Monday, November 9, 2009

new images, new thoughts

The weather is getting colder and we in the mountains prepare for fire. November 15,16, and 17 we will be loading our anagama here at Juniata College to try and get some new wares. If you are in the area during the week feel free to swing by the studio on College Ave. off Cold Springs Road in Huntingdon Pennsylvania. Here are some new images of semi new pots; cone 10 soda fired (the set of cups are fired in the soda, a gas kiln, and the anagama). The newest stuff is getting pretty crazy though as I have been feverishly decorating my pots with slips and stains of brushwork and repeating patterns, which compaired to my old way (thrown and altered with no slips or brush work) is a huge deviation.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wood fired Ceramics: JC anagama Spring 09

Here are some pieces I got from the last
wood firing at Juniata and one piece that
was soda fired with some washes and stains
(the first bottle). The other two bottles were fired in the front of the kiln and the teapot was in the middle of the stack a few feet away from the side door/stoke area.
I have many more pieces to be documented.
more to come.

These images were all taken within a 3 hour period at high heat. They show our front door, side door/side stoke port, and back stoking area. The people in the photos are myself and one of the other kiln leaders and collegue of mine, Jared Iampetro.

Juniata's Anagama Spring 2009

The photos above are courtesy of Nicole Denny, a student of Juniata College during the firing that took place in April. We started loading on Thursday the 9th and lit the fire at 6pm on Sunday evening/afternoon. While still quite warm we unloaded three days later. The firing went well. We could have maintained a longer soaking pattern once achieving cone 10 but we did not so the front of the kiln got a little rough but the heavy ember masses that were built up provided many jewels scattered on the floor.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Summer 2008 Komuri anagama firing at Jack's

Here are some images taken during a daytime shift at Jack Troy's
anagama, Komuri. They are some pretty quality photos. Have a look.

Iris Film Festival and Drobnock.

I had the opportunity to design the new logo for the Iris Film Festival.

( FF Home.html)

Keep an eye on their site for a supposed update using the new design.

The dates for the festival are September 18 - 19th, that's a Friday and Saturday, 2009.

By that point you should be able to get your hands on some festival shwag to proudly display the new logo to your now jealous friends.

Juniata Ceramic's Studio Adult Class and Me.

For the last couple of weeks I have been 'enrolled' in a ceramics class for community people at the college ( Its pretty much set up to allow anyone who is interested in clay outside the of the enrolled students, although I guess they could take it too. It has given me a structured studio space to work in while my equipment is all over the place.

Great news on top of that...

The college is having its spring anagama firing in early April!
I will have many photos of that whole process and the finished wares that come out.
Its a well seasoned kiln and I believe there will be two or three other people in charge besides myself so I am looking forward to a good community and great pots.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

its my job to burn the midnight oil.

the anagama. adopted by the japanese from china when there were no horses in north america, crazy i know. they are primarily used for high fire, temperature-over-time, heavy ash build up ceramic objects. can yield good stuff. a firing takes typically four to seven days but one might hear of 10 to 15 day firings. originally built into the sides of earthen hills and fired with no pyrometric cones, the word anagama truely means 'cave fire,' the early masters of the fire used the sound of the roaring fire, the color of the flame, and the intesity of the heat. the process today has a very powerful effect on those who experience it just once. there really isn't anything that can compare to the whole process. calculated. chaotic. scientific. spiritual.

more later.

oh for a great reference book, coffee table book for the person who likes pots, bedside bible for the wood-thirsty flaming beast in all of us, and all the explainations and names for marks made by the kiln gods and you; great images. check out 'Japanese Wood-Fired Ceramics' by Masakazu Kusakabe and Marc Lancet.

this is a fiat 500. i had it dismantled, carried 200 miles in the bed of a truck, and then rebuilt it in Bates Gallery, Edinboro U. for my last show there with a great print maker, my brother, Jeremy Yama.

Monday, January 5, 2009

about me. i began studying ceramics in 2002 during my senior year of highschool (of which i had very little because of the time spent in the studio working on projects and personal work). these classes were taken at the juniata college ceramics studio or "pot shop" under the tutelage of jack troy where i found wood fired ceramics and have since been involved in 13 anagama firings over the past 6 years. it was from him that i learned how to use the wheel to make things. i applied to the university of pittsburgh and then to edinboro university of pennsylvania. i went to edinboro. here i worked with and studied under steven kemenyffy. he opened my mind to accept chaos and to keep working for results, to work through 'the commonality of neo-redundancy', which is his philosophy on the its-all-been-done-before problem. edinboro also has two other professors in the ceramic department that i also took classes from Lee Rexrode and Chuck Johnson. Lee taught me to really self-evaluate my product whether it be functional or otherwise and Chuck sought improvement through focus and repetition. i studied for something like 18 or 21 hours (or more i can't recall exactly but it was a few) of ceramics classes in at edinboro but for a time i felt that my ceramic work was becoming stagnant so after taking my first printmaking course at edinboro my junior year i spent the next two years focused almost entirely on printmaking which opened my mind to a whole new universe of great new processes expressing ideas. what a breath of fresh air the loveland hall print sudios gave me. john lysak and franz spohn are likely two of the most helpful faculty i have worked with during my time in edinboro. at the end of my stay i was fortunate to have the oppourtunity to work on a six panel mural for the technology building on campus in edinboro, effectively making me the first art student attending edinboro to have a piece of work permenently displayed on campus, who would have thought! after graduation i came back to my home town to absorb college and to work on making art. since being home i have begun working towards the idea that i am getting ready for making ceramic objects again. after being in an institutional setting for the last 17 years of my life and just getting used to college i am here to make work, i know that much about me. * *

Friday, January 2, 2009

these pots were made around 2007. the finished piece was fired in a soda kiln to cone 11 and the other two were part of a series of 6. all six were destroyed in a rather chaotic anagama firing. the clay was formulated for wood firing and I have the recipe somewhere in storage. the handles are suspended with nickle-chromium wire. this is good stuff but it did not hold up in the wood kiln. i suspect the wood ash fluxed the metal to a point at which it could not take the temperature and the handles failed. however, i do not expect to give up on this technique and once i get back into the swing of a making cycle i will do more tests and tell you all about it.

but for now enjoy the work.

if some of the information is not clear to you reading this i will post more informational logs on 'anagama' (japanese high-fire wood kilns) firing and process as well as images as i find them in my boxes and storage and as i take them.