"the artist has one function--to affirm and glorify life."
- w. edward brown

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lazy Sunday

It's snowing again. Just a few flakes, and not even sticking yet.
But after mowing the lawn yesterday so that hopefully our lawn will be better off next spring, I'm just glad it got done.
And seeing as it's all wintery outside, I figured it a perfect afternoon for folding laundry and watching movies.
That and I have a scratchy throat. I'm just pretending it's dry and that it's not a cold or anything more serious. And it's always a good excuse for tea drinking.

I do have some pictures somewhere of ceramics I've been working on, and seeing as the Fall sale is quickly approaching, I have been working hard, I just can't find the pics. They might be on my camera yet... hmm...

I shall have to find them.
As for now, it's folding time...

UPDATE: OK, now it's snowing buckets. still not sticking, but I expect it to soon...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Book recommendation

quick note.
Just finished reading "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" tonight.
Got it from my boss at the art center. Started it on Wednesday. Couldn't put it down.
Only reason I didn't finish it sooner was because of work. (thanks for getting in the way...)
So far, it may be the best of my reading year.
If you haven't yet, read it.
and then pass it along... so very good.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the day after... lol

ok, so here are some rough photos of the pieces that came out of the kiln today after cooling off all night and day...
just some pictures of the different surfaces we got... still need some cleanup and finishing, but I'm liking the flashing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September studio time!

Lots of fun things happening in the studio...
Here's a few.

Getting ready for Fall sale... tumblers with designs. Not sure how I feel about them, but we'll see when they get glazed. Each is a set of four with the same design...

circles/bubbles/cells not sure...
i'm thinking green stain on the outside to fill in the incised lines,
with choy green glase on the inside and rim... maybe 1/4 inch down the outside.

Bees and flowers...
each tumbler has a different kind of flower.
that's it.
just fish...
Altitude/terrain map.
I'm thinking red iron oxide on the outside
maybe black on the inside and rim...

As for tonight at guild, we had some fun doing a small low fire salt firing... here are some pictures of our set up and firing!!

stuff preped and ready to go
those bundles of newspapers are wrapped pieces that have salt and chemicals already burrito-ed together and I tried to isolate them for specific results... whatever those are!

all the pieces in the kiln, layered with paper, salt, and other stuff...

all covered up ready to fire!

just starting... you can see the flames all on the inside

our 'burritos' of salt, sawdust and other special things
that got thrown into the burning hot kiln
at various times during the firing...
yes those are tongs to assist in not burning ourselves.

the glowing arm of one of my guys in the kiln...
i promise that's what this is...
i promise.

really hot... ready to shut down!

So that's it... that was my fun tonight. Tomorrow, after this baby has cooled, I'll unload it and see what surprises are in store. It might be scary surprises, because after all, a lot about this firing technique is chance and randomness! But it sure is fun!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

long time...

and things just continue to progress.

- the quilt is growing at a rate which is slower than I'd like, but it grows.
- pots at the studio continue to be made and I'm taking some new directions in handbuilding... we'll see if I put up some photos once something gets finished.
- work continues, and pays the bills.

that's all for tonight. I promise, more in depth update and pictures soon...

Monday, May 11, 2009


- Grad school is a go: including 2 10hour a week GA positions, one in ceramics, one in fibers. Meaning lots of time spent in the studio, lots of work, less tuition, a bigger stipend, and amazing providence providing for me!

- the Spring Guild sale is over and done, and I did well. Better than in November in fact. Yeah, I'm just as surprised as you! Here are some photos of me sanding, pricing, and packing my mugs.

Those big bins and box are what I used to transport back and forth
All 3 were full there and only 1 1/2 were full on the way back, which is pretty good all things considered!

- New work in the studio: large planters. Thrown from two pieces, a large 'bowl' on the bottom and a bottomless ring on the top. needless to say they're super fun to make (big things usually are) and even more fun to carve into. There is a 3rd one in the works, but I'm still working on it. the first and second one here you can see 'finished': they still need glazing and final firing. some of the in progress shots.

1st one bisque fired on it's shelf with all sorts of other pots (not mine however)

1st one on the table, gives you an idea of its rim...
I kinda like the larger flat rim for a planter and more shadow on the carved design
(took about 4 hours total carving)

2nd one about 1/3 done
design drawn on & started
added clay to the surface to bulge out, as well as carved away parts of the design

2nd one all done carved and added to
green, but ready to fire.
(carving/additions took about 5 hours)
I think they kinda look like pebbles... but not necessarily what I was going for.
I was thinking seeds/bacteria... who knows

3rd one, freshly thrown.
it's the largest and has a much longer neck to carve/draw upon
the design I've started looks kinda like grape hyacinth
the stems are carved out, and the 'flowers' are added on clay
I haven't added leaves yet, but I think they'll be a combo of added clay and carved

- work and teaching going well. but ready for a vacation and to see the whole family in a few weeks.

- that's about it for now, I'll try to update more often... and get more photos up soon... I have things I still need to photograph.

Friday, March 20, 2009


just a quick note, I'll tell you more as I know it.
I just got my acceptance letter from EMU's art Department.
I still have to have the actual graduate school review my transcripts/whatever but the art dept is recommending full admission. 
So needless to say, that hurdle where the art professors look at and judge my work has been crossed.  
I am way to excited now to write more, I'll let you know more as I find out!

Monday, March 09, 2009

mix of work

Ok so I got off work early today and spent the majority of my afternoon/evening in the basement working on some things I've wanted to get done for a while. 

First of all, here are three of the pears I made a couple weeks ago... yes, one's blue.

Anyway, so I've been thinking that these might be fun to try and sell at the spring sale.  They're not a lot of work, as they're one of those that you need to work in stages to allow the clay to stiffen. So today I made 5 more; some a bit bigger than the littlest one that's fired already.

Stage one, roughly put together, with stems attached, but in need of lots of tweaking.

Stage 2, the pears shape has been refined, and the surface has been gone over once with a loop tool, carving away and smoothing.  Next step, using a sure-form tool (think cheese grater) to get rid of some of the weight and thickness of the clay wall, and also smoothing at the same time.  Then I'll use a 'green scrubby thing' (like the back of a scotch-brite sponge) to really smooth and finish before firing.

My other project I'm working on is more hand built forms, that will hopefully together make a cool sculpture.  Because I'm in the idea of dealing with creatures that make up larger conglomerations/communities I thought that this would be fun. But of course I'm abstracting the forms, because it makes it more fun.  Really. Fun.

Stage 1: pinched forms, joined and shaped; stiffening.

Stage 2: forms have been carved, and smoothed with damp sponge and a rubber rib.
When they are leather hard, I will see if I need to reshape any or get rid of some of the weight with the sure-form.  Right now I really like the forms.

And for Mom, my progress on the quilt.  
I'm very happy with the colors so far and am having fun.

So that's it for now. Hopefully I'll be able to update more frequently with pictures, I just keep forgetting my camera!

le Cat

I've discovered Annie's new sleeping place.
It's up on the ledge in the living room on the stack of quilts. 

Comfy no?
Ok, a little high for my taste, but then again, she's a cat.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Friday work

Friday I was off the retail job, and spent a good half day in the studio finishing up some pieces that I threw last week.  
Included in the mix were:
6 white stoneware mugs, with incised designs
6 red stoneware mugs, with impressed designs
4 serving bowls, turned feet
3 pears, hand-built from pinch and coil

Not a lot I know, but enough to keep me busy for a while... I just need to find more time to get to the studio more often.

The pears are my latest attempt to create something exciting and fun to make, while at the same time thinking about what might sell at the spring sale.  Who knows, they're kinda just fun to do.

I'm also trying to rebuild my stock of smaller pieces that will be for gifts and sale.  Needless to say I love mugs and I'm a sucker for making and decorating them....  yeah, but it's fun.

I'll bring the camera to the studio tomorrow, and I'll try to get some photos of the green work... but who knows.

I'm also attempting a new (for me) technique, filling incised design on the white SW with red SW slip in an attempt to create a contrasting inlay... needless to say, at this point it's still experimentation. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Setting Goals

One of the most difficult things I've found for me is knowing what to do in the studio.

I know that sounds oxymoronic, since I love being in the studio making things, and could spend all my time there doing just that if I could.  But to tell the truth, because of the fact that I'm at an odd place in life it's often difficult to know what to focus on in my studio work.  So for now I've decided to make a list.  Hopefully this will allow me to develop my work while not wasting $$ on firing work that isn't up to par.  One of the nicest things about clay is its recyclability. If I focus on these things, maybe I'll improve and keep on making better artwork, be it functional or sculptural.  So here it goes!

1. Better Forms - taking inspiration from potters I like and constantly looking for forms that are both more aesthetically pleasing, and at the same time better functionally.

2. Cleaner - not less clay mess but finished, clean, fingerprint free work that looks more professional and clean.  

3. Repetition - working on getting better at creating sets of things... size and form.

4. Finishing - working on design elements, additions, and other ways of making forms more interesting.  Include painted/drawn additions, handles and lugs, sprigged decorations, and better turned feet.

Just a few things to start but, I think that they are a  good place to start to develop my artwork further and keep my vision going forward.  

We will see how things progress...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Classes again!

My classes start again tomorrow, and I couldn't be more excited!

Should be fun!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

DAM fine afternoon!

This afternoon some friends from work and I took the light rail into a snowy Denver and braved the cold for the free Saturday at the Denver Art Museum.

It was the first time I had been there and the collection was spectacular!  The new building was constructed a couple years ago and is a great building filled with modern and contemporary artworks, and one of the great things was seeing so many great artists I know and love... 

And then there was the old building.  Floor after floor of art that was curated in the most fantastic way; the art was arranged by culture, and time period, but they also stuck in contemporary works of the same cultures in the exhibits as well... 

For instance, traditional native american pottery was placed right next to contemporary native american potters that I've studied.  
A contemporary Chinese painting of a goldfish was hung above a 10 foot Ming dynasty table.  

Needless to say it was amazing and a blast to experience.

It also got me super excited to get back into the studio and start making new work of my own!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Beth and I spent the day watching movies and catching the ball about 10 minutes before it dropped.  All in all a good day.

Hope everyone has a blessed new year!

Also, hopefully, I'll post a little more frequently.  That's on my list of things to do this year.  It's not a long list, but it has a few things on it.  :)

Night for now, and hope everyone's tomorrow is good as well.