Sunday, September 5, 2021

East Carolina University's School of Art and Design


I first began my journey in clay when I was attending East Carolina University's School of Art. I grew up in Greenville, and a block away from the campus, so it always had been a part of my life. My intentions were to study another discipline within the Art Department, but from the first day in Ceramics Survey, I knew that clay was to become my focus. I wasn't an "arty" person, I didn't take art classes in high school, and I didn't grow up around art. But I could identify with functional vessels, I enjoyed working with my hands, and there was "fire"

Long story short, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to exhibit a piece in the School of Art and Design's Alumni Exhibition. This piece, "Fragment" (wood fired stoneware, 6.50" H x 16.00" W x 4.50" D; hand formed stoneware clay with native NC clay, and natural ash glaze; wood fired in the anagama side-stoke area for 5 days to c/12; 2018).

The alumni exhibition is at several venues, but this piece can be seen in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery, Joyner Library Complex, located on East 5th Street. The show runs August 25th through September 25th.



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

More Oribe

 I have been tweaking my process for getting the results I am after with Oribe glaze. This piece is the epitome of my quest. It has the correct hue of green, breaks nicely over the surface, and achieves that wonderful blue.

Kurinuki sake cup from wild NC clay


Thursday, June 3, 2021


 I have been in love with the copper green Oribe glaze since discovering the work of Shigemasa Higasheda. His Oribe pieces are spectacular and I have been on a quest to get a hue that I am pleased with, plus achieving the blue and whitish pooling. This sake cup came out of a test firing today and I am very happy with it.

Oribe kurinuki guinomi

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Maiden Firing

I recently converted an old electric kiln over to one that fires with gas and wood. I fired a load of sake cups last Tuesday for the initial firing. I have given this little kiln the name "Chokkuragama". Chokkura is an adjective which translates to "little" in Japanese, and gama translates to "kiln". It was a fourteen hour firing, from start to finish, which included reduction cooling. Needless to say, it will take a few firings to figure the kiln out and have more successful pieces than I did this maiden firing. Here are a couple of images of the kiln, and the five guinomi that meet my aesthetics.

An overall view of the kiln, with gas burner at back left, and wood stoke port in front.

Flames exiting the chimney after stoking a couple pieces of pine.

Hikidashi * piece; Ct. River iron-rich clay slip.

Hikidashi * piece; previously had been fired in the anagama, but was under-fired.

Another previously under-fired piece; Shino glaze added.

Another previously under-fired piece; Shino glaze added.


This piece was fired in a saggar to protect it from the reduction atmosphere. It is an oribe glaze but came out looking like the Chinese Blue of Jugtown Pottery and Ben Owen Pottery from the second quarter of the 1900's (imo).

* "Hikidashi" refers to the technique of removing a ceramic piece from the kiln at peak temperature (2300 F). These two sake cups were immediately plunged into water upon their extraction, which caused the iron-rich clay slip to go black in color.

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Teabowl: East and West

 I was recently given Bonnie Kemske 's book, "The Teabowl: East and West". It is a humbling honor to be mentioned in such a fine publication.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Thrown Off the Hump

 I have used the kurinuki technique for making my work since 2009. It is a slow process, but one that I love. In an effort to branch out on making guinomi (sake cups), I am starting to throw them off of the hump. I have been a hand-builder most of my ceramics career. I threw on the wheel for the years I as at ECU, but once at U of IA, I started hand-building and have continued to do so. Thus, throwing again is an adventure! Yet, I can still work the surface and foot by hand after it has been removed from the wheel.

A few guinomi hump thrown and hand trimmed. I like the fat rim.

My rudimentary old Amaco (two speeds) with an added foot pedal, sitting on, and in, an old treadle wheel.

A Few Yunomi

 I had to miss the November 2019 firing of Gustin's anagama due to being in England for the opening of the sake vessels show I curated. Chris was kind enough to let me send a few yunomi to be loaded and fired. Due to the pandemic, it wasn't until late summer that I was able to retrieve them.






Pieces from Mike Weber's Kiln

 A bit late posting, but I want to share a couple of pieces that my friend Mike Weber was kind enough to load into his wood kiln last summer. Mike always invites me to send a few works, and the results never disappoint.




Monday, February 8, 2021


I had this chawan, which was in the June 2019 amagama firing, with a scar from being adhered to something after shifting during the firing. I had Danny Russo repair it, using urishi lacquer and gold powder. He did a fantastic job!

Kiln Construction Update

It has been awhile since I have posted due to COVID 19's affect on firings and my schedule. I have made some progress on the kiln(s). The small down-draft will be constructed first and the tunnel finished afterwards. In the meantime I have purchased brick to complete the down-draft. Also, I have converted an old electric kiln to a conversion kiln...what I am calling "Chokkuragama", which means "small kiln". It is close to being ready to fire for the first time. Here are some images taken before the winter set in.

Determining the down-draft fireboxes and exit flues.


Section where the tunnel kiln will be constructed.


One of several pallets of high duty refractory bricks.


 Converted electric kiln that will use propane and wood, with salt added.


Wood split for both conversion kiln and down-draft kiln.