29 July 2011


If two is good then doesn't it follow that four is better?!

Still picking blackberries!

24 July 2011

The Next Big Idea (bird department)

Click on photo to enlarge

Thinking about birdbaths...

19 July 2011

Mongolia...or Bust!

My godson, Hugh (Toff and Georgie's son), is leaving today on a rally with a few pals for the next 10 weeks or so. They've bought a used ambulance, retrofitted it for the journey, raised thousands for charity and now today is the day to make it real. The lads will be writing a blog if you're curious to follow their adventure. Safe travels!

18 July 2011

Catching Up

The summer is flying by and the best I can say about the weather is...it's not as bad as it could be! I famously despise the heat (what would you expect from a boy from Buffalo, NY?) and I continue to imagine myself picking plums in England. Still, I am getting out to the studio early when I can and the pedestaled bowls here are some of the fruits of that labor. I'd like to make some giant ones, but I may wait until I've put these through a firing. I worry about them warping.
You can also see a bird on a pot that hopefully looks like a silo..I'm going to play with a series of birds in/on architectural forms. I've been putting feathers on a batch of wee ones while watching the women's World Cup...fantastic competition!
peaches and blackberries...m-m-m-m-m
The summer bounty of produce is wonderful. I took Jason, Beth and Lucy to visit with Warren Frederick and Catherine White and joined them for the beautiful lunch you see below. A beautiful country home and studio, stimulating conversation and a very warm welcome made for a lovely day. Our pots and aesthetics couldn't be different, but how great is it that pottery can be so diverse and inclusive at the same time. Lots of food for thought.
lunch at Warren and Catherine's
I continue to be be amazed at the mentality that is still fighting a war that ended 150 years ago. The losers never let it go!
only in Virginia...
If you are following this here blog in North Carolina you might get a visit from Jason Hartsoe, my assistant, and Lucy Bresson, his friend from France via Ireland. They are both keen young potters and I'm sure that they will find a warm welcome.

08 July 2011

A Hatful of Blackberry Goodness

My studio is in the far corner of a 65 acre country property and blackberries might just be the biggest crop that we harvest every year. They have become my favorites of all the berries (including Chuck and Halle).  Bright pink smoothies and blackberry crumble or blackberry jam with bay leaf - m-m-m-! And corn and tomatoes are on the cusp!

After some frantic months I am finding a little time to get back to the studio. Last time I started a making cycle I was overexcited about making birds. They were new and unknown. I still find them interesting and I will continue to make them for a while, but some of the bloom is off the rose. It's working out the 'problems' of a new idea that get me most excited...now it's time to refine and push some of the things I've explored. It is a different energy. 
All that is a long way to say that I haven't quite wrapped my brain around a master plan for firing #11...I've made a list of the usual suspects to make and I know that birds will be in the mix (I'm making a bunch of wee ones at the moment) but I don't have an overarching plan/theme yet. It leaves me a bit uncertain at the wheel. 
This is not an unusual state for me to be in. I like a good plan. Years ago I used to try and (like the old Communist Party) have a five year plan.  Sometimes it just takes a few days on the wheel for a path to be revealed. Meanwhile, it is a certain act of faith that takes me out to the studio these days. Waiting for illumination...