Photo by Adriann Freeman * Can you spot the beetle?

Fall news

This past summer in Texas was mild, as these things go, and a very productive time for me. We fired the wood kiln in June and the soda kiln in August. My main project for the summer was making beetle rattles, which culminated in the 40 Beetles Project. You can view the entire album here and also read more about the project here, where you can also hear all the rattles get rattled.

Currently, we are gearing up for the 23rd Annual Texas Clay Festival, held in scenic Gruene, Texas on Saturday, October 24th, and Sunday, October 25th.  This is an absolute favorite time for us, so if you’re in the area, come by to see us smiling. Find more info at Texas Clay Festival.

Lastly, I have reopened my Etsy shop. There are some things already available, and more to be added. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Beetle making

Summer is here and I have (too) many projects I want to tackle.

Project #3.219: Make a lot of small beetle rattles

I don’t quite know what the end result is going to look like, but I know I need A LOT of beetles. So I’ve started making a lot of beetles; hopefully I will figure out the rest out as I go along.

Previously when making small rattles, I would make two mini pinch pots, add a rattle, then seal them together. I like the effect on the rattle sound that the pinched, compressed clay makes. However, using the slump mold, I can make about 10 times as many rattles as the pinch method in the same amount of time. The sound is a bit different, but still interesting.

Since sound is one of the elements that I am interested in, I’ve been taking careful notes about what is inside each rattle in relation to the surface design. The book Pheromone by Christopher Marley sits nearby, so I can steal design ideas from some amazing arthropods. 


Also, having the skit movie Coneheads running in the background might be influencing form…






Some finished beetle rattles, as you can see by the pencil, fairly small in size.

I’ll post ongoing process pics over on facebook, any input or ideas are most welcome!

Work from the Wood kiln unloaded

Work from the Wood kiln unloaded

Wood and Soda kiln firings

This past weekend, we fired up the soda kiln (for the second time ever!) and also the wood kiln (for a record 34 hour long firing). Overall, the results are good. Now I can't wait to get back in the studio to make pots to fill up the kiln again. It is a good life.


Fired work in the soda kiln

Do you ever look back at something that you made and cringe? I do. The logo (on the left) that I made for my first website back in 2005 is not my favorite work. However, I am mostly pleased as I look back through 10 years of images. I can see how some things have changed (drastically) and some things have remained (faithfully). January 2015 begins with a new website (let me know what you think) and new adventures (stay tuned). As I begin, I can hear the words of beloved James Watral whispering encouragement in my ear, “be brilliant.” 



Lately, I’ve been making quite a bit of sculptural work and incorporating found objects into small landscapes. A sudden fascination with and addiction to air plants has inspired a series of symbiotic pairings. For a look at the first few examples, visit the 2014 gallery. And if you are interested in air plants, also known as tillandsia, take a gander at


skennedy was here
We are taking a slow paced road trip to the pottery mecca that is North Carolina, starting along the southern route, then making our way back through Tennessee and Arkansas. In anticipation, I made a series of blue porcelain flowers, which were fired in the wood kiln at Baylor. Along the way, I will leave a flower and a hand drawn calling card wherever the mood strikes me. If you are interested to see the pairings in place, check out my Facebook page. I might also post some images on Instagram. Happy trails!

Life is more fun if you play games
— Roald Dahl