I’ve Moved

•March 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hello Friends,

Thanks for checking in…just a reminder that I’ve moved the blog to a new location. It’s easy, you can find it here.

Thanks to those of you who update your links and follow along. I’m still here and making pots… getting ready to fire the kiln just a few days from now in fact.


•January 12, 2009 • 1 Comment


Here’s to a happy and fulfilling new year for all. I’ve been out of the studio for a few weeks now, after a much needed vacation around the holidays. Back at home, it feels like it will be a bit longer before I can get back into the studio and get moving on the next firing.

In the meantime, there are always a hundred things to do to stay busy. I had to get up and moving down the mountain early today, which meant I caught this snapshot of the neighborhood in the  morning light. This week I have the opportunity to take a glaze chemistry workshop down at the local glaze guru’s studio. In this neck of the woods our local glaze guru happens to be noted author and all around good guy Mr. John Britt. Folks have come from far and wide, from Alaska to right down the road in some cases, to pick his brain, to fill tons and tons of little plastic cups with tiny little portions of glazes, and to fire kilns and examine the results. There’s even a brand new “experimental” soda kiln to play with.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about glazes, you can’t find a better experience than a week with Mr. John Britt.

Online Adventures

•December 12, 2008 • 3 Comments


I’m slowing backing away from the computer…

The new website is up, still a few more changes to make here and there.

I just added several new pots to my Etsy shop, some of the nice ones from the recent firing, including the last two little plates .

I’ll be adding a few more in the next day or two.



•December 10, 2008 • Leave a Comment


It’s been a busy few weeks here on Roan Mountain, what with the firing and the Studio Tour and all. The last firing was very successful with nice pots coming out all around. My plates turned out well and are almost all gone already. More on the firing to come…

I’ve gotten lost in the world of changing my website around, hopefully I’ll be able to reemerge before too long with a snappy new website and blog all in one. You can check in on the progress here.

I’ve added a few pots to my online Etsy Shop, and I’ll be adding a bunch more in just a few days.

Stay tuned for more details!

MudFire Holiday Sale

•November 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment


If you’ve never met the good folks who run MudFire Studio and Gallery down in Atlanta, GA then now’s the time. I recently sent some of my pottery down for the big Holiday Sale which kicks off today, November 28 and runs through December 23. Over 100 ceramic artists will be represented, so you’re sure to find something you can’t live without.

The kiln is cooling down, we’ll have to wait a few more days before we get to see in there. The firing seemed to go well, lots of heat at the bottom, cone 11 flat in some areas, cone 10 in others, and cone 9 in others still. This is in line with previous firings so there is hope for some good ones. Some of those warm pots will make the trip down to Terry Gess‘ studio for the Toe River Studio Tour on December 6th and 7th.

Cold Out There

•November 22, 2008 • 1 Comment


All potteries in Mitchell County, NC are reporting snow today. We’ve been getting some weather lately, as they say, cold snaps and snow showers. Here we have the view from the back porch which over looks the creek, and on the other side we see the woodpile, stacked in the Mitchell County tradition and shielded from the four inches of fresh snow. Behind the wood pile the kiln pokes out, and there you see the patchwork chimney standing tall.

Getting ready for the firing, which means Friday and Saturday are kiln cleaning/prep days. Cold out there. Joy is bringing over pots to share the load, and a few pieces from a class I taught will be going in as well. I led an 8-week wheel throwing class at Arts Centered down the hill in Bakersville, and while most of the students’ work was fired in the reduction kiln there we brought a few pieces from each student up to fire in the wood kiln.

Loading on Sunday, lighting the fire sometime Monday night and then firing all day Tuesday until…..


One Day Only

•November 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Apparently something has been going on recently in a little placed called “Marshall” over in Madison County, NC. So it’s down from the mountain and through the woods, out on an island in the river. Friday I’ll be “taking a break from the studio” and attending a one day only artists’ market at the   Marshall High Studios, an old high school lovingly converted into studio spaces. They’re having a little shindig Friday from 5-9 pm , come on out for food and drink and entertainment and dancing of all sorts, and of course many talented artists and craftsfolk offering their wares. Check here for all the details.

Fall Break

•November 1, 2008 • 1 Comment

Just a hint of fall color.

A whole month come and gone since the last report.  The general conclusion is that October seems to have disappeared some how.  It’s been a busy month here on Roan Mountain, with a kiln firing the first week and back to back craft shows in the middle.

Just started working in the studio again for the next firing, but somewhere in the middle of all that Joy and I found time to get out into the hills.  We found several amazing spots just around the corner and over the mountain, and spent a few days hiking through the wilderness of the Linville River Gorge and climbing around some neighborhood waterfalls.

Still Here

•September 22, 2008 • 2 Comments
Fresh off the wheel

It’s been an awfully long time since the last update. Busy as usual since the last firing, mostly working in the studio with occasional distractions. I have about a week left to make work for the next firing, so hopefully I’ll be cranking out some good ones for the upcoming shows in October. Above are some of the square bottles I’ve started making recently. These are a taller version than the first ones that I fired, the first picture shows them right off the wheel where I’ve squared them from the inside before continuing to throw the top part. The second picture shows them after all the refining, or fussin’ over, I do to sharpen the edges.

Just finshed a kiln building proposal for a project that may happen in the future, perhaps more on that later. Had an interesting time at a one day craftshow this weekend. It was a beautiful day in the “suburbs” of Asheville, NC. Didn’t sell too many pots, but I did come home with “blue ribbon” so that helped out quite a bit.

Kiln Log #8

•August 13, 2008 • 3 Comments
Top Shelf

Top Shelf

You may have noticed an obscure reference to the recent firing here on Roan Mountain. It was firing number 8 and sadly not as successful as the last two. After making some adjustments to the bagwall and firing approach I had two very good firings in a row. Almost all of the really cold areas had disappeared and it felt like I was pulling nice pots out of the kiln left and right.

This time I had some casualties, a few cracks resulting from raw-glazing first attempts and a few cracks from just plain ol’ too thick. Aside from these, the bottom shelf or two on the two outside stacks showed signs of that ol’ terrible cold spot returning. To make matters worse, the whole firing ended up about one cone cooler than I have come to hope for. I’ve learned that the main conepacks tend to sit a very weird little pocket in this kiln, and that cone 9 flat is fine there as long as cone 11 is flat in the very front fireface. Although this firing seemed headed for greatness and high temperatures for a while there, in the end only cone 10 was flat on the fireface with cone 11 hanging tough. In the main packs I had only one cone 9 down and a lot of 8’s just falling. Oh well I thought, at four in the morning it was decided to call it off and see if that would be hot enough.





Not quite hot enough. By no means was it a total disaster. Joy shared the kiln load and although she did not fare too well overall, she had a few nice ones come out. I did have a lot of nice ones come out too, some of the flashed surfaces from the last firings were still there but some of the surfaces were just shy of my expectations built up from the hotter pots of the last time round.

For the next firing I think I’ll reverse the small changes I had made in some of the settings and try to get headed back in the right direction.

For now, off to help Shane Mickey with another of his kiln building projects. He’s already got a start on it and it’s not to far away, so in a few days we’ll have it finished and fired and be headin’ home. Then I can get back in the studio and try it all again.