Friday, July 30, 2010

Sweeping away the blues

Lake Cleone just north of Ft. Bragg in MacKerricher State Park
Not much happening today.  Just waiting for the kiln to cool down.  Fridays are usually clean up days.  Not very exciting.  So I'll just think of the where I would like to be and keep on sweeping.........

Thursday, July 29, 2010

bad haiku day


Some mornings I wake up groggy.  Maybe it's my body's response to a foggy morning.  I will try writing a half poem/ half haiku:

gray morning grogginess wakens me
eyes heavy with forgotten dreams  
glasses sit on night stand
out of reach

At least I tried.   

Lucky Fellow is in the kiln today.  Which means I can not work on my two clay figurines.  I finally got the arms and removable head on Sock Puppet.  Next step is terra sigillata, porcelain slip and a little detailing.  She will have a brush ponytail after all is said and done.  I got arms on Globe and Cup, too.  I make the heads separately as the figurines are too tall for my kiln.  The heads will be epoxied on last.  My in-house art critic, Herr Reinhart, thinks Sock Puppet looks a little stuck-up.  Well, maybe stuck-on....

Headless but not thoughtless

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

one dahlia ahead and a day behind

I woke up yesterday thinking it was Wednesday.  I realized later it was Tuesday.  Then I realized I hadn't posted anything Monday.  I tried to make it up yesterday, but got side-tracked.  So now it's Wednesday and half the week is gone.  All because I didn't post anything on Monday!  How quickly the week gets ahead of me.  It's as if I need to grip tight to Mondays and hang on for a roller coaster ride....or more like a merry-go-round.

Now this lucky fellow will go into the kiln this afternoon.  He's been staring at me long enough. The gray stripes are actually black bead glaze on top of fired-on black slip.  I like the gray stripes though.  Hmmm.  I'll see after the firing if black stripes are more to my liking.  

Friday, July 23, 2010

Breaking bowls and shattered misconceptions

vintage Bristlecone Pines in the White Mountains, Inyo National Forest

Yesterday while making bread, I broke my large Homestead Pyrex bowl.  I bought as a from the Base Exchange at Eglin AFB, Florida way (far) back.  It shattered and it should have broke my heart.  Instead I just thought thank goodness it wasn't a hand-thrown bowl.  Then I thought thank goodness the bread was safely transferred to a resting place. Now either one of those events would have made me cry.  Still I checked on-line to see if I could find a replacement.  It's now considered "vintage."  Huh.  I have the rest of the set.  If I replace the large bowl will it still be considered an original set?

(photos taken while camping in the White Mountains outside of Bishop with our big camera)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Terra cotta arm control


Figuring out the arm length and position today on some newly worked pieces.  The arms will need support which is provided through bamboo skewers.  I leave them in as they burn away when the piece is fired.  I need to do this before I close up the shoulder area so I can get my hand into the cavity to attach the arms.  This is always tricky.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coil building clay dolls

Coiling of Balancing Ball                                               Completed

Coiling smaller figures are so intimately satisfying.  The personality of the figure comes out right away.  Just the legs alone give a hint of what will happen as I build up little coils at a time.  Currently I am working with a terra cotta clay and have two half bodies done.  I will probably work on another base with legs, then continue coiling the other two up to the neck.  I will do the heads separately as it is difficult to do the facial features. Depending on what affect I want I may use porcelain clay for the heads or hands. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pairing clay pears

Out of the kiln came some pears.  I selected some dried branches for their stems.  They are all lined up and standing very proud next to some small still life paintings.  These will go to the Pence Art Gallery in Davis.  They will be paired with saucers or bowls. I make the pears first and then match them up to their saucers/bowls later.

I have also done some small paintings of pears.  I look around at farmer's markets for fruit with their leaves attached.  I found this Anjou with a long torso and lovely black green leaves.  I think this clay pear and the painting are look well suited for each other!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Margaret Keelan and Nuala Creed

Standing side by side Paddle Ball and Balancing Ball gazed onto a beautifully curated and installed exhibition.   Nuala Creed's Fairies danced on the wall.  Love the little fishes layer in the dresses.  Margaret Keelan's Child with Flowers took my breath away. Again Nuala Creed cracks me up with nage a Trios'.  It's not the best picture, but you can see my two pieces at the far left.  Go see this exhibit!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

pinch pot pear

I love the fog, but sometimes one needs a sunny morning that comes on little hot feet.  I guess the fog decided to stay along the coast. I have no excuse for gloominess today. 

I am usually asked about my process/technique at art openings.  I love talking about it. The questions allow me to take a broader view of the process. When working alone the viewpoint of the process narrows sometimes. It can take a backseat to the other things that happens between an artist and an end result.  Yet it is the process that initially intrigued me.  Thinking about the process of making art pinches me as though to say WAKE UP and take notice. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

listening to the clay

While listening to clay drying, my weekend lazily stretched into Monday.  Yesterday I spent cleaning up my messy studio as Listener with Prayer Cap, peering sideways, remained unimpressed by my efforts.  This piece is no where near dry enough to go into the kiln.

Finally I made up some new terra sigillata.  I make a batch every year or so.  My favorite recipe is Judy Moonelis' terra sigillata recipe:  1500 gr. OM4 ball clay, 500 EPK, 14 cups of water, 7.5 gr. TSP.  It takes 3-4 days for it to layer out---water, clay milk, sludge.  Keep the milk.  Toss the rest.  Listener received several washes of this clay milk.  Listen to the clay dry.  Praying that it dries soon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Porcelain Milk

Summer fog...a layer of milky porcelain slip over the blue summer sky. It adds mystery to the morning. What sort of summer day will this be? This veil could last until well into mid-afternoon and suddenly burn away to reveal a golden day. A golden face of summer behind a layer of porcelain milk. Every day is a mystery around here.

Clay silk

Have you ever noticed that most of your day is spent cleaning? Really. Brushing your teeth. Sweeping the kitchen floor. Washing the dishes. Sorting paperwork to recycle. Hmmm. Clearing your mind. Lots of cleaning.

Time to make some terra sigillata. Liquid silk made of clay, water and a deflocculant. Doesn't that sound like a dirty threesome? More cleaning happening.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quiet day. The earthenware clay is still too damp to use. It will just slump if I use it. I think I would slump if I use it. So I will try a little patience and wait. I will make up some crawl glaze. Using the scale should help bring some balance into my day...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Finding center

Finding center...centering a ball of clay on a spinning wheel...takes practice. That is how I began with clay. Finding my center and letting go.

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