Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Glaze Calculation Class at Bascom Center for the Visual Arts in Highlands NC July 14-18, 2014

Anyone need a glaze calculation class to round our their education!?  

This is the class for you!

Glaze Class at Bascom :

Description: This course is designed for potters who want to learn more about glazes and color development, or who are frustrated with not knowing what makes glazes work or fail, or for potters who want to develop or adjust their own glazes. Students will work as a group with low-fire (electric), mid-range (electric and gas reduction) and high-fire (gas reduction), creating line and color blends to explore color possibilities over a broad range of bases. The class will mix and test glaze recipes on test tiles only. Intermediate to advanced students.

Monday to Friday, July 14 to 18

10 am to 4 pm

Instructor: John Britt

Tuition: $500 members; $535 non-members

323 Franklin Road
Highlands, NC 28741

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thanks you to the Clay Club!! John Hartom and Lisa Blackburn

A HUGE thanks to Clay Club and everyone making bowls at the Empty Bowls studio recently. It was a great two days. I am just starting to fire the 800+ bowls made during the weekend.

Consider this for a moment:

Manna FoodBank in Asheville can provide 3 meals for one dollar. A bowl sells for $30 at their events. So do the math. 800+ bowls times $30 each equals about $25,000. Now multiply by 3 and that's about 75,000 meals. 75,00 meals. You done good folks. Keep in touch about the glazing and firing. There will be lots more opportunities to help if you are so inclined.

Many, many thanks. Lisa Blackburn and John Hartom

p.s. A big thanks to John Britt for organizing this great event.
p.p.s. Manna will be hosting a Thank You event with food and beverages at the Empty Bowls studio this summer to thank all the Mithcell, Yancey and Avery County potters, woodworkers, and glassblowers who have donated bowls over the past 10-12 years. Watch for details from Manna. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Glaze Software and the Pink Azalea

I had someone come by yesterday and asked me to help her figure out her Glaze software. Like many people she thought that buying this would enable her to...easily... type in glazes and fix all their flaws. I had to tell her that there is no Santa Claus!  There is no Glaze Fairy or magical wand to wave.  This was as  hard for me to say as it was for her to hear! That is a painful thing to have to do, but the truth is necessary.  The question is do we really want the truth?  But I digress, let's get back to the software.

These programs are great but have limits. I consider them like GPS. We all know how valuable GPS is in our mapping and phones, etc. But GPS is not travel, experience or discovery, nor is glaze software a glaze.

So I thought of this analogy; When I was out biking on the Blue Ridge Parkway I encountered this fantastic Pink Shell Azalea on the side of the road. I took a photo of it with my GPS enabled camera. So when I get home I have three digital memories of this Pink Shell Azalea:

1. The memory in my mind's eye
2. The JPG image in my camera
3. The GPS numerical plotting

My memory of its exquisite beauty causes me to want to share it with others. Now the sharing this is easy with a digital image and Facebook and I can even tell everyone where to find it with GPS.

Latitude - 35; 53; 28.326000000013
Longititude - 81; 58; 49.8840000000201

But all of this pales in comparison to the actual viewing/experiencing it in person.

Back to glaze software, these are great programs but merely point to the location of the possible glaze and are not the actual glaze. You still have to make a test and glaze a tile and then glaze a pot.  It only give you possible tests. It speeds up the choices for tests. But you still have to run the tests.

The tests then inform the next set of tests which you can then correlate with the glaze software numbers. But the glaze software will never give you the answer. Only the tests/experience will give you the answer.

Golden Oil Spot Glaze 

This can be proven by asking any glaze software manager to show you how to make a golden oil spot glaze or a golden shino or a flambe cone 6 reduction glaze.

Gold Shino Glaze

They can't because someone has to first make the glaze and then tell them the recipe and then they will try to find parameters to report back to you. They will produce a Unity Molecule Formula of a glaze recipe and then if they have several dozen recipes they can tell you a range of where to "find" this glaze.  Just like GPS.

But they won't tell you anything about mesh size of the particles, firing, speed of firing, atmosphere of firing, amount of time in the atmosphere or when to change the atmosphere, the application or clay body, etc. I could go on but I did write an article entitled "Illusions of Accuracy" which is in this e-book if you want to read more. And all these things are what is important in glazing, and also why you need to pay attention while doing it. Paying attention and observing results are probably more important than any glaze software you can buy, and they are FREE.

I know we all hate to suffer and I know we all want think we want to have someone or some computer do it for us.....but in reality doing it and struggling through the muck and mud is what makes seeing a beautiful glaze (or pink shell azalea) so satisfying. There is no substitute for the actual experience of a glaze. Being there, seeing it, feeling it.  There is no substitute for the TEST TILE! And just so you can sleep at night...Santa is not dead and will never die because Santa  is YOU and you are the TEST TILE !

So "Glaze on bitches"!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

1000 Bowl Challenge

Just finished up with the 2 day bowl -a- thon.  It was great. We made about 850 bowls. Not just sure because they are everywhere!  But I will get a better count later.

We almost made our goal but because of my mis-management we were a bit short. We had some trouble with pots getting too dry to trim and so shifted to trimming and could have continued making more but either way it was a great success and now we have something to shoot for next year!  

The best thing was seeing everyone and catching up with what they were doing. Here is  a list of participants:

Victoria Hicks,
Cynthia Bringle,
Liz Sparks and her friend Eric
Jann Welch,
Sarah House, Sarah House’s son
Robbie Bell,
David Samuel Harold,
Gary Huntoon,
Cathy Ward,
Ross Edwards,
Bridget Fox,
Lindsay Rogers,
Duffy Baum,
Claudia Dunaway
Emily Reason,
Shane Mickey,
Scot Cameron-Bell,
Lee Wolfe,
Ken Wolfe,
Teresa Pietcsh,
John Britt,
JD Carter,
John Hartom

I would like to thank EVERYONE.  It was an amazing turn out and greatly exceeded our expectations!!

Now we will bisque everything and start the glazing process. We will  let you know how things go.

Thanks a million!

Ross Edwards trimming like a mad man!


Victoria Hicks, Shane Mickey and  Emily Reason trimming.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Will and Joy had their baby!

It's a GIRL!!! We thought we might name her "the cutest little girl in the world". We settled on Eva May Baker. Mom and baby are doing well, and looking forward to heading home really soon. — with William Baker.

American Gothic

1000 Bowl Challenge 2014

So there was a bit of chaos in the system but be think we made 700 bowls today and still have tomorrow to make our 1000 bowl goal. Things were drying fast so we had to start trimming some bowls and loaded one kiln with 70 bowls. We still think we can make it but will have to see tomorrow. We have a lot of trimming to do tomorrow!

Had a great crew today: John  Hartom, John Britt, JD Carter, Jann Welch, Victoria Hicks, Cynthia Bringle, Robbie Bell, David Samuel Harold, Gary Huntoon, Cathy Ward, Ross Edwards, Bridget Fox and Sarah House.

We are hoping the crew tomorrow will being in the anchor leg!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

1000 Bowl Challenge is COMING UP!

Hey Everyone...... 
who has volunteered to help us make 1000 bowls for John Hartom and Lisa Blackburn's Empty Bowls.

Thanks for volunteering!!! It should be a fun and memorable event and with your HELP ..... I hope we can make our goal of 1000 bowls in one day and trimming the next day. We have 6 wheels so will need to make at least 125 bowls an hour to make it to your goal. I THINK WE CAN DO IT!!

CLAY- I wedged up some clay to get us started but we may have to have people get their clay ready since everyone has different styles. We have Buncombe White and Brownstone clay (all cone 6).

TOOLS- Just a note, we have some tools and sponges but if you want special tools you should bring them. We have buckets and towels and 6 electric wheels. If you are coming on Sunday you may want to bring your own trimming tools. They get pretty dull after the first 100!! I will try to bring some files.

BATS- We also have bats and ware boards but if you have some you can bring please do so. Be sure to mark your bats so we don't get confused when you are leaving.

FOOD- We will have food for lunch - probably a deli tray from Ingles and fruit and other snacks but if you have special food requirements please bring a lunch. We will try to have coffee and some beverages ( If you have preferences please let me know by tomorrow so I can get you something.)

WEATHER - It looks like good sunny weather and that matters because we will have a lot of bowls and will need to get them dry to take them off the bats without deforming them. We will have to take them outside to dry and then bring them back in for the evening or when they get too dry. (As you know timing is everything.)

I really appreciate your help and I think that this will make a huge difference for the hungry in WNC!!!

Thank you,


John Britt Pottery

154 Sparks Road
Bakersville, NC 28705

WNC Field Tile

Are there any WNC potters who make field tile? If so, please contact me. I have tons of money waiting for you.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Glaze Materials for Sales


Selling an assortment of glaze materials.  Quantity listed is rounded down, price listed is less than HWC, or make me an offer for several!
I'll be at Clay Club this Sunday and am happy to deliver materials  there.

Material QTY Price
325 mesh silica 34 $20

aluminum hydrate 3 $7
ball clay OM4 20 $12
barium carb 6 $15
bentonite 7 $7
black copper oxide 4 $70
blake nickle oxide 8 oz $11
cornwall stone 3 $5
calcined China clay 5 free
cobalt carb 11 oz $16
cobalt oxide 1 $33
copper carb 7 oz $4
dark rutile 5 # 12 oz $20
dolomite 50 # bag 30 $11
epk 50 $16
f 4 felsbar 46 $20
g 200 felsbar 20 $12
grolleg 13 $12
gersthey borate 26 $30
gr chrome oxide 3 $27
grog 20/48 5 $5
lithum 1 $9
manganese 1# 8oz $4
natural bone ash 2.8 $12
nephsye 20 $18
pioneer talc 8 $6
red art 3 $3
red iron ox 2 $4

soda ash 6 $7
spanish rio 3 $8
Aussie spodumene 5 $10
strontium carb 5 oz $2
talc 9 $6
tin oxide 3 $60
titanium dioxide 2 $12
vanadium stain 11 oz $20
whiting 15 $15
wollastonite 40 $20
yellow  ochre 9 $9
yellow iron oxide 2 $10
zinc oxide 2 $8
zircopax 3 $10
Large Cones:
3 - full box $8
4 - full box $8
07 - full box $8
014 - about 20 cones $4
8- about 20 cones $4

Oil bottle wicks - free
Rubber Stoppers - free
approx 200# HWC Zella Stone mixed with Phoenix, reclaimed, workable - Free
Approx 35-40# HWC Raku clay - Free

Anagama Kiln Coming Down - FOR SALE:

For Sale:
2,000-3,000 3" Straights
Odd sized larger bricks
kiln shelves, some carbide, some fire clay
high alumina arch system

located off Big Pine Rd (Madison County)
YOU haul!

call Ron Knight: 828-649-3804

1000 Bowl Challenge May 17 - 18, 2014 Clay Club Event

John Hartom and Lisa Blackburn got some of the clay yesterday...... and the rest is on the way.  Hopefully about 1 ton.

I am wedging some of it so we can be ready for Saturday at 9:00 a.m.

This is an important and exciting event. Important because there are so many people in our area who are in need of food, due to circumstances beyond their control. And exciting because we are trying to make 1000 bowls in 8 hours and if we do that will mean thousand of meals for people. And if we do it, we will glaze them with cone 6 reduction glazes to save John and Lisa time and money firing to cone 10.  So it is a Challenge because we don't know if everyone will show up or if we can do it.  Hope to see you there!

We should have good cool weather!!!

Here is our latest list of volunteers for the Empty Bowls Event;

1000 Bowl Challenge

Saturday May 17, 2014

9:00 -John Britt, JD Carter, Victoria Hicks, Cynthia Bringle,
10:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Jann Welch, Victoria Hicks, Cynthia Bringle,
11:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Robbie Bell, Jann Welch, Victoria Hicks, Cynthia Bringle,
12:00 noon- John Britt, JD Carter, David Samuel Harold,
1:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Gary Huntoon, Cathy Ward, David Samuel Harold, Ross Edwards
2:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Gary Huntoon, Cathy Ward, Bridget Fox, Ross Edwards
3:00 - John Britt, JD Carter, Gary Huntoon, Cathy Ward, Bridget Fox, Ross Edwards
4:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Gary Huntoon, Cathy Ward, Bridget Fox, Ross Edwards

Extras- Sarah House, Welsey ,

1000 Bowl Challenge
Sunday, May 18, 2014

9:00 - John Britt, JD Carter, Victoria Hicks, Lindsay Rogers, Duffy Baum
10:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Jann Welch, Emily Reason, Victoria Hicks, Lindsay Rogers, Duffy Baum
11:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Jann Welch, Emily Reason, Victoria Hicks, Lindsay Rogers,Duffy Baum
12:00 noon- John Britt, JD Carter,
1:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Scot Cameron-Bell
2:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Scot Cameron-Bell,
3:00 - John Britt, JD Carter, Scot Cameron-Bell,
4:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Scot Cameron-Bell,

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bluebird Power Sieve For Sale in Asheville NC

Bluebird Power Sieve

2 Screens - 80/125 Mesh


Contact Bob

Old Ball Mill For Sale Asheville NC

Shimpo Ball Mill Kit
All brackets etc. Complete.
3 Gallon Jar

Contact Bob in Asheville


What are these? Pinkshell Azealea?!

Can anyone tell  me what these flowers are? I was riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway and saw them but can't  find them on line.

Steve Lloyd's Memorial

Plans are afoot for a memorial gathering at the campus pub at Beloit College, where Steve and Becky and where their oldest daughter Jesse is expected to enroll this Fall. We invite everyone who loves the Lloyds to join us. Here is the info from Karen Bassler, one of Steve's classmates:

"Hello all: You are invited to come to Beloit on June 20 - 22 for a memorial of sorts at the Coughy Haus. The main gathering will be on Saturday night, and we are looking into reserving a block of rooms at a hotel in town, but some may arrive early on Friday so please do the same if you like. We're working with Bill Flanagan and Pete Kramer on arrangements for food and drink and access to campus buildings. Details will be posted as they are arranged. Love you all."


Happy Mother's Day

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shades of Green

On my new favorite show "Fargo" ........

"Did you know the human eye can see more shades of green than any other color? My question for you, is why?"

Read more: http://www.tvfanatic.com/2014/05/fargo-review-shades-of-green/#ixzz319dWRtJ8

Trillium on the Blue Ridge Parkway May 7, 2014

Amazing ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway yesterday!  Covered in Trillium!


New Wren Nest

Steve's Obituary

Stephen Edward Lloyd

May 9, 1967 -April 29, 2014

Clyde - Stephen Lloyd, father, husband and master ceramicist, died suddenly of a cerebral edema of unknown cause on April 29, 2014. He was 46 years old, in the prime of his life, and at the apex of his career. May his death serve as a reminder to all that life is fragile, too short, and not to be wasted. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca (Haley) Lloyd, and his teenage daughters, Jesse Caroline and Austin Cassidy Lloyd of Clyde; his parents, Timothy Lee and Susan Jane (Wright) Lloyd of Northfield, MN; his brother and sister-in-law, Timothy Lloyd Jr. and Kara Lloyd; his aunt and uncle, Martha and Thomas Edward Wright; ten cats and a dog, Charlie. His passing is an unfathomable loss to his many families - his wife and children, his parents, and his large families of friends and colleagues.

Steve was born in Northfield, MN, where he attended Northfield High School, class of 1985. He then attended Beloit College in Wisconsin where he received a B.A. in studio art. It was at Beloit that Steve met Becky Haley, a fellow ceramicist and the love of his life. The two were married in Northfield on May 16, 1992. The couple moved to Edwardsville, IL where Steve received his M.F.A. in Ceramics from Southern Illinois University. After receiving his degree, Becky and Steve started Lloyd Pottery in Princeton, MN. Steve taught at Anoka-Ramsey Community College from 1996 - 2004. The couple and Lloyd Pottery then moved to Clyde, NC outside of Asheville where Steve taught in the Professional Craft Program at Haywood Community College before becoming a full-time and highly-decorated studio potter.

As potters, Steve and Becky merged their considerable talents as ceramic artists to create the Lloyd Pottery hallmark style -- striking works in porcelain that were designed and thrown by Steve and carved by Becky using her intricate sgraffito technique. Steve and Becky have enjoyed a supportive community of fellow working artists at the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and in 2014 they became members of the cooperative Ariel Gallery in downtown Asheville.

In addition to being a celebrated ceramic artist, Steve will be remembered by his numerous friends and his family as an expert in many things, and an aficionado of many more - Volvos, music, vegetarian cooking, craft beer, and music, to name a few. He took immense pleasure in introducing people to the things that he loved. As a teacher, Steve was patient, encouraging, and gave so many students the confidence and support they needed at exactly the right time.

It was the domestic sphere, in his role as father and husband that Steve was at his happiest. Even-keeled, always the optimist, a skilled listener and his family members' biggest champion, Steve's joy was never as keenly felt as when he was making dinner for his family and enjoying conversation with Becky and the girls. In time, perhaps those who love him will take some consolation in the fact that at the time of his death Steve was living exactly as he wished - a happy and successful working artist surrounded by a loving family and extended community of close friends.

At this time, there is no date set for a formal memorial. Friends and family are encouraged to celebrate Steve's life and memory in their own ways, on their own terms. Friends should consult the "Steve Lloyd Remembered" page on Facebook for more information on future memorial plans.

Those wishing to make donations in Steve's name should direct them to the Southern Highland Craft Guild, P.O. Box 9545, Asheville, NC 28815. Include on the memo line "Steve Lloyd Memorial." - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/citizen-times/obituary.aspx?n=steven-lloyd&pid=170934721#sthash.Lc3QF85q.dpuf

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

1000 Bowl Challenge /Clay Club May 17 - 18, 2014

Looks like we have a pretty good group so far! CAN'T WAIT. Hope we have good weather or else John Hartom and Lisa  Blackburn will have hundreds of bowls in their living room!

1000 Bowl Challenge

Saturday May 17, 2014

9:00 -John Britt, JD Carter, Victoria Hicks, Cynthia Bringle, 

10:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Jann Welch, Victoria Hicks, Cynthia Bringle, 

11:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Robbie Bell, Jann Welch, Victoria Hicks, Cynthia Bringle, 

12:00 noon- John Britt, JD Carter, Nelle Pingree, David Samuel Harold,

1:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Nelle Pingree, Gary Huntoon, Cathy Ward, David Samuel Harold,

2:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Gary Huntoon, Cathy Ward

3:00 - John Britt, JD Carter, Gary Huntoon, Cathy Ward

4:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Gary Huntoon, Cathy Ward


Extras- Sarah House, Welsey , Bridget Fox,

1000 Bowl Challenge 
Sunday May 18, 2014

9:00 - John Britt, JD Carter, Victoria Hicks, Lindsay Rogers,

10:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Jann Welch, Emily Reason, Victoria Hicks, Lindsay Rogers,

11:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Jann Welch, Emily Reason, Victoria Hicks, Lindsay Rogers,

12:00 noon- John Britt, JD Carter,

1:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Beatrice Nathan, Scot Cameron-Bell

2:00- John Britt, JD Carter, Beatrice Nathan, Scot Cameron-Bell

3:00 - John Britt, JD Carter,

4:00- John Britt, JD Carter,


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Insuring houses with kilns

I've been enjoying the Clay Club blog and now we are moving to Asheville this summer, and will be setting up a home (hobbyist) electric kiln.

Is there a consensus amongst the ceramics community on what insurance company was friendliest in the area to insuring homes that have kilns? Any opinions?


suzy suzyque@gmail.com