Glacial River in Southern Iceland


Photo Credit: Instagram @dipanjan94

From the Artist:”Planet Iceland.
Braided rivers, black sand beach, and the Atlantic.

This was a particularly difficult shot. I scouted this location in Google Maps Satellite view, and we drove to its nearest place where a car can go. It was still very far.

After that, I flew the drone more than 3 km away in terrible winds to get this shot and a couple of others, and then immediately returned it back. Landed safely with 5% battery left.

Shot with @djiglobal Mavic Pro with @polarpro filters.”


Beautiful work!

Sitka, Alaska by Paul Casadio

Sitka Alaska

An unbelievable shot from a super cool guy I was lucky enough to take out fly fishing this summer. Taken right out in my front yard so to speak.

Whale Spout
Whale Spout, near Sitka, Alaska. Paul Casadio, 2019

Linda Bloomfield – Science For Potters

Fans of the blog will have noticed a lot more activity of late. It seems like one of my favorite old adages is appropriate: Good things come to those who wait. Rather than over promising on a bunch of ideas I may or may not deliver on, I’ll go with another one of my favorite adages: Actions speak louder than words. That last one seems… pretty appropriate.

In any event, I’ve been working on putting together a recommended books section, and felt like I might as well start with one that I’m in! regardless of that last fact, it couldn’t be more appropriate to what this blog is all about.


A few years ago when I was neck deep in my Lava Oilspot research, Linda reached out and asked me to contribute some images and information for this book. I couldn’t have been happier with how my work and images were presented. It’s got all kinds of useful information on connections between rocks, glazes, ceramics, and chemistry.


It’s thoughtfully put together, and if you’re looking to get a handle on using wild materials or learning more about some clay chemistry, this is a great one to check out.

You can find this book here, or by clicking on the image below. – Derek Au explains Line Blends


Derek Au, who runs the incredible open-source glaze website has some great videos out on youtube. In this video Derek gives a super simple and straightforward walk through of using volumetric blending to create test glazes. 




If you’re not familiar with Derek, or Glazy, I highly recommend you check him out!

Leonard Smith – Modern Jian Ware


Friend and fellow Oilspot fanatic Leonard Smith has put together some great videos on Chinese glazes. I’d highly recommend checking out his Youtube Channel and taking a look. This one shows a Chinese potter reduction cooling for iridescent oilspots!


Here’s an interesting one! Chalk (Calcium Carbonate – CaCO3) under a Scanning Electron Microscope:


Those little guys are similar to Diatomaceous Earth (Silica) in form, but are actually made from calcium and not silica. From reddit user Foramsgalorams:

Diatoms would be glassy rather than chalky, as their hard parts are made from silica rather than calcite. It would be difficult to tell the difference just by looking at a pile of diatom powder v chalk powder though, check out diatomaceous earth.

Anyway like the other person said, these are coccolithophores. Specifically they are Emiliania huxleyi, the most widespread extant species due to the way they do so well in waters of varying temperature or nutrient content. When you see satellite images of plankton blooms it’s probably E. huxleyi.

Also, these ones seem to be alive, or were very recently. It’s certainly not an image of actual chalk. After death all the coccoliths separate and sink to the seafloor as individual plates. The 100 metre high white cliffs of Dover on the south coast of England are made from countless coccoliths deposited during the Cretaceous.

This next one is climber’s chalk (Magnesite – Magnesium Carbonate)!




Ron Nagle

Ron Nagle is one of my all time favorites.

Moreschi, 2005
ceramic, 7.25 x 7.25 x 6.5 in., Ron Nagle

Here’s a great new video:

Ron Nagle: Compositions and Clay

Transcript from Video

San Francisco: renowned the world over for its progressive values, steep hills, and dollhouse architecture. And though plenty of people adore the “City by the Bay,” lifelong resident and celebrated sculptor and songwriter, Ron Nagle, isn’t one of them.

Ron Nagle: I hate it.

AJC: Consistently?

Nagle: Consistently.

Continue reading “Ron Nagle”