Category Archives: Tour of Ceramics Blogs

New cups, and updates in the clay blogging world

Here are some cups that I’ve been working on…

This is just a little peak at what I’ve been working on. I am making a bunch of tea bowls that will be given as gifts/favors at our wedding celebration this summer. It’s fun to think about these pieces going out to our families and friends all toasting out of these cups, then bringing them home as reminders of the celebration. Ian’s been having fun decorating some of the cups too.  If I could just give away all the pieces that I make, I would be a very happy potter! But it’s not such a great business model… But I’m so happy to have the excuse to give a slew of pots away this summer!

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Here are some more updates, and things that I’ve been thinking about lately…

I was lucky enough to be invited to join in on the first firing of Donovan Palmquist and Colleen Riley’s new wood kiln this weekend. Below are some of the pots that I had in the firing. I’ll share with you the finished pieces when they’re out of the kiln! It’s really amazing to be in Minnesota. There are so many amazing potters here- and I’m having so much fun meeting new clay folks every week!

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There’s a new blogger around. Actually, there are quite a few!  But I wanted to share with you Marcia Tani Paul’s new blog, Ceramic Arts: Clay, Food and More… Marcia is one of the many Minnesota potters that I’ve been lucky to meet. Take a look, and be prepared to be hungry!

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Congratulations to Michael Kline and his 1000th post on his blog, Sawdust and Dirt! Talk about prolific! Michael’s been such a great contributor to the clay blogging community- I’m looking forward to the next 1000 posts!

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I’ve been making a ton of cups in my studio over the past couple of months. You might have seen some of them in my last blog post. In the middle of cup making expedition, this Sequoia Miller wrote this great blog post about cups. It was a very timely read. This sweet jar of Sequoia’s is a cousin to one of his jars that I’m lucky to have in my collection.

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Since I’m talking about blogs…

As you know, I have a big list of clay blogs that I subscribe to and enjoy reading while eating my steel cut oats every morning. I want to ask for a bit of help from you guys out there. Let me know if there are any blogs missing, and also if there are any that are defunct on my list. It’s time for an update! Just leave a comment below, or a note on my Facebook Fan Page, or send me an email. If you’re interested in setting up a blog reader with clay blogs to read over your morning coffee, I have directions on how to do it on my blogroll.

A couple of reminder notes about my list. I have to keep the list limited in some way- so I only include clay blogs, and mostly pottery blogs at that. And I try to limit them to ones that have mostly clay content. And it needs to have original content- not only Etsy listings or sale updates.

If you want a really complete list of blogs, check out the really complete list over at Slipcast, The Ceramics Blog.  It’s impressive!

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I have some more things I’ve been wanted to share with all of you, but I think I’ll call it tonight and write another post tomorrow. Until then…

A semi-complete tour of pottery blogs, part 6

This post is a version of my new blogroll which can be found on one of the top tabs on the new site. It was way too big to list in the side bar of the site so I gave it it’s own page.  After a lot of work (and a little  lot of help), I was able to create thumbnail snapshots of the blogs to break up the very long list and add a little visual interest.  The blogroll that is on the top tab is connected to my blog reader, so it updates whenever I add or subtract a blog automatically.

In addition to writing this pottery blog, I also am an avid reader of clay focused blogs written by other ceramic artists. There are more than 100 blogs on my blogroll that I read daily through a blog reader. (I really do read all of these blogs listed!) It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you’re caught up, it’s so nice to start your day catching up with potters from around the world.

At the bottom of this list you’ll find directions for connecting this list to your blog reader so you can read them regularly too.  Because this list could be endless without some restrictions, I do have some perimeters  for the blogs here- they need to be mostly about clay, have original content and are updated semi-regularly. This is not a complete list (I did title this as semi-complete). I “discover” new blogs every week and wonder how I possibly could have missed them before. Let me know if I’m missing anything!

 

There is no way that I could remember to check in with these blogs on my own, so I use the blog reader, Google Reader, to subscribe to these blogs. Instead of visiting all the sites, the newest posts are compiled into the reader automatically and keeps track of the unread ones, etc… It’s very easy to set up (really…it is!).
If you’re interested in subscribing to my list (above), and you’re using Google Reader, just follow these simple steps.

  1. Login to Google Reader
  2. Click on this link and “save file”:http://www.google.com/reader/public/subscriptions/user/15666827403315601321/label/public
  3. Figure out where the downloaded file is located. (for PC users) Right click on the download and click on “open folder containing.” That will tell you where the downloaded file is located
  4. Click on “Manage Subscriptions”
  5. Click on “Import/Export”
  6. Click on”Browse” and locate the downloaded file.
  7. Click Upload and then start reading! You’ll be overwhelmed with posts to read at first, but once you get caught up, it’s quite manageable :)

You can always use this as a starting point and add and subtract subscriptions from this list to suit your interests.

And if you’re overwhelmed by the number of posts that appear in your blog reader, you can always “mark all as read” and start reading from that point forward.

Enjoy!

Tour of Clay Focused Blogs (semi-complete), part 5

I have once again updated my blogroll of clay focused blogs. It’s getting loooong. But I seriously do read all of these blogs. As I have mentioned before, I use a blog reader, Google Reader, to keep track of my subscriptions. I could never actually keep track of all of these without it. I also use Google Reader to create my blogroll over there in the side bar automatically. If you’re a blogger and you’d like to do this on your website, check out this tutorial. Or if you’re want to do it a different way, you can try this.

There are lots of updates in this list. I’ve removed some that haven’t been updated in 7-8 months+, plus added all sorts of goodies. Every week I’m finding new blogs. I’m often surprised when I come upon a ‘new’ blog that has actually been around for several month. Why didn’t I know about it? If I’m missing something, let me know!

86. That’s the number in the blog roll now:

I hope you dive into these clay blogs and find some that really speak to you. There are so many different perspectives and so much knowledge. I think you’ll never be bored again.

Since I’m a big advocate of using a feed reader, I will give you a reminder of how to set up this list in Google Reader:

If you’re interested in subscribing to my list, and you’re using Google Reader, just follow these simple steps.

  1. Login to Google Reader
  2. Click on this link and “save file”: http://www.google.com/reader/public/subscriptions/user/15666827403315601321/label/public
  3. Figure out where the downloaded file is located. (for PC users) Right click on the download and click on “open folder containing.” That will tell you where the downloaded file is located
  4. Click on “Manage Subscriptions”
  5. Click on “Import/Export”
  6. Click on”Browse” and locate the downloaded file.
  7. Click Upload and then start reading! You’ll be overwhelmed with posts to read at first, but once you get caught up, it’s quite manageable :)You can always use this as a starting point and add and subtract subscriptions from this list to suit your interests.

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I forgot to mention this in my previous post about my new website. If you have a link to my website, would you mind updating it from sodafired.com to emilymurphy.com. And of course my blog address is potteryblog.com. Links are always appreciated :)

I hope you don’t mind my heavy posting this week. I’ve been traveling a lot this summer and I have been writing, but I haven’t always had the time to complete a thought, edit or ability to upload. So I have a back log of partial post. I’m leaving for Berlin and Amsterdam in less than a week and I want to try to get as many finished and posted as I have time for.

Resources for Soda Firing

I thought that it would be fun to try to round up as many online resources for folks who are interested in soda firing and put it together into one handy post. Since there isn’t that much publish (relatively speaking), I think it has the possibility of being relatively comprehensive. I hope you enjoy reading the results of my research as much as I did!

Online Soda Groups:

Salt/Soda Firing Discussion Group

You might remember this site that is all about Salt and Soda firing that I wrote about a while back. It’s a social networking site for all people interested in these firing processes. There are some fantastic potters and sculptors that are a part of this site as well as students who are just beginning to dabbling in soda. I highly encourage you to dive in- sign up and make a page. The more the merrier (don’t be shy if you’re just beginning in soda!) There are recipes for slips and glazes as well as a forum for putting questions out there. Are you thinking about converting an old electric kiln into a soda kiln? There’s a discussion going on here for you. And this site is always evolving- it’ll be whatever the members make it.

Salt & Soda tags on the ClayArt archives on Potters.org. It’s worth digging into. It’s quite possible that someone else had the same exact question as you 8 months ago.

Blogs that focus on soda firing:
(I had to draw a line somewhere… so I drew it at soda firing bloggers. If I’m missing any, please let me know!)

Of course there is this blog, PotteryBlog.com. About 95% of my pots are soda fired, and I try to share with you interesting soda information. Soon I’ll be posting a whole bunch of information about the use of whiting in my soda mix (the soda geeks will be psyched for this one!)
Here are some posts that you might find extra interesting if you’re a soda firing fool:
What is Soda Firing
A Happy Soda Firing
Hot Pots 

Julie Rozman, a fellow Lillstreeter, also writes a blog, Design Realized. She shares a lot of her glaze testing and firing info on her site. You should be sure to check it out!

Scott Cooper makes beautiful wood & soda fired pots. He also writes about his work and process in his journal, This Week @ St. Earth. You should also be sure to check out his “process” page where he has tons of information that is interesting and helpful.

 

Keith Kreeger makes salt/soda fired pots at his studio/gallery on Cape Code (although he has been venturing into earthenware lately). You can learn more about his soda work on his blog, Kreeger Pottery Blog.

I just discovered Joy Tanner’s Blog. I’ve gotten to know Joy’s work through the Salt/Soda group and I’ve excited that there is another soda firer writing a blog!

Websites that have a wealth of soda info on them:
(These are sites that have information on them about soda firing- kiln info, recipes, etc…)

  • Julia Galloway’s Alchemy page. Julia generously shares with her information on cone 6 soda firing, including slip and glaze recipes.
  • Scott Cooper (as mentioned above) has a great process page with tons of information on kiln building, glaze recipes and even clay recipes. Not to mention some beautiful pots!
  • Robbie Lobell makes beautiful, elegant soda fired ovenware and tableware. He has a page on his site about his kiln and soda firing process. He lives in Coupeville, WA mentions on his site that he will rent out 1/4, 1/2 or the whole kiln to experienced firers.

Books on Soda Firing:

Soda, Clay and Fire by Gail Nichols is a must have for anyone interested in firing with soda. This book is the culmination of Gail’s PhD work in soda firing in Material Science at Monash University in Gippland, Victoria, Austrailia. The research is incredible and it’s an easy read. Two things that don’t always go together so easily. I think if you picked up this book knowing clay, but not knowing soda, you might decide that you need to start soda firing by the end. But I’m a bit biased on these things. You can also learn a bit more about this book here.

Ruthanne Tudball’s book, Soda Glazing is the original text on soda firing. There has been so little actually published on soda (especially in comparison to other firing techniques) because of the youthfulness of the process. This is a book that I kept close to me for many years. There are overviews of different potters and their soda approaches as well as a great index of glaze, slip and clay recipes. Again, this is a book that you need to have on your bookshelf if you’re making soda fired work.

Online articles about soda firing:

Videos about soda firing:
(if you’re reading this through your email or a blog reader, you’ll won’t see the videos below. Just head over to Pottery Blog to see the videos)

From Pottery Northwest:


And a series of 3 informative videos from
Jeffrey Huebner:



I really have enjoyed this. Please send me links to things that you think might be missing from here and I’ll keep updating this post. This was a big project and I had to put some sort of limits on it. I decided not to include links to soda firing potters & sculptors in this post. I know that there a ton out there with great websites, but I thought I’d limit it to sites that had technical information on it. Another post will be soda firing ceramicists. That will be fun ; ) If you want to give me a hand with that, just leave a comment with suggestions for me to include. Just remember: folks who fire with*soda* or *soda/salt,* but not just salt.

A Semi-Complete Tour of Ceramics Blogs (part 4)

When I started out on the venture of writing this blog almost 4 years ago, I could only really find a half dozen or fewer ceramic bloggers out there writing. Things have really exploded and there are new blogs popping up every week now (as well as some casualties). I thought I’d share with you links to the blogs that I read. (UPDATED)

You’ll notice that my blogroll is long. 63 blogs to be exact. There is no way that I could remember to check in with these blogs on my own, so I use the blog reader, Google Reader, to subscribe to these blogs. Instead of visiting all the sites, the newest posts are compiled into the reader automatically and keeps track of the unread ones, etc… It’s very easy to set up (really…it is!).
If you’re interested in subscribing to my list (below), and you’re using Google Reader, just follow these simple steps.

  1. Login to Google Reader
  2. Click on this link and “save file”: http://www.google.com/reader/public/subscriptions/user/15666827403315601321/label/public
  3. Figure out where the downloaded file is located. (for PC users) Right click on the download and click on “open folder containing.” That will tell you where the downloaded file is located
  4. Click on “Manage Subscriptions”
  5. Click on “Import/Export”
  6. Click on”Browse” and locate the downloaded file.
  7. Click Upload and then start reading! You’ll be overwhelmed with posts to read at first, but once you get caught up, it’s quite manageable :)
    You can always use this as a starting point and add and subtract subscriptions from this list to suit your interests.

I do plan on continuing sharing my “tour of ceramics blogs” with little write ups and images, but there has been such an explosion to pottery bloggers that I thought I should take a moment to catch you up with what’s happening in the world of ceramics bloggers.

I know there are more blogs out there, but it’s not always easy to find them! When looking for blogs to subscribe to, I look for the following criteria (it’s not an exact science):

  • regularly updated… or interesting enough that it’s worth the wait!
  • the content of the blog is multi-dimensional. (it’s not just a blog that is just showing what’s new in the writer’s online shop)
  • The focus of the majority of the blog posts are about clay. (pottery, tiles, sculpture, etc…)

The way that I have found out about most of these blogs is to follow the links from the blogs I read, and wander off from one blog into another. The linking and referencing between blogs has created a sort of community the exists between bloggers and readers from around the world, but within one’s own computer.

If you write or read a blog that you think I’d be interested in, please let me know! I am always excited to find a new one. If I have overlooked your blog, it’s not intentional, please send me a link.

And just one other thing that you might be able to help me with. I don’t know the names of all the bloggers who write these blogs. It often just doesn’t exist anywhere on the blog. I am sure this is sometimes intentional, but I think it’s sometimes just an over site. If there are any gaps that you can help me with, please pass on the info to me. I really like knowing the names of the person writing, it allows you to make a personal connection to the person writing. A big part of why someone buys a handmade pot is because of the connection to the maker. I sort of feel like it’s the same thing with reading a blog. I want to know about the maker/writer. At least their name and where they’re from.

Enjoy the trip you’re about to take wandering off into the land of ceramics blog. I’m sure you’ll be inspired, like I am every day.

A tour of blogs about pottery and ceramics (Part 3)

Here is the next installment of my tour of clay blogs. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to see the community of blogging ceramic artists expanding. There are bloggers from all over the world, at different stages of the profession. They’re making high-fire and low-fire pottery and sculpture in every type of firing process imaginable. A little something for everyone. I just did a quick count of the total number of clay blogs that I have visited collectively on the 3 tours- and it’s 44!
Enjoy! 


Ceramic Focus: Ceramic Arts and technique blog
This is a site to get lost in and end up following link after link and ending up in an exciting place. Lots of images (and links) of work that is on exhibition around the world


Webb Pottery:
 Anne Webb
You have to check out Anne’s clay mixer! Beautiful work and a thoroughly interesting blog.

 


Ambrosia Porcelain
“We believe in creating beautiful, functional objects that bring happiness to your daily life.”
What perfectly named work. These pieces make me happy.

 

 

Sandwich Mountain: The Adventures of the Little People
More work that makes me really happy. This blog by Mel Robson and Kenji Uranishi is fantastic. They each have their own personal blogs with really interesting work (click on their names to get to them). There are some exciting things happening with clay in Australia! 



Smokieclennell
: Tony Clennell
A brand new blog, but already with regular postings. I’m looking forward to reading more!
 

 

 

The Pondering Potter: Renee Margocee
“exploring the life of a clay artisan in the 21st century”
This is another fairly new blog, but I anxiously await Renee’s honest and thoughtful posts. I first came upon her as a guest blogger on One Black Bird and I’m happy to see that there is more where that came from!

 


Strange Fragments: Shannon Garson
Another Australian potter! I’m still digging through the archives finding one great post after another. Right now the line that’s hanging in my head is: “Make your work for yourself.”
We all need to be reminded of this! (read that post!) 

 



musing about mud:
Carole Epp
Anyone who is making work out of clay needs to read this blog! Carole is keeping us all informed about what’s going on in the ceramics world from calls for entries to spot lighting new and exciting work from different artists. And her pots are gorgeous too! 

 


Little Flower Designs
:Linda Johnson
Linda calls this her “inspiration blog” and I love that idea. It’s a great way to share that part of the process.

 

 

Peppa Studio: Where Beautiful Things are Made by Hand
More happy porcelain pots! There are some stories of the challenges of working in a community studio. I think there are a lot of people that can relate. I can’t wait to see more of the little plump blackbirds.





Colorado Art Studio
: Cynthia Guajardo
Cynthia is a super blogger. She has everything here from studio updates, to tutorials, to suggestions of books to read and music to listen to. Thanks Cynthia!


I love the photos of inspiration and the pieces they inspired. (Like this.) The imagery is stunning throughout this blog. And I’m intrigued by the little snippets of life, like the shot of the Boggle board.

 

 

I think this blog wins an award for the best name of a clay blog. Another blog with stunning imagery! It’s no wonder that Josie is making the pots that she is making when I see the environment she lives in. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m endlessly fascinated by how our surroundings effect our work. I think people are effected by it in different ways, but in general potters (and 3-D makers) are more effected then others. Perhaps because we’re thinking not just about the forms – but how they function and interact with the user and live in their new environment.

 

Christa Assad
A fairly new blog by Christa, currently documenting her latest adventures: starting a new job, moving to a new city, and setting up a new studio. I’m looking forward to what’s coming up next. 


Clean Mud: Jeffrey Guin
Most potters have at least a touch of pyromaniac in them, and I think that Jeffery has a little more than most! He’s self described as “unfocused,” but for readers it just means that there’s a little bit for everyone. If you wanted to learn about raku, this is the blog to read! He also has an offer to trade a pot for $20 that’s go towards food in the local food pantry. Take a look and maybe take him up on it.

 



Anne Murray:
“Currently studying design and ceramics at Glasgow School of Art”
Another new blog with an interesting and different perspective – that of a design and ceramics student. Anne is already posting regularly and I hope it continues.

 

 


Firing Log: Ancient Kiln / 21st Century Logbook
Yet another great ceramics blog that I cannot believe that I didn’t know about! I’m diving into the archives and loving it. The title of the blog is fantastic, and I can’t wait to listen to the podcasts. Again, something that I can’t believe I didn’t know about. I spend much of my day in the studio listening to podcast after podcast – but they aren’t usually clay-centric because there aren’t too many of them out there.

 

 

That’s enough for today!
I hope you enjoyed this tour, and don’t forget to check out the previous tours:
Tour of blogs about ceramics and pottery (Part 1)
Tour of blogs about ceramics and pottery (Part 2)
And as always, let me know what else is out there if I’ve missed something. 

If you’re new to reading blogs, or if your regular sites to visit have expanded out of control, I suggest some sort of reader like Google Reader, which is what I use.

Tour of blogs about pottery and ceramics (Part 2)

This is an update (a long overdue update) to a previous post about clay blogs. When I first wrote about blogs that focused on ceramics, there weren’t too many out there. I am so happy to find this time around that there are a lot more now! I didn’t include ones that I listed before. And these are in no particular order. Enjoy- and please let me know if there are more out there for the next time around!

one black bird by Diana Fayt
A wonderful blog that I just discovered. (I don’t know how I’ve missed it all this time!) Great posts by Diana and guest bloggers. It’s been a lot of fun reading through the archives.

 

A Potter’s Journal by Ron Philbeck.
Great photos of Ron’s work in progress. I love the how-to posts as well as the studio updates.

 


The Pottery Blog by Jennifer Mecca
Jennifer writes about her day to day life in her studio, balancing her family life with her clay life. This is why blogs are great- you can share your personal experience in a way that you can’t through a book or a more formal publication.



Davistudio: Modern Table Art by Mary Anne Davis
Seeking to stretch ideas about peace, art, design, function, value, culture and making.” And lots of happy pots!

 

Lurearts Ceramics by Pam McFadyen
A fairly new blog- but I think there will be some interesting things on the horizon, like her new Tool Talk series. Keep ’em coming!

This Week @ St. Earth
A weekly update for what’s going on at St. Earth Pottery in Fillmore, IN. I love reading about other potter’s work cycles. And I think one of my favorite parts is listing the music and podcasts of the week.


Douglas Fitch Blog
Maker of “country pots.” When you see the beautiful photographs on his Douglas’ blog, you can see how the landscape effects his pots. Something that I think about a lot as an urban potter.

Bluegill Pottery by Vicki Liles Gill
A nice (and fairly new) blog that has a lot about the business side of pots, and some how-to’s and other studio updates.  


Sister Creek Pottery by Gay Judson
“The occasional musings of an overly-enthusiastic-senior potter who recently found her way to the potters wheel.”
One thing that I really like this blog is
that Gay writes abouts the ups and the downs of making pots!  

 

Design Realized by Julie Rozman
A new blog by a Lillstreeter (def: someone who works at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago) which documents her thought process and her new ventures into selling her work. Keep it up Julie! 

  

Jeanette Harris: A Clay Engineer’s Blog
Jeanette’s blog is hilarious! In addition to the humor she has some great info including documentation on her glaze testing, and reviews of books and videos.

Wirerabbit Pots by Taylor H
Taylor has great tutorials – directions on how to make things like plaster bats and terra sigillata. Great information illustrated with helpful photos.  

Soderstrom Pottery Blog
“A Minnesota potter, trained in Japan”
Check out his wind powered kiln :)

this artist’s life – day to day in the clay studio
by Whitney Smith
Most recent posts have been about Whitney’s residency in Japan. An unusual perspective and thoughtful posts.  

Karin’s Style BlogLooking at the world with a designer’s eye
I love this blog! Karin’s work is beautiful and she has endless links to other makers and designers from around the world.

 

Whip-up: handcraft in a hectic world
This is a group submission site that is about all things handmade. A must visit often site!
See this page to learn more.  

 




Tara Robertson Pottery
A great photo tutorial on pit firing. I’m also enjoying reading about Tara’s venture into Etsy.  

Well, I think that’s enough for now… I hope you have enjoyed this tour. I have thoroughly enjoyed researching this. I have discovered some really exciting new blogs to subscribe to!

A Tour of Blogs about Pottery and Ceramics

One reason why people blog is to participate in their community. For me, it’s a way to have a conversation about clay and related topics with a larger clay community. In the more technical world (programmers, etc.. ) bloggers read, link and comment to one another- creating a larger dialog. In the ceramics world, there is less blogging going on. Most potters that I talk to about my blog respond “what’s a blog?”. Today’s post is answering that question, in part, by showing potteryblog.com readers what else is going on out there in the clay blogging world. I think it’s just beginning- hopefully I will be able to update this list in the future with many more clay weblogs.

Here is an overview of some clay related blogs- in no particular order. I left out some blogs that haven’t been updated in a while, or didn’t have much content about pottery. Otherwise, this is a pretty good sampling of what’s out there. Please let me know if I’m missing something or if something new comes along. Enjoy the tour!


John Norris: Containers of information: Art, Ceramics, Information, and You.
John has an extensive website that covers lots of topics including clay and conceptual art. He has t-shirts that he has designed for sale…handouts for teaching purposes, and perhaps most exciting: he has a pottery podcast called: Cone 11 Forced Air (a podcast is a regularly produced MP3 in a radio format). Take a listen and enjoy. I’m looking forward to more!


Nathan Pearlman: Political Mammal
Nathan’s blog is not actually a blog that is specifically about pottery, but includes a couple of nice articles directly related to clay- the one that is linked above, and a previous one that I linked to in the Soda Fired Mug post.


Mashiko Potter: Things Related to Making Functional Pottery
Beautiful photos of Lee’s work- finished and in progress, in Mashiko, Tochigi, Japan.


kasumipottery.com weblog: An authorized weblog of Kasumi Pottery Studio by Rolando
This is an interesting site. It’s not written and maintained by the artist, but is about the artist. A different format- kept up to date well.


Paper Clay
This is a blog about paper clay (to state the obvious). Not what I’m really interested in at this moment, but the direction of this blog is interesting- a focus on a very specific subject matter.


PBA Pottery Blog – Muddlings
A nice name, and the accompanying site is nice too, but this blog doesn’t have too much content related to clay & pottery- despite the name. I’m hoping that there is more to come- check back for more.
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As I am writing this, I’m listening to NPR. A story on Warren Mackenzie just came on during All Things Considered. You can read the text and view the photos on the linked site, but you should also click on the “listen” button and listen to him in his own words.