Classes starting soon!

The Heritage Arts Institute at Southwestern Community College is about to begin a new set of classes – starting September 14.

I will be teaching a glaze & clay calculation class – all about materials needed to make clay objects.  This will truly be an ‘academic’ type class, complete with a required text, “Clay and Glazes for the Potter,” by Daniel Rhodes.  I love glaze mixing – it reminds me of cooking, my other love – so this should be a good class.

I will also be teaching the Intermediate Wheel class, History of Ceramics and Low Fire Ceramics.   Check my history page for links to ceramic history sites.

Joe Frank McKee will also be teaching.  This time, Joe Frank teaches handbuilding!   Also on his plate is a Joined Vessels class.  That should be a good one.

Doug Hubbs will also be teaching his usual Beginning Potters Wheel.

Don’t miss out!  Click on the link to register or find out more about times classes meet, etc.!

Some student work:

Marvine's butter dish

Marvine's butter dish

Beth's first teapot

Beth's first teapot

Professional Needed

So not only do potters need to know how to use clay and manipulate it into fabulous forms, a functional potter must also know how to make these forms work right.  AND then there’s the glazing – that takes even more to learn.  Once we learn to make and decorate, off to the kilns to learn even more about how different temperature changes can effect the glaze.  Subtle changes in cooling the kiln or heating the kiln can make all the difference.  But I’m not done!  Now once you get something worthy out of the kiln, potters need to know how to market – and there’s a whole art to that I won’t get into – but I must say, photographing the work to look as good, if not better, in image than in person is another learning curve and essential to marketing.  This is where others may step in to help – and unless you know a really good photographer willing to give you a hand, the process could cost alot of money!

So I try to take my own shots.  This is one learning curve I have not even begun to climb – and it shows.  My photos suck.  I made a light box that hangs from the ceiling and holds 3 lights for brightness and is covered with a white plastic table cloth  to ‘diffuse’ the light.  I also have a grey backdrop.  My camera has a setting for white balance and I do use it.  Here are the results:

IMG_5216

Too Blue!

Too Yellow!

Too Yellow!

As you can see, white balance in my set-up doesn’t seem to do it. No matter what I do, I get a variety of results that do not seem to be the colors of my pots:

Too Blue, again.

Too Blue, again.

Too Yellow!

Too Yellow!

Not to mention the fact that my camera is always a bit skewed and just a hair blurry….

I use a Canon PowerShot S2IS.

Without the backdrop, light, etc, here is a shot of the table with some of my firing results:

Table of pots

Table of pots