What a wonderful day spent with enthusiastic students in a great studio-classroom at SJCC! I'm oh so grateful to Michelle Gregor, professor, artist and dear friend, for a memorable visit to the Bay Area, and her great program.


I demonstrated the quatrefoil tile tesselation/surface activity project I have done in the past with students in Florida, as Michelle's students are poised to begin a tile project of their own. 



Laying down the tile pattern onto a slab.


On a bisqued set of tiles, painting glaze into a waxed pattern of concentric circles, which will become part of the final layer.

Such an engaged, welcoming group of students!

Over the shoulder of a student, taking notes.





Current Exhibition: Biomorphic, at AMOCA in Pomona, CA. Pleased to have been invited.




Following the kiln building workshop and Gail Nichols' soda firing workshop, I settled in to making some work of my own. I had little time, and no pressing exhibition to prepare for, so it was a rather relaxed, explorative, and playful stretch of time. 


I built three groups of work: lamp/lantern forms, arch forms, and tiny botanical forms to be paired with roughly-made slabs as bases.


Having used every clay the studio produces, I planned to fire all of it in the soda kiln, without slips or glazes. In fact, though, I was only able to complete a single firing with Hillary and Sally (Gaya CAC's director and intern respectively), and so left the majority of my work behind to be fired at their convenience. Some of the work will make its way into the anagama firing planned for December, and the rest will go into the soda kiln as enough other work accumulates to fill the kiln. 


It's such a pleasure to work in the Gaya CAC studios, and by now, I feel like they are family. Stay tuned, because I am scheming my next trip to Bali...


Oh, hi, I didn't see you there...Just caressing my sculpture over here.

Arch in progress.

Scalloped lantern, unfired.

Latticed lantern, unfired.

Lattice lanterns and hanging lamps, unfired.

Arches and Hillary's very elegant towers in the kiln. You can see, with work of this scale and odd shape, how it would take a lot of smaller work to fill the kiln and justify a firing. We were in need of more small work, and that's why we couldn't fire more of the big stuff before I left. 

The beautiful Hillary Kane, in her natural habitat.

We fired using Gail Nichols' techniques, and scheduled our firing
 along the same lines as her firings, with a reduction water cooling.


Tinies, warm out of the kiln. No slip or glaze.

A few of the tinies paired with their slabs.

My arch form made from Gaya's raku clay body. Incredible flashing.

Oh yes, and I made a few vases as well. This is Gaya's anagama clay body.


I spent the months of July and August in Ubud, Bali, first to co-lead the BaliCat soda kiln build workshop, then to stay on during Gail Nichols' soda firing workshop to assist and troubleshoot if need be for the kiln, and finally to make my own work and fire it in the new kiln. 


Brian Kakas designed a beautiful kiln, taking into account the needs of the Gaya CAC studio, the local materials, as well as Gail's particular process. We built it using hard brick for the floor, arch base and chimney, but the arch itself was raw, locally made bricks from local clay, whose shrinkage rate we did not know! We got the arch form built and the floor set up before students arrived, and then set them to work on day 1 building up from the floor and putting up the arch.


The build went very smoothly, which was a huge blessing considering we had no time for setbacks: we had to cure-fire the kiln and have it cooled in time for Gail's group to load it with tests on the first day of their workshop, which followed directly on the heels of ours! In fact, from the first cure-firing, that kiln did not cool all the way down for three weeks. Gail's group fired it three times, and as soon as the workshop ended, we had our own work ready to fire, and proceeded to fire two more times.


Every single firing was smooth, timely and efficient. Indonesia's first and only soda kiln fires like a dream.


Mission: Accomplished.


Brian and I laying out the arch bricks to determine our form shape and the key brick.

The lovely arch form, as seen from the back of the kiln, with the chimney base in the foreground.

That magic moment after we pulled the arch form.

Bricking up the door for the first firing. You can see the very wet cob over the arch, and the spots of carbon on the barely-bisqued door and arch bricks.

Before we could even light the burners, a Balinese blessing ceremony had to be performed. Everybody was present and participated. As soon as the ceremony was complete, burners were lit, and our inaugural firing begun.

Gail, explaining the results from the test firing to workshop participants.

Getting very excited about the 50th Anniversary NCECA conference next week in Kansas City! I'll be there, often at Booth 424, representing Gaya Ceramic Art Center, where I'll be sharing my enthusiasm for their fantastic programs, including my kiln building workshop coming up in July! 


In addition, I have a piece in the Montana Clay show, "Small Works From A Big State."


It's going to be a great week of reunions, the best ceramic art, and discourse!


If you're going to be at the conference, ask me about these workshops! There are only a few spaces still available...

I recently had work, titled "Accretion," in the Alexander Brest Gallery at Jacksonville University in Florida.


I've been exploring new glazing/decorating processes on pots lately which more closely relate to my drawing practice. All pots are fired to cone 6.


Many of these pots are listed in my Etsy shop, StudioChampagne:




Currently, I'm making work for several shows coming up in the fall. Below is a sneak peek at a few of the things I'm working on...