Thursday, April 29, 2010

Help Needed

I could really use a hand (or hands) getting my kiln ready for the Saturday loading!
Benefits include but are not limited to:
  1. big bucks
  2. our very own personalized blog post by an internationally known and read potter/blogger!
  3. brownies!
  4. cold or hot beverages!
  5. fresh mountain air!
BONUS: I'll even throw in a free pair of work gloves autographed by internationally known glaze hack, John Britt.

Why wait? Operators are waiting to take your application!

Call 828__675__4097 or email Michael Kline for your opportunity to be part of history in the making!!


Looking for Stain 6236


 I am looking for very old(10 years or more) Mason Stain Chartreuse 6236. It would be green in the raw state and not yellow like the new Chartreuse. 

If anyone has any I would like to buy it. 


Posey Bacopoulos


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wild Acres Retreat Workshop

Wild Acres Retreat Workshop
Cynthia Lee
September 6-12, 2010

Come enjoy a 6 day hands-on workshop integrating textural surfaces and adding ornamental accents to simple handbuilt forms. We'll create stamps and small molds to work with and sample sprigging, sgraffito, carving, and altering. Experiment with layered slips, underglazes, oxide washes, and colored terra sigillata. All levels welcome.

Please contact me for questions and registration @
Home 828.626.2491
Cell 828.989.4695

Proud Gluckin

yo, Lisa Gluckin here. The NEA bought a few pieces from me to present as awards for The Inaugural Green Prize In Education. I was just sent this link to a photo of the winner of The Green Prize, Mike Town, an educator in environmental science. He won $25,000 which is wonderful for him, but he is also holding a Gluckin. Check it out!

Free Memory

I got new memory for my Toshiba computer and I have these two 1/2 G memory sticks. Can anyone use them?

Free. (you pay shipping)

John Britt


I've been meaning to ask. What's with the advertisements on the blog? Jack in the Box?! Unless Jack in the box is floatin' us a check for future Clay Club field trips, I say let's not endorse fast food.

Gold Vase

Glaze Class Openings

I still have some room in this weekend's firing class:

April 30 - May 2, 2010

And the May 10 -14, 2010 Glaze Class.

Check the webpage for more info:

John Britt Pottery


Here is a simple recipe:

Celadon cone 10
80 Pumice (325M)
20 Wollastonite

You can get this pumice in different grades from Hess Pumice Products in Idaho.  (See address above.)

It is a really nice surface and color on porcelain,

John Britt

Measuring Specific Gravity of Glazes 2

Since people were interested in the low tech approach, here is another method to measure sp. gr. (or really the thickness of the glaze slop). You just take an old film container and submerge it in a freshly stirred glaze bucket and put the lid on. That way it is totally full with no variance. Then dry it and weight it. That is your new reference number!

John Britt

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First European Porcelain!

There was a very interesting article in the Economist recently on the invention of European Porcelain.  Check it out:

Pots of fame

European porcelain was invented 300 years ago in Germany. Or was it?


John Britt

Flowers/Doublefile Viburnum

There is some nice stuff blooming up on Roan Mountain. I never know the names of the stuff though!

John Britt

Measuring Specific Gravity of Glazes

Here is another way to measure glaze thickness in the bucket if you don't have a graduated cylinder. (I learned this from Mike Tkach at Homer Laughlin China Company up on the Ohio river. )

You just take a empty water/pop bottle and zero the scale and then fill it so it forms a meniscus and then weight it. That way you always have it "full" and don't have to guess on the line of the graduated cylinder.

Then mark the number and whenever you have to check it you can,

John Britt


Finally bit the bullet and bought an Oxiprobe from Bailey's Ceramic Supply.

Now I can actually record the reduction and write some articles on Peach Bloom and a few others.

Maiden voyage!

John Britt

Monday, April 26, 2010

May Clay Club 2010

The Imagine Render Group, proud parents of:

The Empty Bowls Project, requests the honor of your presence at a gathering/celebration of the Clay Club and other special individuals on May 12th.  

We wish to say “thanks” to everyone for your remarkable support of Empty Bowls over the years!


2-6 pm: Tours, kiln opening and optional bowl making, throwing and decorating. Clay and underglazes provided.

6-9 pm: Good food and beverages provided by Imagine Render.

Please arrive whenever you wish. Visit the studio, office and archives. Help us unload 150 or more bowls from the gas kiln. We will have some low-fire bowls made in advance for decorating. And we have lots of clay, much of it donated recently, if you wish to build or throw some bowls for future events such as The Mt Mitchell Craft Fair.

134 Lynnwood Lane, Burnsville, NC (directions available on request.)
RSVP by May 10th appreciated:
Lisa Blackburn and John Hartom, 828.675.0008

And please advise others who should join us. We do not wish to forget anyone.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Homeowner's and Business Insurance

Following my own gut feeling as well as the advice of more seasoned potters, I told my Homeowner's Insurance company the truth about running a business in my home and having a gas kiln. After specifically asking them about the kiln's location and explaining my business, the agent reassured me on the phone that everything was in order. They set me up with a business liability policy, stating I didn't need property coverage since that would be covered under the homeowner's policy. I received a letter today stating that they are going to cancel my homeowner's policy as of June 12.

I know why many of you have a completely separate studio from your homes. My studio is in the basement. The gallery is part of the house and the kilns are in an enclosed attached carport. The 18 cu ft Bailey was in the house when we bought it. It's certainly not where I would have put it, but I figured it had to be okay since two other potters had used it in that location and must have had insurance. Right?

Now, I have to shop around for a new homeowner's policy. Does anyone else have a studio in their home? Any recommendations on insurance companies? I've been thinking that I might need to move the kiln, but will that make a difference?

Feldspar chips

Making some feldspar chip and dip bowls.

John Britt

One Spectacular Plant

Saw this spectacular plant up on Roan the other day. Anyone know the name of it>

John Britt

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dirty Girls

On the way out of the Kentucky MudWorks Workshop I did, I caught something from the Dirty Girls.

They tossed me some of their nice tools. Dirty Girls Tools!  They have quite an operation there and they really work hard!

Check them out sometime if you have a chance!

They are having  sale on the website too.

John Britt

Groovy Tools

I was up at Kentucky Mudworks and Susan Burge was in the class and on the way out she gave me some of her wonderful tools! I have never used them but WOW were they nice!

They are not just the standard knock off's of Dolan. They are real  Tool Steel!

Good prices and free shipping on the website!

Check them out when you get a chance.

Groovy Tools

These premium quality trim tools in the 200 SERIES feature a true tool steel loop that is hardened, tempered, and then cryogenically treated to create a super steel blade. The loop is ¼” wide, and sharp on both edges. Acetate handles have closed cell foam grips for added comfort. The overall length of each tool is approximately 6-1/2”. The tools can be re-sharpened for extra long life.
NEW 300 SERIES tools are made of a MEDIUM GAUGE high carbon steel. The blades are hardened and tempered to withstand abrasion from clay, but tough enough to be impacted and not break. Super for trimming and faceting.

John Britt

The Wright Brothers

I was back in Dayton, Ohio last week visiting my mom and thought I would stop by the Wright Brothers graves at Woodlawn cemetery.  So then I thought I would also head to there former house (the one I assume they got after they invented the airplane.)  They used to have their old bicylce shop but I think that Carollton Park is setting up a special area and it was moved there.

You gotta love the Wright Brothers. It is also fun to head to Kitty Hawk and see the site of the first test flight. 

Anyway not really pottery related but discovery related!

John Britt


Saw two of the cutiest little goats by the studio today. 

John Britt

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Need Fiber

I need a piece of fiberfrax for the floor of my kiln- approximately 30X42" Anyone got some they could sell me?

Alternatively, anywhere in Asheville sell it by the yard?


Saturday, April 17, 2010

pottery challenge!

The first person to name 7 of the 11 potters who made the plates in the drying rack gets a to pick out a free cup of mine when you attend the EnergyXchange event this Thurdsay (see the post below)! Play the game and come to the Xchange! Hint: 7 of them live (or have recently lived) in Mitchell and Yancey county. Bonus points if you can identify cups too.

Come to EnergyXchange Day!

Come and Celebrate our 11th Anniversary with us!

What: Music, food and an all around good time!

When: EnergyXchange Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where: 66 EnergyXchange Drive, Burnsville, NC 28713
(follow 19E to 80N. Go 2 miles and take a left on to Landfill Road. We’re at the top!)

Event times:
5:15 PM: Introduction by the new Executive Director, Dan Asher
5:30 PM: Guided Tour of EnergyXchange by Dan
6:30 PM: Potlatch Dinner ***
7:00 PM: ORIGINAL Music Performance by Polly and the Posse
~Clay & Glass Studios & Gallery open all Day~

Socialize throughout the evening and meet EnergyXchange artists, staff, past and present board members, volunteers, and community members.

***Please bring a dish and beverage to share, community style. We’ll have a grill set up.

Polly and the Posse are an original, smooth and sweet local Hickster Jive band,
comprised of the many musical talents of Polly Lorien, John Renick & Ryan Cooper.

EnergyXchange is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who’s mission is:
“To apply the use of renewable resources and practices for educational opportunities and economic development in the fields of art and horticulture.”


On April 22, 2009, the Yancey County Commissioners dedicated Earth Day as EnergyXchange Day.

Support EnergyXchange by purchasing our art and native plants produced with clean energy, by making a financial or equipment donation or by volunteering your own energy or services.

All donation$ will directly support the fine work of Polly and the Posse & EnergyXchange.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

Here is the recipe for the best dessert ever! At least according to the guy on the America's Test Kitchen.  The look on his face when he took a bite was enough to make me a believer. (This guy is so critical that he would  reject Simon Cowell.  )

Anyway the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, in the amount of cake left in the pan after the party is over!

Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake
from America's Test Kitchen

Bottom Layer
6     tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter , cut into 6 pieces, plus extra for greasing pan
7     ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine (see note)
3/4     teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2     teaspoons vanilla extract
4     large eggs , separated
    Pinch table salt
1/3     cup packed (about 2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar , crumbled with fingers to remove lumps

Middle Layer
2     tablespoons cocoa powder , preferably Dutch-processed
5     tablespoons hot water
7     ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine (see note)
1 1/2     cups cold heavy cream
1     tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8     teaspoon table salt

Top Layer
3/4     teaspoon powdered gelatin
1     tablespoon water
6     ounces white chocolate chips (see note)
1 1/2     cups cold heavy cream
    Shaved chocolate  or cocoa powder for serving, optional (see note)

1. FOR THE BOTTOM LAYER: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of 91/2-inch springform pan. Melt butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and cool mixture slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in vanilla and egg yolks; set aside.

2. In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt at medium speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Add half of brown sugar and beat until combined, about 15 seconds. Add remaining brown sugar and beat at high speed until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, about 1 minute longer, scraping down sides halfway through. Using whisk, fold one-third of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Carefully transfer batter to prepared springform pan, gently smoothing top with offset spatula.

3. Bake until cake has risen, is firm around edges, and center has just set but is still soft (center of cake will spring back after pressing gently with finger), 13 to 18 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. (Cake will collapse as it cools.) Do not remove cake from pan.

4. FOR THE MIDDLE LAYER: Combine cocoa powder and hot water in small bowl; set aside. Melt chocolate in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly, 2 to 5 minutes.

5. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream, granulated sugar, and salt at medium speed until mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, 15 to 60 seconds.

6. Whisk cocoa powder mixture into melted chocolate until smooth. Using whisk, fold one-third of whipped cream into chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Spoon mousse into springform pan over cooled cake and gently tap pan on counter 3 times to remove any large air bubbles; gently smooth top with offset spatula. Wipe inside edge of pan with damp cloth to remove any drips. Refrigerate cake at least 15 minutes while preparing top layer.

7. FOR THE TOP LAYER: In small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand at least 5 minutes. Place white chocolate in medium bowl. Bring ½ cup cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Pour cream mixture over white chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes (mixture will thicken slightly).

8. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip remaining cup cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, 15 to 60 seconds. Using whisk, fold one-third of whipped cream into white chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold remaining whipped cream into white chocolate mixture until no white streaks remain. Spoon white chocolate mousse into pan over middle layer. Smooth top with offset spatula. Return cake to refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours.

9. TO SERVE: If using, garnish top of cake with chocolate curls or dust with cocoa. Run thin knife between cake and side of springform pan; remove side of pan. Run cleaned knife along outside of cake to smooth sides. Cut into slices and serve.

John Britt

Best Clay Club Ever

We had the best Clay Club ever last night!  (Except for a few of the John Ferlazzo's extravaganzas) But seriously, it was really good fun and I want to thank Jillian Wolf and  Marian Parkes for all their hard work and hospitality! ( I am also sure that there were a bunch of others that helped make it such a fine event, but don't know their names. Maybe Marian can help me?)

We learned several things...Kyle Carpenter, Michael Kline and Tom Turner are the best marketers of the group, with Kyle leading the pack. He was also won the contest, which was guesing who made the pots from the bone yard.

They had chosen about 25 pots and we all had to quess who made them. To tell you how bad I am, I did not even recognize my own pot!  (loser) But Kyle got the prize and a bag of dirty wet clay to take home. (overachiever!)

Anyway Kyle invited everyone to his studio opening and used those time honored magic marketing words ...Free Beer.

So, it was a really fun event. I even met Sue Greer who remind me that we were in a Tim Mather workshop in 1987 at Arrowmont!  Wow, is she old!  (Just kidding, I guess I am the old one cause I can't even remember my name!)

So, thanks again for a super fun time and we will let you know about the next Clay Club which will be at John Hartom's in Mitchell/Yancey County.

If you want on the mailing list send me a note:

John Britt

Peach Bloom 2

Hey Po Wen,

How about these?

John Britt

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NC Pottery Center Auction and Raffle

Good to see everybody at Odyssey tonight ! I just wanted to post this info after several folks asked about it at the meeting.

Here is the link to the raffle page I mentioned during my intro.

  • tickets can be purchased online and you can choose which raffle to participate in!
  • Umstead Hotel package

includes one night and dinner at the Umstead Hotel in Cary and a hand made picnic basket with wine and Cabot cheese

valued at over $650!!

  • Pinehurst Golf Package

includes 4 rounds of golf at the Longleaf Golf and Country Club, One night at the Country Hearth Inn and Suites, a Gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse and Sagebrush Steakhouse and an Energizer bunny gift package.

  • Ecornaments and NC Zoo Package

includes 6 Ecornaments (value $150), a vintage strawberry planter full of live of herbs (value $75), a handmade Pottery Chicken planter (value $50) and the NC Zoo family membership (value of $60)

The raffle drawing will be taken at the auction on the 25th of this month. If you've never been to Seagrove or the Pottery Center, it's well worth your time. It's about a three hour drive from Asheville.

here's the piece I donated
that will be auctioned on the 25th

Someone posted the link to the NCPC auction online preview the other day, but here it is again for your convenience! Thanks!!

Copper Red/ Peach Bloom

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Wrong Blog...sorry

Echo Gallery featured Artist Reception

C'mon out to Biltmore Park Friday night 6-8pm for the reception at Echo Gallery.
Featured Artists this month are: Emily Reason, Jen Swearington, Barbara Zaretsky and Libby & Jim Mijanovich.

Learn How To FIre Your Kiln


Understanding Firing and Cone 10 Reduction

Weekend Firing of Shino, Celadon and Copper Red Glazes
April 30 – May 2, 2010

John Britt’s Studio

Friday 6:30 p.m – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
$220.00 includes recipe handout (PLUS $30.00 FIRING AND MATERIALS FEE) $250.00 Total
John Britt Pottery Studio
154 Sparks Road
Bakersville, NC 28705

Positions Open

The ceramics program at the University of Arkansas has two great opportunities.

1. Resident Artist/Technician Position:

This position is for someone who wants a year to work in an academic studio interacting with faculty, Jeannie Hulen and Amanda Salov but also the ceramic students. Benefits include private/locked door studio, all materials, all firings, $4000 stipend and good possibility for additional teaching. We ask that this person supplement studio needs when they occur which ranges from changing elements in a kiln to taking inventory of material this usually ranges from 5-20 hours a week. Direct supervisor for this position is Amanda Salov.

2. Post Bac/Special Student:
This is perfect for someone who is wanting to build a portfolio. Benefits are shared private studio, $640 a semester which includes materials and firings.

We've included images of Jeannie and Amanda's work.

Please share with anyone who this maybe of interest to.

Thank you,

Amanda Salov
Jeannie Hulen

Digital Craft Photo Workshop (Second class)

We are opening a second class in Digital Craft Photography on Sunday May 16, 2010  from10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The Saturday class has 2 spots open but we have interest in another date. Let me know if you are interested.

  • Digital Craft Photography Workshop

May 16, 2010
One day, hands on class on basic craft photography.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
$75.00 (includes digital photographs of 2 pieces and a delicious lunch).
Joy Tanner and John Britt will conduct a one day, hands on class on how to take digital photographs of your three dimensional ceramics/crafts using a simple, low tech approach for the beginner.
Space is limited to 8 people.
John Britt Pottery Studio
154 Sparks Road
Bakersville, NC 28705
828-467-5020 (cell)

John Britt


Got two- 3 pound packages of bees Saturday.  You open the box, take out the can of sugar water (food) and then get the queen package out, pop out the cork (so the bees can eat out the sugar plug and let her out, which takes about a week), then shake the bees into the hive and put the sugar water in, wait a week and see if everything is ok.

Then you wait and watch the bees do their thing,

John Britt