Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New studio (part 2)

Hello!  My new studio is all set up and I enjoy working in it so much!  I was cooking dinner last night and had some down time, so I walked into the next room to work on some ceramics.  I could monitor the cooking while I was trimming a pot! (Don't worry folks, no contamination here. I made sure my hands are clean when I return :D) Needless to say I love my studio being in the house because I am constantly reminded of pots I have in progress.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New studio.

If you happened upon my most recent, slightly psychotic blog, then you might understand the title for this entry.  I mentioned that I was concerned about this coming winter (which is approaching too slowly for my taste). I knew that last year's winter was very uncomfortable for me and my clay, and I could continue to insulate the shed, but it would be pretty expensive. So, I decided to move my studio indoors.  There are obviously many other benefits to having a studio indoors as opposed to outdoors in a tin building, like lighting, convenience, air conditioning/heat, more electrical outlets, running water, etc.  All of which are reasons I used to convince my husband of why this should happen.  I think the fact that we would save money on the electrical bill sold him, though he is still a little hesitant about me moving clay into the house because clay=mess.  Which is a completely valid point and is still a very large concern.  Well, that and the fact that we have cats that are very curious.

So I've taken some precautionary steps.

First, I moved the litter box and food/water for the little buggers into our extra bathroom.  It's at the opposite side of the house from where my studio will be located.  I will then be able to close off a section of the house when I have ongoing projects that I don't want them to destroy.

Secondly, I ordered a painter's drop cloth to line the carpet.  The cloth has a lining on the back that will not allow the clay to seep through if it's dropped.

Now comes to what I did all weekend: I moved A LOT of stuff.  I packed books, ceramics, tools, and other things into boxes and bags and moved them out of our supposed "dining room" area.  I had converted this spot into more of an office/glazing area anyways because we never used our dining room table.  **Side note: Am I the only artist that has WAY too many sketch books?  I seriously found some from high school.  I think they totaled to about 10-15 books, and most of them were empty.

I now have to clean and move all of my studio things into the house.  Josh is going to help me move the heavier items.  I hope to have everything set up by this weekend so I can start working on a few projects that I have pushed back too far already.  Ooh, I also have a plan for shelving that is super exciting.

Here is the progress so far:

More pictures to come!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Therapy 101

Okay, this is not going to be a happy post.  I will proceed to throw a whiny clay tantrum and things might get messy...

Plain and simple my clay sucks.  My red clay has this horrible grog in it that makes everything look gross and my casting body dunts to hell and isn't microwave/dishwasher safe.  Ahhhggg!  I have so much time and money invested in earthenware that I feel I would completely back track if I were to move to a mid-range body.  My goal is to produce ware that is FUNCTIONAL.  Do you know how much I use my microwave and dishwasher?  For God's sake, I use a computer to generated images to put on my work, yet I can't stick the thing in a modern appliance without the fear of it breaking?

...::sighs:: I might be done now.  I wrote all of that in anger.  Everything I want to complain about is just so superficial and equates to me having a bad day.    

My studio is hot and not well insulated.  I have worries about the upcoming winter and clay freezing.  I need to order supplies, but I want to spend my money wisely, because things have not been selling as well and I haven't been restocking my inventory.  I just spent 5 minutes centering a 1.25 lb ball of clay only to find 3 bits of sponge stuck inside (thus the reason it was not centering).  My tummy hurts. Work was CRAZY busy this last week (and probably won't ease up anytime soon), so I got home every afternoon exhausted and didn't get any studio time.  Clay is expensive and to restock with new clay/toss the old stuff or change clay bodies/glazes completely would be detrimental...this really could go on and on.

::takes deep breath:: Let's evaluate.

Q: Mitzi, what is your main goal for the future? 
A: To go to a reputable graduate ceramics program.

Q: How are you going to accomplish getting into that program?
A: I need (or feel as if I need) a cohesive body of work and a beefed up resume. I feel as if my job experience section is well fed, so I need to work on the exhibiting portion.

Q:  What steps are you taking to exhibit more?
A: Applying for juried shows, solo shows, and group shows, and trying to get into more galleries.  Basically, I need to put myself out there. When I put myself out there, I need to make sure I build a good reputation, so that people will buy my work in the future and recommend it to others.

Q: What are your plans for building a good reputation? 
A: In order to build a good reputation, I need good work.

Q: And how does one make good work?
A: In order to make good work, I need to invest.more.time.

::insert humility and embarrassment here:: Well now...this definitely sheds a new light on things. Obviously, I need to apologize to my clay... 

I do not want to divorce you, earthenware.  You produce beautiful, bright glaze finishes.  You are cost efficient and relatively one of the most environmentally friendly bodies to fire.  My anger was misdirected.  It was my fault for not listening to you.  You are sick and I expected results from you that you could not deliver. I will get you appropriate medication and help you recuperate.  I will not give up on you.  We will get through this dear friend.  ::hugs::

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Updated website and new "spot" in Savannah

I have just added the finishing touches to my renovated website.  I'm pretty excited because it is a lot more professional and informative.  Hopefully it will get more exposure which might equal more customers.  Check it out at here. Also, I was accepted into the Barrett Art Center's 3rd Annual National Juried Cup Show. The show is in Poughkeepsie, NY and will run from Sept 24-Dec 17.

In other exciting news, Savannah has a new clay center.  It is called Savannah's Clay Spot and the owner is possibly one of the greatest, most genuine people I have ever met.  Lisa Bradley will be offering classes to our community teaching hand-building, wheel throwing, and various ceramic decorating techniques to name a few.  The studio space is fantastic.  She even created hand-made vinyl cushions to go onto the throwing stools and the pattern is super cute!  Lisa has a gallery space in the studio that houses functional work from local ceramic artists (including yours truly)!   I hope that the community really gets involved to make Savannah a ceramic friendly community.