Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lessons in plants

 Going out to Grifton to see the "succulent dude" was more than I bargained for. I decided to take Nathan, partly because he is a plant enthusiast and will enjoy seeing the greenhouse, but also to be a buffer. This plant dude likes to depart wisdom, so much so that its hard to get a word or question in. I just wanted to go out there and buy some succulents to take back a re-pot into some of my planters that I've been making. Its hard to explain what happened out there but all I know is that I left his greenhouse without any damn plants. Nathan was there, ask him. I left with a boggled mind.

We returned to Greenville and spent the day hashing out what he had told us. We actually had learned a lot  from Rob from the 2 hours we were trapped inside his greenhouse of beautiful plants. We discovered that Nathan had some perfectly good "stock" plants in his house that we could harvest trimmings from. We also learned some basic marketing tricks that I hope to use next time I set up my wares. Here are some photos I took of Rob's greenhouse and then some of what we did when we returned to Greenville.

Here are Some Awesome Quotes:

  • "F**king Home Depot!"
  • "Don't ever use fertilizer in plants in your home."
  • "Take a biology class, if you want to learn about plants, for crissakes."
  •  " a hanging a swastika from your neck."
  •  "Those built-in saucers for the planters are a deathwish for the plants."
  • "Most people are f**king idiots, they know, they know less than nothing!"
  • "If someone handed you the keys to a nuclear power plant after they had had a core reactor melt-down and had said, "I didn't really study this shit, hey you want to run it?" you'd think they were crazy, right? or f**king stupid! The same applies to plant keeping, you gotta study this shit."
  • "Go to Lowes and look for discounted plants that are dying, get some great deals there."

Nathan politely listening.

Nathan's plant in my planterhead.

Nathan's cactus in my planterhead.

Jade plants freshly potted.

Meat Puppets and plants.

Vine video of a planter I'm making at Nathan's.

Joy to the World.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Jail Time- Episode 01 Donkey Kick

Nate G with some tips on physical fitness and treating your lover right while your in jail. Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Raku Kiln at Pitt Community College

I have been hired to be a visiting artist at Pitt Community College to lecture and demonstrate the Raku Firing Process. I really fell in love with the Raku process over the last summer at Interlochen Center for the Arts, where I am the Studio Manager. While there, I got my hands dirty by repairing their Raku kiln and firing some very successful sculptures and pottery. 

While at Interlochen, I would send pictures and talk on the phone with my PittCC buddies back home in Greenville about Raku. I was excited about this new process for me.  Jeremy Fineman and Charity Valentine were somewhat inspired by my Raku experiences and decided that it was something that PittCC could do as well. 

Here are some pictures of today's Test Fire #2. The first firing did not go so well as we were rushed and did not get the kiln hot enough to melt the glazes. This time Jeremy brought along his pyrometer and we were better able to adjust the gas, flue, and intake to get to the proper temperature.

Snapchat photo
My terra-cotta sculpture to be Raku'ed.

Jeremy adjusts the flue, wearing his official ceramicist shirt. ;)

Preheating some pieces, you can see skull piece down in there.

Iron-pouring gear is pretty handy for Raku.

Up and over!

2000 degree art.

I'm about to grab that 2000 degree ceramic sculpture!

The newspaper will protect my gloves but will also aid in the Oxidation Reduction Process.

That newspaper ignited immediately.

Into a trashcan full of newpaper!

Don't litter flaming newspaper.

Nice truck, bro.

We used a white raku glaze, but it came out very silver. I think this might be from the oils on the Daily Reflector ink that covered the sculpture in the reduction chamber.

After it cooled down, I used a brass brush and scrubbed some of the silver off to reveal a very creepy white color. The piece is half white and half silver and very alluring. I want to do more Raku firing. I feel very similar to the feeling of when I first saw an iron pour. This is why I make art, for this feeling. 

Thank you Jeremy Fineman and Charity Valentine and Matt Amante and BJ Revel (photos of me).