These pots were fired in a 2 chamber woodkiln by Tree Hill Pottery. They fire with revitalized wood scraps and logs found in the Richmond, VA area. The kiln fires from cone 6 to cone 11 in oxidation and reduction depending on the area of the kiln. The following work represents my glaze tests in different locations of the wood/salt chamber of the kiln.
Magnesia glaze on the inside with 3% iron as a colorant. This cup was once fired in a wood/salt atmosphere to cone 10. Cup was hand built over a wood hump mold with texture added to the outside by pressing and paddling with hand made and found wooden sticks.
Wood/Salt fired cup with woodash celadon glaze in the Chinese Longuan celadon tradition.
Trans Clear Pumice Glaze that can be found on Glazy.org This glaze is high in Calcium Carbonate and goes clear green where thick in reduction atmospheres over 1260 degrees cooled quickly. In an oxidized atmosphere this glaze goes clear/yellow. This cup is clear/yellow on the inside and clear/green on the outside indicating 2 different atmospheres at different times in teh firing.
VC Matte base. This cup has crystals from dark brown to green. The clay body looks reduced, but the interior of the cup looks oxidized and is a buttery yellow. My guess is the outside is showing carbon trapping from early in the firing producing the dark brown color. The green color may be coming from the salt in the kiln, but more tests are necessary.
Fake Ash glaze is darker and more brown on the exterior. Interior is showing more rivulets with more yellow coloration. Glaze has over 40% calcium carbonate, but has not run much. So, very possible the temp was not at cone 10. Surface is dry, but mature.
This is one of many tests for a blue celadon. It is showing a blue/green cast, but glaze needs to be much thicker. Glaze analysis was pulled from Nigel Wood’s book Chinese Glazes. Next firing will be same unaltered glaze with thicker application. Slight crystallization is evident.
Current sculptural vessels by Matthew Hardwick are on display now at Black Iris Gallery- 321 W. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220. Opening Reception is March 6th from 5:30pm -10pm with accompaning ambient guitar by Hunter Duke.
This work explores time signatures left by textural paddles and sticks that are thrust and beaten into the clay over wooden and bisque molds that are carved with chainsaws, grinders, chisels and knives. The texture left by these tools is a physical manifestation of time; an interpretation of Matthew’s mortality.
The clay bodies are new and were formulated to show off flashing from the atmospheric kilns used to obtain them. The glazes create surfaces that contrast and highlight the surface texture.
The show is open through the month of March with a reception tomorrow, Friday March 6th and a closing reception on March 27th, 8-11pm to correspond with NCECA. This is a venue originated event in conjunction with NCECA and is on the bus tour during the last week of March.
The show was a success and thanks for all the support from those that attended the March 6th reception. The 2nd reception and NCECA was canceled, unfortunately, but it was a great experience to have my work up for a month and have locals get a chance to see more of my work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Went to Olympic National Park and Forest to take care of some business that I have put off for too long.
It started with a camping trip that Chris, Keith and I had planned for the summer of 2012. We were about 1/2 way through planning it and Keith killed himself. Like so many of us, he just couldn’t hold it together. He left 2 beautiful children and his wife Anne to carry on which was so hard on them. What a devastating situation.
It took me almost 10 years to get back to the Olympic mountains to spread his ashes and walk in nature, hopefully with his blessing.
It was Chris’ idea to go on with our camping trip in Washington State and spread Keith’s ashes. So he had me ask Anne for the ability and I took them with me when I moved away from New Mexico.
We came up with this plan hiking just before or after Keith’s Celebration of Life 11/19/11. It may have been during the hike where I took Chris’ image below.
Chris and Anne couldn’t make the trip due to issues with the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, so I set off by myself to see what the Pacific coast had to offer.
Wow, it was splendid.
Early the next day I awoke and started the climb at the lower trail head. The lower trail head was free to park and allowed me a 2 mile warm-up, which I needed as I am so out of shape.
When I got off the plane, I immediately drove to the mountains and set up my tent in the dark. I arrived at a campground at the base of the mountain around 2am. It was a long trip from Virginia to Washington State and I was exhausted.
Rainier was out as I slowly ascended the mountain. It seemed like everyone was passing me, which didn’t surprise me as I am so out of shape, but everyone was nice and gave me positive vibes as I went up. the sun was out and I met a bunch of cool people.
Keith would have loved this hike except for all the people that were out and about. Oh well, everything else was perfect.
I made it to the top and had someone take a pic as I spread Keith’s ashes. No one said anything negative as I did it, so I was happy that it went well. Though, I asked no permission and told only the pic taker what I was doing. It was just as it should be…
Afterwards, I drank Keith’s favorite beer. It was good and just what I needed.
Olympic National Park had open hiking trails and fewer people. It was rainy and cold, so that kept some away, but most Washington State people are used to the rain.
The beauty of the place was astounding. Everywhere I looked I found a better picture. I took several thousand, but have reduced it down to just a few for the website. I hiked along a river. The moss and ferns were everywhere.
The river’s strength was evident as I left and saw the large tree trunks that were swept into the adjacent lake. I drove for 5hrs and made it to the west side of the park where I hiked for 3 days and 2 nights and Graves Creek.
Several waterfalls were along the road as I left. What a tranquil and beautiful spot. I shall not forget.
Then, I made it to the beach.
I spent the day driving up the coast. I drove for several hours, but spend most of the time stopping and hiking down to the beaches. I visited 3 or 4. It started raining at noon.
I finally made it to my cabin on the coast and then for something different went down to the beach to take some pics.
In the distance islands stood centered above the waves.
It was time to drive for another hike, so I went up the road and hiked to Third Beach.
The light was perfect at this time in the morning. The men camped on the beach were just awakening as were the gulls begging for food. A harbor seal followed me, looking for a handout, but I know better than to feed wild animals.
harbor seal’s head
I headed back to the cabin only to find that the only restaurant in La Push, Wa is closed on Wednesdays, so I bought some gas station food and went to the cabin to sleep. I read and studied music.
I slept in and timed my next hike to get to my destination at low tide, which was at 1pm. I went to Hole In The Wall and it was packed with people, but sunny and warm.
Looking to the ocean were islands and columns sticking out of the water, but behind me were huge trees washed up like toothpicks on the coast.
All the people were on the south side of Hole In The Wall waiting for low tide to hit, so I hiked over the top of a ridge to access the next run of beach. I had it all to myself.
Hole In The Wall
After the hike was over, I went back to the cabin for my last night indoors. I read some more, but before, I went down to the beach to take some pics.
The birds gathered as soon as the sun went down. Kind of cool.
The Hoh Rainforest
about an hour from the coast
The next day I drove back into teh rain forest. I was looking for moss and boy, did I find some. The Hall Of Mosses in the Hoh Rainforest was incredible.
It was not just the moss that was interesting, but how the coated objects lost their definition and it was difficult to tell what was underneath it.
It was lush and dark, even though it was sunny out, it was like you were inside in your own little room. An intimate setting, though many people were around.
That night it rained and then I got up and left for the airport. I had 8hrs to kill, so I drove around for 5 and then called a friend- Willy and had dinner. He was nice enough to let me stay at his house, since my plane was delayed, but at the last minute I figured out that my plane was actually leaving that night (not the next morning), so I drove to the airport like a mad man and barely made my flight.
Who was this trip about, besides me? Who you might ask?
I am currently searching for a deep red/orange clay body that flashes this color in atmospheric firings to Cone 8 and above. I have mixed roughly 20 tests and made cups out of them and fired them in Soda and Wood/Salt kilns to Cone 8 and Cone 10 respectively. Here are my findings.
It seems that red/orange flashing is promoted by small amounts of iron chemically incorporated in high temperature clay and dry material ingredients introduced in the clay body.
What Parmelee suggests in his book Ceramic Glazes that clay bodies higher in silica will need higher percentages of iron compared to clay bodies higher in alumina, stays true. Though, iron percentages stay below 3% on a whole.
Also, it seems that the silica/alumina ratio should stay below 4. The current wood kiln has tests that are below 2 (showing a high alumina content)
My tests have 2 different realms. One direction is a grolleg/PV body and the other is a Neph Sy/silica body. Both directions are currently using high alumina materials.
These 3 tests were fired in a first firing on a clay slab to ensure they would not melt down with higher than normal percentages of flux I was a little worried. I believe the firing had too much reduction to promote the flashing and too much soda to allow flashing in some areas. Cup number 6 has engulfed in soda, so no visible flashing is seen except on the foot of the cup.
My belief is that too thick a layer of flux (could be wood ash, soda in this case or salt) will stop the development or cover teh development of flashing. Also, I think that an oxidation atmosphere during 700 degree to 900 degree Celcius is neccesary for red/orange flashing, though I’m unsure if this needs to happen in firing or cooling or both.
This cup is blah blah blay
These 2 tests have 35% Mica with different types of silica mesh in them. Notice the excess iron in the mica has colored them brown as if they were made from EPK or were a dark stoneware, even though they are mainly grolleg kaolin. The silica mesh made no difference in the color. They were fired in different parts of the kiln.
These two tests have lower flux, but more silica and less mica and the color is very light almost a pastel pink. I believe the iron should have been increased to counter the added silica. It seems that 4-5% iron material needs to be added to get a deeper color.
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.
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.
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.
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.