I'm Still here

Hey All,
I just wanted to give a quick heads up. I'm still alive, but I'm a little rough around the edges.
We moved into the new house, and we couldn't have done it with out the help of Karen, Kyra, Janna, Dan, Corey and Claire. The all came in and made it a breeze. Except for when Kyra told us that we need to give us Ceramics and take up Origami while moving the studio (Not gonna happen). None the less, we are in and slowly unpacking and decoration, stripping wallpaper, and and fixing electrical problems (Thanks Dan!).

The bad news is that Mrs. Rose got sick late last week, and she recovered in time for the move. But I came down with her cold on Sunday, the day after the move. So I am a little out of it, and I am trying to get work done, so that maybe I can return home (...isn't that nice to say? Home....) and get some more rest.  So until I get all these duck in  a row later this week I'm not going to be able to post. But I will be back soon. 


Are you giving me the finger?

 Hey all you Ghouls and Ghosts, Halloween approaches. Mrs Rose and I pretty excited for it this year, as we are moving into the new house this weekend. So, a) We will be able to decorate for the big scare b) We may have some Trick-or-Treaters this year.
In the spirit of all things gross and gory, we have the finger forks, for your next Halloween cocktail party.




These "chat" plates are from the MOMA Store. They are from Japan, but I can't seem to find who the maker/designer is. 


MOMA Store


Well, I hadn't planned on having terrifying nightmares tonight, but since you asked...

What every child wants to haunt their dreams, a tiny, ghostlike, faceless clown, holding a mirror.

Thanks Childhood trauma.

Welcome Back! I haven't missed you at all...

By Jamie Hayon


The Plastic Arts

Johnny Cash

Occasionally we like to feature projects that are not made of clay (per se) but use the skills of clay working. Adam Beane is a sculptor who makes the models used for high end toys and collectibles. He works in a material he developed called CX5, which seems to be a plasticine material.

 Princess Leia

I am astounded by the detail the he is able to impart, absolutely amazing. His textured fabrics and hair are amazingly realistic, but I am even more amazed  by the faces. It always seems to me that faces are never quite right in figurines. There are perfect, detailed full of subtle details. Amazing stuff.


Nick Frost and Simon Pegg-from Shaune of the Dead

His site



Table Art

Hi All,

Sorry to have taken a powder this afternoon. I've been busy all day, getting work done. No time to really post right now, But I though that people would enjoy these photos by David Sykes.

His site


I can't get that song out of my head!!!

I you are of an age, then you know the song that I speak of. Tetris ruled my life for a number of years.  I don't know what was the greater invention, the Gameboy or Tetris. I remember having to fight with Miss Sarah and Dr. Katz over my Gameboy. It is a funny game, because I never had any interest to play on the computer or the Nintendo, but on the little hand held it haunts you. This was confirmed when I got it on my iPod and again became obsessed with it. I had to seek treatment, It is a serious disorder.

These tiles are out of England, I'm not sure who makes them as the company is named Tetris Tiles.  What I like is that, from a design standpoint, the patterns are limitless. Also there is quite a wide range of colors, making for a really exciting tile arrangement. Quite pretty and fun.


Product Page

Of course this is not the first time we have seen Tetris based Ceramics.


U-G-L-Y That shit ain't got no Alibi

The Oops Design Award is meant to feature the Best of the Worst of object design. Pieces of furniture of housewares that have no reason to exist and really need to be taken out behind the shed and shot. 

From the organizers

 OOPS DESIGN AWARD is an not honourable award founded in 2009 by  known product designer, architect , design/architecture expert Andrej Statskij and his partners:design journalist Magda Braun-Sommer  and product design historian Adam Hoops. It is first not honourable award in the world covered product design / furniture design,lighting design,home accessories design,household appliances design,houseware design,tableware design,kitchenware design,WC appliances design etc./.Award  highlighted the  ugliest,silliest and most useless products completed and manufactured.
 OOPS DESIGN AWARD nomination and selection are performed by ODAF / OOPS DESIGN AWARD FOUNDATION / ,an   group of anonymous product design fans and experts.Award are voted upon by the membership of the ODAF and this membership is openly available to the public.

 (Saguaro Cactus!)

Thanks to Jesse over at The (Mud)bucket for the heads up.

Stand and Deliver, Ladies!

The topic of the female urinal rears its ugly head again. We have discusses it previously here and here and it is one of those fascinating concepts. There is no doubt that there is a inherent gap in functionality between the sexes in the world of sanitary ware.

Artist Christin Johonsson tackles the concept in a new and (possibly) functional method. Not having the correct hardware I could not say if this was actually functional. But it raises a new question, for the ladies in the audience. If you could use a female urinal, would you? I'd be really fascinated to know. Urinals are consistently dirty and although I often hear the complaint that women's restroom are worse than men's. I can't imaging that a female urinal would improve the situation. Also, height would be an issue; as an exceptionally tall man, I can tell you that most urinals are mounted somewhere around my ankles. 

So what do you think ladies? Would you if you could?


Something To Prove

The functionality of handles again comes into question with this model. Now a sensible ceramicist (I'm sticking with it) would question the functionality of a handle only attached in one spot. As two connection points give the handle better purchase to withstand the sway imparted by impact.

Badder Homes and Gardens who provided the source for this mug, are more interested in questioning the designers...ummmmm...masculinity.

As the name of the mug...
...is the Ego.

Good times...

Product Page

Dentia Precox

I know that false teeth are made from porcelain, but I didn't realize they grew them from old mugs. You learn something new every day...


Product page


The Art of Tea Pot Blowing

I guess this is the time to go back and revisit old posts. Yesterday we had the return of the Little Fluffy Cloud mug and today we return to this post, involving the study of pressure and the displacement of liquids. or Teapot Blowing. I had originally posted this in December, now it returns.

A blog called Geeks are Sexy come across this photo and offered the first three readers $20 to photograph themselves doing the same. What they got were some pretty funny photos of successful and unsuccessful attempts. Here are some of my favorites.

Just remember, If you try this at home (and I know you all are going to). 
Hot Tea is Hot. 
Have fun and send me pictures.

For tonight and one night only...


...Ok, not really, but there is an opening in Philadelphia, for clay folks. 
Jeanne Quinn, is one of my professors in Grad School (University of Colorado, Boulder, awesome school, with a brand new arts building opening soon!) Has a show opening tonight at the Art Alliance in Philly.  Jeannie is an amazing artist and one of the great forward thinkers in the ceramics community. So if you are reading this from the Philly area, get over to the show tonight. You won't be disappointed.

Philadelphia Arts Alliance

251 South 18th Street.
On Rittenhouse square


Well great, you killed it...

You all know, I love pots, both handmade and designed.

I have always had one problem with pots. That is functionality. I believe that many makers wrap themselves in the warm blanket of "functionality" as a defensive posture to protect themselves from confronting the practicality of their objects. Now, I am not trying to attack anyone, I am just say that declaring something "Functional" does not make it so, it actually has to perform.

This mug is a perfect example of declaring something as functional when a) It is not b) it solves a non existent problem.

This mug was created buy the NOTHING dESIGN group, some of who's fluffly little cloud mugs were one of my first ever posts here on Slipcast. and I still find charming.

For that reason I find this object to be even more enraging.

Its declared function is

"The Mug o was designed taking into account that when clean mugs stand upright, dust tends to collect on the inside. The problem is effortlessly solved by sculpting the handle into a right angle triangle. That way the mug can sit sturdily upside down when not in use, shielding it from unwarranted dust"

What the fuck? I'm sorry but that is total bullshit. because do you know what the answer to that problem is? Store your mugs on their lips! I know what a radical idea.  Who ever would have thought of that?

Let me examine all of the things that are wrong with their design.

a) The Handle- Come on. Anyone who has every played with handle design, knows that you have to balance on the top, with a swoop underneath to control the fulcrum point of the mug while drinking. That has been established for millennium. What happens when you set the fulcrum point at a 45 in the middle of the body? It is going to get wonky. Plain and simple.

b) Storing on the Handle- it is going to take up unnecessary space in the cabinet. And it won't be that stable anyway, much less stable the just storing it on the lip.

c) "Minimizing Dust" You know what, If you have you mug sitting around long enough to gather appreciable dust, inside or out. You need to wash that shit. Plain and simple.


Great, now I'm grumpy...I need a hug


Tagged- You're it

These tagged graffiti pots are made as part of the All City Project, by Portuguese arts collective Cabracega.
I am somewhat conflicted about these, They are pretty and well decorated, but I am not sure if they are too obvious. Yet at the same time. I don't think I have ever seen the literal application of graffiti to pots before. Obviously there is a lot of decorative reinterpritation of pottery.


People like Grayson Perry and Garth Johnson. Have lots of fun re engineering surface and pots as many other great artists. But I don't know why I am somewhat conflicted about these.

Grayson Perry
Garth Johnson


Word Wars

So if you have been reading my blog for a while you may have come across my occasional apologies for my poor editing. I have never been good at it. You can go back a High School teacher of mine who would scream at me, because he thought I that was a good and excited writer yet a terrible editor. He was right, but my problems is that I just don't see the errors, hell the only reason I catch most misspellings is because Firefox highlights them. I just don't work that way.

Anyhoo, Jessie over at The (Mud)Bucket posted this the other day, bringing up a semantic argument in the relm of ceramics.


Debate: 'Ceramicist' vs. 'Ceramist'

Okay, perhaps this is just a pet peeve of mine, but I can't stand it when people use the term ceramicist.

Bottom line? It's incorrect!

And it sounds dumb.

And it shows a general lack of respect for our profession and community.

The worst is when ceramists themselves use the term. Ugh! Even worse is that people have been using the incorrect term for so long that spell check doesn't even work on it...

I've told a million people and I'll tell everyone reading here:

Saying ceramicist is like saying artisist.

Get it? See, it is stupid.

I dunno... What does everyone else think? Is it silly for me to be so bothered?

I fully admit to committing her crime. But I also think that language becomes what works. It is an evolutionary system. 
What does everyone think?

BTW if you don't read Jessie's Blog you should. She has a great blog and puts the focus on artists that she likes.

Rest In Peace Patrick Swayze

As you may have heard, Patrick Swayze passed away yesterday. I love movies, and Swayze was the star of many important ones of my youth. The Outsiders, Red Dawn, Dirty Dancing, Roadhouse and Point Break, all classics. Yet there is one film that is the most important to ceramicists.

That is Ghost.

Ghost is the film that spurred a thousand pottery classes. It has been mocked and spoofed through out popular culture over the years, but there is no denying that Mr. Swayze was involved in the most popular moment of Ceramics in pop culture history. For that I say sleep well great man.


The peace and prosperity of the vomiting Crane.

Does this count as Paper Clay!

you're welcome.


Product Page

I Return!

Hi Katzes and Kittens!

I hope everyone had a great weekend, mine was fantastic. First I need to apologize on Friday for taking a powder on the blog. I was involved in a covert project and I was unable to communicate to keep my mission secret.
You see Dr. Katz likes to sing. It has becomes his passion and every year about this time his Chorus has their big concert. It is a fantastic event, they write a script and do costumes, it is a big to do. This year. Dr. Katz was the star.

He played Sheriff Buck Aroo (That is him second from the left). He was the big star of the show, he cleaned up the town and ended up with the girl. Exceptionally triumphant. Mrs Katz and I had been conspiring to make him think that I was not going to be in attendance (She is a cruel Overlord that Mrs. Katz). While in actuality, I snuck down their way (7 hours, each way mind you) on Friday to surprise the good Doctor, and he was completely fooled. So I got to see the family, including Miss. Sarah, my Aunt and Uncle, and some old family friends. (Herr Doctor and Mrs. Joanne). And we had a wonderful time.

Now back to the real world.

A couple of things in the realm of Matt and Dave's Clays. The reviews have been pouring in, I have so many good reviews that I have a backlog, so big I don't know what to do with them.

Right now I want to feature a cliffhanger of a review.

Jim Gottuso over a the fantastic Sophia's Dad's Pots Blog, started a review of Porcelain for the People. He left us in suspense about exposing Porcelain for the People to his cruel and unusual torture known as "Hydro-Abrasion" Dun ,dun dun...

In this process Jim uses water to "Etch" the surfaces of his green pots. It is really cool, but strenuous to the pottery. I'll let Jim take it from here.

A while back Matt sent me some of Matt and Dave’s Porcelain For The People and I did a post about how I thought it threw. Although a bit different from the clay I’m used to which I would expect with any new clay, my overall feeling was that it was an excellent throwing porcelain. That being said, it was only a relatively small part of how I abuse clay so I withheld judgment until it went through the gauntlet. I decide to beat the hell out of it (at least metaphorically). First, it was thrown thin and then the foot trimmed just as I always do. Then I put on a layer of resist and usually I’m pretty gingerly at this point because I’m not trying to etch it too deeply because I know I’m gonna etch it again and the pot isn’t thick enough, but in this case I really etched it quite deep. I was trying to find out how the resist held up and how the clay responded to “hydro-abrasion”.

Two big thumbs up here as it worked very well on both counts. Then after drying completely, I applied more resist and did it again and still it held up extremely well, in fact some areas that were left were extremely thin, maybe 1/16″ – 3/32″ in places. I felt this would be interesting when I gripped the bisque pot with some glazing tongs. After the bisque, the pot was a bright white, even a touch brighter than what I currently use. For glazing I dipped it once, then applied wax all over the piece, wiped away the exposed areas and redipped again after drying. It was fired to ^6 and down-fired to 1500 degrees F. I have to say that Matt and Dave’s clay’s performance was excellent during the entire process. Here’s several pics of the same pot…

So Cool.  Thanks Jim

I don't know what Porcelain for the People can't do!

I other news. Those of you who are fans of Matt and Dave's Clays on Facebook (And why aren't you???), know that we have been working on T-Shirt designs. Well, the designs are off to the printers, so we should have them soon and up for sale on the Web Site. They are being made here in Alfred, NY and will be available in all sizes and all colors, as that color is white (I love color theory jokes).

I will let you know when they are available, so that you can help bring the Revolution!