On Daily Blogging

Turn On the Bright Light

CJ Chilvers, (of @alesserphotographer) through Seth Godin, writes about the benefits of the daily blog post. That appeals to me.

I used to maintain an (almost) daily blog about a subject I was passionate about. It did well, and was a lot of fun for that period of my life.

For this stage, I’m focusing my blogging efforts on photography. I try to share a photo (or two) every day, and a longer, more thoughtful series on Wednesday evenings.

What can I say? I like routines.

Sometimes that breaks down on weekends, and on holidays, or when I leave for vacation. But for the most part: a photo a day.

What if I didn’t just share a photo, but also shared…something else? Some bit of insight, how-to, or project every single day? Could I do it?

Chilvers’ insistence on the daily blogging stuff appeals to me. I like to write. I like to share. And I like little projects and personal challenges. Plus, I’ve been looking for a project to start on the first day of summer this year.

Maybe this is it.

Albion Anagama Documentary

Ken Shenstone, owner and operator of Albion Anagama ceramics kiln in Albion, Michigan, is the focus of my new documentary, Albion Anagama.

Ken (with Anne Beyer, blurred behind him) gave me full access to his pottery studio last fall, and I followed his team through the whole kiln firing process.

The Albion Anagama kiln is the largest of its kind in the United States.

Give it a watch, and let me know what you think!

Albion Anagama

I made another thing.

It’s a documentary on the Albion Anagama, a ceramics kiln owned and operated by Ken Shenstone – the largest of its kind in the country.

Albion Anagama was my last big project for Albion College, a documentary about community connections and creativity, and how two Albion alumni (Ken and Anne Beyer) run this crazy kiln on the outskirts of town.

They fire up the anagama kiln once a year, and we covered it for the college last fall. I interviewed Ken and Anne as they were starting the kiln process, and followed them through the whole project.

The story is right up my alley: couple of artists, tucked away in the countryside, making great work with this esoteric process that goes back thousands of years. Ken’s studio is a great setting, the people were fun, and watching the magic happen was something special.

In the film, Ken and Anne talk about the process of ceramics, what it takes to get the kiln fired up, the kinds of art they hope to make, and what kind of legacy Ken hopes to leave behind. It’s a lot to cover in 30+ minutes, but we did it.

Making Albion Anagama was a lot of fun, and I can’t thank Ken and Anne enough for seeing my crazy idea through. This film was a different animal than my last venture, Bringing Back the Bohm: It features two people instead of a half dozen, and follows one project from start to finish as it happens. It’s a story on a smaller scale, but it’s still a good story.

Now it’s available for everyone to see. Please give it a watch. I’ll bet you’ll learn a thing or two, just like I did.