Tuesday, June 28, 2011

seeking balance finding clay


Legs are on and she's spinning her story.....just a quick shot of  Spinning Tales up on the wall and then packed to go to Pence Art Gallery.  It is hard to take a portfolio photo of a wall piece as it requires taking out lamps, tripod, the good camera, black out drapes, etc.  I really should have taken the time.

I like the washy look. Using a rutile wash added warmth and depth to the underlying blue porcelain slip. I was planning to plug the air holes on the arms, but found them endearing for some reason. Once I began adding the slips the holes took on a different visual texture. They added a little mystery to the narrative.




Seeking Balance was the last piece I did for the show.  I couldn't crop this photo.  I like the way it looks.  Floating against this immense wall.  On a piece of white earth (porcelain in this case.)  I wasn't sure about the bird skull but once I threaded the leather cord throughout the piece it worked.  It looks like a pendulum or a carpenter's plumb bob.



How much I desire!
Inside my little satchel,
the moon, and flowers!

~Basho

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

spinning a clay thread

 

Waiting for the legs.  I had to fire them again. I forgot to put a layer of rutile wash so the blue shorts were too flat looking compared to the top.  It didn't have the same painterly feel.  This is the first time I put this piece on the wall.  With the legs, it is 24" long.  I am trying to spin some wool for this piece.  Yes, hand spin some wool.  I'll work with that in mind for a while.  I start with this feeling for a piece and as I go along the piece says something else.  I am mainly interested in our connection to the natural world. How sometimes the line drawn is solid, sometimes very fluid and somewhat thin. So there is some intent at the beginning, but sometimes along the way the piece becomes something else.  Spinning a clay thread.........


Monday, June 20, 2011

fresh from the kiln

It is so sunny and warm out.  It is hard to think about turning on the kiln.  I have just a few more pieces that have to get finished by this Friday.  The new kiln is programmable which I love.  I didn't think I would.  I started with cone 10 reduction (beginning ceramics) and soda firing---then to cone 6 reduction (lab tech at local college)---then to cone 6 electric with manual control (my own.)  Now I am down to cone 04 to cone 1 firing (sculpture only) with an electronic control.  All this in the space of  ten years.  Each time there were adjustments, disappointments and good discoveries.  Understanding that each type of firing has its own language, its own translation and its unique beauty. 

before 1st firing
after 3rd and final firing
  half full, half empty

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a clay leg to stand on while waiting for the fog to burn off

 

 I am on my last legs (yippee!)........the final wall pieces are in the kiln right now.  These legs are the beginning of a standing piece (the feet are 2" long.)   I have tried shaping coils with added pieces of clay to form the calves and knees.  I let coils dry to leatherhard and then carved them.  I even tried slabs rolled into cones.  All these methods work and give a different look.  I always return to rolling straw size coils, building up just as I do with larger work.  It takes longer, but it does give me an opportunity to slow down and think about what I am doing.  I still love the process  of rolling out coils and row by row build up the piece.  It is as though it adds a little character to the work.  It allows me to slow down and think about where I am going.  I'm on my last little legs today. Tomorrow I will begin wheel throwing my first porcelain functional pieces for the year.  I was only waiting for the fog to burn off! 

 

Monday, June 6, 2011

with rabbits ears we listen

with rabbit ears we listen

Quiet day.  Just getting the last of the wall pieces done.  The one above has a long torso section with lots of little porcelain leaves, and long legs.  There are now 7 wall pieces in various stages of done. All the rain makes it hard to get the clay to dry thoroughly.  I punched holes in the interior and put the pieces on a rack to get the air circulation on the back.  I placed the pieces near the kiln which I am running right now. Maybe tomorrow I can get some blue on the rabbit ears.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tiny Show



Pence Gallery in Davis sent out these 5"x 7" canvas boards to artists for their Tiny Show.  This is the one I did and sent back to them.  It's done in acrylic.  I titled it Ripening Pears.




  Just started working on this one.  Lotus pods with a transparency transfer of text
...there is a season...purpose.under heaven...(Ecc 3:1)

Lotus Pods with Postmark
This little painting was done with a transparency transfer from an ongoing series called ...words my mother gave me.  My mother doesn't have too many things left from her own childhood.  She gave me this beautiful postcard of her when she was a little girl of 5.  Her father was a master calligrapher.  He wrote on the back of this photo postcard of how he was doing and that the sweater my mother was wearing was knitted by her grandmother.  It's a wish you were here or wish I was back home kind of sentiment. The real postcard is beautifully framed, archival and when turned over to the other side the back is cut out so I can look at the writing and the crimson red stamp.  I can not read the words, but I know the feeling of the words.  I know the beauty of the markings and how it connects me to an universal language. Makes this half/half whole, these words my mother gave me.








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