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Welcome to the Clay & Glass blog of Meagan Chaney Gumpert! We hope you enjoy your time here!
Thursday, May 31, 2012

Newest Wall Sculptures - Spring 2012

Is tomorrow really, June 1st? Where does the time go?

In late March I was contacted by Harris Warren Gallery in Wake Forest, NC and arrangements were quickly made for a June exhibition. Well, here we are - Goodbye Spring. Hello Summer. It's been a whirlwind, but I'm proud to say that I completed 4 new wall sculptures for my show "Variegated Disposition" opening next Friday, June 8, 2012.


Anthocyanin, earthenware, 27” x 38” x2", May 2012
Continuation, earthenware, 31" x 35" x 2", May 2012

Dissipate, earthenware, 30" x 12" x 2", May 2012
Provide, earthenware and cast glass, 27" x 15" x 2", May 2012

 In addition to these, I'll also have 4 other works on exhibit. If you're in the area, please stop by.

Oh yeah, and there's one other work in progress...
 Baby #2 (aka "Peanut") is due in September.

What an exciting Spring it's been indeed! Now onto surviving the hot Summer months of Florida!

Cheers!
Meagan 
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

New Sculpture - Tribella familiea


Well, the progress was slow but the pace was steady. I finally finished up this piece and had it photographed just before the holidays. (Thank you Charlie Cummings for the wonderful photos!) 

Tribella familiae
earthenware, cast glass, steel, found objects
20" x 10" x 11"
2011



I'm excited about this piece. It presented a lot of technical challenges that I slowly hammered my way through. (clay shrinkage to account for, found objects to add, glass to cast, and then recast, etc)



As with any new sculpture, I can see places I'd like to develop further in the next piece, but that's what keeps the work exciting. Growth and change. And there's been a lot of that going on around here lately. Our "baby" is almost 15 months old and he keeps his Mama on her toes! Sometimes juggling everything feels like a 3-ring circus, but I'm learning to embrace the chaos and relish studio time.

Cheers to a New Year!
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Ceramic and Glass Sculpture - problems with progress

I've been working on a new, experimental sculpture for the upcoming Instructor Exhibition at Arrowmont and I'm pretty excited about it! Sketches for this piece have been in the works for awhile, but it just wasn't sure how to build it. Then I watched the demos at NCECA, and a light bulb went off.

Unfortunately, I'm having problems with the glass slumping through these little windows. The problem is easily corrected by re-firing, but I'm running out of time. (Work is due to Arrowmont next Friday!)

Whoops! See that ugly gap! Time for a re-fire.

Thankfully, my new test kiln is making those firings a lot quicker! Looks like I may be cranking her up everyday so that I can make that deadline. More pictures soon. And keep your fingers crossed that I don't run into any unexpected disasters or delays!

Best,
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mixed Media Wall Commission - progress report

Moving right along with that large mixed-media wall commission.

Thanks to two 30-minute naps and one long nap (probably brought about by today's visit to the pediatrician for more shots. boo for the shots. yay for the long nap!)

The 23 ceramic forms are complete and hung for a quick layout review. (Well, the ones that would fit on my design wall are hung at least)
Now, I'll be moving on to making the cast glass and steel pieces. That's what's gonna go where those circles are drawn.
I might have started 2 months ago, but I'm making progress none-the-less. And, afterall, slow but steady wins the race!

Cheers!
Meagan

Hey - Want to see other posts of this project. Check here and here.
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

What comes next...

...bust a move!

Had a great week back in the studio! Actually, I was amazed how much I was able to get done.

My studio time has become precious, and I'm learning to make the most of every minute. When I walk in that door, it's on! I thought I was an efficient, productive worker before. Oh no! You haven't seen anything yet!

So, with my wonderful in-laws in town babysitting, I worked in 1-2 hour shifts between feeding Cooper. All 23 of the clay forms for that commission are finished.

And I have 40 new Mini Sculptures in progress to send to The Society of Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, PA. (No photo just yet, sorry!) Hoping to fire by this coming Friday.

I've got a lot of other big changes going on that I plan to share with you soon, but I'm still processing some of them, and will try to squeeze in time to write about it asap! (Fingers crossed "someone" takes one of his long afternoon naps tomorrow!)

Anyway, I'm off. Laundry is calling my name.

Best,
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Unsuccessful but Necessary

Well, I unloaded my work from the kiln on Monday. As usual, it takes me a few days to look at and process the work.
As soon as the work was cool, I eagerly rushed off to Lowe's to get the necessary hardware for assembly. Back in the studio, I quickly started to thread the bolts, washers and nuts into place. It didn't take long for me to realize that I was up against some serious technical difficulties! Ugh!
I had anticipated being able to tighten the hardware enough so that the pieces would stay snugly in place. This, unfortunately was not the case in 2 out of 3 new works. Even with rubber washer to help absorb the force, the ceramic pieces wanted to spin about in all directions. Great if I was making a windmill, but not so much for a stationary hybrid-flower-type form.
Though I am disappointed with the outcome of this work, I still feel it was a HUGE learning experience. And I've been able to go through that learning curve much quicker because of the focus I'm able to get during this residence.
I am reminded of a quote from the book Art and Fear - "Even the failed pieces are essential."
So, with that in mind, I'm off to the studio to make and learn more!

Cheers!
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Comments
Febe Baldwin Steehouder commented on 22-Jan-2016 04:02 PM
Dear Meagan,
Love your site, thank you for the insights!
When I saw these works the first thing that crossed my mind was: Why not try to replace the crews with stringers of glas? Maybe you get a nice glasmelt screw?
I'm very new at all of this but I could not resist sharing this.
So excuse me if I make a very dumb sugestion.

With kind regards,
Febe
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 16-Feb-2016 09:13 AM
Thanks for your suggestion Febe! If I drift back to problem solving this body of work, I will definitely consider using glass rods for the joints.

Thanks!
Meagan
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New work - Residency project 1

I'm off to the studio to continue working on the project I started yesterday. And I must say, I'm pretty excited about it. It looks a lot different than the 3d sketches I did on Monday; almost as if it was made by another person. But I feel this piece is finally starting to incorporate ideas and techniques I've been striving for in my new work. (More on that later.)I was also amazed how much I was able to accomplish in one day! Granted, it was a long studio day - 7:45am til 7:00pm, but I was feeling great and really into a groove. It normally would have taken me 3 weeks at home to make this much progress! Cant wait to see what I'm able to do today! Cheers!
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Studio Warm Up

My first studio day in Missoula-

Yesterday, I spent all day working on small, 3D sketches of various floral forms. These maquettes were a great warm up exercise! And man did I need the warm up. It can take a while to get settled into a new space and find a routine.
The first thing that took some adjusting to was my clay body. I have been using the same clay body for at least 5 years now. (Lymen Red from Highwater Clays.) But out here in Montana it makes more sense to get it from The Archie Bray (only 1.5 hrs from Missoula) than to have 100lbs of my usual stuff shipped from the East Coast. So I made the switch and the two are definitely different! I don't know yet if I prefer one over the other, but I'll have to report back after my month-long residency. ABF Earthenware is darker brown when moist and seems smoother. It has virtually no grog compared to the Lymen Red I'm used to working with at home. I'm curious to see the fired color and compare shrinkage, absorption and warping.

The second issue I'm tackling is related to this gorgeous weather I've been experiencing. Humidity. Or lack there of. In Florida (80-100% humidity) clay dries very, very slowly and often needs to be put into a dry box or blasted with a heat gun to speed the drying process along. Not necessary here in MT! Slabs seemed to get stiff with the blink of an eye! I will definitely have to adjust my work time and modify some of my usual building habits.

These small pieces not only helped me learn more about my new clay and environment but they were great visual studies. I picked several flowers on my walk to the studio and took the time to really observe the structures, textures and colors of each. So, with the some 3D sketching and traditional sketching done, I tackled my first "real" project today. And I must say, I am pretty excited about it! But more about that one tomorrow. I'm off to bed!
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Contemporary Clay Biennial - Opening Friday

I am very excited and honored to announce my piece "Urban Pocket" as selected for the Contemporary Clay Biennial at the Art Center, Western Colorado Center for the Arts, in Grand Junction, CO.

The opening reception is this Friday night, and Oh, how I wish I could be there! If you're in the area and able to attend, please take some pictures for me. I'd love to see the show installed!

Contemporary Clay Biennial 2010
Juried by Ceramist and Clay Times columnist Pete Pinnell
May 14 - June 26, 2010
Opening Reception - Friday, June 4, 6:30 - 9pm

Juror Pete Pinnell - Clay demonstration and workshop June 5-6, 9-5pm.

, earthenware, steel, wood backing, 9 x 40 x 4", 2009.
Urban Pocket
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Work - UF Post-Bacc Program

Finally getting around to posting pictures of the work I did Spring semester at UF. I start exploring a new direction - moving the work from wall relief sculpture to working completely in the round. Like most new ideas, I feel it's taken me some time to digest and think about the changes that I made, and the changes that I still need to make.

I won't lie, this change was definitely a struggle for me! There were days when I felt I had no idea what I was doing - technically or conceptually.

I had problems with clay shrinkage and incorporating found objects. I questioned if the ideas I was hoping to covey were coming through in the work. I had work blow up in the kiln! So, several attempts ended up in the trash or with the shards destined to become more stepping stones for our garden.

But, I kept pushing and reminding myself that "when you feel like you know what you're doing, you're probably not growing."

Now that a little time has passed and I've had a few weeks to process the experience, I am excited about this new direction and the possibilities I see for expanding these ideas. So, here are a few pictures and my artist statement...
Fortis cultivativo, earthenware, steel, glass
(Note: Now on view through July 5 at "Art in Bloom", Marion Cultural Alliance; On Top of the World Location- Ocala, FL)
Natural and manufactured environments coexist within contemporary urban settings. City parks and botanical gardens are thoughtfully integrated into residential developments and commercial centers. These man-made garden atmospheres seem to emphasize an underlying desire to escape the hectic stress of everyday urban life by surrounding oneself with beautiful, natural environments.
Incrementun multi, earthenware, steel, cast glass
(Note: Now on view now through Oct 8 at The Arrowmont 2010 Instructor Exhibition, Gatlinburg, TN)

My sculpture focuses on a self created species: a visual hybrid that reflects both nature and industry. These mixed-media works synthesize plant forms like pods, leaves, and stems with radial mechanical elements and machine parts. The link between industry and nature is emphasized further through materiality. The constructed sculptures incorporate materials such as steel and concrete with traditional craft media such as clay and glass. The textured, crusty, surface treatments of the stylized terracotta forms further suggest the coexistence of these worlds.

Evoco vita, earthenware, steel, cast glass, fused glass
(Note: Now on view June 3-July5 at "Ancient Arts", Marion Cultural Alliance; downtown location- Ocala, FL. Opening reception this Friday!)
The imagined hybrids represent the need for balance in our everyday lives. Parallels can be drawn between industry and work, and nature and pleasure as society strives for professional success and personal happiness.
Thanks again for reading and following along with the changes and progress in m
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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