Wednesday, September 30, 2009

yowza bowza boo! EnergyXchange sweeps The Bakersville Creekwalk -- Bakersville, NC

"we are fa-mi-ly ... da da da da da da da dah"

3rd Place - Lisa Gluckin* (clay)
2nd Place - Lindsay Rogers* (clay)
1st Place - Ian Kessler-Gowell* (glass)
Best In Show - Ross Edwards* (clay)

Middleton Emerging Artist Award - Lisa Gluckin*
Best Booth - Lindsay Rogers*

* current EnergyXchange residents

wish I had a photo of the Energy Exchange crew to post ...
maybe we will stage one later this week and post?

I don't know the "Honorable Mentions" and "People's Choice" results or I would share all. Anyone else have that info. to post?

Old /Used Kick Wheel $100 OBO

John Britt

Hot Peppers

Got a good crop this year...oooouuuccchhh...

More Peach Bloom

Been running some pots through to see if the glazes can be reproduced like the spectacular tiles. Got some good success.

Another firing today,

John Britt

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Wheel

Finally found a new wheel today. A Brent C to repalce my aging C X C from 25 years ago.

I am pretty sure it will look like the old soon enough!

John Britt

Monday, September 28, 2009

Glorious Day for Glazing

Itsy Bitsy Spider

I was collecting morning glory seeds this afternoon and almost grabbed this monster spider who was perfectly hidden as a clump of dried leaves!


Oct 1 . Folk Art Center

Norm Schulman and Cynthia Bringle ... NC Living Treasures Show is open in Asheville .. Reception on Thurs. from 4-6 ...Everyone is welcome . Show will be up until Jan. 10 2010.

Pho in Hickory

On the way home we stopped at the best pho place ever! I mean that!

If you are in the area of Hickory check it out. Exit 127 or so off 40 in North Carolina.

Saigon Garden
614 Conover Blvd W
Conover, NC 28613-2922
(828) 465-3663 Get directions

John Britt

Back from Birding


Just had a great trip to Sandhills NC for a couple days of briding.

Saw a bunch of birds and a couple we have never seen, a brown headed nuthatch and a red cockaded woodpecker.

It was great fun and if you ever get to the area check it out. East of Charlotte and south of Seagrove, NC

Anyway they also have these long needle pines which are fantastic and I picked up some needles to make some cane type handles.

John Britt

Friday, September 25, 2009

Don Reitz

Some of you may of planned to see Don at WCU .. The workshop is cancelled as his pacemaker was acting up .. He is OK and WCU hopes to have him in the future .

Did you see the comment to "Wet"?

Congratulations! Your readers have submitted and voted for your blog at The Daily Reviewer. We compiled an exclusive list of the Top 100 pottery Blogs, and we are glad to let you know that your blog was included! You can see it at

You can claim your Top 100 Blogs Award here

P.S. This is a one-time notice to let you know your blog was included in one of our Top 100 Blog categories. You might get notices if you are listed in two or more categories.

P.P.S. If for some reason you want your blog removed from our list, just send an email to with the subject line "REMOVE" and the link to your blog in the body of the message.

Cheers!Angelina MizakiSelection Committee President

Thursday, September 24, 2009

gluck - brick by brick

excited to share/celebrate my first methane firing at the EnergyXchange today! pyrometer reads 1373 as I write. yowza bowza boo! I am charged.

An Old Reliable Pug??

If anyone comes across and old reliable pug or pug/mixer, please let me know. There are a couple of potters, including me, who have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and can't reclaim our clay. Serious wedging is out of the question.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Needed Pop-up

Ross Edwards is looking to borrow/rent a pop-up booth tent for the Bakersville Creek Walk this weekend.

He is kinda in a bind and was wondering if anyone could help?

contact him at

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Banging out the pots

Wooly Worms are back

Looks like a cold early and late winter with moderate in the middle.

John Britt


You know it is wet then the bird seed starts to sprout before the birds can eat it!

Bees 2

Kicking out the lazy Drones.


Will Baker helped me bring the bees down to the studio yesterday. Just in time for the sun!

Man are they happy.

Kiln Temperature Log 2

I think that the pyrometer is one of the best tools to help you fire your kiln. I usually log the temperatures by hand and then plot them on a grid chart with the log of gas, air and damper settings below that. (The first photo has the Hobo graph on top and my chart below.)

I log the temperature every hour or so depending on when I check it and just make sure it is going up in value.

But with this Hobo Data Logger you can have it record temperatures every minute, every 2 minutes, every 5 minutes, every hour, etc. and you don't have to be present. You just set it and go. You can have it wirelessly send it to your computer or just pick it up at then of the firing and print it.

So what that means is on this last firing I noticed the temperature rose in a looping pattern early. (A detail that was not present in the hand log because I did not have as many plot points.) This made me realize that I could probably be turning up my kiln about 15 minutes earlier to maximize the fuel usage.

That way I could keep the kiln temperature rising in a more straight line pattern.

Now I know that is not really necessary as the kiln bricks, posts, shelves and work are all absorbing heat and each has their own rate of absorbing that heat, so small adjustments may not translate to the same savings by the end of the firing, but it is a way that we can use the tools we have to try to improve our firings.

It is just another step from the first improvement where I realized that I did not need to leave the damper completely open during the early stages of the firing to insure oxidation but moved it to half open in hopes of keeping the heat in the kiln and heating the work instead of heating the air in Mitchell County, NC.

Then, the next improvement came after oxidizing a load of work. Afterwards I noticed my settings and realized that I could use this information to further improve my early settings.

Since I now knew that 2 1/2" open on the damper oxidized the kiln when it was at the firing peak, I deduced that 3" on the damper in the early stages would surely be oxidizing when the kiln was on low. So I made my early setting 3" and 3 turns on the primary air.

That improvement alone saved me about 3 hours off the firing time!
Another thing the Hobo showed us was that every time we opened the spy to look at the cones and glazes the temperature dropped considerably! So perhaps not looking made the kiln go up faster. (The watched pot...)

One application of these Hobo devices is to record weather related information where the worker doesn't need to be present, like in the Arctic. They can record air temperatures all winter long, several times a day, and send that info back to scientists in their labs. Or the scientists can pick up the device in the summer and then have the data they need.
Just thought you might like to know about this,

John Britt

Blog Cabin

The DIY Network recently completed their built for TV giveaway home here in Madison County. The interactive series completed the details of the home based on Blogger votes.

Two Madison County craftspeople were commissioned for features in the home, myself and wood-worker Lee Walker. I completed a vessel sink and accent tiles in the basement bathroom and Lee Walker crafted a gorgeous front door, bathroom sink counter/cabinet and swinging porch-couch.

Check out the website and take a virtual tour of the home. But whatever you do, don't enter to win the home, you'll only be decreasing my chances of winning it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kiln Temperature Log

Just finished up an Oil Spot workshop and we used this little gaget to record the kiln log with our thermocouple. We logged the gas kiln.

HOBO Data Logger. It gave a nice graph of the firing. I will post it asap . Still recovering.

John Britt

Saturday, September 19, 2009

October Clay Club

Yo Clubbers,

Looks like we need a venue for the October Clay Club.

Any Ideas????

We can always have it at my studio but surely we can think of something better??!!
John Britt


Part time & full time — includes $10.00/ hour paid training

Learn all the steps in making crowns and bridges.
Valuable, profitable skill.
Qualifications: good hand skills (perfect for a potter!)
Crown Royal Dental Lab on West Cove Road in Canton
Call Ivy: cell - (828) 230 - 1329
work (828) 230 -1329 — leave message

Thursday, September 17, 2009

kiln for sale skutt 181

i have a description & pictures on craigslist. price is negotiable. please let me know if you have questions, or can think of anyone who might be interested. thanks *courtney

Weaverville Art in Autumn

C'mon out to Weaverville this Saturday 10-5. In it's 3rd year this craft show has become one of the area's best. Rain or shine. Excellent local craft, music and food!
Free admission!
Hope to see you!
click here to visit Art in Autumn website

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Help fill my kiln!

Anyone interested in taking up a few or more shelves in my next cone 10 reduction firing?
There would be a reasonable fee to cover cost of gas, based on how much space you take.
Loading will be Friday October 9 in the a.m.
Firing will be Sunday October 11
Unloading will be Tuesday October 13 in the afternoon.
email me if you're interested!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Single White Female

A friend of mine asked me to post this for her.

She is a SWF
in search of SM for a mutually beneficial relationship.

Here are a list of her minimum requirements:

  • Male
  • No living relatives
  • Tall—over 6’2” [height requirement will decrease by 1” every two years]
  • Well read but prefers small words
  • Humanitarian
  • Well-respected by all
  • Ethical unless driven to be otherwise & can speak of it poetically
  • Heroic
  • Loyal
  • Intelligent
  • An accent would be nice; no New Yorkers. Brogue is desirable.
  • Sophisticated sense of humor particularly where oneself is concerned
  • Saves lives of people & animals when the opportunity presents itself
  • Does not eat things that I would not want to touch with my hands
  • Good teeth
  • Less spiteful than myself
  • Must love dogs
  • Occupation—variable. But not opposed to making a living.
  • Neat but not persnickety
  • Man’s Man
  • Reads every book as I finish it and then wants to discuss it with me
  • Romantic but not cloying. No holding hands until they sweat.
  • Must write heart stopping love letters
  • Must be able to give the perfect present & gain satisfaction from giving flowers
  • Likes or tolerates Prince, Neil Young, Dwight Yoakum, Al Green, Ray Charles, Merle Haggard. Listening to classical music-OK-but not while wearing a turtleneck
  • Puts toilet seat down without having a philosophical discussion about it
  • Good problem solver
  • Must think I am the best thing that could ever happen to anyone & that I have no traits that need changing
  • Believes that devotion will make one feel more complete
  • Must be interested in my friends and charming in social settings without expecting me to reciprocate.
  • Extremely capable of & entertained by giving me pleasure
  • Can handle and will handle most any household emergency
  • Adequate knowledge of the way things work & able to fix most contraptions: Cars, lawnmowers, toasters, heat, ac, electric, plumbing, dvd/video hookup.
  • Enjoys dry-walling, painting, roof repair, floor stripping, gutter cleaning, mowing, dish washing, laundry
  • Doesn’t look like a freak in hardware stores.
  • Not adverse to household cleanliness
  • Must not be willing to or capable of inflicting heartbreak
  • Must understand what to do with a dirty pair of socks
  • Appreciates a good home cooked meal but does not require it for happiness
  • Loves to cook for me
  • Appalled by domestic violence
  • Must smell good
  • Minimal yelling
  • Has never considered hair plugs or a comb-over or any other type of fake hair
  • No Rockports; no Dockers
  • No patchouli
  • No talking with toothpaste in the mouth
  • Has a penchant for cashmere
  • Must find all my moods charming
  • Loves it when I go shopping and can’t wait for me to come home so we can celebrate the arrival of my new purchases together
  • Must like movies
  • Physically fit without owning spandex
  • No exercise equipment in the living room or bedroom
  • Enjoys travel but prefers nice hotels to camping
  • Minimal body noises
  • No magazines in bathroom
  • Prefer atheist who doesn’t want to talk about it
  • No turtlenecks
  • Enjoys being coached in matters of fashion
  • A truck would be nice.
  • No football or wrestling on TV
  • No marching band music
  • Must not assume that a closed bathroom door is a door waiting to be opened.
  • Works to perpetuate the fantasy that neither of us ever goes into the bathroom for any reason other than to have a shower or become even more attractive
  • Recognized my infallible good taste and appreciates my home decorating
  • No waking up to an alarm clock or talk radio
  • No type A or type C personalities
  • Nothing overly jovial before 10 am
  • No ambiguous sexuality
  • Cuteness not necessary
  • No mullet
  • No visible nose or ear hair
  • No excessive puns
  • Not judgmental
  • No lying but no unpleasant truths
  • No discussions of old girlfriends or old wives
  • Not too ambitious but sufficiently self-reliant
  • No excessive grooming—fewer grooming products than I have
  • No big gut
  • No foot odor
  • No scratching below the belt.
  • No alcoholic or drug addict
  • No know-it-alls even if you know it all

    If you know of anyone who meets these minimum requirements for a long lasting relationship, please send a 3 minute video (compact format) to John Britt and he will present them the SWF for her approval.

John Britt

Baltimore Clayworks Online Auction

All proceed from the auction will support Baltimore Clayworks' ability to sustain its artistic and educational programs throughout the community.
Click on the photo above to link to the online auction site.

Kick Ass Bread Recipe


Don't add more flour. You are working too hard. This is easy. You need the "wetness" for the bread to cook. It steams itself.

Here is the recipe:

Alan’s Bread Recipe (New York Times Recipe)

3 cups of unbleached bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 5/8 cups water
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Combine flour, 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let bowl rest at least 12 hours.

Then instead of putting it in a pan and raising it again........just put it on the counter with flour spread. Then fold it over 4 times. No more flour or kneading! Then pick it up. (It will be floppy and loose.) But just drop it into the hot (500F ) pan and put the lid on it. (The pan needs to be preheated and it takes about 1/2 or more to get the oven and pan that hot!) Cook for 1/2 hour and take the lid off and cook another 1/2 hour.

John Britt
a.k.a. Bread Boy

No knead bread

It's lovely to have bread baked by 8:30 in the morning! The loaf is nice and crusty; but I think I baked a door stop!

The dough was way too wet this morning,so I kept adding flour and folding till it somewhat held shape. I'm not sure what went wrong. I watched the video a couple of times wrote the directions and followed the amounts. The good news is that my starter hadn't died for lack of feeding for several weeks.

I'm eager to make this again; but first triple check that video; and add a bit more flour before the overnight rise if I have to.

Whose Turd? Clue 2.

Here is another clue.
John Britt

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bread Pan

Here is the secret to the bread recipe: this Cast Iron pan.

I got it at Walmart for about $40. You can probably find one cheaper at a thrift shop.

You heat the oven to 500F and then bake the bread for 1/2 an hour with the lid on and 1/2 an hour with the lid off.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hungry Deer?

I am back and getting rolling again.

Found this half eaten mushroom today. Guess the deer are chowing.

John Britt

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Yesterday's Clay Club

We had a good turnout for Clay Club last night. The evening began with a delicious dinner, complimets of Wild Acres followed by a tour including the Clay studio. It's pretty sweet.

Wild Acres is truly a unique and beautiful place. Thanks Sarah and Mike for hosting us!

clay club

Thank you to Wildacres and Mike House (Sarah's dad) for having all of us . Great dinner and tour .

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kale Slaw with Peanut dressing

Had this recipe last night with dinner and mmmmm,mmmm was it good!
And healthy! So much so I just had to share. Got it from Martha Stuart Living Magazine.
2 bunches of kale, stems removed and sliced thin, crosswise
1 red or yellow bell pepper sliced thin
2-3 carrots, sliced
toss all the above together in a large, handmade ceramic bowl ;)
Pulse together:
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1/4 cider vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup peanuts

Dress slaw just before serving, add peanuts, toss and enjoy!

Walker Pugmill

Hello Everyone,

Up here at the Xchange we have an old Walker pugmill/mixer that is missing a motor. I believe it came from Penland. Does any one have any suggestions where i could find a replacement motor or even the original motor?

Thank you,


Tuesday, September 8, 2009