Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Listening to the Sounds of a Different Drummer


Art is about being curious. About knowing how things hold meaning — trying to make sense of oneself, one’s environment. 
Kiki Smith
Prudence and the Pileated Woodpecker

Deep fall has come.  It is very hard to spend any time indoors wedging clay.  Or glazing for that matter.  The morning fog has returned---muffling the sounds of nearby commerce. On other hand, it ampliflies the hammering noise of a Pileated Woodpecker. Its red crown bobbing to the sounds of different  drummer...tilting its head to eye its work. Making adjustments. It must love the soft wood of the Bishop pine---now studded with holes and stuffed with autumn acorns. Industrous nature art at its most expressive..

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fifteen Seconds of Fame and Flame

Wish Collector

Imagine my surprise when I opened the San Francisco Chronicle to the travel section and found a photo of this piece.  It is also online at SFGate.  Check it out here

old piece (Fire Eater)  that I never finished and don't know if I ever will
My kiln was having technical difficulties for a while.  Along with my wireless and the laptop. They decided to shut down along with the Federal government. To add fuel to the fire but not the kiln, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit-train) went on strike causing a bigger and longer traffic nightmare for the entire Bay Area.  We couldn't get out of this area even if we put the Jeep in 4-wheel and climbed our way out.  Or leave at 4:00 am.  Which we did.

walking by one of the smaller Sequoias
We were planning to visit Redwoods National Park. Remaining positive we decided to go visit Calaveras Big Trees State Park instead.  The dogwood was in the last throes of autumnal hues.
What's left of a dogwood flower---beautiful to the end
This morning the strike was settled and the trains are running.  My glitchy kiln finally reached temperature and my laptop has a new power supply.  The wireless is still iffy, but the corner cafe has free wi-fi and great croissants.  During the weekend we went up to the P.S. House (passive solar.)  I raked our required fire truck turnaround which is big, gravelly and ugly.  Not anymore.

leaf litter made up of tiny Coast Redwood leaves

“The autumn leaves blew over the moonlit pavement in such a way as to make the girl who was moving there seem fixed to a sliding walk, letting the motion of the wind and the leaves carry her forward."
from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tiny Show

Foundlings  (sold)  
Once a year Pence Gallery sends out 5" x 7" canvas boards for their Tiny Show. Years past I would just paint a still life or portrait of one of my pieces.  This year I decided to do a sculptural piece that fits on the board.  I built the "portrait" on a slab measuring 5 3/8" x 7 3/8" ( I estimated the piece would shrink less than 1/2") and trimmed away the background.  It came out of the kiln, fitting the the canvas board right at the edge. 

At this angle it does seem the sides are going off, but they actually line up. 

Tiny Show
Pence Art Gallery
October 4-29, 2013
Artists' Reception:  October 18, 6pm-8pm

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Winding in and out of clay

The moment one gives close attention to anything, 
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
~Henry Miller

first teapot made on my brand new wheel-2006
My studio was a mess. A big jumbled mess.  Moving a studio was harder than I anticipated.  There were things in there from the dawn of my clay time. It was time for the hammer and trash bin. Sorting and re-evaluating what is necessary and what is not. 

stages of Change
Easily distracted,  I wound my way through unglazed pots and failed experiments.
Of things saved and forgotten.  
Kept bits of things just in case I forget how to do something.  
As though the magic should slip away and these little bits would bring it back.
Practicality was the name of the game.  Anything gathering dust would have to go.  
In the corner sat my wheel.
My first ceramic love, the first thing I bought for my studio. 
Lost beneath discarded things piled on top as if a pack mule.

All summer The Excuse blurted out, hurriedly, with a blush, "The sea calls and I haven't time to make pots!  Maybe next week after I finish a few sculptures I will get back to you." 

And off I would go.  Again and again. 
Only returning with Autumn at my heels to take a peek at the wheel.
Knowing a decision needed making.
A decision that winds in and out of me.
That changes with the tides.
I find my way to my wheel to throw one last pot. 
Winding in and out
 Clay washes over me.
And I fall in love all over again. 

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