Category Archives: Hungary 2010-2013

Problems with ankles

I have been trying to incorporate the bodies and architectural backgrounds, and have longed to use the hands up babies as caryatids. Here is a goup holding up a friieze, but obviously there is too much weight, and is so top heavy that it snaps off the babies at the ankles.  Making it upside down still presents difficulties…so I took pics as the babies holding up the  frieze was still  standing, and then had to tear it down.  It seems irresistible to add a few Canadian animals to the Euro-mix.  Now I will try and place the babies inside the walls, and throwing in some modern architecture too….These are time consuming to construct, and I am not sure whether they are worth the trouble in terms of conveying what I want

We had more snow, a blow-in-the-face snowfall, but makes for great pics. Its snowed for 2 and a half days, and took another day or 2 to clear off.

Week 2, getting settled, making a palette


It is now Good Friday, and I am in my 3rd week.  Mary has just arrived in London for 10 days before coming here.

I have been working 10-12 hours a day before heading off to dins, most nights, with David Vladimir Wolf, from Israel, and Kahlil Irving, from Kansas City Art Institute, both exchange students.

It took 12 full days to break down the clays to make slips, add colourants, and make the tests.  I used both Herend, high-fire, and the white Creaton, mid-fire, as bases.  I used about 10 small babies as tests, and a couple of mid-size babies.  I also made tiles with the tests. [Klara found some of my old tests on the red Creaton, from 2010, that I had left behind.  I will also leave these behind for anyone who prefers slips to glaze.] During those 12 days I also made about 13 moulds, 25 casts, and a couple of pieces from the casts.  But I would note to myself, that 12-14 days are still needed to establish the beginnings of a palette…and they are only in a bisque kiln now, not gas fired yet.  So everything I do for the next week is done on faith that my mixtures will fit and the colours will be acceptable.

Last night, despite being exhausted form making countless grant applications this month,  Emese took David,  Kahlil and I to a concert at the Helyszin Reformatus Ujkollegium , the handsome Calvinist School, on the Square, where her son attended.  The Turkish ambassador had arranged a concert with, Sefika Kutluer, and Varallyay Agnes, a Turkish flutist and an Hungarian pianist, both wonderful players.  The hall was packed, with dignitaries and music lovers alike. Ms Kutluer’s flute has a round rich tone, and we parituclarily liked the Turkish piece by Ekrem Zeki Un. Cultural events in Kecskemet are so well attended, and with people who are involved and interested.

This weekend, I am alone in this building, which is novel, and rather nice, and David and Kahlil have the student building to themselves, as everyone has gone home for the Easter long weekend.  I look forward to a lot of bells on Easter Sunday


Ist week, March 2013

It has been like a home-coming, with easy flights, and Steve waiting at the Budapest airport. The drive was long enough to get caught up on some ICS news, and suddenly back in the courtyards and saying hello to old friends. I was given the same studio, with a space for Mary when she arrives in a month. It seems remarkable to be back and how familiar it feels.

There was huge hustle and bustle that afternoon, as Roswitha Geyer was preparing food for Imre Schrammel’s opening that night  – to mark his 80th birthday. It was unexpected to see them both here. A huge crowd arrived by 6 pm to the Museion Gallery. After seeing the exhibition I went off to Kisbugaci Etterem for goulash and beer.

Next day started right away with mould making – brought 4 babies with me, and then will make moulds of  ‘city’ components – sidewalks, walls, trees etc

Snow started on Thursday night, and we were nicely snowed in for the Hungarian Holiday of  the Uprising on March 15th [1848]. All celebrations were cancelled. I had to do a second set of moulds but have been casting away. I look froward to compiling the mould images this next week.

Preamble to Departure – March 2013

One week to departure on March 11, hard to believe I’ll be back at the ICS.  I am part of an exhibition with Darcy Grenier and Jinny Whitehead, curated by Linda Lewis, opening March 9th, at the Deer Lake Gallery, of the Burnaby Arts Council.

The Last Week

The ICS will be holding its third International Triennial of the Silicate Arts in August 2011.  The deadline for applications is March 31st,  2011...go to to find out more.

I have just written an article on the ICS and it is being published in the October 2010 edition #31 of  Technical Magazine [Ceramic, Arts and Perception].  The article describes the facility,  the history of the ICS, and the city of Kecskemet.   Note; In the article the DEADLINE for the Triennial is incorrect, it has been changed to March 31, 2011.

In March 2011 Elaine O. Henry will also be writing and  publishing an extensive article on the ICS Collection in Technical Magazine.  Check out

It is time to close this blog.  Heartfelt thanks go to Mary Daniel, [see her blog ] . She enriched my experience through her wonderful companionship and  many discussions about ceramics.  We look forward to returning.

For contacts and names of other residents go the the previous page, “Some of the people and events at the ICS.”

Thanks to Mia for helping with this blog. Kits Media

Some of the people and events at the ICS

Our time at the ICS is drawing to a close and Mary and I are very grateful for being able to study and work at this remarkable facility. As wonderful as the facility is , it is the people who make it really work.  The exemplary Staff  have done everything they can to assist us with our work, and we have become good friends.  the same is true of our fellow artists.  we all shared information and experiences, and assisted each other when ever possible and will remain in contact.

Betul Aytepe has just moved to Cappodokia to teach at the new Ceramics Department at the University. She seems to love it and I saw on her facebook that she has just won an award.

Margaret Kenway Haydon is the Head of the Ceramics Department at the Wyoming University, and hopes to travel to Russia to continue her studies on her beloved, but endangered  sturgen fish

Kazu Kukita has started a ceramic residency in Denmark, and will continue to search for a perfect place to build a studio.

Ed Bentley of Cumbria UK, continues to run his successful mould design business, see

Contacts for the Danish recycling artists can be found on the “Danish Invasion” page.

‘Reminder to check out Mary’s blog at

Technologies learned at the ICS

The Baby Metaphor – main bodies of work.

The Salt firing

Kilns, Kilns, and more kilns, and hot spots