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The Annual Norfolk Studio Tour is this Weekend! Sept 16 & 17

Our biggest studio tour of the year is upon us, and we invite you to visit our studio, and the other amazing artists on the tour, to see the best of Norfolk's Artistic community. We completed several firings over the summer, with many sleepless nights, building up an inventory of our best work of the year. Our copper reds and reduction glazes seem to have gotten better over time, and we are quite proud of the work we've produced recently. We hope you'll drop in and see what we've been up to.

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So enjoy the early fall weather and come for a drive, with 39 artists at 26 studios, we're sure you'll find something to love and cherish.

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Maps and more information can be found HERE, at the Norfolk Studio Tour website. We will be open from 10 am to 5 pm both Saturday September 16th and Sunday September 17th.

Work for sale

Although we haven't set up a real online shop, with a functioning cart and checkout, (it's a lot of hassle when you're not dealing in mass produced items), what I have done is uploaded some pictures with descriptions of my newest work, and I will be selling these individual pieces if anyone is interested. Here are a few samples from there:

To be honest, the biggest detractor for us selling consistently online is both the amount of time it takes to individually photograph each piece, measure it, and post it online (something my father won't be able to do once I'm not here), as well as the cost and risks involved with shipping. A standard mug, shipped in Ontario, is roughly between $10-$12, for shipping alone, which is half the cost of the mug!! Porcelain is heavy as a shipping object, requires A LOT of careful packing, and is still extremely fragile, so it's not the best method for us. However, as I am here for 1 more week before leaving, I thought I would try an experiment and put some items online and see if there was any interest.

These are more items for friends and family to have access to, and they are each one of a kind. 

So please check out the shop section I've added, I'm slowly updating more and more items. If you are interested in any of the pieces, please e-mail me directly, panacci.peter@gmail.com, and I can work out shipping and logistics and give you an accurate price for what it will all cost.

Backroads Artisan Tour

If you've been by the studio recently, you know it's been a complete mess (even more so than usual!). We've been busy digging through everything and trying to get ready for this weekends Backroads Artisan Tour. Similar to our other studio tours, this weekend features some amazing local artisans, shops and destinations that make for a great outing. We're open 10 am to 5 pm, both Saturday June 3rd and Sunday June 4th. We'd love to have you come by, and there will also be some live wheel throwing to demonstrate how some of our pieces come to life. 

You can get all the information HERE, as well as a map of all the locations on the tour, and you can also find the information on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BackroadsArtisanTour/

Un Super Size Me

In the land of milk and snow cold

   I love my coffee and tea hot

 in moderation

not super size burst your bladder

extra large double double trouble.

 

 

   Just one good cup will do

    in moderation

please

    UN SUPER SIZE ME

        by - Joseph Panacci

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Every Morning

Every morning I see you,

but I don't know you.

Among others waiting to be noticed,

the kettle boils.

 

I see you, I need you,

the comfort, the joy, the ritual.

Holding you in my hand,

makes you mine.

 

I see you, I know you,

your strength, your warmth, your soul.

Every morning,

my favourite time with you.

~by Joseph Panacci

Put a little Norfolk Under your Tree! This weekend! :D

Well, it's a little late notice, but this weekend is our annual Christmas Open House, alongside with other local artists and artisans, showcasing some of the best work and local products in the Norfolk area. We hope to see some of you out as we'll have our newest work on display, some snacks, and the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit a little early (and despite the wonderful warm weather).  Doors open at 10 am, and we're open until 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday (November 14th and 15th.)

Our latest (and greatest) firing

So two weeks ago, I was home for my reading week, which was the perfect way to get back into some potting. With the busy Christmas and Holiday season fast approaching, and guild sales, open houses and everything else mixed in, it was important we got another wood firing in. 

Focusing just on glazing, I wanted to try a lot of new designs and colours this time around, to try and break up the style of work I had been doing. Here are some pictures of the glazing process, including a before and after view of the spray booth that desperately needed to be cleaned.

The firing itself was a little long, around 15 or 16 hours, but it was definitely one of our best. We loaded the kiln a little looser this time to encourage more air flow and heat distribution. I was worried since all my pieces had copper red on them, one of the hardest glazes to do consistently in a wood kiln. The fluxes and changes within the kiln can wreak havoc with the finished piece, especially as you're trying to keep a constant state of reduction over many many hours.

We didn't finish until sunrise, but it was definitely worth the long wait. A few days later and the results were wonderful. This was one of our best firings to date for colour and consistency. Here is the opened kiln, as well as some photo's of how my new pieces turned out.

Some much needed updates~

Sorry for the long hiatus, living in another country makes it hard to keep in touch and update things. Now that I'm back, briefly albeit, here are some quick updates and a gentle reminder that we are still here, hard at work :)

Work straight out of the latest wood firing

My fathers casserole, done in his classic brushwork style.

Getting back on the wheel after 9 months off, little rusty!

Two of Ayano's sculptures

Perhaps most importantly, is that we will be proudly participating in the 2015 Norfolk Studio Tour. My father will have his work on display, and we invite everyone to come out for the weekend, see what's new in our studio, and also discover some of the other amazing, talented artists in the Norfolk area. You can find all the information on the website, http://www.norfolkstudiotour.com/pages/home

Hope to see you soon, and I promise to update this more frequently now that I'm back in Canada :)

~Peter

 

Norfolk Potter's Guild Wood Firing :)

Some of the wonderful members of the Norfolk Potter's Guild, where my father and I are both proud members, came by and participated in one of our wood firings :) You can see some of the lovely work they produced on the very front table in the following photo. I hope everyone had a wonderful time and wasn't too tired after such a grueling (yet rewarding) process! :)

You can learn more about the Norfolk Potter's Guild on their website: http://www.norfolkpottersguild.com/

 

~Peter

The  last firing of the year, always the toughest. Without my son Peter to help with loading the kiln with his work, I had to make enough work to fill the kiln. It took two weeks longer than I had hopped.

I managed to finish last minute orders, and work for galleries just in time for Christmas. My daughter April was able to help me fire the kiln till 4:30 am in the morning, another marathon when firing with wood. In the photos you can see the back two rows before and after the firing, it feels like old black and white photos and then full colour. The whole process is still very magical, not knowing exactly what you're going to get. Sometimes the results are a gift from the kiln, and other times, even with all your best efforts, nothing turns out right. But like everything in pottery, you keep trying your best and become the eternal optimist. Yes, my next firing will be even better, right!


A sincere THANK-YOU to everyone for your generous support and encouragement throughout the year. A heartfelt Merry Crristmass to everyone.


Joseph and Peter

Norfolk Christmas Tour this Weekend

Well, it doesn't feel like it here in Japan, but Christmas is right around the corner!! Hopefully you're all getting a head start on your holiday list, but if you haven't, don't worry, we've got you covered. This weekend is the 3rd annual "Put a little Norfolk under your Tree" studio tour, featuring some of the best local artists in the Norfolk area. My father and sister April are busy getting ready, so if you have some time, please stop in this weekend and say hello. We'll also have some hot apple cider and goodies to share. This is our last big event of the season, so we hope you can drop in and see what we've been up to!

Diane Nasr-O'Young's Work

So it's been 2 weeks since I've been gone, and I recently just received my laptop, which means I'll be able to do blogposts and updates again :)

One of the things I was really looking forward to was seeing our dear friend Diane Nasr-O'Young's work on display at the Pearson International Airport. When I picked up Ayano this summer, I saw her work being advertised, but the display was in the International Departures Terminal and you had to be flying out to see it. Well, as fate would conspire, I was lucky to book my flight while the exhibition was still under way, and it was wonderful seeing Diane's work right before take off :)


I could try to describe her pieces, but they really speak for themselves. It's very rare to see someone who boldly displays their creativity in such a delicate, highly skilled way. One of the most powerful things about Diane's work is that they are always refreshing, dynamic and completely her own. There's never any compromise, what she creates is always a child of her own vision and artistic brilliance and carries its own whimsy and unique place in the world. Okay, so I am describing them quite a bit and starting to ramble. You can probably tell how much I love Diane and her work :)

And so, please enjoy the photo's, they're taken through the glass cases and not in the best lighting, but they give a decent idea of the wonderful work she creates. Diane and Kayo have always been two of my biggest inspirations,

~Peter

Wear and Tear

During the last firing, we had a very shocking, and potentially dangerous surprise. Midway through the firing, well after starting reduction and getting to around 1800 degrees fahrenheit, a piece of the kiln floor broke and fell into the fire box. This was a real scare since we didn't know the extent of the damage, and it was a VERY large piece that fell. Did the floor completely break? Did the pieces inside move? Could the whole stack have fallen over? It was nerve wracking but at the same time, we didn't have any choice. We didn't hear any shifting or feel anything move, so we continued and hoped for the best. Luckily, nothing was damaged in the firing, but we definitely dodged a bullet this time.

This is the piece that fell, mid firing. Our hearts definitely skipped several beats!

Once everything was unloaded, we could see the extent of the damage. The large fire brick we had used for the bottom had cracked and broken nearest to the flame and firebox, and with over 30 firings in this kiln, had finally given way. Luckily none of the other floor pieces were damaged, and we managed to hammer and chisel the piece out.

All the heat and temperature changes finally took their toll.

After removing all the pieces of the floor, we could assess the damage and see just how badly it had become.

We are also lucky in the sense that because of the manner in which we built the kiln, we were able to remove the bricks above the floor, piece by piece, without having to worry about the entire walls or arch coming down. This means that with the extra new bricks we've picked up, we can slide one back into place without too much hassle.

Take the bricks out so we can slide a new piece in

This was a very powerful reminder of the fickle nature of wood firings and older forms of pottery, and how even though we're going back to the basics, things can definitely go wrong. We will definitely be keeping a much closer eye on the state of the kiln going forward and make sure she's not falling apart on us.

 

~Peter

Recycling

One of the most important parts about doing pottery full time and running a studio is being able to recycle your clay. There is A TON of clay leftover after trimming, and it can all be reused if processed properly. We are fortunate to have a pug mill, which means we don't have to wedge the clay by hand, but here are some pictures of the process for recycling clay :)

Usually we try and take all the shavings after trimming and put them back into open boxes, allowing them to dry out. This means when we re-add water, they will absorb and breakdown much quicker and more thoroughly. So once all the excess clay is put into empty buckets, we add water and some kind of bacterial accelerator, in this case, cider vinegar. Some potters use old wine, anything works really. Bacterial build up helps further breakdown the clay, and causes it to 'age' beautifully. It makes a BIG difference in the quality of the clay afterwards.

Once the clay is broken down, we will use a large drill to mix it all, the more evenly distributed the clay is, the better. And finally, we put the clay into old bisqued pots, or sometimes into boxes lined with cloth, so that it can dry out slowly and reach a consistency where it can finally be put through the pug mill.

It's a lot of work, but we're able to save a lot of money by recycling, and to be honest, I don't even know how we would get rid of the clay otherwise :)

~Peter

Things other than pottery :)

This past weekend I had a chance to visit some of my friends downtown Toronto, relax a bit, go out and do things not pottery related; and it was wonderful! :) Nuit Blanche was also going on and so with my good friend Mike, we ventured off into the night to see some of the artistic festivities.

The night started off with a bang, as Mike cooked (with very slight help from me) an incredible lemon parsley chicken dinner with asparagus and brown-ish/turned to white rice. It was phenomenal, not many can wine and dine me like Mike, but he never ceases to amaze me. Coupled with our own signature scotch, some Amaro and candles to complete the mood, everything was shaping up nicely. I also decided to get into the artsy fartsy mood of nuit blanche, and took several "artistic" photo's of the chicken, which look almost pornographic to me, but hey, that's art too right?

Ooh~

La~

La~

We also signed our finished bottle of scotch, and now need to pick up a new one to get started on. Also, another artsy fartsy picture, this time of the Amaro with some random filter I applied.

The Amaro + filter

As for Nuit Blanche itself, this is my third time going out for it, and from previous experience, I usually don't like it at all. The majority of the exhibits seem like a gross waste of money to me, ill planned, hastily thrown together, and all around too artsy fartsy. I'm all for promoting the arts, but there's only so much "Hey, look at me!!! Look at how AMAAAAAAAAAZING and creative I am!!!!" I can take. This year was basically the same. There were a few exceptions, things that were genuinely creative and meaningful, but I also know that 5 minutes later, people will already have forgotten them, which is also a shame. It was also JAM packed with people, especially on Queen street where we spent a good portion of our time. Here are some of the things we saw:

People waiting in line for... something? 

This next one had actual candy come out, so it was probably the highlight of the night! :D

So glad they let people actually smash the pinatas :)

This probably wasn't cheap :p

Definitely another high point, busker showing off some serious soccer skills (not an actual part of Nuit Blanche)

It changed colours . . . yay!

Photo's of Syrian refugees, interactive display where you actually got text messages from the people in that event. One of the meaningful one's.

Oh and the rampant amounts of trash and garbage everywhere. We're such a classy city

at least it's close to the garbage...

And finally, probably the most memorable part of the night was discovering a nice cocktail bar on Queen called Barchef, where they served specially in-house prepared cocktails that were quite good! All the ingredients were made using their own methods, and they offered some very adventurous modernist drinks that really pushed the boundaries of what a cocktail should be. All included an edible portion made from the same essences as the cocktail itself and served in a unique way. The majority started at $25 and some went up to $45 (which is quite steep for a drink!), but I do have to admit, they were quite good! I didn't get one myself, shy perhaps? but Mike and his friend John ended up trying 3.

This one was ocean breeze themed and had sailor Jerry rum :) as well as beach essence, which I guessed to be sand, dirty water and hotdogs

The Mad Man (men? no idea) Can't remember any of the ingredients, but I did make fun of John for having to drink out of such a ridiculous glass :p

By far the best one, this one was Chocolate truffle themed, and the small serving spoons contained magical delights with sweet, chocolaty, tart and savory flavours, all layered in an amazing way, topped with dill. It was incredible!

and there you have it, a blog post with absolutely nothing about pottery and just random things :) 

 

~Peter

A big thank you for another wonderful studio tour

My father and I would like to thank everyone who came and spent some time with us this weekend and made the studio tour such a joy. There are definitely moments when you are burdened and worn down by work, tired and exhausted, wondering, 'Why torture yourself every year?' These usually come when you've a mountain of cleaning, waxing, decorating and glazing to do, or at 3 am, covered in soot, sleep deprived and firing the kiln. We definitely had several of those moments these past few weeks, but now that the dust has settled, and the weekend has passed, we're so happy and glad we did it. It's not the work, good or bad, that makes it all worthwhile, but the people you meet, sharing your passions, and showing the love you have for working with your hands with others. We met a lot of incredible people over the weekend and we hope that visiting our studio gave you all a small glimpse into what drives and motivates us. For all of our long time customers who have popped into our studio over the years, we hope you're still finding something new and exciting to keep things interesting and fresh :) 

I think for my father the highlights were definitely sharing his now semi-famous (I still don't like it, but everyone else seemed to love it) fruit punch, his grapes from our backyard, and talking about his fig tree's. For me, I really appreciated it when someone found just the right cup or mug for wine, or whisky or even sake. I love the feeling when I find the perfect cup, that sits just right in your hand, and you can't wait to sit back and really enjoy something in it. To see that look of excitement when someone picks up one of our pieces is a true joy.

Unfortunately I barely took any photo's, but here are a couple of some of my new pieces that came out of the kiln and two pictures of the work in the studio.

My father's work

Elephant relationship bowl (strangers, meeting, and together)

Two of my new larger black mugs :)

My work on display


Once again a big thank you for everyone who visited and we hope to see you again and talk about pottery, or figs, or gardening, or anything else :)


Peter


Studio Tour this weekend!

In the past week my father and I have crammed in more work than we can ever remember! Two wood firings, back to back, over just 6 days, and we hope we're ready for this weekends Norfolk Studio Tour! We'll be open all weekend and welcome everyone to come see the fruits of our labor, enjoy some snacks and also visit the many other wonderful artists in the Norfolk area :) We have a lot of new work and we will be opening the second firing on Saturday :) You can find all the information for the studio tour here, as well as see the other artists participating: http://www.norfolkstudiotour.com/

Click on the map for a larger image, we're number 4 :)

To show just how much we've done, here are some pictures of our pieces as we prepared for the firings :) Hope to see some of you this Saturday and Sunday!

Fresh out of the electric kiln and ready to be glazed

My father's bowls glazed with oxides and copper red

All the work drying in the sun

Getting all the work ready to be loaded into the kiln

My father applying some cobalt oxide

These are the pots we put into the bottom front row every firing

and finally, the kiln all loaded and ready to go! We'll be able to open this one up on Saturday!