Let me first show you something arty that is related to clay. I have made a number of "earths" with various themes. They are sculptures out on my sister's farm outside St. Louis. The are solid concrete and weight 900#s. I have made about ten of them over the years. It used to be a regular Earth Day event but I have not made one now for about four years. How do they relate to clay? At first, I used a colored man-made ceramic sand. Expensive, but I thought durable. Each has a theme. I made a number that just look like the earth from space, titled "This is your Earth." (Each has a cast bronze name plate embedded in the surface.) Another was covered with money and it was made in shades of grey instead of color. It was titled, "I tried to make it black and white, but it turned out grey." The best part of that one was when I went to the bank to get 200 dollars in change and paper to put in the concrete. The teller was counting out the money and balked for a second thinking she made a mistake. I told her, "Don't worry about it, I am just throwing it away anyway." I could tell you lots about the money covered Earth, but let me move on.

The last one I made is a combination of clay and concrete. It is titled, "Mom and Dad." It is pictured in the distance. It is made of Earth colored concrete and has the words "Mom" on one side and "Dad" on the other. The two words are made of clay and actually go through the Earth and join the word on the other side. The idea is that once the "clay" (think: Biblical) of this human form is gone there is a hole in this world. When the clay of the sculpture erodes you will see through the earth. Indeed, it fits the bill. Both of my parents have passed, and indeed there is a hole in this, my Earth. (Heavy! Right? That's what art is about.)

A little closer shot of "Mom and Dad." The one on the right is something else all together.

Here are three that are on the St. Louis Community College campus.

Here is the money one that has been raped of it's "assets." There is still a lot of coin visible; the paper money is long gone.

And the last I'll show you is filled with trash. It is titled, "People leave a lot behind- especially sculptors!."

OK, back to the "real" clay. I am bisguing all the pots I have made. My first bisque load was a disaster. I very rarely have a problem bisquing. But this time- YIKES! My friend Aaron gave me a hand in the last few months. He was making the big plates. I fired three of the plate and all three had the foot blow off!!! Aaron is now in Europe. I told him to keep an eye on the website as he travels. Aaron, consider yourself lucky to be on the other side of the earth. When I unloaded that kiln, the first plate looked great- until I set down and it sat cattywampus. I looked in the kiln and the foot is still on kiln shelf. Same thing happened with the next two! I was pissed! Aaron, when you attached the foot, you trapped a symeterical ring of air in the center of the foot. Photos follow. Anyway, after a day or two I settled down and accepted it as just another kiln disaster.

See the score marks in the center of the foot? NOT JOINED! NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!

Below, I circled the tunnel of air in the foot.

I think I have solved the problem by drilling small holes every 1 1/2" around the inside of the foot. We will see. Onward to more positive things. Here are the next four to be bisqued. You can bet my fingers are crossed! (Here is an update for this update. Today, 5-3, I unloaded the bisque kiln and found two more of the chargers cracked because of the trapped air. That makes 6 out of 9 have cracked. They all have lots of trapped air in the foot, AARON! How discouraging. The two that just self-destructed are the one bottom right and top left of the following picture. Looks like the survivors are going to be scarce. (Read that as "expensive.") Oh well, can't do nuthin' about it. Drilling the holes did not hit all the air spaces.)

Here is an A&C style pot...

Something new: a "Grape Vine" pot. There are only two.

Here is the other one. It is volleyball sized and may be the most beautiful pot I make this year. It will be glazed in the red end of the color spectrum.

The first pots to be glazed. Fern, Moon and Bird pots with a lot of color in them. And some of then are tiny; just for something different.

Here is what they look like before the overglaze is sprayed on.

No text with the rest of the pics; mostly studio pics.