Monday, April 29, 2013

Carving Out Wishes and

making a big mess!

"The test of an adventure is that when you're in the middle of it, you say to yourself, "Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something's wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure."

~from The Match Maker by Thorton Wilder

wish collector

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fauna's Maquette's Maquette

Decisions. Decisions. Big ears, little ears.  Big eyes, little eyes.  Slip or not slip. If only a maquette can help.

I had to adjust the ears.  Sometimes I forget to measure.  My kiln is only 24" deep with a raised bottom shelf. Taller pieces need some planning and cutting into parts.  This piece I have to worry about the width, too.  There are two more under plastic wrap.  Ear-less.  This one is more or less the maquette's maquette.

Herr (tee hee) is just looking at those ears and wondering how I'm going to get it in the kiln. I work with clay.  I have faith...and maybe a yardstick somewhere.   Now I'm going to make a little kiln god just for good measure (tee hee.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Kiss for Earth and Clay

Today's mission:  to make slab plates while the kiln cools down. 
My pussy willow branches sprouted leaves!
There are roots, too!
So I had to celebrate and play around with some simple designs.

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Terra Cotta Dreaming

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Home is where the Clay is

"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home."
poet Gary Snyder
 from The Gary Snyder Reader:  Prose, Poetry and Translations

I was quite honored when I was invited to participate in this show curated by Natalie Nelson.  It includes a broad range of 2D-3D works from well-established, highly regarded artists.  The artists'  interpretations of the meaning home is as intriguing as their work.  Some humorous, some abstract, some mysterious and some conceptual.  It is also open during the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art.

I refreshed my artist's statement (after I cleaned house, gardened, cleared my closet, scrubbed the bathtub.) Of course, all this procrastination meant I wasn't get any clay work done.  Once I stopped coming up with excuses, I sat down and revised my statement.  Writing artist's statements is not my cup of tea. On the other hand (or face).... 
Statements do provide an important function.  It adds dimension and for some, it deepens the experience for both for the viewer and the artist.  It allows for some behind the scenes glimpses. Maybe an explanation as to what is going on in this artist's head.  It is the voice of the artist.  It is part of the narrative.  
I love the written language as much as I love visual arts. I will read everything posted in a gallery or in a museum.  I will first look at all the work, read anything on the wall.  View everything again.  Then I read the statements. Some statements I get lost in. Some I am lost for words.  I love the ones that quickly explain their process and touch lightly on their explorations.  I am amazed at the fluency of many statements and baffled by others. They are always interesting even if succinct or poorly written or pretentious.  I read them all.  Even the long ones.  I feel more included, more connected (or disconnected) to the work once I read the artist's statement.  
Now that I got my statement done I can go home to my clay.
No more excuses.
I have work to do.

"Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.” 

poet Mary Oliver
excerpt from her poem "Wild Geese"

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