Welcome to the Clay & Glass blog of Meagan Chaney Gumpert! We hope you enjoy your time here!
Saturday, August 23, 2014

Where to find me

Hi. My name is Meagan and I am a terrible blogger. 

Let's face it. I have an (almost) 2 year old and an (almost) 4 year old. Most days I feel accomplished if I've brushed my teach and we all manage to get our shoes on the right feet. 

I'm still slowly making art. And like many, many other people out there, striving for that work-life balance. It will continue to be an lifelong, ongoing effort. Changing, altering, juggling as we go through the transitions from toddler, preschooler, kinder-gardener, school age, teenager, and beyond...

So, at this point, I'm finding that the quick, short blurbs and easily posted photos of Facebook and Instagram fit better into our life. I make it over to Pinterest for source inspiration and reference information every now and then too. If you're interested (or even a bit curious) you can follow me over there.

Cheers! Thanks for following along on this crazy ride!


Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Tamara Dillon commented on 23-Aug-2014 02:50 PM
Keep up the beautiful work!
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 01-Sep-2014 01:16 PM
Thanks Tamara!
Cathy commented on 12-Nov-2014 01:31 PM
I love the rhythm and movement in your work. It is an inspiration to me as I too try to balance work and art.
Can you tell me how you hang the pieces of your wall sculpture?
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 17-Nov-2014 02:34 PM
Hi Cathy,

Thanks for your comment.

Most of my wall pieces are hollow, slab build forms. The back of the piece has holes in the slab to accommodate a screw/nail that is in the wall. Nothing fancy, really. Hope that helps!

Best of luck to you on your work-life balance adventure!
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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Thank you Summer

No, not the season. (Though many of you in the cold, snowy North may be desperately looking forward to warmer weather.)

I'm talking about my Summer Best View video monitor. (Don't worry, I'm not going to turn all mommy-blog on you either.) Thanks to you and two 30-minute naps today I was able to finish up some work and get the kiln loaded.

You read that right! My kiln is firing. When I went to write the details down in my kiln log, I could hardly believe the last time I fired was October - just 8 days before Cooper was born!

That monitor truly is amazing! Firing the kiln again feels like such a huge accomplishment. And I must say, I am proud of myself!

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.

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby Steps towards a Big Commission

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.

My 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!
The 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!) naps.

Ok, off to get some sleep while I can. Thanks for reading!

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Returning to Work...

Oh, getting back to work after having a baby... I have such conflicting thoughts on that statement.

I am beyond grateful that I have a job that allows me the flexibility to be with our son!!
There's a part of me that wants to spend every waking moment watching Cooper learn and grow. (And believe me, there are still plenty of WAKING moments!) And then there's the part of me that aches to be out in the studio - feeling creative and independent.

Some days these thoughts are at peace with each other. Other days, honestly, it's a struggle that leaves me feeling frustrated, upset, angry, frightened, and at a loss for knowing what to do or how to proceed - both in and out of the studio.

And then, this toothless grin smiles up at me, my heart melts, and all is right in the world.
I know I will get back into the studio again. Until then, Cooper and I will be spending lots of time together. I want to treasure these moments because I know they are brief.

And the studio will still be there when we're ready.
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Arrival

It's a BOY! Cooper Allen was born Friday, 10-15 at 10:15pm and weighed 6lbs 15oz. (Yes, thankfully not 10lbs 15oz - especially since we had a natural, epidural-free birth!)
Yay! Going home from the hospital!

And our little man decided to come 10 days early! I had just shipped out 14 boxes to galleries/clients in 6 states on Wednesday and started my maternity leave, thinking I had 2 weeks to relax and finish up some things around the house. Well, Cooper had other plans....

We are so in love and doing great! I'm taking the next few months off, so I'll see you around.

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finding Unexpected Advice

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!

But, 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.
making progress...

So 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!
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Work in Progress - A new adventure

Thought I'd take a moment to share some, well, personal news with you.

This is not your typical artwork-in-progress blog post. My current "project" brings with it a lot of exciting changes, hard work, unexpected adventures, and unconditional love.

My husband and I are expecting our first child the end of October! Needless to say, we are very excited about our growing family and our little bundle of joy.

Though this is a planned addition, I must admit that I have had my moments of panic and uncertainty. How in the world can I be an artist and a mother at the same time!? Or a mother and an artist? I already feel that there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done!

Being the type-A personality that I am, I was hungry for answers, advice and information. So to ease my fears and concerns, I started my "research."

In addition to reading the usual pregnancy and child rearing books, I dove into The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood by Rachel Power and I highly recommend it to any artist-mother with questions or concerns about work-life balance.

Here's a little about the book from the publisher's website.

"Do women still confront the attitude that a dedicated artist will avoid having children for the sake of her career? In The Divided Heart, Australia’s most respected artists, writers and actors speak frankly about the wrench between motherhood and their artistic life.

Rachel Power navigates through the divided heart of the artists to reveal the shocking, funny and moving truth of the overwhelming demands of motherhood and the undiminished passion for their work.

This book will resonate with anyone who has ever wondered, ‘Who will I be when this baby is born?’"

Links to other helpful info:
Clay Parent - Mud Mamas and Papas
Studio Mothers: Art and Life (just found this one)

Our growing "bean" at 18 weeks. Boy? Girl? Time will tell. We're keeping it a surprise.

Thank you for reading and sharing our excitement with us!
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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