Saturday, September 29, 2007

Photos

The Kiln Unloaders: Susan, Becky and me....happy people!

Dia de los Muertos skulls or as Becky called them, and I like: Butterfly skulls, letter pots....
Cat box, wall hanging, more letter pots and mugs...

A ranch for you, wall piece....I really love this one. See Move Forward Post of the raw version and bisque version....
Close up of some of the Butterfly Dia de los Muertos skulls.....I am really happy with the dreamy surfaces...

Surprise...dinner!!! Yum, steak was good. And check out the nails....A friend suggest pedicures/manicures today and I did it....haven't in years and it was fun.
















Kiln load turned out great!!

I unloaded this morning around 11am or so. Liesel was "on call" in case there was not someone at the studio who could help me unload it.

So I arrived, placed my hand on the side of the kiln and it was cool. Yeah. And I peeked in to the top layer, and I was excited to see the wall hanging- A ranch for you - BUT I could not open the lid all the way because it was not spring loaded, the way the newer kilns are...but, one of the kids' parents -who was waiting for class to end - came on by and lifted it for me. (Help is there when I need it!!!)

So we started talking- he was asking me questions about the piece...which was fun. Again how perfect when unloading my first kiln as a studio artist, to have someone really curious and just as excited about the pieces!!!

And then I cleared off a cart to use, and by the time I was finished, Becky and Susan came around the corner to see the unloading and to help. It was soo perfect!!! They really "get it" and are just as excited, interested and new to this as me!!!

So we spent a lot time looking at the pieces as they came out...kids from class coming by wanting to help- but that was too many hands in the pot- ha, so to speak, and told the kids they should get back to class.

The parent that was there from the beginning, hung around through it all- and said at the end, It is just like a birthday- all these things to open!! And surprises. And it was! Perfect. Such a sense of community and working together, interested and supportive. Really perfect.

Photos coming later....I am cooking a steak for dinner....

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kiln is not cooled off

Being new to this and in a kiln that does not have a temperature reading, I did not know if I could open it yet. The side was really warm, but ok to touch ...but there was a lot of heat in there yet and I want it to cool slowly. So tomorrow morning I will open the kiln.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Focusing on a detail

Greg Scott has taught me about this crucial piece when creating. And hearing it is one thing, experiencing it is another.

The other day while glazing the Dia de los muertos skulls I was not enjoying Painting Inside the Lines, and so decided to try some different approaches. So in getting ready for the glaze kiln, which is cooking right now!, I applied oxides in the layers and loose strokes that I enjoy. After doing about 5 of the skulls like that, I suddenly felt like I should stop. I felt nervous, perhaps I am taking it too far, what happens if they look bad, or I don't like them. Essentially I had gone as far as I could painting outside the lines.

So I painted the others mostly inside the lines, but I will say for myself, I was a bit more free with the paint. I found it funny to observe how far I allowed myself to venture outside the "comfort zone."

When I returned to the swirly skulls, I remembered something Greg had shared the other day when I talked about not enjoying painting inside the lines. He had suggested after finishing the surface, choose one detail and pull it out.

So I did that, and it completely transformed the loose swirly skulls....the swirls and layers suddenly had meaning and place and order against the one element I had pulled out from the butterfly wing. And then I wished I had more to do than just 5!!!

What a great experience..I got it! I just love them, and am so excited to see them tomorrow when they emerge from their cocoon/kiln!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

First Glaze Kiln

Julie and I loaded my first kiln. I felt much better about the process this time around..knowing I would need help and it just felt better. I also understood where I could help and not...and so the discomfort was markedly less. And I am sure someone will be around (at least I am putting it out there...) on Friday when I can unload it...And Julie helped me document it by taking some photos...so here they are-










There were four layers and this is the smallest kiln in the studio, which worked perfect for me. I also have an understanding now of how much work I need to make to load this kiln... Again exhausted from the past couple days getting into the studio after working all day to finish glazing everything. But now eagerly anticipating Friday......

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dia de los Muertos

The other day one of the students was looking at my work and then noticed the skulls I made for Day of the Dead. The reaction went something like: "OH, these are going to give me nightmares tonight." and a few other similar comments.

I immediately found myself responding, saying that Day of the Dead is not meant to be scary, but is a time of celebration. I have to admit I felt sort of defensive.

Later I remembered my own experience with Day of the Dead skull work.

About 3 or 4 years ago, I had visited a local shop called Pura Vida and saw the Dia de los Muertos figurines and artwork and felt like they were voodoo things or something weird. Really perplexed and not understanding them at all. Felt quite uneasy with them actually!!

When a couple years ago my brother died, that event significantly changed my relationship with death. So early winter or early this year, I had stopped by the shop again and saw those figurines. Well this time I was fascinated. And actually purchased a skull bracelet.

Well, I was inspired too because next thing I knew I was pinching out all these Dia de los Muertos skulls at the studio (people at the studio who did not know, were asking me if I was alright!!!) And I did a ton of research on the web and the more I learned the more I felt that this was an awesome tradition and festival. It has been significant and healing for me to discover the meanings and history of Dia de los Muertos.

Earlier today I was listening to Eckhart Tolle, and he said something that furthered my connection to Dia de los Muertos
...when culture denies death...it becomes shallow and superficial....When death is denied, life loses its depth. the possibility of knowing who we are beyond name and form, the dimension of transcendent, disappears from our lives because death is the opening of that dimension.

I have felt such a connection to Day of the Dead because I love that is a part of the culture, a regular annual event. How they embrace it: life and death together. A time to celebrate and honor our ancestors and those we have lost now. Integrated into the culture.

My experience of death in this culture has been quite different, I have felt like there is no acceptable place after the funeral to express and explore feelings. Sure there are groups...but that too is segregated and not a time necessarily of celebration or remembering. So I feel a huge disconnect from everyone. the skulls provide a place to reconnect, and an opportunity to engage with death, bring it back to our culture....not as morbid or scary, but as celebratory, a part of life.
Tonight, I will be completing the skulls too with a new approach to their surface design. No more having to paint inside the lines. See post September 20th.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Move forward!

Working on a recently fired wall hanging, A ranch for you, I think will be the title, I was reminded to move forward even if I do not have all the answers.

I was thinking about how to glaze this piece:

And I had some ideas and gathered my thoughts, but I didn't have all the glazing ideas complete. I must have sat in front of my shelf thinking of the different options I could take for a long time. I could have given up on even glazing it then, but something inside said, almost exasperated: just start it.

So I did and as I moved forward, answers were provided. I knew they were right, just a gut thing. An excitement, yea that is it.

And then I was excited because again, I learned a life lesson by working with clay.

I can have some answers, know where I am going (glaze the piece) but I do not need to fill every color, as I am doing it, I will know what to do....

And here is the piece now, I will pour clear glaze over it..parts are waxed (green areas) and will not take the glaze, other parts will interact with the clear glaze-"washing" away or changing its present color and/or design....the colors now are not representative of the final colors. I am very excited to see this after it fires....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oh I don't have to paint inside the lines?!

Last night I was at the studio- looking in on Amy Sanders' class and working on painting my Dia de los Muertos skulls. With my lastest series I had drawn butterflies on their heads and painting them took more attention with all the designs and patterns I had drawn..and I was not enjoying it at all!!! It felt like work staying inside those lines.

A fellow potter came by, Pete, and I was complaining to him. And then another friend Liesel came by and said something like, well if you are not enjoying it the universe is telling you that is not the way for you.
OH? OK!!! Right, why did I assume I had to paint in the lines? Very funny the assumptions we work on in our lives!! My favorite creations are pieces I have a conversation with, where I continue to explore whatever I am expressing in that piece.
My bottom shelf is filled with unglazed work from over the years. Which I find interesting. There was never an answer to how they should be glazed.
And when I started exploring these pinch pots and the surface design, what opened up for me was it was continually evolving, and alive at each step... Creating the piece, glazing it and even during the firing...because even then it changed again. If you look at the last post, one of the first pieces I did, what thrilled me so much was I wanted to explore the surface and glazing. There was an answer for me. I never knew what would burn to the surface or not. And I find that is what I love about these pieces.

In this photo below, another thrilling thing I found is the copper oxide that was applied on the inside would have a conversation/interaction with the clear glaze applied on the surface, turning green in parts, black in others, and not interacting in others, so ALIVE.
Back to those pieces on the bottom shelf,... after the piece was created, it died for me ...there was no answer or life to them in the glazing. No doubt I was still exploring and learning...but it obviously was not the way for me, it was not ME....they were pieces that taught me about how to construct work..the technical aspects...which is needed...but I had yet to find the work that would come to life for me.

So, when I found out last night that I did not have to paint inside the drawn lines of the butterflies, and I could apply the same brush strokes and surface design I enjoy- that feel layered and filled with memory and time (not boundaries and restrictions)...well the life surged back in - and I am excitedly looking forward to seeing what happens to the Dia de los Muertos Skulls and their next life!!!
One of my favorite raku pinch pots. This fits into your cupped hand.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First work

When I first started this current pinch pot exploration...well how does one define a start date? Because the pink pinch pot made in 2005 at Penland feels like the beginning.

I loved finding pinch pots and the act of pinching..Paulus Berenson joined us at one of the workshops, thank you to Alice Ballard- as he was a key influence for her work. And I worked with and loved terra sig and low fire. But when I returned to Charlotte and the Clayworks studio as a student, I did not see an opportunity to explore it. I tried a bit with the oversight of my teacher Amy Sanders, but it did not go anywhere....


But the pinch pot above came out of me this year March 2007. I really had not delved into clay in a huge way since the Penland trip. I still took classes and did the projects and learned, but it was a lot of slab work and did not feel like ME.

See, during the Penland workshop two days prior to the end I learned that my only brother died unexpectedly. So I really spent almost two years just going through the motions.

It is a funny story how I found pinching again. Earlier this spring 2007, Julie Wiggins (an awesome artist), the studio manager, had posted notes that class shelf space was tight and we needed to get back to one shelf if you had migrated to two (which I had done). And I was so mad too as to how it was communicated...which was nothing really, except my feeling really sensitive as it was not even two years yet since my brother's death. Anyway.......

So I cleaned my shelf and found the pinch pots I had made at the studio in the fall of 2005 but never finished, not even fired. So I just went for it, put oxides on them, scratched a note to Julie in it- getting emotions out, but the writing looked great too and fired them...and they came out GREAT!!! and thus lead me to the photo above...white with deep burgundy oxide on it...

The black that is showing on the outside is from lines made inside, coated with copper iron oxide and then it burns through in some places during firing. I never know what is going to burn through and am surprised by the lines that show and don't.

Again, like memory, or communication, and time. We hold these memories inside, thoughts, feelings emotions, some show through, others don't. Burn in us. through us.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Professional photos arrived!

I have the disk and am so excited to see the work! I added a few to flickr: you can go there to view them. http://www.flickr.com/photos/13706894@N05/1398879995/ I will be adding to this site too.

My camera battery died, so I have no photos of the latest kiln. But there are some juicy pinch pots. The terra sig looks awesome. Lickable!! (I am not the first to describe them this way. Amy Sanders talked about how her terra sig looked that way, and I have to agree!)

Memories- part of what I explore through pottery. I saw a friend today completely relaxed and slouching, feet up in a big living room chair. Just a passing glimpse. For some reason my heart panged. I just don't do that. Getting out of the chair and into that position is really not possible, I would fall to the ground the way they were positioned. And it had an air of just flopping down and landing that way. I would have to transfer, position my legs, scoot to the right angle...and by that time I have expended so much energy, well immediacy is gone. And then I want to stay there a long time...make it worth the effort.

I just felt that pang of missing such easy going chair flopping.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Kiln is not cooled off

I arrived at the studio today at 9:30ish, eager to view the temperature and it was still at 670F, when I left at 6p, it had cooled to 350F- when I could finally crack the lid and start speeding up the cooling process. Liesl and I returned at 7:30 thinking by 8:30 or 9 it would be ready to unload, but no, we left it at 266F....so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

So tomorrow at 11 am...we get to unload!

Friday, September 14, 2007

My teacher's solo show

Liesl and I went to Statesville to the Iredell County Museum http://www.iredellmuseums.org/to see Amy Sanders' http://theretherepottery.blogspot.com/first solo show. It is worth a visit!! Check out some of her work- this was both Liesl and my favorites called Soon? 1,2 & 3...









Saw lots of friends from Clayworks: Ron Philbeck http://pottersjournal.blogspot.com/ , Julie Wiggins, Penny and Alyssa, who are no longer at the studio but still practicing in their own home studios. Penny said, "Take the leap!"

and here is Amy with me and her pieces in the backdrop, one of which I purchased - very exciting!

Liesl and I had a great conversation afterwards...one of the things she opened me up to was finding a way to bring in an exploration of a spinal cord injury-- how that affects me moving through this world, moving through time...and how we all have our own specific physical way of doing it.....and exploring that aspect through clay (of course!)

And it is odd to me that it came up..in that I have been wondering how to bring that into my work. Having a SCI is so physical in its demands and way to interact with this world...so I have some great ideas percolating after our talk...we will see what happens in my work!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Kiln loaded

Julie, Liesl and I loaded the bisque kiln today...very excited to see the terra sig pieces on Sat. afternoon.

Julie was great about finding ways to let me help...bringing over the posts and some student work....or handing pieces off to her so she did not have to move far from the kiln.

When I am sitting there watching it is a bit uncomfortable, I want to be able to help, instead of just watching someone else do the work. Making sure to get out of the way at the right times, but also looking for ways to pitch in... But I am going to have to get over it...I am not sure how this is going to work out...because it is will be with each and every kiln load and unload....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Terra sig is applied

I made it, siphoned it, and applied it to my pots. I had a great time with the process. Applied oxides on the pots- crocus martis, cobalt carbonate, cobalt oxide, nickel and light rutile.....white terra sig and then some pink terra sig. I am so excited.

Again, find myself thinking about time, memory. The layers I applied had a hilly rolling look to them....like layers of earth or layers of hills....memories are like that to me. And time how it rounds things out, soften and blurs edges, memories...experiences.

Tomorrow they will be loaded into the kiln and Sat I will see them....pictures to follow soon!!

OH and toward the end of tonight, on my last sweet little pot, I polished it too much and it broke, and it was my favorite. And then right after, spilled the pink mixture of terra sig. I knew then to call it a night. Of course, one of the potters at the studio, John, helped my clean up by getting the mop and bucket...always help is there when I need it!!! No matter how many times it happens, why am I always surprised by it? Still learning to trust, perhaps.

I am reading a GREAT book: one foot in eden, by Ron Rash- and he is exploring time and memories- and poetically so- this takes place in the 1950s in southern appalachia-- and he looks over the rolling mountains filled with his family and history and memories...Carolina Power is going to be flooding that valley -although that is not the main subject of the book, and he writes:

I hoped I would be in that grave before they built the reservoir so when the water rose it would rise over me and Daddy and Momma and over Old Ian Alexander and his wife Mary and over the lost body of the princess named Jocassee and the Cherokee mounds and the trails De Soto and Bartram and Michaux had followed and the meadows and streams and forests they had described and all would forever vanish and our faces and names and deeds and misdeeds would be forgotten as if we and Jocassee had never been.

Beautiful...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Terra Sig is made!!

After coming home from work at 6:30, I raced around so I could go to the studio. It took me an hour- changing clothes was a good 15 minutes...not the easiest thing to do when seated 100% of the time...I figure I should add another at least 2 hours to my day for all the stuff that takes longer: getting in and out of the car, bathroom breaks, changing clothes...etc.

So by 7:30 I was back in my car and on the way to the studio. I had to go in tonight since the terra sig rested for over 48 hours...

I was not sure how it would work out, no water was left on top and I did not use a clear container so I could see the layers!! AND the bucket was on the floor...so many beginner mistakes. It is important to not mix up the sig after it has settled and to siphon off the good layer - well it has to be higher than where it is going....so of course...floor bad idea.

AND again - my great studio was there, Greg Scott helped me after teaching his class. He was able to move it for me up to a table slowly and without disturbing it too much. I just felt lucky that I was not at the studio alone- I would have felt frustrated looking at the terra sig and wondering how I was going to get it out, feeling silly for putting it on the floor in a NOT clear container...I could have scooped it, but this being my first time, I did not want to risk it. So it worked out - I had the help I needed.... but next time a little better planning. So I can do it by myself if I want to.....
But there is also the lesson of trusting that what I need will be there when I need it.
Funny related story...the other day my car was basically on empty. So I HAD to stop at the station, and normally, I will find someone to ride with me so they can pump my gas.... ...because I really do not like getting out of the car and right back in...take so much time and effort.
So I get out pump it, and as I am getting back in to the car, I am all frustrated, I happen to be on a slight hill so the chair and all are not as stable....and so my frustration builds and I find myself thinking: Oh sure, I am offered help all the time when I don't need it, where is everyone when I could use it. No one ever offers at the gas station...on and on I go!!! And then just as I am in, a man leans over and asks if I need helping pumping gas!!! NO KIDDING.
So I am so excited about the terra sig- I have it on a few pieces for testing....and they came out great!!! I have been waiting for two years- since taking the class at Penland with Alice Ballard to explore terra sig. Here is a piece I made two years ago-

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Accessible shelving

When I joined the studio as a studio artist, transitioning from student, Clayworks built shelving that would work for me. Normal shelving is 10feet, and I have two 5 foot shelves as pictured here- five foot shelf next to the 10 footer. It is so great to have the shelving, again I am grateful for a studio committed to accessibility--Adrienne Dellinger is the director and made sure from day one that the studio was accessible to a wheelchair, even before my arrival.
You may not be able to tell, but the bottom shelf is not as close to the floor as the others. This way my feet fit underneath there a bit, and allow me to get closer to the shelf straight on, instead of always having to sit sideways and transfer materials and such. Makes a huge difference in stability, comfort and ease!!

Today at the studio, I am working to be ready to fire a bisque kiln on Thursday. So I worked on 10 of my letter pots-
I pinch these pots, then paint crocus martis oxide on them and then with a needle tool, inscribe them. These are quite dear to me, as they are letters to my brother, who died two years ago. It is a way to remain connected and include him in my daily life here. But what I find I am also exploring is memory, and communication. After these are bisque fired, I will apply clear glaze over them in parts...and under the glaze, the words are sort of blended away, erased underneath the clear glaze, - that is like memory to me. All the details do not necessarily remain over time, and the same with communication. Bits and pieces are forgotten, or not heard by another. Here is an example - bad lighting, sorry, but you can see how the glazed areas turn brownish and smudge out the writing.


The professional photos I just had taken, will show this much better....those are to arrive soon!

Making glaze and terra sig

After waiting a half an hour at the pottery shop -Carolina Clay Connection http://www.carolinaclay.com/ - in my car, as the store is inaccessible to a wheelchair, and after calling in my order in advance half an hour prior to my wait, I had my ingredients to make a clear glaze and the terra sig. It was my first time making the glaze. I was making a batch of terra sig that used 14 cups water and 1500 grams of materials and Julie at the studio helped me transfer the mixture to the next bucket with the screen in it. ARggh needing so much help with all this clay stuff. It is so physical- which I love and hate.

During college -too many years ago!-- I made my college money in the summers working with College Pro painters,...moving and positioning ladders, climbing up and down, mixing 5 gallon buckets of paint. I helped my father and brother mix cement to set posts for our deck, I like working physically. So this is frustrating that I can't.

But I am going to be positive! even if mildly frustrating, clay is worth it!!! ..and there is always pit/smoke firing yet to explore...for possible maximum independence. Nonetheless, everyone at the studio is soo eager to help and find solutions. Great community!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Working from Home

During the week, I do not always make it to the studio. My full time job at the Greater Carolinas Red Cross keeps me very busy during the day. So after a jammed day, it is nice to be at home. So my dining room space serves as my working space.

And it works well since I do a lot of pinching pots. So I do not need a huge elaborate set up.

In this picture are pieces that are yet to be fired. So I have to get them safely to the studio for firing.


And I can listen to the best radio station: WNCW http://www.wncw.org/, which Clayworks studio does not get, unfortunately! Music is important!! A few other angles:




Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Why I don't load a kiln by myself

Using a wheelchair for the past 18 years as a spinal cord injured, now 39 year old, prevents me from loading the kilns at the studio as there are no front load electric kilns. As a student, it worked well because students do not load kilns.
















But now as a studio artist, I am responsible for my own kiln loading and unloading. I am smack up against needing help to accomplish my goal.


Luckily I work at studio where they are committed to ensuring I can work as independently as possible. And they are looking to bring in a front loader electric kiln! and accessible pottery wheel- that's right I have never been on the wheel.


From what I can tell, a lot of pottery can include a lot of work that is quite wheelchair unfriendly. Not impossible, but challenging. Heavy clay. Physical. Rough settings. I am not interesting in that. My daily challenges are enough. I am constantly requested to be flexible, creative, innovative in my daily life to do life's basic necessities- go to the bathroom, get into a room or house, establishment. I do not want to explore it when loading the kiln.


So instead rigging some solution for loading, I get help.


Part of me does not like it. Depending like this. Arranging with someone else's schedule. Not being able to run in and see the newly fired pieces when I want to...having to wait for help. So much organizing and arranging. Feels like loss of choice.


The other day I was suddenly yearning for a pit firing. Most of my work right now is pinched - a primitive method of producing vessels, and so it seems natural to explore pit firings-a primitive firing method. And then I realized I could do it by myself. My work is small- fits in a the hand. So I could easily place sawdust, oxides, other stuff, wood and such into a pit or oil drum....I was practically salivating at the thought. complete control from soup to nuts. So I am going to do it. Maybe what I pursue and explore are a lot of pit firings ....

Monday, September 3, 2007

Studio day

As I work full time, I spend nights and weekends working at the studio: Clayworks Studio and Gallery. http://clayworksinc.org. With today being Labor day, I was able to spend the whole day working with clay. Liesl, a fellow potter, was there and shared some of her new low fire clay. I am eager to explore it again (see post from yesterday, Sept 2)

Today, Liesl and I signed up for a bisque kiln on Sept 13, another step forward for me. As up until 2 months ago, I worked as a student as the studio. That meant, I never had to worry about loading the kiln. I just placed my work on the shelf and waited until it was done.

So this is a new rhythm to get used to. And signing up for the kiln, helps organize and structure the creation and moving of work. There is a deadline...now I know what I need to do and when. So I would like to have the terra sig made this week so I can experiment with it on the low fire clay.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Photo session

Diane and her friend, and assistant for the session, Pam, were great! They were fun to be with and took time to ensure the best shots and provided insight and input. Here are some behind the scenes photos:
And many thanks to Shane Martin http://www.blackboxstudios.net/ for the use of her studio and equipment for this session! And loved your dog that knows commands in Turkish!! (to see this huge dog, go to the website, he welcomes you in several poses, really fun!)
I have no regrets for the session. My work shined in its role on the paper fade-to-dark stage. I am excited to finally have professionally documented my work. And it really helped to go through the process. Huge learning experience...and I am sure it continues...

Work certainly looks different under those bright lights!! New things popped up that I never saw before. Some resisted being on that stage. I am not sure of the intricacies of this process yet, but to help reduce some of the shine of the glaze on some of the pieces , Diane would spray on a chemical that would lessen the shine. It worked great with some and others resisted it; insisting on being who it was without muffling. And others once placed on the "stage" ...(I like thinking of it as the pieces' time to perform), ...sang like never I heard before!!

Wow, one piece just came alive. And it was a special piece, as it really was the first one I ever created that started my exploration down this path of pinched pottery. I made it at Penland http://penland.org/ in 2005 while taking Alice Ballard's class http://aliceballardmunn.com/. And it was so nice to come full circle and see that piece shine under the lights. It was if the piece knew it too and finally received the recognition it deserved. I have known I wanted to explore terra sig again. (see Alice's explanation of terra sig: http://www.aliceballardmunn.com/terra-sigillata.html Or for a more detailed history: Vince Pitelka has a great description, history and recipe -although a bit more involved than I need: http://web.tntech.edu/wpitelka/professional/terra_sig.htm)

I will post the awesome photo once I have it back from the photographer. This sweet pinched pot loves the photography studio! I love the texture of terra sig. So calming.
I am now looking forward to receiving the photos from Diane and having those images in my possession. For this site, for sharing with friends, developing marketing materials, applying to juried shows, and having my work documented and who knows what else.... Feels like a good strong step forward.
Thank you Amy for encouraging me to do it. Thank you Crista for asking your friend and making the call to bring it all together.

Choosing work to photograph

Amy Sanders http://theretherepottery.com, and I enjoyed our coffees (from Starbucks http://starbucks.com thank you Amy) and reviewed the pieces I had selected.

Amy provided great insight into grouping options, detail to capture, angles, and yes, do include the skull work, even if it is a completely different style. And she suggested a couple fun ways to display the skulls. She also provided encouragement for this emerging artist. And finally-- yes, taking photos of my work, is a great step to take NOW. So while the price feels steep, I know it is the right thing to do and worth the investment.

And Diane, the photographer, http://www.dianedavisphoto.com just called me to confirm the time and give me directions. So only moments away from the shoot and I am excited. Both Amy and Diane have shared that I will discover my miniature pinched pots again, and gain valuable insight from a photographer's viewpoint.

I'll post photos from the shoot later.

First photos of work

I have been working since March to develop a cohesive body of work. Since June, my teacher of 4 years, Amy Sanders http://theretherepottery.blogspot.com/, has encouraged me to take the next step and photograph my evolving and developing body of work. It has been on my list of to do. I have been asking and looking around, not finding the right person. Suddenly this morning, over breakfast with friends, it came together. The photographer was in town, she brought her camera, the friend's borrowed studio was available. With a 1:30p session scheduled, I set about selecting 20 pieces to bring to the session. I was excited!!!

Back at the studio looking at all my work, it was then I started to have doubts. 20 pieces are hard to choose, I first realized. Should I include other work?, which is starkly different. What about pieces I really liked from the past years, but have not explored, but could...Then I began to have other doubts. It will be $350.00 for the session, that is a chunk of change for me. Maybe I should wait. I am developing new pieces...on and on. But my friend Anna said: Do it.

So I meet with Amy tomorrow morning prior to the session. She can help answer these questions.

And then off to the session...and I am told that it will be 10 minutes per piece. 20 pieces...so that is about 3 hours!!!


(Two pieces on the left made it to the session!! Should I include the Dia de los Muertos Skulls pictured on the right?)