Tag Archives: Jurassic Park


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.



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.

Spirit animal?

I drew this yesterday.  It started raining today.  Coincidence?  So, where is the goat?

Boy, do I hate being right all the time.

This is going to be a painting, I swear.

Life found a way

Jurassic Park recreation!

I am glad I’m not an archeologist, but I am also glad I was able to be Dr. Grant, if only for a day.

If you want to win, you gotta learn how to play.

Today I helped my friend recreate the lunch scene from Jurassic Park for a film class he’s taking.  He had me play Dr. Alan Grant, both because I love dinosaurs and because he likes my quirky onstage presence.  I thought this was an interesting choice, since the other cast members had more of a physical likeness to their original characters.  I also didn’t seem to match the tone of the scene, I think my speech difficulties, coupled with my jerky movements and over-the-top hairiness give me an overall Muppetesque quality that turns everything into a comedy.

However, it was a lot of fun to shoot, and it will be a lot of fun to watch.  Hammond guarantees it.  He spared no expense.  Anyway, I know I’m looking forward to see the final edited version of the scene.  You can bet that if it winds up on the internet, it’ll wind up here soon after.