Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
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.)
I've been cutting, burning, and polyurethane-ing like crazy!
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!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Potters, sculptors and clay related businesses have generously donated 191 items to help raise money for Drew. Please show your support both for Drew and for the generous artists whose donations make this auction possible by bidding on items in this auction.
The auction begins Tuesday, September 21st, and ends in the evening on Monday, September 27th. Until then, please check out all the wonderful artworks, tools, subscriptions, and memberships in the preview."
Auction - September 21-27, 2010.
Heather Alexander, Dan Anderson, Linda Arbuckle, Posey Bacopoulos, Tiffany Bailey, Marian Baker, John Balistreri, Tom Bartel, Deborah Bedwell, Curt Benzle, Sandy Blain, Catherine Boswell, Joe Bova, George Bowes , Bob Brady, Lucy Breslin, John Britt, Sally Brogden, Bill Buckner, Richard Burkett, Jon Burns, Larry Bush, Doug Casebeer, Donna Causland, Ceramics Monthly, Eva Champagne, Andrew Cho, Linda Christianson, Autumn Cipala, Naomi Cleary, Meridith Coen, Nan Coffin, Elaine Coleman, Tom Coleman, Jim Connell, Pat Coughlin, Charlie Cummings, Malcolm Davis, Chandra DeBuse, Josh DeWeese, Eddie Dominguez, Lynn Duryea, TJ Erdahl, Mark Errol, Jana Evans, Lauren Faust, Kathryn Finnerty, Yoshi Fuji, Erin Furimsky, John Glick, Raymond Gonzalez, Heidi Grew, Chris Gustin, Holly Hanessian, Molly Hatch, James Herring, Pam Herring, Jennifer Hill, Anna Calluori Holcombe, Niel Hora, Ayumi Horie, Steve Howell, Matt Hyleck, Sarah Jaeger, Jeremy Jernigan, Drew Johnson, Mark Johnson, Garth Johnson, Brian Jones, Kristen Kieffer, Michael Kline, Phyllis Kloda, Alix Knipe, Lebeth Lammers, Sandy Lance, Martina Lantin, Fritz Lauenstein & June Raymond, Mary Law, Jim Lawton, Simon Levin, Jenny Lind, Suze Lindsay, Matt Long, Jiri Lonsky, Tyler Lotz, Scott Lykens, Andrew Martin, Missy McCormick, Nancy McCroskey, Kent McLaughlin, Joe Molinaro, Mudtools, Kate Murray, Richard Nickel, Kevin Nierman, Richard Notkin, Kelly O’Briant, Mary Obodzinski, Dandee Pattee, Anne Perrigo, Chris Pickett, Don Pilcher, Elise Pincu, Pete Pinnell, Rainbow Gate Pottery, Jeremy Randall, Beau Raymond, Scott Rench, Lee Rexrode, Lindsay Rogers, Chloe Rothwell, Nigel Rudolph, Cheyenne Chapman Rudolph, Cassie Ryalls, Shoji Satake, Kristin Schimik, Mike Schmidt, JoAnn Schnabel, Bonnie Seeman, Nancy Selvin, Leland Shaw, Jane Shellenbarger, Marge Shore, Sandy Simon, Gay Smith, Nan Smith, Collette Smith, Keith Smith, Kevin Snipes, Jane Spangler, Chris Staley, Stephanie Stuefer, Sarah Tancred, Shoko Teruyama, Julie Tesser, Diana Thomas, John Tilton, Sara Truman, Tom Turner, Rimas Visgirda, Mikey Walsh, Wynne Wilbur, Lana Wilson, Varian Wolf, Stephen Wolochowicz, Jenchi Wu, Rosie Wynkoop, Gwendolyn Yoppolo
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Where does the time go??! I had hoped to get a few more things done in between coming home from the Clay Studio of Missoula and taking off again. Oh well, my pregnant belly is forcing me to slow down my usually quick pace. Guess it's preparing me for the BIG changes that are coming in about 9 weeks or so!
Monday, August 2, 2010
(original source unknown. I also added a few notes, examples, and conversions)
Recommended Plaster: #1 Pottery Plaster
How do I calculate how much water or plaster I need?
Calculating volume for solid shapes
For rectangular shapes: Volume = Height x Width x Depth
For circular shapes: Volume = Pi x Radius2 x Height (Note: Pi is apx 3.14. and that's supposed to be radius squared, but I cannot get the text formatting to cooperate.)
Divide the volume by 80 to find the number of quarts of water you will need to make enough plaster.
How much plaster do I add to water for a proper mixture?
The recommended consistency is 7lbs water to 10lbs plaster. So a 7:10 ratio, by weight 2.85lb plaster to 1 qt (2lbs) water (Note: If you want stronger plaster, you can multiply the weight by 3. Softer plaster, multiply the weight by 2.75)
Your mold is 5" x 5" x 4" so your volume is 100 cubic inches.
100 divided by 80 =1.25. You need 1.25 quarts of water
Multiply 1.25 by 2.85 = 3.56. You need 3.56 lbs of plaster.
1/2 quart = 1 lb = 16 oz
1 quart = 2 lbs = 32 oz (above example 1.25 quarts of water= 40 oz. Multiply 1.25 by 32oz )
1 lb = 453.6 g
What method do I use to add plaster to the water?
Always add plaster to water not the reverse!
Sift plaster into water with a spoon or by hand. Continue doing so until a small mountain forms and remains above the water level. Once that mountain forms, let the plaster "soak" for 1-3 minutes. The greater the amount, the longer the soak - anything in a one gallon bucket needs only a minute or so.
Once the soak cycle is complete you can mix the plaster for a couple minutes. In order to get the most consistent mix, it is best to mix the plaster with a hand blender for small batches, or a drill with a mixing attachment for large batches. Mixing by hand is possible, but the smaller air bubbles tend not to release in the mix and might appear in the surface of your mold.
If mixed by a mixer, be sure to mix a bit after by hand to feel the consistency. The plaster is ready to pour in the mold once it changes from watery to creamy. Work quickly before the plaster starts to set.
Keri Radasch also has similar notes on her site and a link to Ian Anderson's guidelines as well.
Friday, July 30, 2010
As soon as I'm caught up a bit I plan to post...
- a residency recap and reflections
- the results of my functional pottery adventures
- photos of the great ceramic work I bought/traded for
- plaster mixing guidelines
More to come!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
One of the requirements as a resident artist at the Clay Studio of Missoula is 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!
It 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.)
They 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 afternoon...
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!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I 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 hybrid-flower-type form.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Met up with current resident artist Courtney Murphy who gave me a tour of the short-term and long-term resident studios. Courtney and I met briefly in Asheville, NC a few years ago through mutual friend and ceramic artist Cassie Ryalls. The ceramics community is amazing! If the rule of 6-degrees of separation is true normally, within ceramics I think it's more like only 3!
It was also great to meet some of the other artists (Kelly Garrett Rathbone, Steven Roberts, Kensuke Yamada, Kevin Snipes, Gwendolyn, Yoppolo, Del Harrow, and Johnathan Read) and see their work in the Resident Artist Exhibition in the Warehouse Gallery. I was blown away by the quality and variety of the work!
Some of Courtney's work from the Resident Artist Exhibition.It was a quick visit, but I'm looking forward to heading back there next Saturday, July 24 for The Bray Bash - thier annual auction and fundraiser.
From The Bray's Website:
"The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts is a public, nonprofit, educational institution founded in 1951 by brickmaker Archie Bray, who intended it to be 'a place to make available for all who are seriously and sincerely interested in any of the branches of the ceramic arts, a fine place to work.' Its primary mission is to provide an environment that stimulates creative work in ceramics. "
If you ever get a chance to go, I highly recommend it! (And I was only there for a short visit!) In addition to offering ceramic workshops and classes, The Bray offers ten 3-4 month short-term summer artist residencies and ten 1-2 year long-term residencies.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tomorrow's 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.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for this residency. Why do I want a residency? I am a full-time studio artist with a fantastic work space just outside the back door at home. But having/needing a place to work isn’t the only reason artists take advantage of the various residency programs that are offered throughout the world. So, I thought it would be helpful for me if I outlined my goals for the next month. This will help keep me focused, even if part of the “focus” is to just to relax and have fun. You know, try to ignore that type-A voice in my head telling me I must create the best, most amazing work while I am here.
This month I hope to…
- meet new people. It’s important to get out, meet other artists, talk with them about their work, answer questions about your work, observe other techniques, and experience other firing methods.
- play! Experiment with all the ideas and techniques that I can’t seem to make time for in the studio at home. Allow myself the time to just be creative without the pressure of making a specific piece or product. I don’t want to go to a new place and keep making the same work.
-stimulate new ideas. Exposure to new people, places and things – I’ve never been to this part of the US until now and am in awe of the beauty and amazing weather. It’s perfect for someone who is inspired by nature and the world around them. (Did I mention that the temp at 8:00am yesterday morning was a crisp 48 F in Missoula, MT and already a steamy 84 F in Ocala, FL?! Or that it doesn’t get dark here until almost 10:30pm! And to think, I packed a flashlight because I was worried about walking home from the studio in the dark. Instead of a flashlight this prego needs one of those black-out face masks to wear to sleep!)
In a nutshell, my goals are not on product, but on process and experience. So, it’s time to head to the studio to start unpacking and meeting the other residents.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I know my studio days will be full and I will need to be focused to accomplish my goals. Working with clay involves coordinating a fairly tight timeline of making, drying, firing, and glazing.
The other part of me is already a bit homesick. One month seems like a long time to be away from home and my husband. It’s not like we’ve never spent time apart. Heck! The whole first 2 ½ years of our relationship was long-distance.
It’s just that he is my sounding board. He knows how to inspire me and help with the practical challenges. And he knows how to relax and support me like no one else! But we both understand what an important opportunity this is for me, my art, and my career. So, when I received an offer to come out here, he was behind it 110%.
Today is Day 1 and I’m ready to let the month begin! I arrived safe and sound last night and started the process of getting settled into my new home. I have a relaxing day ahead of me before moving into the studio tomorrow. I’m looking forward to days full of new friends, stimulating conversations, good food, studio inspiration, and amazing weather!
Actually, the opposite is true. I believe the plaques are getting better with each firing. I have a lot fewer “duds” – tiles that just don’t work for one reason or another. Warping seems to be under control. The patterns and line-work are stronger. And most glaze problems have been resolved.
I’ve been making these plaques for 4 years now. People often ask how long I will continue to make new ones. And the answer is the same for all my work. I will continue to make them as long as I feel challenged creatively and I see room for growth and improvement. When I get bored or dread the process, it’s time to move on to something new.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
And I'm on my way to The Clay Studio of Missoula for a one-month residency!
Wish us luck!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
(Cut, burn and polyurethane wood backings... check!)
So, I finally sat down and took control of my to-do list! Feeling overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done before I leave on Saturday, I divided my list up into daily tasks. This has made managing my time much more productive! Now I know I’ve got time set aside to finish the work in the studio, pack and relax with my hubby before flying out west.
(Organize to-do list.... check!)
I’ve got around 60 glazed tiles cooling in the kiln right now. The metal and wood backings are finished and the tiles should be cool enough to unload this afternoon. I’m right on schedule! Whew! It’s amazing what can be accomplished with the pressure from a deadline.
(Cut and polyurethane metal. Attach to wood backings... check!)
Ok, I’m off to yoga (ahhh!) and to run some errands while the kiln is hot.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
So, I'm taking my baby bump out west to Big Sky Country for a bit of an adventure. I'm looking forward to having a month to just explore and create. I have so many ideas and techniques that I want to investigate! The plan is to continue developing the current direction of my work; new sculptural forms I started during my post-bacc at UF.
And the timing is perfect! Not only am I grateful to have an opportunity to do this before the baby comes, but I'll still be in my 2nd trimester (aka the "honeymoon phase of pregnancy") so energy will be up and I'll be feeling great.
So, we've got a whirlwind week ahead as I pack and prepare for this amazing opportunity. Thank you!