This is for the birds by orchardstreetpottery
Porcelain bird vases with a few practice sheets

Porcelain bird vases with a few practice sheets

Doing some decorating

One of the benefits of firing with wood is that the flame, through ash deposits and “flashing”, itself can do a great job of decorating the pot.  On many of my pots I apply no glaze or decoration on the outside, most of the others have a single glaze.  The fire takes it from there, paints its own picture,  jazzes things up, and creates a rich and wonderful surface.

But why not decorate a pot and then submit it to the flame?

I figured I’d give it a try.  I am drawn to natural imagery, birds, trees, fish.  Especially birds.  A local Chinese calligraphy teacher suggested I copy forms over  and over from an awesome book she had.  A potter acquaintance advised practice, practice, practice.  I got the ink stick, the tapered brush, set aside some time.  I went through a lot of paper. Gradually the copied forms became my own.  I enjoy exaggerating a particular aspect of the bird; big beak, long legs.  Give it some attitude.

Painting on the clay surface is quite a bit different than painting on paper.  There’s a learning curve.      There’s no eraser.

My initial tests last year did well in the kiln, and have all been sold or have otherwise found good homes.  I threw and decorated a couple of dozen vases for this next go round.  They will be fired this Sunday.

Walter Slowinski

Orchard Street Pottery


Close up of Mr Bird


A small family gathering


Making a “Textile” glass piece at the furnace by Josh Bernbaum by jmbglass
April 19, 2013, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Community



“Textile” series piece by glass blower Josh Bernbaum of BWA

Thanks to Gene Parulis, also of BWA, for the great photos of this process taken at my studio in September 2012:

Eavesdrop on the monthly potluck – Jason Breen by Chris Lann Designs
April 19, 2013, 11:17 am
Filed under: Artist, Community | Tags: , , ,

Each month, a different member of Brattleboro-West Arts hosts a potluck in their home where the group gathers to share some food, drink and discussions about  what inspires us. Hear what woodworker Jason Breen had to say about his process recently at the home of Janet Picard:

Listen to a clip (1:23):

Woodworker Jason Breen at work

“I sometimes think of myself as a collage or found-objects artist more than a woodworker, because I’m finding this thing that’s already made, by God or nature or whatever, and I’m using it in a piece.”

Work in progress….. by Jackie Abrams
April 9, 2013, 9:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Work in progress.....

Coil and stitch, coil and stitch, a time-honored basketry technique. (I think) the name of this piece is “Hidden Memories: The Ravages of Dementia.” Much of the cloth being used already has memories, of being worn and loved.

Jackie Abrams

Jalunii Warra-Purple Majesty by krismcdermet
April 7, 2013, 12:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A most interesting color exercise!  I was asked to participate in the ‘Moods of Color’ Project.  Our main instruction, other than the finished size, was to only use medium color values.  It sounded so easy at the time but I soon learned that with no light or dark colors to highlight the medium colors were just that-very medium.  I chose a scene in Australia with this view because in the photo I took,  it appears to be covered with a medium bluish haze!  This is a combination of wool and silk.Image

Some pots in process by orchardstreetpottery
April 3, 2013, 9:56 am
Filed under: Process | Tags:

Pots in motion

 swirl vases

swirl vases

The wheel turns.  That’s how a pot gets thrown.  The motion of the wheel enables the potter to make a symetrical round vessel.  Often the traces of the process are erased, throw lines smoothed out.

I’ve been interested in amplifying those process marks, exagerating them.  Leaving a permanent record of the fluidity of the clay, the movement involved in making.  For me, it can make the vessel dynamic, alive, exciting.

Each of these pots is an experiment.  Itself the record of a moment never to be repeated.

Walter Slowinski

Art from Science by karenkamenetzky
April 2, 2013, 10:56 am
Filed under: Artwork, Inspiration, Process


Years ago I became fascinated with the shapes, patterns, texture and lines found at the microscopic level.

In images zoomed into an extreme Electron Microscopic close up, I can imagine walking in and touching these real worlds (IF I were very shrunk down myself!).

Above are images of several types of cilia-hairlike structures that undulate and move things along so to speak.

When I create a new piece, there is always implied movement-some thing is changing or about to change-even though the image is static. Incorporating cilia sometimes helps me achieve this goal.

In this piece, Seed Dreaming I, I included all those bright green cilia to try to suggest movement and an aliveness.

Seed Dreaming I

Seed Dreaming I