Old Home Pottery

My Studio

This is my Studio. It was rebuilt in 2014 to what it is now. After the rebuilding we renamed it the Skookum Studio. Skookum: It has a range of positive meanings. The word can mean 'good,' 'strong, 'best,' 'powerful,' 'ultimate,' or 'brave.' Something can be skookum meaning 'really good' or 'right on! 'excellent!', or it can be skookum meaning 'tough' or 'durable.' A skookum burger is either a big or a really tasty hamburger, or both.

This is called a pug mill. It's a Peter Pugger VPM-20. This bad boy mixes and extrudes clay. I can use pure clay powders or raw clays I can find in the wilderness to formulate clay bodies. Not only does it mix clay it also has a vacuum system to "de-gas" the clay. Then once the clay is mixed, warmed, and degassed it will extrude as a endless log, or using dies (shape-forming tools) it can extrude shapes like handles, ropes or 3D forms that I can build with. This machine can make a old potter feel young again!

Yes, I have a slab roller. It's a Brent 36" and is about the best you can buy. What it does is simply roll out clay into a "sheet." Then, once you have a sheet or slab of clay, you can build with it like a sheet of cloth. A fun thing to do is press cloth including lace into the clay. These impressions will can greatly enhance surfaces!

Four potters wheels.

I love to teach when I have the time.

A couple of dozen brand new cups.

A quick peek into my glazing laboratory.

This is where I formulate my glazes.

This is the kiln I designed and built in 1988 when I was only 28 years old. It is 30 cubic foot. This is the heart of any pottery. Without a kiln you can never convert clay into ceramic. That transformation starts at about 1050° F. People ask me, "Why can't a person use an oven to make pots?" I tell them a kitchen oven will not get hot enough! My pots are heated to 2250° F. Don't try that at home in your kitchen!

This is a kiln that I bought used. I rebuilt the burner system and then sold it. It's only 10 cubic feet. I think it's over 50 years old. It was only used by a little old lady in Pasadena, Ca. When I received it, the whole burner system was completely wrong and it would never get to high temperatures. So I just reengineered the whole combustion system. I even added a blower system fashioned from a bathroom attic fan, ducting, and some beer cans.