Here is a behind the scenes look at just a small fraction this year’s stellar collection of yunomi at CLAYAKAR.COM 👉@clayakar👈Do you recognize any of the potters? I made a pilgrimage to Iowa City, Iowa after the St. Croix Pottery Tour last weekend, to visit Sanjay and Jigna Jani, the folks who brought you the gold standard of online pottery exhibition, AKAR Design. Their annual Yunomi Invitational has been wildly successful and this year’s collection will be splendidly available at 10 a.m. CST. Some of the pieces can be seen in 360°! Because of several scheduling conflicts, this will be the first year i will be absent from the show. 😔 (but I guarantee i will be there clicking through hundreds of cups by 180 potters)
The Best of Sawdust and Dirt
A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!
Filtering by Tag: yunomi
Out of the 30 swirl cups that I fired last month in the wood kiln, these are the 5 i have chosen for the annual AKAR Design Yunomi Invitational   [20??]. I wanted to choose a group that showed a variety of color, swirl, and brushwork.
The process is a curious one, that begins with an invitation to do a show along with some of the best potters in the country and challenges me to make cups that push my abilities and techniques into new areas. Curious because in the end you might say these cups look like the kind of cups that you might expect from me. And you would be partially right, I guess.
But, contrary to my last post, this palette and style is but a subtle variation and refinement, not the kind of obvious change I talked about the other day. Each firing there are a handful of pots that are unusual and maybe not what I expect. Then I try to reproduce their goodness, whatever it may be, often missing the mark or guessing wrong on the combination of variables that affect a pot in the wood kiln.
So, to get a group of pots for a show like the Yunomi show, I might need 30 to get 5 or 6 exceptional ones. It's a strategy or process of "make bunch and some might fly" that many a studio potter are grateful for and since it's fun to make a lot of pots, its a great way to work.
But the other thought I have, or the other question you might pose, is who am I to judge?
Everybody has different tastes, different needs. Some like their pasta soft and some like theirs al dente. But in the end, I guess someone has to throw it against the ceiling to see if it sticks. [ba dum tssshhh] and I guess that would be me. But in the end, or at the point of sale, you, O fair and trusted customer, are the final judge!
The AKAR Yunomi show opens on the morning of May 15th and a LOT of the pots sell in the first hour! My advice would be to be take the morning or the day off, bookmark the website and get a front row seat! You should also follow AKAR Design on the Facebook for some fun preview action!
Thanks so much for reading!!
|michael Simon fluted yunomi|
First, a prerequisite, please read this brief Coffee Break post.
The pots on the shelf are a mix of function/utility, inspiration, and conservation. Some of the pots are here in my studio because they are precious to me and I don't want them to be in our household, because they might get broken, yet I want to keeps these pots from drying out, so they are here where I can use them and protect them.
When I get a new cup, of course I like to try it out and hoard it from the family. Sometimes I am successful and wisk the pot away to the studio before it gets into my wife's car and lost to her office! It's all fair in love and pots, though, I guess. ;-)
This cup, made by M.Simon was a gift from Michael in 2005 when I was recovering from my hand accident and it was in one of Michael's last firings in Colbert, GA. It has quite a range of color from the tessha glaze over the white slip. The salt has flashed the side you can see in this picture, while the other side of the pot
|maroon iron red on Michael SImon yunomi|
|frumpy swirl yunomi|
I have a lot of announcements to make, too [which I will dole out a little at a time so I don't come off sounding like one of those annoying arts calendar PSA's that start to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher after about 15 seconds].
In the meantime, while I dream of future-soon-to-be blog posts, can you guess which came first in the swirl cups above? In other words, are these red-dirt-clay with porcelain swirls? or, porcelain-clay with red dirt swirls?
The secret will be revealed to you on Saturday.
The upcoming firing is probably the last wood firing I'll do before the deadline for the spring show in Iowa City, so here are a few hopefuls.
This is from the AKAR web site:
3/25/2011 - 4/4/2011
2011 Yunomi Invitational
5 Yunomis each
- 240 cups sold in the first 14 minutes
- 500 cups sold in the first hour
- 686 cups sold in 12 hours
North Carolina had the most potters (of course) with 24 and here are the other tallies:
IL, NY, PA 10
CO, MN, VA 7
TX, UT, WI 6
CA, IA, OH 5
MO, MI, Canada,AZ, IN 4
CT, OR, KY, NE, FL, WA 3
MD, SC, VT, MS 2
KS, LA, WV, NM, AK, NH, ID, DC 1
mia- HI, NJ, ND, SD, AL, TN, ME, RI, DE, OK
194 potters x 5 cups
[i can't guarantee these numbers as
I was counting them by hand on my
screen, but you get the point.]
But in the end, who doesn't like a cup? It's really the love of the cup that drives the folks at Akar, and the many who sit down at their computers to buy them. The cups in this years show are as diverse as we are as a culture. Most of our cabinets are probably overflowing with cups, but that doesn't stop us from adding to our collections. Pots break, or they get tired, better one comes along, our habits change, or we seek a different texture or color. And as we evolve in either our taste or our depth as collectors, hopefully there will be a pot that fits our needs and a potter out there to make it.
This show will continue to grow and include future generations of potters. At least I hope it does. It's one of the few events each year that truly embody the excitement that I have for pottery. As Sue Weisenburger commented on Akar's FB page, "[It's] One of my favorite 5 minutes of the year!"
My fellow POTR Stan Andersen's beautiful cup!
7 out of 15 of our guild were in the show!
Did you buy a cup? Did you have a favorite cup in the show? Were there surprises? Let us know with a brief comment. Thanks!
Now back to pottery making!
When I was at Highwater Clays the other day I bought a bag of Grolleg kaolin for my #6 Tile kaolin slip. Go figure. I call it T6 slip, but it has a little bit of Grolleg in the recipe. It's a recipe I got from Linda Christianson somewhere down the road. It worked really well, so why change a good thing? Well that bag of Grolleg kaolin was $44! Yes, I know it is from England. Yes I know it probably one of the world's best clays. But come on!! I tell myself that it's just a small portion of the recipe and the bag will last a long time. But come on! I putting it on dirt! Oh well. If it works is there a reason to fix it?
[In researching this post, it turns out that all dry materials have gone ¡way! up. Did you notice this, or am I just a little slow to catch on? The Grolleg is actually ¡cheaper! than the #6Tile!! See for yourself...]
Where were we?
Oh yes, I pour the slip on the slabs, spin the bat that the slab is on, and then comb away.
Here is the hump mold just after I have shaped a dish. You can still see the ghost image of the combed slip. Below are the molded dishes aprés Bandana. Stacey thought they looked too much like Michael and Naomi's pots. I said, "Oh good!!" I don't think she knew that it was covers week here at the pottery. And what would be so wrong about that, anyway? I guess this idea of originality is a problematic one for us potters.
I also saw some nice doodlings from Dylan Bowen. You can see for yourself. It's a doodle thing! (aka what goes around, comes around)
On to more formal thoughts, or more well formed thoughts, anyway. [damn, ever since Simon's post yesterday, I've been trying to be as clever, sorry, I'll leave the irony to Mr. Levin]
Here is a bottle/vase/call-it-what-you-will, on a specially made chuck for trimming. This series of pots started out as a cover of the Bruce Gohlson "big gulp" yunomi the other day and by the second board of 'em it had morphed into this shape. To see the bottle/vase just hold your monitor upside down, or stand on your head, or scroll down, whatever is more fun, or easier, your choice...
The cup shape grew into a vase shape quite naturally.
After that I was back at the treadle wheel for some more trimming. I took the still soft chuck I used for the bottle/vases and reshaped the top to accommodate the MSimon cup covers! The updated chuck's effectiveness was marginal but it worked and I got them done.
The feet were tricky. I soon found that I had looked closely at the finished fired cup when throwing these, but hadn't looked closely enough at the foot. For most of these I had left too much clay in bottoms which needed a lot careful tweaking to get the cups where they wanted to be. A process that made the feet look a little overwrought. Most of them were taller and narrower in proportion than the original.
This one had the nice profile, a decent weight, and the foot was close, but a far cry from Mr. Simon's. The scale is a little off.
The scale is one of the things I like about Michael's cup. It's volume is very specific to my coffee in the morning or a good gulp of water. My version will hopefully find a home where it is "just the thing".
For me, it's back to the drawing board, or rather, back to the wheel! It's getting on noon and here I am at a keyboard!
Don't forget to take this weeks poll! Just a few hours left! Scroll down and you'll find it on the right hand sidebar. Thanks.
Here are the yunomi (cups) that are ready to be shipped to Iowa City for the big show opening on March 26th. Now it's your turn to choose. Let me know which 5 cups you would like to see in the show. Leave your vote as a comment. Thanks for helping me me choose!
Here's the link to last years show @AKARdesign.
Just finished the yunomis. I'm not that excited by them. If I had more time I would go back to the wheel where I could take the info from the trimming session and work that into new forms. It's a chicken and egg situation. But here they are. What do you think? I know it's all about holding these cups, and without that info it's tough to assess. Then think about all the pots you've ever seen in books, even in museums, that you haven't touched or picked and think about how biased we are to surface because of that. It's crazy! To me this form is so much about holding.
sold out at AKAR
Spent most of the day running errands. I managed to pack the pots I'm sending to the Mudfire Potters of The Roan Show opening in April. There will be a 2 gallon jar among some plates, platters, some big cups, and yunomis.
Speaking of yunomis, the AKAR yunomi show opens in the morning. I hope you will see the show and get to buy some of the great pots the show promises to have. Some of the cups profits will go to the Studio Potter magazine. They are recommending that you register so that your purchases can be expedited without delay. The show sold out pretty quickly last year as I remember, so log on early. I think the show goes live at about 10a.m. EST. I have a few more yunomi that I didn't ship that I hope to post on etsy very soon. I'll let you know when I do that.
My friend Buck was over this evening to wire up the pug mill, mixer, and kiln. Hopefully, soon we'll be hearing the roar of the Paoli mixing up some fresh red dirt. I've been limping along with reclaim and previously frozen clay that has taken a lot of time to reprocess. Maybe now I'll have no excuses to crank those pots out. Let's hope...
I've been kept busy pretty much all day. Either it was a phone call, visitors from the NC Welcome Center out on I-26, getting today's loaf of bread in the oven, sorting out old Ceramics Monthly's, raking dirt in the bright sunshine, or drinking several cups of coffee from this "YouKnowMe". Everything but turning turning the 300 lbs. of reclaim that I wedged last night into fresh pots...
[With "Peaches En Regalia" playing on the repeat mode .]
[back to youknowme]: Maybe to see a pot best in this blog format, you just have to have a bigger image! Just click on the image above for a closer look. I have to remember that most of the viewing audience probably have a high speed connection and that the fact that we still have dial-up here at the Sawdust and Dirt "office", doesn't mean I have to have little bitty pictures on the blog. Well, enjoy the day, enjoy the cup , and have "another cup of coffee, for the road".
The process of choosing pieces for an exhibition is usually a difficult one for me. I try to balance the group of pots against the individual favorites. I have all kinds of rationalizations that are put into play, just to make a few 'simple' decisions. This blog vote was a first for me, maybe in pottery bloggery history. I don't know. I wish there had been more votes and maybe I should have made it more anonymous, maybe next time. The candidates for the vote all made the cut, in my opinion. But to choose the five to sent, I thank you for helping me narrow the field. Here are the pots that I shipped this morning.
I'll keep you posted about the online Yunomi Show at AKAR. It opens Friday March 27th at 10 a.m.
Thanks for helping. I'll definitely do this again.