Friday, July 31, 2009

More Shaving Mugs...Earthenware No Less!!!

I am really tickled with the fun colors, here is one that really turned out girly-girly so I hope some girly will like to try shaving the old fashioned way with one of these fun shaving mugs.

In the meantime the weather continues to be typical but over the top typical. We are all ready for just a peek at the sun. It came out yesterday morning for about 1/2 hour then it drizzled immediatley after that!

My camera batteries lost their juice right after taking this photo. The kids were surfing! They left their bikes on the sand and I saw them when they finished, they were about 10-12 years old, riding their bikes with their small surfboards under their arms. How California is that??? Hmmm, well, the photo isn't very big I see...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A New Outlook on Earthenware

What a snob I can be about ceramics! I love the high fired stoneware, even though the colors are not as bright and cheerful, the pieces are so dense and strong. I had some earthenware left over from tile making and decided to try throwing with it.

Well, first of all I looked at the water after a couple of dunks to wet my sponge and thought, "Yuck, gross, this bucket has grease in it"!!! I dumped the water out, cleaned the bucket and then found out it is the nature of earthenware. It has a butter-grease kind of feel to it. NOT like porcelain but smooth and smarmy. Never did like smarmy but I may change my mind about it being smarmy. Is that a 4 letter kind of word??? I call the man that travels around eating weird things smarmy and I do mean it in a sort of 4 letter word way...

I am making these shaving mugs and will sell them at the Johnston House Holiday Boutique this year (if I make enough to make it worth while). Entry fee is just $50.00 and they take 20% but I need enough to make it worthwhile. They will cost about $22.00 I think. Still up in the air over that.

Our summer is starting to get to me, drizzle, fog, overcast, brrrr...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sanchez Art Opening Night

The event was so crowded that you could hardly see the art! We had a nice dinner at Nona's in Pedro Point and drove to Sanchez Art Gallery; arriving about 7 p.m. The crowds were amazing, I saw so many friends! Everyone was happy and excited to see so much art, such variety. I'm going again Sunday while the crowds are gone. In the meantime; 2 tiles...

Friday, July 24, 2009

How About Fresh Fish?

Dragged across the highway? This bothered me even though the fish was already dead. Last Saturday was a good fishing day obviously. This striper (bass) was caught from the beach at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica. I took this photo from my car while waiting for the traffic light.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stylized Prehistoric Fish Tile

I started with an abstract design that I liked and it turned into a fish. Imagine that! This glaze looks great on this clay but totally SUCKS on white earthenware. I left it irregular and very thick, it gives it a sort of artifact feel - just what I wanted.
grr, I took these photos very quickly thinking I'd get better ones later but just in case...well, they are the final ones I ended up with until they were hung.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

San Francisco Chronicle Date Book Front Page!

The PR people at Sanchez are doing an excellent job...I was so surprised to see this in the paper. I don't normally even open the paper, I'm so glad someone told me about the article. I don't think you can read it but that's ok, the title says it all.
Ok, back to my book, I am reading "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon. It's not a happy book but it is funny.

Headline: Trees Eat Toxic People

How about a couple of trees?

Why would someone say they saw my tiles in place at Sanchez and tell me how much better they looked all grouped together? I'm a little slow on the uptake I guess but upon some digestion I don't think that was a very nice thing to say. Life is a box of chocolates alright. I happen to like them, so there.
(Note to self: Stay away from toxic people, walk away slowly and don't look back , if you run they'll chase you down and bite you and they'll have rabies and you'll have to get shots in your stomach just like when that dog chased you and Jeanette and she got bit and you didn't...walk and don't look back.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More 50/50 Tiles

These were fun, I am sort of getting into doors. The one of the left doesn't look like it does in person...
The one with the moon is a sort of mystery, the door stands alone seemingly without a structure behind it. I wonder what is on the other side. That's the whole idea in my head about doors, yeah, like that never occured to anyone else! A friend named Mary loaned me a book titled "Doors". Eye candy to a new door freak.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Because I Felt Pressured

I didn't post the tiles in an orderly fashion. Here are a couple more.
I'm threading the loom to weave some tea towels for a friend; practice towels still. It doesn't seem like I should still be making so many errors. Sometimes they are on the underside of my weaving so they aren't apparent right away. Then of course my threading isn't always accurate but I'm forging on anyway.
To Buy:
Stronger reading glasses
Carpet spot cleaner

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Better Wall Photo

Aren't I the chatty one today?
I am so pumped up about this project and all of the people doing it I can't shut up!
My friend cut me off caffeine this morning since I am already blah, blah, blah.
I have this better photo I want to post anyway.

Mah Jong tomorrow, fire kiln at same time (shaving mug sets for a Holiday Boutique)

Meet Joyce Tues. a.m., work ceramics in p.m.

Open studio assignment Wednesday.

HAIRCUT, HAIRCUT, HAIRCUT Thursday a.m., ceramics in p.m..

Friday, Weave and pamper myself and take a nap. Opening night 7-9 p.m.
Did I mention one person has said they are going to buy the broken heart??? No kidding.

My Private Stash is Growing

Help, stop the insanity! I keep stumbling across such deals that I simply can't pass up...there was a rummage sale at our community center. I've been stalking this sale all week. First I thought it was on Thursday, the usual day, no, they told me, this time it's on Saturday because it's going to be a BIG one.

Let me back month ago on Thursday I just happened upon the monthy rummage sale, I don't remember ever going to it before. There was yarn! I bought several cones of yarn and as I was checking out the lady told me that next month there would be more. Someone that had owned a weaving shop donated all of the yarn. Naturally I marked the following Thursday.

Ok, up to speed.

The yarn was just sitting there, a whole table full. No one was buying it, the knitters and crocheters didn't want it. It was too fine for them. I didn't know how much they were going to charge exactly but I loaded up 8 cones of what I believe are natural fibres or mainly natural fibres (fibers?)... As I went to pay I was told the story about no one wanting it and just to get rid of it they gave it to me for $1.00 a cone. Gah, fall on floor. There were 2 huge cones of Scotland wool (according to the label) that I passed up. Should I go back next month? Let it go? ??? I don't know.

Up Against The Wall

48 of my 50 tiles are up against the wall. Hooray, yay, hallelujah, yippee, whew, and all of those other happy sounds. My husband took the wall photo for me with his phone.
Luckily on the last day I made several tiles to put into the bank for a rainy day. My rainy day did come. My star - Jacobs Ladder - well, let's just say that Jacob can't climb quite as high(er) high(er) as he did before. So I put my one paragraph, one chapter storybook in his place of honor. And I left one at home by mistake. Will finish up today.

My husband was kind enough to come and pound nails for me and I put the sticky on the back of the panels (for reinforcement) and he hung them. Patience reigned; who is this man I wondered? I'm very happy with the way they look all together. Thank you also to SJS - an extra pair of eyes was just what I needed.
The final thing was to write an artists statement. Ugh, groan, yuck, ick and all of those other unhappy sounds...
So, I said to myself, just tell it like it is and be truthful and it will work. What a novel idea.

Artists Statement

Clay is my favorite material, I love the way it feels in my favorite tool; my hands! New gadgets are always on the market and I want to try them all but in the end, my hands are the best gadget.

Taking a lump of clay and making it into a solid piece of matter fascinates me, clay is such a humble material yet so versatile; nearly anything can be made of clay. Whether I work in three dimensions or in just one, such as tiles, I find myself lost in my work. When I lose myself that is when I find out what is happening in me. And I have found the reverse to be true also; what is happening with me often works its way into clay. New, moist clay is very workable which is an almost daily reminder to me that I too must remain workable and willing and I learn what the clay sometimes has to teach me! Occasionally things come to shape and I wonder, “Where did that come from?” By trusting my hands I am able to find what it is I really want to say and that is sometimes surprising and always a joy!

My 50/50 Experience

I used the 50/50 project as a personal challenge for commitment and growth. Working small and working every day has given me the chance to experiment with ideas that have intrigued me but I haven’t taken the time to do. More than that it led me to becoming looser in my work; breaking out of rigid boundaries has been a goal of mine! Trusting myself to complete this project was probably the greatest lesson gratefully learned.

Of course they want a bio too, hmm, I was born, I did this, I did that, I went here. This is what I ended up with, thanks to Tiffany for helping me with this!!!

Artist Bio

My love affair with clay began in grade school; I made a soap dish for my mother and still have the memory of the smooth white earthenware on my childhood fingers. I forgot about my first love until I began hand building functional and sculptural pieces with clay in the late 1970’s and then later learning to throw on the pottery wheel. Since then my small clay studio has moved with me from Idaho, Illinois, West Virginia, South Carolina, and now here in Pacifica, California.

Through the years I have worked with different art mediums including drawing, watercolor, collage, weaving, photography and ceramics. I always return to my first love; ceramics, no matter what other avenues I may stroll down.

Pacifica has been my home and studio for the last eighteen years. The seaside landscape has been a huge influence on my artwork. Living near the ocean and seeing it each day often leads me to water themed work. Fish are a recurring theme as well as boats which I enjoy using as a metaphor for life’s journey.

Art has come to be my vehicle for connecting to the world by exploring it through the medium I cherish the most, that of clay.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Childhood Revisited

I did weave as a child. My mother surely burned her hands more than once on the bad stretchy loops I wove into oven mitts for her. But then, I guess I probably didn't buy that loom-thingy myself...

I just had to have these shoes, they are for weaving. Weaving is best done barefoot, I usually have my socks on because my feet get cold. So when I saw these shoes, I thought, "Ah, what cute shoes, I could wear them while I weave". Gee whiz, I do think I need them. When they came I really wanted to wear them to my best friends house to show them off and maybe to the grocery store or the ATM. Are they appropriate for a grandmother?

That brings to mind a conversation that took place among a group of potters recently. We talked about workshops and week-long workshops in particular then someone talked about craft camps for adults and we all just felt like taking off for camp for the whole summer. There was this pregnant pause and we all sat silently savoring the thought. Now that would be, uh, what is the word...too wonderful for words. But who would iron the slacks and go to the grocery store and the ATM and cook dinner and vacuum the carpet and get the mail, pay the bills and be responsible grown ups?
The shoes come from Emandsprout on Etsy.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What is Depressing?

Conversation between the mah jong mavens about depressing books...I said I like depressing books. So did one other maven. I'd loaned my copy of "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy to someone but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. When asked if she liked it she said, "Oh, that is such a depressing book". Hmm, yes, I like depressing books I said. Well, I may have to go look depressing up in the dictionary. I associate depressing books with ones that make me think, not just unhappy, sad-making books.

Meanwhile back at the ranch I started reading "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro not knowing what the book was about I sure can pick something depressing. Of course, it's fiction, right now that is. And it makes me think about the nature of our time here on earth. Enough said. Clicking on the title of this post takes you to a utube explanation of the idea behind the book by Ishiguro.

Tiles now glued into place: 43. How depressing. Not really, I just thought that was appropriate for the day...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Bit of Serenity

My experience making 50 pieces of clay art in 50 days has been pretty whacky. I fired the kiln yesterday, unloaded it this morning and reloaded it and started it up again. It is cooling right now (full of re-fires) and I have more re-fires to do this week. 40 tiles are glued into place so I guess it comes down to the refires being acceptable or not. I told my friend Shirley that I'd have to lower my standards of acceptable if all else fails.

Having returned from Seattle I finally downloaded a couple of photos I took while there - no Space Needles here my friend. This photo so reminds me of my childhood in the trees (raised by Bigfeet dontcha know) that I thought I'd put it here so I could visit from time to time.

My loom sits waiting patiently for me to come back and weave...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009