Halloween was Bill Bracker’s FAVORITE holiday of the whole year.  He always dressed up and trick or treated.  We’re not sure if he more looked forward to the creative costumes or the candy.  If you’re in the store in the coming days, feel free to come in costume.  We’ll have a treat for you (if we can keep the staff out of the candy, that is).

October Recap…

October was definitely a month full of clay around these parts.  Although we seem to be ALL about Baseball right now, earlier this month, the City of Lawrence was treated to some serious “heavy-hitters” in ceramics.  The Lawrence Arts Center’s Ceramic Symposium was filled to capacity with not only the 6 amazing artists demonstrating their techniques, but about 150 makers from across the country who came in to enjoy the event.  The three ceramic shows filling the gallery spaces at the Arts Center represent some of the best of contemporary ceramics, and the interactive Tea Project in the front lobby offered a beautiful and poignant experience.  Meanwhile in nearby Kansas City, the NCECA board gathered for their fall board meeting and got a sneak preview of the site of the 50th anniversary conference.  This volunteer, working board is comprised of 16 clay people, including makers, university professors, clay studio directors, a graduate student, a retired high school art teacher, and a ceramics supplier.  Along with a staff of 7 they plan not only the annual conference, but many other opportunities and year-round programming.  S3qUFGiZbFDc3K89MO4JdhFxX37r8Phf2CBjMvUZqp4Bracker’s is proud to be a corporate member of NCECA, and we encourage all of our customers to maintain an NCECA membership as well!   Lastly, If you missed Dave’s tech tip on how to do a glow test this month, you can read it and all of his past tips here.  Often Dave will ask people to do this BEFORE he comes out.  The results can help him diagnose your problem in advance, and the he can bring the right parts out, often saving a second trip (and saving you money!)  If you need help from Dave, fill out a service request.   Sometimes, a simple phone call from the “Kilndoc” can solve your problem!

Looking ahead to November…

You’ve probably already heard about our Andrew Martin workshop, which takes place the 1st & 2nd of November.  What you may not have heard, is that our very own David Sturm will also be participating in the Kansas Half Marathon on that Sunday, starting at 7:30 am (DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!  YIKES).  If you want to cheer him on, we welcome our clay family to join us at various points along the course.  If you have a cowbell, bring it, if you’re creative and want to make a sign, here’s a great source of inspiration (I personally love #6, 8, 22, 28, 31, & 35)  And here’s some more inspiration (funny to look at, even if you aren’t planning to make a sign).  But back to clay, be watching our YouTube channel, we’re likely to have some video from the workshop, and maybe a special on something to go with it.  The first of November also brings with it our annual winter sale.  What’s on sale?  Pretty much everything in the store, sale prices will be reflected in our online store, and automatically applied to any in-store visit or phone order.  Be watching the blog for a complete listing of sale discounts and details on some extra special sale items as well!  The second weekend in November will be our regular Second Saturday event, and the buzz is that we’ll have the intrepid Kyla Strid in our studio for the day.  (you see, that’s funny, because she uses a lot of bees in her work….get it? buzz?  ha ha ha) Later in the month as we pause to celebrate the historical harvest and give thanks, we will be closed on Wednesday Nov 26th through Friday Nov 28th.  We WILL be open on “Small Business Saturday”, Nov 29th, so after you’ve gotten your big box store deals shopping out of your system, come visit us in Lawrence to get your clay fix and maybe enjoy some special treats (really, I promise that we aren’t just trying to get rid of all of our leftovers)

Wonderful Workshops…

We have an absolutely AMAZING lineup of artists planned from now into 2016.  Here’s a preview for you:

Language of Pattern and Culture in Clay with Forrest Middleton & Adam Field,  April 25-26, 2015

Field-MiddeltonWorkshop2-1The cat is officially out of the bag now!  You won’t want to miss this comedy routine – i mean two person workshop with Adam & Forrest.  These two guys have been friends for years, drawing on one another for inspiration, advice and camaraderie.  To give you a preview of their sense of humor, when I asked for a list from them of what they would need for the workshop, Forrest list included a mariachi band and a marionette.  (We *think* maybe he’s kidding….?)  Forrest was really one of my clay heroes since I saw his work on the cover of ceramics monthly a year or so ago.  His  luscious surfaces are a mouth-watering contrast of mottled milk and honey against delicious dark chocolate with historic patterns that reference various cultures.  I was fortunate enough to meet him at the NCECA conference in Milwaukee this past spring, and after a few moments of fanatic fawning over him, I immediately asked him about a workshop.  It was also at that conference that I got to personally meet Adam Field, also one of my clay heroes, whom I had already gotten to know quite well via social media.  In addition to being an exceptional potter, Adam is a skilled photographer and one of the foremost experts in social media in our field.  He was one of the presenters at the conference, part of a social media panel, in fact, and he also spoke briefly about his time in Korea.  I look forward to hearing more about that and about how that time influenced his work.  Of course, I drool over pretty much all of the information he shares about technology.  Adam also has an extensive YouTube channel.  Try not to get lost for hours in watching his videos…..(not that I’ve done that or anything….).  So don’t delay, you can sign up now on our website at the early-bird price of $300!


A yet-to-be-titled-raku-workshop with Marcia Selsor, Fall 2015, tentatively September 26-27

If you were at our last Raku Second Saturday, you may have experienced the Obvara technique, which we learned of from Marcia Selsor.  Her Raku work is absolutely beautiful and draws on a wide variety of Raku techniques. You can learn more about her on her website.  We’ve been interested in having her for a workshop since she was a presenter at the same Potter’s Council conference as David up in Minnesota.  Keep watching the blog for more details about this great workshop next fall!

Something related to surfaces with Greg Daly, January 2016

bowletchlstr90We’re very excited to have Australian Ceramic Artist Greg Daly here for a workshop in January of 2016.  While Daly will be here to jury the International Cone Box Show, we will host him at Bracker’s for a workshop.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from this exceptional artist, well-known for his incredible surface treatments.  See more of his work on his website.

New on shop.brackers.com

UnknownSomehow, we had overlooked getting stilts up on our website!  *yikes*  Situation rectified.  Feel free to glaze ALL the way to the bottom, or heck, just glaze your WHOLE piece now, and find all the “support” you need at Brackers.  We proudly carry the Roselli Stilts, which go up to cone 10.  ….Now, of course we’re not saying you HAVE to glaze the whole thing, but if you want to, you have that option!  (May we also recommend some kiln wash while you’re at it? *grin*)  Also new is the exciting and anxiously-awaited mid-fire glaze book by John Britt.   Our copies came in and are ready for you to take home!  (If you pre-ordered, it’s already on its way to you!)  Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.56.29 AM

And of course remember, you can always find the newest products on shop.brackers.com by scrolling down a little bit and clicking on the “Newest Products” link.  Enjoy!




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