Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pre Party Work Party!

Hello Clay Club!
I have a somewhat serendipitus event to announce. Next Wednesday, before Clay club at Josh's, I will be putting the final coating on my wood kiln. If anyone is on their way down to Josh's and wants to really make a day out of it you should stop by my place for a little workparty. I will be starting early and looking for a few good hands to help apply the final skim coat to the insulation. After the shell is on I will be heading over to Josh's to eat drink and be merry. If you would like to lend a hand I sure would appreciate it. East Fork is in between Marshall and Marshill off of 213.

So please, if you would like to work on the final stages of a big old wood kiln come on by and after we will go see a few more Madison County Woodkilns!

Thanks so much!



268 Ras Grooms Rd
Marshall NC 28753


Haulin' Ass & a pretty Amber Celadon

Here's what 3 weeks of hauling ass to fill a kiln looks like. The photo just doesn't do my aching wrists justice :(

A while ago I inherited a hefty stock of old glaze materials. The Albany Slip and super-bright yellow ochre I used, really made a difference in the Amber Celadon recipe i've used for years.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Table Manners- Lark & Key Gallery, Charlotte

Lark & Key Gallery (South End) presents
Table Manners
Functional Pottery For Your Table, A Feast For Your Eyes
Oct 1st - Nov 27th
Opening reception, Friday Oct 1 from 6-9pm during the South End Gallery Crawl, with jazz guitarist Thel Petty

Lark & Key Gallery presents Table Manners, a group exhibition featuring functional pottery for the table. The exhibit aims to showcase a diverse collection of ceramic tableware and bring awareness to the hand-made in conjunction to the homemade.

Mealtime often revolves around rituals and routines; the use of hand-made plates, bowls and other tableware can enhance these events. The care and love with which they have been made contributes to the joy of eating and provides a sense of connection and community with the artists that created them. The combination of homemade and handmade allows us to focus on the moment - the aromas, tastes and textures of the food along with the visual and tactile experience of the vessels in which it is being served.

Julie Wiggins and Amy Sanders, two of the gallery’s primary ceramic artists, helped curate the exhibit. Their work will be featured along with a number of other potters including Robert Briscoe, Jason Bohnert, Ben Carter, Naomi Cleary, Chandra DeBuse, Susan Dewsnap, Amy Halko, Molly Hatch, Shawn Ireland, Nick Joerling, Linda Johnson, Suze Lindsay, Allison McGowan, Kent McLaughlin, Kelly O’Briant, Kristin Pavelka, Joe Pintz, Emily Reason, Elizabeth Robinson Wiley, Joe Singewald, Gay Smith and Lana Wilson.

Backdrops for the pottery include a table by local craftsman, Stephen Owen and two-dimensional artwork that reflects the exhibition theme from several artists including Duy Huynh, Priscilla Jones, Vicki Sawyer, Wanda Steppe and Alyssa Wood.

Sweet Kiln Door

I'm pretty stoked (no pun intended) to have fellow Marshall potter Matt Kelleher building this sweet soda kiln on the river-side kiln pad here at Marshall High Studios. The door hangs from a barn door track, to slide open and shut. This steel frame will be lined with fiberboard and soft brick, which will be mortared together and also held in place with welding rod feed through the frame & brick.

Kilns in Freezing Temps

My student just purchased an electric kiln that she'll keep in her tobacco barn. The kiln manual reccommends that you don't fire it in temperatures below freezing. Any one have any idea why? I know I've fired electric kilns in freezing temps plenty of times.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

October 6, 2010 Clay Club- Don't miss it!

Yo Clubbers,

Once again we have planned a Spectacular Clay Club for Wednesday  October 6th, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

It will be at Josh Copus's Studio in Marshall.  We will check out his kiln and see what is in the works next for the space. He (and Maybe Eric if he is around?)  may also talk a bit about his European Tour ---Wood Conference in Germany and Creabiz Conference in Denmark.

So bring whatever food you want and if you need directions you can Google:

"216 Craine Rd." in Madison County NC

The actual address is 216 Ledford and Craine Rd
Marshall NC 28753

The Phone is 828 242 2368

You can always call me 828-467-5020 and I will counsel you. I don't know if I can help you get there, as I have never been there, but I will try to feel your pain and empathize with you.

John Britt

Monday, September 27, 2010

Favorite Tea Bowl

While I was away in Denmark, I was drinking lots of coffee at Gregory and Janne's house and this was my favorite tea bowl.  I will be trying to make it soon and let you know.

John Britt

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Glaze Workshop in Washington D.C. October 1 - 3 , 2010

Understanding the Magic of Glazes and Firing  (with a Cone 6 Reduction Firing)

October 1 – 3, 2010
Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus
3001 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311-5097

For more information contact:
or call 703-615-7872

Glaze Workshop in Wilmington, NC- October 8 - 10 , 2010

October 8 – 10, 2010


Ceramic Studio 1004 and  Lecture room 2005

This workshop will be a general overview of ceramic glazes and glaze materials as well as different firing methods. The workshop includes a cone 6 reduction firing as well as a cone 6 oxidation firing of participants’ work using glazes developed by John for this workshop. The glazes include Shino, Temmoku, copper red and others. This is a fairly new process that has been getting a lot of attention because it is less expensive and more environmentally friendly. John will discuss cones, kilns, firing dynamics and properties of ceramic materials. It will be done in a fun and relaxed atmosphere of question and answer as well as some more structured lecture periods. The content of the talk will be directed by the participants’ interest. For more information see John Britt’s article in Ceramics Monthly October 2008 issue and visit his website

Fee: members $90.00 non-members: $100.00

To register contact: Vicky Smith at

Last Chance for Unique Cups and Tea bowls!!

The Penland Potter's Show at TRAC is ENDING this week.  Last chance to get some REALLY quality cups and Tea bowls for Christmas Gifts. I fired these and saved the best for the entire year so there are some real gems in there!  If you don't see any you like, ask them to check in the back for the ones they held back.

Stop on by the Toe River Arts Council Gallery in Spruce Pine, NC and pick up some of the finest in the land!

John Britt

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Liz Zlot Summerfield Workshop

Ceramic artist Liz Zlot Summerfield is hosting a workshop in her home studio! Check out the flier (or her website) for more info. If you can't read it in the the image above, the text is as follows:

Come enjoy a day of demonstrations at the studio of Liz Zlot Summerfield. This workshop will cover the use of paper patterns, the construction of pots, and the use of terra sigillata and underglaze in surface decoration-all the elements that Liz uses in her work. The day will begin with a light breakfast and beverages provided by Liz. As a participant in this intimate setting, you will be able to ask many questions, learn new techniques, and see works in progress. Liz also has an on site gallery that houses her husband’s blown glass and her pottery.

Pack a lunch and prepare for a day of fun and learning in the studio!

Workshop Fee : $95

Space limited to 8 people

To register contact Liz at:

828 688-1590

828 467-1138

Best Foot Forward Auction!

Friends of undergraduate Ceramics major Drew Johnson are sponsoring an art auction benefit to help with his significant medical bills. 
Drew JohnsonDrew lost a foot last December when his motorcycle was hit by a driver who had no ability to pay for the damage done.
Drew has resumed his studies at  University of FL this fall, and has an inspirational, upbeat attitude. He was able to get a pro-bono prosthetic leg, and has worked hard to become practiced using it.
The benefit auction is now in progress at  Please join an impressive group of artists and Charlie Cummings Gallery to help Drew put his Best Foot Forward.
The auction ends Monday, September 27th.  

  Participating artists and businesses:

Heather Alexander, Dan Anderson, Linda Arbuckle, Posey Bacopoulos, Tiffany Bailey, Marian Baker, John Balistreri, Tom Bartel, Deborah Bedwell, Curt Benzle, Sandy Blain, Catherine Boswell, Joe Bova, George Bowes, Bob Brady, Lucy Breslin, John Britt, Sally Brogden, Bill Buckner, Richard Burkett, Jon Burns, Larry Bush, Doug Casebeer, Donna Causland, Ceramics Monthly, Eva Champagne, Andrew Cho, Linda Christianson, Autumn Cipala, Naomi Cleary, Meridith Coen, Nan Coffin, Elaine Coleman, Tom Coleman, Jim Connell, Pat Coughlin, Charlie Cummings, Malcolm Davis, Chandra DeBuse, Josh DeWeese, Eddie Dominguez, Lynn Duryea, Thaddeus Erdahl, Mark Errol, Jana Evans, Lauren Faust, Kathryn Finnerty, Yoshi Fuji, Erin Furimsky, John Glick, Raymond Gonzalez, Heidi Grew, Chris Gustin, Holly Hanessian, Molly Hatch, James Herring, Pam Herring, Jennifer Hill, Anna Calluori Holcombe, Niel Hora, Ayumi Horie, Steve Howell, Matt Hyleck, Sarah Jaeger, Jeremy Jernigan, Drew Johnson, Mark Johnson, Garth Johnson, Brian Jones, Kristen Kieffer, Michael Kline, Phyllis Kloda, Alix Knipe, Lebeth Lammers, Sandy Lance, Martina Lantin, Fritz Lauenstein & June Raymond, Mary Law, Jim Lawton, Simon Levin, Jenny Lind, Suze Lindsay, Matt Long, Jiri Lonsky, Tyler Lotz, Scott Lykens, Andrew Martin, Missy McCormick, Nancy McCroskey, Kent McLaughlin, Joe Molinaro, Mudtools, Kate Murray, Richard Nickel, Kevin Nierman, Richard Notkin, Kelly O'Briant, Mary Obodzinski, Dandee Pattee, Anne Perrigo, Chris Pickett, Don Pilcher, Elise Pincu, Pete Pinnell, Pottery Making Illustrated, Rainbow Gate Pottery, Jeremy Randall, Beau Raymond, Scott Rench, Lee Rexrode, Lindsay Rogers, Chloe Rothwell, Nigel Rudolph, Cheyenne Rudolph Chapman, Cassie Ryalls, Shoji Satake, Kristin Schimik, Mike Schmidt, JoAnn Schnabel, Bonnie Seeman, Nancy Selvin, Leland Shaw, Jane Shellenbarger, Marge Shore, Sandy Simon, Gay Smith, Nan Smith, Collette Smith, Keith Smith, Kevin Snipes, Jane Spangler, Chris Staley, Studio Potter, Stephanie Stuefer, Sarah Tancred, Shoko Teruyama, Julie Tesser, Diana Thomas, John Tilton, Sara Truman & Naomi Mostkoff, Tom Turner, Rimas Visgirda, Mikey Walsh, Wynne Wilbur, Lana Wilson, Varian Wolf, Stephen Wolochowicz, Jenchi Wu, Rosie Wynkoop, Gwendolyn Yoppolo.

Image: Jana Evans, Cup Set, porcelain, electric fired, mishima, 5 x 3 x 3 inches.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Demo & Book Signing @ HWC Open House

C'mon out to Highwater Clays Open House tomorrow, Saturday September 18th!

Emily Reason will be doing a demonstartion from 1-3pm & a book signing 3-4pm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Help Me Fill My Kiln!

Hey Clubbers!
I'm firing on October 16 (give or take a day) and need pots to fill the kiln. I fire neutral atmosphere with wood, and throw in a bit of salt (about 4 pounds). I would like to find folks willing to work trade- hopefully a wood stacking day on Saturday, October 2.
Holler at me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cone 6 Oxidation White Crawl

Looking for a White Crawl Glaze for ^6 O.  You and I talked about it in the Techniques class, John.  Just a follow-up.  Thanks, Nelle

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pug Boy?

You've heard of the "pool boy"?  I need a "pug boy" or girl.  I must have 200-300 lbs of wet and dry scraps of Pheonix that I need reclaimed or pugged.  I have fallen behind and I need help.  Anyone available for this task at $10.00 at hour?  Anyone know a teenager with experience who might want to do it?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Monster Bee

Anyone know what kind of bee this is?  It looks like more than a standard Bumble Bee or Carpenter Bee.

It  landed on Cheryl as she sat eating her curds and whey.

John Britt

September Clay Club

Just wanted to thank Theresa, Joy, Will, Lisa and Micah for hosting the Clay Club this month. It was great to see the new monster pallet eating wood kiln, as well as all the new residents and their work.

Lisa Gluckin did a Jewish ceremony for the new year and John Ferlazzo brought up his new tools to sell. Call him if you want to know more 828-688-1354. He also has a lot of ceramic stuff to sell, like wheel, slab roller, kilns, chemicals, etc.  Better call now! It will be gone.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Clay Club tonight

Don't forget Clay Club tonight at the Energy Xchange!

Snowflake Crackle

Here is a picture of a Snow Flake Crackle tea bowl.  Found it during a class at MISSA when a student (I think it was Nan Goodship)  ran a progression test.  It is reproducible!

White Thistle

I didn't even know that there was White Thistle but there is was, amidst the purple thistle.  I saw it while I was cutting the grass which is the only saving grace about cutting the grass.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Henry Pope's Bread Recipe

Entitled:      Patience

A Bread Recipe

Henry Pope, learning patience

The bread makes a 2+ lb loaf baked in a 9.25” x 5.25” x 2.75” pan.

1. The sponge:

Combine in a bread bowl:

2 Cups water (use a bit more to ensure a big loaf)

1 Cup white flower

1 Tb honey

1 pckg yeast (I use Hodgins which has a little more than the standard pckg; recommended)

Let the mix percolate for an hour or so.

2. The loaf:

Add to the above:

A slosh of olive oil (a generous Table Spoon)

A bit of salt (the next ingredient has some salt in it)

And stir to mix

Add 1 Cup Red Mill 10 Grain bread mix (somewhat optional)

Stir to mix

3 Cups Arrowhead Mills organic Spelt flour

Mix by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook when the dough becomes too hard to mix

Add whole wheat flower, maybe another ¼ - ½ cup, till dough no longer feels sticky and can be kneaded (in a mixer with a dough hook—aka Kitchenaid—the dough will ball and clean the sides and the hook when there’s enough flour)

3. Take out dough and knead for a few minutes on a wooden surface sprinkled with some white flour to keep dough from sticking

Clean out mixing bowl, dry and coat with some olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl flipping it so it is coated with the oil, top and bottom. Cover the bowl loosely with a plate or towel and let rise for one hour. If it’s a hot day, rising can be cut to 45 minutes.

4. 2d rise: punch down dough, flip in the bowl, cover, and let it rise another hour.

5. Punch down dough, place on kneading surface and knead just enough to get rid of any large air pockets. Let dough rest for a few minutes while you . . .

Prepare the bread pan by coating with butter.

There are various methods for making a loaf (I have some trouble with this part): flatten out the dough with the palm of your hand into a rectangle, roll up the long sides, tucking in the ends to form a loaf that looks like a loaf so it’s even from end to end and slightly humped in the middle.

Place loaf in the pan; you can finish ‘loafing’ the dough in the pan by pushing it around a bit with your fingers, till it looks loafy. Careful to not lose the butter coating.  'Cover with a light-weight kitchen towel.'

The last rise will probably take an hour, maybe more. The loaf will probably overflow the sides of the pan a bit (it’ll have ears). Don’t let the loaf start to deflate. If it does it can be re-kneaded and put back in the pan to rise again. Dough is pretty resilient.

Place in oven, about in the middle, shut door and turn on oven . Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. It’s done!

6. Notes: I use organic flours where possible: Red Mills whole wheat and white. The taste is in the flour so use best flours. No point spending a lot of time on Patience using crappy flour.

I recommend Iliada or other Greek olive oil. The Iliada can be gotten on sale at the local Wine Market (@ $30/3 liters), across from Fr Broad grocery and of course Blue Sprrrl. If you don’t want to spend $ on oil use a good vegetable oil. Go organic.

I add some herbs to the mix at the no. 2 stage, after putting in the oil and salt. Suit to taste. I like a blend of Italian herbs. Not too much, not too little. Helpful? Put some in your palm and tip.

You can simplify the flours, using just a good white wheat and whole wheat, skipping the 10 Grain and the Spelt. Spelt is a mild-tasting wheat. Delicous! If not enough wheaty flavor, sub a cup of whole wheat for I cup of Spelt. The 10 Grain adds some body and taste to the mix. Maybe hard to remember to include it; e.g., in the batch of bread I’m currently making—I forgot it.

Make this bread and you’ll never go back to store bought. Which could be a problem.

Bread dough’s resilience: once I put a carefully cared for loaf in the oven, flipped the switch, and went off to do other things. After maybe 15 minutes I noticed smoke coming out of the oven. Now why’s that? Oven need cleaning? The full clamity was soon apparent on opening the oven door, greeted by a billow of smoke. By mistake I had turned on the broiler! Sht! Well let’s see: I pulled out the charred mess, took off the top blackened crust, wedged, er, kneaded up the rest, put back in the pan to rise; it did and voila, a not bad loaf of bread at the end of it all. So never give up. BUT, it the loaf doesn’t rise and flattens out on top, and you end up with a dense dough, screw it, throw it out. Give to the birds or bears. You’ll hate it if you keep it, pretending it’s better than it is, and be reminded mercilessly of the mediocre result.

To help bread to do it’s rising properly takes patience; I’ve found that making a sponge at the beginning helps in the rising. Probably voodoo.

Woodfiring clay body?

Howdy everyone!

I was just wondering if anyone would be able to give me a lead on finding some good woodfiring clay body recipes to test. I have looked in quite a few books, but haven't found one that I really like yet. I haven't ventured in to making my own clay before and I was just hoping for a starting point. Anyone have any that they like? In general, I am looking for a brown stoneware body with a sandy quality to it. Any thoughts?


Seeking Guesstimates

If I want to start saving to build a small (6 cubic feet) salt fire gas kiln, what would be my $$$ goal? 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Crimson Laurel Opening Tonight

Anyone in the area.... there is an opening at the world famous and most excellent Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersville, NC.

Click here for more information:

Crimson Laurel Gallery

Ceramics Show in Chapel Hill, NC

Check out their website too:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yellow Buckeye

Found this Yellow Buckeye up by the house. I am from Ohio and we have Ohio Buckeyes but they wear crimson and always loose to Michigan.

What is this Plant?

Any plant nerds know what this is?

Lays Potato Chip Bag

Here is one of the best tricks I learned at Arrowmont last week.

How to shrink a Potato Chip bag.  Just put it in the kiln at 275F or so and watch it until it shrinks. (some used an oven or a microwave but I did not want to ruin mine.

Clay Club at the Exchange!

September 8th Clay Club meeting at the Energy Xchange!

Come visit with our 5 fabulous clay residents:

Lisa Gluckin, Micah Cain, Will Baker, Joy Tanner and new resident Teresa Pietsch

We can tour the clay and glass studios, the new kiln, meet the new residents and enjoy a potluck dinner complete with a mountain view. It's pretty nice up here in the evening!

Please bring a dish to share along with your own beverages.

Wednesday, September 8
6- 8 pm
Energy Xchange
66 Energy XChange Drive
Burnsville, NC

from Burnsville 19E, to 80N 2 miles; left onto Landfill Rd; go through gate to top, stay right at split; park in front of red studio buildings

Check our website for more information about us

If you have questions please contact joy-at-joytannerpottery-dot-com


Hope to see you here!

Ceramic Conference in Denmark September 16 - 19, 2010

Creabiz Conference Ceramik 2010
Konferencen finder sted på University College Nordjylland, på Skolevangen 45 i Hjørring 
Check out their website at

(look for Conference Programme in English )  
 Some of the presenters/participants include :
 Takeshi Yasuda, Elisa Helland-Hansen, John Britt, Justin Rothshank , Sharif Bey, Gregory Miller, Nisse Holmstrom, Eric Knoche, Josh Copus, Henny Linn Kjellberg, Leman Kalay, Phillip Ahnen, Marianne Buus, Margrete Bak, Julie Levorsen , Dale Huffman, Eva Zethraeus, and Brian Moeran 
John Britt 

Ransom Burners for Sale SOLD!!!!!!!!!!

For sale: Brand New, Never Used:

4 Ransom B-4 Burners (#43 orifice for propane)

Includes pilots, thermocouples, pilot needle valves, basso safety valves, everything needed for our propane fired kiln.
Ward sells this system for $2376 ($594/burner with safety device, pilot burner, and valves and maybe a main 1/2" gas valve thrown in).

I'm selling the burner system for $1800.