Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Some Days....

... are just like that. I've been struggling a bit in the studio, but I'm trying to just focus and get through it. I cant decide if I'm not thinking about my work enough, or if I'm over thinking it. (Thanks for emphasizing with me Joy!) I feel like I have tons of ideas, but they are only bits and pieces of ideas that I cant seem to fit together into any sort of cohesive Big Idea.

Sketching has been helping, and I might have had a little "breakthrough" idea last night, so hopefully today will be a better Studio Day. It helps to think of these challenging times as opportunity for growth. I feel like I've been focused on the business aspect of my art career, and now it's time to take a step back and refocus on the art itself.

So, bear with me. I'm still around, but trying to spend more time in the studio than at the computer.
Hope your days have been peaceful, warm, and stress-free.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What is a True Artist?

Came across this quote while researching/sketching ideas for a new body of work...

"The artisan who has patience in his craft, insight, subtlety, the qualities deriving from intense observation of and delight in the things he depicts, that man is a true artist."
-Eugene Grasset, May 1896


Monday, February 16, 2009

Taking the week "off" to...

... paint the outside of our house. Not exactly vacation, but we've been wanting to get this done for some time now. I'm also hoping this will help me take a step back from studio work and give me time for sketching and reflection. Since there's never a dull moment around here, we've also been working on a another DIY home renovation. We removed a section of kitchen cabinets and cut a doorway so that we'll have an interior access to the laundry room. Hope you enjoy your week - whether your working, renovating or relaxing. See you soon.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Self Critique

I've been avoiding writing this post.

So much so, that I have managed to get all sorts of other computer tasks accomplished as a sort of procrastination technique. It can be tough to face one's own work and look at it with an eye towards constructive criticism.

Though I'm still not sure what to say, writing this post will at least force me to think about my work.
Batch 1
I agree that there is a quality in Batch 1 that isn't present in the others. The colors are more muted and earthy. The forms are more spherical; less flattened.

Both batches 1 and 6 seem to work well as a grouping. The Minis in Batches 3-5 have more individual appeal to me, and look more jumbled when seen together.

Batches 4-6 all came out of my 100 Mini Challenge. (Though I only actually made it to 75. Bummer!) As intended, this exercise forced me to try things a bit out of my comfort zone. Some of these experiments, new techniques, glaze combination, and slip patterns are successful. Some are not. But what I've learned from doing so many in such a short period of time created a huge learning curve! So, it's true. Even the failed pieces are essential.
Batch 6
I turned back to my typical carvings when I was about on Mini #50. (Batch 6) These carvings are the most natural and instinctual for me to create. I feel this line movement creates an appealing asymmetrical balance on these symmetrical forms.

Technically, I remembered also that the glazes in Batch 1 were both brushed and sprayed. I'm wondering if the spray application helps to give a softer, more organic look, as well as depth with the gradation of color/texture. I'll have to remember to experiment with that more in the next batches.

Thank you Brian, Meredith, Paul, Patricia, Linda for your comments and critique! And thanks Carolyn, Bonnie, and Dad for your emails! I truly appreciate you taking the time to look over my work and offer feedback!!

Off to the studio now!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Critique Please

So, I like many other artists out there, I work alone. And while this can be a huge advantage - (private space, my own music, uninterrupted time, etc) there are some drawbacks. One of the aspects I miss the most of is the companionship and critiques of a community environment.

After Judy Shreve was nice enough to offer some feedback on a recent post, I decided to specifically ask you readers for a critique of my Mini Sculptures.

Some Quick Background info: These started last summer and were originally inspired by sea urchins. They are hollow, slab constructed from earthenware clay, and glaze fired to ^04. Sizes range from 2 1/2 - 4 1/2" I've made 6 batches so far, and have posted images of the progression of this body of work.

Batch 1 (above)

Batch 3 - Winter Series (above) (Note: no images of Batch 2. They were all that bad!)

Batch 4 - Spring Series (above)

Batch 5 (above)

Batch 6 -with handmade glass cabochons (above)
Note: Batches 5-6 were made and glazed at the same time, but represent 2 different styles.

I would really appreciate any feedback that any of you out there have. I've formed my opinions, picked my favorites, and decided on areas of improvement, but I'd love to hear your thoughts. What works? What doesn't? What's missing? What should I explore more? What should I leave out? etc? Any constructive criticism is welcome!

Thank you so much!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Now on Etsy!

Well, I finally did it! I took the Etsy plunge! My online shop has been sitting vacant since August, and it feels great to finally have items there for sale. So far, I've listed a few of the Tile Plaques and Minis that just came out of the kiln. Hopefully I'll have even more work finished up this week and listed by next Wednesday. Wow! It feels great to check that off my To Do list! (Of course there's still tweeking, fine tuning, and updating to do, but I took that first step!) Thank you to everyone who gave me advice while I was setting up my shop. Any other feedback anyone? For those of you on Etsy, how has it been working for you?

Making Progress,