Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lazy Day

Today was a pretty laze day all around.  But I have a good excuse.  It was my birthday and I just felt like being lazy.  Ok, I wasn't totally lazy.  I went to the studio and unloaded the clay I brought up from Sacramento on Wednesday.  I got some more cone 6 porcelain and a cone 6 stoneware to try out.  I also got a cone 04 white.  Yeah, Eric at IMCO screwed up his eyes and said not to put it in with the cone 6.  Duh!  I didn't give him a bad time for it.  I actually had met him in 2000 in Penryn at a wood fire at Rodney Mott's.  He told me there is another wood firing coming up in a couple of weeks.  It is a tempting thought but I probably need to stay focused on what I need to get done here in June.  You see, I will be gone for a month at Fresno Summer Arts.  Oh Yeah!  Two days ago I found out that I got a full scholarship for the program.  Yippie!  Alright, I could keep going with other minor things I got done today but this is starting to sound like a blah, blah, blah, post.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bloom Where You Are Planted

A rose from my old garden.

Lately I've been pondering on this little saying, "bloom where you are planted."  It has served me pretty well in getting through trials and making the best of the situations I am in, good or bad.  For example, I used to live on a 3/4 acre parcel that was sandwiched between a metal fabricator and a landscape business.  It wasn't exactly the quiet peaceful environment that I would prefer for my creative thought processes.  What it did have was a complete ceramics studio and lots of space to grow a garden.  I had no idea how long I would be living there but I wanted to make the most of it.  I actually had studio space on the property five years before I moved onto the place and this gave me ample to time to experiment with gardening.  By the time I moved in I had a gorgeous garden of vegetables and flowers.  I immediately went about planting fruit trees for fun, food and shade.  The property was hotter than blazes in the summertime which was great for the garden but hard on the people.

 Gifts from the garden.

I lived there for another five years enjoying the fruits of my labors, making pottery and playing with my cats.  When extreme life circumstances made it necessary for me to move it was extremely difficult.  I had to give up everything.  The cats, the garden, all the studio equipment.  But hey!  It was a necessary step down another path.  I know that it is important to have the right perspectives.  That doesn't mean it is easy.  I can't really garden anymore.  No sun.  I could have a shade garden but somehow that doesn't really motivate me.  What has been motivating me is to focus more on my art which has been great.  I find myself creating my blooms on my pottery and coming up with fresh ideas that I would have no time for if I was out in my garden so much.  I hope to have a garden again some day and maybe another studio.  For now, I have the university studio which suits me just fine and good friends.  Oh yeah, I did get to keep one of the cats and we snuggle a lot!

Tazzie waiting for birds. I don't have this sweet girl anymore.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Etsy Treasury Number Three!

Oh for Muddy Sakes! by terraworks

I have NEVER posted three times in one day. But what am I supposed to do?  My work is in another Etsy Treasury.  It's time to PAARRTY!

Two Etsy Treasuries in One Day!

Black and White by AlteredAbbey

My work made it into another Etsy Treasury tonight, or this morning depending on your location.  That's my porcelain sculpture on the second row on the left. Wow, I'm just giddy.  Go over and give this treasury some clicks and views.  It would be incredible to make it to Etsy's Frontpage.  But we can't do it without your help.  By the way, Chrysti Hydeck at AlteredAbbey has some gorgeous photography and she is having an incredible sale so check out her shop too!  Thanks, Chrysti.

Red, White and Oooooooo!

That's it. I am officially finished with school for the semester.  I can do whatever I want!  Well, sort of, maybe for a little while.  But it sure does feel great.  As soon as I got home I decided to check my email and Etsy store and found out my little red and white porcelain mug  was featured in this incredible showcase by the talented cinderelish.  All the artists in this showcase make beautiful work and I am honored to by in this showcase with them.  Yeah!  I'm looking forward to this weekend and just playing with the clay for awhile.  What is everyone else up to?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cats and Clay

It seems like every time I turn around there is a cat trying to get involved with something in the studio!

This time it was during the photo shoot of my new work.  I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye and looked over to see this in the back of the light tent.  Cat toenails on my backdrop seems like a really good thing!

Oops! I've been caught. I'm outta here!

Finals are finally over for me.  Yippie!  Just some studio clean up time and I still have work study which is a nice thing.  Then it will be back to the quiet studio for some new work.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I won the Jack Windsor Ceramics Award!

Last night was the reception and awards ceremony for both the Student Art Show and the 7th Ink/Clay at the Janet Turner Print Museum.  I had a piece in the Turner and I won the Jack Windsor Award.  I am sooo excited!  I forgot to take a picture last night so I've got to run over there today and get one to post.

I also just listed this fun porcelain pedestal bowl in my Etsy store.  I'm thinking Hot Fudge Sundae here I come.  It's has been about 85 degrees already and summer is just around the corner.  I had my last critique and now we just have studio clean up days.  I also got accepted into the CSU Summer Arts Program, Clay as a Medium for  Sculpture.  I am going to have the opportunity to learn from Patsy Cox, Jason Briggs, Tip Toland, Heather Mae Erickson and Holly Hanessian.  This is going to be an intensive, two week program.  I can't wait!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Summer break is almost here!  I met with my BFA adviser yesterday and had ceramics critiques.  Today I have my printmaking critique and I am really excited to hear what everyone has to say about my final project.  I will post some pictures of my prints after everything is graded.  In the meantime, I finally took photos of my latest pottery pieces.  These are made from cone 6 porcelain from IMCO.  I am enjoying the graphic qualities of these pieces and can't wait to work on some more sculptures in a similar theme.

I made a number of different shaped mugs in an effort to come up with some new designs.  I don't think I'm nearly done working on shape but I think this one might end up in my cupboard.  This one is shorter and a little wide and I really like the balance and the way it feels in my hand.  I don't think I truly appreciated what  goes into a mug design.

I am really trying to break out of some clay making ruts that I have been in for a long time.  Just playing around and altering the rim here is a good first step in the right direction.  I would like to venture into some non round forms and see if I can't get my brain out of the entrenched wheel throwing mode.  Throwing on the wheel was my first love and I fall back into it for relaxation, when I'm stressed or when I can't think of what else I want to do.  Quick, someone put a lock on that wheel.  I'm headed to the mold room and the slab roller.  We'll see what fun stuff I turn out next.

I'm looking forward to the studio time this summer.  It won't be crowded with students and I should have more space to spread out for a little while.  I will also be attending summer arts at CSU Fresno where there will be some awesome ceramics instructors and some intense work getting done.  I can't wait!

I haven't decided if this is an amoeba shape or a sea creature but i love the way it flows around the mug.  I am going to continue working with this shape.  I have already incorporated it into my print work and now I want to bring the print work into my ceramics by combining print with sculpture so that the two relate to each other.  My instructors have led me down some good thought paths about the direction my work my take so my brain is all a buzz with ideas.  It is going to take some focus to narrow down the ideas and maybe make some small pieces to work out the concepts.  Have a good day everyone and you can see these pieces in my Etsy shop.  I will be listing more every day so keep checking back with the shop.

Friday, May 07, 2010

CCACA Ceramic Artist Photos

Phew!  Well I finally caught my breath after last weekends whirlwind conference only to have a panic attack today about my printmaking final.  A perfectionist attitude combined with a gemini personality along with too many choices made a muck of my idea generating process.  Then I was saved when our delightful instructor, Eileen MacDonald informed me that there were tons of silkscreens available and it would be a shame if I didn't do another silkscreen project.  Yeah!  Narrowing the focus is such a wonderful thing.  So I spent the last couple of hours listening to relaxing music and drawing some really interesting shapes.  The worst part for me is the planning stage.  After that it is just a lot of hard work but I can deal with that.  Being busily engaged in a project is what keeps me sane.  I think?

So, at the request of a loyal follower, I finally have some more images from the CCACA ceramics conference!  Enjoy.  I will get an album uploaded soon to my facebook.
 Monica Van Den Dool

Simon Dwire, Sandi Escobar, Cameron Crawford, Cory Condry

Taco Tongue
Sandi Escobar

Racheil Wenner hanging her Fetuses

Arthur Gonzales

Admiring Meaghan Gates work

Shenny Phillips Cruces


Demise of Education, Detail
Paula Moran

Well, that's all for now.  And it's a good thing.  I got to go to bed!  Too much work and printmaking tomorrow.  But it should be fun.  Zzzz...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Karl McDade Silkscreen Transfers on Clay

Karl McDade Demonstrating Silkscreen Transfers for Clay 

I made it back from CCACA in Davis, CA!  This was an incredible ceramics conference hosted by the John Natsoulas Gallery.  It was a great weekend of workshops, lectures and shows.  I'm so tuckered out that I don't think I can post too much.  However, the first workshop of the conference was by Karl McDade and it was incredible.  I was planning on doing some silkscreen on clay for my final project in my printmaking class and this was just the resource I needed.  Thanks, Karl!

Peeling the paper back from the first transfer

I'll try to get more posted soon.  I have final critiques coming up next week.  Yikes!  Already?  Where did the semester go to?  Plus I have a show to do on Mother's Day.  Wish me luck.  I hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather as much as I am.  Goodnight.