Raku Fest, David Kuraoka, Coyotes attack, and various other bits

Richmond Art Center (an amazing place!) had a Raku Fest on Saturday.  For a fee, you support the RAC and could choose to have two pieces raku fired.  There was food, demos and David Kuraoka did a lecture on his history of Raku and Pit Fire both at San Jose State and SF State including a slide show....highlight!

I have only had second hand knowledge of David Kuraoka.  I had a teacher (Tiffany Schmierer) now a friend who was a student of his at State - I've heard all the stories, good, bad and everything in between, tales and mythic legends of huge beach pit fires and raku fires sometimes with as many as a 1000 people; the original burning man!  In listening to him talk about his career all the stories, hearsay and bits of information came together.  I started to get some of the scope of David's influence and power.  It is so fantastic how many of his students are now teaching, influencing the next generation of artists.  Not a few of his former students working and impacting the ceramic stage on a large scale - many in the Bay Area.   People like Dave Kuraoka are (as mentioned in an article I linked below) living treasures.  The dude is a powerful & amazing guy - funny, cute and humble; a real original, a master.  I've heard a lot of stories about State and David - it was a real cool thing to get a chance to listen to his storytelling with pictures!  I sat there in awe.

Jane McDonald fired some large pieces - it was great to see big work !
Bruno Kark did a throwing demo - Bruno is super cute and fun to watch and listen to.
The RAC is a gem!

I left the Raku event SO high on creative fumes and Dave Kuraoka and FIRE...couldn't wait to get in the studio and do something, anything with clay.

I thought I'd take my dogs out and them go to the studio and work all night.  It would have been a walk like every other walk we've taken in the last 10 years.....

except for these guys

They wanted my dogs.....for dinner.  To make a long story shorter; we were a mile from the car and we were "hunted" the entire way back to my vehicle.  There was no one anywhere near me to help and the two coyotes were extremely aggressive and deadly serious!  I had the tiny dog in my arms and had to tie my other dog to me with my scarf - at one point after circling us for a half mile they were less than 6 ft away lunging in at Dante.

I threw rocks, yelled - it was an intense exchange to say the least.  Nature is beautiful until it tries to kill you; or  your dogs in my case.  It's always good to keep your eyes open and keep your cool...

now we will have to rethink our walk strategy...

the next day:

At Clay Creations Studio where I have been working and teaching a mosaic class we have built a cute little gallery.  Sunday a friend of the studio came by with some reclaimed wood to build two shelves for work!

How cute is that shelf - thank you Dave Blackman - you are an awesome speed racer builder guy!
the gallery is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!  come see us at FogFEST this weekend.

so, that was mostly my weekend: I got my pyro fix, listened to a Master, made my first concrete counter top, fought off marauding animals, made some cups and bowls, helped build shelves, set up a gallery....


  1. Wow... your encounter with the coyotes sounds frightening. I bet you were never so happy to see your car! If you haven't already, you may want to contact the local animal control, or conservation department. It sounds like the coyotes were testing the waters, so to speak. The next time someone may not be so lucky. As their hunger grows, they will certainly become bolder. Yikes! Glad everything turned out OK.

  2. thanks Harold - a fellow walker had his dog 'inspected' as well about a week earlier and also earlier in the day - dawn, which seems more likely. He called the Police Dept, Fish & Game and Animal Control who all said they would do nothing. It's all about being smart, keeping your eyes peeled and getting good at throwing rocks! Everyone that does walk at this spot already knows and all are choosing for themselves what they are willing to deal with. AT least it wasn't a mountain lion - we got those too!

    thanks for your comment ;)