WK#32, Back on the Wheel

In the last 18 months I’ve gone back on the wheel... the potter’s wheel.   Between my house and office is a JCC with an arts and crafts studio including a very nice ceramics facility.  I've always had an interest in pottery - I’ve made about 50 pots / cups / plates combined. But this was more then 20 years ago now!  As the kids are leaving (1 has already left) the nest, I have more free time again to rekindle my love of throwing.


I started in the 2016 with the studio’s clay, centering 3 to 5 lbs and making nice little cups / talk cups. These quickly become flower pots.  I then grew to non-studio clay, and moved up to centering 5 to 8 lbs.  With this clay, I could make 1 gallon bucket sized pots.  As the months passed, I started to use other clays and larger vessels.   By the summer of 2016, I started using a Terra Cotta, (at cone 6) making unglazed flower pots in classical forms, and in open bell shapes for hanging plants.   After the Summer break, I tried to grow the size,  by throwing 2 pots and connecting them, (while damp).   This worked first time, making my first 15 lbs+ pot.   At this point, on a good evening class I could make 3 to 5 items.   Also, I would spend a weekend morning and make some more… ( too many ).  I need to slow down.


By this point in the fall I started to decorate the pots with thumbed on swooshes, resembling leaves / flower petals.   This helped me to decorate the pieces while wet, and reduce glazing, (maybe).  I stated with a set of 3 pots, all with rows of swooshes, then a set of 5, with swooshes.   

As the Fall progressed, I was able to center more clay, now I was up to 15 lbs, this followed making 2 sets of connectors, each being 25 lbs.   I started to buy more clay, some brown, black, white, buff, and more TC to feed my habit.  In the spring I finished sets of decorated flower pots for most of my family.  I made a set of 3 for my sister-in-law, (she has 1 child), 4 for my brother-in-law, (2 adult children), a set of 5 each for my brother and sister, (their families have 3 children each).   For my Sis, I was able to center 25, 30 and 40 lbs.   For the 40, I have to do this in 2 parts.   The pots are decorated w/ a lattice of swoosh leaves.   


In the Fall, I plan to join a high-level studio called Greenwich House Pottery, where I hope my hobby can continue to grow.


WK#18, MG at NYC's Art Fair

This last weekend, my wife and I attend the Art Fair at “the piers” in NYC.   It’s a funny thing here, they run 3 concurrent air fairs.  One is wild, conceptual, and theoretical, the other one is old, traditional and a little stodgy, and then there is the one at the piers, (just right, … for us at least).   

I would not dare to summarize what w saw as one way, nor another.   Instead, it’s mostly amazing.   At times a little shocking, (for "shocking" sake that is).   People are clearly trying to offer an impactful visual.   Sometimes dimension, mostly 2D, and then some 2.5D.   Actually, there were many “pieces” that required you / viewer to engage w/ it.   Many of these were like the floppy postcard that as you move it, you see 2 to 4 images.   These canvas size pieces were of course done w/ very thorough consideration.

My wife, (Dini) and I especially liked an Artist who would drop pigment into water and photogram the moving color.   This person’s work was not negative, nor positive, but really open for interpretation.   In a comfortable way, you could imaging forms / imagery within sections of the images.  Cleaver, new, yet also something that was relatable too.  All great.

All great visual food for thought.

Getting back to the Biz, 

>>    We are flying samples of our 5 new OPEN collections from Coverings, w/ the first 2 airing tomorrow / day after.   We’ll be processing them with-in a few days and getting them out to our Reps.   I hope to show you images next week, or certainly the week after.

>>    Our Portfolio Stocking Program, ( or PSP ) is growing, last week w/ set a record for highest average order per week.

>>    We are developing/ submitting new designs for our Japanese client, ( I'm very excited about this market ).

>>    We submitted a new design to a client who accepted it for their Fall / Winter 2018 schedule, (yes, 2018 / very organized). 

Lastly, I'm still working on images from the Marmocer new products that are in the market.

Michael R Golden


WK#17, MG in LA

May 9, 2017 


AveMos / Michael's weekly update:


I was in the LA area two weeks ago visiting several distributers.   I met with our West Coast Sales Rep’s David Romar and Ron Miller,  based in Lancaster, about 2 hours north of LA, close to the Mojave area, a fascinating part of our country.  For flying enthusiasts, it’s exactly between Edwards Air Force Base and Lockheed’s Skunk works.   Dave & Ron’s business covers all the Western states, including the Rockies and further south, along with Hawaii.   Among the many things we discussed, we reviewed the 6 new collections Avenue Mosaic introduced at Coverings.   It’s fair to say all designs were well received.


These 6 new collections are part of our OPEN program, which are sold either E-Works, ( China ), or from our US warehouse in Cleveland, Ohio.   You can view the following collections at <  https://www.avenuemosaic.com/for-distributors > 


1.    Biscayne -        A crystal glass line with a custom back texture, producing a calm cool feeling

2.    Broadloom -    A hot glass herringbone in four natural shades

3.    Pyrenees -        An off-set chevron, semi 3D looking patten in stained glass with vivid luxury colors

4.    Rain Dance -     Five shades of electroplating, including blue with some added sparkle

5.    Wet Bar -        Our second hot glass line with a soothing mix of glass, matte and semi-gloss chips

6.    Chenille -      This is our newest, super-cool collection, (pix to be up on the site soon)


Inspirations:  I am often asked about what inspirers me.  To start, I look at the current tile trends, as the saying goes, you cannot drive forward looking in reverse.  I draw from many sources including books, magazines, nature, and places I visit.   In coming post’s, I will be sharing some favorite inspirations.


While in LA, I visited Frank Gehry’s  Disney Philharmonic concert hall.  I highly recommend giving yourself an hour or two to explore this wonderful building.   As you likely know, it’s a swirly whipped cream titanium structure.   With the exception of the floors, there are almost no straight lines inside or out.  While strolling each floor up to the roof terraces, and ending with the back garden, I could not stop smiling.   Every turn I took featured a new bold discovery of this sculptural dream. See below some of the many images I snapped.


With in the next several months,  AveMos is staged to grow our supplier list from 9 sources to 15.   We are rapidly developing designs for our own distribution and our distributor partners.   I like to track my yearly progress with putting ideas “on paper”, (it’s geeky I know), but for week #17, I’m at 38. Goal is always above 100 per year.


BTW, Marmocer USA is now showing / selling 2 tile designs I created, stay tuned for more details next post.


Michael R Golden