Reneged on My Pottery Goal

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This September I set a goal to only wheel throw pots as opposed to hand/slab-building them.

I lasted about 4 months. However, I am giving myself permission to ditch this crazy committment!

My thought was, if I only wheel-threw pots, my skills would get stronger on the wheel (which is true ;) But here’s the catch, I might get stronger on the wheel but I simply do not like the finished product.

I LOVE texture and color.

Wheel thrown pots, to me, are just missing that – what’s the word –spunk.  Don’t get me wrong, I tried.  I invested in sgraffito (carving tools), I tried wax resist to get some cool glaze techniques. I swear I tried to go the traditional route.

I’m kind of excited that I felt so strongly about this.  It means I actually know what I want.  I tend to float like a snowflake in and out of everything. Not liking something is great.  It gets me just a little bit closer to being a bit more focused.   Maybe by the time I’m 80 years old I’ll lock into mastering one thing… HA! right ;) 

With my new permission to renege on my goal, I did exactly what I wanted to do which felt great.  This brought passion and excitement back into creating.  I think that’s my intuition saying I’m on the right track. Now don’t get me wrong, I AM NOT A QUITTER.  I am the crazy that created a work of art every single day for 365 days.  I didn’t quit on that and there were so many days I wanted to.  That goal felt extremely right.  This one – not so much.  I can tell the difference.

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So, back to the best of both worlds.  Which is very much like me.  Why choose wheel-throwing over hand-building?  Why not do – BOTH?  That makes perfect sense – FOR ME.  Here, I threw the bottom part of the vessel on the wheel and then rolled a slab to attach to the top.  The texture came from my hand-crafted stamps which really makes the vessel feel unique and personal.

That’s it.  Unique and personal.  Maybe add in some happy and fun.  This is what I am committing to and I’m finally feeling like I’m back on the right track :)

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Alphabet Eww…

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For some time now, I have wanted to create “alphabet soup” bowls.  You take alphabet pasta and push it into the clay.  After firing in the kiln, the pasta incinerates leaving its imprint behind.

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I didn’t have time to paint these the other day, so I spritzed them with water and covered them in plastic to prevent them from over-drying.  Well…. let’s just say they were the opposite of over dry ;)  I was bummed.  The pasta absorbed the water, swelled up and molded.   YUCK!!!  Would it still work?  Were they ruined?

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Apparently, the answer is NO.  They worked out just fine …whew!  I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out.

Other than that, I have been on a BOWL-BONANZA.  In March my pottery studio will be hosting “SOUP’S ON” to benefit refugees just settling into Rhode Island.  Last year we raised money for a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. This year we are focusing local. It’s pretty cool when you dig in and find ways to actual help the causes you believe in.

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These came out a while ago.  Half-wheel thrown/half slab.  My teacher is calling my style thrown and altered.  That seems about right :)

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Remember my experiment with kid foam?  I made my own stamp and wanted to see how it would look in clay?

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Well, it worked.  It needs some tweaking.  When I try making a stamp again,  I will need to really think about positive vs. negative space.  You know, what areas do I want raised and what  areas recessed?   hmmm…this definitely entails thinking.

Yesterday I threw the largest bowls I have ever thrown – EVER!!! (like family popcorn size!)  Did I take a picture?  Of course not!  But trust me, they were YUUUUGE!  Throwing so many bowls at once has really improved my game.  Something clicked yesterday like it hasn’t clicked in 2 years.  You may start to see some improvements on my technical side – Oh, one can hope!  I’m going to keep at it. I’m still addicted to this muddy stuff –mold and all!

Getting More Sparkly

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Oh man, I just love these pendants I am making.  I am very much into vintage everything, so these get me very excited.  It’s like a little antique you can wear every day!  Because they are vintage glass, they are translucent and sparkle which I just can’t capture via camera.  Either way, I’m plugging away at my collection and I hope there are people out there that find them as special as I do!

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This week I’ve also been working on some cell phone holders.  The idea stems from at least 4 devices on my counter at all times.  Does any other household have this problem?  I am creating little 8×10″ pockets to attach by the outlets and hopefully get my counters back! I’m making some to sell at the holiday shows too… Again, we’ll see if my choices resonate with holiday shoppers this winter…

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On a final note, I dragged my loving mother 3 hours away to Bennington, Vermont to see the Milton Avery exhibit.  The Bennington Art Museum has an exhibition of his work until November.  I am obsessed with Milton Avery.  I adore his loose impressionistic arrangements and his killer use of color.  In fact, I believe the museum called it his “dissociative” use of color.  Meaning he makes trees that are blue even though humans associate green with trees.  To me, creating these amazing color compositions, takes what could sometimes be considered a very boring landscape and transforms them into something magical.  Mark my words, you will see an intense inspiration of Milton Avery in my painting this upcoming January.  I have been quietly studying what direction I want to go with my painting and this genre feels just right.

OK. off to make mosaic jewelry…I haven’t shown you pictures of that yet…but I am creating up a storm.  Feels Great!

 

 

Travel Mugs

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Friday? How on earth did it become Friday???

Somehow I have glazed over 70 Christmas ornaments this week and managed to start the travel mugs I’m offering during the holiday season.

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My entire family complain that my bases are not skinny enough to fit in the car drink holders and that the handles need to go up higher – so that they fit in the same darn drink holders.

Do you think my family is telling me they want travel mugs???

My family is my best critic because they always push me to better design.

I have to get in there today and add the handles to the terra-cotta clay mugs above.  My design approach is to throw one half of the mug and hand-build the other half.  To me the vessels then possess the best of both worlds.  They are quite time-consuming, but hey, I like what I like.

I have to say, I’m looking forward to the finished product. Pretty much –because I want a travel mug too!

Angels Among Us

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These are a little weird right?

I think it’s the faces…

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I made a mold from an “Infant Child of Prague” Christian icon statue…

Believe it or not, they looked better today after they dried out.  The shiny clay did them no justice.

This was the last of the ornaments.  So far, I made 12 of each style.  However, these angels are only 8.  They were taking forever, combined with being well over the 50th ornament to pass through my hands!  I burned-out.  I started wheel-throwing mugs today…maybe I’ll go back and make those extra 4… maybe when I burn out from throwing!