Monday, May 30, 2011


My wife and I got on the road last Friday to go up and see Bill & Anna Klock. Admittedly, it had been way to long since I had been up, especially given its close proximity. When we got there, it was like stepping back in time to our last time wood firing together. The property, house and studio conjure up memories from those beginning days of making pottery. In an odd way, you can go home again.

Bill took me into the studio; we talked about pots, potters, glazing and materials. The materials were one of the reasons we went up. Bill is down-sizing his material reserves, keeping the essentials for the pottery he is currently making. We rummaged through the chemicals and I was able to pack 600 pounds or so in our car. There was the redart, G-200, Albany slip, Barnanrd slip, Michigan slip, Frits 3124 and 3110, rutile, ochre, nephaline synite, ultrox, wood ash and others. Though the materials were the premise for us to go up, honestly, it was just great to be up there and see Bill.

Anna put on a wonderful lunch, catering to my peculiar eating habits which ended in a great piece of her homemade orange cake and a typical cup of tea. Everything at Bill’s revolves around a good cup of tea, a habit transplanted from his days at the Leach pottery and his subsequent trips to England and St. Ives. In recent years, Bill was invited by the new owners of the Leach pottery to help stabilize and sort out the kilns and buildings.

After lunch, we toured Bill’s wood working studio, his other passion. Bill has large stockpiles of lumber from his property including wonderful slabs of oak and butternut. He is currently working on a modern set of chest of drawers that has an Arts & Crafts, Stickley feel to it. The house shows off other pieces he has made including a computer table, a writing desk, chairs and various cabinetry. Obviously, just something else to keep Bill busy.

It is obvious now, that I need to get up to Bill’s more often. It was an enjoyable day trip and refreshing to interact with the person I hold responsible for getting me into pottery and helping keep my work on track. Once the car was fully packed, we exchanged pots. I gave Bill a small covered jar in my medieval green glaze in rozome style and in return I got a small vase with brushed slip, broad powerful foot and opaque ash celadon. As a parting gift, I could not be any happier!