Monday, April 21, 2014

A little bit of North Carolina on Cape Cod

Dinner tonight here in Falmouth is a cheese grits casserole made with barbecued pork and Portuguese linguica sausage. The grits are courtesy of Tracey Broome in Chapel Hill, NC. And fine grits they are. They're from Old Mill of Guilford in Oak Ridge, NC. Yellow grits. Nothin' better.
My firing partner Kim Medeiros and I helped fire Rose Esson-Dawson's new wood kiln a few days ago. Actually, Kim was the operator of the splitter two days before the firing. I wielded my chainsaw and supplied wood for Kim to split. Then I spent several hours throwing wood into the Julie Crosby-designed kiln Saturday with Rose, Ron Mello and Rose's husband Bruce. We open Thursday, though Kim will have to observe from her beach holiday at Salvo, NC, where I assume she has ready access to grits.
Below: Cheese grit casserole ready for the oven; fine stoker and potter Ron Mello of Middleboro, MA, shaking up the ash pit in Rose's Bourry Box kiln.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Japanese potters still suffer three years after quake

One of the wonderful things about the internet is the easy friendship and recognition that can happen between potters thousands of miles apart. I know that's not news, of course. Meredith Heywood,, of Whynot Pottery in North Carolina, and a group of other blogging potters put together a great international show in Southern Pines, NC, some years ago. It brought together potters from the US, Europe and Down Under.
I'm thinking about these enhanced worldwide connections now because my internet friend Gas Kimishima, an anagama potter in Hertfordshire, England, has put together an online auction of donated pots from potters around the world, to benefit Tohoku woodfirers in Japan who are still struggling with the effects of the Fukushima earthquake three years ago. Go to and see the pots that have been donated for the auction. My friend Kim Medeiros, a potter here on Cape Cod at The Barn Pottery, turned me on to Gas's project. She donated a woodfired vase, which you can see in the gallery on the website. Other donors include Hannah McAndrew of Scotland, Doug Fitch of England, Phil Rogers of Wales. And there are many others.
Take a look. Bid on a pot. Or just send money to help the potters struggling on the other side of the planed.
The photos: Kim's pot, fired last summer in the train kiln at Castle Hill art center in Truro; my own crackle-slipped and amber ash-glazed bowl, fired here at Hatchville Pottery.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The blog is back ... and an international show of clay this summer

Hello to both my blog readers.
I'm kidding about that (I think), but only barely. It's been eight months since the last post. But I'm doing a little mouth-to-mouth on, hoping that it will revive and be a lively part of my outreach to the world from snowy Cape Cod.
For the past year or so, I have tried to post daily to my Hatchville Pottery Facebook page, and I've been fairly successful at that. So those of you who want to see what's been going on since June - those who are Facebook users, that is - can go to my page and check it out. I've reached people all over the world through that page. I love that connection There are lots of pots there, photos of wood kilns, weather on Cape Cod, etc. But I know there are stubborn anti- and just plain uninterested-in-FB people out there, soooooo ... the blog is back, and to quote Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinny," "for YOU!"
The significant announcement today is the "Collaborations In Clay" show that Kim Medeiros and I are curating at Falmouth's Highfield Hall this summer. Highfield is a restored mansion that is now a beautiful conference and art center. We were asked by Highfield's exhibitions director Annie Dean to put together a small show of collaborative clay work by potters from around the US and the world. Invitations to participate in the show are still going out, but we have confirmations already from Hannah McAndrew and Doug Fitch of the UK, Blair Meerfeld and Allison Coles Severance of Maryland, Bruce Martin of the North Island in New Zealand, Patty Griffin of California, Abby Rappaport of Israel and several others. Each invitee will choose another clay person to work with and produce a collaborative piece for the show. Plus, each collaborator will have a solo piece as part of the exhibit.
"Collaborations" will run throughout the summer season and bring a new international clay presence to Falmouth and Cape Cod. We're very excited about that and expect that there will be other events related to the show. Please go to for full details as they become available. And if you're on Cape Cod this summer, please come by Highfield and see the exhibit.
Besides working on this show, Kim and I are still prospecting on Cape Cod for a place to put our planned wood kiln. Earlier this year we drove a U-Haul truck to Rhode Island and brought home 1500 bricks, 38 shelves and assorted other gear, most of which is now weighing down the southeast corner of my basement. In a hurricane, that will be the place to go.
That's all for now. Glad to be back.
The photos, top to bottom: Anagama-fired vase by New Zealand potter Bruce Martin and his late wife Estelle, UK potters Doug Fitch and Hannah McAndrew, Maryland potter Allison Coles Severance, Maryland potter Blair Meerfeld, California sgraffito potter Patty Griffin.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Road trip ... and an answer

Kim Medeiros and I took to the highway yesterday, driving six hours of the Massachusetts Turnpike from the ocean to the Berkshires to bring back a half-ton of clay from Sheffield Pottery in the extreme southwestern part of the state.
Nice folks there at Sheffield, with big warehouses for mixing clay bodies and good, helpful people in the retail end. We also took Kim's recently collapsed kiln furniture for a diagnosis of the problem. The verdict - everyone was surprised they lasted 15 years of reduction firing. Kim found herself a whole new set of much beefier posts for her kiln.
On the way back, we stopped in Great Barrington for a sushi lunch at Bizen, a wonderful Japanese restaurant decorated with genuine anagama-fired pots. And then we stopped at Asia Barong, a stunning retail shop with a warehouse and grounds filled with Asian work, new and antique - Buddhas of all sorts and sizes, old Japanese doors, entire Indonesian stilt houses, kimonos, pots, tools, paintings, prints, carvings, jewelry - there appeared to be no end to what they bring back from Asia to the hills of western Massachusetts. Go to for a tiny sampling. We were enthralled.
Now we're back in our studios, both anticipating a fun Saturday evening when "Facets of the Harbor" opens formally at Gallery 65 on William in New Bedford. Come see the show, please, finger food and wine June 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Here's an image from Asia Barong yesterday.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Two pots from the upcoming New Bedford "Harbor" show

It will be interesting to see if two Cape Cod potters - Kimberly Sheerin Medeiros and myself - can draw fellow Cape Codders across the canal and down the highway to New Bedford this Saturday. Personally, I'm doubtful; it's difficult to draw Cape people off-Cape in the spring and summer. But there's always a chance.
Kim and I have been working together on pots for "Facets of the Harbor" at Gallery 65 on William for the past month - throwing, stamping, slip-trailing, trimming, glazing, firing ... and we think it will be a good show at this lovely cooperative gallery in downtown New Bedford. Our pots and John Robson's photographs should work well together in the old whaling city.
I have longtime links to New Bedford. My grandmother, Edna Jackson, was born there on January 1, 1900. My mother went to nursing school there. For much of my childhood on Martha's Vineyard, New Bedford was served by a ferry from the island and was the "big city" Islanders went to for department stores, dentists, doctors.
But the city has had some hard economic times in the past few decades, as the fishing industry suffered, and the downtown is not the magnet that it once was for shoppers. Still, it's rallied with the conversion of a big department store into the arts department of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. And the New Bedford Whaling Museum is a first-class attraction just a block or so from Gallery 65. New restaurants and galleries have been opening. The Zeiterion, an old theater downtown, books tours of national and international performers. It's become an interesting place, particularly as artists trained at the downtown school have decided to stay and work in New Bedford. And Kim and I are delighted to be asked to be part of it.
If you're on the Cape or in Southeastern Massachusetts, please come to the show and see what the artists are creating on the cobblestone streets of the old fishing port. The opening is this Saturday, June 8, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Here are two pots from the show: At top, a platter thrown by me and decorated by Kim; bottom, a vase from my wheel, altered, stamped and glazed by Kim.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

"Facets of the Harbor" opens June 8

The pots for "Facets of the Harbor" were delivered to New Bedford this morning. Please join Kim Medeiros and me for the opening reception at Gallery 65 on William Saturday evening between 6 and 8.