Friday, March 30, 2012

Picking strawberries...

I've been in a funk this week.  I think it's because I've been pushing myself to produce the same thing over and over again with no freedom to explore the thoughts that are currently floating around in my head or the emotions that I am experiencing (aka the UncommonGoods commission). While it seems lucrative financially, when I reevaluate, it may not be so after all because of how much time it's taking out of my regular schedule.  When I started making these sets, it was new and interesting.  Now, I'm getting disinterested in the whole process.  There are times when I get excited, for instance when I pull the pieces out of the glaze kiln and they are flawless (see below).

I have a shipment to be delivered next week, and I am more than ready to have that out of the way.  After that, I am half way there.  UG contacted me last week wanting me to be part of their Fall Catalog as well.  That would mean they would want 185 more pieces.  At first I was very excited when I considered the financial benefits.  I shared this with a few other people and they seemed impressed.  I was on the verge of taking it, when I went home and spoke with my husband.  I realized that I disregard his opinion when it comes to things ceramic (i.e. the indoor studio...although I think that situation has worked out perfectly :P).  On this particular issue though, I realized that he was right and I don't think I could continue this another 7 months (I've already promised myself 3 more months.).  It's very stressful and time consuming, and I need the freedom in my life to just play and be careless.  It's hard for me not to throw in the towel right now, but I would suffer such a large deficit, that I need to press through it.

Onward to better things... I got my cup in the mail yesterday!  I've been eating the Quaker Oatmeal Express, that comes in these convenient microwavable cups with a water line.  I realized that my new cup from Chris Pickett is around the same size!  I definitely ate my oatmeal in my new little cup.  The only downside is that it doesn't conveniently fit into my car cup holder, but that's okay.

The final thing to mention is that I have been tossing around an idea for a body of work for almost a year now.  I could not figure out how I wanted to treat the surface of part of the form.  I mentioned not having a lot of time lately just to play and relax.  It's in those moments when I am high-spirited and careless, that I have a lot of creative things bouncing around in my head.  I've realized if I can grab a sketchbook, focus on my pots, and have a bit of quite time, I can come up with some really great ideas.  I've been trying to remind myself of my childhood, and I stumbled upon two different children's videos that I used to watch constantly.  They were both on VHS and I'm pretty sure my Mom doesn't have them anymore.  I actually found the video of one on youtube (Know the Alphabet)! I really wish I could watch the Aesop's Fables again.  I started incorporating them into my work at one point and I would like to remember what captivated me so much about that video.  I don't know if I could use any of this in my work or particularly how to incorporate it, but it was exciting nonetheless.

Today, I was in a meeting and the mood struck me to doodle, and after much thought, I finally found the direction of what I want to add to the pieces.  We will see where this heads, but I hope it's in the right way!  Just in case this doesn't work out, I will be enjoying myself with Ms. Melissa Meyers this weekend picking some strawberries.  Growing up, we always had a garden or bought our vegetables locally, so I'm really excited to do this.  Let's hope the weather is nice.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I just wanted to share my most recent purchase.  I really love hand-made cups and I want to build a collection.  It's something I haven't invested a lot in just yet, but I figure that I am still young and I will find many amazing cups along the way.  Since I had a little extra money come my way recently from the SCAD commission I decided to purchase this beauty by Chris Pickett (I can't wait to use it!):

It's in a show at Schaller Gallery in Michigan.  To see the rest of the show go here. 

In other news, great advances have been made in the UG area.  I took some MUCH needed vacation time last week and got some good studio things accomplished.  I cannot wait until I'm finished.  Doing all of these extracurricular things while balancing life has not been an easy task, but I feel that it has prepared me to devote my time more evenly between work, studio work, and personal time.  I cherish the time I spend in my studio and with my family more because I have a set schedule when I can get things done.  There's been a big learning curve in realizing how to handle stress.  I have to remind myself now and then that things will get accomplished and I shouldn't overreact.  If they don't, then they won't, but that's okay.  I need to take with me what knowledge I can gain from the experience, hope I did my best, and move forward.

Whew, enough serious time!  I just looked up at the image again and I really can't wait to get my cup. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lookie what I found!

I thought I had deleted this photo from my Facebook, but I found it!  I used to bring Harley to the studio in undergrad and he posed perfectly on the wheel. :)  Thought I would share.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Taking a little time to write

It's the beginning of the week again!  Time to reevaluate where the weekend went exactly and in doing so, I am reminded that there is a lot that I haven't written about in my blog.  To catch up a bit...

  • Wrapped up another Artz Blitz (this time at Savannah Christian Preparatory High School).  It was a lot of fun, but I don't have pics of the students' pieces this time.  The high school had their own kiln (part of very nice facilities), so I loaded up my student work there and completely forgot to take a few snapshots.  They made animals out of clay and we kept it at a smaller scale.  I had a few kitties, snakes, a swan, a mutant snail/turtle, and some other normal/not so normal critters. 
  • Celebrated SCAD's DeFine Arts Week by gallery hopping with a few friends and I got to see an amazing exhibition.  Jane Alexander's work is at our SCAD MoA, and because I work in ceramics, most 3-D work excites me.  This exhibition was engaging, dark, and just really awesome.  There isn't a lot about Jane on the web, but she is a sculptor whose works comment on current socio political issues in South Africa. Using direct modelling techniques and working in plaster, she produces life size figures and small figures set in multimedia installations.  Here is an image of her most famous work "The Butcher Boys," which unfortunately wasn't at the exhibition.

  • Sent my first shipment to UG.  I still haven't quite mastered how NOT to lose so many plates in this process; I was supposed to send them 25, but due to various factors I was only able to send 15.  (I just unloaded some sets today and lost about 1/5 of the large plates. Such a bummer.)
  • Sent some cups to Terra Incognito Studios for the "Coffee, Tea, ?"
  • Tied up another "Try Clay On and Off the Wheel" at Savannah's Clay Spot.  I am starting a new session again tonight.  Some of my students got to use decals, so that was pretty exciting.
I am going to ship some more work to Colorado tomorrow to the "delecTABLE" exhibition at the Art Students League of Denver.  I also received a commission from SCAD to make some bowls for an event in New York.  They will be using the bowls as centerpieces that I'm told will hold floral arrangements.  I really love that things keep lining up, but I think I'm more than ready for a break.  Here are a few snapshots of the bowls (not bisqued) that I will be making for SCAD.