My Journal

works  ~  persona  ~  the mind  ~  home  ~

Below are a few thoughts, updates, suggestions,
ramblings, and announcements.

If you know me, this might be a good way of catching up.

10.2.2008
OK.......

 So its been like 4 years since I've written on the website, and I am sorry for that. Life has been hectic, and the clay business has been keeping me busy non-stop. I've never worked harder in my life. BUT, the satisfaction of achieving so many goals for the business in as little time I've been doing it has made me very happy. Our new location is Western Ceramics Supply in San Carlos CA. We manufacture bottled glazes there. It is a great company, and hugely satisfying to take on a new and exciting market full of new challenges.

I'm not making as much work as I did before becoming a clay and glaze supplier, which is kinda strange, but after working with clay all day in a business sense, it kinda makes the creative side fall short after a long days work. I keep saying I will post new photos of newer work on the site, so look for some in the near future.

I'm still teaching when not too busy, and still love firing kilns, building kilns, and doing alternative firing techniques, giving workshops whenever I can.  Please check out my company website, and see what new is going on. I hope to see you all down ant the planet soon!  www.clay-planet.comwww.westernglaze.com

Peace.

Matt

03.22.2004
Hello Again,
I know it has been forever since my last update, so there is a lot to cover here.. Since I last left you, I've fired a couple of pit firings, a couple of wood-salt firings, and am throwing for a spring valley anagama firing.  I also got my photo sent into the 500 Cups book. Let's hope one of my photos gets picked for the upcoming book.

The big news is that I am officially one of the new owners of Claymaker / Clay Planet Ceramic Supply Company in San Jose CA. Myself and two partners purchased the 30-something year old business on February 2nd of this year. I have moved from part-time potter/teacher to full time clay manufacturer and still part time potter teacher  Quite a busy schedule if I do say so myself. My partners and I have completely renovated the showroom and offices. If you come into the shop, you wouldn't recognize it as some old time customers have said. I went over 5 weeks of working every single day. many well over 14 hours a day. I lost 15 pounds busting my butt to clean the place up. It was absolutely filthy. But if you ever have the chance I'd love to see you come by and visit me. 

www.clay-planet.com/  or www.claymaker.com

We are located at:
1240 N. 13th Street
San Jose CA 95112
800-443-CLAY

I'm currently working on reformulating some of the clay bodies I inherited with the business to the way I would like to see them mixed. We may drop one or two from our regular clay runs, may add a few new clay bodies, and will definitely add some new glazes, low fire slips, raku glazes, and terra sigillatta to what we make and supply. The people who work here are also a great blessing to the store. Joe and J.J. are the best employees I could have hoped for. 

The NCECA conference was a very good show this year. I met with all of my vendors, and chatted with a number of artists whom I will be bringing to Clay Planet in the next year or so for workshops. It could be an exciting time for us all if they can make it here. I want to thank the gang at Skutt kilns for dinner while I was there, and to my home-boy Moses from Scott Creek Pottery, and my home-girl Meryldine from Great Lakes. We hung out and went drinking at the Slippery Noodle in downtown Indianapolis. It was off the hizzle fo shizzle.. It was also great to meet a potter throwing in the Shimpo booth. We have arranged to have him visit here on May 8th. His name is Yosuke Koizumi.

Yosuke is a young potter from Japan. He was not born a potter, instead he developed his throwing skills as he grew... pottery became to Yosuke what air is to a bird, water is to a fish, clay is to a potter. Eventually he attended Tulane University in New Orleans, and after graduating worked in pottery stores in the New Orleans area while exhibiting his work in local galleries. His work won first place on several occasions. He returned to Japan to work as a production potter in the pottery village of Shigaraki. He worked there for two years (He has some interesting stories about the time that he spent there. Ask him about them, if and when you find him!), and then joined Shimpo Ceramics in Japan where he was instrumental in designing and developing the new RK-Whisper potter's wheel.

We will be giving away some Shigaraki Pottery the weekend of the workshop, May 8th 2004. Anyone who purchases a Shimpo wheel that weekend will get $100 off retail price, 50 lbs of Claymaker Clay, a Batgrabber, and an original piece of Japanese Shigaraki Pottery

I hope you can make it to the demonstration workshop. Clay is the way!!!

Matt@pitfire.com for more information or to sign up for the workshop.

 

12.18.2003
Greetings from beyond the Clay Planet!!!!
Boy oh Boy do I have a lot to cover. It has been too long since my last update. I will begin with Amsterdam. It was awesome, and I hope you will take a look at the photos we took while there. There are a LOT of photos, and I never quite finished entering the quotes for all the pics, but its definitely worth a look. I have also been involved in a few sales these past few months, including the Castro Street Fair, the BHC Los Gatos History Club Sale, and I'm throwing for a big pit firing at the end of January. It should be rockin.

Halloween was unexciting, although my costume idea of being the "Cubs Fan" guy who assisted in the Cub's World Series screwup was a good one. My poor Cubs!! Thanksgiving was fun with my mother, Isabelle, and cousin Mike. We played cards until midnight. And my Christmas shopping is done early for once. I'm including more ceramics in this years gifts as I have been really busy and have not had enough time to shop. Thank God for Amazon.com!!

I have been brushing up on my clay bodies & glaze formulations in an attempt to prepare myself for a possible new beginning in my clay future.. More details to follow on this if it all works out....... (insert muffled whispers here)

I want to wish everyone in my class & at the Studio: Mary Jane, Albert & Virginia, David, Ken, Seema, Michael, Anastasia, Barbara, Meredith, Lilli, Melanie, Christina, Lauren, Marlene, Paul, Steve, Tony, Jerry & Joanne a Merry Christmas and a safe a Happy New Year. 2003 was a pretty good one overall. I hope we enjoy more clay adventures together in 2004. And Tony better make it for Sushi after the next sale, or I'm using my new & mighty super powers on him!

 

08.15.2003

Hello again everyone! First I'd like to thank potter Joanne from PA for coming out to visit me and see my works. She came a long way for a reunion but made a special trip to see me and do some saggar firing with me. Thanks also to Joanne Brice of Blossom Hill Crafts for letting us fire there. It's Saggar month! I've been trying to throw for some saggar firings since those have been getting the most attention for me at sales.  It's been interesting, because the Olsen 36 updraft I normally fire saggars in has been taken down in favor if a brand new West Coast car kiln. So I'm firing my saggars in a fiber updraft raku kiln. I hope I can get some consistent firing results there.. 

I'd like to thank potter Dan Leonette for linking our sites together. Dan is a potter living in Sweden, doing some amazing raku/naked/saggar firing. I hope one day to visit his studio. I've been busy preparing for an upcoming art show in of all places, Castro Street, in San Francisco. The hub of the gay community. If you are interested in one hell of a people watching experience, and want to see my work, come visit. I'm sure it will be an experience.

In two weeks I'm going to the Netherlands to explore my family heritage. My father has found out where my great grandfather lived and possibly had family in a village outside Amsterdam. We are going to explore and see if we have any long lost relatives there. I will send an update after I return to let you all know what we found out. I'll drink a Heineken, have a smoke & a pancake, and do a wooden shoe clog dance on a windmill tossing tulips in the air if we get some good news. 

I'm DUTCH.. Isn't that VEEIRD???

 

Until then. Keep in touch. I love to hear from everyone who reads my site, and had something to say about it.
matt@pitfire.com

I am also available this summer and fall for workshops and demonstrations in California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington and Arizona. My Saggar firing and Pit firing workshops have been great successes in the past, So e-mail me if you are interested in holding an alternative-firing style workshop. I'd be happy to talk to you about it.
WORKSHOPS@PITFIRE.COM

 

07.03.2003

Happy 4th of July to everyone! I've just returned from the baptism of my latest niece in Colorado Springs. That was a lot of fun. I saw family from Chicago whom I really miss seeing. 
Last month was a very successful pit firing on some friends of mine's land in Saratoga CA. We dug a 12 ft trench, filled it with pots and fired it overnight. We were lucky in getting a lot of hardwood sawdust, and it showed. The spinning pot on my homepage is out of this most recent firing. Also the before & After fading photo of the pit is on the pit firing page, along with some pics at the bottom. I really had a good time, and the firing was amazing. I had mixed the ULTIMATE batch of Terra Sig. Everything I put it on just screamed with a great shine.. I scored bigtime.  Other than that, the pottery life has been a little slow. Lots of teaching still, but not a whole lot of production. I did get the chance to play around with some spinning pot photography, 
Check these out: IF YOU DARE!! 
POT 1 ~ POT 2 ~ POT 3 ~ POT 4

Also, a WARNING to all potters who put their wares in galleries. Make sure you know and trust the gallery owners, talk to other artists there, and keep a good count and inventory of pots you hand over to any gallery. I was very careful and kept records of one Gallery in particular. The Elegant Earth gallery in Boulder Creek California who 's business it seems was slumping, along with my own sales there "At least I  had thought.."  When I was contacted to come pick up my pots because the gallery was closing up I compared my inventory sheets with the actual pot count at the gallery and I was 5, yes 5 pieces short. This was hundreds of dollars worth of work missing. I asked for the difference and was told that the owner would take care of it for me. The owner (Mary) never called me, and apparently never got my messages regarding compensation for my missing work. So in the end I'm out 5 pieces, and they are off somewhere probably screwing some other artist. So in a word. BEWARE!!

I am also available this summer and fall for workshops and demonstrations in California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington and Arizona. My Saggar firing and Pit firing workshops have been great successes in the past, So e-mail me if you are interested in holding an alternative-firing style workshop. I'd be happy to talk to you about it.
WORKSHOPS@PITFIRE.COM

 

04.10.2003

Hey Good news everyone. Check out Clayscapes.net 
Pick up a cool new ceramics screensaver! You really gotta see the images, they are AMAZING. It's hard to believe some of them are really clay and glaze surfaces, and not real landscapes, or space images.

This weekend I open another wood firing. The third wood firing this year at Spring Valley. I can't wait to see what we got out of it. I'd invite you all down to see the opening if I could! Looks like another Blosson HillCrafts Sale is coming up. I will be participating, and selling a few items from my gallery this April 26th and 27th. 
Come by and say Hello. I'd love to see and meet anyone whose been to my little website.

 

03.02.2003

Well, It's finally up....
Thanks for your patience as I release the new look to this web site. I certainly hope you all enjoy it.
I have added a few new things, and will continue to do so as long as I can. I have been very busy with doing 3 wood firings in a three month span.

Ya know, I wonder how other potter's websites are doing for them. I personally know some people who are  untrusting of those who promote their pottery online. As if  online potters are some sort of "sellout".
Is it a jealousy thing? A deep seeded inferiority complex? Drugs and alcohol? I don't know..
What I do know is that the people I like to associate with do not have these hangups or disrespect for their fellow potters. I feel that if you have the means and the experience, then what is wrong with sharing your knowledge and experience in this fashion in this digital age. Even though we all work with mud, don't hate someone for trying to use what means they have to promote their craft. Pottery sites on the web are a dime a dozen. I've personally asked some potters if they need or want assistance with theirs. There are some very good pottery sites out there, with great information, and beautiful work, and I truly hope you all find them, and learn something from them. I know that I have heard from people all over the world, from France, Belgium, Australia, England, Italy, All parts of the United states, and truly appreciated hearing from each and every one of you.

I thank you for visiting my web site, and please, as always, feel free to drop a line and Say Hi. matt@pitfire.com

09.10.2002

I'm an Uncle! For the 2nd time, my sister has produced offspring. The latest being a little baby girl "Brynn Aria Bohatch". Welcome to the world my dear neice. Welcome to the family(good luck).. May your big sister not pick on you. May your life be long and full of joy and adventure. And when you are old enough, we will make baby animals out of clay, then one day the pottery wheel!! I have pots now big enough for you to fit inside. Hey that would make a great picture! 
My latest firings have been in the low temp salt kiln at my friend Shelly's place with my friend Paul Rubio, and in the saggars I build at the BHC Studio Olsen updraft kiln. There is a sale upcoming at the studio where I teach Saturday and Sunday the 21st-22nd of this month, but unfortunately I will not be in it. Isabelle will be in the sale though! So please come see her work! 
I hope to participate in the Peninsula Open Studios tour coming up in November. My work will also be on display at the Mountain View City Hall Gallery. The gallery will be open 8AM 5 PM weekdays and 11AM 5 PM weekends from November 1 - 18. 
Best of luck to Tracy at Elemental Arts in Los Gatos on the sale of her gallery. I will miss her. Hopefully she will come and take more pottery classes with us! In the mean time, I am sure the new gallery owners won't kick me out on the street, and keep my work in there. Maybe I'll even move out of the back corner floor! :-) That is if they can re-open any time soon.

06.23.2002

Hooray for Summer! Thank god you've decided to finally arrive to northern California. Now our pots can start drying instead of sitting for months. I just How do potters in Seattle or other rainy climates deal with the humidity? I've had a busy month, Let me tell ya.. A co-workers car decided to slip out of gear in the parking lot without its parking brake set, and roll into the side of my truck. It put a nice sized dent between my tire and rear bumper, and tweaked the truck bed over to the right about an inch. Most enjoyable. 
Last night I saw a friend of mine's wedding gift he found for someone. I would like to reproduce one or two for my class and need some help here. It's a ceramic barbeque grill. A small one. With a 12 inch wide 5 inch deep bowl which holds the metal grill across it, and which the coals go in the bottom of it. There are holes in the bottom of the bowl, and a 6 inch wide 8 inch tall cylinder attached to the bottom where the coals ashes can fall through the holes into. The cylinder has a bottom inside it, and a large hole cut into the side so you can get out the ash, and let air in to feed the coals up in the bowl.
If I've confused you yet, I apologize. What I'm looking for is firing suggestions. I threw the bowl and cylinder out of heavily grogged clay, and will probably bisque it to cone 06. But from there I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to high fire it, in case it cracks from uneven heating by the coals. If left at bisque, I should probably slip it and color it before hand. Any firing suggestions? I'd like it to have as much strength as possible without closing the body too much!

05.09.2002

Ok all you raku potters out there, its time to join the Naked raku Yahoo group.
If you have experience in this exciting raku style, you should join up and share your ideas! I have learned quite a bit from Wally and the gang. Ok. I know I  haven't put the photos of the last workshop up yet, but I have been busy! I've been to Lake Powell for my birthday get-away, Photographed some of my 
Naked Raku, and am having a lipoma benign tumor removed from the back of my neck. Fun huh?
My ceramics class has been really exciting lately. My students are really branching out. I love it when they are not afraid to take risks and pursue more challenging and/or different art. Like trying out a new firing technique or mixing their throwing and hand-building skills together. It just opens up so many new doors. 
It's like what my friend Jerry and I say about wood firing, "Looking through the spy-holes of your mind."
That is a metaphor for peering inside your own imagination, and seeing something you never saw before. Discovery is why I think a lot of potters do what we do. We are seekers.. We want to get inside the clay and pull something of ourselves out of it. Am I the only one who feels this way? Maybe I've taken in too much raku smoke tonight and am babbling. it won't be the first time..
So anyways.. Anyone notice thenew color scheme on the website? Blue on blue.. Was it better the old way? I have not decided yet. I'm just playing at this point. Oh ya. Everyone go see Spiderman!! Woo Hoo! 
I cant wait for The Hulk!! Comic books are art!!
Happy potting! Matt

03.27.2002

Well, The Saggar Fire workshop went off without a hitch. Everything went very well. The first night of burnishing pots, and mixing & applying terra sigilatta slip to pots was fun. We covered a lot of ground. The second day, we loaded and fired two large saggar chambers with twenty something pots inside. We Also fired 3 loads of "Raku Saggar" which produced some surprising results! The colors were very strong, and the time to fire is so fast! I did have 2 students who's terra sigilatta slip flaked off their pots a bit. I believe it was because they had burnished their pots so well before they put the slip on, the slip didn't have enough tooth to stick to the pots. Anyways, I invited Pierre and Sue back to my next personal saggar firing. I won't have an unhappy customer in my workshop! 
I need to take some photos of my recent work, and post them in the gallery. It's piling up in our little apartment! Some day I'll get my butt in gear and sell a few of them on this website. I also want to give some love to the folks in the 'Naked Raku" Yahoo Group. It's been great exchanging ideas and pictures with folks there. Especially Wally who runs the group, and Charlie & Linda Riggs. 

Are there any potters in Colorado who'd like to share their potting experiences there? I'm looking at relocating from the dreaded bay area to somewhere closer to my sister & dad in Colorado in the Denver Boulder Ft Collins Area. I know there are some big clay studio outfits there. Could someone give me any personal accounts or advice? I'd really appreciate it. Matt@pitfire.com 
Thanks, and happy potting!

02.28.2002

!!SAGGAR WORKSHOP!!
This is it!. March 22-24 two day workshop in saggar firing techniques. Day one will include burnishing techniques and making of terra sigilatta. Saturday I will bisque the pieces. Sunday we will Load and fire two saggars. People will bring organic materials to burn on their pots, I will supply the rest. Also there will be a demonstration in raku saggar techniques. It will be a blast! Pots from the saggar can be picked up Monday night after 7:30 at the blossom hill crafts studios. E-mail Joanne@blossomhillcrafts to sign up!

01.28.2002

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all my friends and family had a safe and happy Christmas and New Year holiday. I hope 2002 is a better year than 2001. I was happy to hear that all my pottery which I sent out to family made it to their destinations unbroken. That always sucks when you send some nice pieces of pottery and some UPS guy decides to play soccer with your pottery package like in Ace Ventura.. I was especially glad to hear that my big piece made it to San Antonio in good shape. 
Well, it's Monday morning here in Silicon Valley and I'm sitting in my cube thinking to myself, how I'd rather be in the studio right now throwing.  I have been working on a series of tall cylinders which I burnish and then naked-raku. If you are unfamiliar with the term, do some searches on google.com and search out some of the work done by the artist Dave Roberts. He in my opinion is a pioneer of this technique. 
In naked Raku, you take a burnished piece of bisque fired pottery and put a slip over its surface. This slip is usually a very groggy slip. It needs to be so that it will separate from your pot after firing. Now over this slip is applied a raku glaze. I usually paint 1 to 2 coats of the slip, although sometimes I pour on, or dip the pot for a single coat. The raku glaze is applied over the slip in a thin single coat. You want to make sure no glaze is in direct contact with the pot. It should only be over the slip. At this point, you can do some carving through the slip/glaze surface so that when it is reduced in combustibles, post firing, where you carve will show through with black lines. I usually will scribe some free-form loops, lines and scratches.
I try to let the slip/glaze dry on the pot at least overnight. When I fire, I let the kiln get hot enough to just begin to flux the glaze. When i see it just start to bubble up and release its gasses, when it has an orange peel surface, I pull the pot out of the kiln. This is in the ball park of 1100-1200 F. I usually blow on the glaze surface to promote some crazing in the glaze surface, then insert the pot into a reduction chamber (garbage can) full of combustibles (news paper) to reduce the pot as it cools. I will leave the pot in the can until it cools enough that when I open the can it will not re-ignite the paper inside. At this point I pull out the pot, and either dunk it in water, or spray it with water. When the still very warm pot is hit with the water, the slip/glaze will pop off the pot revealing the end surface below. I will continue to squirt it with water, and using a thin flexible metal rib, remove the rest of the slip/glaze from the entire pot. When finished, I will usually scrub it clean in a sink, and when dry coat it with a diluted solution of water and Future floor wax. This gives the pot a soft sheen, while bringing out the blacks in the surface. The cracking action of the slip/glaze, when penetrated by smoke leaves a soft crackle finish which is striking, and subtle at the same time. I just love it.
I'm glad I can share this with you, and will probably post the slip and glaze recipes and all the firing details  on my firing information page very soon.
That's all for now. If you feel like dropping me a line, or leaving site suggestions or comments, I would REALLY appreciate it. Matt@Pitfire.com

12.14.2001

All I can say about the last Spring Valley Anagama wood firing is WOW!! The third and best firing so far! I swear that kiln is the sweetest wood kiln I've seen yet. It is a dream to fire, and gets the most killer pots this side of Bizen! Of course I'm way biased since I helped build the thing, but the amount of sweet juicy drippy hot ash on the pots is amazing. Thanks again Phil & Izzy for another awesome firing!
Ok.. I've done very little Christmas shopping so far.. I need major help! My wife is going to Arizona to visit her parents, and I'll be stuck here. Probably making pots.. I'm so behind in everything I don't know where to start! Tis the season I guess. 
I had a decent December sale at the Blossom Hill Crafts studio sale last weekend. Even though I was out of town, visiting my family in Michigan, my wife and friends did an awesome job setting up my tables and selling my pots! THANKS to David, Ken, Paul, and Mike for setting up and taking down my heavy big old wood fired pots.
Last but not least I wanna give a big shout out to my cousins in Michigan. Yo Jenn & Hen, Stephanie, Hailey, Kris, Ted, and Heather!  It was awesome to see you all! It's been WAY too long, and if I get my way, it won't be so long till our next meeting. Look out for pottery in the mail!!

11.21.2001

Today we finish loading the front 3rd of the spring valley anagama, and begin it's 3rd firing. I was actually scared we would not have enough to fill it, but people showed up with massive pots! Including a 4 ft. beast which only fits in the center of the arch, its so tall! I personally only brought 7 pots, and 9 tea bowls. The smallest amount I've had in this wood kiln so far. The Turkey day wood fire is set to start tonight and burn through Saturday, maybe even Sunday! I have three shifts of stoking the main firebox, and am considered one of the main stokers who can do what they feel like with the kiln. That means I am trusted enough to cycle the kiln as I see fit through periods of reduction and oxidation, all while slowly trying to drop all cones in the kiln except maybe cone 13. I wouldn't want to do that without my friend Jerry having some part in it. Jerry Hurst A.K.A. Cone Killer!
Next weekend there is an artist reception at the Elemental Arts Gallery on Friday November 30th at 6pm. If anyone I know who reads this, or anyone else for that matter is interested in meeting some great artists, and having some good snacks, please come down to the gallery. It should be fun!
I'm also in another Blossom Hill Crafts studio sale December 8th and 9th. Check out the Blossom Hill Crafts web site for maps and information on this sale, and look for my pots on their website!
To all my friends, family (including my long lost cousins!), and fellow artists, Have a happy Thanksgiving, and I will check in in December to let you know how the latest sale went, and put up some pictures from the wood firing..

10.30.2001

Ok, so I didn't do anything for Halloween for the first time in as long as I can remember. No costume, no parties, nothing. And I'm not sure why that is.. It's usually a big time of the year, especially with my family and friends. But it will be over soon. I have lots of stuff to do before my next pottery sale. Two reduction firings a wood fire, and a saggar fire, along with probably half a dozen raku firings. And the sale is in 5 weeks. How many pots do I have? None.... My butt needs to throw some goodies for the Christmas sale, like right now! Sweet copper red bowls and little raku goodies for all the good little kiddies! If you want information on the Christmas sale, visit the blossom hill crafts website
I've added some new links to the links page, so please check them out. The Oregon trip went well last weekend. We had a great time scouting out Portland and the areas around there. We really liked how beautiful the landscape was, the color of the trees, and the downtown area. While in Portland, Isabelle and I visited the Oregon College of Arts & Crafts. It is an awesome place for a ceramic artist. The studio space was really impressive, and the variety of kilns was impressive. I give it a definite thumbs up! 
Last night we went with some friends to the Warfield Theatre downtown San Francisco to see the band "LIVE" play. If you are not familiar with LIVE yet, you should probably crawl back under your rock, because they are one of the most inspiring bands in America. The concert was incredible. And speaking of concerts!! This weekend at Shorline Amphitheater in Mountain View CA. the worlds greatest rock band TOOL is playing. I got six tickets!!! I can't wait!! Who has time to make pots when there are so many good concerts to go to!! I am so screwed... 

COOL Site of the day.. www.TouristOfDeath.com These pictures have been exploding all over the internet. Starting with a fake photo of a supposedly missing tourist. From there things got a little crazy as you will see..

10.09.2001

October is here and I have a few firings to think about. This weekend is a pitfiring at Sunset Beach near Santa Cruz CA. Also there is a wood salt firing, and another anagama wood firing around Thanksgiving. Phew...... I need to throw!
The BHC Sale went well considering the proximity to the terrorist attack. I am donating some of what I made to the disaster relief fund. I have photos taken of my pottery HERE from the sale. 
Has anyone been to Oregon? We are taking a short trip up there to look around and see how the weather is and the price of homes. The Bay area really sucks these days as far as looking for really affordable homes. I know it has gone down, but not enough! If you like what you see on my site, or have any questions, please give me a shout!  
All for now... So go put out your US flag!

8.30.2001

Well the summer seems to be winding itself down. Labor day weekend is upon us once more. My family reunion is Seattle was great! I really enjoyed the time spent with my Seattle and Chicago family. I miss them! 
I've updated the Firing information page. All new Pit firing information and photos are available. If you have any questions or comments, PLEASE let me know! matt@pitfire.com
NEWS
The Blossom Hill Crafts Fall Sale will be September 22nd and 23rd.
I will be selling my pottery there along with fellow artists, and BHC Students.
The BHC sale is a great opportunity to find AWESOME deals on pottery which I would normally sell at the gallery for double the price!! So please stop by and let me know you saw it here on the website for an added discount!!
For times and directions to the BHC Sale, go to www.blossomhillcrafts.com

 

8.8.2001

August should be pretty hot here in California, but its been incredibly mild! Too nice outside to be stuck indoors working on pottery! :-) My elbow is a lot better now, so I should really be trying to kick some butt. Isabelle and I are leaving for Seattle next week to attend a Family Reunion. This should be interesting.. It's on for a week, so I know I'll get some kayaking in, and spend time with my Chicago relatives, whom I miss. 
I want to give a big shout out to HUMMELL! My first pottery instructor got an unexpected call from a certain Mrs. Hoogland who thought she'd call the guy up out of nowhere and give him the business.. LOL Actually it was a nice surprise to hear how he's doing. 
I have been getting some interesting e-mail  lately. I want to thank Gary J. of "Burrow Wallow Pottery" from AZ for saying Hi, and Brigitte M from France for her questions about Saggar fire. I finished the Galleries Brigitte!
Thats right. The GALLERY is now completed!!
My Thursday night class at BHC is still going strong. We have been on a raku kick these last couple of weeks. Naked raku, Raku lusters, Copper mats, Crackle. You name it, we try it..  I have one of the best collections of students that I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Thanks Al, Nikki, Mary Jane, Ken, Mike, J.J., Lauren, Christina, David, Angela, Paul, Julia, Melanie, and Crys. I'm so horrible with names I'm surprised i remember anyone at all.. Jeez.. I better start wearing a mask when i mix glazes... (just kidding)
I also want to remind you to check out the entertainment page.. I got some sick funny new humor up there, If you know me, you'll understand.. LOL

7.11.2001

July. Big Pot Month! If I can get over this elbow injury I'd be throwing a lot more. It wasn't a bad month at the Galleries where sell at. Sales are up! I guess people are starting to pick it up now that the worst seems to be over with the dot com local economy. 
Ahhhh. I love the summertime. Summer means KAYAKING!! And I cant get enough of it.. I hope to do a lot more in the coming months. I'd really love to go back to Lake Powell. Or at least kayak in Puget Sound with my cousins in August. I'm always looking for people to go paddling with me so drop a line will ya!
My wife and I just returned from Sweden. Where we attended the wedding of our friends Michael and Katarina. We had a lot of fun. 
Ok Ok.. I know I have been lagging in getting ALL the features up and running on this site. But i did get a few photos up in the Gallery! Click on the Woodfire picture to view a woodfire slideshow..

6.08.2001

So it's June. Hot weather, dry pots!! I will probably be participating in the Willow Glen Arts & Crafts fair the weekend of June 16-17. I am getting together with some of my more talented students and friends to display our work. It should be a fun experience for them. 

I have another very busy month happening. I'll be traveling to Sweden on the 27th with my wife Isabelle for a wedding. At the same time my sister Julie and her family will be packing up and moving to Colorado Springs. I guess the Bay Area's bodycount is growing. Another person driven out by the cost of living and overcrowded SillyCon Valley environment. I wish them the best.

Also, the blossom hill crafts studio, where I teach is expanding! being added is a whole new studio area with space for 4 or 5 pottery wheels, and work areas. It should be great for the members and instructors to have a little more room for themselves now, and a place for us to keep all our junk!  

5.16.2001

The Second Spring Valley Anagama firing went very well. Better than the first. We really got a good feel for this kiln this last firing. The firing was easy, and the kiln reacted well to everything we tried to do with it. Incredible color and ash accumulation in only 3 days of firing. Although our damper keeps breaking during the firings, we are pretty sure we know the reasons, and how to fix it. I will put up pics of the latest firing as soon as I can get them scanned. 

Here is the cool website of the day: www.dicklehman.com
Dick Lehman, an indiana wood and saggar firing artist, with an awesome online gallery.
If you like woodfire, You'll love this site.


4.20.2001

I will be firing the Spring Valley Anagama Kiln the weekend of May 5th and 6th. 
I cannot wait to see what comes out of it's second firing. The first one was so good! I never expected to see so many awesome pots come out of a wood kilns first firing.

For a look at one of the galleries where my work is featured, check out the article on Boulder Creek in the San Jose Mercury news SV (silicon valley) Magazine. Some of my work is pictured in one of the photos in the article. Click HERE to read about it.

The Blossom Hill Crafts sale went well. We had gorgeous weather on Sunday, although it was a bit slower traffic than Saturday. Several of my former and current students did very well in the sale. I am impressed with each and every one of them. I learn a lot more from them than they suspect. We all share our enthusiasm and ideas, so it makes a great place to see where people are in their work, and what new things people are trying. See you at the next sale!