Monday, August 31, 2009


Coming up this weekend at 1782 Fork Mountain Road in Bakersville.
Pottery by Bob Briscoe, Suze Lindsay, Kent McLaughlin, Jane Peiser, & Gay Smith.
Saturday, Sept. 5, 10-6
Sunday, Sept. 6, 10-5
Please join us for good pots, good company, and light refreshments.
We'd love to see you there.

Colorants for slip

Help! Today my son's teacher asked if I could volunteer in his class making masks this Thursday. From past teaching experience, I've decided that glazes are a royal pain in the ass, so I want to use slip.

I've got a reliable slip recipe (from Odyssey) but do not know what to use for colorants. I do not have any stains, but I do have all the usual oxides and carbonates. I'm trying to avoid an unnecessary trip to Highwater if I can make do with what I have.

Can anyone tell me what oxides are good and in what amounts? Thanks!

Nice pitchers of Norms in the show at Steffen Thomas Museum .The reception was very nice and a number of friends came from Atlanta .

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Last leg for the Empty Bowls Adventure

Just finished up the last load for John Hartom and now he will fire and get ready for his big show. It was great fun making all these bowls. Got to throw a bunch and make a wide variety of shapes and sizes and to top it off, I got to watch the dogs playing having tons of fun together!

Morning Glory and Humming birds

I planted all these Morning Glory's and now I don't to feed humming birds to get them to come over for a visit!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Very nice reception in Ga.(Steffen Thomas Museum ) for Norm and Cynthia . I will post photos when I get home .

Fresh Mushroom Soup

Fresh Mushroom Soup

8 oz. shitake or button mushrooms
6 oz. small oyster mushrooms
1/3 cup shopped shallots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all- purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 -14 ½ oz. can veggie or chicken broth (1 ¾ cup)
2 cups ½ and ½ or light cream
1/8 teaspoon ground saffron or saffron threads (optional)

Clean and cut up mushrooms. Cook mushrooms in butter uncovered. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add broth. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Add saffron .

Tomato Basil Soup

Getting ready for the Glaze Workshop next week and have been cooking a bit.

Thought you might enjoy the recipes.

Tomato Basil Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup shredded carrots
1 cup finely diced onion
½ cup finely diced celery
1 Campbell’s canned roasted tomato soup with garlic
3 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (Muir Glen)
4 cups of chicken broth
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
black pepper to taste
1 – 2 teaspoons dried basil
2 large cloves of garlic

Place in a crock pot on high for one hour, reduce and cook for 4 hours on low.

Put in a blender and blend, (what else?)

Add shredded basil and 15 minutes before serving add large garlic croutons .

John Britt

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Secret to Making a Living as a Potter

I was out at John Hartom's throwing some Empty Bowls for his yearly fundraiser and recorded this little throwing session.

We decided that if you could make this many bowls in 3 minutes every day for 12 hours a day 365 days a year you could acutally make a living as a potter.

John Britt

Rain & Carolina Kiln Build

With all this rain my pots aren't drying enough to be finished, so I ventured out of the studio this afternoon to visit Eric Knoche, Josh Copus and their Carolina Kiln Build Crew out at Copus's place in Madison County. These folks came from far and wide to join the effort in building two wood fire kilns which they've been working on for the past 3 weeks.
Here's the "burrow," kiln, the smaller of the two. But don't be deceived, this frontal view doesn't do justice to the truly adequate size of this kin. The front face of this nifty arch form can be removed so the horizontal wood slats fold on top of one another, cinching down for easy removal once the bricks are in place.
I arrived shortly after they had removed the arch for for this larger kiln. Here you see the beginnings of the exit flu and ample side stoke holes.

Typical Clayspace ambition was evident at the site. I'm sure the crew will be working hard over the weekend to get the kilns as near completion as possible. Maybe i'll come by to help with the third pizza kiln. Or at least i'll help eat the pizza ;)
For serious though, nice work y'all. A pleasure to see teamwork, resourcefulness and beautiful kilns!

FIREWOOD available for Kilns & Woodstoves

Our neighbors, Keith and Kathy Woody, of Bakersville Pallet Company and Woody's Lumber/Sawmill, have firewood for sale: 766-5786. Also, Kathy's Dad, Sammy Willis has seasoned, split, cut to length hardwood, delivered and stacked: 765-9457.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Show reception

If anyone lives near Athens - Atlanta .. Norm Schulman & Cynthia Bringle .. N.C.Living Treasures 2009 Show is at The Steffen Thomas Museum in Buckhead , Ga (s. of Athens ) Sat.29th 5:30- 8:00 .. Show closes Sept. 12 ....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Porcelain Throwing Tip

Here is a helpful tip for porcelain throwers I learned at a Shakerag workshop with Mary Law in June. She, who works primarily with porcelain, puts a tablespoon of vinegar in her bucket of throwing water. This keeps it in suspension so it doesn't settle and leave hard sediment at the bottom that covers up tools and is difficult to remove. She finds it helps the consistency when she reclaims used clay, as well. I have tried it with half and half and like the results.

Hope it helps your throwing,

Barbara Gerber

Guess What Kind of Leaf?? Clue 2

These two go together.

John Britt

Hey Ya'll

goes LIVE
Spread the word!
Thanks !

Monday, August 24, 2009

September Clay Club

For our September Clay Club meeting we've all be invited to Wildacres Retreat for dinner and a tour of their pottery studio.

September 9
Dinner is at 6:00
We'll be eating along with the group and it's family style so it's very helpful to be on time! If you would like to join us later for dessert or the tour of the studio and grounds that's fine.

You can get a preview at the website

We need to give them a head count so please RSVP to me at by September 3, also please let me know if you have any specific dietary issues (allergies, vegetarian, etc) and they will try to accommodate you.

Directions are here:

Perhaps, a stupid question

I know...there are no stupid questions...just stupid people asking questions...

Do you wood-firing folks burn pallets and if so does anyone want one?

Another Leaf Question

This one is one of my favorite plants. I love it. Guess correctly and get a free cup (with or w/o a handle).

John Britt

Sunday, August 23, 2009


If you prefer I could describe a potter and you could name them. Just like a leaf.

This one is hairy, rough and green.....

That is Shaney Mickey on St. Patty's day.


Guess What Kind of Leaf??

Here is another.

Same terms.

John Britt

Guess What Kind of Leaf??

Winner gets a John Britt cup. (you have to pick it up.)

(and if that doesn't impress you ...guess anyway.)

Call for Bowls

Plan now to attend the MANNA FOOD BANK ANNUAL EMPTY BOWLS LUNCH on October 16th from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Biltmore Double Tree . The cost is $20 .

If anyone would like to donate bowls we need a variety in any color and size as long as they are food safe.

To donate call 828-675-0008 by September 5th.

John Hartom

New kiln -1st firing

Back set of shelves. Pams big bird on right .Put in 25# salt . More photos on my blog ...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Richard Ritter Show


If you get a chance to see the Richard Ritter Retrospective at TRAC >>>>DO IT!

They did an outstanding job with this show. It looks like it could be in the American Craft Gallery in NY. Jerry Jackson did a fantastic job of setting up the show and it is not to be missed.

TRAC really did a great job. Congratulations,

John Britt

Last Workshop for 2009!

This upcoming Basic Glaze Chemistry And Raw Materials Workshop coming up August 31 - September 4, is the last workshop for 2009!

Thanks to everyone for a great year! Over 85 people came to the studio from as far away as Alaska for the workshops and also enjoyed a delicious lunch!!

I will be scheduling more for 2010 in the upcoming weeks. If you have any suggestions for topics or dates let me know.

I had over 27 workshops this year ranging from one afternoon to one week. I had many at my studio but also in Wyoming, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Canada and Korea.

The workshops included: Digital Craft Photography, Reed Handles, Handle Making, Glaze Chemistry, How to Fire, Oil Spot firing, Kiln Building, etc. So let me know what you are interested in and I will try to schedule around your interests.

Thanks again,

John Britt

Summer Flowers

Got some really nice flowers in the yard and tons
of butterfly's TCB.

(Taking care of business.)

John Britt

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Upcoming Clay Clubs

So far I have :

September 9 at Wild Acres
October 14 at The Clay Space in Asheville
November 11 at The Crimson Laurel.

Any other ideas or topics?

John Britt

Why kiln God, WHY?!?!

This type of cracking has been happening all too often. I stack 2 dinner plates for bisque firing. The feet line up well so that there's no unsupported weight, and I never stack more than 2. The plates are totally bone dry. I ramp up the kiln slowly. So why then do I get these tragic cracks? WHY?!?!?!?!?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Looking good in stripes

The Boo is really cute this time of year.

Morning Glory

Have some beautiful Morning Glories this time of year!

John Britt

Crazed Leaves

At the Glaze Institute, even the leaves are crazed. Humm?

John Britt

Mouse Relocation Project

Here is the latest participant in the 20 year Mouse Relocation Program (MRP) that I initiated after getting tired of squished mice in the traps and stuck to the glue. I was also tired of mouse shit so this was the perfect solution.

This is the 10,000 mouse to participate in this outstanding program and not one has ever returned to the scene of the crime.

It is a free program without government assistance, although, if someone told me how to write a grant for assistance I would gladly do it!

I don't know if you know this, but mice are very fragile. If you leave them in this trap for much over 12 hours, they just die. If it is the winter, much over 4 hours, frozen.

Bye, Bye, little guy,

John Britt

Monday, August 17, 2009

Peach Bloom (The latest)


Just did a third firing of the Peach Bloom Series and got some interesting tiles.

These are all the same glaze batch (Daly Red) just in different firing cycles!

And this series is the same glaze ( Daly with Titanium ) in three firing cycles.

Lindsey Elsey and I still have 3 or more firing cycles to finish before we make any determinations on cause and effect.

The only thing we know..Firing Matters.
We will be writing it up for an article in September.

John Britt


Just wanted to send out a big ol' thanks to all who came and participated in Liz's auction! The positive response was overwhelming and the event went off without a hitch. Thanks to all the volunteers, all the donating artists and all the buyers! You all rock! We couldn't have done it without you.


Anyone Firing Cone 10 Reduction before 8/31

I will have about 6 kiln shelves (a guesstimate) worth of C10 bisque, mostly under 6" tall, that needs to be out of the glaze kiln before 8/31, when I am scheduled for Glaze Basics. Does anyone have space for sale?? I am doing LAAFF on 9/6 and could use the inventory. Thanks.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Liz Benefit!

Today! Today! Today! 1:00 PM! Don't miss it! Have a chance to purchase work by Kristen Kieffer, Shane Mickey, Nick Joerling, Louise Harter, Pete Pinnell, Michael Kline, Stan Anderson, Linda McFarling, Cynthia Bringle, John Brit, Emily Reason, Jack Troy AND SO MANY MORE! Be there or be square!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tradition -Innovation

Asheville Art Museum Sunday talk about the show traveling from the Southern Arts Federation .. 6 of the artist represented will be at the Museum for a 2:00 o'clock talk ..

Les Paul Interview

If you want to be inspired, check out the last 10minutes or so of this Terry Gross interview of Les Paul.

But you will have to stop making excuses!

John Britt

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ideas and Venues for Clay Club

Yo Clubbers,

If anyone has any ideas for a Clay Club (other than the standard excessive eating and even more excessive drinking) please post them or email me at:

We (the committee) love to hear your suggestions and then throw them in the trash while we are laughing uproariously...Oh wait a minute.... that was the wrong committee.

We (the committee) would love to hear your suggestions and any suggestions for places to host "THE CLUB."

We are booked until November but after that...

If we don't get any suggestions we will have to take Emily's!

John Britt

Clay Club Report

Had are really fun time at Clay Club last night! Thanks to Dorothy for all her efforts to make it a fun time. We had a Presidential election and Emily won out over a fierce fight from John "the mouse" Ferlazzo.

So, in celebration, Emily started chugging beers and as you can see in this photo, she was having a really good time.

Shortly after that she got up on the table and and had her "victory dance" know the rest of the story.....several DWI's, a couple of stints in rehab, a messy divorce, a year in prison on a weapons violation, a brief appearance on Nancy Grace, etc. etc.

But I digress.

Dorothy has a very nice place and some wonderful sculptures. I particularly like the whales.

So......................... next month we will meet at Wildacres and the following month will be in Asheville at The Clay Space. Any ideas for topics?

Emily, our illustrious president, had some... but I forgot them.

Does the secretary have the minutes of the meeting?

Kiln slide show? We still have info on Residencies.

Anyway, be sure to mark you calendar's for the Monster Liz Zlot Summerfield Auction .

We all need to be there and to be actually buying stuff for her!!!

See ya next month,

John Britt

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's 10:52 a.m. Where is your ware cart?

Gluckin here ... needing a ware cart for my Energy Xchange studio. Any extra abandoned carts in your studios? any leads to acquire? .... aside from a straight out "retail buy" which I may have to surrender to.  just reaching out for a "hep me hep me"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Peach Bloom Tests

Here are the latest images....nothing definitive but we are getting some nice stuff.

John Britt

The Exchange of Energy --- CELEBRATION @ The Energy Xchange

POTLUCK 6 p.m.
Energy Xchange
August 12th

Celebration of NEW RESIDENTS!
Lisa Gluckin in CLAY
Aaron Baigelman in GLASS

GRANT $$ Awarded!
NEW SOLAR PANELS (Go David Wilson)
WOOD KILN being erected (Go Mark Peters and his Dad etc.)

bring something yummy and hang on the mt. top



Monday, August 10, 2009

Nita Franz Ceramics Encore

Stoneware Bowl, Nita Whetstone, 5" x 5" x 4", wheel thrown, cone 9-10 electric, c. 1985, NFS

Nita Franz Ceramics

Stoneware Bottle, Nita Whetstone, 6" x 6" x 4", wheel thrown, cone 9-10 electric, c. 1985, NFS

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Yo Clubbers,

The Clay Club is meeting this Wednesday August 12 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Dorothy Vaughan's Studio outside of Burnsville, NC.

The food is "International " and the topic is "Residencies" so hope to see you there. If anyone wants to car pool... exchange info on this blog. I will be in Asheville so will only be available to car pool on the way home.

If you need more help here is her email and I can get her phone if you call me 828-467-5020

Here are the directions:

Directions to Dorothy Vaughan's from Mars Hill: Take 26 north to next exit #9 to Burnsville, Mt. Mitchell 7.4 miles past Triangle gas station on left. Take 1st left in Yancey county on Windy Gap-there will be a studio tour sign there. In 0.6 miles take right fork on Fox Creek. Go 1.3 miles to the foot of my driveway on left-bearing right at white Baptist Church. At foot of drive is black mailbox with 1453 Fox Creek Rd and Vaughan on it.

I will also put a Studio Tour sign out by mailbox.

From Burnsville: Go approximately 10 miles to Windy Gap Road,take a right 0.6 miles, bear right onto Fox Creek Rd. Go 1.3 miles to the foot of my drive on left. I will have Studio Tour signs out to assist.

See you all for an international cuisine potluck at 6 PM. I can seat 19 people. Please bring stools or chairs if you can.

John Britt

Attention Glaze Geeks

Check out this new site:

John Britt

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Liz Summerfield Benefit Auction

The Toe River area art and craft community invites everyone to a benefit auction for Liz Zlot Summerfield on August 16th at the Penland School of Crafts. August 5, 2009 - Bakersville, NC: The Toe River area art and craft community invites everyone to a benefit auction for Liz Zlot Summerfield on August 16th at the Penland School of Crafts Northlight Building in Penland, NC. Liz Zlot Summerfield is a ceramic artist from Bakersville, NC who recently received the difficult news that she has cancer.

The benefit auction is being held to help raise funds for Liz, her husband Scott and their young daughter Roby, as they face the many challenges ahead.Response from the art and craft community across the country has been outstanding and this benefit auction will include some of the finest art and craft from Western North Carolina and across the country. If you are unable to attend, an online sale of select pieces will be available by visiting beginning on September 1st .

Please support Liz by joining us for this benefit auction. The doors will open for the silent auction on August 16th at 1pm and the live auction begins at 2pm . Beverages and light refreshments will be served and we will have some great music too. For more information about the benefit auction or to make a donation to Liz please call Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville, NC.

John Lara
Crimson Laurel Gallery
828 688 3599

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Glaze and Oil Spot Firing Class

Still got a couple of spots open in the Glaze Class August 31 - September 4, 2009 as well as the September 18 - 20, 2009 Oil Spot Firing Class.

If you are interested or know anyone who is, these are my last two classes of the year!

They should be memorable!

Shitty Cat

Found this starving cat at the studio and after about a week or more at the vet and $400 later it is still got explosive diarrhea.

Anyone want it?

Cup Collections

In the Handles Class we also took a look at my cup collection and bitched about everyones shitty cup handles! Especially all the famous people.

Just goes to show that there is always something to complain about.

Linda McFarling now refuse to sell me a cup!

Reed Supply

Here is the place you can order Reed for handles. Some people wanted to know the supplier. You can also get stuff at Earth Guild in Asheville.

If you want to see some nice reed handles check out Joy Tanner's site:

Wet Boxes

At the Handles Workshop this past weekend we talked about the wet box which is used to keep handles from drying out if you are not using them immediately.

Found out that not everyone knew about this little gem even though it is listed in Bernard Leach's classic "The Potter's Book"from 1940.

Just get a tupperware or plastic tub from Wal-mart and put an inch or so of plaster in it. The plaster stays wet for a while but if you ever need it, just add a cup or so of water to keep everything in it wet for months.

Hope that helps!

No need for plastic, or endlessly checking on stuff or spritzing every day.

John Britt

Empty Bowls Firing

I was out at John Hartom's today as he finished unloading the latest Empty Bowls firing in preparation for the Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair.

The 53rd Annual Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair, August 7-8, is the oldest and largest crafts fair in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For the past several years, the Southern Tourism Society has selected this event as one of the top twenty to attend in the Southeast. The town of Burnsville is located in Yancey County, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is the home of Mt. Mitchell, which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi, rising to an elevation of 6,684 ft. Burnsville is about 20 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and 35 miles northeast of Asheville. We are proud to boast that Yancey County is known for more artisans per capita than anywhere else in the country!

Chasewood for Rent

Yo Clubbers,

Spread the word that The Chasewood House is for rent:

1 bedroom/1 bath efficiency with living space, garage, and shared laundry for $350.00. Year round rental.

Very close to Penland. The view is worth the rent.

Call Sandy 1-941-228-6657.

Call soon as it is a primo spot!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


TRAC's Annual Art Auction
10 Aug 2008

The 31st Annual TRAC Benefit Art Auction takes place on Sunday, August 10, 2008. Items in glass, wood, fiber, clay, fabric, paper, stone, and metals are but a few of the works by local artists and craftspeople that will be auctioned.
Over 100 lots of art are included in the live and silent auction. Auction items will be on display in the TRAC Center now through August 10, open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 to 5 pm (and until 8 pm on August 9 ). This provides the opportunity to pre-register, start the silent bids, and view the artwork.
Proceeds from the Auction benefit the continuance of the many school and community programs sponsored by the Toe River Arts Council. (All events will take place in the TRAC Center, 269 Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine). Call 828-765-0520 or 682-7215, email for information. View more auction information at our website

Fire Brick SOLD SOLD!!!!!!!!!


Insulating fire brick in Huntingdon , PA


300 9 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2" K-23 Straights, used but in very good condition
75 - 9 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2" K-30 Straights, new in boxes
150 - #1 wedge bricks 9 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2" K-30, new in boxes
220 - #1X wedge bricks 9 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2" K-30, new in boxes
350 - new K-20 #2 Arch bricks (great for insulating either a hard-brick or soft-brick arch
I'll also throw in a variety of used K-23 wedge bricks in boxes

I want $2/brick - or $1800 for all - around 1500 bricks - $1.20/brick. (New K-30s are close to $4/ea).

Bricks can't be shipped; must be picked up in Huntingdon , PA 16652


Mitchell County Animal Rescue Fundraiser

The Fundraiser is this:

Friday and Saturday August 7 & 8, 10-5pm
Sunday August 9 1-5pm
All proceeds to benefit Mitchell County Animal Rescue's humane projects.

Contact information :

Patricia Beam Executive Director Mitchell County Animal Rescue, Inc.
P.O. Box 308 Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Shelter 828-765-6952
fax 828-765-6765

Our pets are on-line

Spay Neuter is the only solution to pet over-population in Mitchell County.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shipping to Japan

So, the exciting news is that I am having an opening in Okinawa, July 2010. What I need your help with is the shipping. Have any of you shipped large quantities that far? Is there a company that's best? Any info is appreciated! Hope to see you all at the Auctions this weekend!