Monday, June 19, 2017

Getting An Aerial View


Etsy only allowed me to enter a different market. It didn't earn me more money. It actually added up to the lessening of my overall annual income. It isn't even physically possible for me to make as much from Etsy and art fairs combined as it was for me to make from art fairs alone.

Etsy isn't nearly as efficient a market as art fairs are. Especially for potters, though I think that statement is pretty generally true.

The internet demands more time wearing the marketing hat. Far more time. It happens to require a skill set I seem to have naturally, but it takes time away from my production. And whether I market through Etsy OR art fairs, the single biggest determinant of my annual income is my production -- how much pottery I make.

I'm not resistant to change. I'm doing it. I'm changing. I market via the internet because I can and because I'm pretty good at it, and because my pottery is better suited to that market than most other potter's seems to be (even after a couple of years not really trying, I'm still in the top 100 Etsy sellers of pottery -- and the ones ahead of me are item-makers, not potters).

No, my point isn't about what I want to be doing or whether I'm willing to change with the times. That's why I said my point could only be contemplated in the abstract -- we can't go back. The internet isn't going to disappear. But that doesn't mean that I don't recognize that the internet brought on the current state of the art fairs. It took away every good reason to buy at art fairs -- or, at least, it took away the greatest impulses that caused art fairs to prosper so.

There isn't a thing we could have done about it to have halted it. The world is moving on and we'll all be trying to figure out new formulas. I'm working for someone else. I've contemplated offering workshops and had a few promising but false starts with that (right when I took the current job I had three national workshops ask me to present). So, timing is everything and maybe some day those kinds of offers will occur when I'm not similarly committed. I've changed the pots and am continuing to explore lower kiln temps.
My gut feeling is that when the dust settles, few artists of the kind we've grown up with (and as) will make their/our living from the internet other than as some sort of PR tool.

The music industry has been pretty decimated by the whole thing. But it's turning music back to its roots -- performing and creating. Nobody's getting rich selling recordings, but now many people are making a living (or nearly so) as performers.

I think the answers to our future haven't really been seen or defined yet. In losing the art fairs we've lost:

1. Impulse buying -- one of the strongest motivations for buying at art fairs was the inherent understanding that the purchase of this item was a now or never chance. And if they didn't buy it then, they were even MORE driven to not let the chance pass them by the NEXT year.

Now they contact via the internet. Except that they don't. They take a card and they are ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED they will contact you when they are ready to buy....but to the tune of about 99%, they don't. Out of sight out of mind.

2. Shared gravitas -- we were a stronger market as a unit than we were as individuals. As a potter in an open art fair market, every patron naive to the intricacies of pottery nevertheless was able to pass SOME judgement of the value of my work because it was set side by side with the fine photography of a Don Ament, the superlative display of jewelry put forth by a Bonnie Blandford, or the winsome and whimsical art of a Julie Kradel. The patron may not have known pottery, but if I was in with THIS crowd, then my pottery must have been of similar value. Which brings me to...

3. Gatekeepers. We hate 'em. But they were the ones who told the world that we were valuable. When we got into Fort Worth, St Louis, Cherry Creek, Artisphere, or the Garage Sale Art Fair :) ....the public knew we had been granted a pretty meaningful stamp of approval. We were safe to buy from or we wouldn't have gotten there in the first place.

We can't get ANY of that from the internet. None. In fact, we are as inclined to live and mostly die by the cynicism and skepticism inherent in social media that is more tribal than any societal mechanism since....since....you know, TRIBES. Hell, we don't disagree with anyone anymore. We hate them. The internet is poisoned. And there's no going back on that one either. To try is, ironically, to embed oneself even DEEPER in tribalism.

And yet we're naive enough to the problem to actually share our political view points on the internet....totally oblivious to the fact that we've just alienated half of our potential audience. Yes, maybe your tribe will reward you for confirming their biases. Good luck with that.

I think our future as artists resides in the 3D world. I don't know what that looks like right now. Maybe it looks like a 20-year-old entering an art fair for the first time, willing to learn.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I Think That I Shall Never See A Copy Of A Potter's Family Tree

Wonderful post by Tony Clennell. 



A few years ago I tried to figure out a way to come up with a potter's family tree. It's something I think about often. 

I realize it's impractical -- most of our pedigrees as potters are a mix of formal and informal education -- informal passing of information. And much of what -- in other potter's work -- influences our work may or may not even be their intent. Nor ours.

Nevertheless, I suspect that most potters are connected by some few-degrees-of-separation in terms of influences. And that fascinates me. 

It fascinates me when I see something familiar in the work of a potter I've never met. Sometimes I can trace the mutual influence. Sometimes it's nothing more than a common solution to a common problem -- there was simply no more logical way for the both of us to have solved the problem. Lids just fit better that way. Feet just set better that way. Handles are just more comfortable that way.

But I betcha it's often a common pottery ancestry. Often.

Years ago a friend gave me a boxed set of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. It came with a cool fold-out poster -- a family tree of where CSN&Y came from -- Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, The Hollies -- and what had sprung from seeds they'd sown -- Poco, Manassas, Firefall, Eagles, etc. The family tree filled up the entire large poster with VERY small print. I read it by the hour.



I imagine one for pottery. When I buy a boxed set of pots from, say, Dick Lehman, it comes with a poster. I unfold the thing and see that he came from Marvin Bartel, and from him sprang Eric Strader, Mark Goertzen, Tom Unzicker, etc.

I like the idea.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

...And You Hang On Real Tight



He thought about hope. It was a sort of obsessive, recurring thought. Hope.

Like when he was very young and used to daydream about the flying trapeze. He’d only been to the circus once. But he’d seen Disney’s “Toby Tyler”. He couldn’t imagine anything more perfect than the swing, the lift, the release, the flips. Over and over.

When he was a teen he traded up for a new obsession – not about the game of basketball, but about the perfect release of the perfect jump shot. The image circled his brain like a cerebral gif. Over and over. The tips of fingers feel the seam. The flick of the wrist. The follow through. The back spin. 



Over and over.

And throughout both those life chapters, images of fingers on guitar entered his brain unbidden. They were just there. Always. Chord changes. Fingerpicking patterns. Over and over.

As he got older -- and approached old -- those unbidden thoughts circled around hope.

Thirty years before he had heard a haunting story. A woman from his small town left the local hospital having just received a terminal diagnosis. No hope. Months. Maybe. She drove from the hospital, down Arthur Street and into Center Lake. She didn’t even try to stop for the cross street. Somehow she made it across the usually busy street and the parking lot beyond. She hit the seawall and launched directly into the drop-off depth of the lake. She never even tried to open the un-openable doors. Inevitable is inevitable.

He couldn’t grasp it. His life’s hold on reality was always tempered with excessive, preposterous optimism.  Over and over.

Something would happen. Something would change. Rescue was around the bend.

But he was a born cynic and skeptic. No, really. In all other cases but the unbidden dreams, daydreams – the palpable expectations for the improbable – he was hard-edged.

Not about this.

He admired the hopeless. He admired the clear-eyed vision of the realist. He admired it, but he couldn’t be it.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Firing June 7, 2017


How often (if ever) do you find that you like the back side or the foot of a piece of pottery as much as you like the more prominent, more obviously visible parts -- the front, the top?  I know it happens to me occasionally.

I've made shallow bowls for more than thirty years now, but about twenty years ago I had an epiphany.  See, up to that point I had always finished the back sides of the bowls -- trimmed and footed them neatly and all.  I was taught well. A well finished foot matters.  

But I had never decorated the backsides.  After all, the bowl was virtually flat -- virtually plate-like.  Why would a fella decorate what isn't seen?

Then one Winter, Dar bought me one of Mark Nafziger's bowls for a Christmas present.  I admired the beautifully detailed slip-trailed face of the bowl and I was smitten.  Dar had picked me a beauty.

....and then I turned it over.

Mark decorates the back side of his bowls.  I had my answer.

"Why would a fella decorate what isn't seen?"

Because it is seen.  It's seen in the handling of it.  And there's a pleasure to be had in such a hidden detail.  It's almost like a message from the potter to the final owner.  Every time that owner flips the bowl over to look at that hidden detail, it's like the potter gets one more chance to smile and say, "Made you look, didn't I?"

I decided I liked the rightness in that.  I decided I liked the whimsy in that.

I decorate the backs of my bowls.

And now twenty years on, Mark's bowl still speaks to me.  Front AND back.



 I like this casserole as much as any I've ever made -- and I was fortunate enough to have 4 nearly identical ones in this firing (the one on the left was in the hot spot).


...ditto with my good luck on these jars.  The oribe on the acorns is iridescent.


This is the first of its kind -- different shape in the stoneware.  I'll be repeating the idea -- though I think I'll use a smaller acorn for the thumb rest.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

60 Minute Man


Interview

SP: So, Mr Bauman, there are reports that you're planning on attending the Minnesota Pottery Festival in Hutchinson, Minnesota?

JB: Scott, absolutely.  Can't wait for July.  It should be a blast.  Oh, and please call me "John".

SP: Well, John,  how is it you came to be part of that pottery festival?

JB: They begged me.

SP: Begged you?  To be part of their festival?

JB: Well, yeah.  Sort of.  They said I could send them some images of my work and if they couldn't find any other potters who they liked better, they would consider extending me an invitation..

SP: Really?  So you were invited? 


JB: Don't sound so surprised.  I mean...I'm a well-respected, well-liked potter.  

Okay, well-respected, anyway.  

Okay, I'm a potter. 

SP: So, tell me about this festival.  I assume there will be other potters?

JB: Lots of other potters.  From all over the country.  Many different styles of pottery -- low-fire, wood-fired, reduction-fired, electric fired, hand-built, wheel-thrown ... really, the whole gamut of pottery will be represented and represented well.

Additionally, they'll have what they're calling a "Clay Olympics".  It's where all these potters will have a chance to showcase the skills that got them where they are today -- which is, at the level of being asked to exhibit at the Minnesota Pottery Festival.

SP: Tell me about these "Olympics".

JB: The events will be things like tallest cylinder, widest bowl, longest pulled handle.  Things like that.  The pièce de résistance will be the blindfolded throwing challenge wherein the potters will attempt the tallest pot while throwing blindfold.

SP: So, what are your chances of winning anything at these Olympics?

JB. I've been working out.  Running 4 miles a day.  Lifting weights.  Studying the masters.  Meditating.  Drinking beer. 


 

SP: Well, good luck at the festival. 

JB: Thanks.

Monday, May 29, 2017

We Are Family


I set to the task of filling out another art fair application that asks for a couple of sentences about my work. We art fair potters have to come up with these condensed artist statements.  I dread writing them.  But yesterday I came up with this.  I kinda like it:


I'm part of that family of American potters raised on craftsmanship, detail, design, and function.

I pursue my part in that family endeavor by working in high-fired stoneware and porcelain, and utilizing and modifying glazes passed along by cousins of potters since the 1960s.

My hope is that nobody will end up owning one of my pieces without thinking that I put more of my life into that piece than the price they paid for it.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's All In How You Look At It



I had to look up the dates to see if I was anywhere near right. I was pretty close.

It was the summer of '68 or '69. That means I was about to turn 12 or 13. It was either the year of "The Summer Brothers Smothers Show" or it was the summer of the "Glen Campbell GoodTime Hour".

Unusually, for the Bauman family anyway...

We actually had a Television by then (when dad was alive we had two kinds of TV -- none, and ones that didn't work)...

...AND we were allowed to watch the summer replacement show for the Smothers Brothers comedy show -- even though we were never allowed to watch the actual Smother Brothers show.

I remember this because I really loved Glen Campbell's music back then. In my defense (and I'm feeling the need for one), treacly abominations like "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Country Boy (You've Got Your Feet In LA...)" were still years in the future. In 1968-69 Glen Campbell meant "Gentle On My Mind", "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", "Wichita Lineman" and other such greats that have more than stood the test of time.

And I can't wait to interrupt myself here, but: Everyone remembers the use of "Gentle On My Mind" as a sort of theme song for the show. But how many remember the use of the other John Hartford song, "Natural To Be Gone" that closed one or the other of the shows?

"What's the difference being different
When it's difference but it looks alike
You say I'm changing,
I'm not sure that's wrong

Today it may be natural
Sitting here discussing it
Tomorrow just as natural
To be gone"

Anyway, there we sat watching the show and Glen came on singing another song I used to love..."Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife"




As I remember it, I turned to mom and said, "I love this song". I'm not sure why I said anything except for the fact that, unlike many teens in that era -- an era that actually coined the phrase "generation gap" -- though mom didn't share my love of contemporary pop music, two things were true:

1. She did like good music -- good songs. She didn't reject music simply because it was current. No, she didn't like much of what was produced in the 60s, but from time to time she would give a nod to a good song.

2. I liked most of mom's favorite music (except opera :) ). Unlike most kids my age who rejected the music of their parents, I actually loved it. I loved the big band records -- Dorsey, Miller, Goodman, etc -- that mom had around the house. And I love Broadway musicals of the time.




So, I suppose, that's why I would have turned to mom with a tacit question in my observation "I like this (do you?)"

And I was really quite surprised by her response. I guess I should say, I wasn't surprised that she might not like a song I liked. What I was surprised at was that she so VEHEMENTLY didn't like it.

She said, "That song has exactly the wrong perspective on life."

Now, I was thinking this whole thing out from a boy's point of view. I was seeing a male singer's expression of self-abasement while praising his wife's self-abnegation. I was seeing a husband's humility at not being capable of giving a wonderful wife the life he thought she deserved.

But mom would have none of it. "First, she didn't give up "the good life". The things she "gave up" as described in the song are not "the good life". Family life is "the good life", she said. "The things the song says she "gave up" are material ... not what matters in this life. The life of the actual everyday housewife is the very life of value and meaning. The very."

Well, I couldn't really dismiss my initial perspective. I'm a guy who to some extent sort of lived out the song. As a fellow who chose to make a living by my creativity and wits, I unintentionally gave Dar a much harder life than she deserved. I'm a guy. I guess I'll always be hampered by that missing stem of a Y chromosome.

Besides, I was always going to love the song. I was addicted to maj7th chords at a very early age. And to this day, I've never gotten over them.

But now, given the distance of time, and the 20/20 perspective it affords, I've got to say that the IMPLICATIONS of mom's point of view TOTALLY flew over my head at the time. The implications of mom's point of view are mind-blowing.

That is, mom believed that the "dreams of the everyday housewife" are fulfilled in being what she was -- not in wanting or wishing or lamenting the passing or unattainability of some romantic "other life". It was in the satisfaction and fulfillment achieved in who she already was.

And here's the mind-blowing part: This woman, left behind by a man who left her with very few material prospects for hers and her family's future, her father a disinterested, disengaged, and unsympathetic retiree living a life of ease and disconnect from his distance in Florida, and her with 4 kids still at home to care for...

This woman who had to take a bookkeeping job so that she could maintain the roles of BOTH provider AND caregiver...

...rather than feeling a sympathy for Glen Campbell's poor everyday housewife who gave up the good life...

...STILL somehow saw herself living "the good life". The very good life.

And even in those toughest of circumstances -- that night in 1969 -- her having been widowed but 2 years before.... as we sat watching that TV show, having just eaten the dinner she fixed that evening, in the house she kept clean, wearing clothes she both paid for and laundered...

...and her sitting with us watching the TV show (but you just know she had to be contemplating that she would be getting up again at 5 AM to fix our school lunches before she went off to work yet another Monday)...

...and yet she saw herself living the good life. And she wouldn't budge from the position. She believed it. She lived it.

As a son, I'm amazed. What she was really telling me was that, to her, even I was worth it. And her life showed it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

All In A Day's Work


Early this afternoon, Breeze and I were out walking in a beautiful, relatively up-scale neighborhood in town.  As we strolled and sniffed (me mostly strolling and Breeze mostly sniffing) we happened upon a fellow out cutting his lush, deeply green lawn on a riding mower.

Then I realized what I was actually witnessing.  Instead of cutting his lawn in straight rows from street to house and back again (or from side to side…or, even still, on a diagonal), he was cutting the lawn in ever diminishing sloppy rectangles, turning indistinct 90 degree turns at the corners.


Well, I did what any thoughtful person would do.  I broke into a full run toward the man and his mower and executed a perfect tackle – unseating the man and knocking him to the ground.  There I held him in a headlock as I screamed at him, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, MAN?!  THINK!!”



Breeze joined in and chomped him a couple good ones in the pants.

To his credit, when I finally let him up he said, “Sorry.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  Thanks.”


As Breeze and I walked away we saw him brush himself off and get back on the mower.  We lingered just long enough to watch him cut straight across the lawn. And on our return back past the place, we saw it had been finished up correctly – nice straight lines.


People, you can’t change the world all at once.  Just one soul at a time.  That’s how it’s done.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mugs Make It Home

Here are a couple of photos taken by friends who live with my pots.
 Green Mug w/Guitar.  My friend, Mike, lives out on in the Pacific Northwest. 


Oak Mug w/Cat.  My friend, Jan, from Michigan

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Know Thyself




We've slowly but surely been clearing stuff out around the pottery -- anticipating an ultimate move.  It means getting rid of things that haven't had any use for years.

This morning I took a load of scrap metal to the recycle plant (read: junkyard -- which also happens to be my next door neighbor).  The most interesting throw-away was an old cast aluminum electric wheel from the 60s.

Anyway, as I was pulling back into the north end of my horseshoe driveway I noticed an old pickup truck entering the south end. 



As I came around the bend, the driver of the pickup had exited his truck and was walking toward me as I was getting out of my van.

I knew what he wanted.  At least, I was pretty sure I knew what he wanted.  As part of my cleaning out the kiln barn, I had set two old Lawnboy mowers (including one, the engine of which I blew last week) out at the end of the driveway.

Where I live, that's all one has to do to get rid of things -- dead mowers, dead dishwashers, magazines, boxes of cassettes (all of which I've placed there over the last week).  Usually within the day -- often within the hour -- someone will pick up whatever's put there.

Well, as I mentioned, I thought I knew what the pickup driver wanted.  So it was my expectation rather than his heavy rural Hoosier accent that threw me as, walking toward me he said "Die takeyer parkinplace?"

I said, "What?"

He repeated "Die takeyer parkinplace?"

Since I thought he was asking permission to take my dead mowers, but apparently in some new language I'd never before heard, I asked once again, "What?"

And once again he said "Did I  take your parking place?"

Oh.

I finally got it.  He was politely asking me if, having entered my driveway in such a manner to block my exiting, was he in the way?

"No, no.  I'm not leaving." I said.

THEN he asked if I was getting rid of the mowers.

I told him he was welcome to them and that, in fact, I would help him hoist them into the bed of his pickup.

"I LOVE mowers." he said  as he walked beside me toward the mowers and his pickup.  "Just love 'em." 

He was smiling rather excitedly for somebody about to take possession of two mowers with zero life between them.  But there you have it.  He was genuinely happy.

"It drives my wife a little crazy.  I've got probably about 35 mowers.  Maybe 5 or 6 riding mowers.  I'll pick up other old ones for parts and see if I can get 'em all running.  These'll be good for some stuff" he said as we lifted the older one.

I was thinking about the fact that having blown the engine in my mower last week, I was suddenly in the market for a replacement.  That, and the fact that I'd just the day before been discussing with my friend, Garry, about a friend of his who fixes old mowers for resale and turns out some mighty fine machines, I asked the fellow, "Do you sell the ones you fix up?"

"Oh no, I don't sell any of them.  I'm a hoarder."

He said it with a sense of .... I don't know ... pride?  He was more than fine with it.


Such clarity.   The man knows who he is and what it's about.  

While I go through life hoping in vain for an aerial view of my life, this guy is absolutely delighted with one simple bit of knowledge:  He loves lawnmowers.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Big Bird Week



I had barely left my home on Zimmer Rd, headed for the St Croix Valley Pottery Tour when two Sandhill cranes flew low over the road in front of me.  There's no mistaking them for herons.  They fly with necks outstretched.

And that was cool enough as it was.  A nice launch to my long journey.  But cooler still -- as I crossed the Wisconsin/Minnesota State line, two Sandhill cranes flew low over highway 94 in front of me.

Could it be?

Nah.  Obviously not the same two birds.  But the phenomenon was like putting quotation marks on either end of my long journey.



Then, on Saturday morning after saying farewell to Kyle Carpenter and Richard Vincent at Richard's pottery, I got back in the van and headed for Will Swanson's pottery.  I was nearing Swanson's when I went down a gentle dip in the road.  As I did, a pheasant flew across the road in front of me.  I don't spend enough time in the country.  The sight was a rare and beautiful thing to me.



Well, today I was out on the shore of Pike Lake and my attention was grabbed by a sudden flash of movement, followed by a sizable splash about thirty yards from where I stood.  Up from the splash came a big bird.  A VERY big bird.

My first thought was that it was the bald eagle I had seen in almost exactly the same place yesterday. But, nope.  It was an osprey.  And it had missed its fish. It rose up from the lake and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it -- mid flight -- shake water off itself just as a dog might do. 

It then rose and held stationary in the wind -- soaring like a kite. It's all wing and it was obvious that it could have held still in the wind almost indefinitely.  From its vantage point about 50' above the lake's surface it spotted another fish.

Down it dove, hitting the water with a mighty splash, diving below the surface, only to come up empty-taloned again.

It repeated the aerial hunt four more times -- each unsuccessful -- before finally flying off to a different fishing hole.

Birds fascinate me.  It doesn't surprise me that we humans have concocted as much myth and lore around them as we have.

My mother-in-law used to feed a particular cardinal.  For years the same red bird stayed around her home in inner city Indianapolis.  She talked to him (for the record, his name was "Mr Cheer").  At that age when it becomes hard to find the right gift to buy for an older person, we took to buying things with redbird motifs on them.  Dar stitched a sampler or two on the theme.

Now, whenever a cardinal flies across my path -- as they so often do as Breeze and I run the trails -- I imagine to myself that my mother-in-law is saying a prayer for me from her celestial vantage point.

Birds.  Love 'em.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Surviving Butterfly Wings


Back then one guy --Joe-- was a struggling potter about to make a big life-changing decision involving a great deal of risk in order to continue making pots for a living.

The other guy --Harry-- was at the top of his game -- generating a good income making and selling some of the best pottery being made in the country at the time.


The NEA awarded the meritorious pottery. The NEA panel knew good pottery when they saw it. 

And the NEA gave a five-figure grant to Harry -- no loss of inventory, no pottery required. No months of labor invested to earn tens of thousands of dollars. Just a check for thousands and thousands of dollars to put in the bank.

Meanwhile, Joe took the risk. He believed in himself and his potential as a potter. Oh, to some extent it also seemed the only thing he was capable of doing, but either way, he took the risk on his chances.

Joe went thousands and thousands of dollars into debt.

Adding insult to injury, Harry walked away with the Nation's stamp of approval to take back to the open market --- a stamp of approval that Harry can point to when he's across the aisle from Joe at the market -- that same Joe who was not at the top of his game, already struggling by comparison to Harry's pots. No, Joe wasn't at the top of his game. Yet.

Yup. The Nation spoke and decided who was the deserving potter and who wasn't.

Hey, buying public, who do you think you should be buying from? ...the guy we just told you is one of the 20 best potters in the country....
...or that struggling potter across the aisle there?

I know, right? A no-brainer.

Now it's 30 years later. We can see where the butterfly wing effects ended up.

The risk one potter took is the only burden he cannot currently bear. He didn't really survive it. Not in a manner suitable for somebody his age.

Harry is still making some of the best pottery this country has ever seen. I'm sure that Joe didn't mind such a wise and equitable use of his tax money though, huh?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Keeping Real




He never once wished
And he only twice hoped
He mostly kept his head down
And his nose to the wheel

He learned not to dream
Not to yearn, but to cope
To be steady, content and only
To suppose what was real

Fitting In


He was surprised to discover upon stuffing his ego into a box he thought would fit it, that there appeared to be a considerable amount left over.

He even sat on the lid to push it down. No way. It not only pushed back, it ripped the lid.

He checked the bottom of the box for the size. Perhaps he had picked up the wrong box, right?

No. It was already the biggest box he could find.

Does this box make my ego look fat?

Well, this is embarrassing, he thought. I wonder how many people have noticed how big my ego is? How's come I never noticed this? I thought my humility covered it.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Some pots from recent firings

 I really like these mugs.  Good thing, too.  Half of them (so far) have stuck to the shelf and became mine.
 Something I learned last year.  A simple Kemper tool DOESN'T carve so deep as to go through the wall.  But almost.
 I have another dozen of these lined up ready to fire.
 This glaze went orange as ever last firing.  Lots of crystals.
 I love the optical effect and the opulent glaze.
 A little Shankin treatment -- fake ash over matte glaze.
 I'm so glad to have my green glaze back.  The depth it creates with carving is unparalleled. 
 The last of the 182G around the shop.  Next load will be B-Mix and crossed fingers.
 Still love these when they come out like this one.
 'Lectricity
 I've got 10 more of these begging me to fire 'em.
 Collar.
 Baby got back.