Sunday, January 31, 2010

WA-LAAH!


well, got up before dawn woken from a dream in which i was showing my friend the new pagoda planters, that i wanted to sell in her restaurant. i was very happy with them and explaining that they were only 50% complete without the plants...they planters were a little more abstract in my dream and i remember the shape of one, which i will jot down in my sketch book here so i don't forget. so out to the studio i go in my pajamas and slippers walking the short path i shoveled through the foot plus snow we got yesterday/friday, and near 0 temps. didn't feel a thing i could have done it in bare feet and not felt the cold. do you understand obsession? well i am knee deep in it with my new projects..and i have been waiting close to two days to open this kiln! ...so it was at 140 f, and i cracked it...and wa-lah! there they are in all their splendor..since they have some solid parts that are holding the heat longer, and i the ever patient potter(haha), decided to heavily crack they kiln while i went back in to have coffee and oatmeal..so now i have read my beautiful fellow artist blogs, and much inspired i am more dressed and out the door i go, good thing they didn't exploded, since i started five bigger models yesterday!...i will post pics later, and yes i have some cutting that are ready to be planted..see you later!

Friday, January 29, 2010

pajama's, 800 f., and solid rebellion










i have yet to take pics of the new platters, hoping to get access to a friend's wife's photography studio...on other fronts, the first round of pagoda palnters are in the kiln. i awoke before dawn with alot of anxiety that the had exploded, even though i force dried them in the kiln for more than 24 hrs! so i hopped out of bed and went out into the studio. the kiln was reading 800f. now most people would hesitate to open a container that is reading 800 degrees, but i strolled right over, tapped the lid handle to make sure it wasn't 800 f, and then acracked it super quick like, and to my delight they were all sittin' pretty..my life was at once backe in harmony and every thing was true and good on the world! interesting way to start the day, welcome to my life...so, after much research and pondering, i have decided that single-firing these bad boys is the way to go. the use of a bisque fire is done more out of traditional convention than function. bisque firing came about when majolica deco was being discovered. before that pots were only fired once....it makes no sense for me to do a combined seventy hour fire, when i can achieved similar results with a thity-five hr one. i am doing two things that most potter are taught not to do in the universities. one i am only firing once, applying the slips/gazes/stains/ during the greenware stage..2. i am firing solid b thick blocks of clay. these sculptures are not made from slabs. the are made from sold parts of clay. i want the planters to have a very real feel to how the look visually. strong, rock-like cliffs and heavy stone bases. this will also help with the function , since some of the plants will sit high and could tip over if not weighted properly...most will say " hey! you can not fire solid clay! how dare you you!..well, i believe i can...it is just a matter of how slow i fire and cool the pieces..the current time frame for this round is 25 hours up with a very slow crawl thru quartz inversion and 15 hrs down to 750..so we shall see...i am very hopeful..we shall see...wherever you are, hope your day is good and you are living in passion and truth! today is all we have......

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

before....







after soon to come!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

composition un-composed






many frontiers being explored, the newest is piano. my life is different now that i have a piano...everything bleeds, and life is grand! i used to think i was tone deaf, bit in truth i cannot sing, my ear seems to be good, i am picking up and learning short passages fairly quickly. i have started composing, really have no idea if i am tabbing the notes correctly, my friend is classically trained , and will attempt to play what i have in my head.... firing a glaze load, and very curious to see the results...here are some finished pieces from last kiln, sadly had a 50% loss rate...still it is 25% better than the first kiln, but i am am hoping to get it up to 75% consistently...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

wintertime and the livin' is...





here are some shot of my life yesterday.got me a piano!!!...unloading a kiln, and then going to play taxi for a friend...i knew i shouldn't have called him back!haha....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

leaning towards a couple of things i like to know





four out of five made it through the bisque. not sure but i think the crack in the oplatter happen during the drying phase...oh well..here are some pics..i am taking these bueaties up to cone 6..that will be about a thirty plus hr firing@! that is long for a 10 cu electric kiln folks! i will need to sell these just to pay my damn electric!haha...well off to pot, have a good day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

god bless my soul before i put my foot down and start to stroll..









i will come back to these later and disect them...pagoda planters..is the thought behind the design..now off to a roller-skating parteee!..
need to get off here, so very quickly these will have plants the will live in them. sort of mediation planters..with pools of glass and water flows that will ahppen when watering them..

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

back that jass up...

jass was what jazz was origianlly called, "jass" meaning sex in the new orleans area early 20th century...right..being the begining of a new year, and the fact that i am still trying to aquire a camera for blogging...what better time to jump back in time and see what i was up to..




i will be going out to the parkway school, to give a demo to the seventh? graders there. i have done this a couple of times before, and it is alot of fun. i plan on doing deco work on a large bottle form. the week has been a busy one, i am making some big forms, and trying to solve my platter cracking problem, these two seem to be okay, i have kept them covered, and then put stilts underneath so air flows around the whole platter., one issue could be that the plaster bats are keeping the bottoms too moist. i really like how the plates pop off though, with large platters, wire cutting them is a ridiculous procedure, ya feel me!....the kiln looks to have come out beautiful this morning. i will be posting some new pics this sunday..
.i am seeing so much potential in my work, and in my life right now. i feel very grateful for these gifts. it is so poetic for me, this symbolism that is occurring. there is change and hope taking place on a global level, i feel this energy in my own life. i do believe in synchronicity. even though there is a lot of healing happening just by his being elected, he will not solve our problems. you see, the greatness of this man's mind is that is understands this. we on a individual level are responsible for the change.
"be the change you wish to see in the world" -ghandi..
i wish you a blessed day.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

lost in translation






very sleepy will comment on these mananna goodnight.,
alright, damn nothing like a good nights sleep to change one's perspective! last night i was feeling like what the hell am i doing here..i know myself well enough now though, i was really tired and resisting sleep...so ignoring my morbid thoughts i pulled the sheets uptight and passed out. now life is full of possibilities and glorious again...funny how easily the brain can develop a view dependent on simple needs such as sleep, hunger, sex!!! that's right..you know what i am talking about..needs baby..anyways....back to the clay,for that is a whole other blog...the platters are moving right along, working on what would be the third series now. i find that this is a whole new way of working, it is really pushing my comfort zone. first there is no rushing these, the drying time alone is about two weeks. coming from a place where i was slip-casting, having the ware dry in a matter of hours and firing a kiln every week, the contrast feels absolute. i have much longer to think about the design, and have started again a sketch book, which is an overall great tool. i recommend it strongly. the ideas are kept better and allowed to ferment in a viable way, whereas in my head they can be lost first of all , no problem, or stagnate just being rolled around mostly....and lost. with these platters i am working in two directions. 1. i am trying to simplify the design aesthetic and 2.experiment like a motherfucker...learning as much as i can about the stains,slips,glazes that i can...so since i have so much time waiting for the platters to come around( i now have the fourth round made running out of table space)i will focus on test tiles..something i have never done. this will be nice to have a visual palette on the studio wall i can reference. i have always seen this on other clay artist's walls, and said to myself..that's nice....also i have a new new new new camera(i break shit, it's my electrical field. causes things to drop and what not), and cannot figure how to rotate the pics..the sculptural piece is 180 degrees o9ff here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

i lost my heart somewhere...i need to take more time...

the good be tonyas, they are the tits i do believe. this morning i will be re-organizing my studio a bit, more shelves..open up the space. i removed a water-heater from the garage(my studio), the space was built to be a car detailing shop...transfers very well to a clay-studio. i was hurrying, in the middle of moving a friend, dropping off some shelves..when i said to my buddy, "hey let's take this old water heater out so i can put more shelving up." so i then start to rapidly rip the sucka put, cutting through wires(power was off), and generally wrestling the beast detaching it from the wall...then there was one. a solitary piece of plastic pipe, that i now know is the water supply. tearing into it with a pair of garden shears, the artery responds, gushing water five feet up into the air. mind you we where just stopping to drop off some shelves, and we now found ourselves in an all out five alarm frenzy, trying to find the main shutoff as water came forth in biblical proportions. luckily the place is set up for water to be flowing, and the new river made a path directly towards the central drain. i was very excited, saying " i will go shut off the main water valve.". for some reason i like this, i am gather shovels and picks dash across the lawn and began excavating through the six foot snow-drift to get to the water main. this takes a good ten minutes of intense digging, pulling, and generally fighting against the frozen lid, trying to get it off...finally i do and i am able to turn off the levers that is down in a four foot hole. happy that i have arrested the flood i run back, excited about the good news, to find andrew calmly rearranging the shelves... i say " hey, got the water off"..to which he replies, "i told you i found the valve" i was like "when" , he was like "when you ran by the door." "i thought you said you couldn't find it", "no man, i said i did!" sooo, there you go..now i get to learn some more plumbing as i must plug up the line to the w.heater before i can get water back...*disclaimer* there tends to be a descriptive stretch in this story...but like mark twain says "whats a story without a stretch"..actually i just made that up, he never that but i bet he gladly takes credit from the beyond the grave ;)

Monday, January 4, 2010

baby it's cold outside....




shoot. 6 degrees this morning, with sub-zero temps, a ten day stretch of this.....coldest winter i have experienced up here so far. ..i love it. really...there had been lots of snow, and i like the extreme weather. makes me feel alive! there do seem to be a lot of whiners up here though...you are living in the mountains for god sake,...toughen up. this is glorious!people don't like when i tell them that they are being wimpy...takes the wind out of their wimp-sails. oh well... the fierce winds, deep snow drifts, cascading ice flows, crisp hard air filling my lungs as i truck up a ridge line, all of it fills me with wonder. hell i want to tell the whiners that if they don't like weather move to the flatland....this is a land of struggle and triumph over one's comfort zone. mountain people have lived here for centuries, and they are no whiners. just shiners' haha...anyways i digress, i am leaving for a trip down to asheville to pick up some low-fire slip i came across on craigs' list, and then a trip to highwaters for materials, i will be loading the hell up! lots of new stains, glazes...the works! all for the platters, which i view as canvases.....the slip guy is liquidating his mother's slip-casting business, and says there is a basement full of molds. sweet. his mother is 87 and has dementia, so we have to be delicate in this situation. she is still very much in the mindset, that she will work again...this will probably be me. my kids having to divert my attention, as they sell off my studio... i have dealt with my grandpa's dementia first hand, and it is a shitty disease, i don't wish it on anyone....well the platter's are coming right along. it is a very different way of working for me...each platter takes a good amount of time to make and then even longer to deco, and then forever to dry..i am used to working fast, so i have to keep telling myself that it is okay to take a ;longer on a piece...now that i worked out the firing issue, i feel much less stressed know ing i might lose the platter in the final process..that can be quite nerve-racking...here are some new ones the marbled clay one is my fav. it will get some glass in the carved circle, and the protruding bisqued pieces are receiving some glaze effects. the overall aesthetic is a primal sculptural feel, the marble clay makes me think of the planets for some reason..have a good day.

Friday, January 1, 2010

so much to begin with and nothing is lost....




this past year my work has gone through much change...i learned how to work with plaster and slip-cast about this time last year...when spring came, i found myself painting with my fingers in oil, franticly producing painting after painting, i left the ceramics alone for a couple of months..summer brought my first employee and a lot of slip-casting!.. then i came back, not interested in the sgraffito work i had been doing for the last three years, started incorporating a "street" asteatich into the slip-ware, adding decals and stylisiclly where akin to the oil paintings..then did a series of sculptures, learning how the incorporate hand building with wheel work, also trying a low-fire earthenware clay for the first time, tip-toeing around with stains,slips, and colorants....this led me to my current work very large platters.
soooo...to sum up 2009, it was a year of adventure, trying new techniques, and trying to allow the process to dictate the direction...i feel like i learned much!..my tool box is a little fuller, and my mind is secure in the notion of pure manisfestation...good and bad>. thought word action...by far the platters have been the most challenging. i have lost 100% of the work over 20"...alas this has been a blessing, i feel failure is only so if one accepts the situation as a mistake and not an opportunity. i reached out and the beautiful clay artists responded. i am becoming well-versed in the art of the slow fire...the final glaze is cooling as i write..what will it say?..hopefully not anything shocking! (clay humor there)...anyways, 2010 for me feels wide open..i am going to focus on the platters for a while, trying to bring a sense of painting composition mixed with sculptural qualities...my studio is turning into a mad-scientist laboratory..excellent. i am creating a vocabulary of colors and textures using slip, oxides, stains, glazes,, and raw materials. really trying to push the boundaries, yet striving for a sense of balance within the work...i will hope fully be posting pics of large un-cracked platters later today...hope your new year is blessed.