Author Archives: Fields Brian

About Fields Brian


Progress report

After a particularly busy week last week, I finally got a chance to get back in the studio last night.

I threw 2 2lb vase forms with the new Standard #240 white stoneware. I’m thinking it’s at least as good as the old 563, if not better. I didn’t have much trouble controling it or getting decent height from it, and that’s significant given how out of practice and challenged I am right now.
Overall, a very satisfying evening.

Another day, another clay

I’d recently gotten a comment on my clay review post on Standard #563 from Curtis that it had been discontinued. Standard has replaced it with #240, another smooth white ^6 stoneware.

So when I went to buy new clay last night, and discovering they were out of my favorite Little Loafers, I got a bag of #240 to try.
It wasn’t bad at all. I’m still out of practice, but it seemed a bit easier and well behaved than the old 563. I’ve mainly been trying to have fun and experiment, but I’ll have to find out how well the new clay burnishes and polishes after a saggar fire.

6 months of blogging

Just recently realized that I’ve been doing this blog for 6 months now. Back when I started, I didn’t know what direction it would take (still don’t really), or if I’d even stick with it or have anything to say.  Apart from rather sparse posting recently, I’m pretty happy with it.
Here’s a quick summary of a few fun stats so far:
1460 visits
36 Countries + US (All states except AK, HI, and RI)
Northernmost visitor – Rekjavik, Iceland
Southernmost visitor- Hobart, Tazmania
Top 7 countries in decending order:
I’m going to head back to the studio today after work to celebrate!

New beginings for 2009

I finally got back in to the studio today. It felt good to get my hands dirty again.

My clay was pretty stiff after being there for the past 3 months, but I still had fun. I wedged up 3 pounds, cut it into 3 – 1lb balls and just played, making nothing in particular. Just ventering and pulling up, splitting rims, bellying out until it went wonky, then cutting it in half, and doing another.
I think the scraps are destined to be my next terra sig experiment, and I’ll buy a fresh bag of clay next time
** Update **
I feel like I got kicked down a flight of stairs this morning….  but it still feels good to get dirty again!

Less is more

I’ve definitely noticed a theme of simplifying and minimizing in my life the last few months. Partly brought on by the lingering injuries and physical challenges of the auto accident, partly by a deeper urge to de-clutter the mental and psychological blockages that build up over time.

I’ve been away from clay for too long, and I’m coming to the realization that I need to start somewhere.  It’s become clear that I won’t be throwing like I did 6 months ago any time soon, but I need to get back to doing something.  Less clay, smaller forms, less time at the wheel in one stretch. Less expectations, smaller goals, less pressure on myself.  Physical therapy is making small, slow, sometimes imperceptible progress, and I need to be content with the same rate of progress in the studio.

Along these same lines, Leo Babauta has written a companion to his book ‘The Power of Less’ — a free ebook called “THRIVING ON LESS: Simplifying in a Tough Economy“.

Pottery books for Christmas

Ive been enjoying reading one of my excellent Christmas presents:

I’ve checked out Robin Hopper’s videos on form and proportion from the library before, and was happy to see much of the same material expanded upon in this book.
This book covers all kinds of kitchenware, plates, mugs, bowls, goblets, butter dishes, pitchers, teapots. He also covers proportions and esthetics of form, along with praticalities like center of gravity, weight, and making things ‘fit’ the human body for use.
He also has a broad definition of ‘funtional’ pottery that isn’t just dinner service, but includes decorative ware that serves as objects of beauty and contemplation. 

New blogs and old friends

Google Reader had a suggestion of a blog I might be interested in

So I was browsing through and found this post about my long-lost first pottery instructor who moved to the other side of the country:
You never really know what or who is going to pop up out of the past on the internet these days. And if you haven’t given Google Reader a try yet, check it out. I really don’t know how I’d keep all the blogs I follow manageable without it.

Pottery section now on Alltop

For those of you that don’t know about it, is a nifty blog aggregator that groups blogs by topic or area of interest. They generally strive to have the most popular blogs as determined by their own ranking criteria.

Within each topic, they list their top blogs, along with the last five post titles in an easy to scan ‘magazine’ format.  Very easy to lose several hours exploring….
The Great news is  — They now have a Pottery Topic.
Congrats to Jen Mecca, Emily Murphy, and Bulldog Pottery for making the first cut! You need to go and get yourselves a badge for your blogs here:
Go check them out…  the more traffic they get from all us potters the better. It might get them to expand the number of pottery feeds in our section!