Another Day on the Ranch

With November quickly approaching, and the amount of work piling up, Ranch work has seemed to reach an all-time high. Ted and Sheryl DeVault have opened their studio up to several big-name ceramic artists across the country to come and fire the Reitzagama around Thanksgiving. Some are traveling more than 2,500 miles to be apart of this great event. 

The crew that was selected to fire the work were selected from the final firing of the Reitzagama with Don. Some of the artists who are participating are, Chris Gustin, Matt Long, Mat Rude, Heidi Kreitchet, Preston and Sara Tolbert and several more

Read More

Reitz Ranch Center for Ceramic Arts

It's been a little over 3 years since Don Reitz passed away and left behind his wonderful studio out in Sycamore Canyon in Clarkdale, AZ. I spent over 4 years growing up out in the desert. It seems just like yesterday I was waking up to the cows and horses brushing up against my trailer, however, time has passed and there is a start of something new. Don often spoke, in his remain years, of what the property could be. He talked of having artists from all disciplines come and use the property to further their creative energy. 

 

Read More

Life is not a dress rehearsal...You only get one shot at it

WOW, such an incredible week. As I return to Arizona from NCECA, Facebook reminded me that it has been 2 years since my mentor Don Reitz has passed. While I was at the conference I was able to reconnect with so many great friends and meet just as many new ones! I feel so fortunate to have worked with Don at the ranch and am astonished with the doors he continues to open for me. Today I'm left thinking about something Don once told me, "It doesn't get any easier, it just gets different". I can honestly say that it's sure a hell of a lot different buddy, but I wouldn't change a thing. Thank you Don, love you and miss you.

Read More

Florida Heat at St. Petersburg, FL

I have been fortunate enough to attend Florida Heat once again! This is my second time going with Don and I cant wait for next year.

The St. Petersburg Clay Company, Morean Arts Center, and Highwater Clays, are located into the Historic Seaboard Coastline Freight Depot also known as "The Train Station". Florida Heat is put on by the Train Station of St. Petersburg, FL.  Florida Heat is a 2 week firing symposium, where artists come together to fire several different atmospheric kilns, like an Anagama woodkiln, a train kiln, soda kiln and a salt kiln.

Read More

X-Mural

It's been quite a while since I've updated the blog, but for good reason. I've been incredibly busy over the last few months working with Don and I thought it would be a good time to get caught up with my blog. Back in January Don had a vision to execute a wall piece for his show in April that was 12 feet tall by 8 feet, we built the frame and pounded 1000lbs of clay into it.

Read More

Hexaptych

I put together a quick YouTube video for Don's Birthday (November 7th). I showed it to Don and he asked me put it online and share it with others. I'm putting the photos that go along with the video of the process for the hexaptych. The piece came out of the woodkiln this week and I will upload photos of the finished piece this week. Check back to see the finished photos.

Read More

Pitch Article

It's been a while since I've updated the site, however that does not mean things are still not happening. I been to Canada and back, fired kilns, had visits from great friends and family. While all this is going on, Don's show is still in full swing attracting a great audience in Kansas City, MO. If you haven't seen the show maybe this article will get you in there. The article is written by Tracy Abeln who writes for The Pitch. The Pitch is a local alternative paper in Kansas City and has the second highest circulation in the city. Check it out!

Read More

Studio Triptych

I got to work in the studio today with Don. Don worked on painting a new triptych that is 15"x 30" x 1". I was also able to help work on some new jars which completed photos will be posted as soon as they are finished. While Don was painting I stood by and took some great shots of him from start to finish.  Don starts by applying a "Base Coat" to give it a background color and then proceeds to apply the main imagery. These panels will be woodfired for about three days and will be fired to cone 13 (~2500 degrees Fahrenheit ).Check out the photos below:

Read More

Don Reitz Retrospective

This weekend Don, Kathleen, Larry and I traveled to Kansas City, MO for Don's opening of his retrospective show at the Belger Arts Center! It was an absolutely amazing show, so much wonderful work in one room. The opening was a wild success with hundreds of people stopping throughout the evening to see the show and see Don. Don's family Brent (son), Donna (daughter) and Nancy (sister) were all there and our Florida family was able to fly out to see the show and be with us. My parents were able to make it in the day after the show which was really nice to see the both of them. 

Read More

Don Reitz at the Belger Arts Center

OPENING MAY 4!

May 4, 2012 - September 8, 2012

A tribute to the legendary Don Reitz spanning 51 years of his career. Join us from 6-9 pm on First Friday and see 100 artworks by Reitz on the ground floor and the third floor of the Belger building at 2100 Walnut Street in Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District. DON REITZ will run through September 8, 2012.

Read More

Amazing Night Firing

It has been a little while since my last update this is because we are in the middle of a serious firing schedule. Don has a large retrospective show that will be coming up on May 4th 2012 at Belger Arts Center. So Don has been cranking out work left and right. With all the work that is being produced the work has to be fired. Since his show with Bentley Gallery that recently came down in January, we have been firing a wood kiln about once every week! We've also thrown in a few Salt kiln firings in there too. There has been a few times where we are firing a wood kiln and a salt kiln at the same time! Don's salt kiln is one of the loudest kilns I have really ever been around. (It was really nice when it had been going on for a few days and we get to turn it off, the silence was much appreciated) I did get a few shots of firing during my Midnight shift on March 3rd 2012. Below are a few photos from a night firing in March.

Read More

September Kiln: UPDATED

This weekend we are firing a woodkiln out at the ranch. It has been a while since we fired a woodkiln so I'm very excited to get back into the woodfire mode. I put a few pictures of the stacking below. This kiln is such a breeze to load until we get to Don's sculptures. The smaller sculptures are pretty straightforward and can actually be done by one person, however, the larger sculptures (which usually end up on the top to utilize the arch of the kiln) are a little bit trickier. For most kiln loadings I have to crawl over the bag-wall, into the firebox, and help guide the piece onto the top shelf.I have a lot of new work in this kiln along with Kent, Larry, and Don. All together it should be a fantastic firing and will update the photos (and hopefully my portfolio) with the results from the firing.

Read More

Mat Rude Visit

This November Don Reitz has invited 4 major ceramic artists to come out and be apart of an Anagama firing. To prepare for the kiln Don invited his past assistant Mat Rude to come out and help make some larger pieces for the upcoming firing with us. It was really great to see my old friend (not too often you get to see other people out at the ranch), and work in the studio to create some really amazing work.It was truly amazing to see each piece start from a basic cylinder or cone shape and become absolutely fascinating sculptures. There were several times over the last 5 days that I couldn't help but just pinch myself to make sure that I wasn't dreaming. It was so cool to see the studio so full of energy and creativity. As the pieces were being assembled Don was bouncing from piece to piece working a little bit on each one allowing the other to dry. That was pretty fascinating to see how Don works with the larger scale work. Below are photos from the week and I will upload the final pieces as they are finished. I'm really looking forward to the Anagama firing!

Read More

July Woodkin

We fired a kiln last week, and had fantastic results. We got cone 11 down hard through out the kiln and cone 12 bending in front. Don's work had some amazing colors. Larry and I both had some newer forms in the kiln. I'm extremely happy on how my work turned out. I took some pictures of a few pieces, the rest will come later this week. UPDATE: Check out my ceramics portfolio to see images of my new work from the firing!

Read More