First 4 Done ...

©m.f.gottula 2017-1006046.jpg

First four finished ... waiting for firing now. Pleased with how they turned out even though it was experiment time all the way. Now we wait for them to completely dry, and will do a pit firing perhaps next weekend if the weather holds. 

©m.f.gottula 2017-1006044.jpg

I'm going to start throwing again this week while it rains and make four more pieces ... larger as I want to see how the technique holds up to much bigger forms. 

Progress ...

©m.f.gottula 2017-1006006.jpg

So finally all the pots popped off the bats and I was able to start shaping and texturing them. This is only the beginning phase. Lot's more work to be done as there is more shaping, and then burnishing of them with rocks, and then slip applied, and a final burnishing again.

After that the designs will be applied and we will be close to the pit firing. 

I love that I felt the zone for the first time in 32 years. I've missed that. 

In the 1980's ...

©m.f.gottula 2017--2.jpg

1980 ... working on some porcelain pieces. Images shot by my dear friend Annette Duchane who lived across the street and got me interested in photography and shooting the pictures of my work to send to galleries. 

©m.f.gottula 2017--4.jpg

If you look over my shoulder at the wall that chalkboard is my calendar. It kept track of when pieces had to be done in time for the Festival of the Arts as I had a firing schedule through out the show to make sure I had enough pieces to sell. 

©m.f.gottula 2017--5.jpg

Like I couldn't get new ones ... but the two tackle boxes full of tools to the right of me are still being used today.

One step ...

©m.f.gottula 2017-1005955.jpg

Yeah, small baby steps. Getting the hands retrained to throw. Remembering where my hands went and how it felt to pull a pot. All in a days work.

Finally pulled four basic pieces which will now be turned into shapes as designed on paper. Lots of paddling into shape and textures applied using slips and other elements. Only a few pieces at a time can go through the process as they have to be kept in that halfway point between wet and dry. 

But I'm happy we're at a point of the first samples going through. Means progress.

Back At It ...

©m.f.gottula 2017-00326.jpg

So after 37 years in the photo industry ... that's right I started in 1980 ... here I am making plans to get out.

Before getting out I ran my own ceramics business, making fine art pieces and selling them through galleries and the Festival Of The Arts in Laguna Beach. Why did I ever get into the photo industry in the first place? Well if anyone remembers 1980 it was a recessional year and with the downturn in the economy you had to decide between eating, gas, and a place to sleep ... no room for fine art. So I shut down my business and went and worked at something I picked up pretty quick, which was working in the photo industry. I've had many hats, retail sales at some of the biggest photo dealers in the USA, to a manufacturers rep, to a distributor for two photo sign end lighting companies from Germany. Finally landing as being sales director for a little camera strap company in Seattle. Lots of travel, and lots of eating antacids. 

I've had enough. 

So I went out and bought myself a kiln, a wheel, dug out all of my old ceramic tools and started working up designs. I am like a little kid again. I've designed my website, my chop (above - for signing what I do) and have been playing with samples and pit firing techniques. I'll be documenting my travels in getting this off the ground ... mixing in my other love which is photography and trying to show what starting a ceramic business is like for anyone who wants to follow.