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.

Winter & Spring 2015

Having built my private home studio in 2014, I have a new space in which to create that is free from distractions. Not that there is anything wrong with distractions! I enjoy working in my studio at Clayscapes Pottery and interacting with my colleagues and students too! Having both is ideal for me.

In the spirit of always pushing forward I spent a large amount of time this winter exploring alternative ways of creating surface and form. The quiet home studio was conducive to drawing more in sketchbooks and thinking through where I wanted my work to go next. Some of the changes were simple, others were time-consuming and complex.

The focused attention I can give to a piece has meant big changes to everything I am doing. For instance, I made industrial-style functional pieces that not only look like they are composed of many separate pieces, but actually are composed of many pieces. I cut up pots and then reassembled them for a more authentic look and feel.

The spring wood firing will include a broader color palette, layered slips, tabbed faux separations and less refinement of pieces that really should be rough and crunchy. The changes enlivened the pourers. I interpreted the industrial-style in a new series of goblets. A character in The Buckethead Story, Bunny Foo Foo, quickly became infamous in startling ways.