Category Archives: Personal




Just look at it!

Beauty is all around us, everywhere.  It’s very easy to forget and not see somehow, because of how evolution shaped our brains, and that too is pretty neat when you think about it.  I really need to take fewer things for granted.  I want to take nothing for granted, but that’s probably impossible, and/or I would go insane trying to keep track of all the amazing things that happen around/to me.

Yesterday I helped load a salt kiln.  40+ of my pieces are in it.  I’m not too sure what will happen, and that is the most fun part of the process if you ask me.  I put some banana peels in some of them, some lemon rinds in some others, and some other stuff in some others.  We’ll see what happens.


As I was waiting for the light rail to Mesa Arts Center, a drunk man talked to me.  I never quite know what to say in those situations.
Drunky: So, where’re you from?
Me: Phoenix.
Drunky: Arizona?
Me: Yes.
Drunky: This Arizona?
Me: Yes.
Drunky: You don’t look like you were born in Phoenix.
Me: Ok?
Drunky: Greenland or something.
Me: I know, right?
Drunky: So, where are you really from?

I need to prefabricate a story for them.  One that will buy me a few minutes until the next train comes.

A while ago I made a bowl at the Edna Vihel Center, and it turned out alright also.




It’s a bit too big for cereal, but it would be a nice soup bowl maybe.  Some gazpacho.  Mmm, gazpacho.


Hachi machi!

I know I haven’t written a blog post in a while.  They take a long time, and I am trying to spend less time in front of a computer.  However, there’s something I wanted to show you.

ShinoPot3 ShinoPot2 ShinoPot1

This guy is amazing.  Of course, pictures don’t do it justice.  I kind of wish I had a better camera and a better understanding of how lights work and backdrops and such, but I more wish I could just hold it up and show it to you.  It’s about liver sized with neat pearlescent coloring.  It represents a new direction I want to take which involves more hand-building.  I used to think my hand-building skills were lacking, and I am guessing that was in part due to comparison.  I had an idea in my head of what my pieces should look like, and I got frustrated when they didn’t look like that.  Trompe l’oeil style ceramics were definitely out of my grasp, and they are still most likely out of reach, but they aren’t something I want to hold anyway, so who cares?  I made this just wanting to make a pot for a small plant, maybe a flower, maybe some mint or something, I’m not sure yet.  Having looked at it, I see potential to make the next one better, and some things to try that might work and might not, and that’s pretty awesome.

While I’m at it though, here are a few other things I did recently.Wacky

This, I don’t know what this is.  I accidentally nicked the side with my finger, so I went with it.  It’s kind of like a belly button.  It looked top heavy, so I added the disk it sits on.  It’s a pot for a plant.  When I was trimming it, the neck squished down, so not it looks weirder, but that’s ok.  The green tint is chlorella, which unfortunately seems to have burned out.  The gray is iron.

Large Bowl


This is nice, the green unfortunately burned out, but I’ll try to brush some green glaze on it.  It reminds me of tall grass in the wind, but on a bowl.   It’s a pretty big bowl for me, so I was impressed by that.  The inside is iron.



This guy is naked on the outside, iron on the inside.  Kind of the opposite of Robert Downey Jr.



This is a weird plain star bowl, I’m not to impressed with it, but I want to experiment more distortion, so here’s what happens.



This is nice, maybe?  I was trying to throw a tall cylinder and it tore off, so I flattened and folded the bottom.  We’ll see what happens.


I lost my notebook that says what bowl number I’m up to, so we’ll call this one bowl 26.  It is pretty “normal”, I tried to emphasize throwing lines, which might do something neat in the kiln, but it’s still pretty round.  Pretty tight, if you will.



This one is neat, bowl 27.  It’s an example of a time where I’m expecting one thing to happen, and something else happens, but that other thing is cooler anyway, so I shouldn’t expect things.  I threw the bowl, then covered it in that porcelain/iron slip I made.  Then I was going to make a line delineating where the rim stopped and the body began, so I reached for my needle tool.  But, I couldn’t find that, so I just got the smallest trim tool I could find and figured I would trim off some of it instead.  It was pretty wet still, so it made that cool texture.  It was a happy accident, so I left it.  Here’s the inside.



That swirl is neat, and was definitely on purpose.



This guy (Bowl 28 if we’re keeping track, which I’m trying to) is neat.  He reminds me of a Xenomorph egg, not so much now, but earlier in the throwing process.  The inside is pretty cool.



So that’s what I’ve been up to in ceramics.  Last night I did a few minutes of stand-up honoring a friend I’ve only met on Facebook because he’s been sick for years, but he’s a pretty neat guy.  It was live streamed to him, and I thought it would be recorded also, so I didn’t bring my voice recorder.  It wasn’t recorded, which is a bummer because my set went pretty well.  It was about seven minutes of me mumbling, but that’s ok, that seems to work for me.

Alright fellas, see yas when I sees ya.



Woof = wood fire pots

I’m so clever.

Yesterday we unloaded the wood firing kiln at Mesa Arts Center.  So that’s good.  However, I got there several hours early so that I could work in the studio before class, only to find out that the studio was closed until the 27th of March, so that was bad.  To make lemon water out of lemons, I grabbed the book I had with me and wandered around downtown Mesa for a few hours.  I went to a place called Gotham City Comics and looked at a cool 700 dollar Jurassic Park velociraptor.  If you ever want to feel like less of a geek, go to a comic book store.  Then I went to a non-comic book store, I forget the name.  I didn’t buy anything, because bookstores are like Pandora’s Box, assuming Pandora’s Box is full of neat books.  I read a quote by one Sir Henry Maximilian “Max” Beerbohm
“I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him.”
I found a neat book by R. Buckminster Fuller (which I think I just found for free on the internet, BAM), and a novelization of Independence Day.  Then I went to a flower shop,  Zuzu’s Petals, to look at flowers.  The two ladies I met were very nice, one gave me a few fuzzy leaves (I think Dusty Miller leaves), but I think they were a bit suspicious that a greasy weirdo just wanted to look at flowers for “ceramics”.  Finally, I went to a local coffee shop, got some coffe, and sat down and read for a few hours.  You know who I saw?  Nobody.  It was great.

Back at Mesa Arts Center, class started and we unloaded the wood kiln.  Now, I usually feel like there’s too many cooks in the kitchen, and I think I help best by staying out of the way.  Unfortunately, I don’t learn best by staying out of the way.  The small areas around the kiln aren’t inviting, what with my difficulty hearing and dislike of incredibly hot things, but I did my best.  I got some nice pieces out of it though, with only one loss.


This one is the worst.  It was one of the first ones threw (003, apparently), and it is strict bush league.  As you can see from the picture, it warped like bananas.  That is not from being purposefully loose, it is from warping during firing caused by inconsistant thicknesses.  The very bottom is crazy thick, it feels like half an inch or so.  Then there is a section of quite thin clay where I trimmed it too much, then it gets thicker again towards the rim.  I wrote down that it’s a tenmocu glaze, but I am going to go ahead and say I wrote it down wrong, because it looks like celadon to me.  Anyway, sorry you guys had to see that.


This one is pretty cool.  I wrote down Woo Blue glaze, but it doesn’t look very Wooy to me.  It is 004, which means I don’t know where the photo of it pre-fire is, unfortunately, since I can’t remember what surface treatment I gave it.  The glase is a neat warm brown, is nice and shiny inside, and has beautiful warm streaks for some reason.  It breaks a dark brown, and the form wasn’t as good as I can probably do now, but we may have to try this glaze again.  Here’s a detail:


Maybe there’s some of the porcelain slip I made up, I can’t remember.


This one’s a beaut.  I wrote down Kurt’s Ice Blue for the glaze (Sorry no Google image, Kurt Weiser is a local potter who lives a few blocks from my house, actually.  I went to high school with his son!), and there’s some porcelain slip, you can see the bands around the outside of it and the dark iron spots.  I’m not sure what the blush is from, perhaps a nearby pot or something?  That would be my guess.  This is a bit more recently thrown, and the form is pretty nice.  The inside is nice and smooth, pretty inviting for a fork or spoon.  I think I’ll make some coconut rice for it tonight.


This one is pretty cool, like 007.  I made it 007 because I liked the form a lot.  It has the slip I made from iron filings and WSO.  Unfortunately, I put it on too thick and it ran like nuts.  You can see it on the bottom there, it bubbled up and got all over the kiln shelf.  He survived (Because he’s 007), but his brother was permanently attached to the kiln shelf (Because he was 008, and 008 blows).  I used a Reitz Green glaze on the inside, which turned out a nice satin finish, but I was a bit disappointed that it was so dull.  I’ve used it before (on porcelain, that makes a huge difference) and it was a nice “mood ring green”.  Oh well, the iron purple is lovely.  The bottom is quite sharp though, maybe I should invest in a grinder.


This guy (009) turned out real nice.  Real nice.  He’s ridiculously photogenic.



He had some porcelain slip put on the outside, but it’s hard to see unless you know it’s there.  I don’t remember putting anything on the inside, however, I used the free reclaimed clay to throw him, and one of the fun things about that clay (other than the free part, which is super fun) is that you never know exactly what’s in there.  Kids put their grubby hands in it, and it winds up having a mysterious, possibly deleterious collection of various gobbledygook.



Here you can see a white thing of some sort that was in the clay and melted out into the glaze.  It was completely unintentional, but it made a lovely white waterfall texture in the Copper Red glaze.  I can’t say that I didn’t know it was there, because I remember feeling something when I was throwing him, I just chose to ignore it.  I’m kind of pretty glad I did.  The form itself is nice and loose.  When I threw it, there felt like there was way too much clay at the bottom, and I didn’t want him to have the same fate as 003 up there, so I waited until he dried a bit, then stretched him a bit with my hands.  So he doesn’t have a foot-ring, but I feel the bumpy form fits well in my hands, kind of like a lot of natural forms.  Like a coconut half, or whatever.



I was severely disappointed with this guy.  I noticed the base was very thick, so instead of trimming it away uniformly, I tried to trim channels for the flames to go.  I didn’t put any glaze on this guy because I didn’t want to smother what the flames did, which it turns out is nothing.  So, it’s a nice toasty color I suppose, like a yummy loaf of bread, but that’s all really.  The inside is this stuff I saw called Iridescent Slip, which is apparently a code for boring.



Look at that!  Look how crazy boring it is.  I also when it was wet I put a hair dryer to it, so that it had little waves in it, and you can see the wrinkles, but it’s still pretty dang forgettable.  10/10 would not try again.

Aside from the bowls, which were all thrown with the free reclaimed kids clay, I threw some things with actual clay I actually bought with actual money.  Some of those turned out ok, and some of those turned out fan-freakin-tastic.



This guy has no glaze and no bottom, I was just seeing what would happen if I slopped a bunch of junk on the side of a pot, and this is what happens when you slop a bunch of junk on the side of a pot.  I forget the clay body though.  Eesh.



This one also has no bottom and is pretty standard.  I think there’s some iron on it, I don’t know.  I was thinking it is a nice size for a flower maybe.



This was supposed to be a jar that holds jewelry or whatever, I was going to give it to Alanis Morrisette because it’s so ironic, but the lid and the base fused, and now it’s a sculpture!  It has some nice pearlescent color to it though, huh?



This fellow was thrown at the same time as the jar, I put iron on it, fluted it, and put some glaze on it.  Celadon, perhaps?  Anyway, I adore some of the textures in it, it strikes me as very melony.  The iron ran at the base, but I will take that into account next time I make something like this, because there will be a next time.  Oh yes.



This was one of the last things I threw at ASU, and it isn’t the best, but I really like the tribal vibe it’s giving me.  It’s approaching Predator pottery.



This little guy is on Reitz Green glaze on porcelain.  I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I like it.  I remember when I dipped it I had to put my fingers on the side, since it is much to small to hold any other way.  That bare spot there is one of my fingerprints.  So that explains that.  The rest of it, I don’t know, magic?


This one is porcelain, with some iron filing slip on the inside.  You can see those little black dots, those are the iron, I imagine.  The glaze is kind of runny and doesn’t get thick enough to turn red on the outside.  I thought the iron might help, and it seems to have helped.



This is the same Copper Red glaze, it could have used some iron filings on it’s shoulder there, next time, I guess.  It is so shiny and awesome, I really like it even though it’s kind of bland in the picture.  The bottom is rough though.  I should get a Dremmel.

So, that was the wood unpacking of Spring ’13.  Not bad.


Gimme the bat, Marge

Just a fair warning, I think this one will get away from me.  Like a guy rambling about photos of his kids, I seriously doubt you want to read this.  I’ll try to put the more interesting stuff (the pictures) first.

On Wednesday, I threw six bowls.  Six!  They were decent too.  They took about two hours to throw and about three hours to trim.  The trimming probably could have taken very little time, except trimming fascinates me.



The one on the left I threw earlier this semester, a mere few weeks ago.  The one on the right is from a week ago.  I used one from a week ago because it was bisque fired and I wanted something close to compare weights.  Believe it or not, the one on the left feels heavier!  They are the same clay, but the one on the left has a temeku glaze whereas the one on the right has a porcelain slip I mixed up.  Here are all six together:

Wednesday 3/6/13


It’s pretty much like 8 Heads In A Duffel Bag, except it’s six heads, and there is no duffel bag or heads.  Or David Spade.  That concludes the first stage of rambling.

In the second one, I’d like to go over each piece individually, talking about the form and decoration, along with special comments I may want for posterity.



I’m new to writing things down, but since I’ve been shown time and time again that I should probably do it, I’m trying it again.  I’m more trying to commit things to memory and type them down because I hate writing so much.  Anyway, I forget the exact order I threw these bowls, but that is something I should take care to note, since that may be useful later.  Anyway, this is bowl 017.  Yes, I know that zero before the one was probably overly optimistic of me, but the engineer part of me likes to see zeros in front of stuff sometimes, ok?  Get off my back.
While the numbers don’t coincide with the order I threw them, they are left to right in the picture, so this one is the left-most one.  It isn’t easy to see in the photo, but I would say this one is more angular than the others.  It has more of a clear bottom, which I wasn’t certain I liked when I first finished it, but I like it now.  It feels like it has more structure to it, like it is the Missing Piece to my fingers’s Big O (ok, it’s not really like the story, but it’s like the title).  I tried trimming in a chuck I made of leather hard clay.  I should have let it dry more, since the moisture from the chuck was absorbed into the rim, which got deformed a bit, so that’s what that is, since I knew you were wondering.



Now on to 018.  You can see how the bottom is more parabolic, which while good in theory, doesn’t strike me as having a mind of it’s own.  I didn’t think about that until just now.  When things in nature are smooth, it subconsciously demonstrates how fluid it is, just a bag of liquid, a nothing sack.  That’s probably why Borg spaceships have a bunch of gobbledygook on the sides for no reason.  I mixed up some iron filings into some porcelain clay to make my own slip, I believe I talked about that in a previous post.  I applied it to the inside of this bowl, mostly because bright things are nicer to eat out of than dark things.  That’s probably subconscious too.  Anyway, I think it looks nice, but the outside is a bit too tight, too bland.  I’m interested to see what the slip does though, that should be cool.  I also like how I treated the rim.  A lot of my bowls have an ending, a top opening, but I wouldn’t call them a rim, per se.  THIS is a rim.  Not the best, but it’s starting.



And here we have 019.  The profile of this bowl is pretty dang tulipy.  I like that about it.  It’s pretty elegant looking.  I’ll play with it a little after it’s fired to see how hard it is.  I like how the profile closes a tiny bit before opening back up again, but I really should try to combine that with a rim, especially if I’m going to be using stoneware.  I did some chattering along the side of the bowl.  It’s kind of hard to see, but it’s there.  It should show up during the firing, by having small changes the atmosphere can flow around, so we’ll see how it goes with that.  Again with the no-rim.  Crazy.



Hey kids, you know what time it is?  020 time!  This one is quite a bit smaller than 019.  Before I sat down to throw, I measured out balls of clay, and they were all within a 1/4th pound of each other.  I guess that’s a lot of discrepancy if they only weigh about 4/2 pounds to begin with, but I’m not about to get to precise with my clay weighing.  I know a lot of ceramics is about precision, but I don’t buy it.  I like happy accidents, but that’s a topic for another day, if not just another paragraph.  Maybe this one was on the lighter side, maybe the walls are thicker, who knows.  I’m thinking now that I threw this one before I threw 018.  It has slip applied to the inside, but the application looks a bit sloppier, and it stops a little short of where the rim might be.  A rim is indicated though, so that’s a plus.  Actually, I think this one was the first one I threw that night.  It seems to be the runt of the litter.  I remember when I was trimming my tool ran into a chunk of something that seemed to be already bisqued clay.  Ah, free recycled clay is fun.  And free!



021.  This one is a beaut.  The profile is almost exactly the same as 019, which is pretty neat to me, considering that I often feel that my pieces don’t look like they are quite a set, so this is especially encouraging to me.  The inside is still plain, and there isn’t a rim per se, but it does go in a little where the rim might be, I kind of remember distinctly trying to make a rim, so that’s pretty good.  It still could use something to say “HEY“.  The application is pretty neat though.  It wasn’t that wet, and I made it with clumps in it (not really on purpose, but you have to go through a slower process to make it without clumps, and hey, happy accidents, right?), so it went on in a dry mannar that ended up looking like those anvil head clouds.  I bet I can put some colorant in future slips and say my inspiration was a sunset, or some nonsense like that.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this type of decoration with coyotes on it or something.  Oh, that’s kind of a downer.



Bowl 022.  Again, it’s very plain, I probably threw it when I threw 017 up there.  One thing to note about this one is how loose I threw it.  I think that’s why I went ahead and left it plain.  Just to teach you non-ceramicists something, let me explain.  Loose and tight (in ceramics world) refer to how a piece is thrown.  If it is ovoid when it should be circular, or not straight when it should be straight, it is considered to be thrown loosely.  Now, tight and loose is often directly compared to good and bad, but that is very often not the case.  A master potter Shoji Hamada is famous for loose bowls.  It’s a more natural form, since circles appear almost nowhere in nature, and straight lines are few and far between.  Also, as mentioned above, a loose form looks more like there is something inside.  Loose forms also look less machined.  Usually, a newcomer to the wheel will make loose pots first automatically, and later struggle to make them on purpose.  I have to remind myself that just about every time I get on the wheel to throw.  Why am I using clay?  Happy accidents, mostly.


Yesterday I helped watch a wood kiln firing.  More accurately, I ‘helped’ ‘watch’ part of a wood kiln firing.  I thought ceramics was pretty cool before, but yesterday helped teach me how incredibly awesome it is.  Next Wednesday I should have some fired pieces.  Woo!

Pete Tidrow

I remember it was the summer of ’93.  There in the newspaper was a full page ad for Jurassic Park.  A full page!  Of course, it deserved more, being an adventure 65 million years in the making and all.  I wasn’t quite 11 yet, and unlike most 10 year old boys, I loved dinosaurs.  I was going to see this movie.  It is rated PG-13, but that doesn’t actually mean I have to be 13, right?  I just need some parental guidance!  For some odd reason, I asked my dad if he would take me to see it.  Now, my dad hadn’t been to a movie ever, that I could remember.  He would often mention how he saw War of the Worlds when he was a boy, and it traumatized him.  I can understand that now, Tom Cruise is pretty scary.  Surprisingly, he agreed!  As we are heading to the local theater, he gave me some money for tickets and popcorn.  I thought it was a bit odd, but I don’t analyse those types of things.  When we got to the theater, I excitedly hopped out of the car.  He didn’t.  I asked him if he was going to park the car (We had pulled up to the front of the theater, I’m sure he just wanted to give me a red carpet entrance, sans red carpet.  That makes sense, right?).  He said yes, he was going to park the car at home (Looking back, he should have said he was going to Jurassic Park the car at home.  He missed a major opportunity there.).  He asked him to take me to see Jurassic Park, and he did take me to see it, but he sure wasn’t going to.  I told him I needed parental guidance, and he told me there were probably other parents in the theater.  Then he went home.  My mom still gets visibly riled when she hears that story, no doubt because dad was so uninterested in seeing a completely awesome movie.

Up until I went off to college the first time, he would help me with my homework.  He made me cry during several of those tutoring sessions.  He knew I was smarter than what the homework was making me do, so he would explain the concepts by giving me far more work to do.  I was considering putting help in quotation marks, but he really did make me understand it more.  When I was quite young, we would go on runs around the block.  Once he asked me if it was farther if I run twice around one block or once around two blocks.  I said once around two blocks, because then you have to run across the street too.  He explained to me how wrong I was, and why.  He could always tell you why.  When my sister was born, I made the mistake of asking how old she’ll be when I’m twice as old as her.  He didn’t say “Eight, dummy.”, he made me get paper and a pencil and figure it out using algebra.  2=(8+x)/(x) solve for x.  Ugh, sorry I asked.

He was so willing to help me out when I had my surgery.  He flew to Colorado to meet me in the hospital as soon as he got the news.  Then he went back to Colorado to get my car and to pack my dorm room once we realized things weren’t going to go quite as smoothly as we were led to believe, and he missed a few things (namely, my hilarious, crudely drawn picture of Charles Barkley dutifully drawn by some kid).  Then, he drove me BACK to Colorado after I somehow convinced my parents that I should definitely be back in school.  On the way up, we stopped at a little Oriental place.  I pointed to my food and sang “I don’t care what you say any more, this is FRIED RICE” with all of the harmony of Billy Joel.  Of course, misunderstandings followed.  I explained to him that it was a funny joke he missed, and he was such a sport, he didn’t show me why I was wrong.  He was good that way.  So respectful of how others choose to think, even when it was obviously wrong.

Later he told me that he would almost hang up on me when I called him that semester, for three reasons.  1) My landline said ‘Restricted’, because we weren’t to interested in making it not say that.  2) I would take so long to get to talking, he assumed I was one of those automatic telemarketer machines. 3) I sounded so much like one of those automatic telemarketer machines, he assumed I was one of those telemarketer machines.

I remember when I got back home and he made a bet with me he would fill the scoreboard on Super Mokeyball Bowling with 300s before I could get all gold medals on Rogue Leader.  He won, of course.  He hogged my Gamecube for weeks, but he won.  I still haven’t gotten all of those medals.  He was pretty competitive.  He raced cars, and won a trophy that was nearly as tall as me when he won it.  He learned to pilot small planes because his work partner did.  When my dad found out that his partner only missed one question on his whatever fly fly test, dad studied his brains out.  He didn’t miss any.

He was my dad.  He is my dad.  He always will be my dad.  I love you, Dad.

Scary Stuff

I have a few things I want to write about this week, but I feel this is serious enough for a separate post.

I have been dealing with my own demons recently.  Well, I suppose I’ve been trying to deal with them my whole life, but they seem to be louder now.  Less ignorable.  I had two very different waking nightmares in the same amount of nights.  Even though they were so different, in hindsight it seems that the first was a bit prophetic of the second.  I feel there is some sort of cosmic string tying the two together.  Anyone who has seen a cop show probably knows there is no such thing as a coincidence, although I will admit that it is easier to say that a coincidence happened, when really I don’t know what happened.

The first night, or I suppose Thursday morning, I was restlessly lying in bed, clutching my magnets.  I must have fallen asleep, because I awoke with a sort of dreadful feeling.  You see, I knew that my magnets were not allowed in my apartment after a certain time.  After that time, a infra-red beam from my air conditioning unit would scan my apartment for magnets.  Once a magnet was detected, I only had a certain amount of time to purge them from my apartment before a silent alarm was triggered that would alert… someone.  Then, they would respond by doing… something.  Of course, the safest course of action was to grab my magnets, run outside, and hope I was quick enough.  Once outside, all I could do was wait, and watch, and wake up and realize that nobody was coming, and I was definitely crazy, and go back inside.

While I’m sure this doesn’t come across in words, the mix of certainty and uncertainty results in pure terror on my part.  I couldn’t quite ‘remember’ what time the magnets were allowed until.  I couldn’t quite ‘remember’ how to block the beam from detecting my magnets.  I couldn’t quite ‘remember’ how long I had to purge my apartment.  I couldn’t quite ‘remember’ who would be alerted.  I couldn’t quite ‘remember’ what my punishment would be.  I’m glad I wake up.

Friday morning, I didn’t get to bed until a little before one.  As my eyes slowly adjusted to the dark, I was able to dimly see objects around me.  Once again, sleep must have come over me, but it was more of a slow blink than anything, since my eyes again opened, and were greeted by a hellish strobe, from blue to red to white and back.  My first thought was that whoever was alerted the previous night over my magnets didn’t react all that quickly, but they were here at last.  Now my best option was to go outside and face the music, which they had seemingly brought with them.  I couldn’t quite make it out, but it sounded like some haunting chant.  I went outside to see a PMT vehicle, a fire truck, and some sort of police SUV parked right outside my house.  The hellish strobe was only the helpful strobe of the fire truck.  The wailing sound I had heard was not imagined, but it was someone across the street,  shouting eerie lamentations to I don’t know who.  A group of men were trying in unison to move an unseen object.  I imagine the group were the firefighters, and the object was most likely a human body.  Once I had seen this, I decided it was best to get dressed and go help.  However, in the process of getting dressed, I woke up more and reasoned that the best way to help was most likely to stay the hell out of the way.  So I sat down on my couch.  The strobe filled my apartment and the moaning told me I wouldn’t be sleeping for quite some time, so I closed my eyes and reflected instead.

When the PMT vehicle left after what seemed like hours, the clock still read just after two.  It left leisurely, which I imagine is a grave sign.  The yelling continued for about fifteen more minutes, which tells me it did not come from the injured, but instead from a loved one.  The sound they made took away their gender, but it struck me that people only made that sound if they blame someone, and if you blame someone, it’s probably you.

People seem to blame themselves more than any other person.  And when they do blame someone else, it’s usually a misdirection, a way to compensate for their own shortcomings.  That is true for me, anyway.

Why don’t you stay?

That part of the song doesn’t really apply here.  Oh well.  I can’t sleep because I’m excited for a job interview I’m having tomorrow (later today, I suppose), so I may as well update this guy.

I’ve been relatively busy recently, a real good amount of busy for me.  Learning more about exercise and nutrition and juicing and ceramics and meditation, and then ruminating on how all those things are related.  They’re pretty much the same thing, if you want to look at it that way.

About a week ago I tried a new experiment.  I made a juice and then blended it with a scoop of protein powder.  I don’t really know what I was thinking, but it turned out… finishable.  It was green with lovely darker green striations.  The best way I can describe the flowing colors is basically like a green Guinness, which I know doesn’t sound that great.


Of course, the picture doesn’t show the dancing colors inside my blender, which is most unfortunate since that is far and away the best quality of this juice.  It didn’t taste that great.  It was one bunch of parsley, one bunch of celery, one bunch of kale, one Granny Smith apple, one cucumber, one jalapeno, and one carrot.  Oh, and one scoop of chocolate protein powder.  It’s a whey protein, but it’s in the other room and I forgot what brand it is.  I’m not looking now.  The yield of the juice was much too large.  I’m thinking I could have done with half a bunch of celery and half a bunch of kale and maybe no cucumber.  Those changes would have drastically reduced the volume.

Since last Monday was a holiday, the pieces I threw on the first day of class were probably way way way too dry to trim, but of course, I tried to trim them anyway.


This one is a weird little egg cup, about the size of a raptor egg.


This is a pretty decent bowl.  It seems to have warped a little while drying.  C’est le vie.


I like this one.  I had to gouge out the bottom of it, so the bottom is real ugly, and the rim is unfinished so it probably won’t be any good for drinking, but it has a nice shape I think.  I also like that scratch on the left of it there, it adds character.  Let’s see if the glaze covers it or emphasizes it.

The pieces from this class… well I wouldn’t say better, but different.


This was a really nice bowl.  I deformed it getting it off the wheel.  I’ll get to see how bad next Monday.  What a treat!


This is a pretty nice one.  My teacher showed me how big the kiln we’re trying to fill is, so I’m trying to throw larger.  Throwing larger incorporates more muscles, so it’s hard for me, and therefore probably better for me.  Price of clay is a limiting factor, but that’s metaphorically a small price to pay for nice pieces.


This one I really have no idea.  Maybe a candlestick holder?  Or a hookah base?  A good example of how throwing larger can get away from me.

When I say throwing ‘large’, I really only mean longer than my hand.  Some day soon, throwing large will be more like longer than my arm.

Anyway, Mesa Arts Center is a beautiful facility.  I am excited to be a part of the studio, and I am excited to learn more about glazing and firing (and throwing, and who knows what else).  Hopefully my pieces will be less dry come Monday, and if they’re still too dry, I’m sure I’ll figure something out.  I am sort of bummed about the limited time I can actually be in the studio, but I guess that’s a good thing to be bummed about.  My friend suggested I launch an Etsy page to sell my ware, and that may be quite a good idea.  I’ll look into it.