Happy Holidays

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A little while ago Maureen and I were parked, getting gas for our car. It was a very cool day, so when a young and extremely beautiful lady got out of her car we had a discussion. Maureen thought the black tights were too tight, and would be too cool. I said they have nothing to do with warmth. She …

Kimchi

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I love it when the stars align. I have some good friends that love good food. They made very good pork sausages with kimchi, which they fermented themselves, and added into the meat mix. Generous people that they are, they shared some with us. Tasty! These friends have most everything they need to survive, including good sausages, so how to …

Making Bowls Part III – Sprigging

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In these videos, my technique of sprigging is shown here for the first time. Before watching, let me share what I have learned about sprigging. Chinese potters have used a technique for hundreds of years, but my own European background made me look there for the secrets of sprigging technique. You have to be careful when looking at “factory” ceramics …

Making Bowls – Part II Trimming and Slip Decoration

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I’ve placed two more videos on the site that add to a series of technical videos intended for both students and those interested in learning how I make and decorate bowls. In the video of me trimming a thrown bowl, I mention that if you do not like to trim pots, you should avoid throwing with porcelain. I used to …

Making Bowls – Part I Throwing off the Hump – Technical Demonstrations

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Why would someone who has been making pots for nearly 50 years still be making bowls? They are so basic, so simple, and so… well, useful. If you take those three reasons and add that they are truly fun to make, you have my answer. If you were to assume that the first three reasons are easy, you would be …

Fun ahead.

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Don’t hire me to renovate your house. I built a shed attached to my studio 15 years ago, and am just finishing it now. The building is a wall away from my kiln, and I built the place in case I needed or wanted to build another kiln. As it turns out, my old kiln is just fine, and the …

Wine and Clay

Haut Clay

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Adding wine into the clay while it is aging is always a good idea. Of course any old vinegar would do just fine, but if you really want to be exotic, follow my example. We have some very good friends, and cooking for them is a privilege. All of them bring wine when they visit, and they spoil us with …

Summer

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I work seven days a week in my studio from sometime in September right through to May. That is usually enough. Leaving the studio is a very good idea, because after a long stint I get a bit comfortable; a bit lazy and a bit …well, dull. If you value your career, and your dignity, leave. Just walk out and …

When the “lines” are good…

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I was asked a number of times over last weekend (the first weekend of our studio exhibition), why was I so interested in boats. Some of the people asking knew that I was a Canadian prairie dog, so even more questions about lack of water… My answer is pretty simple. I fell in love with the canoe as a teenager …

Video – Harlan at The Throwing Wheel

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I have been making ceramics for almost 50 years. I used to do a lot of weekend workshops all across Canada encouraging potters to use and enjoy porcelain. In almost every workshop I was asked to make one of these large platters, because the method is a little unique, and takes some practice to do it well. I have to …