Monday, April 16, 2007

Hansen's Old Seto cup

This small cup has seen lots of use - sometimes daily for over 10 years now. Everything goes in the dishwasher so I can safely say that this glaze is fairly resilient - if you can make it work. It has a narrow window of about cone 8 oxidation, and needs a little help controling the ash glaze flow. The clay body is an Flint Hills iron free porcelain from Bracker's Good Earth Clays, Inc. Visit them at:

Old Seto Yellow #2, cone 8-10 /Leach
Feldspar 25 (I used Custer)
Medium ash 50 (grill, fireplace, unwashed)
Ochre 25 (yellow ochre, calcined, I think)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Eric Hansen jar, natural ash deposit

Eric Hansen Kiseto tokkuri

The Leach book lists 2 recipes for 'Old Seto' - this is the simpler of the two. The glaze picks up darker color from the clay body but would be vibrant yellow over a no-iron white body. The wood ash content here is nice - we burned a lot of wood in the fireplace.

Eric Hansen 7" stoneware bowl

Kansas shale clay from the Pennsylvanian period - about 300 million years ago provided a metallic sheen over which kaolin and feldspar engode was added with a house painting brush for a hakeme effect. The glaze is colored with iron and copper, fluxed with barium and boron. The gloss surface of this glaze is basically the same whether fired to cone 2 or 10. Wood-fired and reduction gas fired.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

1999 Kanzaki piece

In 1999 I drove up to Iowa City to interview with Bunny McBride while considering attending the MFA program at Univeristy of Iowa. Although I did not apply, I did check out the exhibit "Different Strokes" an international wood fire event. This exhibit actually catalyzed my disdain for wood fire, and only now am I beginning to reconsider. I've always done some wood fire down through the years, but never really considered it the nuts and bolts of ceramics. Then there was this Shiho Kanzaki piece (photo taken from the catalog). Not only was the fire color unusual, but it strongly exhibited "quiet simplicity", so much so, I kept coming back to it for further understanding. And then there is the signature unique beaded texture of the ash deposit. I pride myself in an observational power I call "sweating the details" but only now am I realizing that encountering this work, because it stood out as an unique and genuine expression, has catalyzed my renewed attraction to wood fire ceramics. Its not just the wood, but also the long firings that produce the surfaces I enjoy seeing. This pot seems to be something more than the commercialistic virtuosity so common today.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Charles Hansen vase, wood-fired

This magnificient form has strong zone and register orientation as the archeologists call it & impressed design using car parts.The glaze is the Pleydell-Bouverie Standard Ash from 'A Potters Book' by Bernard Leach. About 20", it came out of the Corydon Pre-NCECA workshop

Monday, April 2, 2007

Eric Hansen wood fired tea bowl

I'm somewhat obsessed with the idea of memory, reaching into the possibility of a past I could have lived. My work tends to be reconstructions of what I could have done with my studio experience in Kansas City if I hadn't been in such a hurry to get on with "life". And although Kansas City Art Institute, Ken Ferguson's and Victor Babu's studio classes, offered a kind of "ideal" environment, later enrolling at University of Kansas involved me in the research, experience, and memories of others, the tenures of Sheldon Carey, and Bill Bracker, Dave Vertacnik, Joe Zeller, and Vernon Brejka. Hence I view the pot as kind of an archeological metaphor for an imaginary hypothesis, as well as a totality of geological, botanical, functional, sculptural, gestural, visceral, ornamental, decorative, culinary and formal qualities. It is in going across several disciplines where integration with the real world takes place. It is in getting something of worth from the ivory tower and putting it out there where it can be used, touched, and felt. It is in thinking about clay in this way that keeps it interesting.