-6oz. The trays are 14-16in long.

🙂 Matt

Smooth Afro-Cuban Jazz

Hotel X- Legend brewing

My friends Hotel X just jammed out again at Legend Brewing Co. on the south side of Richmond, VA. I took pics and they turned out extra special. Let me know what you think.

Tim & Chris- groovin’

I love the blur that to me, depicts motion and fits perfectly into the jazz ideal. Also, I tried to darken the pics as there was tons of light streaming in the room.

For those that don’t know… Mike never lets up.

New Work is out and in process

Green Turtle Dinnerware set

I’m having a great time working on designs inspired by my recent trips to the National Gallery in DC and the VMFA, here in Richmond. Mostly, abstract work have been coming out of my head, but some new motifs are out that are based on realism.

Each kiln load spurs me on to create new designs. I feed of small areas where brush strokes and stamped color collide and promise new material for the next piece.

 

As the holidays are approaching I have created a new series of snow person mugs where I really got into the background abstraction, trying to represent a landscape. It felt to me that I was creating slipware which I am inspired by as I enjoy the different historical representations and designs.

Also, I have made more Gnome pieces. I think they represent the Christmas spirit well and I like the childhood memories they bring back when I paint them.

Gnome lunch plate and mug