Thursday, July 23, 2009

yunomi workshop day 3: tour of the four potters

It's field trip day! Tuesday night we fired the kiln, so while the studio cooled down from 120 degrees or so, we hit the road. Here's our day:

First stop: Breakfast. Yes, it's the most important meal of the day, but the secondary purpose of the workshop week has turned into working our way through the menu at Roots Cafe, and we attack that task with enthusiasm equal to that of our work in glazes and on the wheel!

Matt Parris of Roots Cafe, Matt & Lisa with delish eats!

On the road, Potter #1:

Becca Floyd opened the doors of her studio in Mars Hill and was a most gracious host. Her beautiful studio, recently built and completed for her by her very talented husband Mike, is across the beautifully gardened and landscaped yard from her house (Lori's note: this tour reinforced the observation that many excellent potters are also excellent gardeners ... I can only hope my thumb turns greener as my pottery experience increases!).
Becca by her kiln, getting loaded for a bisque firing

Becca not only gave us a tour of her studio and kiln, she took time from her own production to give a quick throwing, trimming and decorating demo of her yunomi forms. Becca is a fabulous teacher as well, so although short and sweet, we got a lot of good information, and we got to see her yunomi form take shape before us with all the intricate layers of how she throws and decorates the piece with the glazing in mind.

Matt taking note of Becca's throwing demo
after trimming, Becca gave a quick demo of some of her decorating techniques

Local clay enthusiasts will note that Becca is teaching a double session at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts in the fall and winter - check out the Odyssey site for details but sign up early before it fills up!

Matt and Lisa also picked up some of her very cool small boxes and salt cellars with various animals atop for their gallery ... I am lame for not getting a shot of those before we packed them up, but if you're in the Winterville, NC area in the next week or so, you should find them at Inkstone Gallery while they last!

Becca also gifted Matt with a yunomi, and far too soon after we arrived it was time to say our thanks and hit the road for the next stop.

Lisa, Becca (w/yunomi) & Matt

Potter #2: Akira Satake

From Mars Hill we headed to Swannanoa and to yet another beautifully landscaped home and studio. Akira Satake also welcomed us warmly, and when we told him about our focus on the yunomi this week, he hopped on his wheel and gave us a throwing demo.

Akira throwing a yunomi

Matt & I met last year when he took and I was assisting Akira in a workshop, and in the time since, Akira's been developing his own clay body and various firing results with shino glazes and without in his train kiln. He just returned from the Southern Highlands Craft Fair (where Lisa picked up a sweet sake cup from that kiln), so while work was still in stages of packed and unpacked, he let us comb through his work in the house and gallery, with much fondling admiration of textures and forms and ash drips.
Matt & Lisa with Akira in his gallery

More thanks and it was time to hit the road again, but if you've been following along, you could only guess that it MUST be time for lunch, so we headed back down toward the River District and to Roots Cafe.

Lisa & Matt with the lovely Katie from Roots Cafe

Well branded for the day (we wanted to buy Roots shirts in the morning, and when none were available, we made our own), Katie helped us continue our tour through the menu, and sufficiently sated we hit the road yet again!

Potter #3: Judith Duff

When planning our workshop week, Matt told me that one of his aspirations is to become the 'cone 6 oxidation Judith Duff', so a trip to her studio and gallery was a must! Judith makes wood fired and shino pottery in yet another little slice of NC heaven. We've had good rain this year (and a really good one as we drove to her studio), so everything is lush and Judith's studio is no exception. The work inside is equally luscious, and she gave us a thorough tour not only of her studio, but through her process and the progression of her work and study of Japanese clays, shinos and research of local materials to produce a comparable NC result. That alone is breathtaking (plus seeing all the kilns, some with work still in them from the recent kiln opening), but then you add her gorgeous forms, and we spent a lovely part of the afternoon fondling and fawning over many pieces.

Judith showing the results of a recent firing to Lisa & Matt

work in Japanese clay/shino and NC clay/shino,
still in the kiln from the recent kiln opening

yummy, wanna lick 'em pots from the recent kiln

Matt & Lisa (with new treasures!) with Judith & her grandson

A few pieces made it past the fawning and fondling, and into shopping bags before we left, along with many thanks for yet another gracious host.

But wait there's more!

Potter #4: Harry Potter!

What can I say, we had a theme going! On the way back to town, we stopped in Flat Rock to catch the latest Harry Potter movie. We got into town just in time to take a quick tour through the nearby Hand in Hand Gallery, and stop for a glass of wine at the Back Room of the Flat Rock Wine Shoppe. At the Flat Rock Cinema, we had some dinner snacks and appropriate amounts of popcorn, then settled into the comfy chairs in the intimate theater for the latest installment. We all thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was the perfect end to our 'day of potters'.

We drove back to Roots Cafe to pick up my car a mere 14 hours after we started our adventure, and decided that Thursday would have a more leisurely start and agenda. Kiln opening is next!

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing day of mentoring and care by so many fine artists, and while this blog focuses upon the great work Lori's done with her clay student, one can't forget how the good folks at Roots have fed us....Breakfast granola with fruit and yogurt and fine's beauty (served in one of Lori's bowls) and taste can't be beat as a way to begin the day. And then the whole gang became carnivorous (we were very tofu inclined) with the desire for Roots great pork BBQ with cornbread and collards and 'tater salad! A cool glass of amazingly refreshing iced tea and we were ready for more road work!