National Association of Conservation Districts

As a result of the Dickinson Conservation District contest their director recommended I enter a national version of their photo contests so here are those entries to be judged after December 1, 2007. I'll post the results later.

Billy's Anagama

Billy Ob and Randall Genser are making a wood fired kiln and studio in downtown Detroit. This type of kiln takes a crew of people at least 7 days if not more to fire.

Gawaine & Jane Estate Art Sale

One of my teachers finally moved from the home he and his wife sheared to assisted living closer to his daughter. As a result they had to have a still alive estate sale to unload as much of pottery and paintings they had produced but not sold and a number of collectables. I bought a half dozen pieces at the end of the first day and regret not going back the next days for more but to be honest it was pretty upsetting. I hope most of the stuff found homes and not ended up in the dumpster.

Firepower Ceramics 2013

The Detroit Artists Market installed a contemporary ceramics exhibition with some new and some older artists using clay some way in their work. Sorry for the lack of credits and a complete set photos but those things happen.

Salty Dog Firing #7

Henry Crissman added an extension to the firebox to give it more than enough firepower to make high temperature in under 48 hours. It's too bad my batteries ran out before I could document more. The fire was started about 8:00AM Saturday and lasted into Sunday night. A fun time was had by all who visited.

Center For Creative Studies Manibigama Kiln

In November of 2012 I attended a firing by Criss Sneed at Center For Creative Studies in downtown Detroit. There are more videos in my YouTube channel.

Main Elements of the Load

A place to look at the load density. I'm thinking part of my problem getting hot all through the load, besides the fact it was my first firing in years and we had to cook the kiln, was the load was too full and it became one giant heat dam. What do you think? Any suggestions would be considered.

Lopping Sticks To Length

After coming up with a case of "trick finger" in the ring finger of my right hand from using the machete so much I decided to try something a little different. I got the idea from a metal shear I used in the scrap yard to cut up stuff that was too small to waste gas torch cutting.


Salty Dog Wood Firing #6

Wherever I go I look for other fellow potters who wood fire. In Detroit just off of East Grand Boulevard Henry Crissman from Center For Creative Studies and other students including Chris Sneed used the old salt kiln bricks to build a unique two chambered wood fired kiln.

Pots For 2012

These are most all of the pots from the firings with prices so I could keep an inventory list for a show in Kalamazoo but I forgot to shoot the $10 Snake Incense burners that sold and forgot which bowl sold for $65. There are some pretty neat pieces in this last load so I hope to have them in my Etsy store as soon as I make the move to South Eastern Michigan. I'm also going to look into exhibiting at The Detroit Artists Market where I had some of my first sales as a kid in the early 1960's.

Cutting Brush Sticks To Length

In order to finish working on the wood rack I needed to finish processing the leftover sticks from cutting Christmas greens and other limbs I've found. I nailed a gauge stick with an area between 32"&36" long to a stump and whacked the limb with the machete to length for the main Bourry stoke holes. Shorter sticks will be used in the secondary stoke holes along the sides of the kiln. The scrap goes in the camp fire to stand by to get warm.


Limbing Red/Jack Pine

Another spot on Paul's land to demonstrate the cleaning up of a pine for kiln fuel. Now that gas is over $3.00 a gallon the use of hand tools becomes more attractive, and in a student situation the safety issue of chain saws is reduced. Of course the least convincing argument for using hand tools is the dubious benefits of the physical labor involved and the time it takes away from throwing pots and drinking beer.


Brick Stash

These are some shots of the stash of kiln bricks I'm looking to store or sell.

Full Resolution For Prints

This is a new album with some of my favorite shots in full resolution from when I started using the 6MP Pentax Optio 60, then the 7.1MP Pentax W30, and the 12.1MP W80 I'm offering for sale through Fotki. This will make the ordering process easier than having a lower resolution image and being notified to upload the original which would only delay you receiving your pictures. I hope there is something here suitable for your home, office, or any place that looks like it could use a a neat photograph. Thanks for viewing and more thanks for making an order eh.

Kiln Demolition

I can't stay here anymore so I have to take the kiln apart and find some place to stash the brick until I decide to rebuild.

UP Woodfired Kiln 2012 5th Load

I decided to do one more load before May to use up the remaining kiln fuel and see if I can adjust the setting to get the tail hotter.

Used Electric Kilns

An elderly lady near here has decided to stop giving pottery and ceramics lessons in her home and is getting rid of the equipment so I asked what she wanted for one of the Paragon Set 'n Fire kilns she said wasn't working real well and she said 50 bucks so I got one. I haven't considered electric yet but the chamber looks good enough to repair the electronics or convert it to gas or even wood if I find the location. If I can figure out how to move both I think I'll see what the other one is worth to her too. It looks like I'll need a pickup truck or a low riding trailer to haul them down below 'da Bridge to South East Michigan.

Bal's Hill

There is a dairy farm family up here named Bal and they acreage the locals call Bal's Hill where they pasture heifers and plant feed. A particularly lonesome birdhouse along the fence line caught my eye so I thought I'd see if I could milk it for a few decent shots. One shot won an award in a local calendar contest. Enlargements suitable for framing are available at reasonable prices. Thanks for taking a look and even more for ordering a print.

U.P. Woodfired Kiln 2011 Load # 4

About the only change I've made in the kiln is to lag in more stack bricks so it is now 16.5'. I decided to give'er one more try and make another load with mostly re-fires and a few new pieces made with a cone 12 porcelain and cone 10 stoneware I bought from Continental Clay. More of loading live can be found in my YouTube site.

Kiln Snowed In

We got hammered with at least 13" of snow on Leap Year Day 2012.

New Pots 2012

The kiln got fired during a warm spell in early February and I'm putting the results in my store at

Leap Year Day Snow Storm

I think this is the most snow we got at one time all winter.

U.P. Woodfired Kiln 2012 4th. Firing Results

Well the 2011 album drifted into 2012 and the firing so I'll start a new album of the results.

Navarre's Hobagama

Rough idea drawing of woodfired kiln design and foundation construction shots. Winter is putting a cap on much more work for now but will continue during thaws in Janurary, May, July, hay 'dis is da U.P. It has snowed on July 4th.
6/05, spring has sprung and summer work began. Found a little helper too.
And now the end of June, foundation complete. A new album will start showing the kiln construction. I might have shots still on my other camera of the final foundation work.

Deer Damage 2011

I went to Marquette Wednesday for the appeal hearing on that disability claim I got hooked into 6 years ago and five miles along Upper Pine creek road a deer decided to see if it could out run me and lost. You should have seen the look in it's eyes when it realized cutting into the front left corner of the van, getting sucked into the wheel well, and spit out under the back wheel was not gonna make for a good day. I pulled part of the fender out and the steering was still good so we kept going. Dan came with but we decided not to do a road kill thing. The judge gave me more time to find proper representation and will reschedule for after the new year. Got back just in time for that first big snow storm. Next day the bumper got to rubbing on the tire so I used duck tape to hold it up until Rick & I can fix it next week. Here is a shot of the damage...

Dan's 2011 Deer Hunting

My pal Dan from Spring Lake comes up to his camp every year to hunt some clean meat for the year and get away from the city. He has used the gun and bow but now that it is legal he can use the crossbow.

Christmas Wreath Making 2011

It seems my health is good this year so I decided to rearrange the studio and set up for making Christmas wreaths so I can post them to NavarrePottery on Etsy for sale. I can also easily clean up and return to clay throwing.

Olod 'de Hounta 1998 - 2011

My dog Olof came home from an important gotta chase the deer out of the year run and seemed under some sort of stress and restless. It looked like he wanted to puke so I put him on the chain and almost right away he heads under the porch to lay down with labored breathing. I decided to wait and see while I worked on making kiln fuel for about an hour. When I checked on Olof he was dead. He was a darn good dog.

New Wood Pile 2011

If I want to fire the kiln again I'd better get busy and collect another batch of fuel. Experience has taught me saving scraps from Christmas brush cutting is not a good idea and from now on I'll only keep sticks 1" diameter or more.


The Tool, The Injury, & The Fix

Never use the machete without gloves. I can't remember how many times I've hit just about the same spot with gloves on and barely got a scratch. I should have stopped two swings earlier because I'd just thought about not having my gloves and whack... OUCH!!! Did some first aid, took Olof home, & drove myself to the ER to get stitched up. Dang, this next firing is already starting to cost me money. Maybe I should quit before anyone else gets hurt.