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May 23rd, '09, 11:58
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RedGate Ceramics - Joel Blum (Zygote) - Ceramic picts

by Zygote » May 23rd, '09, 11:58

Hi everybody!

A quick introduction…
My name is Joel Blum, but I’ve been creating artwork for the past 20 years under the name Zygote.

I’m an Iowa native currently living in Stockton, California with my wife and two children while I’m working as a gentleman’s gardener, a studio artist, and as a tech for the horticulture depatment at our local community college.

My background into ceramics has been rather round about. I started training in high school back in the mid eighties, but got diverted once I entered Memphis College of Art with art bronze casting and 17th century silversmithing. Those two fields of interest quickly took over my life for the next 12 years as I worked the Art Bronze Foundries in Phoenix Arizona by day and ran my jewelry studio out of an old chicken coop at night.

When my first child was born in 1998, I began a transition to a lifestyle more suited to raising children in. I returned to clay figuring I could spend a few years at practicing while starting a family. I’ve been at it ever since, and after a decade of being a practicing potter, I’m beginning to say “Yes” to more opportunities to present my work and exhibit nationally.

I’m currently showing my ceramics at my 2 Etsy storefronts

Or better yet, you can get a fun peek at what’s currently happening in the studio at my Secret Studio Blog at

Feel free to IM me here or e-mail me at

Licks, Love, & Luck…

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May 23rd, '09, 12:10
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by Chip » May 23rd, '09, 12:10

Hi Zygote or do you prefer Joel?

Welcome and thanks for sharing with us your bio with us. I like your textured pieces!

I am looking forward to hearing more about you and your work. Hope you drink tea, if not, we can change that. 8)

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May 23rd, '09, 12:18
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by Mrs. Chip » May 23rd, '09, 12:18

Welcome Joel - Zygote to this subforum of TeaChat.

I am very excited that we have TeaWareArtisians as an integral part of our forum!
It is so interesting to behold the different artists and their unique styles.

I haven't visited your links yet, I wanted to first welcome you here :!: :)
I am anxious to check out your 'uniqueness'. Stay tuned, I'll be back.

Hubby and I come from a horticulture background, ummm... makes me wonder how many more of us are on this forum?

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May 23rd, '09, 12:26
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by Zygote » May 23rd, '09, 12:26

Hey Chip!
Thanks for the kind words. The texture work is really pretty new for me, but it's developing into a really fun direction.

I'm all thumbs this morning...
I'm still trying to figure out where all the buttons are on this forum.

I answer to Joel but I habitually sign as Zygote. (I'm a Gemini so it's ok)

PS... I'm finding myself drinking a lot more tea as I get older. I'm not quite as refined as my wife though.

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May 23rd, '09, 12:36
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by Mrs. Chip » May 23rd, '09, 12:36

Zygote wrote: (I'm a Gemini so it's ok)
Great stuff on your sites!!!!
Me too. 8)

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May 23rd, '09, 13:06
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by Zygote » May 23rd, '09, 13:06

Ok... going to give posting a picture a try...
Last edited by Zygote on May 23rd, '09, 13:10, edited 1 time in total.

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May 23rd, '09, 13:09
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by Zygote » May 23rd, '09, 13:09

Ok... That worked.
This is 3 veiws of a single yunomi that's been soda fired using a orange slip on the exterrior and a stiff white Hamada glaze on the interrior.
It was part of a load that was fired last month with Matt from MossBeach Ceramics.

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May 23rd, '09, 13:52
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by kymidwife » May 23rd, '09, 13:52

I'm enchanted by the "texture and crawl" stuff... have been watching your work on Etsy for a while. Thanks so much for joining us, it's wonderful to have you here! Welcome!!


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May 23rd, '09, 13:54
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by Zygote » May 23rd, '09, 13:54

Thanks for letting me know about it Sarah. I've been busy reading back through posts this morning. This is an amazing site!

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May 23rd, '09, 14:04
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by Zygote » May 23rd, '09, 14:04

Here's another yunomi from the same soda firing as the last.
It's surface design has been created using multiple hand-cut paper stencils and a cobalt oxide tinted slip. The exterior is a flashing wash and the interrior is the Hamada white glaze. Feldspar chips have been wedged into the clay to give it a bit more texture for the hand to enjoy.


Time to get back to work...

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May 23rd, '09, 14:26
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by Dresden » May 23rd, '09, 14:26

Very nice work.

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May 23rd, '09, 18:54
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Joel the soda guy...

by Moss » May 23rd, '09, 18:54

I would like to add that Joel is my Soda Firing Partner. We did our last firing together and have another scheduled for which we are throwing now.

This last firing was a bit of a death march and Joel kept me sane throughout. Variously we had to rebuild the falling-in roof of the kiln, find and install new blowers when the ones we had failed, and find a new gas supply when our tank went empty at about cone 8 on the way to 10.

I would have given up without him I think this last firing. Very proud to get to work with him.

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May 23rd, '09, 21:38
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by Geekgirl » May 23rd, '09, 21:38

Agree with someone above (poster?) the crawl glaze is very beautiful and unique. I noticed it on Etsy a few days ago, and am intrigued. Welcome to Teachat!

p.s. for some of us hardcore teaware freaks, you should probably include a photo of the inside of the cup or bowl also on your etsy listings. plz kthxbai. :)

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May 23rd, '09, 22:31
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by iannon » May 23rd, '09, 22:31

GeekgirlUnveiled wrote: p.s. for some of us hardcore teaware freaks, you should probably include a photo of the inside of the cup or bowl also on your etsy listings. plz kthxbai. :)
+1 to Geekgirls comment about the inside! and ive been watching both your stuff for a while. I wanted that Ice Flow one a while back but someone beat me to it as i pondered!

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May 23rd, '09, 22:54
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by Zygote » May 23rd, '09, 22:54

Thanks for the insight! I was begining to think people might not be even be looking at the the foot let alone the inside. Last year I had gone so far as to stop putting small wells in the bottom of the interrior after a few questionable comments at our local markets.

Thanks for the ego boost too! That Ice Flow was a fluke! It was amazing! I've tried to recreate the glaze, but all attempts have so far fallen to the hammer. I'm only at 12 attempts so far... Doh!

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