It’s been a long time. Almost 6 months since I worked on my pottery practice. How did this happen? Well, in retrospect, I think it’s due to the art classes I was teaching.
Since Thanksgiving, I’ve had two family emergencies that really shook myself and my family to the core. Things are slowly beginning to balance out, but in those moments, I always tend to have some real moments of clarity. You know, when shit hits the fan you take inventory. Who am I? What am I doing? Who’s important? What’s important? What’s it all for? Why?
In an instant, I could see that there were some things I was doing because I “should” rather than because they align with my life journey. I really REALLY want to be an artist. From the bottom of my heart, I am trying to get to that place where it’s not a secret goal or hobby, but where I can make a livelihood from it. And slowly over months, opportunities trickle in that are – in themselves ,wonderful opportunities. But they do take me off my path. Excuses like “well, it’s the grown-up thing to do” or “but, the money is good”… seem so valid. Even though I have a quiet sadness for what I am not doing. Long story short, pottery is a part of me – like the air I breathe. Teaching prevented me from having the time to do pottery. Which to me, is like not breathing. I get so much joy from people taking home my pots. I truly enjoy making them and I truly enjoy putting them into the world.
I’m officially stepping down from teaching painting and starting up pottery this March. My idea is to make cookie jars or large vessels that resemble the characters that will be in my Secret Garden series. So, there should be quite a bit of animals, pattern and color involved. The above photo of silly faces are the stamps I am making now in preparation for March.
I’m looking forward to getting back on track.
Please forgive me for not posting on pottery for a long time. I even taught pottery camp this summer and don’t have a single photo to show for it! I have a new session coming up with new ideas to explore. So hopefully you will see more of me in the coming months!
I’ve been working on these forever.
Mostly because there are so many stages. I work on them, forget about them, pick them up again, have to get the ceramic elements fired and glazed, forget about them and then have to paint the boxes and assemble all the elements.
They take a lot of time, but it feels like play so I just try to have a little bit of amnesia about the whole thing.
In a nutshell there are few components to these:
- Spend countless hours walking beaches picking up trash.
- Beg cigar stores for empty cigar boxes.
- Create pottery elements to tell a little story and compliment the found objects.
- Sand, paint, nail, string and glue everything together.
The boxes above are at the pottery stage. I have to fire and glaze the components, then I will do step 4. They look radically different after the ceramics are glazed so I will post again when I get to that point!
For the last three weeks I have been teaching three days a week which has prevented me from getting into the pottery studio to throw. It hasn’t stopped me though. I have been hand-building at home.
Here are pics of more of the shadow boxes I am working on. My idea is to meld the strange found objects I find on my local beaches with pottery. What I hope to come out with is quirky, folk-art looking small works of art.
Here is the beginning stages. Later the clay-works will get painted and glazed. The cigar boxes will get painted and there will hopefully be a few more objects in each box from the sea. But this is a glimpse into the idea phase. I try to find a creative way to use the beach objects. So my ideas start there.
Also my cell-phone holders finally came to fruition. I find these so helpful with 4 cell-phones in the house!
For all you hippies, I had this sweet platter come out. Love me some Beatles.
It’s been a long time since I reported on my pottery.
Since the new year, I have been working on more of the driftwood/cigar box assemblages I have created in the past. I have tons of little pottery pieces all over the place! In these images, the pottery has not been fired or glazed nor have I painted or included any of my beach finds yet.
Nevertheless, here are some photos to show the beginning stages…
I am obsessed with folk art. You can clearly see it’s influence.
I probably have 30 of these installations at various stages of completion. I will keep reporting on their progress. I like to work on things in quantity as opposed to starting one piece and finishing it before I move on. I can be more efficient this way even if it looks completely hectic :)
So there it goes. I’m plugging away at a ton of stuff. I am wheel-throwing a bunch of pitchers, mugs and bowls as well, but I forgot to take pictures of those :)
Nothing is complete. Everything needs something done to it. Some months are like that. Not days. Not weeks. Months!!!
I recently made over 75 new pottery stamps. They are just leaving the kiln now and are ready for me to play with.
This past spring, I felt a tremendous gratification from the pottery pieces that bared my own designs. They felt really personal. Taking what I learned from then, I have a better idea of what I want now. This time I created a lot more stamps of larger leaves and petals, insects and butterflies as well as a bunch of different kinds of fish.
I look forward to creating my very own wonderlands!
Do you remember me?
Last, I was working on this painting. That was June 20th. The last day of school for my kids.
That painting is sitting exactly where I left it on June 20th. Maybe, just maybe I will get to finish it now that the kids are back in school!
So much happened over the summer that I didn’t have the opportunity to blog. My last post was dated August 2nd! Subsequent to that post, I taught 3 weeks of pottery camp and then marched right into teaching adult painting classes this fall. I feel like the universe is spinning so fast, I am desperately holding on by my pinky fingers!
Here’s a summary of the projects we did with over 60 pottery campers:
Just because the three weeks of teaching pottery camp were over, didn’t mean pottery camp was over for us instructors. We had to fire and glaze over 600 of their pots. Needless to say, that took the following three weeks moving us right into Labor Day.
If that wasn’t enough, I was invited to my first member’s invitational. What an honor to have my art displayed in such a beautiful gallery (The show is running until October 13th)!
I also carved out some time to devote to my own art-making. Hopefully now that I summed up the past month, I can start posting on a more regular basis!
Here’s to the slower winter months! Please dear Lord! ;)
My first jug has come out of the kiln and I am IN LOVE.
The flowers find their place in it perfectly.
Both pieces above feature my hand-crafted stamps. I keep gushing about this, but it really makes it feel so personal. LOVE.
No faster than I could park my car, was I in my garden finding the perfect buds. This is my absolutely favorite time of the year, especially as a potter. I get to take my pots from form to function. I get to bring the beauty of the outdoors – in. It is simply delightful!
Here’s a few more pots out of the kiln:
Seriously though, the jug below here is my FAVORITE. I generally don’t keep much that I make because my darling cherubs break them all, but this one might be a keeper. I’m holding off though, I have two more coming out… you never know ;) They might be winners too.
I’m crossing my fingers!
I have quite a few good-sized bowls coming out. Thought I’d share.
I’m also plugging away at another big watercolor. They take a ridiculous amount of time…I’m trying not to ask the question if they are quantifiably “worth it”. If I were to be paid by the hour, these paintings would be incredibly expensive (like Trump might hang them up next to his golden toilet expensive). Whether I get paid at all is the hard part of justifying why I do what I do -ever.
I just have to quiet my mind and say “don’t think… don’t quit… this was the gift God gave you. God didn’t give you accounting skills, corporate feistiness or amazing memorization… All you can do is show up everyday and use what God gave you… have faith… have faith… Listen to your inner voice… there has to be a reason you intuitively know how to do all things artsy… don’t quit… don’t quit…
Yes. Yes I do. I talk to myself all day. You don’t?
I also tell myself to shut-up all day too… What, you don’t?
Ha. OK. On with the show…
Here are some pieces that came out of the kiln this week.
As I look at these, I am reminded I should make some more of my own stamps. I like how soft and non-mechanized they look. They make my work more personal. Note to self – make more stamps…
Here is the new painting I am working on. I challenged myself to quite a funky perspective. I am looking down on the subject matter. I hope I can pull it off… still so much to fill in/block off… boy that’s going to take A LOT of time…
It’s been cold and wet for well over a week. I find it so hard to motivate myself. I am going to have to revert back to talking to myself just to get myself out of this chair.
…Get up. You don’t have that much time…If you don’t work on this thing you’ll never finish it… No. sitting on the couch wrapped up in a blanket bingeing Netflix is totally out of the question…You’re an adult right? Adults do responsible things all day? Go do something “responsible”…
What? Oh come on. You do talk to yourself too right?
I thought so. Totally normal ;)