Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Moving to my website

I have moved my blog activities to my website I will keep this one up for future fun and ideas I have. here is a link to my website.   

Thanks everyone~

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Workshop at Turk Hill Craft School

The wonderful Carol Bell has invited me to do a surface decoration workshop at the Turk Hill Crafts School in Fairport NY which is just outside of Rochester. If you have seen my videos on youtube you know by now my surface work has been excluded from the free content arena. The information that will be contained in the one day workshop will be a collection of techniques that I have acquired and refined for over ten years. Heres the blurber.

Spend a day with a Very Prolific Potter from Syracuse..Tim tells all! 
Get Hands On with Techniques including Sgraffito, Slip Trailing, Resists, Washing, Patinas, Staining, Lusters, Painting, Sponging, 
Stamping, Carving and Brushwork. 
Then after lunch: 
Get on the wheel with Tim for: Vessel Surface Manipulation 
including Scoring, Faceting, 
Face facets, Denting, Depressions, Drying, Slipping, Crackles and 
Scraping, your pots won’t know what hit them. 
Sign-up Early...Space is Limited! 
October 24th (Sat) 
Time: 9am-5pm (Fee:$125) 
Carol’s Making Lunch! 

Here a few links for more information.

and you can always email me timseeclay@yahoo.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Art Trail was last weekend, and was the first show of the season that I had done prior to this season. Well I should recap the two shows before.

Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, DC
The show overall was fantastic. Setup was grueling and tear-down was even harder. The hours and duration of the show also made it difficult being the first show of the year. The people through the door knew their stuff and needed little if any education regarding ceramic processes.
Sales were brisk and eye opening. The average price per piece sold was nearly triple that of any show previously. The last couple days there were less sales and visitors which gave a short opportunity to visit other artists. I should make a list of them soon. It was a great experience and has me eager to do other prestigious shows.

100 American Craftsmen, Lockport, NY (outside of Buffalo)
I was pretty spoiled coming out of the Smithsonian and my expectation for an indoor show where far greater than they have been. Set up was fairly easy except for the few inconsiderate few who park in front of the entrances... DUH. My booth space was 10x9.5 so I had to take some property from the isle way. The sales were dismal Saturday and nonexistent Sunday. I did win an award that put me just over expenses if I don't count having to sit in a booth for three days. I will not return to this show unless it makes a big turn around.

Westcott Community Art Trail, Syracuse, NY
This was the first show I had done as a artist. I had done its very first year in a garage with Brenda and Ron Kalinoski. It was a horrible weekend but I learned a great lesson. Only have the work out that is perfect, any flaw will reflect upon every other piece in your booth. This years Art Trail was fantastic! My sales were well over triple any Art Trail before. I had many repeat buyers and a great overall response from the people stopping by. Not to mention the students at Clayscapes had a super show as well. They set up a booth across the street, for some this was their first, others are veterans now. They were all pleased with sales and having the chance to get the public reactions on their work. Don and I were both pleased to see such great work coming out of our students.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The wood kiln that could.

A mid morning text that read "Not lookin good @all" could only mean shawn was pulling pieces out of the wood kiln already. Shawn is a bit of a pessimist (about wood fired results) but keeps it to himself, so this bit of sharing raised alarms of my own. We prepared for a half hour of getting our stuff from the kiln like the coolers and lights and to check the work for ourselves.  I saw the piece that shawn had pulled out and the glaze was not melted. Crap monkies! Flash-lighted the rest of the kiln and the story read the same throughout. A quick gut check and we through some wood in.
The previous few days had seemed too easy. The kiln never was let loose. I had written on facebook that it seemed undramatic. I had no pyro high. This firing we were planning on holding the temp back  a couple of cones to spare more wear and tear on the kiln. Cone 11 doesn't cut it for out tastes in color and texture.
From no color in the kiln to cone 13 ish (we only had 12's in and they were gone by the end) in under 6 hours we felt pretty good. we started a crash cool cycle to keep the schedule of unloading on wed.

This is how it should look at the end of the firing... oh sweet flame.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dragon Wells Steam Works


Air Conditioning Systems


Dragon Wells Steam Works

      Created originally as a prototype to demonstrate the possible cooling effects of simple water evaporation “The Ladder” as it was called in the factory, had production issues.  After one year the idea was scrapped. 

     A few still exist today and have been used for the cooling of tea storage units.

Tea Storage Jars

      Found with the Teacup Preservation System and the PLANT-A-TION, these jars were made for long-term tea storage.

     Like the Specimen Jars, there are no records of their being manufactured by Dragon Wells Steam Works.  Many believe these jars may have been made in small numbers for F. Emeril Carter.

Specimen Jars 

     Though never officially made at the NYC factory these jars carry the Dragon Wells nameplate and details.

     The use for these cans is only speculative. F. Emerill Carter was known to explore cave systems and small Islands. He may have used these Specimen Jars to keep animals or plants safe during shipment back to his home in Arkham MA.

Production Oil Cans


Dragon Wells Steam Works 

     The Rise in automobile sales and the first world war gave Americans a new need for lubrication equipment. The first oil cans off the assembly line at Dragon Wells Steam Works were gravity fed systems which were reliable and simple. As lubrication became a more important part of the mechanical world the oil delivering vessels required greater precision. The gauge became the downfall of the pressurized oilers. Company after company was contracted to produce the gauge but none at the time were consistent enough for accurate oil distribution. 

Pressurized Machine Oiler and Bearing Cleaner


     Prototypes were first developed for show at the 1939 Worlds Fair in New York City. The rival engineering firm L M ERICSSON & CO disputed the original patent for the device. This delayed the unveiling at the Worlds Fair. The System kept machines online and increased efficiency of the assembly lines at Dragon Wells Steam Works. Similar systems were adopted at manufacturing facilities at Ford Motor Co. and Kessler Motor Co. The longevity of the few that were made is a testament to the craftsmanship of Dragon Wells Steam Works at the end of the 1930’s.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Add Image

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Set Up

Those who have done shows before know how difficult setup can be. The Smithsonian show is a whole different animal. showing up on time wasn't important we waited in a line of other vehicles that were waiting for a spot on the loading dock. We were number 14. It took 2 hours to get our spot at the dock. they all seemed pretty impressed with my trailer driving skills. we borrowed a cart from one of the other artists that I helped unload. The booth was on the opposite end of the building from the loading dock so we spent a an hour and a half pushing carts full of stuff to the booth. It set up quickly we painted the repaired section of the booth and had lunch. After lunch we put the lights up and the work and everything looks great. satisfied after a 12 hour day we headed back to the hotel, after a few wrong turns we found a grocery store and got food. while trying to follow the directions and failing again a wrong turn put us right in the parking lot to our hotel. I am sleeping with my dinner on my pillow hoping some of it gets in my mouth. Brenda is already sawing zzzzs. I will upload some pictures when i can remember the card reader.

I have a New Favorite Place

After one of the most frustrating days of my life things are looking better. Brenda and I got up early and found a home depot we got some tools brenda had the depot guy cut some wood. With that and a whole bunch of screws and  nails we got the booth back together. We did very well considering 18 hours before shards of a booth lay strewn on the shoulder of 81 after jumping ship at 65mph. I suggest doing all projects in the home depot parking lot.


Yes it is a word and my experience yesterday confirms it. To start, it was raining.. so we were going to need tarps for the booth while in the truck, not a big deal. I forgot the rolling cart @clayscapes so went there early. No cart, the Reeldeals people must have used it and took it with them. I would pick up another one when I went to get the tarp. Got to parents house to pick up booth. One section did not fit and i had to take the tailgate off. No biggie. Mom dug up some daffodils to put in the PLANT-A-TIONS because the grass seed i planted rotted and it smelled like vomit. Booth all tarped and ready to go.

Not a mile down the road the tarp gets all flappy. I fixed it. Another mile - flappy again and i remember i forgot the paint. Fixed the tarp with more bungees from the trailer and headed back to my parents. Got the paint, tarp was ok. Feeling good despite leaving 4 hours after planned. Get on 81 and after reaching 65 the tarp decides to jump ship. I then removed the tarp and all things holding the tarp on. Get back on the road.  20 min later, I look in the rearview and I see one of the booth sections prepare for take off... and launch. we were on a stretch of r81 with a large field. the wind was very  strong and blew a whole 1/5 of my booth out of the truck into the air and thirty feet off the shoulder. Upon impact it exploded along with the shelves for most of the booth that were stored inside. It looked like a cardboard elephant was hit by a truck and was bleeding plywood. well after much swearing, Brenda calmed me down enough to get the booth parts back in the truck (pouring rain) and we head off looking for tiedowns. I found a NAPA and across the street some parking. While crossing from the gas station parking lot I was hit by a silver sedan. It didn't knock me down but it was pretty scary. The napa had tie downs though. YEAH!

And Wendy's burnt my chicken. we got to the hotel @11, long day and today i get to fix the booth or at least try.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

One Week

My marathon is nearly over, then the race begins. My booth will be finished on tuesday and it looks fantastic if I may say so. It feels great to have a dedicated indoor booth that can make it at the fanciest shows. The work has been a struggle. Despite two months of testing clays and glazes,  firing after firing of the chosen clay and glazes, there are still surprises. Expectations and clay do not mix. The finished work is better than what I can do on a regular basis. The next year will be spent attempting to recreate the best aspects of the newest batch of Dragon Wells Steam Works pottery. 

I will be shooting a bunch of pictures this next week when the final prep of the pieces is finished. Some will be posted here, others on my Flicker or on my new website Timseeclay.com. And if I have some time I will be adding some pieces to my Etsy...  yeah with one week before the Smothsonian I should have all sorts of time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We have a little potluck the last day of class were we talk about each others work share food and have a little fun. Last night one of our students brought in a chicken caesar salad in a Hodaka Bowl! We were all pretty excited and it wasn't a regular old bowl it was a pretty fancy one. I had to share this.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

First Test of the SNAIL

Just a rough idea to get me started on the snail aspects of the work for the Smithsonian Craft Show.

Some ideas I have for snail items
Snail Traps
Steamer/Boiler for snails
Snail-proof Tea Jars
Specimen jars with snails

Some other things I have thought about but haven't yet committed to pursuing are 
Snails in the automated vegitation system
Snail shells
Snail eggs 

I am open for other ideas too.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A character from a soon to be written story

I had introduced a theme for the new work I was producing in a post below. I have added to the idea which I plan on sharing later when I can really make it concrete and more importantly coherent. Many of the subtle references are from H. P. Lovecraft a fantastic author. The main character  Felton Emeril Carter will come across a thriving community of what I am calling Chuthlu snails for now, in a cavern under the city. They like heat and tea and you shouldn't feed them after midnight. I promised my friend Samuel I would post a little here for him.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Online Press, bloggers, Webbers Hello

Well It seems, Thanks to Mr. Von Slatt of the SteampunkWorkshop.com, this poor little blog seen in many more places. For those that are so kind as to share this with others whether you are a blogger as myself or a major entity as MAKE, let me know so may link to you and we can all be a better knit community.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lamps have been found at the dig site.

So I have been working on a theme... a binding idea, something I can fall back to for ideas, parameters and guidance. The idea is TEA. The work that is produced in the "Dragon Wells Steam Works" style will contain elements and "funk"tional ideas related to MY own tea style not a traditional form or tea drinking. It will be based, as it should, on steam and mechanical means by which to produce, maintain, harvest, preserve, store, prepare, and serve tea. That idea may be too simple though. 

There was a eccentric living in a "home under NYC during the 1910s and 20s who grew and cultivated his own tea with machines he could find or abscond from the surface. He had died leaving his machines of brass, copper and iron to be found a century later by a potter looking for a vein of clay.

Something like that and what I have made and am making will be both things found in his house under the ground in NYC or things I have produced to restore items I have only found parts of, like a conservationist. 

So These are a group of lamps with that idea in mind. They will have cloth covered cords, Edison bulbs from that era I hope and a whole lot of gold and brass. I will be doing research of early pipe fitting and fluid systems to make future groups of steam items more accurate to the period. 

Someone had emailed me asking what Dragon Wells means. It is a type of tea. how perfect is that.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

More Steam Punk Pourers

This group of pourers are sans nameplate but include more exterior piping, nuts and acorn nuts a few pipe fitting and a wing nut. All of these parts are made out of clay.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Air Conditioner... Steampunk

So this is the start of the steampunk air conditioner, it doesn't have a name yet. Most of the parts are extruded the assembly of this piece has been the most difficult and time consuming of any of the steampunk pieces so far. All joints and seams have to water tight and there are many seams. when it has been bisqued I will make a drawing of how it works.

These are the raw pieces sized up and ready to go.

The worst part making sure every tube is sealed.

Some of the detail in the fill gauge pipe.

The water tanks are in the back there and will be connected with a rubber tube. The air in the system is relieved in the fill gauge pipe. this whole system will rest upon a base that will be thrown and act as a chimney for the cool air. Also the glass has yet to be installed in the front and back channels. I am super excited to get this finished.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Teacup Preservation System

I have added the downpipe and valve.

These are the inside workings of the Preservation System. It consists of a steam driven dynamo that powers the climate control systems and the Ultraviolet Protection Wave Generator.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the artists for the Smithsonian Craft Show. Now I have to make a whole bunch of new and wonderful work. It will all be in the "steampunk" style under the group of Dragon Wells Steam Works. Here are some shots of work in progress.

This one is hard to explain I will have more shots as it is finished

This is the top of the water tower for a Automated Vegitation System AKA Plant-Ation
These are or were coal scuttles which will be labeled as Tea Scuttles