Pottery by Nan Rothwell

4 comments »

Functional Stoneware Pottery

Pottery Classes and Workshops

My pots are made to be used — to enhance the rituals of preparing and eating food, to hold flowers, to light a corner for reading. Making functional work connects me to the age-old tradition of artist craftsmen who make beautiful objects for daily use.

I‘ve been potting since 1969, yet after all these years, I still enjoy every aspect of making pottery, especially throwing and firing.  The alchemy of transforming soft clay into finished pots continues to excite and inspire me.

I offer classes and workshops at City Clay in Charlottesville, Virginia and at a variety of conferences and craft schools. I also teach an online course through TeachinArt.com.  I had some wonderful teachers when I was first learning to pot, and teaching allows me to pass the favor on. Drop me a line if you want to know my current teaching schedule.

Found. Market display

No comments »

Last week, I moved my display of pots from City Clay (they needed the space for new classes) to Found. Market in Belmont. Here are a couple of photos of the new display. Found. Market is a family-run bakery and market that opened this spring in the space where Cville Produce used to be, in Kathy’s Shopping Center – 221 Carlton Road.  You can read more about them on their website or their Facebook page.  I’m delighted about my new relationship with Found. Market. My friends and customers can combine a chance to see my work in an attractive new location with a chance to enjoy some excellent baked goods!

Image may contain: indoor
No automatic alt text available.

Work in progress

No comments »

My friend Steve Palmer came by to take some photos for the Artisans Studio Tour which will take place November 11 & 12, 2017.  My new studio will be on the Tour, although it’s not clear  whether we will have moved in yet or if Studio #10 on the Tour will take in a late-stage construction site.

I’ll be joined by Jan Elmore, who will be showing her mirror frames and mixed-media wall sculpture.  I’ll have pots from the first firings in my new kiln, including some of these that Steve caught as I was glazing them and putting them in the kiln.

Carter refers to this style of mug as my corrugated trash can series

Steve didn’t take this photo (his would have been much nicer!) but here are some of the mugs from the firing.

Most of the pots were sprayed with blue/grey glazes.

I love Steve’s shot of the cone pads from my first firings. Pyrometric cones melt at specific temperatures. Potters use them to tell how hot it is in the kiln.

Third firing in the new Bailey kiln

1 comment »

I unloaded my third firing yesterday and was quite pleased with the results.  Temperatures were just about even throughout and the glazes did well.  Here are some quick on-site snapshots of my favorites:

Online TeachinArt.com course gaining momentum

No comments »

Two students have signed up for my online course  that goes live soon.  Both live in Canada.  I’m looking forward to my contact with them!

My hands-on workshop at City Clay in Charlottesville this coming weekend will focus on cylinders, especially lamps.  So this afternoon I need to assemble some sets of lamp parts — a process that will entail shifting things in our storage unit and finding all the bits and pieces.  It makes me realize how simple life will be once we have moved into our house and everything is in one location.  I have had several years now of making pots in one location and firing in another — first my old kilns in Nelson and more recently my new kiln at our soon-to-be-house.  I look forward to working and living where the kiln is, instead of having to plan/provision for a day of glazing and loading or firing.

Here are some photos of my second firing in the new kiln.  It went well!

Front of kiln — almost all the pots were glazed in Shino

Back tier of second firing. The large bottle at the front was made by my friend Becky Garrity during our last clay camp together

New online course, second firing, and a great link

No comments »

A lot to report here:

First, my online throwing course on Teachinart.com is now open for registration.  There are six weekly sessions, with the entire course content available for ten weeks.  This format feels like an innovative hybrid — somewhere between in-person lessons and watching pottery videos on You-Tube.  Students will have a chance to ask me questions and interact with each other in a course chat room.

Koos and Antoinette Badenhorst have created their TeachinArt.com school, starting with Antoinette’s own teaching and expanding to guest potters.  (I’m their fourth guest.)  My course covers throwing the basics of throwing cylinders plus a number of advanced projects, including lamps, two-part forms, several lid styles, enclosed forms, mugs and handles, oval forms, and elephants.  We filmed it in Saltillo, Mississippi in Antoinette’s studio.

Second, yesterday I fired my kiln for the second time.  Firing next to a construction site (we’re still remodeling the house) is more of a challenge than next to a functioning studio.  But I got lucky with the weather, in that it stayed overcast most of the day, so although temperatures were typical for Virginia in July, I was spared having to deal with direct sun.  Will post photos here when I unload the firing tomorrow.

And finally, I just discovered this set of Mick Casson Master Classes posted on Jiseys Blog.  Mick taught at Harrow and then ran the course during my second year there.  He was a warm generous teacher — one of the people I try to emulate in my own teaching.  I haven’t taken the time to watch the whole series yet, but I already know it will be a treat!

 

 

FIRST FIRING!

No comments »

Fired the new kiln for the first time this week!  Considering how much was new, the firing came out well.  Things were a tad under-fired and there was about one cone temp differential within the kiln, but overall it was a good first firing.

Front of kiln

 

Back shelves

Workshop at City Clay

No comments »

My friend Steve Palmer took some lovely photos during the workshop last weekend at City Clay.  Here are a few of them:

 


 

We had a great time together!

Getting ready to glaze and fire!

No comments »

My new kiln is fully hooked up and I’ve begun to dig out my bisque and resurrect my buckets of glaze.  Haven’t done a glaze firing since last September, shortly before we sold our Nelson place.  So I have quite a few pieces piled up in boxes, stored here and there — enough to begin learning how to fire the new kiln.  It will be my first time using natural gas instead of propane, and also my first time firing a “store-bought” kiln.  I’ll post results here.

Enrollment for my summer workshops is going well.  We have a quorum for the June 17-18 workshop at City Clay, and things are looking good for the July one.  There are still some spots for next weekend though, so it’s not too late to sign up.  Details on the workshop page of this website.  Registration at www.cityclaycville.com.

Cely and I had a wonderful group at John Campbell Folk School — mostly beginners, with a few more experienced folks.  Here’s a small part of what they managed to make in one week.  Pretty impressive, especially considering that the majority of them were complete beginners on the wheel.

A Busy Spring!

No comments »

I can’t help but notice that this website has gone dormant recently.  That’s not an accurate reflection of my pottery activity, just of my unwillingness to sit at the computer.  In fact, it’s been a busy spring, with activity on many fronts!  Here’s a quick list:

I’m just back from a week in Mississippi where we filmed an online course in throwing stoneware projects based on cylinders.

There are more photos and details at www.TeachinArt.com.

In addition to that online course, I’ve been teaching regular throwing classes twice a week at City Clay in Charlottesville.  There are several Summer Workshops coming up at City Clay, starting in June.  You can find details on the Workshops Page of this website.  In March I taught a two-day workshop at The Bay School in Mathews, Virginia.  We had a great time together and have scheduled another workshop for July, 2017.  I hope to be back at Round Hill Arts for a workshop on lamps later this summer.

Later this month, my friend Cely Chicure and I will teach at class at John Campbell Folk School.  Our class is geared toward beginners, but since there are two of us, there will be time and space for more advanced projects too.  Teaching an annual class at the Folk School is always a highlight of my year, and this year will be especially fun, as I expect that our son Alan will be joining me there to take a wood-turning class.  One year, both our kids got to come do blacksmithing — turning the week into a mini family reunion.

I’m still making pots too, albeit more slowly, in my studio at City Clay.  It’s been harder to stay on track since I have not had a place to fire them since we sold our place in Nelson County.  But things are moving along well toward our move into a new house in Charlottesville.   Carter is hard at work renovating the house, and my new kiln shed and kiln are in place.  Still need gas and electric lines to the new kiln shed, but I hope to be firing soon.  I’m scheduled to show work at my friend Kay Franz’s studio during the RVA Tour in Richmond in June.  It’s anyone’s guess whether I’ll have fired the new kiln by then, but it’s still a goal…

Here are the new shed and kiln (which does now have a chimney).