Thursday, February 16, 2012


Mugs... here a few of my latest mugs, by latest I mean Nov/Dec 2011 but in my attempt to blog more often I'm slowly sharing my work from the end of last year while I wait for the warmth to return.

These two mugs were given to my brother and sister in laws for Christmas. FireBrick interior and handle with a Horizon exterior on brown speckled clay. Certainly a favorite glaze combination of mine, and I like the sloppy application on the handles.

These mugs were my clay gift to Keli and I for Christmas this year, we only keep the nice seconds through the year, but I like to gift us some firsts at least once in awhile. FireBrick interior with some Blue1 dip, the exterior is red iron oxide wash under Blue1 and MidnightBlue on brown speckled clay .

My mugs have gotten much better, the size shape and thickness is working well and my handles are more comfortable. Pulling handles is still a pain for me but I finally have some acceptable results. Sarah Culbreth of Tater Knob pottery told me that I would have to pull 100 handles before I had 1 good one, well her number might be low because good is a strong word. I'm happy to have reached "ok".

signed and numbered

I didn't make as many pots in 2011 as I did in 2010, which is a bad trend, but I did make much better pots.

 Thank you for reading - -

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Here are a couple of pictures of the greenware that didn't get fired this past year. Unfortunately my studio is to cold to use over the winter so this work will have to wait until spring. The pieces were very dry before any freezing came along so they should be alright. Hey didn't I just mention in my last post that it was un lucky to take pictures of work prior to fireing?
 You can see the replacement elephant sugar bowl that I mentioned in the last post, I'm thrilled with the way it came out, but I still haven't decided whether or not to cut a spoon notch in the lid so I still have a good opportunity to break it.

I am planning on building a studio this year at my home, one that will hopefully be usable year round, the old concrete building I'm in now is impossible to heat in the winter. I had some bad glaze problems last year trying to glaze when it was too cold and the kiln temperature dropped way to quick after the fireing.

Well that's all for now, I have some more pics to share soon, but I'll break them into a few posts so that it looks like I'm an active potter.

Thank you for reading - -

Monday, January 23, 2012

Newish work, and a question

Well as always it has been a long time since I've posted anything so... here's something
A nice little wine cup I'm proud of and happy to use often
I can't believe I've never posted this, unfortunately this one never made it into the kiln, I foolishly picked up the lid by the elephant which promptly broke off and the lid smashed into the bowl breaking both. I should know better than to photograph anything green. Good news is that there is a new one ready to be bisqued (I'll wait to take a pic of it till it's finished).

Well I can't find the pics of my newer work so this will have to do for now.

So here's a question for you... I need a name for my pottery, Bruns Pottery is so boring, I want something with more panache, something that will drive hoards of customers, and wheel barrels of cash my way, does anyone have suggestions?

Mudville Clay Works?

Dirty Works?

Mud Stuff?

Illuminati Pottery Company?

If you have any good or just humorous suggestions please let me know.

Thank you for reading - -

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Post worth seeing!

Hey folks here are pictures of some recent work! Yup that's right I actually have real pictures for your viewing pleasure. I have to say that I'm very pleased with my most recent pots, I'm finally gaining good control of the clay and getting forms that I really want, it has been very annoying working hard to create mediocre work, but I suppose that is to be expected while learning a new medium. Just recently I have been getting good and reliable glazes, which is wonderful, there's nothing worse than destroying a good form with a bad glaze. It's part of the joy of ceramic work, you have plenty of opportunity to ruin a good piece.

Overall picof the last load! My glazes are just coming out so nice. The red interior with a white exterior is my current "go to" glaze, it's reliable, cheap-ish, and beautiful! I'm able to squeeze about 25+ pots into my little J X-18 Econo kiln.

The three larger bowls in this pic were the only experimental glazes in the load and I'm so happy with them. The green needs a slightly heavier application, or possibly sprayed to even it out, but I think it really works with the speckle. The red is awesome, it almost looks like SHINO, I can't wait to do some more of these. The backs of these pots are especially nice, but I'll save that story for the another post since I don't have pics yet.

Tree vases with shiny white exterior and blue and red interiors. I love carving these trees, it's just a whole lot of fun and the results are better than my expectations! These range from 6-7.5 inches tall and are among my tallest work so far, I want to take this form up to 12" and offer it in 3 sizes with an option of either interior color . I used 3-4 pounds of standard brown speckle clay, it moves really well and stands up nicely. The different "leaf" patterns are fun to play with, there are never ending options. Some of these will be available in my etsy shop soon!!

Tree vases with a matte white exterior. These are a couple of my best trees, 
but I think I prefer the gloss white. That said I'll be revisiting the matte in my next glaze load, probably a
lighter spray coat instead of the poured application shown here.

Thank you for reading - -

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Classic no posting

I'm not so surprised, are you? Well, at least I've been doing lots of work. I just haven't taken the time to tell you are about it, or more importantly show pics of it. Last year I finished up having completed 300+ pots and as I look back I see a lot of learning happening. This year so far I've thrown 150 pots, most aren't glazed (or bisqued) and I am very happy with them. Now that I've gained some technique I'm can concentrate and control the form better. BIGGER BETTER and almost good.

So this post has no pics of the aforementioned almost good work....

Thank you for reading - -

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New work and more

First things first, it has been nearly a month since my last blog post, the good news is that I've been working hard, so hard I've not had time to do updates. My last post was on quitting smoking and that has gone wonderfully! Undoubtedly a very difficult task and a constant strain, but this time it will stick!

Alright, now onto the fun stuff. Since my last post I've done a bisque firing and 2 glaze firings so there is a lot of work to show, and issues to discuss. The bisque firing went fine, the only news to share regarding it is that I had a very packed kiln filled with some of my best and largest work. I even had the opportunity to pretend that I'm a real potter, dedicating the entire day to clay and producing a respectable quantity of work. I was able to make 12 pieces, trim them, and glaze another 12, in theory if I could do this everyday I could make a living doing this (always the distant goal). Now if only my work was of an acceptable quality perhaps I'd be able to sell it, but that shall come with time... hopefully.

Mostly mugs, a couple of bowls, a vase, and another attempt at a plate (which ended up cracking horribly, and had to be destroyed). Will my sister ever get her chip dip set? My speed is improving, and I'm starting to get forms that I'm somewhat pleased with. The piece to the far left is a giant mug for my friend Austin, every time he comes to the studio he eyes my largest pieces and says, "that's almost large enough for my coffee mug", hopefully this will work for him. I don't have a pic with the handle on it, but I am very pleased with how it came out.

This work is the results of the first of the aforementioned glaze firings. I'm happy with the results for the most part. I have been able to control the temps inside of the kiln much better than past firings and things have been much more even and predictable. My first jar turned out wonderfully and I am very pleased with glaze.

Ok, I should have started this earlier because now I'm late for a podcast recording. I'll have to pick this back up tomorrow, so please stay tuned.

Thank you for reading - -

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Smoking sucks, but so does quitting!

Smoking sucks! I started smoking late into my first year of college, my "friend" Josh finally wore me down after some late nights at the studio, and I started smoking, how can you be a serious art student and a non-smoker? Artists are suppose to live life with reckless abandon, and certainly all aspects of ones health should be neglected, but once you've "grown up" you may be left with a handful of bad habits.
Fast forward fourteen years and I'm still a stupid smoker. I know it's awful for my health, especially with my family health history, and I know it's gross and expensive. What I didn't understand is that it's horribly addictive, sure I've been told that, but I figured it didn't apply to me, that I had the will power to quit whenever I wanted, and that it wouldn't compromise MY health. Funny how youth loves ignorance.
I've tried to quit smoking several times, trying gum, patches, pills, lozenges, hypnotism, and cold turkey, all to no avail. Well it's time for another attempt. I'll be locking myself into my studio for the next week, trying to keep my mind focused on work while I fight nicotine withdraw. The reason for the lock in is to keep me away from others, the rage I experience while quitting makes me unfit to be in the company of others. The question is, is there an other side to this? I've heard it takes 3-4 for the worst of the withdraw symptoms to subside so I guess I'll see. I've never made it this far without cheating and eventually coming back full tilt into smoking.
I guess the only thing I can say is wish me luck, I'll need it. The good side to all of this is that I'm hoping to produce some good work this week, there will certainly be no lack of passion, just a question of if I'm able to work through my rage and produce some quality pieces.
One thing that I can't express enough is to never never never start smoking it's the stupidest thing you can do with your face! You will become addicted, it will shorten your life, and it will waste your money. Please take that cigarette money and buy art and pottery, you'll be happy you did.

Thank you for reading - -

Money well spent?

Hey there folks I promised some more information on my recent estate sale finds from last week, so here it is. Since I've neglected to bring home pictures from my most recent firing I guess I'll have to fill you in on my new pile of "junk".
As I said in my last post I got one hell of a deal at an estate sale. 1960's kiln, pile of molds and greenware (mostly horrible kitsch crap), a lot of kiln furniture, some tools, and everything else a slipware artist from the 60's would need. I was only looking for kiln furniture, but I was forced into an all or nothing situation, and ended up with the all. I love going through piles of this stuff, there's usually some worthwhile tidbits if you have the time to dig through it all, and if not I still enjoy thinking about the time and effort someone put into their hobby. It's interesting how mainstream of a hobby ceramics use to be, entertainment now has been reduced to idle activities such as television, and most people no longer have a desire to create. Well, their loss is my gain, because I was able to buy all of this for $100!!!! Even if I never use this kiln I'll be able to sell it for at least $200 once I clean it up and test it, so I guess it was a good deal. Now I just have to learn to stop going to these sales or I won't have any room left in my shop to work.
You'll have to wait until next weekend to get pics of my recent work, so please stay tuned!

Thank you for reading - -

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My "new" old kiln and more

This past Friday I bought a new old kiln! I don't need a new kiln so what in the world would make me buy one? Well, I'll tell you what, a darn good price! Since I bought my first kiln I still keep an eye on what is available in my area, I was low on kiln furniture so I figured I could find some and hey who doesn't appreciate a good deal. Well it backfired on me because when I went to a recent estate sale to buy some kiln furniture I ended up buying the kiln also. The kiln is a late 60's L&L K18 econokiln, the same model as my other kiln, just 25 years older. It is in good shape with only a few chips in the brick and a little discoloring on the inside, but I think it'll fire well once I clean it up. Also this kiln has a 3 stage pyrometer which might get moved to the newer kiln.

So along with the kiln I also got a large pile of furniture including 10 shelves, fire brick, drip trays and an abundance of stilts! This is the sort of thing I was looking for, and this stuff alone would have been much more than what I paid for the thing had I bought it new. In addition to this I was forced to take a pile of molds, bisque and greenware, but managed to find some nice tools, and other goodies among the boxes. This little wall plaque was a wonderful kitsch find. I'll share more about this soon.

Thank you for reading - -

Friday, August 13, 2010

August Heat Report - "It's HOT"

It has been a really busy few days in the studio/shop/computer room. I have had a lot of 3-D drawing work this week, I finally started a window order I had been waiting on, and I somehow managed to get some work done in the studio.

Here's everything that went into the kiln last night for my second cone 6 firing. It ended up being a pretty full load, but I could have fit a few more mugs. I'm trying a couple of new glazes out, and I'm excited to see the results on Monday. I think some improved glazing techniques will solve some problems I had with the last batch, we'll see.

It's been brutally hot in the studio this week, even firing at night with all of the vent fans blowing I still topped out over 100 degrees. Phew sweaty!

Thank you for reading - -

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Getting it done

Had a very productive day in the pottery studio today!! I unloaded the recently fired bisque ware from the kiln, there were a couple of cracks, but all in all a good firing. The chip and dip platter I made for my sister warped, even the back up one warped, boo ... Maybe I'll have my glaze situation worked out by the time I get a good one made.

I trimmed 7 of the pieces I made on Friday, they are my best and largest work so far. One vase (the one on the wheel in the bench pic) still needed some dry time, the base is a little heavy so I'm drying it slowly to prevent cracking.

I was also able to throw 8 pieces today including two lids, my first two lids! A little piece I threw today had a really bland form so I decided it needed a lid to "jazz" it up, never mind that I've never thrown a lid, but it worked out, so I decide to throw another. I'll try and fit them tomorrow, and I have high expectations :)

I made another attempt at the chalice that I'm making for my father's church. It's my best try so far, but I'm not quite there. I thought this would be a simple enough form to master, apparently not. Getting the proportions right has been difficult, and I've broken off several bowls while trying to collar it in. With each try I'm getting better so hopefully the next will be the one.

All this and I managed to get a little real work done in the shop! Hopefully tomorrow is just as productive.

Thank you for reading -

Almost forgot to mention my lovely new padding for my bench. Duct tape and an old moving blanket makes my buttocks happy :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Crack Sucks!!!

These are a few pictures from this spring, the transition from cold to hot weather required a little change in my drying process. Unfortunately these pieces fell victim to my education.

Thank you for reading- -

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fired first cone 6 glaze!!!

Fired first cone 6 glaze!!!

Well my old kiln did it!!! No problems at all... with the kiln...
well that might not be true...

All in all I was pleased with the results of my first ^6 fire. There were definitely some problems, but I made it there with only an extra hour of firing time.

Here is my favorite piece from the group, though i did have to sand drips off the bottom.

Speaking of drips! More than half of the kiln load had significant drips. I guess the secret here is use less glaze.

Thank you for reading - -

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My pottery studio

Thought that I would share a picture of my pottery studio ... well there it is. I've cornered off a portion of my woodshop to dedicate as the pottery studio. I have my wheel, kiln, and work tables in the 12X16 space, the only problem is that I'm already running out of drying room!

New Stoneware

Pic of my newest stoneware work drying. These pieces are now ready for bisque fire, and will make their way into the kiln after the glaze firing I have planned for tomorrow night. Pretty happy with some of these larger bowls and thrilled with my first two platters that will be used with some small bowls for chip dip sets.