Tim Bob to NCECA!

This year will be my first NCECA in over a decade! I am REALLY excited to be at the 50th Anniversary milestone!

While I am there I will be wearing many hats: Process Room Demonstrator, NCECA Social Media Team, and, Clayscapes Pottery, Inc. Representative. I wonder how many of the 11,000+ Clay Buddies I will get to meet? Will some of my 400+ Periscope friends be there too?

The fun starts for me on Monday, March 14 when I fly in and then ends when I fly out on Saturday the 19th. I’ll be rooming with Drew Seymour; I will have to keep an eye on him so he doesn’t get us in trouble!

As soon as I hit the ground at the conference center I spring into my role as a Social Media Team member for NCECA! They gave me a Press Pass so I will look official (and feel important). You will be able to get real time information about the conference on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Periscope at #nceca2016. My assignment is to use Facebook and Periscope to keep both conference attendees and folks at home in the loop!

I will be popping over to the Clayscapes, Pottery, Inc. Booth, number 527, in the vendor hall throughout the conference. Who knows? I might even do a bit of demonstrating. Don, Kim and Drew Seymour will be there taking orders and showing off examples of the 29 Clayscapes Glazes  – both alone and in some great looking combinations. (Fun Fact: Did you know that the 7 celadons in the collection are made from a base glaze I developed?) A new group of nine additional glazes, called the Brooklyn Line, will be unveiled at NCECA for the first time. We expect many customers are going to be excited by this rainbow of colors which have tested beautifully.

Clay Buddies should flock to the Clayscapes Booth, number 527, to pick up their complementary CB buttons designed by Kim Seymour, and, yours truly! They are larger than last year’s in a bright blue and orange so we should be able to spot each other easily.  I will be posting info on the day and time of the Clay Buddies Shot Glass Exchange to be held in the Clay Art Room. It will be a blind exchange. For every shot glass you contribute, up to a maximum number of 5, you will get to pick a number at random that corresponds to the one you will get to bring home.

A main event in Tim Bob’s world will be my Process Room demo, Putting Together Oil Cans on Thursday, March 17 from 11 – 11:30 am. While I am assembling the parts into a can I will be gifting you with my blarney about how I approach each stage of decision making, how I avoid making the same thing over and over again, and tapping into our creativity. It will be awesome to have friends in the audience who will heckle me – you know I thrive on heckling!

I volunteered to do 2 half-hour Student Critique sessions – which are scheduled before the Process Demo on the 17th.  The 9:30 – 10 amslot is still open and the student who signed up for the 10 – 10:30 slot seems very interested in industry-inspired pottery too.

There’s no place like Kansas City, there’s no place like Kansas City, there’s no place like Kansas City…

Stimulus and Response

Interacting with the community online while working on a piece has been interesting. A Facebook share, or an Instagram comment can make an immediate change in how or what I am decorating. When I pick up a tumbler and pause just before putting brush to surface, not much if anything is planned out. Sometimes I just start with the leading edge of the robot’s head. What that robot is doing can be influenced right up until I get to its hands.

The visual language I was using unconsciously was flushed out while trying to explain The Buckethead Story in a Facebook thread. “Why is the robot shoving the bunny into an oil drum?” That question set off a whole series of illustrations with Bunny Foo Foo and a good robot as the leads.

Jack, the cigar-smoking dragonfly, became the answer to a question from a student about whether I ever used dragonflies in my work. Now, not wanting to use the stereotypical depiction of a dragonfly, I made this one with a bit more edge. His job in the world is to recycle unnecessary robots like the bunny bots. After disassembly the parts are sorted and ready for more useful endeavors.

Even writing this blog post probably will affect the next chapters in the world of Bucketheads.

Bondo Memories

IMG_2330One of the smells from my childhood is Bondo (automotive repair putty). That fiberglass resin smell seeped into our house from the garage. It was the smell of summer, the smell of a mechanical beast that lurked in the garage. My father likes to restore cars and the fun part of that was bodywork. He used primers and fillers, paint and then clear coat, each with their own distinctive smell. A few years ago, at the very end of my working in cone six, I made a piece that had a touch of that resin smell in it.

This winter I remembered doing bodywork with my Dad, Kevin. He let me help on a few vehicles (my own) and it went something like this: sand until you get to clean metal, paint on the rust blocker stuff, coat with primer, fill holes with fiberglass filler, take off the extra, prime, wet sand, wet sand, wet sand, and paint. In my recent work I recreated those steps on a few pieces, with the exception of the paint step, which I leave to the wood kiln. I won’t be the reason for the fish eyes or drips and sags, I can blame that on the kiln.

Pickles A’plenty

It is pickle-planting season! My wife Brenda and I are deep in discussion about what kinds we want most, and how many to plant. Are we doing Sweet Jalapenos this year?

Gardening is one of my hobbies; it helps keep me from being just a clay person. Having interests besides clay keeps me fresh for ceramics. It also gives me a serious-sounding justification to purchase and maintain old yard equipment – simple, well-built machines with a story older than I am.

The gleaming new machines at the local tractor supply are more glamorous to me than celebrities walking the red carpet. “I need a Power Take-Off (PTO) rebuild kit for a 1969 Cub cadet 106,” I say. “Is it for sale,” my friends behind the counter ask eagerly. The let me know where they saw a tractor being dismantled for parts, or another implement they know would jazz me up and we chew the fat.

Planting new trees, starting a whole new bed give me reasons to get out the rototiller and make a lot of noise!