brucine (broo'-seen), 1) n. Pharm., Chem. a bitter, poisonous alkaloid, C23H26N2O4, obtained from the nux vomica tree; 2) n. Bruce Bortin's 'low-impact' weblog

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Kraft Paper Book Red White Black Resist

Kraft Paper Book Red White Black Resist


I like this one. Oh sure it has its issues, but all in all a nice little piece.

Young Bruce in Door County

Young Bruce in Door County

Summer of 1961? I’m guessing.

New Cottonwood Arts Sketchbook

Cottonwood Book Cover

8.25 x 5”

Nicely bound, opens flat. Doesn’t like water media. Thanks, Cathy!


Cottonwood Book Frontispiece



Cottonwood Book Xmas Drawing

Xmas Drawing


Cottonwood Book Orange Drawing

Orange Drawing



Cottonwood Book Shingles Drawing




Cottonwood Book Cells Drawing



Cottonwood Book Small Cells Watercolor

Small Cells Watercolor


Cottonwood Book Orange on Black Watercolor

Orange on Black


Cottonwood Book Orange & blue on Black Watercolor

Orange and Blue on Black


Cottonwood Book Dark Grey horizontals

Dark Grey Horizontals


Cottonwood Book Blue rectan gle

Blue Rectangle


Cottonwood Book Black Zip w White Dots

Black Zip with White Dots

Late December 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Recent Black Book Drawings

11_24-14 pismo

11/29/14 Pismo



Black Square black book

Black Verticals


Blue Meander black book

Blue Meander


Blue Square black book

Blue Square

Recent Drawings


Blue Grid

Blue Grid


Blue Verticals

Blue Verticals





Blue Grid Square

Another Blue Grid

Sunday, November 16, 2014




























Acorn squash coil pot sketch


Saturday, November 15, 2014


Slip-trail squiggle

Thick slip squeezed out of a squeeze bottle or one of those rubber ear syringes?  


Onto a plaster bat?  

And then do a lot of those and assemble them into a larger structure?


Squiggle pot

Hopefully something less lame than this.

Meanwhile, check out this woman’s stuff:

Silicone squiggle

The units would be something like this silicone squiggle. Try not to think about intestines.


slab coil sketch
  • Measure the strips using a square cross section stick; roll & cut.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Don’t You Hate it When You’re at…

...the kind of website where you know, right off, that 2/3 of the way through registration, an inane program design assumption will ultimately result in a logic loop that irrevocably borks the entire process.





Dagmar suggested we take an art class at Laney. The only one that meets M-W 6-8 is Ceramics. Instructor Larry Henderson seems to be an old "thrown stoneware teapot" kind of chappie. I could live with that.

I’ve gotten all excited about handling clay. I’ll need to know what the studio has to offer. Highfire? Gas kiln? Clay bodies? Is there a slab roller? Can I slip-cast?
I biked down to campus to check it out. Closed today, for Veterans Day? Here’s what I saw from outside the kiln deck:

back of the big kiln

looks like terracotta

Stoneware &  Weber grill. (Hi Dag!) There also seems to be a raku kiln, and a few skutt-type electric kilns for bisquing & lowfire.

…and here’s what I’d like to make:

Acorn squash upsie-downsie
Acorn Squash molds. Slipcast if possible, or make coiled blank, soften and hand-press into molds.

Slab Pot from Top
Slab vase from top. Texture larger sides with Fred-shredded leather from chair. Smaller sides with those wooden sticks from Mexico?

Coil pot
Vase for Mary. We’ll get some flowers to figure out what shape & size

Bowl  for Ramona 2
Bowl  for Ramona 1
Bowl  for Ramona 3
Bowl for Ramona. Use slumped red graph bowl as form.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Quattro Grid c #pic November 01, 2014 at 04:28PM

via Twitter Quattro Grid c #pic

Roselle 4 leads and a ground uninterrupted

Roselle 4 leads and a ground uninterrupted Source:

November 01, 2014 at 03:58PM


Monday, October 20, 2014

56 Circles


Quattro 56 circles



Quattro 56 circles c

pencil w watercolor

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ashtray Schematic

This was a cheap pressed Mexican ashtray from Cost Plus. I did some coldworking.

Schematic 02



ashtray 010

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Tree From the Internet


A Tree from the Internet ganked cropped

















Social Weaver Bird Nests in Africa? I regret that I can’t find the source of this image. Something that was on my twitter feed yesterday, and reminded me of the shapes of trees that George Herriman used to draw,


Herriman Tree October 30 1921 copy




















so I saved the tweeted image and drew it:


A Tree from the Internet 2 copy bolded 5
















This page is informative:, and has more pictures like this one:




















This makes me wonder about the relationship of the Social Weaver Bird Nests in Africa to these mud Swallow? nests under the bridge in Monte Rio California:

monte rio mud nests e















Do these birds and their nests have a common ancestor, or is it more like a form follows function, parallel development of similar solutions to similar design problems situation?…which all goes to show that I’m fascinated with shapes and what they might or might not mean. And I guess I’m easily amused.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bambi’s Cape

Bambi's Cape

Thanks for the yarn, Carlos!

Here’s Bambi modeling the cape in a photo by Yukiko:

Bambi by Yukiko

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