Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fantastic Ceramics

I've been interested in what other red clay artist's are using for their color palette lately, and I stumbled upon this awesome work by Nick Ramey.  

I really like how he incorporates sculptural aspects into this functional work (something I've wanted to try my hand at).  The bottom two containers are lidded forms.  I love the bright colors, decals, and luster.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fantastic Ceramics/Hello Inspiration

It's been a while since I posted a fantastic ceramics blurb, but I found these wonderful ladies yesterday and had to share.

Lili Scratchy: Wonderful, random thoughts that are nicely executed and how awesome is her name?!?  Her work has so much charm and freedom.

I was pleased with the inside of my cages, but I think I need to get a bit crazier.  Also, I do believe that there is way too much red terra sig on those pieces.  I need to do more exploration with color.  I may even try experimenting with white next...or maybe stripes. Hmm...

Julie Wiggins: Very fine craftsman ship. Her colors are soft and show the delicate detail of her mishima.  

I may need to make my work more delicate.  I wonder what adding more subtle color instead of the overwhelming red would do?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Savannah Clay at Roswell Art Center West

Traveling to Roswell took a little while, but Josh and I packed up and got there Thursday night.  Friday morning we got up early to scout out the area and grab some breakfast before setting up the show.  We ate at the Flying Biscuit Cafe and it was AMAZING!  I wish I would have taken an image of the spread we had, but before I knew it, the food was devoured.  It is a chain restaurant, so if there is one near you, please go!

Setting up the show was quick and painless.  Roswell Art Center West is an amazing studio/gallery, that has ample space for their residents and students and kilns galore (raku, electric, gas, and salt/soda).  All of this takes place in a two story house with a basement that is surrounded by verdant grass and trees.  It reminded me a lot of Shorter, but 10x better.  

Roswell is a trendy, suburban area.  I realized that while historic Savannah has it's charm, I really would enjoy living in an area that is more modern.  I wish we would have had a little more time to explore the area, but I wanted to make a special trip to Atlanta Clay to buy some clay tools.  Josh REALLY hated going there.  I had to beg him to come along on the trip in the first place, because he's really not one for traveling and clay.  I finally convinced him that I didn't hate him although I spent almost an hour in the store.  I have yet to try out my goodies, but I plan to this week.  We also stopped by two Super Targets (yes, Savannah has no Super Targets, but Roswell has is this possible?) to search for a purse that I wanted, Trader Joes, Einstein Bagel Co., INC. Street Food, and Thumbs Up Cafe.  Every place we visited was a new and great experience.  We don't have plans for moving to Roswell, but it's definitely an example for where we want to live in the future.

Finally, after much ado, here are some images from the show!  Enjoy!

Setting up with Lisa Bradley (far left), AJ Argentina, Jessica Broad, and Pat Mooney

Right view on entering gallery; my Clothesline Bowls and Daddy's Tools (Cups)
Yves Paquette's work and Lisa Bradley

Josh Davis and Yves Paquette
My Caged Tumblers and Caged Fruit Bowl

Left view entering the gallery; Lisa Bradley and Yves Paquette's work
Yves's Paquette's work
Jessica Broad's work

More Jessica Broad's work and Mary Cale Anderegg's work
Mary Cale Anderegg's work
More of Lisa Bradley's work

Lisa Bradley's work from back
Judy Mooney's work

More of Judy Mooney's work
Yves Paquette's work and my Caged Teacup, Saucer, and Spoon and Caged Teapot
Opening night was PACKED!
We even got to see a past SCAD Ceramic Arts student, Anthony Cerilli.

The opening had a successful turnout.  There were a lot of people from the area and the hor d'oeuvres were awesome.  Some of the people I knew from the area couldn't make it opening night, but I really recommend seeing this exhibit.  It will rock your socks.

After all the excitement, I was glad to come home, mostly for my bed.  This past week of vacation has been very eventful and I feel like it's the conclusion of this crazy beginning of 2012.  Now, it's time for me to refocus on entering juried shows for the remainder of the year and the NCECA show 2013.

In my stu-dio...stu-dio...

Completed cloud bowl mold.
There is a lot to catch up on.  Apparently a week long vacation leads to lots of studio productivity.  First, I attempted to cast my cloud bowls.  In my experience, the first cast always fails.  Per example this one, but the second was better, and the third even better than that, after I dusted the mold with the powdered clay body.  Andrew Martin calls this calcined version Chinese dust; I didn't have time to calcine mine (fire the powered materials in the kiln to extract the moisture from the ingredients), so I just blended some cast scraps in my magic bullet blender and Voila!  America dust. :D  There are a few cracking issues in the 4th cast, but I figure that will resolve with time.
First cast.
Third cast.
Next on the agenda, to decant my white terra sig.  I found a siphon that Josh and I had used to change my break fluid and I thought why not.  It was magical; I didn't have to babysit the flow, I just set it and busied myself with other things.  I inserted one end into the orange bucket about 2/3 the way down.  The heavier particles of the EPK settle and take up the bottom 1/3 of the bucket, and I wanted to avoid picking any of that up.  I tested the white terra sig on a few pieces and it's a little different from the red.  It needs to be SUPER thin.  I applied it too thickly to the mugs that are in the picture below (beside the large bowl and vases) and there were lots of cracks in the surface.  I want to experiment and put stain in the cracks and glaze over them to see what happens.

EPK Terra Sigilatta

Eric Haagensen yunomi

In other news, I got two new mugs to add to my collection.  One from Eric Haagensen from Mudfire Clayworks.  I enjoyed some delicious Indian chicken and rice in the yunomi (I don't drink tea very often, so it's probably going to be a bowl for me).  Then another wonderful addition is from Michelle Harris, a wonderful potter from Canada. I've found this mug is perfect for my Keurig. (Big shout out to Michelle! Your cup is wonderful!) The handle is also very comfortable.  It carries the weight of the cup very well.

Michelle Harris mug

Now to the studio you may know I am part of a group show in Roswell, GA, at the Roswell Art Center West.  I had one piece completed for the show approximately 1 week ago. My goal was to at least have 2 more new pieces for the show that was scheduled to open June 8, 2012.  Here is the progress that happened as I continuously worked:

Making image and carbon copy transfers for the inner wall of the pieces.
Inner wall of Caged Fruit Bowl (some leaf impressions; popcorn, daffodil transfers). I didn't have enough time to bisque and glaze, so I once-fired the pieces.  I used Mayco Overglazes to provide color to the transfers.

Opposite side of inner wall of CFB (dandelion and peach soda transfer).
CFB after assembly, before removal of outer wall and chains.
Inner wall of Caged Teacup, Saucer, and Spoon (cat, dandelion, and Bubblicious watermelon gum transfers). Sorry these are upside down.  I didn't want to remove the piece from the bat before assembly.
Inner wall of CTSS (fried chicken leg, Bojangles logo, and Eskimo spitz doggie)

CTSS assembled before removal of outer wall and chain.
Starting to remove the outer wall.
Outer wall removed, foot carved, and loops for chains attached on CFB
Chains in progress.
Waiting on pieces to dry before loading into kiln.
Caged Teacup, Saucer, and Spoon (There is a support of clay on the outside of one of the bars because it cracked.  Not a part of the final piece.)
Close up of Spoon.
Caged Fruit Bowl
I loaded these pieces at approximately 3:00am on Tuesday, June 5.  I could not sleep at all that night. I had terrors of clay cracking and terra sig doing things that was quite impossible for it to do (crawling up sides of the pots and exploding nonsense).  I really wanted the interior of the CFB to be glazed with clear, but I ran out.  I didn't realize this until early in the morning and I didn't have time to get any else where.  There was an image of a daffodil on the inside of the bowl that is a little visible.  Note to self: red terra sig will cover up image transfers.  The image of the magnolia flower that is on the outside of the cup didn't show up.  It was a little unfortunate because it was kinda cool, but oh well.

Needless to say, I unloaded the kiln on Thursday morning and all was well.  I rushed through applying the terra sig, so it was a little dry in some places (mainly on the chains).  Since theses pieces are more decorative than functional, I decided to do some cold finishing.  I took one of the failed spoons to Home Depot and they matched the color for me. I touched up some spots that needed it, and packed my work for the trip to the show!

After finishing 2 really complex pieces in less than 1 week, I was really quite proud of myself.  I was super excited to see what they would look like in the space at Roswell.  I will post images of the show in a later blog.