Thursday, January 31, 2013

Odd Bird-Fellows

There are times when piles of mail, pots, coupons, cables, and angels come together in a moment that just has to be documented!

This plate came from Kyle Carpenter's salt kiln a couple of weeks ago.  The drawing is as awkward as the bird seems to be trying to take flight. Maybe it's a turkey scrambling to get out of the road and an oncoming car, may be it's one of our hens being terrorized by Jack? Some of the choice pieces are in a show in Iowa City. Others lurk here for study and some for sale in the showroom. I will reopen my online gallery soon where some of these pots will be available. Stay tuned here or sign up to get email announcements. 


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dormant For Today

I took a walk around the shop in today's beautiful sunshine. Here are some scenes from the day off.


melting ice from the storm

so many postcards 
sign by Lillian

punch list and plaster

view from showroom


wood kiln door edge

mostly broken door bricks

back of the kiln with crumbling stucco and sooty spies


light, cone pack, and plate

glazed wads
showroom

rejected
leftover teapot lids
circles

calipers and saved trimming

buckets holding treadle hostage

packing and shipping accessories

information center 
posters
blue and green tarpscape
the wedging table


Friday, January 25, 2013

Me, Me, Me

My show at ĀKĀR Art | Design | Architecture opens in 30 minutes and here are a few sneak peeks, courtesy of my friends at ĀKĀR! I hope you will find a few minutes to see the show that opens at 11 EST. 




Monday, January 21, 2013

Chris Staley: I Am Nothing

The latest from Chris Staley.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Close But No Cigar


This turquoise porcelain plate came from the recent firing at Kyle Carpenter's gas fired salt kiln. Because it's a little warped I couldn't send to AKAR for my upcoming show. I guess I will have to save it to my box marked, "close but no cigar". They will be some nice ones like this one available at AKAR beginning Friday morning. Bookmark this link!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chris Staley on Fire

My potter friend and Penn State laureate Chris Staley has been producing some great videos. Here is the most recent one. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Balancing Act: The Life and Work Continuum


It's been a busy year already, and, as often happens during a deadline driven session, the days (and nights) go by too fast and I lose track of the week. Yet, on Sunday, Kyle Carpenter and I loaded his kiln with the pots I've managed to make in the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, the porcelain I made didn't get decorated and glazed. (Why i didn't get those pots done is probably a good essay in procrastination, waiting to happen)

Most everything else fit and was fired yesterday. Phew! Thank you KYLE!

So today, I'm cleaning up the mess left in the wake of making and glazing, literally and figuratively. Some of these include mopping the floor, cleaning brushes, reviewing my task list, and fulfilling email promises made, and writing about it (here, now).

Waiting for pots from ANY kiln is at first relief that the work is done (for now), then impatience and wanting to see. There's plenty to do to make up for the long days and late nights. My family eagerly wants me back in the fold after my own poor scheduling and over overwrought commitments to my work and ambition. But the life of the artist (and father/husband) isn't tidy. I used to say to folks about self employment, "I love being my own boss, I get to work any 16 hrs a day I want!" But in all honesty, there are many days when I miserably fail at getting the work done, much less 12 x 12, especially at the beginning of a session. But the days coming up on the scheduled firing I'm manic and full of panic and am to aware of time passing, hearing Stacey's grandmother's click chime away the night. 

So I sit here today, wondering, with hindsight, how I continue to find myself in these manic/panic unreasonable deadline sprees. It's clearly not just the wood kiln, because the deadline of firing KC's salt kiln produced the same old routine, even though there wasn't wood to cut and a huge pile of shelves to clean. I work best in a panic. But panic is an addiction, a rush, an influence under which I theorize/fantasize is the only condition that truly good creative work can be done. But putting myself and my family and friends under that kind of pressure is not sustainable and unhealthy. And I feel doesn't allow one's work to develop for the long haul. 

There's clearly something going on that I have to address to avoid future panic. There's much work  to be done, debugging of bad routines and  clearing the mental  impasses and clutter.  (Oh, clutter.)
Writing helps and I'm grateful for this blog to give me a kind of outlet. Thanks for letting me dump thoughts on you here. 

And making good pots helps, too.  So, "without further ado", I'm off to clean up the latest train wreck for hopefully the last time.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Speed Deco


Here's a video that Kyle Carpenter shot and edited from last November's firing. I'm decorating pots tonight to take to Kyle's kiln tomorrow. I just wish I could actually paint this fast!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Misty (morning) Mountain Hop



I had a late night of throwing and returned to my studio early this morning to take this picture. I felt a kinship to the fog and an appreciation for the balmy 40 degrees F.

It's a beautiful place, this ridge where we live, and the walks I take from house to studio are often all the exercise I get during these busy days. Lately I've seen Orion spread across the tree line near the studio like Superman, arms and legs spread out flying. On a quiet night, when the neighborhood dogs aren't barking, I hear the deer in the field nearby, quietly slip away in the dark as they hear me walking home. The goldenrod stubble in the field from last summer's scything crunches under my boots and alerts them.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cookin'


Just a quick post before heading up the hill to a long list of tasks in the shop. Ron has inspired me to eat better and this morning's nutrition comes courtesy of Stacey and the hens. Tamari roasted almonds and poached eggs!  (not pictured: black coffee) 

Visual nutrition comes courtesy of Seagrovian potter, Blaine Avery. Blaine "traded" me this bowl over a year ago. (Blaine, I owe you! This bowl continues to intrigue me and lives in the sink from almost constant use.)

Have a positive day, eat well, and make good work!








Friday, January 4, 2013

From Here To Digital Eternity

swirlware cups

"Round and round we go, and where we stop nobody knows."

Here are some of the cups I packed to ship out today, I wanted to record these as they will be out of sight, and out of mind, soon and I found something in each that I wanted to save. To remember. Maybe in hopes that I would remember these qualities when I come back these forms again in the future.

Photographing the work has become easier and cheaper. But what is the cost to keep track of all of this stuff and why can't I find pictures that I actually need when asked by galleries? Is it in my iCloud? I'm sure there's an app to keep track of all these apps that hold various versions of these pics (or is it pix?) An app for an app for an app.

somewhere out there.

There are thousands of pictures on my various digital 'buckets' or 'bins' on this machine, or on various external hard drives, or saved on servers in some distant data center. Somewhere out there. Pity the archivist of the future. Which to save? Which to delete?

I'm not sure what I will do with all of these files and folders on the computer named "pottery" or "pots" or the very descriptive "pics". Go through them in my spare time?


meanwhile there is the work of the mind's eye,
the camera of the imagination.

i think I'll upload some of those pictures into some lumps of clay.