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.
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
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
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!)
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!
Hey - Want to see other posts of this project. Check here
...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
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
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.
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.
Well, I brushed the cobwebs of my newly acquired "mommy-brain" and headed down to the studio for a couple hours yesterday.
I have a large commission due the end of April, and it's time to get started on it!
Normally, a ceramic and glass wall sculpture
this size would take me about 6-8 weeks. Since I will now be squeezing
work time in during Cooper's naps, between feedings, on the weekends, or
when my in-laws come down next week to babysit (Thank you Betsy and
Al!), I've broken my tasks down into smaller, more manageable sizes.
goal yesterday was to sketch the piece to size. Check! (It's about 3
feet high and 8 1/2 feet long - my design wall is only 6'.)
And make the paper patterns. Check!
next phase of the project will be to roll out the clay slabs. Two
slabs will be cut from each paper pattern - one for the back of the
piece, and one for the domed/puffy front.
I figure I can get one, maybe
2 patterns cut out during one of Cooper's (brief, ugh!
Ok, off to get some sleep while I can. Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I have to admit I've been a bit frantic lately. With our first Baby due
in about 5 weeks, the list of To Do's seems to be getting longer
, rather than shorter
. Overall, I feel I've managed to stay relatively calm and low stress.
But I found a nice, unexpected bit of advice in the Ethan Allen catalog that showed up in our mail last week...
Granted, they are referring to furnishing a living room, but I instantly saw how this could apply to my life.
See, I'm planning to take a 6-month maternity leave. To do this, I'm trying to make sure the galleries I work with
are well stocked and ready for the holidays and beyond. This means that
I'm trying to make 6-months of work in about 8 weeks. (And finish all
the projects my husband and I had started around the house, and put
together a nursery.)
250 tile plaques in various stages.
I've been cutting, burning, and polyurethane-ing like crazy!
then "Relax. You don't have to do it all at once." Though I understand
that life as I know it it about to change forever, I do not have to get everything
done before Baby's born. Things will be crazy and new, but we will find
our way, settle into a routine, and I will get back into the studio.
for me, unfortunately, posting to this blog is one of the first things
to go when the list gets too long. I realize I still haven't written
what I wanted to about my July residency in Montana
or my more recent classes at Arrowmont and Penland
(which were both great by the way!) Or a post on how I made the slab-built tumblers. Or talked about the Fall Open House at CURVE studios & garden
in Asheville this weekend. But I'm doing what I can.
So, with that, I'm off to the studio. With the majority of the backings complete, it's time to switch over to making the tiles.
Cheers! And thanks for listening!
And they're out of the kiln. Overall, I'm still very pleased with the
potential of these new lowfire test tiles. I've got to be careful not to
overdo the layering or they start to get a little muddy looking though.
They look a little jumbled shown all together like this - seems better to process them individually.
We'll, gotta run. We're off to the Bray Bash
In addition to experimenting with new sculptural forms
and attempting to make plates and cups
, I've also been working on glazes and surface. (Yes, it's been quite a month!)
So, I started by adding texture to slabs with various found objects and then cut them into 4" and 6" square tiles.
Then, I covered the whole surface with 3 layers of terra sigillata. (Whoops forgot to snap a photo here.)
came brushing on underglazes and colored slips before
scratching/drawing into the surface with needle tool. After the drawing
was done, I went back over a few areas with some slip trailing. Here
they are pre-bisque firing...
Here's some post-bisque firing...
the bisque fire, I layered several of my current sculptural glazes,
brushing them on with a more painterly approach. Pre-cone 04 glaze
After firing to cone 04...
Still haven't figured out how I will incorporate this surface into my sculptural work, but that will come with time and more experimenting. Here's a little piece I made to see how the surface would wrap around a 3D form.
Kudos to all those functional potters out there! Though I've had my suspicions, I have confirmed that I am definitley not
one of them. I love drinking, eating, and collecting pots, but making them is not my forte.
One of the requirements as a resident artist
at the Clay Studio of Missoula
to donate 2 cups and 2 plates for every month of your residency. (Lucky
for me, I'm only here one month, so my numbers were small.) The plates
and cups are used at thier annual fundraising dinner Missoula Valley Thyme and Plate
, which just happens to be this Sunday, June 25 from 6-10pm. So glad I extended my stay to that I can attend both the Bray Bash
this weekend and Thyme and Plate
took me the better part of 2 days to make just these 6! This is
actually my 2nd round of tumblers - ever! (The first 3 I made are too
embarassing to even look at, much less post pictures of for the whole
world to see.)
are handbuilt from 1/4" earthenware slabs using a paper pattern that I
made from a standard pint glass. Fortunately, I was able to adapt my
usual handbuilding techniques fairly easily for this step.
There were casualties early on, however. I lost 2 after applying a few layers of terra sigillata and saturating the bone-dry clay. This one split right down the middle - mostly along the carved lines.
I'm was already down to 4 when I had to face my real challenge. With to do with the surface??
See, none of my standard, favorite, low fire glazes
are food safe. So, after exchanging a few emails with glaze guru John Britt
, and running a few tests (on the broken cups I might add), I was able to come up with a solution. They're in the kiln now (glaze to cone 04
and I hope, hope, hope that I get 2 decent ones out to donate. And I
only made 4 plates. So fingers crossed there too! I'll know tomorrow
In the meantime, here's a little eye candy from the
market Saturday morning. The lilies this woman had were absolutely
amazing. I'd never seen so many varieties and colors!
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.
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
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
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!
(Note: Imagine that white plaster mold isn't there for support and the pieces are bolted together.)
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.