Monday, April 27, 2009

Forged part three

Recently I took a basic tool making class at Pratt Fine Arts Center. The teacher was David Tuthill of Fire Horse Forge. You can find his website here. His shop is right down the Burke Gilman Trail from where I live. Which might not bode well for him, because I will probably be dropping by often to check it out :)

During the class/workshop's two days we got to make a couple of hammers and the tools to make them with. The photo is two of three hammers I completed during the workshop. The third hammer has a handle on it and I am actually using it in ceramics right now. David was a great teacher, being extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The best part was being able to finally use a power hammer, oooohhhh I want one.

The blacksmith facilities at Pratt were good, though I wonder how crowded it could get with a big class. Luckily there were only three of us in our class.

Now all I need is a place to work and I can start cranking out some hammers among other things.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Forged part two

Staying with the theme of opening devices, here is a wizard bottle opener. I think a majority of blacksmiths have a version of this bottle opener. But everyone seems to bring something different to the design.Through the years of blacksmithing at various fairs with my friend Mike Carson the wizard bottle opener is the only thing that has ever led to me being called a satanist. This happened at the California state fair, Mike was doing a little demonstration at one end of the booth while I was drinking some water. When I picked up these words floating from the crowd "Let's go, all of this satanic stuff is bothering me". I was stunned and outraged at the same time. Something in me just couldn't let that go, so I spoke up, which almost never happens. I asked "What satanic stuff". Where upon I focused on the lady who started acting all nervous and mumbled to herself, "You weren't supposed hear that". She then started pointing to the wizard heads and some meat turners with rams heads on them that Mike makes.

Again I was just stunned by the ignorance of this lady, to just assume we were satanists because of some wizard bottle opener or rams head. Of course my anger go the best of me and the only response I could must was "Well you better not buy a dodge" as she and her family scrambled away. By this time Mike was amazed that I got that mad, because I usually don't. Once I told him what happened and everybody else in the farm area, we were all doing the goat dance from the Dragnet movie :)

I miss blacksmithing at fairs.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Part one of forged items

I was talking with my friend when he commented on wanting to see some of my forged ( think blacksmithing) creations. The reason for this is he, family members and friends are interested in me getting back into blacksmithing so I can forge up some items which they can purchase. Unfortunately I don't have a place to work. And the worse part about this is I have all the equipment, though in storage sadly. But, if I was inundated with orders, I would find a way to get my special cork (maybe exchange that "r" with a "c") screw made for people.

Well I got to thinking and grabbed some smaller items I have hammered out and took a few pictures. Here is the first one. Guaranteed to be hard everytime you need to open that bottle of wine.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Here's Florentia Clayworks! A studio for various ceramic artists. Located on the south side of the Fremont Bridge at 218 Florentia Street in Seattle, WA.

If you ever get the chance, I suggest just dropping by. Don't be afraid, just walk on in if someone is there. It will make there day.

My own pottery

After taking photos of Jamie's pottery, I had to go back another day and shoot some of my own pieces.

These sake cups and bottle are from my two wood fires, one back in December 2008 and the other in March 2009. All of these pieces were supposed to be fired in the first wood firing but we ran out of space. Luckily I was able to get some of my left over pieces in the kiln in March. Now I have a set of 5 sake cups (they are really being used as shot cups though, heh).

I am enjoying the cups immensely, what with the way they feel in my hand to the pleasure of just viewing them.

Jamie Kirkpatrick Pottery

A couple of weeks ago I was over taking photos of my friend Jamie Kirkpatrick's pottery. He is a ceramic artist with a studio over at Florentia, located on the Queen Anne side of the Fremont Bridge.

We were having fun taking pictures while trying out his new light table. I think the light table helped in showing off his wood fired pieces, especially the tea pots. The reason for this is because you can get a better sense of what the whole piece looks like through the photo. Without the illumination from below you wouldn't see all the detail on the bottom side of the teapots.

I have to say I am torn between his teapot (the photo with the three views in it) and the cup (the photo of the single cup) as being his best pieces out of this last wood fire. The flashing and ash deposits are outstanding. All of Jamie's teapots come with a hand built and drilled sieve built right into the teapot, just look at the detail shot of one above. And they work great, I have tried it with the last teapot below, which I bought from Jamie.

If you are interested in any of these pieces by all means stop on by his studio or check out his website. He needs to update his website, which he will be getting too sometime here in the future. In the meantime keep coming back here, you might see some more of his ceramics after his next firing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Using the G1 for interiors

I was reading in the forum about someone testing the Panasonic G1 with the Canon 5d. To show what the G1 can do in interior shots were the shutter speed is slower (anywhere from 1/5 of a second to 8 seconds) I decided to post a couple of photos. These photos are from two different shoots. One is for the furniture and the other is of a Kitchen. I think that the G1 might need a little more processing, but I have set this up to be done in an action within photoshop, so really isn't that big of a deal. The only thing I really add is to sometimes run a very light noise ninja action.

I think the images speak for themselves.

sunset on the fremont bridge

Walking over to Florentia (pottery studio just on the other side of the fremont bridge here in Seattle) to take some photos of Jamie Kilpatrick and my own ceramics (which will be in my next blog), I noticed this nice sunset color. What is funny about this is the color is happening in the east and not the west. Still worth a couple of pictures.

Monday, April 06, 2009

view from the Seattle Asian art museum

My wife and I visited the Asian Art Museum here in Seattle. They are currently showing Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpu. This is a very cool exhibit. I highly recommend people going to the show.

While walking away from the museum this view caught my eye. I am sure it has been photographed before but I had to try taking a photo too. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

West Lake building

While walking down West Lake the other day, I just felt compelled to take this photo of a run down building. I was drawn to the many posters and stickers all over the building and the patterns the old paint created.