Sunday, April 06, 2008

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.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

What I've been up to

I've been busily working away in my studio lately - and I thought I'd share a little. Below are some small teapots that I just fired last week. I usually make larger teapots, but the one-person teapot has won my heart over!When I'm not making pots, I've been working on my blog. In addition to writing posts this week, I've discovered Google Analytics and I've been having a lot of fun with it.

A little sampling of the information that I've gotten from it this week...

Visitors of Pottery Blog are from:
US, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, France, India, Romania, Japan, Switzerland, South Africa, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark, Philippines, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Norway, Poland, New Zealand, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Singapore, Estonia, Iran, Lithuania, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Finland, Indonesia, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal

A sampling of search phrases:
In addition to the basic phrases and keywords (soda firing, Emily Murphy, pottery blog, ceramics blog) there are some other more in depth searches like:
  • using shino in soda firing
  • ceramic kiln timings
  • ceramic wedging boards from plaster
  • site:potteryblog.com pottery blog tour part 2
  • can i have a signature stamp made of my signature?
  • how to throw a pottery mug
  • eat his heart out with a spoon (!)
And some things that I think my blog was probably not helpful with:
  • how to pronounce "pottery" in korean
  • emily murphy "neuroscience"
I have also been spending time reading other people's blogs. You can see my list of links on the right side of the page (just scroll down a little). Between reading all of these great blogs from around the world, and then seeing where my site visitors are coming from, the world is feeling very small.

I'm off now to have a completely different art experience. Ian and I are heading out to Burning Man in Nevada for the next week with a gang of folks from The Opening Planning Project and friends. Most of this will not be clay related, but some is. There is going to be a tea stand/ house at our theme camp that I made teapots and tea bowls for.
Burning Man is known for an event with virtually no commerce, and lots of "gifting." The gifts that we're bringing are necklaces (pendants) that are made out of both porcelain and stoneware, and have some of the soil (playa) from the host land rolled into the clay, and then soda fired. The soil fluxes to a temoku like glaze. Photos to come!

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

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:
Art and Pottery Blog and Studio Journal
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
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.


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Friday, August 10, 2007

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 Blog - Looking 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!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Tour of Blogs about Pottery & 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.

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Saturday, April 09, 2005

"Soda Fired" Mug

This is the sort of mug that I think of when I think about what a soda fired mug is. Warm, rich coloration from the flashing. Orange peel texture built up on the high points.



This is also a soda fired mug:

John Norris has come up with this hilarious idea. It's a standard, industrial produced mug with the IMAGE of soda firing wrapped around it. It's the "perfect" soda mug.

I enjoy the cleverness of this, but it also helps remind me what I'm doing making handmade pots in a world of industrial pots. Making something that is beautiful in surface and form; designing a form that is not only visually pleasing, but ergonomic. And perhaps most importantly, making a human connection between the maker and the user.

I came upon this essay, "Potters, the Values of Craftsman, and Living True to Self" by Nathaniel Pearlman on his blog: Political Mammal, and I encourage you to read it. It puts into words another reason why potters make.

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Monday, July 19, 2004

Useful coffee stains

These clever cups have foot rings in different shapes (thinking outside of the circle), so when you accidentally leave your dirty cup on the nice white linen, you're just making it more beautiful.
Stamp Cups
As someone who is trying to make it in the world as a potter, I try to make nice pots and be confident that that will sell them. Sometimes I try to figure out some sort of clever quirk that might push someone over the edge to actually buy a piece- a nice detail that shows that I paid attention - something to show that it was handmade. This stamp cup idea is definitely not an innovation that I have thought about before, and I don't actually think that I would make something with this idea.... but at least I can appreciate the cleverness.

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