Friday, January 16, 2015

Selling in the studio

During my time as the volunteer in Open Studio yesterday, I watched Mathilda set out a crate of her work for a customer of hers to well as the other students who were working that afternoon.  Mathilda is an active member of a local store, Morningstar Gallery, and makes her pottery and has it all fired at BMCA studio.  She is very talented. 

We also observed yesterday a heating repair person advise us that the only problem was "the batteries in the remote control were almost dead." 

When I arrived at the studio it had been really brisk, but by the time I left at 4 pm, the thermometer on the wall showed an increase of 10 degrees in temperature.  So perhaps we shall be toasty warm now!  (I remember when we didn't have running water in the studio or heat and air conditioning.  We are so lucky for these features now, even hot water!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Charles Freeland

Our studio manager, the clay studio that is.  Charles can do just about anything around the studio, including setting up gallery exhibits...and other manly a jar of glaze you can't open?

He is also a superb potter.  Here is his table for the sales for Holly Jolly.

And here is his gallery exhibit.

Sorry about my shadow.  Great duplication of form, and glaze is matt black.

Thanks for all you do to help guide us in our clay endeavors!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Though some piece have sold, there are still many beautiful works in the Black Mountain Center for the Arts Gallery.  Come visit us during regular hours.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Last firings before holidays: Dec 20 &  21
Closed Dec 23rd
Open Jan 5th
Classes resume on the 5th of Jan for New Year
$20 for students to use the studio next week 
Charles Freeland, studio manager

Friday, December 5, 2014

New in the studio, but not to pots

 Doah has only been working at BMCA's Pottery Studio a few weeks, but has a great technique for glazing that big flat platter...

All dipped and ready to dry then clean off the bottom before the glaze firing.
Glad to have you be part of the studio, Doah!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holly Jolly pottery sales and Gallery Exhibit

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts 
225 West State St.
invites the public to visit upstairs 
for the Pottery Sales Showroom
 and the Pottery Gallery Exhibit.

Student potters are happy to sell their work, which is diverse, beautiful, and economical!
Year after year this is a great venue, and offers refreshments as well!
No matter what the weather outside may be, from 5-8 pm on Friday, December 5, 2014, this is an important stop in the holiday party that Black Mountain throws once a year.  

Other shops may have interesting holiday goods, but this is the place for pottery!  Walk through the streets, but save space for our nibbles, as well as the fun of picking some gifts for others (or yourself!)  

All showroom sales contribute 50% to the Center for the Arts.

Visit BMCA home page HERE.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Not new potter, student Kerrie

Kerrie jumped right in and made these mugs, showing her style and forms.  Welcome to our studio!

Monday, December 1, 2014

A patchwork teapot

Pottery student, Gail Rivera, came up with the idea of adding patchwork of colored clays to a teapot. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The busy wheels

One day last week there were three potters in a row on the wheels.  I had to get them to smile for this picture!  Their work was gorgeous, as were their smiles, don't ya think?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

The Clay Studio will be closed for the thanksgiving holiday starting wed. night.  We will reopen mon. for regular studio hours. 
Charles Freeland, Studio Manager

Monday, November 17, 2014

Those Gingko Leaves

Marsha Cozart has done it again, using commercial glazes on this lovely Gingko platter

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Too cold Saturday

Message from Charles Freeland:
BRRRRRRR!!!  Studio closed today due to extreme cold.  Poor little heater working over time still cant warm the studio past 50 on days like this. We will resume normal hours tomorrow.

Catching him in Action

I'm glad I kept clicking photos of Luke yesterday, because half of them were blurs as he was cleaning up...a man of action!  Cleaning up after an open studio or a class is actually scheduled into the time we spend working in's a community studio after all, so someone else may be using the same equipment tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2014

stills from...Video of firing Anagama (abridged)

Don Reitz describing how the fire will flow around pots in the kiln
A five day firing, then five day cooling.  So we saw about 35 minutes from the entire process, actually including some of the loading and unloading of the kiln.  Wonder what percentage that would come out to be...

Dragons breath, the puff of smoke coming out of the shows dark at the top of the kiln.

That's Charles Freeland in red, about 17 years ago.

Stoking the side ports

The kiln was about 40 feet long, 4-1/2 feet high, and around 6 feet wide.

During the 5 day cool-down, participants went sightseeing in Colorado and Arizona.

Then a chain of people unloaded everything, when wares were still pretty hot.

Some of Charles' work...

Different finishes based on where the pots were in the firing.

Several members of the Clay Club shared that they wood fire in this area.  Many of the students at BMCA Clay Studio have never observed a wood kiln.  It's a smokey affair and gives results that aren't duplicated in other kilns.  Thanks Charles Freeland, for sharing his experience with all of us.  Charles is the manager of the Clay Studio of Black Mountain Center for the Arts.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Clay Club eating and greeting

Some great deserts...and a few more nutritious just never know in a pot luck!

We enjoyed seeing Charles' firing the anagama kiln with the late Don Reitz back in the 90s at N. Arizona U. in Flagstaff.  (Some shots of the video with both Charles and Don will be in tomorrow's post)

Here are the great potters who joined us last Wed. night in Black Mountain.  (I just love taking photos of people eating!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ready for Clay Club

Molly is spiffing up the windows so they will shine for all of us tonight as Clay Club folks (everyone interested in clay) come to share a pot luck and a short video of a wood firing kiln (Anagama) done by our own Charles Freeland and the late Don Reitz at Arizona U.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Remember Clay Club

Just a reminder, for all of you who are able to come, this Wed. at 6:30 to our party of potters...and it's a pot luck too.
Drinks and paper goods will be provided by the Studio.
We will be missing some of our regular folks, so I hope the newer pottery lovers will enjoy meeting the folks that can come.  I know this is a busy time of year for potters who make their living at potting.
A video of Charles Freeland and Don Reitz firing the Anagama Kiln in Arizona (not too many years ago, but we will soon see!)...and live...Mathilda Tanner giving a short demo on her incising techniques...and just general relaxing fun.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Welcome new student!

One of our newest pottery students is Nancy...who obviously already knows a bit about making pots!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Charles working

A thrown cylinder which has been altered (no longer round shape) is getting a bottom made from a slab.

With the feet applied, final details were added...then it was allowed to dry before being bisque fired.