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Welcome to the Clay & Glass blog of Meagan Chaney Gumpert! We hope you enjoy your time here!
Wednesday, July 07, 2010

In the kiln...

Loaded and fired an electric kiln with fellow resident Danny Crump yesterday - my first firing at The Clay Studio of Missoula. Here's a picture (pre-firing) of the various pieces and parts for three new experimental sculptures, my "warm-up" work from Monday, samples for my upcoming workshop at Arrowmont, and a couple trial plates and cups. (Plates and cups you ask?!? Yep. More about this challenge later.)
(Note: Imagine that white plaster mold isn't there for support and the pieces are bolted together.)

Tomorrow's plan - glaze, load and (hopefully) fire the kiln again. Cant wait to see some of this new work "finished." I have plans to include various glass and steel parts, so they may not be truly completed until I get back home to the studio in FL. But a trip to the hardware store for nuts and bolts is in my near future.
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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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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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day One – The Clay Studio of Missoula


One month. Well, 32 days actually. That’s how long I’ll be in Montana for this amazing residency opportunity! Part of me stresses that it is to short. Part of me worries it is too long.

I know my studio days will be full and I will need to be focused to accomplish my goals. Working with clay involves coordinating a fairly tight timeline of making, drying, firing, and glazing.

The other part of me is already a bit homesick. One month seems like a long time to be away from home and my husband. It’s not like we’ve never spent time apart. Heck! The whole first 2 ½ years of our relationship was long-distance.

It’s just that he is my sounding board. He knows how to inspire me and help with the practical challenges. And he knows how to relax and support me like no one else! But we both understand what an important opportunity this is for me, my art, and my career. So, when I received an offer to come out here, he was behind it 110%.

Today is Day 1 and I’m ready to let the month begin! I arrived safe and sound last night and started the process of getting settled into my new home. I have a relaxing day ahead of me before moving into the studio tomorrow. I’m looking forward to days full of new friends, stimulating conversations, good food, studio inspiration, and amazing weather!

Cheers!

My husband and I in March 2008 taking a break from a day's work building the studio back home in Ocala, FL. For more studio construction photos, click here.  

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Heading West - The Clay Studio of Missoula

More exciting news and adventures to share! I recently found out that I was chosen for a short-term residency position at The Clay Studio of Missoula in Montana.
So, I'm taking my baby bump out west to Big Sky Country for a bit of an adventure. I'm looking forward to having a month to just explore and create. I have so many ideas and techniques that I want to investigate! The plan is to continue developing the current direction of my work; new sculptural forms I started during my post-bacc at UF.

And the timing is perfect! Not only am I grateful to have an opportunity to do this before the baby comes, but I'll still be in my 2nd trimester (aka the "honeymoon phase of pregnancy") so energy will be up and I'll be feeling great.

So, we've got a whirlwind week ahead as I pack and prepare for this amazing opportunity. Thank you!

Cheers!
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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