Wednesday, September 10, 2008
OK, I don't know if a dink day for you is the same as it is for me, but a dink day is a day I just do what I want, wandering hither, thither and yon. So that's what I did today. The weather was cool enough so I could leave my gardening chores and head out.
I decided to drive to Fresno and check out a new clay place, Clay Mix. Clay Mix, which opened in May this year, is a "mix" of a gallery, supply, store, and studio in Fresno with the most friendly and wonderful clay people. I met Ritsuko, the owner, and Jerry, an employee and they were so great to talk with. Reading this, they're probably laughing like crazy, because I did most of the talking. For me that's a good thing as they both made me feel comfortable to ask questions about glazes, clays, and equipment and to share my experiences in clay.
I just missed a Raku Workshop about new glazing and firing procedures given by Jim Romberg this past Saturday at Clay Mix. Another reason I decided to drive up to Fresno to see some of Jim Romberg's work. The first three photos you see are some his works I photographed on display at Clay Mix. His works will be on display until November 1st. Romberg's work speaks for itself. Jim Romberg has been working with Raku ceramics for over 40 years. Jim experimented with many ceramic processes in the beginning of his career, but settled with Raku because of its significant history, begun in the 15th century Japan. Romberg's Raku pieces are unlike any I have seen. There is great depth to Romberg's Raku surfaces which seem to echo the history of eons.
Another reason for driving to Clay Mix, (photo of their studio above), is my college was out of clay (not sure how they could be out of clay at the beginning of the semester, but they are). I already used up what I purchased this summer in preparation for class, and no telling when they might get more in, so it was a necessary trip. I got several different types of Cone 10 clay to try, some for throwing, some for hand building and some just to see how I like it. I got Coleman Porcelain, Bee Mix, and Black Mountain. I used Black Mountain last semester and really liked how the glazes performed with this clay. I also got some 8-11 Buff 35 prepared by IMCO and am anxious to try this, new to me, clay.
I also purchased some under glazes and some glaze chalks. I have never heard of glaze chalks before. Perhaps I have seen ceramic work with glaze chalk, but didn't realize it, so this will be one of my research projects for the week - to learn about glaze chalk. Here is some information about glaze chalks from AMACO.
If you are in the neighborhood check out Clay Mix you will be glad you did. Thanks Ritsuko and Jerry for an enjoyable and informative visit.