Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sue Snook Encore

Nice work Sue, take a bow!

Sue Snook Vase

One more shot of Lindsey

Here is Lindsey trimming with a jar cap on a foam bat.

John Britt

Intern from Appalachian State

Lindsey is working with me for the summer as an intern. We are concentrating on Peach Bloom glazes.

We are going to start firing next week so we will keep you abreast of the results.

John Britt

Exchanging Pottery?

I got an email from someone who received one of my teapots as a gift and they are requesting an exchange. I've never had this happen before and am not sure how to handle it. Anyone had this sort of experience?

Ironically, the purchaser wrote me a lovely email about how she loved the teapot on sight and how her brother's new home didn't have a teapot. She thought it would be the perfect gift. Just goes to show...

Art Babble

I just wanted to pass this site along to ya'll. I find it an incredible place to visit.

Nelle Fastman Pingree

Rice Hull Ash

Does anyone out there have a source for Rice Hull Ash?

Got someone interested and is having trouble.

John Britt

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ang Blog

Hey Clubbers,

If you haven't checked out Ang's should:

Low Melt Spodumene

Joe Brecha, owner of the Clay Art Center in Tacoma Washington, told me that he had a pallet of Low Melt Spodument if anyone is interested:

It is not currently being produced.

John Britt



Anyone reading this that was in the Digital Photo Class, where is your homework? You were supposed to send me small images suitable for the blog.

Slackers! Hope the dog didn't eat your thumb drive.

There is still would be great is you could send me the images because everyone would love to see your work!

John Britt

Polarizing Filters

When we had the Digital Photography Class, Laurie Knopp brought some very shiney pieces which were hard to photograph without large glare spots. So we broke out the polarizing filters, which Erik from MudFire in Atlanta told me about. It was also widely discussed on Clayart.

They are not perfect but way more acceptable than the other images without the polarizers.

But they did a great job for not much effort.

John Britt

Nora Thomas Jar

"Covered Jar", Nora Thomas, 8" x 5" x 5', stoneware, slip and shellac then sponge off, celadon, cone 10 reduction, 2009.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

penland potters

Penland potters have a show at The Design Gallery in Burnsville . It looks good ....Go see it....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

August 31 - Sept. 4, 2009

Gettting ready for the last glaze class of this fiscal year. We have about

6 signed up and it promises to be a really fun one!

Need 20-25 Soft Bricks

Just posting this for a blacksmith friend:

I need to round up 20-25 soft bricks (2600 -9 x 4.5 x 2.5) to rebuild a gas forge. Figured I'd ask as it's been a while since I've dabbled in the refractory world. We are coming down to Penland's monster auction in August, and was wondering if any potters are looking to sell a few bricks?

Thanks for your help,

Marc Maiorana

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I was trimming some teapots today and wanted to show you about trimming a form on a thrown leatherhard chuck.

Tony Clennell Missa 2009

When I was up at Metchosin, Tony Clennell, was teaching in the studio below and had some really great pots and handles he was demonstrating. The surfaces are really textured and activated/gestural. They were really fun to watch him construct.

He also has a video called "Put a Handle on it" and "Taking the Macho out of Big Work" (or something like that.)

You can just Google it. They are also on the Ceramics Daily site with short clips to entice you.

Anyway, they were inspiring.

Thanks Tony,

John Britt

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Here is a photo from the microscopic camera. Look at the hair on the legs of this spider!

John Britt

Workshop Testimonial

Here is a note Carol Clarkson sent after taking the Digital Photography Workshop:

3 Brooder lamps,3 300 w. bulbs...........$44.34
Adobe Photoshop Elements.................$57.49
Foam board, U bolts, tape....................$28.47
Gradated Paper..................................$71.90
New Camera......................................$209.00

Taking photos of my own pottery......PRICELESS!

John Britt

Laurie Knopp "Creamer and Sugar"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mary Ruth Webb Sculpture

"The Great Escape", Mary Ruth Webb, 6.5" x 5.5" x 3.5" , cone 10 stoneware with handmade paper, 2009.

Here is another workshop participant, Mary Ruth Webb. One of the nice things about the Digital Photo Workshop is that you see some amazing work and you realize how many talented pottery/sculptors there are out there that you don't know about!
John Britt

Free Styrofoam Peanuts in Spruce Pine

Hello Potters,

A friend of mine works at a place outside of Spruce PIne, and they have lots of styrofoam peanuts to give away free.

Here are the directions, and who to ask for:

Take Altamont Rd. off of 19 to a left onto Humpback Mtn. Rd.
Look for PRC Industries on the left. (Also a sign for Genesis Artisans is on the chain link fence.)
Take a left into a complex with brick warehouses behind a chain link fence. Pass a disused gate house on your right. Stay left towards a warehouse on the left with loading docks. Leave this warehouse to the left and go around it to a loading dock on the left side of the building around the first corner. If you get to a parking lot you've gone too far. Ask for Byrd; he's in charge of the peanuts.

They have very large bags full.

Liz Zlot Summerfield Benefit Auction

Hi Everyone,

I am writing to announce a benefit auction to assist our fellow ceramic artist, Liz Zlot Summerfield in her time of need. In April of this year Liz was diagnosed with a type of cancer called non-hodgkins Lymphoma. When she got the news of her cancer all studio work for Liz and her husband, glass blower Scott Summerfield, stopped. For almost all artists a halt to work combined with illness and bills is a hardship too large to manage alone. So, like most plans, our ideas for this benefit started out small and have since bloomed in to something that I believe will be a wonderful, fun and supportive event. With all that said, we have several ways that you can participate!

One: You can donate a piece of your artwork to be auctioned off! If you choose this option, we kindly ask that you have it arrive at the Crimson Laurel Gallery by no later than August 8th. However, the earlier we have it, the better. The address is: Crimson Laurel Gallery, 23 Crimson Laurel Way, Bakersville, NC, 28705. Also, please email me at and I will put you on the list. I know time is running out for this option and we certainly understand if you can not donate work in this time frame. Please keep reading to learn about other ways you can participate!

Two: you can attend the live auction at Penland or visit the online sale as a buyer! We certainly need buyers too! The live auction is August 16th in the Northlight Building at Penland School of Crafts. Doors will open at 1:00pm at which point there will be light refreshments, Bandana Klezmer will provide fabulous entertainment and visitors will have a chance to take a good look at the work available in the live and silent auctions. The live auction of work will begin at 2:00pm and is expected to last around an hour or so. At the end of the auction visitors can pick up and pay for their pieces knowing that 100% of the proceeds will go to helping Liz, Scott and their young daughter, Roby, get through this really hard time. The online sale will be held on and will begin September 1st. I will post more information about the online auction (including the web address) as we get closer to the date!

Three: You can help us find more buyers by sending out an email of the postcard. You can access an image of the postcard in jpeg or pdf format by visiting the following link: The links are in red on the right side of the page.

Four: You can make a monetary donation to a PayPal account created for Liz's benefit. Simply follow the link: and hit the yellow "donate" button on the right side of the page. By using this link you can be assured that all donations will go quickly, safely and directly to Liz. If you would like to embed one of these lovely yellow links to Liz's PayPal benefit on your website or blog please email me and I will send you the html code.

Thank you for all of your generosity! I know it means so much to Liz to have such a truly supportive community.

Warmest wishes,
Lindsay Rogers

Reed Handle Class

We have a few spots open in the Reed Handle Class on August 1, 10:00a.m. - 3:00 p.m. with Linda McFarling and John Britt. It is at the John Britt Pottery Studio which is about an hour North of Asheville, NC.

It is really cheap too! $75.00 for a day and lunch!!

No one has better deals!!

Contact John for more information:

Laurie Knopp Cup

Here is one of Laurie's Shino Cups. She was also in the Digital Photo Workshop with the amazing Joy Tanner!

Steve Slatin's GNU BLUE cone 6

Steve's Slatin's
(Oxidation or Reduction)

Alberta Slip 75.00
Gerstley Borate 15.00
Dolomite 5.00
Silica 4.00

Rutile 4.00

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nelle Pingree II Detail

Nelle Pingree II

The Five Promises, Seder Plate, Nelle Pingree, 10" x 10" x 2", hand built stoneware, C6 electric

Nelle Pingree I

Havdalah with Flower, Nelle Pingree, 3" x 3" x 4", Stoneware, shino glaze, wheel thrown, altered and handbuilt, C10 R1

Sarah Danforth Sculpture

Here is a photo of Sarah Danforth called "Have you Checked the Children?"

Sarah has great work and as you can see here photos are top notch too!

For more information on her work contact her at:

Digital Photo Class July 19, 2009

Had two really great classes this weekend. Here is the group photo of the Sunday class.
Photos to follow,
John Britt

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Lovely Wonky Pots

While doing demonstrations during stroll, I hand built about half a dozen wonky pots. People stopped by and wanted to know where they could get some finished ones. Anyway, They came out of bisque this week and today I started painting. Tomorrow night I'll clear glaze them and fire them on Monday. I think I may have happened upon something. People came into the studio today and ordered two.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Haynes White

Here is an interesting little test: Haynes White with 5% Rutile at cone 10 in reduction R1 Cycle.

Haynes White cone 10

45 Nepheline Syenite
30 Silica
8 Whiting
10 Dolomite
7 Talc

It gave a nice rutile blue type glaze on a dark stoneware.

John Britt

Digital Photo Class

Just a reminder that those who signed up for the Digital Photography Workshop, it is this weekend.

Looking forward to meeting you.

We do have 2 spots that have come open in the Sunday, July 19 class from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., if you know anyone who is interested in taking their own craft photography.

We provide a delicious lunch with homemade bread by Joy Tanner!

John Britt

Metchosin View

Here is the view out of the ceramic studio a Metchosin which is at Pearson College in British Columbia.

It is really nice!

John Britt

TRAC donations

If anyone was thinking of donating a piece of work to the TRAC auction, I think that the deadline is Saturday!

Give it up!

It is a good group and needs our support in this economic climate or any climate for that matter.

John Britt

Killer Ash with in focus image!

Emily was right I should have better images and I did find the correct one. The first one I forgot the macro.

Anyway as you can SEE this is a really nice glaze because it is just on the verge of gloss from it matt state at 4% red iron oxide.

Give it a try,

John Britt

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Workshop

Coming up in a few weeks I'll be leading a wheel-throwing workshop with a splash of soda firing thrown in. The class will be held in Bakersville, NC at ArtsCentered. I've been teaching a class there one night a week for the past few months, and I have converted a small electric kiln into a Baby Soda kiln.

When I went in for class the other evening, the studio was filled a group of folks working hard and enjoying themselves during a one week sculpture workshop with local artist Lisa Clague. Many of the folks were staying at the Bed and Breakfast adjacent to the studio and word on the streets was that it was a great time all around.

Below is a write-up of the class I'll be teaching--I think there are still a few openings in the class and at the B&B. Feel free to contact me here with any questions, or send an email to

Monday August 3rd –Saturday August 8th , 10 -4 pm.
Cost: $125 plus $25 materials fee and $15 propane fee
Clay is available for $11/bag

To register call Mayland Community College 1-800-4-MAYLAND, ext.219

Students will build on their wheel-throwing experience to take their work to the next level. We will cover the fundamentals of creating work on the potter’s wheel, as well as the finer points of creating forms with great attention to detail. Class will consist of daily demonstrations and individual discussions to allow each student to progress according to their needs. This will allow for hours of one-on-one instruction and assistance.

Additionally, we will be able to fire a small soda kiln with small works made during the first two days. This will provide the opportunity to explore the soda firing process, with the remainder of students’ work bisque fired on the last day.

Experience: Some basic wheel throwing experience is helpful but not essential.

Class topics: An emphasis on wheel thrown functional pots, as well as discussions of aesthetic and functional considerations. Exploration of the soda firing process, including discussions of flashing slips, firing techniques, etc.

Firing: During the first two days we will make small works to be fired in the soda kiln, students’ work made during the rest of the week will be bisque fired by the end of the class.

Tools/ Supplies students should bring: towel, bucket, throwing tools, sketch book

For accomodations check here or 828-688-6012.
If you speak with them be sure to mention to class, they have a special discount package available including an option for dinners.

Hope you can join us in beautiful "downtown" Bakersville.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Spruce Pine Batch

After returning from Asheville to get a bunch of glaze chems, mostly feldspar, I went by the Spruce Pine Batch to ship some pottery. I thought to myself, "These guys must sell some silica, some lime, maybe some feldspar?" Sure enough Loretta handed me their price list. The prices are very good and you don't have to drive to Asheville!!! So check them out next time you need 50# of Silica or a bag of spar! Maybe if enough of us buy from Tom at the Batch he will carry more ceramic glaze material.

Killer Ash

Here is the recipe:

Killer Ash cone 10
25% Wood Ash
25% Nepheline Syenite
25% Silica
25% Wollastonite

The colorants are :

Above 5% red iron

And the previous post is labeled.


John Britt

Nice Ash !

Got come nice Ash Glaze's with our color combo's. I will post the recipe but if you have my book it is in there.
John Britt


At the workshop we talked about leaching, moles and as it turns out British Columbia has some monster SLUGS!

John Britt

Penland summer marches on....

Hey everyone! Tired of sitting around watching CSI reruns? Why don't you volunteer in the clay studio for this year at Penland’s Annual Benefit Auction! (It's a great way to meet potential customers.)

When: Friday, August 7, 2009, 10:30AM – 4 PM
Where: Meet in Penland’s lower clay studio

Each year Lucy Morgan Leaders are invited to participate in the Director’s Luncheon and Workshop, held Friday afternoon, just before the weekend’s Annual Benefit Auction. Patrons enjoy a catered lunch in one of the studios and then participate in a hands-on activity in that studio. The clay studio is this year’s host studio for the hands-on portion and we need plenty of folks to help!

The patron's luncheon happens in the upper clay studio and after a break patrons can head downstairs to lower clay to try their hand at working clay. The clay studio is offering one-on-one wheel throwing and also handbuilding for those interested. Plus, we’re offering a raku firing option. Patrons can glaze an already bisqued pot and watch as it is fired. They can pick up their finished raku pot Friday evening after the auction. The auction organizers would like the luncheon patrons to choose from a variety of activities and to be able to flow from one activity to another as they wish, not unlike how things work at Community Day. Some patrons may choose not to participate at all, but will still be interested in watching what all happens. We expect about 100 people.

The event is 1:15 to 3:00, Friday, August 7, and volunteers should arrive around 10:30am to get set up, eat, and stay until around 4 to help clean-up and pull the last raku pots. Besides wheelthrowers and handbuilders, there’s a need for floaters/greeters to help shepherd people through the studio. Volunteers get lunch in the Pines (12:15-1pm) and an auction T-shirt (pick up in volunteer headquarters – lower metals). All volunteers are invited to the volunteer party after the auction Saturday night, August 8. This year’s party features live music by Brian McGee. If you’re interested in helping, please contact me, Susan at, so I can put you on the list. I will make you chocolate covered peanut butter bons bons. Thanks!!!

MISSA 2009

Just got back from a really great workshop at MISSA (Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts) in British Columbia.

Had a great time with all the students, faculty and staff. If you ever get a chance to it!

John Britt

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Productive Meeting

I stole this photo from Michael Kline.

Last night's Clay Club was a productive meeting thanks to PBR, Pizza and topical moderator Shane Mickey. Pricing's a tricky issue, but I enjoyed hearing everyone's input. Thanks David and John for hosting Clay Club at Crimson Laurel Gallery!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Clay Club Meeting Tonight in Bakersville

Just a reminder that CLAY CLUB will meet tonight, July 8th at Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville, 6pm. Three pizzas will be brought by Ms. Reason so bring some cash to pitch in for her expense. Crimson Laurel will provide the beer gratis. Anything else like soda or chips are always welcome. Tonight's topic will be pricing your work.

See you all tonight,

David Trophia
Crimson Laurel Gallery
688 3599

Kid's Tiles

Here's the kid's tiles in Kathy's installation. They're all native NC plants.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tile Installation by Kathy Triplett

A new outdoor amphitheatre and park are almost complete in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse. Over 400 ceramic tiles make up the custom installation by Kathy Triplett. It's been very exciting to help Kathy in the installation process over the past week. Grout, anyone?