Penny Wise

As most people know. It costs $0.02 to make a penny and $0.09  to make a nickel. To me that is absolutely ludicrous. Apparently there are discussions going on in Washington about changing the compositions of coinage and one of the options is...Porcelain!

From the Wall Street Journal

"The government isn't saying which new materials it might use in coins. Most coin experts say creating non-metal coins would go over like a wooden nickel. Still, industrial porcelain, embedded with an identification chip, is seen as an outside possibility. A more likely candidate: an aluminum alloy, used by other countries for coins. But any switch is likely to be controversial."

I know, too cool.

Of course it will never happen. But it seems to me that this would be a perfect option. Rugged and cheap and would last for ever. The article references American's supposed opposition to any change to their currency,  I call bullshit. Firstly I don't know anyone who cares. I suspect that it is those who care who whine a lot. Of course the article mentions how the crazies think that President Obama wants to steal all their gold (who is he Long John Silver?). And the same people think we are still on the gold standard... oh boy. 

But the country I know is crazy for every new quarter and redesigned coinage. And the Treasury has already made paper currency the ugliest thing on the planet. On a side note. why can we not have bills that are blind friendly? If I am not mistaken we are the only country that still has every bill exactly the same size, so that I blind person can't tell the difference from on to another. Sheesh

Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Porcelain coins but I'm not holding my breath. 

Thanks to Davis Pier.



Somewhere under the rainbow.

I lost track of where I came across this. But, thanks to whoever posted it on facebook.


Brand New/ Retro

Taiwanese designer pili wu, in partnership with craft artist jian-an su have created 'IKEA plus tertial'. here, the IKEA tertial lampshade is given a transparent porcelain cover containing a pattern within - portraying a mythical battlefield of tigers and dragons - all brought to life as if in a fiery inferno, when the light is switched on. wu and su have transformed this typical desk light's plain bulb into a mysterious fireball.

This is a fantastic take on the whole ready made, re-purposing concept.  I love IKEA, but it can sometimes lack some soul that this really brings to the piece. The blend of design, production, ceramics, history and function really come together to make an exciting art piece. 

via Kristen Kieffer
If you haven't checked her out, Visit KK's site, she makes some sexy pots. 


Breaking Hart(wick)s

Hi All, 

Sorry I disappeared last week. I was asked by my friend Sephanie Rozene to come to Hartwick College and do a lecture on glaze flaws for her students. It was a great time and the students were lots of fun. 
Some of the Hartwick students helped me at NCECA with some Matt and Dave's Clays promotional activities. In exchange I gave them Matt and Dave's Tee Shirts (available here). One crafty student named Zach, took his tee shirt and had a friend tie-dye it. Pretty snazzy if I do say so myself.
It goes so well with our awesome Porcelain for the People clay. Give it a spin, you won't be disappointed. 

Speaking of Glaze Calc. I wanted to give a heads up for my glaze clac class for all of you New England readers. It is taking place from June 14-18, on Cape Cod at The Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. It is called Rumor Milling and will be a great class for learning all about glazes, for the beginner or the professional. Be There!



The lights designed by Guillaume Delvigne come in three different "resolutions" 300, 144, and 72. Called the DPI series (that takes me back to the dot matrix days) the lights use translucency and light diffraction for their effect. The different pixel densities create different light and shadow effects.



Telepony Ceramica

from The Ceramics Engineering Blog

It's looking more and more like there will be an update to Apple's venerable iPhone product. There are now scads of photos of the new phone--whether it's still in prototype stage or not is debatable--and it definitely looks different, as you can see from the photo above. Many tech pundits have pointed to a 2006 Apple patent filing,
A portable computing device capable of wireless communications, the portable computing device comprising: an enclosure that surrounds and protects the internal operational components of the portable computing device, the enclosure including a structural wall formed from a ceramic material that permits wireless communications through.
which indicates the company is at least looking at using a zirconia ceramic material for the backing. This move makes a lot of sense, since it a ceramic material can, of course, be made to be extremely strong and heat-resistant. And its structural nature allows for it to be much more conducive to being a phone body component than metal, which can interfere with radio waves.

It could be another high-profile coup for the technical ceramics industry if the great minds at Apple chose to use zirconia ceramics in its flagship device. I guess we can only wait and see!


Hot Plate

Via- Wired

The +/- Hot Plate wins the award for the day’s most literally named gadget. The plate itself is a normal ceramic circle, but it has circuitry printed on it in the form of “silk-screened gold and amorphic metal films”. These are hooked up to a DC power supply and the printed circuit acts like a heating element, sloughing off its resisted electricity in the form of heat and warming (or even cooking) any foodstuffs on top, working just like a car-window de-icer element.
The plate was designed by Ami Drach and Dov Ganchrow for a competition named “Dining In 2015″. Even when not plugged in, the filigreed heating strips make a curiously beautiful pattern. The problem is that, with the DC-in circuitry in a plastic box underneath, this isn’t going to be dishwasher safe.


Sweet, Sweet Nectar

A friend recently gave us a pottery juicer, but not as a present, just as something she left at the house. It just mysteriously appeared after a visit.  Like the vegetables from your garden in August that you just want to get rid of, so you leave them at friends houses.
After a week I asked
"... Ummmm, What is this doing here? " 
"Oh, because you guys have all the ceramics..."
" Ok... so why is this here?" 
"I thought you would like it"
"But it is ugly, and not particularly functional"
"But, it is clay"
"So I want every piece of clay out there, because it is clay?"
At that point she crumbled and admitted that it was from her Mother-In-Law and she was trying to pass the ugly buck.

We were re-gifted, for the sin of being ugly. 

Of course, none of this would have been a problem is it was a super cool hummingbird juicer like this one from Z Gallerie.




No matter how much we like to deny it, we all use non-ceramic receptacles.  I have a cabinet full of plastic and metal travel mugs and they work great. We have to embrace that ceramics have some limitations, and the travel mug is a big one. 

The Kug is a project from Irish design students Ben Millett and Alan Harrison, who created this handy little cup that also doubles as a kettle. It comes with a base station that contains a heating element that will bring your water to a boil. Pretty handy for a quick cupa or for the elderly who don't want to struggle with a full kettle.

Kug Ad from Ben Millett on Vimeo.



The Chicken of Depression.

These "Not So Happy Birds" by Parra, provide a pragmatic alternitive to the Bluebird of happiness that poops on your shoulder. 

At least they have nice shoes to gaze upon.




We all know what we should do. Of course that never matches what we do. These plates by Rui Pereira and Hafsteinn Juliusson, a pair of Icelandic designers, are decorated with recommended serving portions. Designed in 3 styles, the Super Size, The Extra Ordinary, and The Diet. These plates take the hard work out of portioning your meals for proper eating. They also look pretty pretty. 



The Hot Seat

Artist Sam Durant had these full sized porcelain version of plastic chairs produced in China. He intends them to be a conversation about production method and value. Something that we full time ceramicists are used to. What I find most interesting is that he named the pieces after the Chinese artisans who made the porcelain copies.


War Pigs

...And this little piggy got medevil on your ass when you came at it with a hammer.



Mrs. Rose... You know she's the coolest.

Y'all know how proud I am of my Mrs. Rose. She is super fun, super smart and she treats me real nice. But that does nothing to describe the skills she has when it comes to ceramics. 

Mrs. Rose works as the Glaze designer for Trikeenan Tileworks, and some of her recent projects were just featured on the mega design blog Apartment Therapy. So, of course I have to show her off, because I am so proud of her and all of her work.

They are doing some really cool things with their tiles. They have reconsidered their waste and how to take advantage of it. What they come up with is their new Reclamation line of glazes. This line is composed of waste run off and colorants and that's it.

The tiles had their big public introduction as the Covering trade show recently and they won a green award for this line of glazes.

It a really wise and beautiful line and Mrs. Rose has done a great job with it.I'm so proud of her.


What about a Bear Mouth Urinal?

There is no better way for man to display our conquest over nature then having representations of it's animals vomit on you in an attempt to clean yourself.

This particular porcelain ungulate was recently featured at the Milan Design Week and drummed up quite some attention. There is not much documentation on the who, what, where, why and how on this particular item. That doesn't mean I don't want one. Of course the problem is that I am 6'5" and so to get it mounted to a functional height for me, I would have to punch a hole in the ceiling for the antlers.

The things we do for a fabulous life...

This particular item was found by Freshome.

I'm glad to be back... I missed you all. It was a long semester, but I survived.