Saturday, September 22, 2012

Catawba Valley Clay

Today, I just tried the clay that Kim Ellington gave me few weeks ago. It is the local clay Kim dug out from a site in Catawba Valley. The clay is a little bit groggy during wedging, but surprisingly smooth to throw. It also has an unique aroma which reminds me of the clay I used to play from my uncle's pottery shop in my hometown, Nantou City, Taiwan.
I now believe that only the mother nature can produce the best clay for potter. If you have read " A Single Shard" by Linda Sue Park, you might remember Tree Ear's first job from potter Ming was to dig clay. My clay experience might need to re-start from the beginning: digging clay.
Here are three pots made from Catawba Valley clay. They are going to be fired in a groundhog kiln in November. I will make sure to share pictures of a groundhog, ME, climbing in and out of kiln!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Koi, Shrimp, and Turtle II

It's been a busy semester. Beside teaching at UNCG, I am also teaching at Catawba Valley Community College this semester.

Being Able to work with Kim Ellington at CVCC is worth of driving between Greensboro and Hickory. Kim Ellington is my favorite American folk potter. He just like an encyclopedia of American traditional folk pottery. I am looking forward to this valuable experience at Catawba.
Hopefully by October, I will have some big wood-fired pots with alkaline glaze on them......from Kim's modified ground hog kiln.

After returned from Taiwan, I am struggling with getting new concepts for my works. Lately, I can only work with some traditional works to refine my skills. I am hoping that this "exercise" will lead me to something new.

Here are few carved black slip plates with celadone glaze from my latest firing.