Thursday, February 07, 2013

My Micro Ceramics Studio

You really don't need a whole lot of space to make your art or craft.  My ceramic artist friend, Jenny Mendes, has a very small studio.  When I moved into my small duplex last summer I was inspired by Jenny to convert a corner of my tiny kitchen into a micro studio.  The space I am working in is only about 5 by 6 feet, or so.  I haven't actually measured it.  The slab roller just barely fits into the space between the refrigerator and the window.  My pottery wheel slides under the slab roller when not in use which also makes it easier to get out my back door which is right next to the window on the right.  On the wall opposite the wheel I have a shelf to hold work in progress but it is usually covered with tools, supplies, slips and random junk, causing me to occasionally spread out into the leaving room or out on the back porch in good weather.  I try to keep it really clean by mopping and wiping my shoes on a rug so I don't track clay throughout the house.  So far it is working great and I am getting a lot made.  Plus, I think everyone should have a great big refrigerator right next to the work space to post all sorts of inspirational material on.  The close proximity of food does not seem to distract me but I do enjoy sustaining my practice with the frequent consumption of dark chocolate!

Unfortunately, my studio does not have a kiln so I fire my work in a variety of places from friends studios to places like Penland School of Crafts.  I've often thought it would be fun to have a mobile studio on wheels since that's what my car feels like when I am transporting supplies, tools, and work in various stages around town.  But I actually really enjoy this chance to get out and be with other people and not be holed up in my studio like a hermit all the time.  I frequently make work in the studios of my friends which is great for socialization as well as inspiration and feedback.  

This is the most recent batch of work that has been happening in the micro studio the past couple of weeks.  These here are still wet today.  I was up until about 1am happily working away on these and watching movies on Netflix.  These will be going into the first soda firing of the 2013.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.  I am aiming to get the firing going next week or at the latest, the following.  

I just decided to incorporate some sgraffito into these pieces inspired by the tutelage of the fabulous Miss Kathy King when I was at Penland last spring.  I can't believe it has been almost a year already since I was there!  But not to fear, I am going back in May and June for a month to do some more studio assisting and I can't wait.  I am going to get to wood fire!  I will be working with Richard Burkett and Joe Molinaro in the first two week session and then I will be assisting Marc Leuthold in a second two week session for beginning and intermediate wheel throwers.  Both of these classes can be found on the Penland website.  I encourage everyone to take a class a Penland.  It is a blast!  

But wait, that's not all.  I will also be assisting Jenny Mendes in her workshop, Surface Navigation, at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in July.  It is going to be a very, very busy, busy year as I will also be traveling to Houston for the annual ceramics conference, NCECA, and I will be packing and moving across the country to go to grad school.  Wish me luck and lots of energy!

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