Archives for category: Ceramic Blog

I will be posting new work in my etsy shop all weekend. Please go check it out.

HP Bloomer Etsy Shop <-click here

I am editing a few images. Mostly of work from my firing last week. Here are a few images of pieces that are in my show at Willits Center for the Arts.


Hi all,

A few of you may have already read on my Instagram or Facebook pages that I am moving to California this August. In order to minimize what I have to move I have listed quite a few new and old pieces on my etsy shop. I will keep my shop open until August 3rd so get what you can now. My shop will reopen once I get making again when I’m set up in my new studio at the Cobb Mountain Arts and Ecology Project

Please go shop my etsy page:

Its been quite a while so here’s the summary of the last 9 months:

I wrapped up my residency at Arrowmont at the end of May and took a job as the Studio Manager/Director of Santa Fe Clay in Santa New Mexico. By the time I arrived in Santa Fe the Santa Fe Clay summer workshops were in full swing. Its been a pretty fantastic experience so far. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many notable artists last summer and am excited about this coming summer as well. I am very pleased to have been given so many curatorial opportunities at SFC and have assisted in curating a number of shows here over the last few months. Recently me and our gallery assistant, Natasha Ribeiro, co-curated 6 Under 36 which opens this Friday and is receiving some press both locally and from Ceramics Monthly. The artists included in the show are Emily Duke, Linda Lopez, Brooks Oliver, Peter Pincus, Adam Shiverdecker & Matt Ziemke. I will try to write more about the show as I live with the work once its installed. The basic premise of the show was to bring in younger ceramic artists whose work both Natasha and I found fresh and exciting.

Once I found a place in Santa Fe I was able to set up a studio and start working. While progress has been slow I’ve been able to get some work made. We recently finished a new soda kiln at Santa Fe Clay and did our first firing before the holidays. It feels good to know that I can soda fire my work once again. I will be documenting that work this week and hopefully sending it off to galleries shortly.

I am also in the process of getting a new website up. I started playing around with square space in November and then had my computer stolen and lost all of my images and portfolios. So I’ve been hunting down some of my higher resolution images from applications and residencies and am now ready to start the switch over to the new page.

When I arrived in Santa Fe I didnt have a studio to work in for the first 3 months and so I diverted my energies into glaze testing and have subsequently developed a whole new batch of glazes to add to my palate. I am excited to write about them, what I am looking for when testing, and how I evaluate the results for what I would like to turn into a article in the near future.

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Some of the other grads and me just finished making some very needed repairs on the old soda kiln. There had been some issues with the front wall moving due to the intrusive quality of the soda build up in the fire box. Over the last two years the soda has built up to about three inches thick and had begun pushing its way in between the bricks thus spreading them further with every firing. This in turn was causing the front fall to falter. So we tore the whole front wall down to the foundation and cleaned it up, rebuilding it with support to, hopefully, minimize any future spreading.

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Here are a few choice pots from my firing a few weeks ago. Enjoy!

Last night around 3 am I finished my last firing of the summer. Thats 4 kiln loads (3 in the soda & one in the West Coast 16). Everything went amazingly smooth. I just wish that I had planned to finish a little sooner than 3am since I had TA meetings this morning at 8:30. Oh well, I am thinking of opening the kiln on Saturday or Sunday. We’ll see how cooled down it is by then.
I have a few glazes that I am using for the first time in this firing and cant wait to see how they come out.

Here is a sneak peek at whats inside……

Alright so what I am looking at doing here is not only showing off my collection of cups/mugs/tea bowls but also starting a critical analysis of why I have these pieces and use them everyday. I think that it is critical for anyone who makes table ware, everyday items or just downright functional items to be in contact with items that they enjoy every day. And not only that, but to also think about the pieces while they use them. While to some this may sound like a pretentious and boring exercise just think of it as doing your home work. What kind of mug would you make?
Everyday when I come into the studio I heat up some hot water and start a pot of green tea. Right now I have about five tea pots that I cycle through (three of which are my own and two of which are by Brenda Lichman our now former lab tech… congrats again Brenda!). Currently I have about 35 drinking vessel for my tea in my studio. I do have more at home and over the next few posts I am going to share a few of them with you.

At the moment I am using my Amy Halko mug.

I picked this mug up at the last Dallas Pottery Invitational, which by the way if you haven’t been and you are a north Texas clay person then you are missing out. Amy was selling at the 2009 DPI as well but in the last year her work seems to have taken a more focused direction. She moved off to California, likely to get away from this 110 degree heat we are having, and her work has come back stronger. My girlfriend got one of her pieces at the last DPI and while I enjoy it, it just wasn’t there yet for me.
I do however adore her current work. The mug that I have is proportionally right on, it plays glossy against matte, smooth slick glaze against raw clay, light against dark, organic against geometric. It has got it all. It is a well thought out piece.

The out side of the unglazed exterior of the handle plays nicely against the interior, which is the same slick transparent glaze that coats the rest of the exterior except for the foot. the organic patterns on the sides of the mug play against the two very strong and fine pin stripes that encompass the upper edge of the mug. These finer lines are then mirrored by a more fluid brush stroke around the interior of the lip which in turn acts as a visual in between for the structured lines and the more organic ones. This brush stroke is also mirrored on the foot of the mug where Amy has also thoughtfully carved through the slip a pattern that mirrors the ones on the sides.

The handle on this mug made me try out not glazing my handles, but it didn’t really work out for my body of work. Another thing about the handle is that it is a good thickness. I think that a lot of people get stuck on making things thin. Thin, Thin, Thin, Thin! This is all good and well but there is something to be said for a cup that you know you are holding and don’t have to worry about breaking because you are so surprised about how light it is. And the same goes for handles. A thin handle may not visually be a right fit for the piece. It has also been my experience that often the thinner the handle the more uncomfortable it is. Give me something to wrap my fingers around. Have you ever carried a 5 gallon bucket with one of those wire handles that just cuts into your fingers….that is an exaggeration but I think that it expresses my point. Anyhow, the handle on this piece is generous. It is nice to hold. I would go so far as to call it a joyous experience!

So if you have the opportunity go out and get some of Amy Halko’s work. I think That you will enjoy it. Think about how much thought can go into pieces like this, whether its intuitive or planned out.

Thank you to every body who came out to my sale and made it a success. Your support means a lot to me especially right now. I hope that every one who bought a pot or two gets a life time of enjoyment out of its use.

I will continue to offer my work online via this site so if you see something in one of the photos I have posted just inquire and I am sure that we can come to an agreement.

Again thanks for coming out and supporting a local artist.

Tell me what piece you would like via email then I will get back to you and let you know a price. pay via paypal.