I Wood

Fred Herbst a semi-local from Corning NY, sent me these pics of Porcelain for the People that he fired in an Anagama.  For all of the resources we have here in Alfred, the one thing we don't have is an Anagama. So I can't thank Fred enough for putting the clay through it's paces. a The clay developed a wonderful color and survived the rigorous 75 hours at cone 11/12 with flying colors. Thanks for the Pictures Fred!

Also, The response to The Coup, our Mid Temperature version of Porcelain for the People has been great! The clay has been flying out the door.

This clay is everything that you want with a mid fired clay. Solid and vitrified with a wonderful color. It works unlike any clay you have ever used, great for wheel or the sculpture. Responsive to the touch, yet with a ruggedness that you have never experienced with any other porcelain. Combined with Stuck Up-the building and attaching (and decorating) slip and Cast Away Slip, they form a trinity of clay working that have never been seen before. 

Don't forget, Matt and Dave's Tee Shirts are available now. Printed in good ol'  Ypsilanti, Michigan, these fashion statements will set you apart from the Pottery Proletariat!


Gone With the WInd


This "Blown Away" vase by Moooi looks like a failure. But it is in fact a carefully developed and rendered piece, developed from thousands of computer renderings to make the blown away look.Blending the distortion of the shape and the surface decoration are beautiful.

 From the Maker

The blow away vase was born through a digital process of creating an impossible situation with impossible consequences.CAD modeling, animation and distortion all played a valuable role in the development of the form. To begin with anoriginal vase was created with CAD software and then subjected to a directional wind force that reshaped the form ofvase in a way that is impossible in reality. The animation of this was then paused in time, enabling technicians to usethis frame to model the new form, develop a highly intricate mould and then preserve the vase in the beauty of porcelain.


Lend me your ear


Unfortunatly the designer of this piece made two mistakes. 
1) He went with the easy Vincent reference, by naming it "Dear Van Gogh"
2) It is made of silicone. Tisk, Tisk. Although I'm sure it gives the ear itself an uncomfortable pliability. But I would imagine it wold make the mug itself slightly more difficult to handle and maneuver. 

From the maker

Dear Van Gogh is a silicon mug that integrated with a realistic flexible ear.
It could replace the punishment from MUM/ Wife / Girlfriend
And it is a good listener  to  keep your secrets and grumbling.
You can also customize it with your favourate earrings.

A great gift for the people that you valuable on.






Um, Yeah....
This plate with a mirror in the middle seems like a funny idea, when the plate is clean.
But, I can't imagine being too enamored with it when smeared with food.



The moment of the crime

Hi All, 

Sorry for the lack of posts. On the first day of classes I came down with a vicarious cold of some sort. I don't know what is was, but it was hard to kick and had me on my back for a few days. These plagues tend to travel through academia and always seem to arise with the beginning of the semester....hhhhhmmmmm odd that...Anyway, I return, still not quite there but on my feet.

I introduce to you the piggy bank that tempts fate. This little number has been frozen in suspended animation. The moment in which the hammer comes down to lay it's vengeance upon our poor little porcine repository is captured. The crime always leaves traces, and here we have the murder weapon. Not to find the killer. 





Well, ready or not here I come.

This morning brings the start of another session of Glaze Clac, here at Alfred University. A time for much celebration as I face a room of excited and sleepy ceramics students. Eager to absorb ceramics science.  Hopefully I'll get some more of my popular history of heat series out (as it is much easier to get them written when I am teaching).

In celebration of Glaze Calc. I present to you the Data Base of Periodic Tables. A fun little site that has a whole bunch of different ways of looking at out trusty little chemical reference.

I must away off to class, so wish me luck. 



This fountain installation is by Reece Terris. Pretty cool.

American Standard is an installation that featured fifteen functional urinals arranged in a pyramid formation on the wall of the men's washroom in the Alexander Centre studio at Simon Fraser University.  Transforming the facility into a public indoor fountain, water overflowed from the uppermost urinal and splashed its way down through the formation creating a deluge of water flooding the sunken floor. Visitors enter the space via tiled stepping stones, providing access directly to the sink and preexisting toilet, leaving the facility fully functional and open to both sexes.



Bulldog Skin

I played the part
I played the start
I made a table out of clay 

-Guided By Voices, Bulldog Skin

I always loved that lyric. As a Ceramical person it has always seemed as a Sisyphean challenge to actually do that. Yet, there is always a clever person willing to take up the challenge and make it happen. 

As I prepare to start teaching foundations tomorrow. I love the approach or round about thinking. I hope I can encourage my students to think in such terms. 

I can't find much about the maker except that her name is Arianna Vivenzio and she has a multimedia design portfolio that you can see here.



I'm with Coco

I missed this feature before Chrsitmas. But hey, as long as the snow is falling it is as good a time for Coco and Gingerbread.

I believe these little accessories are going to be the hot new real estate trend.

Head over to Craftzine where Natalie Zee Drieu gives you the full tutorial on how to make your own mug hanger 


iCan't believe I paid for this

I love my iPhone...like, looooooooove my iPhone.

It is the most wonderful piece of technology to ever fit in my pocket. Even better then the pointed stick (although that is pretty handy).  So when I read that there is an app called iCeramic Art. I had to try it.

Truth be told. I have been thinking of a ceramic app for some time. But I was thinking of more a technical, glaze calc type of app. Good thing I don't know anything about programing for the iPhone SDK so I don't waste any precious time on it.

iCeramic Art is something else. This program from Exrant and is meant to be a real time 3d modeling program.
I bought it and gave it a spin for all of you. I admit that I have only given it a cursory try. but my main reaction is. Meh...

I will say, it is pretty cool to see that the iPhone has such live rendering abilities. And I do believe that the program could be something decent. It has neat features like the clay responds to the touch, and you can spin the clay as you "work" with it, ala the wheel. There are tools and finishes, and a variety of things that show that someone was thinking this through.

I guess the big problem is that the app is not very intuitive. When you open it up, it s a mystery as what to do with it.  It is sort of like a "button masher" video game. You play with it and it does something. it is just not what you want it to do.

Anyway, the app is $0.99 so if you want to play with it, it is not much of a loss. but it is not much of a gain either.

iTunes Link


Cover Me

Well great, now I have Bruce Springsteen stuck in my head. 

Well, I'm back to thinking about tiling. As Mrs. Rose and I get closer to completing our painting projects our minds turn to our next project. The Downstairs Bathroom! Dun, Dun, Dunnnnnnn!

 The project is going to be pretty much a complete tile job. Using of course wonderful Trikeenan Tiles. But now living in a world of tile I am always amazed by the sweet tiles that are out there. 

These tiles by JSPR create a network, showing the path of your pipes.A nice solution if a) you just want something different that looks cool or b) you can't get the pipes into the wall. I know that sounds crazy, but when we were house hunting, we saw some really nice old houses that had their plumbing retrofitted and were completely exposed. These tiles would have been the perfect solution for that house.

They come in 5 different styles that allow for you to lay a pattern as your plumbing requires. 

It really reminds me of that game...shoot I can't remember the name. Early 90's, where you were racing the water coming down the line and trying to get the pipes laid faster then the water travels. I had the same tile patterns as these....Who know the name? Now I need to know and find a copy of it. I loved that game.




Morning All, 

Sorry for the delay, I had an appointment with the Dentist and the Hook of Death! I want to say that it is the good kind of pain, because it is for a productive reason, but DAMNNNN, that thing hurts.The good news is that I don't have any cavities and I got a Spider man toothbrush!

I really should do something about dental porcelain, but I really don't know anything about it.
Hmm. something to look into. 

For today I present to you the High Cup, or the Frankencup. The fun little amalgams come from England designed by Hrafnkell Birgisson Hrafnkell. Although are pricey are pretty fun. I just hope they use a strong epoxy. 




Broken (record, in) China

We love China for it's general ceramic and cultural awesomeness (we're not getting into politics). 
Chinese artist Pei Yongzhong has set another major ceramic accomplishment. Creating the world's longest ceramic painting and in the process setting another Ceramic World Record

Original Article. 

Author not attributed.

Pei Yongzhong, an artist from Jingde, Jiangxi Province, spent five years creating a 241.2-meter porcelain painting. Guinness World Records recently certified it to be the longest of its kind.

The porcelain work consists of 242 independent parts, each depicting a scene from "Dream of the Red Chamber," the greatest Chinese novel of all time. Each part is 76 centimeters long and 57 centimeters high. The total length includes the painting's wooden frame. There are more than 3,800 figures in the painting.

Pei said he is a literature enthusiast and likes "Dream of the Red Chamber" very much. He started working on the painting in 2004, using various traditional and innovative methods. He spent more than 5 million yuan (US$732,339) and completed it in the second half of 2009.

Pei was born in 1969 in Jiangxi. As a veteran ceramic artist, he is famous for creating figure and scenery porcelain paintings. He has created porcelain portraits for many leaders, including former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.




Awww Nuts...

Porcelain Nuts, Why not?
This is like Klein Reid's Logs...only useless and stupid. I guess that is what makes then fun.


Tea Ball

Sometimes I like to look at accessories to ceramics on the blog. Tea is one of the big things associated with ceramics and the tea bag/ball is one of the most important. Here are two tea dispersers that are a lot of fun. 

The Yellow Submarine

and the Clothes Hanger

Truth in advertising

Seems about right...




British ceramicist Beccy Ridsdel created these subdermally decorated wares. Tearing away the detritus to find the secrets hidden with in. 

With all the work of peeling away the layers on Chez Katz. (...Oh look Honey, wallpaper under wallpaper...) I respect what these plates have to say. 

Thanks to Anna for the heads up. 



You Be Il'in'

The Kim Jong Il Tea Pot, by Charles Kraftt and Mike Leavitt
'nuff said.
Nicely done and only $1200.
FYI, My birthday is coming up, so if someone is looking to get me a gift...Hint. Hint.





Welcome to 2010!
I hope everyone had a nice New Years.

Mrs. Rose and I had a lovely time, we spent some time with Dr., Mrs., and Miss Katz. Then returned to Alfred to put in some work on the new abode. I've been practicing my dry wall patching skills; I put some wicked nasty holes in the walls trying to get our bed upstairs. The bed eventually made it, but the walls suffered some major damage (measured in feet, not inches).

Mrs Rose became intensely involved with our new wallpaper steamer in our attempts to un-country craft Chez Katz. Mrs. Rose has an intense love of color. so when speaking with one of our new neighbors I told her that we had been painting and she asked "What color?" I replied, "Obnoxious".

We also took some time to commune with our destructive sides and helped our dear friend's the Fecteau-Volks, destroy a wall in the pursuit of a new master suite. 

Home renovation is intensely therapeutic.

Anyhoo... enough about us. On to the clay

These pieces by Atelier NL are focused like a laser on the idea of "Local" These pots are made from the same soil that the food served in them was raised from. Seeming like a progressive concept. In actuality that is sort of how things were done, until the trains came to town. The food/dish relationship is an important one that I am often emphasizing, but this takes it to a new extreme.

...Of course I'm not sure how the handles fit into that... of course the clay looks a little short...

Thanks to Kristen Kieffer for the heads up!