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Friday, January 6, 2012

Why Hello There, and Goodybye Again?!

Oh man, so long. Trying to keep this short and sweet.

Fall was awesome, now I'm going to India. Got insanely lucky to find volunteer work on a tile project and teaching at Homes of Hope India.

I saw some of Ellen Anne Harboe's work and I really loved it. She uses a lot of birds and my Great Aunt Sally also used them. I decided to jump back on board and I'm a fan of the results. I also took it a bit further and made a jar with an elephant on top. Sadly, there is no picture because my good friend Lauren has graciously taken that piece to keep safe in good hands!

So the tree carving continues. I also made a casserole dish with this design and personally, I think it might be the best piece I've ever made. I was able to trade it for some much needed dog sitting over Thanksgiving!
This year, I wish I had done more focusing on specific things. Like these last two pieces. I spent a lot of time simply producing work that didn't have the time and attention needed to truly make it special. This year I really want to slow down and focus on each piece. If it means only making 3 or 4 mugs at a time, then thats what should happen. Making 8 mugs at a time and rushing through all of them doesn't work at this stage in the game! Maybe one day...but for now, PATIENCE is key.

So this all must wait until June, maybe later. I've got three months of India and then about 1 1/2 months in Nepal. LIFE IS GOOD!

And as always, I love my dog. Here he is being awesome and he was giving me a high five but its hard to get a picture of it. Very camera shy!

P.S. I really don't know how I thought this blog layout was good at the time but its actually kind of hideous. This will be revamped in time!

Monday, August 29, 2011

All Right! First Glaze Firing!

Due to my recent move I spent the weekend kiln firing rather than fighting Hurricane Irene! Very thankful it was not as bad as it was hyped up to be...thats usually the case. Hopefully everyone fared as well as my friends and family!

I recently ordered some new glazes......slowly one at a time I am getting these 5 gallon buckets. I am so grateful that I can just dip! I HATE HATE HATE HATTTTTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE glazing so being able to just dip is SO AMAZING! On top of that, I put together this mixer and wow......I highly recommend it! Usually on glaze mixing day, I spend most of it laying in bed waiting for my arms and back to stop throbbing. This day I spent the afternoon making work! Here it is in action:


And heres my first nice bowl from the new studio. Something very very gratifying about making big bowls!

Goblets and (espresso) shot glasses! Thats the bark carving I've been loving. The mugs with this carving are very fun too! I think it fits with the Colorado vibe. People here love natural things, like trees!

Some new glazes in action......

 Proof of test tiles! I've only done this once in my life, in the class this summer. The inspiration from that convinced me to go ahead and do it again since I've got some new glazes, very worthwhile! Found some cool ones and some that I thought would have been cool weren't. So nice to have a jumping point for future work!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oh Colorado!

So MFS Ceramics is slowly getting going again. A lot of changes have taken place.

First of all, getting used to the Colorado air has been .....challenging. DRY AIR. For the love of all things cute and cuddly puppies, will I ever learn that everything is ready to trim about ...2 seconds after you throw it? I mean its not 2 seconds but if you leave something not totally covered overnight, its almost always too dry to trim the next day. Its made for some frustrating days!

Second, I got a Giffin Grip! It is amazing but I just wish everything was tighter. It holds but I feel like for the pieces that are not totally centered, they like to wobbly obbly a little bit. Still a great thing to have and trimming bowls has been nothing but magic.

Third, my style is evolving by leaps and bounds. I was focused on making nature and tree inspired work which has been really fun and I should continue in this direction. I've also started what I am calling mod-esque. Big exaggerated shapes and strange alterations! Both are challenging. Once you start creating a style you can't just throw whatever. I'd really like to be able to sit down and say today I am throwing things that look like trees or today I am throwing things that look like IKEA. Some might say this is a bad idea but I'm going for it!

Last, I was lucky to score an awesome part time job which allows me to also pursue ceramics, Never thought it would happen again after graduate school but apparently I have really good karma. No idea where it comes from.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Potters are People!

Colorado has a different vibe from other places. It really is a people place. People like other people here. A lot. I believe my work will sell simply because people like me. Which certainly happened before but apparently it happens with strangers here. I was asked to participate in a "Perfectly Imperfect" sale next weekend in essence, because I am a lot of fun to be around. I'll flipping take it! My first sale out here!

I have to apologize for the lack of pictures but it just seems weird in a class to take pictures of work in progress. I finished the fish monster vase and am waiting to glaze it after I know how some glazes turn out. .....basically I am actually doing test tiles. Something is seriously out of whack here....!

I also have started branching out and learning new techniques. Well, actually my wonderful teachers have been demonstrating new things and inspiring me to try them as well. Which at first was a challenge, but I've had fun incorporating it in my work. We have done stamping, screen printing, sgrafitto(?), and slip trailing. Awesome! Trees have also become a big part of my work, maybe because I've been having so much fun doing this:

Now its off for a morning of rock climbing and an afternoon of mountain biking! All inspiration for my work!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Coming in August 2011....


Some really cool guy in Louisville, CO is renting out an extra bedroom and an entire flipping room in his garage for lets just say, a really good price. The house is rustic with some pretty retro features but absolutely perfect for a nice inspiring place. A nice patio, a nice sunroom, a private clawfoot tub, a wood heater, an owl's nest, I'm thinking my pottery is about to head in a very awesome direction!

Life is Colorado is amazing, I feel like everyday I wake up and despite the abnormal amount of stress I am under, I feel like I live in this really great fairytale.

I am taking a class at the Boulder Potters Guild which is awesome because one instructor has a great personality and the other one is actually the older version of me. Apparently you can be a cyclist, have a job, have kids(even as a single mom), and be a potter.

The new stress of a demanding job has manifested itself in the form of vibrant designs and creatures in my work. My mugs are all carved almost to the point of destruction and I am in the process of turning what is probably the best vase I have ever thrown in one piece into a monster fish. And I am loving. every. second!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The last post before Colorado?

So I keep saying I am so busy and can't get in the studio blah blah blah.....gosh it is so true!

Saturday was my last day throwing, today was the last day trimming! Tomorrow I will participate in a some glazing! The past 3 months have been interesting, it has been great to have seen so much improvement and had so much fun! Ive been trying to make bottles since I first started throwing and could never really do it. Finally made this guy. Hes actually fairly light and though not big, I think its a nice shape. Start small, then get bigger!

I also started working with the bicycle chain. Its tough to find a way to get the pattern deep enough to show up in the glaze firing. Maybe I should use a clear glaze? Seems the rustic cyclist type might like being able to see the clay...maybe if I did it with red clay! Oh I wish I had more time!

Its also a bigger shape so it can be used as a beer mug. Apparently cyclists love their beer in Colorado. Did I mention I'm moving there? Where the wind whispers in your ear and the wilderness is only a hop and skip away?

I also had a request from my dad, aka, number one fan and critic to make 4 matching mugs with sea horses. If you have never looked for a mini seahorse to make a plaster mold of, it is insanely hard. Even in a coastal town, I was unsuccessful. So the first picture is where I actually threw 6 similar shaped mugs. 3 months ago I would throw 10 mugs to try and get 2 matching ones. (improvement is a really great thing)

The other picture is the drawn design. These guys will eventually be glazed with a blue green mixture.

Hopefully you like these dad!
In 6 days I leave for Boulder. I am planning on taking a pottery class this summer at the Boulder Potter's Guild. They wont return my phone calls so I'm just going to send a check and show up for class! I also think I might take a woodworking class. My new 10 year plan involves the ability to hunt and live in a cabin in the middle of nowhere with no use for modern technology. This is going to be so fun!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Milestone!

For the first time EVER, I opened up a glaze firing to find out that everything is not only usable, but SELLABLE. Didn't really ever think it would happen. But it did! So here is the load and some pieces. My kiln is small so that somewhat takes away from the accomplishment but oh well! It makes me happy!

Its been interesting to read the MFA debate about whether it prepares artists for the real world or not. In a way its made me thankful that pottery for me is a hobby and its nice that sometimes I can sell what I would have made anyway to go towards real life expenses such as MOVING TO COLORADO. Its nice that I have the freedom to make what I want, whenever I want and don't feel directed by any market other than my own heart and soul! Gosh that was cheesy and I know I would probably jump at the chance to make a living as a potter but for now, its been a great escape from the stress of everyday life!