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October 5, 2008

Next Meeting Saturday, October 25

A stoneware dish made by Catherine White

The next meeting of the Washington Oriental Ceramic Group will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, October 25 at the home and kiln of Warren Frederick and Catherine White, 7908 Cannonball Gate Road, Warrenton, Virginia 20186 which is set in lovely autumnal-colored foothills of rural Virginia. With no traffic it takes one hour from central DC; or about 45 minutes from the Nutley Street metro station in the middle of Route 66. Plan to arrive around 12 noon. Carpooling is possible; call David if you’re interested in combining rides.

This session will be a potluck-picnic starting at 12:30 pm, followed by a discussion by Warren and Catherine, both noted professional ceramic artists, of their potting philosophies and influences. We aim to depart by 3:30 so to be back to the beltway well before dusk. When you RSVP tell David or Hedy what dish or drinks you’ll bring. RSVP to or 703 503 3195.

We need several folks to volunteer their homes for future meetings later this year and in the spring. Please let David know if you can do this. Much of the charm of this group is holding meetings in members’ home. Also this gives you the opportunity to get your home clean and in order!

Synopsis of the September 13 WOCG meeting, which was co-sponsored with the Freer Gallery of Art

The images show one of Daniel Johnston’s very large stoneware jars (it’s about 3 feet high and weighs 100 pounds) next to a medium-sized jar made in NE Thailand.

North Carolina potter Daniel Johnston spent two months in 2003 with a traditional Northeast Thailand potter learning how to build and fire better large stoneware jars. The Thai pottery located in the village of Phon Bok made three vessel types ? large water storage jars, jars for fish paste and mortars for grinding. Together Johnston and his Thai potter-instructor could make 20 large jars a day using wheel and coiling construction techniques. The Thai wood-fired kiln for jars was 10 feet high and 27 feet long, brick lined and used fast-growing eucalyptus trees for fuel. It held 100 unglazed jars and the firing took 5 days. There was a ?fairly large? failure rate, probably because the jars in the Thai kiln were stacked very closely together, according to Johnston. While there remains a market in NE Thailand for fish-paste jars, plastic containers are a commercial threat to hand-made stoneware vessels.

Directions to 7908 Cannonball Gate Road, Warrenton, VA 20186, ph: 540-347-3526:

  • Take Route 66 WEST out of Washington,
  • Pass Exit 43, Route 29 for "Gainesville and Warrenton." [Your exit is next],
  • Then take the next exit for ROUTE 15 "Haymarket and Leesburg",
  • TURN LEFT at the traffic light at the end of the exit ramp onto Route 15 going south,
  • Staying in the right lane, go through one light, then make a RIGHT at the second light onto Route 55,
  • Go roughly 6 miles. Your landmark is that the two lanes of Route 55 will briefly turn into a four lane divided highway,
  • As the highway widens, stay in the LEFT lane and make the first LEFT TURN onto Route 674, [If you go under an overpass, which is Route 66 passing overhead, you just missed your turn.],
  • Once you've turned onto ROUTE 674, drive follow this curvy road without making any turns, DO NOT follow any signage for Route 674 which veers off to the left onto another road,
  • After roughly 6 or 7 miles on this road you will come to a STOP sign at ROUTE 17 where you must turn,
  • TURN LEFT onto Route 17,
  • In 1/2 mile or less make the FIRST RIGHT onto KEITH Road (also labeled Route 628 and marked as the turn for "Mediterranean Cellars winery"), [If you miss Keith Road, you will immediately pass "Ben & Mary's Steakhouse" on your right; you will need to turn around],
  • On Keith Road, go 1.5 miles to a STOP sign and "T-shaped" intersection.
  • TURN LEFT onto Cannonball Gate Road, follow through a 90-degree turn to the right,
  • From this 90 degree turn in the road ,we are the second driveway on the RIGHT
  • The entrance is just past the fence hugging the road; look for mailbox number 7908. (The house just BEFORE our driveway is a brick rambler visible from the road.) You cannot see our house from the driveway entrance. It is two-stories, metal roofed, with wood siding new and old. Park by the house.

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