eNEWSLETTER - February - March 2011


P.O. BOX 1334

The Clayfolk Newsletter is published five times a year.
Deadlines for submissions are :


Newsletter Editor
Hannah Brehmer

eNewsletter publisher
Don Clarke

Clayfolk Officers
Penelope Dews
Vice President
Shirley Huft
Lynita Zajack
Ray Foster
Members at Large
Irene Stephens
Linda Smiley
Kazuko Young

Committee Chairs
Hannah Brehmer
Marydee Bombick
Empty Bowls
Roxanne Hunnicutt
Stephanie Friedman

Show Chair
Debera Mahannah
Cheryl Kempner
Phil Fishwick
Bonnie Morgan
Shirley Huft
Linda Smiley
Glaze Study Group
Janet Capetty

You can email any of the above underlined members simply by clicking on their name



Hello fellow potters,


The January Meeting went very smoothly, new members were introduced, there was a large gift exchange, and potluck, and Robert Johnson gave an enlightening talk about his spray booth, giving many details, tips, and websites for supplies.


It has been a real pleasure servng you, the Clayfolk community, for the past 2 years. These past 2 shows have been our largest ever, thanks so much for all who participated; the showchair, the board and all the chairs and potters. In June I will be stepping down as President. I appreciate the clayfolk community so much and have enjoyed getting to know both the potters that welcomed me into the Valley 15 years ago and the potters from afar that come here to be a part of  the show.


Shirley Huft (vice president) will be running for the position of President in May, and I have complete confidence in her. Following are positions that are now open :


Board Positions open :

President and Vice-President

Members interested in running for President or Vice-President may submit their names along with a short paragraph stating their interest and abilities to me for the position they wish to hold. The general membership will vote for the board positions in May and new board members will take office on June first.  

Member Positions open :

Programs Chair and Library Committee Members (2)

If you would like to find out more about/or become trained for these positions please let me know.  Members should submit their qualifications for these positions to me,  and the board will discuss and make appointments at the next board meeting.

Member Positions - appropriate for Non-Rogue Valley dwellers

There has been interest from several Clayfolk members living outside the Rogue Valley wanting to know what Clayfolk “Member” positions would be appropriate for them to participate in. These positions include membership, points, programs, newsletter and web-master. Anyone who is interested in participating should let me know so you can find out more about it and work towards becoming trained to take over these positions in the future.


Once again we have made slight changes to the booth pick procedures for the Annual Show.

(a) One week before the booth pick will be the last chance to change down a booth size.
(b) The Booth Pick has gone back to the 2006 rules – in order of points and no penalty for not attending the booth pick meeting. (If not attending or asking another member to pick for you, a booth will be picked by the show chair; however, no complaints about booth chosen for you.)

(c) Booth picked must be different from the prior year's booth to keep a fresh look from year to year.

Again, it has been a real pleasure servng you ... Penelope Dews




The next Clayfolk General Meeting will be held Sunday, March 20th at the home of Jerry and Shirley Huft, 1201 West Jones Creek Road , Grants Pass. The general meeting will begin at 2:30 PM with a pit fire being loaded after the meeting. Everyone who attends the meeting is welcome to bring food for a potluck. The potluck food is optional, but the Huft's would like a quick call if you plan on participating so they can plan the amount of food. The Hufts will provide dessert for all.


The pit fire will be the program for the afternoon, so everyone who attends the meeting is invited to bring one or two (or more if your work is small) pieces of pottery ready to fire. If your pieces are large, please call Jerry and let him know so he can make sure there is space in the pit.  Wood is always welcome, but not required for your participation.  If you have not participated in a pit fire before, here are some tips for preparing your pottery :


1. Use a cone 5 to cone 10 stoneware. Porcelain tends to crack. The color of your clay will affect the color of your pottery.


2. Because your piece will be fired in the ground, large, thick pieces have a tendency to crack. Pottery can be made using the wheel, slap, pinch or coil.


3. If you want your pottery to have a natural shine, when it is leather hard, rub a smooth stone, rubber rib or other smooth object over your pottery. This pushes the grog into the surface of your piece.


4. When your pottery is bone dry, burnish it a second time. Smooth salad oil onto a small section of your pottery. After it dries, it will look hazy. Rub your smooth stone or other object over the pottery and your pottery should develop a high shine. We have, also been polishing our pieces with a piece of plastic bag or chamois.  Be careful not to polish too hard or the shiny finish will come off.


5. An alternative to hand burnishing is painting a coat of Terra Sigillata on your pottery when it is bone dry.  The Terra Sigillata can be lightly rubbed with a piece of plastic wrap, nylon hosery, a chamois or other material. Terra Sigillata can be purchased in powdered form at Georgies Clay. You add water to the powder making the mixture the consistency of milk. Terra Sigillata will change the color of your pottery and make it shiny, but not necessarily smooth.


6. Bisque fire your pottery at cone 010. If you bisque fire your pottery at too high a temperature, it will lose its shine when the grog resurfaces. Your pottery will still be fragile, so handle it carefully.


7. You can bring organic material to place over your pottery. Some people bring dried manure, dried banana peels, straw, seaweed (we have lots), or other interesting material, to see how it colors your pottery. You may also place copper wire on your pottery. Wherever your pottery touches the sawdust on the bottom on the pit, it will turn black, so be sure to tell Jerry how you want it placed.


8. When your pottery comes out of the pit, it will need to be washed.  If it has a good deal of shine to it, you may choose to use carnauba wax, clear shoe wax or the wax product of your choice to protect your pottery and bring out the shine.  Concrete sealer may, also, be used on non-shiny pottery.


If you still have questions, call Jerry and Shirley Huft at 541-476-0593 or 541-415-1971. Fired pieces will be held at the Huft's house either until you pick them up, or until the Hufts bring them to the May meeting. ~ Shirley and Jerry Huft


Jackson County Library

  • Ceramic in the Environment – Janet Mansfield
  • Techniques Using Slips – John Mathieson
  • The Basics of Throwing – David Cohen


Josephine County Library

  • Wall Pieces – Dominique Bivar Segurado
  • Slab Techniques – Ian Marsh and Jim Robinson
  • On the River through the Valley of Fire – The collaborative ceramics of Frank Boyden and Tom Coleman – Daniel Lambe


Clayfolk 2011 Board Meetings- Newsletter Deadlines - General Meetings


Chairs Meeting 1:30PM Before General Meeting
General Meeting 2:30PM Talent Firehouse
Newsletter Deadline


Newsletter Mailed
Board Meeting 6:00PM Huft's Home
General Meeting 2:30PM Huft's Home Pit Fire with Pot Luck
Newsletter Deadline

Membership Form/ Ballot for Officers
Show Application

Newsletter Mailed
Board Meeting 6:00PM Deb Mahannah’s Home- bring a chair
General Meeting 6:00PM Kempner’s Home, Ashland
June No meetings
Newsletter Deadline
Newsletter Mailed
Board Meeting 6:00PM The Dews’ Home, Phoenix
General Meeting 2:30PM Casaleggio’s Home, Jacksonville
August No meetings
Newsletter Deadline
Newsletter Mailed
Board Meeting 6:00PM Abby’s Pizza in Rogue River
Booth Pick Meeting 2:30PM TBA
18th to 20th
Clayfolk Show    
Newsletter Deadline
Board Meeting 6:00PM The Zajacks, Central Point
      Set meetings for 2012 and
  review available positions for 2012
Newsletter Mailed
January 2012
Chairs Meeting 1:30PM Prior to  General Mtg
  General Meeting 2:30PM Potluck and gift exchange
    Talent Fire House or TBA

You can download this complete listing HERE



I work for the Illinois Valley Safe House Alliance, a nonprofit organization in Cave Junction dedicated to serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. We hold our annual fundraiser (Soup for the Souls) April 9th where we serve soups in artisan bowls that the guests can keep. Each year, we ask for donations of bowls and auction items from local artisans (art items to be auctioned off that night) and I was hoping that we might be able to put a notice in your newsletter requesting donations of soup bowls or other art for our auction. All funds received from this event is dedicated to supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. With all donations, we would ask the artist to include a card or their information so that we can give them the recognition they deserve...


Please let me know if you can help us in any way, or if you need additional information, or if you would like me to write something up or … whatever I can do.

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

Very best, Marcy


Marcy Sowa / Volunteer Coordinator

Illinois Valley SafeHouse Alliance

103 S Kerby Avenue | PO Box 2490 | Cave Junction, Oregon

541.592.4147 (tel) 541.592.2585 (fax)




The Empty Bowls Project for Jackson County is in full swing, planning and

getting restaurants to honor soup coupons, etc. The biggest thing we need are

donations from Clayfolk potters. We picked up a many at the show in November, but we need lots more. Remember that we help feed a lot of hungry people right here at home.


The Soroptimists have created a website where they will post the names of everybody who donates something. Please consider throwing a few bowls if you don't already have something to give. They all sold last year. Donations can be taken to Southern Oregon Clay Distributors at 240 N. Pacific Highway in Talent. They are open Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday 10AM to 6PM. 535-1311


You can contact Stephanie Friedman for pick-up arrangements at 541-592-9829, or at sfpottery@gmail.com. The even will be on Friday, May 6 at Trinity Episcopal Church, located at 44 North 2nd Street in Ashland . Thanks to those who have already donated.

Stephanie Friedman




Novice potter looking for a used wheel in working condition. Southern Oregon area preferred. Will pay for delivery or can pick-up. I am willing to pay a fair price but am on a budget.


Shane ..... srchokey@yahoo.com



Perhaps you remember I once recommended some digital picture software for those brave enough to delve into the wonderful world of photo manipulation … or not!


Anyway, what I’m going to do here is tell you about other FREE software that I have found valuable to me. If you’re like my wife, you’ll wonder why it’s free … well when you visit these download sites you’ll find that they will offer you upgrades (that you have to pay for) … the software I’m recommending is FREE and useful so don’t go for the upgrades.


You’ll notice most of these links are to filehippo or snapfiles … these are two reputable download sites that ensure all the programs are free of viruses and/or other “bad” stuff. I would simply recommend that you only download software from reputable sites like these two (another is tucows or cnet) …


Windows Maintenance

Keeping your computer running and cleaning up the clutter that accumulates


Backing up your files


Digital Imaging



Create pdf files from your existing documents

Copy and Burn almost any files to CD/ DVD

Convert between almost any video formats

Recover lost or deleted files

I could go on-and-on but you get the point … if you need some excellent software there is a 99% chance it’s out there and it’s FREE .

IF you have a specific need … drop me an email … webmaster@clayfolk.org





from Don Clarke


I couldn’t make the recent meeting where there was to be a discussion about spraying and some recommendations from the membership … so here is my 2-cents about sprayers.


I have tried those standard spray guns that you see at most studios and found that they put out very little glaze (requiring multiple layers/applications) and were very sensitive to the thickness/viscosity of the glaze. So … here is the best under $10 spray gun …


As background, when I was a kid our family vacuum cleaner (rather elongated wiener looking) had two attachment openings … suck and blow. The vacuum cleaner came with a rug shampoo gizmo that allowed you to put a soap mixture in the bottle and spray it on the run (blow) and then you could vacuum (suck) it up ! Was very simple …


suds-o-gunNow you can find these in second-hand stores like Goodwill or St. Vincent d’Paul … they are often located in a gigantic bin near the vacuums. So, with a little rummaging in your local thrift store you too can own a magnificent Suds-O-Gun like mine.



They usually run under $2 and if your vacuum cleaner doesn’t have a “blow” attachment opening then just buy one of the many you’ll find at the thrift store … mine cost $8 … and hence the best $10 spray gun you can own.



This has a 1/4 ” diameter intake tube that easily sucks up glaze and never gets clogged. The gun puts out a massive amount of glaze so you can apply it without the need for many-many layers … granted it does have an over-spray issue, but for all the great things about it I’ve just learned to live with that.


Now … go find yourself a Suds-O-Gun



On February 12, 13 and 14 Steven Hill presented a workshop at SOU for about 18 lucky people. Here are what some of the participants had to say :

"Even though we already spray glazes, Steven Hill opened the door to a whole new glorious world of layering and experimentation, reminding us to "follow our own muse." This has been a spectacular workshop."   Shirley Huft


"It was fascinating watching how he took his classical forms and  breathed energy and life into them using slip, spiral lines, spouts, handles, negative space, foot treatments, and glaze, all contributing  to making them dance."   Bonnie Morgan


"Steven Hill's workshop was really fun. I especially loved the rhythm of his paddled feet, the negative space in his handles and his glazes."   Roxanne Hunnicutt


"I love Steven Hill. He understands the heart and soul of the potter and he shared his own so generously."   The Editor


Many thanks to Phil Fishwick for the great  job he did
in organizing and running this workshop



TRAVEL HELP NEEDED : I am trying to plan a trip to Portugal this fall, but keep getting confused by my inability to understand the airline routes and schedules. If you or someone you know is a travel agent and would be willing to help me understand how to "work the system" I could definitely use some help. This help will not result in my booking my flights (unless the prices match whatever I can get online), just help out a frustrated potter ... don clarke



Directions to the meeting at the Huft's on March 20, 2011