Friday, March 30, 2012

Cut Off From Comments

This morning I read some blogs as usual but when I tried to comment I got an error message.  This happened on various blogs including my own.  I put on my computer geek hat and tried to figure out what was wrong.  Apparently a few other people are experiencing this same issue and we've reported it to google who will undoubtedly fix it as quickly as they can.
In the meantime, I'm sorry I can't comment on your blogs but it's not for lack of trying.  I hope all my readers and other blog friends have a great weekend.  Maybe we should all do like Tracey Broome and turn off the electricity now
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Full Shelves

I just love it when the shelves look like this, don't you?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finished Funky Functional Casseroles

You may remember that I posted a picture of some fun, wavy, funky casseroles a couple of weeks ago.  I finally got them glazed and fired.  I'm really happy with the way they came out, the glazes took well to the texture and the rounding.  To me they look warm and toasty as well as fun and interesting.  I can totally see using these to serve guests or to take food to a pot luck.

Maybe cinnamon rolls would be good in this oval one.  Does anyone have a great cinnamon roll recipe?
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bird Pitcher

It seems that most of the birds that I'm putting on my work are carved into the clay or painted on in slip.  But this pitcher actually looks very birdlike to me.  That wasn't the intention when I made the it, it's just how it came out.  Maybe all of the birds singing outside my studio in the spring morning influenced my work.
The handle of this pitcher looks large, sturdy and heavy. It is large and sturdy for sure but it's hollow.  So you can get a good solid feel in your hand but it's still very light.  I like this idea and will play with it more.  I hope this pitcher finds a good home, I really love it.

 Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kiln Loading Troubles

I didn't measure accurately so when I put the shelf in the kiln I heard the sad sound of breaking clay. I hate that sound, don't you? When I removed the kiln shelf I discovered that I had broken the handle on the lid to this soup tureen.  Maybe I'll have time to make another lid before Fired Works, maybe not.  Oh, well, no use crying over broken pots.
I hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ewer Dancing

I made these ewers after seeing some of the work of Jake Johnson at the North Carolina Clay Conference.  Well, actually just the pictures of his work.  I wasn't able to go to the conference and I'm sorry about that, it looks like it was amazing.

When I see work that inspires me, or when I take a workshop I often try to do a piece or two in the style of the artist.  I'll then take what I've learned from that and incorporate it into my own work.  Sometimes I'll learn something really subtle like how a master uses a certain tool, sometimes it'll be something bolder like treating the surface with ferric chloride.  The bottom line is that I've learned something and it's effected my work.

With these two ewers I like the tilt, the base is pretty solid, although it could be formed better, which is something I can work on.  I do think they look like they are dancing.  I enjoy having that playful aspect in my work.  I may never make another set of ewers like these but I would like to incorporate the dance into more of my pieces.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Artist Call - Metro Montage XII

Dear BAG members:

Please click here for information on the Artists Call for Submissions for the Metro Montage XII.
Marcia Dillard
Booth Western Art Museum

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eva Zeisel - On Design Book Review

I recently finished reading Eva Zeisel's book On Design, The Magic Language of Things.   This is a highly illustrated book full of images of Eva's work and things that have inspired her.  You get the sense that you are looking through the author's favorite scrapbook as some of the images are rather old looking and not of any kind of flashy quality.  Still, you understand the attraction, you know why she was moved by what she saw in each photograph.

She doesn't spend a lot of time telling you what she thinks is right or wrong in design, she just explains some thoughts on design.  She tells the reader what someone might feel when seeing certain design elements and even gives a brief history of recent design trends.

I really loved this book for several reasons not the least of which is that while reading it I really started to think of what I'm doing as designing.  I think of myself as a potter, but what I really am doing is designing pots, designing forms.  The surface decoration whether it be glaze or horse hair or something very different is part of the design. 

The other thing that I loved was the photographs.  It was just another view through another artist eye but many of the pictures were moving.  Not in the sense that an image of a child in a third world country or something like that might move us, but in the way that the simplicity of beautiful things can move us.
I highly recommend reading this book.  The words can be read in an afternoon, but you might want to linger with the images.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Set of Plates

When I make sets of anything I normally make extras.  If I don't I know some will crack, get broken of will have some sort of glaze problem.  This, for me, seems to be the Murphy's Law of set making.  But when I made this set of plates I had no plan for them.  I didn't know how I would decorate them or anything like that.  They weren't a commission, they were just plates that I was making because I felt like making plates one day.

Of course this meant that they sat around for a few weeks waiting for me to be inspired to do something with them besides throw and trim.  Then I took a workshop with Molly Hatch and came up with an idea that blossomed like Spring.

The problem was that it was too late to do Mishima on the plates so I painstakingly copied and panted the birds onto the already bisqued plates then sprayed the edges with the ash glaze combination that I use on my casseroles and serving bowls.

They just came out of the kiln and I couldn't be happier with them.  Now I wish I had made more than six not because of the possibility of one breaking but because I really like the way they look.
I've also made a set of cups to go with the plates, they have the same birds but they are drawn on using Mishima.  It'll be fun to see these all together as a set.

Happy Spring everyone!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mac Is Back

Yesterday Matt from Onyx Computer called to tell me my computer was fixed. That was a day early, which made me really happy. It meant that I could get pictures emailed to the Macon Arts Alliance for the Fired Works signage before the deadline. I am very happy about that. As artists it always seems like we are rushing around trying to get things done at the last minute. I don't mind doing my own stuff at the last minute but when it involves someone else I try to be more considerate and get my stuff together before the deadline. That doesn't always work, but it's what I try to do. Obviously getting my computer back early made me very happy, so I think that might be true with other people in other situations also.

Happy Friday and Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Festival Tips - Tent Weights

At many of the shows I do someone sees something about my tent set up and comments about what a great idea it is.  Of course I do the same which makes doing festivals a great learning experience, especially if you can set up early and visit other peoples tents.
One thing people comment about is the weights I use to help secure the tent against the wind.  So many shows don't allow the use of spikes in the ground; it's a good idea to have weights as a back-up.  Mine were made pretty easily after a trip to the hardware store.  I bought a long piece of PVC pipe with a fairly large diameter, some concrete mix and 4 eye bolts with large washers and 4 nuts for the eye bolt.  I cut the PVC into 4 equal lengths, mixed up some cement and poured it into the PVC while they were standing upright on some scrap plywood.  Before the cement hardened I sunk one eye bolt assembly into the top with just the eye showing.  This gives me a place to tie a rope or hook a bungee cord which would then tie onto the tent frame where it meets at the four legs.   Since I used white PVC and the tent legs are also white they blend very nicely.
You would want to be sure not to make the weights heavier than you can lift, it'd be better to make several sets of smaller ones if a big one is too much weight to lift in and out of your vehicle easily.
I can't promise that these will keep your tent down in really, really strong winds but they will help on an average day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Out Of Touch

My computer broke on Friday. I wasn't able to fix it so off to the shop it went. I'm writing this on my iPod, which I'm really thankful for as I can get email and do some things but it's not as easy or full featured as the computer. It's strange how out of touch this makes me feel. I do miss reading the blogs I've been following but it does seem like I'm getting more work done so that's the silver lining.
I hope you all are well, don't think I've left the blogging community, I'm just working a little differently this week.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Glazing Day

My afternoon was spent glazing theses pots. How was your Monday?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dow Redcorn Opening Tonight

MudFire Gallery is very pleased to present the first solo ceramics exhibit by Dow Redcorn. Featuring functional work as well as complex ceremonial forms influenced by landscapes and shades of Osage Tribal imagery, Dow's work is imbued with subtleties and ambiguities - a far away, yet completely close and familiar sense. A Denver native currently residing in Atlanta, with a background in painting, an incredible talent for clay, and a profound interest in the natural world, Dow Redcorn makes clay come alive.
The exhibit opens online and in the gallery at 12:00 Noon on Friday, March 9. Meet the artist at the opening reception from 5-9pm that evening.
Work will be available for purchase online and in the gallery starting 12:00pm EST on opening day. Shipping is available to all 50 states and Canada.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Urban Art or Vandalism

Let me start by stating that I do not condone the defacing of private property.  I think that anyone who can only make their mark on the world by spray painting their "tag" on someone else's business, house, or art is very sad indeed.  If you didn't  buy it then spray painting your nickname on a building does not make it, or the neighborhood yours.  It just makes you a loser.

That being said I've also seen a graffiti that is really good, interesting and exciting.  Here in Atlanta we have a lot of urban artists who paint under the Krog Street Bridge.  It's a bit dark and scary because the tunnel is so small and I think some people don't separate that feeling from the graffiti.  To me it's like going into a special art gallery.  I'm amazed at the talent, the depth of color, the imaginative ideas, and the ability with a can of spray paint.  Some people don't just have an image to display they have a message that they believe is important.  I think if they are respectful of where they display that message we should be able to return that respect and look at the art, not just that it was done with a spray can.
Apparently, I am not the only person that finds graffiti interesting, some people are hiring graffiti artists to paint murals on the walls inside their houses and outside their businesses.
Not too many years ago Coke and other businesses paid to have their advertising painted on the sides of city buildings and rural barns.  I don't know how people felt about it when that was really popular but I do know that today we look at images of those buildings with a little bit of nostalgia.  Might we one day do the same for modern graffiti?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Funky Functional Casseroles

Here are a few of casserole dishes I threw. I decided to play with them a little and really like the result. I just think they are fun and interesting. After they are glazed they'll go to Macon, GA for Fired Works.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Horse Hair Firing in the Sunshine

Saturday dawned cold and rainy. It was a nasty morning, the dogs didn't want to go out in the storm, the wind howled and snuggling down in the bed seemed to be the best way to spend the day. Of course I had planed a raku firing.
By 10am the wind had blown most of the storm away and I could see blue sky.   I knew it was going to be a good afternoon and it was.  The sun warmed us up, the wind died down, it was perfect weather for a raku party. Tom and I fired two of the three raku kilns at Mudfire and we both got some really nice pots.  We then toasted the kiln gods with a beer and started doing some glazing while waiting for the kilns to cool.
I've heard that Benjamin Franklin once said:
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
I suspect sunshine and good pots is proof that the kiln gods love us and want us to be happy too.
These pots are headed up to Spring Place Pottery in  Cartersville, GA where they will be part of a nice display with some other great pots.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Best Job in the World

I have the best job in the world.  I am doing what I love and loving what I do.  I should be happy and most of the time I am.  But I also feel a little bit guilty.

My non-artist friends range from liking their jobs to hating their jobs but all of them seem to be able to find a lot to complain about in relation to working.  They are all really happy about Friday and not happy when Monday rolls around.

As an artist I'm normally the opposite of that, I look forward to Monday and getting back into the studio, especially if I am inspired by some event from the weekend.  I'm even happy to go to work when work means doing a show.  Set up and break-down is hard work, the day is normally very long but I like talking to people about the pots, I love when my friends come to visit my booth and I really, really love selling pots.  I must admit, I still get an adrenaline rush from it.

When my friends get together conversations often turn to work, it's what people do for at least half of their waking hours (and some even dream about it at night) so this is to be expected.  The trouble is that much of it is complaining.  The commute is too long, the boss is an idiot, the computer broke again...you know what I'm talking about.  So I feel a little guilty having the best job in the world.  When a friend says "it took me 2 hours to get home because of the rain" I hate wanting to say "yeah, it was raining so hard I had to put a hat and jacket on today."   Nobody wants to hear that.  So I've found myself looking for the negative parts of my job and talking about them to people.  This is not healthy!  I want to be loving everything I can about this great job, and I want to be looking at the positive.  Am I the only person with this issue?  Is it something we'll all get over after a while?

Happy Friday anyway.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Salt Pigs

The salt pigs you saw a few weeks ago have been glazed and fired. They came out really cute.
By the reactions I've had so far I will most likely need to make more of these guys. What do you think?

The one on the left is a purple pig but the sunlight is so bright today that the camera washed out the color.  The one on the right is white with black spots.