Tuesday, September 25, 2012


There is a chapter in Annie Dillard's A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, titled "Fecundity."  It's such an awesome word (and that book is incredible), and it applies to my studio life lately.

I finished the commission for SCAD.  The cloud catchers were "okay" in my opinion.  Apparently, if you apply too much RIO, it acts like a black stain.  Some fired too dark, but alas, I did not have time remake any, so I cleaned them the best I could and added a little Indian ink to a few.  The events coordinator seemed thrilled by them, so I guess I should be happy.  Here is a link to the event if you're interested in discovering what SCAD La Maison Basse is all about.

I've done a few firings in the past few days.  Little Sister is sick, so I'm trying to get an electrician out to check out the connections.  She keeps throwing the breaker when she fires, so I've been relying on Big Brother.  I fired a cone 6 glaze last night that reached a perfect cone.  I can't wait to see the results.

I bisqued my stamps and I plan to make some cups soon to use them.  My favorite one is the flower that is in the top left corner of the image.

I also poured another cloud bowl prototype.  The mold was requiring too much clean up time, so I am planning to remake the mold as mentioned before.  Oh and yes, that is a plaster replica of a 1/2 gal milk jug.  I had some extra plaster, and that's what I found to use.

And finally, the most exciting news as of late was that I finally sat down with my new sewing machine and learned how to thread the darn thing.  Last night, I dedicated myself to making curtains and a new pillow cover for my chair.  I'm so proud.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Some things I've been working on...

Cups I tested my white terra sig on and then added decals.

Roxie's finished plate!

Testing out my cone 6 slip casting body in throwing form.

You can't see it, but there are lines and dots in this bowl.  I'm going to add bug decals. :)

If you're in need of scoops, Target $1.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cloud Catchers

I've been focusing this past week and this weekend on getting these cloud catchers finished.  Here are the samples that I gave to SCAD.  We both opted for the larger font.

I'm going to be honest, I don't really enjoy the idea of production (which is silly because I've dreamed of being a production potter someday...) Sometimes the argument in my head looks like a responsible, square-shouldered, argyle wearing, adult (picture Mr. Rogers) scolding a quick tempered, curly blonde pig-tailed, little child (Shirley Temple-ish) who is holding a large multicolored lollipop.

"Listen, you have to wait until dinner."
"No! I don't wanna! ::stomps her right foot:: And you can't make me!"

Believe it or not, it's quite annoying.  So in order to do this project, I had to convince myself it wouldn't be that difficult to create 40 small little hands, and since I don't have a gallery right now and I'm not teaching a class, the money is enticing.  However, after I got this last sample approved, I got an email from the events assistance asking if I could create 70.  Now, considering it's almost double the dinero, of course I was eager to say, "Absolutely!  I can definitely make 70..." meanwhile, that little girl was rolling all over the floor screaming and flailing her arms and legs because it's almost double the production and the deadline is only a little over a week away.

Okay, so it's really not that difficult to make these pieces, it's getting the words on the hands that had me stumped.  I was using the carbon copy transfer method, but the transfer wasn't dark enough.  The process also took forever and made my hand cramp because I was trying to apply enough pressure to get the image darker.  Even still, I had to go back over the words by hand with a paintbrush.  Then, one night while laying in bed with this problem plaguing my mind, I was finally able to placate that tiny girl.  Sometimes I think that cliches like "If it was a snake, it would have bit you," were meant for me.  Since the hands start out as flat slabs, I should make a screen.  Since the words aren't that detailed, I wouldn't need to go through the whole exposure process.  All I needed was to break out my handy screen drawing fluid and screen filler (by Speedball) and bam...the screen was ready.

Newly made screen.  I'm using an black underglaze as my ink, which is thickened by black mason stain and frit.
This is what production of cloud catcher looks like...just FYI. :) This is pre-foot.
Footed and waiting to dry before being scraped and dusted with more color.
After the UG experience, I actually find myself siding with the little brat rather than Mr. Rogers.  It was too much to handle at that time.  Yet, I found myself getting into a groove yesterday screen printing those pieces.  It was surprisingly enjoyable.  I had forgotten what it was like to become familiar with a process that was reliable.  I'm sure that's one of the things that frustrated me about the cloud plates.  My loss rate was just too high and the needed quantity was also too high.  But back to the good things, the joy of making these hands have made me want to sit down a make some mugs and bowls.  If time permits, I may have to do that today.  I plan to fire these guys later this week and I'm sure I will need some more work to fill up my kiln, so more motivation to do so.

Friday, September 14, 2012

To New Orleans and Back

My mom, oldest sister, and I just recently vacationed to New Orleans to visit my middle sister.  Along the way we stopped in Tallahassee and Pensacola, FL, and Biloxi, MS.  Here are pictures from that visit.

Banana's Foster at Landry's Seafood, Pensacola, FL
Mom, me, and Lynn at Landry's Seafood
Soaking my feet in the Gulf at Pensacola Beach
Pensacola Beach
Mom and me soaking in the sun.
Biloxi, MS along Hwy 90
The George Ohr and Georgia O'Keefe Museum of Art 
We wanted to drive along the coast without feeling rushed, so we stopped in Tallahassee, FL to eat some lunch and I dragged everyone to Florida State's Museum of Fine Art and to their Ceramics facilities.  (I went there thinking that I had seen an exhibition at NCECA Tampa with their student work, but it was actually Florida Atlantic Univ., which is in Boca Raton...just a little distance from where we were.  So while it was interesting to see, it wasn't what I expected.)  Then we were on to Pensacola, where we spent the night.  Going through Biloxi, I discovered a fantastic treasure-The George Ohr and Georgia O'Keefe Museum of Art, https://www.georgeohr.org/Default.aspx  Unfortunately, it was too late for us to visit, but the architecture alone was amazing.

We finally arrived to New Orleans...
My first true beignet at the Cafe Du Monde.
Lake Pontrachain
Lake Pontrachain
Me being excited about liquor at Target.
A morning jog along a levee.
A morning jog along a levee with Lake Pontrachain in the background.

My middle sister at our second visit to Cafe Du Monde.
The French Market in the French Quarter.
The Presbytere.
The Cabildo.
New Orleans was a great experience.  I feel like I will need to go back to fully experience it all because it is such a diverse city...perhaps a Mardi Gras trip needs to be arranged?!?  :)  There was so much to see and do that there was no way we could get it all accomplished in the short time we were there.  There was also the fact that they were still recovering from Isaac.  Power was out in parts of the town, but these people are so resilient that there were city workers cleaning up the streets on Labor Day.  Things started to get up and running by the time we were about to leave (another regret was not getting to see the New Orleans Museum of Art, but they didn't have electricity).

I knew that since I was this close, that I had to visit LSU and check out their graduate facilities.  We day tripped to Baton Rouge, and I was honestly expecting more culture and charm from the city (much like I experience in New Orleans), but it was strictly a business district downtown.  We did go see their Louisiana Museum of Science and Art (kinda disappointing), but their Old State Capitol Building was incredible.
Old State Capitol Building, Baton Rouge, LA
Then we went to Louisiana State University's Ceramic Department.  It was spacious yet slightly dilapidated (seeing as I'm used to SCAD's renovations and aesthetic). Ceramics clearly dominated the Fine Arts building, which was unusual for me to see (AND exhilarating).  Their kiln room was packed with a variety of kilns (think huge room with at most 4-5ft of space between each).  Overall, it was interesting to see, but gah, it was HOT. The sticky, damp heat that you can't escape in the shade and that makes it hard to breathe.  That was the dominating factor that made me decide that I am pretty sure (89% at least) that I would not be attending LSU for grad school.  It may seem superficial, but the entire environment of the campus didn't seem to promote my creative spirit (including the heat).

Heading back home was quicker than it was going because I needed to get back and work in my studio.  Another post will soon follow!