Saturday, October 27, 2007

Day of the Dead event at Pura Vida

It was a cute event at the store. A huge alter was made with food, flowers, and lots of other items. Really colorful. In the back of the store many artists were represented with different types of work...and my skulls. Becky and Liesel from the studio came by, and so did Amy Sanders, but I missed her because I left about 5 minutes before she arrived!!! Bummer.

It was great to everyone stop by and be so supportive. Here is a photo of Liesel and me next to my pieces- the little guys on the stand...and some on the shelf. They look so small!

So first outside of Clayworks event down....and the skulls will be on sale through December, I am curious as to how they will do...

Now that I am thinking more about it, I am not sure what I was feeling while there...shy? because on the alter were some of my skulls, and I did not even take a photo!! Weird. I will have to return and capture more images...especially as it is a first!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New skulls

Since my entire supply is now at Pura Vida, I need more and here are the next series. I purchased placemats that kids can color and they have inspired my skull surfaces. But I am still sticking with the Butterflies....

Check around the development...
so after these dry- they are only halfway dry in this picture. I will fire them. Then I brush a black colorant on them: black copper oxide. And then I will apply other colors- other oxides and underglazes on them....and fire again. A lot of steps for these little guys.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Work displayed at Pura Vida

Ok I am very excited about this development!! I summoned the courage months ago and after a series of missed calls, waiting etc. today I met with the owner of this cute shop in Plaza Midwood, Pura Vida . Every year she has a Dia de los Muertos celebration, with all the pieces: a huge alter with flowers, food, photos- she invites the public to bring photos of those they loved and have moved on from this world, - pets, family, friends, movie stars even- she said, and those photos are placed on the alter.

She provides free to those attending the event the traditional day of the dead bread- which is about 6x6" and looks like a skull or cross bones....And she invites local artist to display their artwork, and I am one of them!!! Saturday, October 27 from 7-9:30 is the opening night event

I left today 20 pieces- my Dia de los Muertos skulls and she will display them on the alter and in the display room for artists (the shop also sells a lot of merchandise upfront in the regular shop- cool stuff from Mexico, Europe, Asia, --from jewelry, home decor, books. clothing.) I have been following her shop since it opened years ago...

And here is where my story begins with the reason I even create skulls. See my post

I find this so gratifying and am so grateful for the opportunity to have these Dia de los Muertos skulls displayed in a place and occasion where they will be understood....very exciting.

I was looking at these placemats that you can color and there were different scenes from the day of the dead on them. And one had butteflies- Monarchs -with the question under them: Ever wonder why the Monarchs during their annual migration return to Mexico around the same time of the Day of the Dead: November 1. Which if you look outside right now, you will see Monarchs making their way south...I have been intrigued and completely awed by their migration and feat for years. I would love to create a Monarch Waystation -a place friendly for them since they are losing so much habitat from our enormous land taking, they are losing places to land to eat and lay eggs.

And if you saw some of the latest photos of the skulls you will see that I was suddenly drawing butterflies on them. And thank you to my Mom who for Christmas gave me two books all about butterflies so I could draw them on my pottery. Which was very thoughtful of butterfly fascination goes way back!!!
Here is another: a good idea of all the guys I left at Pura Vida.....And you can buy one too, if you want from the shop . So I am revelling in the synchronicity of the question about the Monarchs and my long time fascination of them...appearing on the skulls. AND I am just realizing now, that Monarchs do return to Mexico....the culture of the day of the dead festival......

I am really looking forward to participating and joining the shop on Saturday for the opening night activities. It will be so fun to see this event live and in action, after exploring it for the past 6 months or so in clay...

Hope you will join me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kiln was ready!

What a surprise. Here are some photos...

Not sure where I am going yet with these larger swirling pots...but I really like working with the Terra Sig and enjoy applying the oxides on them...what is it all about? I don't know....

Unfortunately my camera insisted on new batteries midway in taking these I did not get a picture of the insides of these pots, which are really nice..stay tuned for more.

One last shot....the Letter Series....much larger than what I have been doing-as you can see by the little pieces next to the large I will apply a clear glaze to them and fire again, and part of the words will blur, which I love....all part of the memory, time communication thing I seem to like to explore....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Learning patience again

and again and again. Because the glazing Thursday night took longer than I thought it would, and so I missed my load time Thursday night. And because I have to have help, it had to be loaded in the morning. Julie loaded it for me, which was really nice, and I even did not have to come by.

But during these moments I can't help but think, if I could load a kiln by myself, it wouldn't matter when I finished, I would not be tied to the schedules of others. It is probably only another day's wait...Monday instead of really it is not a big deal. I just find these thoughts arising whenever I cannot do it by myself. Such a loss of flexibility and choice, is how it feels. I certainly develop patience. AND learn that things happen in the right time. At least that is what I focus on, otherwise I would continue the feelings of frustration, loss of choice. And I don't want to feel that way....sooooo and I learn that others will and want to help...even though I want to be able to do it by myself!!

And Here is a photo of the kiln and you can see the fire inside. It's HOT in there....during the winter these kilns are really nice to stand next too, summer...well you can only imagine how hot it is in the non-airconditioned studio!!
And here are the pieces of my next Cat Box. I have to wait for them to set up so I can put them back together into a box.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Next kiln

I forgot my camera again. and work is waiting to fire for the bisque, but I also have some low fire stuff that already has a lot of surface design on probably can see those on Sunday evening....

I did not get the kiln started tonight, like I wanted, because the work took longer to glaze than I expected. But lots of new ideas and will be fun to see the larger bowls...

more this weekend, when I plan on spending lots of time in the studio...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Selling work

My friend Lee just purchased several pieces tonight, which was really great to have my work purchased. But I found it nerve wracking during the process. I hear this commentary in my head when the other person is looking at it..judgements I have made about the work. Thinking oh, I really did not like how that surface turned out, or that was just a test piece or I love that piece....

I remember this past spring during the sale at the studio (my first), a friend bought a piece and you will not believe this, but I ACTUALLY said, "Oh, that is my least favorite piece" CRINGE right!! WHERE did that come from. I felt soooo bad saying it....I did not like the effects on it, but ...someone else did. And who am I to judge their taste?

As soon as I said it, I had a feeling like a punch in the gut. I have thought about that experience so much. And some of that same punch in the gut feeling I felt again tonight, but I mostly bit my tongue. Pieces that I LOVED and when my friend was looking at them, I felt my insides shift in a good way, because I was proud of it and had judged it successful. Yet, my friend was not interested in those pieces. End of story, really.

And so I seem to be learning, possibly the hard way, -- Isn't the work viable because it was expressed, completed..., and that is the end of it. I know I did my best on each piece....
Once I feel a piece is complete, I think releasing my feelings and attachments to it is required so I can allow it to now react with whoever it will,.. however it will.

But it feels really hard.

Maybe I need a little releasing ceremony?

Some Dia de los Muertos skulls that are now on to their new journey ...

A few other pieces on a new path....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Large letter pots

Finally some photos of the larger pots I am red thumb for size.....
It was harder at first to write larger, so my first line is a bit awkward, and then I get into the flow of here is the first letter pot....
Here are a few others - small one's again, that fit in the palm of your hand. I am playing around with terra sig and oxides underneath and sanding them. This photo really does them no justice because there are layers of information available...subtle flowing and textures to see and enjoy.
The sanding I love and happened upon "by accident" tonight. I had applied some pink terra sig on top of the white and felt it was too much. After sanding them, I found a whole new sense of memory/time and history in my pots. Looks like they are weathered ...which is something I love...for instance, I love people's smile lines- and wrinkles in their faces...I love barns for their ability to stand time and look beautiful in a field -weathered. My favorite picture frame is one made out of old barn wood, that my brother made...all weathered and stunning!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Patience, focus and do what you love

I had a great conversation this morning with Adrienne Dellinger (you should check out her work, and take any chance to talk to her about her new focus in clay, I find it so interesting, the way she is making it, the connection and history.).

As background, the other day I received within days of each other my Ceramics Monthly and then Ceramics Times magazines. After flipping through them and viewing all the work, I felt so overwhelmed by the work out there, and by all there is do- apply for....there are just some incredible artists and ceramics, and in my infant stages of exploring clay, I feel intimidated and wonder what am I even thinking, when there are all these awesome expressions in clay out there!!! I just want to give the whole thing up!

And that is when I decided to stop my subscriptions to both. It is just too much information and I do not like having thoughts that my work doesn't "live up" to that work in the magazines. And it is SO much information to process and I don't want to. I don't like feeling it. I feel like I just have to block it out and just explore and do what I am doing.

When I told this to Adrienne, she completely understood...and said just follow what you love in clay, do it, explore it and you will be successful.

How many times have I heard this? Have you? It feels cliche but that is why, it is TRUE.

Then I started thinking about how clay itself teaches me about patience and focus. Clay will not go faster than it will is hard to push it (anything is possible) but it doesn't like it. I have to be in its rhythm-not distracted by what the world is doing- at least I like it best when I am. My pieces feel right.

Has anyone else cancelled their subscriptions?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Photos of new work

I am working making these larger pots...keep forgetting the photos...but will post some tomorrow.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

And the pie lives on

The pie was enjoyed by us all!!! It was DElicious. Here are some photos of us enjoying it.

Birthday candles and all....the big 6 0 for Dad. Look how flat that pie is now....after all that height. But it is a heavy pie. and Dad still has strong lungs to blow all those candles!

The demolished pie.... and Happy Birthday Dad!

Here's Dad and Joan, smiling after eating some great pie!

One of the things that has been hard to work with living on my own and just living my top loader washing machine....getting laundry out of that is not easy from a sitting down position. Heavy wet packed in clothes are hard to pull out. And sometimes I could not reach that sock way in the back ( and too lazy to go get something to reach them) so I would just leave it and wash it with the next load....Just one of the 1000 things during the day that takes a little more effort and time when doing it from a wheelchair.....well it just got easier!!! Joan and Dad have just bought a new washing machine for me- a front loader WITH a pedestal...Ok, so now the clothes will be easy to pull out of the machine and right at my lap height!!! I am so excited. Laundry just got a whole lot easier to do!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The tallest pie ever

No clay tonight. Baking for my Dad who is visiting tomorrow. Check out this apple pie, I think it is the tallest one I have ever made. It had to be special, he is turning 60!! My pies are famously good- it is all about the apples. No matter the height, it always falls almost even with the pie plate....the never ending, we hope, quest for a pie that keeps a nice height....

Before the crumb topping.....
....And after.......yummy.... and made some little ones with extra apples-

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More work from the kiln

So I have been sitting with a lot of the work...getting to know it. Here are some more favorites...

This piece below, and about 6 others like it, I am really pleased with...the faint lines on the surface come from the inside surface design. I am exploring memory, time, communication....what we show, what burns through, what remains hidden inside,what does it look like when viewed....This piece is no more than 3 inches across nor high, fits in your hand nicely. And they are really nice to hold, very light and thin, like an eggshell.

Some more shots and angles-

See some of the designs inside these tiny pots.
And here is one of my favorite Letter Pots. The one up front. The ones in the back, I am not as thrilled about...still nice, but not the effect I was hoping to achieve. I was experimenting and so am learning about the glaze...I really like it to be creamy colored, not black and see through. Trying to blur out the writing.....
And here is the latest I am working on ---new pieces for the next kiln....This guy is huge compared to the little pinch pots I have been making that fit in your hand. This is part slab, coil and some pinching. Check out my hand at the bottom for size...I am really excited about trying the same writing technique on the surface....