Tuesday, June 30, 2009

By The Sea, By The Sea, By The Beautiful Sea

I watch the sunset everynight. Yeah, well, maybe not every night but it's there if I want to take a look! In any case, the ocean has a huge influence on me and my clay obviously since I made several of these ocean/sea tiles.
Looking at the tiles I've posted here makes me anxious that I'm on the right track. I'm not making your mothers tiles, no sir, I am not. Well, it is what it is and there is no turning back now - Yikes!
We are going away, to Washington State, it's supposed to be hot (83-84 and thats hot to me), then it says its going to rain. Well, of course it will rain. It wouldn't be called WASHington if it didn't rain. I just made that up, do you suppose I can sell it? Sometimes I feel just too clever for myself. Someone help!!!!

It Takes a Happy Gal to Make a Happy Tile, I'm Happy Now and I Hope I'm Happy Lo-ong!

What was i thinking when I applied such happy colors? I must have been craving tacos or guacamole dip - something like that. This is the most colorful thing I think I have ever made in my whole entire life and probably the last.
I do like it but it's not me, it's just not me. Maybe someone else will like it enough to take it home. If not, my friend has a happy Southwestern style home!

We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder, We Are Climbing...

Just for fun, colorful and different~

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Kimomo, The Heart and The Geometric

As day 50 approaches I find myself almost caught up. There are at least 10 tiles to go into a glaze firing and another 10 to be bisque fired. I continue to pray over the kilns when I start them!

The community college is in session once more so I have fired a kiln load there. My kiln is small, theirs is BIG. It's so much easier and Tiffany, the instructor is very understanding about my time frame urgency!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Heartbreak of Paradise

Here is the photo I was working from on the left and my ceramic tile on the right. This is the one that cracked from too many sawdust firings. It won't be part of the 50 tiles and textures that I use for the show but I'll keep it for myself. After a lot of work I can't part with it so easily.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Sanchez Heart

One woman in the 50/50 show is doing nothing but hearts and they are so original, I heart them...sorry, I couldn't resist. They are wonderful.
It was funny to me, she can't stop doing hearts she said, and when the 50/50 show started she thought about what she should make for it....hearts. I get stuck like that too. I made fish until I just couldn't do any for a long time. While working on this 50/50 project I have hit upon making something that really appeals to me and oh, yes, I do intend to make a lot more!

My lonely little heart here has a couple of prayer boxes along for the journey.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weaving Shoes?

One more thing today, I just bought some house slipper/shoes for weaving. I weave with my socks on or barefoot and I saw these and just had to have them! Check out this link:


I selected the kitty ones with blue eyes and red bows, what fun!

Plus, they are inexpensive AND she is having a sale in her shop...double whammy.

Not For Sale I Guess

I'll have to make another one of these. It is kind of endearing that after 40+ years my husband wants this piece for himself. I can buy more panels to mount my work. I'll make another one similar to this one for the show.

Impressed from a plaster mold of my face, bisque fired, glaze fired (lips and one eye). Then sawdust fired. Me-other-than-me-me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kinda Steampunk-ey Kinda Jeff-ery

This one reminds me of the work a friend Jeffery has done - similar in feel anyway.

My husband keeps wanting me to count my tiles. "Which ones?", I ask. I have the 100% complete, glazed and glued onto the panels, I have the bisque fired ones waiting for glaze and another firing. I have the greenware ones drying slowly. Then there are the ones that are glazed but not all that great - my back-up tiles. If all else fails I'll use the best of them to help achieve 50, sad but true.

My little sawdust firing kept going out, going out, grrrr. Until I broke the Bird of Paradise tile I had glazed red/orange and green of course. I wanted the black background so it would "pop" - the flower that is, not pop in half like it did. To glue or not to glue, I may and keep it for myself. I don't have to decide that right now.

This is my kinda scary looking black and yellow gear looking tile!

50/50 Artist Gathering Sanchez Art Center

Since I am always so sure of myself and what I am doing I let it reflect in my clay work. I made the "i don't know" decals myself using my HP black and white printer. The lettering has enough iron in it to melt into the glaze. So, this particular tile was rolled out and impressed many times with the " I don't know", bisque fired, an oxide was washed over the words and a clear glaze applied, fired again and then I applied the decals and fired it for the 3rd and final time. Setting it cock-eyed as I have on my 6" panel I think it reflects the message about not knowing everything. This is one I brought to the artist gathering last night at Sanchez.
The artist gathering was inspiring and informative. It was interesting to hear that no matter what medium we work in we all experience the same failure, successes and feelings about what we do. As it turns out I am not the only not one doing one per day. Some days we do 2 or 3 and take a day or so to look at our efforts and go on from there. In fact no one could say they were sticking to the one a day idea. And here I was sweating it that I was breaking the rules and sure that someone would call me on it!!! Me, me, me...

I would like to put everyone on the sidebar to the right of my blog. If I find or am given a blog or website to link to I will add them. Please contact me!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Let The 50 Begin

When I started thinking about this project it seemed overwhelming until a friend said to me that it was only one a day - not 50. So I felt better for a while. There are fleeting moments of sheer, unadulterated terror. Then I'm OK again, maybe I need medication...In any case here are some of my first efforts.

I am using a variety of clays bodies, sculpture clay, earthenware red and white too, and Soldate 60. They are all being fired low fire, raku or primitive sawdust firing. Glazed and unglazed. I am using this challenge as an opportunity to explore a few applications I haven't tried and I am also using it as a growth tool. For many years I have wanted to loosen up my clay work and the harder I tried the less successful I felt. By having failures right away and having to start over it pushed me which was painful like all growth. On my 50 (or 70th) tile maybe I will have achieved some of my goals.

Here is talented artist, Laura Parker, she is also in the 50/50 show, you can see her work here:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Let Us Not Speak of Patience

The google 50/50 group is finally active, it wasn't the moderator at all. Well, it was but not on purpose. See, I have no patience sometimes.

Here are links to some of the artists websites that are participating:







I am going to begin photographing my work and showing it here - that seems to be the growing trend.

Off to check my sawdust firing in progress!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Life is Good Again+

I said a little prayer over the kiln (honestly, I DID) as I turned it on low, low, low, I fired it on low for the longest time to properly banish the water from the ware. My electric bill is going to skyrocket this month. Greenware inside the kiln, shhh, be quiet, greenware can turn on you if you don't treat it right. See, that was the trouble all along, I am so impatient I hurried the firing the first time and cracked some things and warped the rest. This time I filled that puppy to the gills and said that prayer and started the 14 hour (or so) firing. Viola - good bisque upon opening the kiln.
Glaze, glaze, glaze, load kiln, fire, fire faster, glazed bisque is not as picky. The glaze firing ended about an hour ago and I am already itching to open the kiln. BUT - BUT - BUT glaze fired ware is picky about leaving the kiln before it cools so patience, patience, patience.

This is day # 23 of the 50 days, I am caught up but not everything is glazed and fired so I'll just keep praying over the kiln, keep firing and pay the bill when it comes. What else can I do?

Friday evening is a gathering at Sanchez Art Center, the artists will come and we can discuss our joys and sorrows I guess. Sanchez started a Google group to discuss on-line and I was invited but the moderator won't let me in, so, oh, well...I can only ask 3 times, that's my limit. Besides I can concentrate on working instead of visiting, I can visit in person!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sufjan Stevens - Concerning The UFO Sighting

Who likes flying dreams?? Who likes the song Free Falling?
Well, I do and I put this here so I can check it out every now and then and maybe take a little "soar around".
I don't know about the UFO part but hey, it's something to think about, huh? I been thinkin about them since my yarn friend told me about them at the beach...I haven't seen them and I don't look for them either; kind of interesting that other people do see them and even talk to them, dontcha think?
Are there this kind of interesting people everywhere or only in California - well, I hear there are a few in Florida too, Elmore Leonard told me about them....
Someone quite frankly told me I marched to my own drummer and my mother in law makes big hints about it too. So nice to not worry about it though! YAY, I'm free.
Free and up to my belly button in clay.
My 50/50 project bombed so I am rebuilding. The kiln ate my homework, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. There were just a few in there actually but it was heartbreaking, heartbreaking and liberating. I got out the clay and started slinging, I am very pleased with what I have done so far, the problem is glazing. Maybe I won't glaze them, I don't know. Today I did a small sawdust firing...good, good, it turned out good. I don't think I am asking enough money for my work. I'm working pretty hard on them, I wonder if I am locked in to the dollar amount; I did sign a contract...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Brentwood is Not Mars

Yesterday I had lunch downtown with a friend. We visited Gumps and accidently found this wonderful gallery on Maiden Lane filled with old Asian treasures; Xanadu. The kicker is that we marveled at the building it was in and were told it was a Frank Lloyd Wright building. Go there if you are ever in SF - Maiden Lane is ultra ultra...CoCo Chanel, etc. It's free to look in the window, not sure about entering the store!

I took BART downtown, ALWAYS seems to be an adventure for me. I picked a sweet looking well dressed lady about my age to sit next to. Oh, sure, she started picking flies out of the air and making quiet mid-sized motions that looked vaguely like sign language (but wasn't). She was harmless anyway.

My friend said she is moving to Brentwood in the East Bay and she is very upset to leave the coast. It is a good move for them, really, they will have a nice new house. Well, why am I so sad then? She listens to my stuff even when I'm being outrageously...anything, crazy, happy, angry, like that. Our friendship has been building over the last year and I'm so sad. I guess then, that it's all really about me, me, me. I won't name her since she hasn't told everyone yet and my blog is so widely read I don't want to jump the gun. Hey - you-know-who, Brentwood isn't Mars, the road runs back to the coast and probably will until the next earthquake!

In the meantime I got back on BART and wallowed in self-pity. I felt my eyes getting all misty; sure that everyone would look at me if I cried, I held back pretty much. Yeah, right, people on BART would really care....I could pick flies from the air.