Monday, November 26, 2012

Upcoming Sales

Turning Wheel Pottery, 191 Liza Allen Road, Berea, Ky. 40403.  Bruce and Kelley Hoeffer.  859-985-1444
     Alrighty, Thanksgiving is over, another bird (and ham) has been eaten and it's holiday sales time! I've got a few things going on this season in addition to items on Etsy and at Damselfly Gallery in Midway, Ky. First up this weekend, December 1&2, I will be a guest artist at Turning Wheel Pottery in Berea, Ky. with my buddies, Bruce and Kelley Hoefer along with fellow guest artists, Philip Willete, also of Berea. The gallery is at 191 Liza Allen Road, Berea, Ky. The Holiday Sale at Turning Wheel is December 1st and 2nd, from 10am to 5pm. Phone 859-985-1444.
     Following that weekend, I and other ceramics alumni will be setting up with the EKU students at their Student Sale in the lobby of the Campbell Building on campus on Crabbe Street, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9-5pm with other alumni and then...

     This is a great collection of local potters and crafts people in the area around Madison and Estill Counties. Some of this year's participants include Alley Cat Pottery of Richmond, Jake Boggs, Melisa Beth Ceramics of Lexington, Lyndsey Fryman, Bill Lennox, Dirty South Pottery of Winchester, Flatwoods Pottery of Waco, Crimson Duvall, Buddy Dobbins, Turning Wheel Pottery of Berea and me! As with both sales, this is a great opportunity to get a unique, handmade gift for the special people in your life.
     The sale opens on Friday afternoon at 4pm until 8:30pm coinciding with the Richmond Christmas Parade. Hours on Saturday are 10am to 5 pm and on Sunday, from 1pm to 4pm. Until then, I'm on Etsy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and wood firing

Ceramic Wood Fired Vase with Spiral Sun Carvings, $40
Red Cross Disaster Relief Efforts for Hurricane Sandy Victims
 UPDATE: Just sold! This vase will be making it's way to New Rochelle and $40 will be on it's way to the American Red Cross for relief efforts related to Hurricane Sandy. Thanks, Lorayne!    I have just designated 100% of the price of this vessel to be donated to the American Red Cross towards the relief efforts of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy up the Eastern Seaboard this past week. It is available on my Etsy Store.

     I participated in a wood firing earlier this week in Waco with my wacky pottery friends. Hurricane Sandy's effects were felt all the way in Eastern Kentucky as gusty winds. Those gusts pushed a lot of air through the firebox and fed the fire quite nicely, quite quickly. I ended up only having one shift as we reached temp by 9-9:30pm.
Guarding the kiln with Bea and Mia.
     Upon my return home, I was greeted by the havoc Sandy was wreaking in the Tri-State area of NY-NJ-CT, where my friends and family live. I spent 15 years in Manhattan and Brooklyn and know the subway system well. The images of the harbor rushing into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and the South Ferry entrance were shocking, to say the least. The damage to the Jersey Shore, NYC, the south shore of Long Island and the Connecticut shore of the Long Island Sound is just awful to look at. Fortunately, everyone I know of in NYC is just suffering power outages but the longer that goes on, the worse things will get so I'm hopeful that the power situation is taken care of soon. 
     To put things in perspective, right now, Hoboken is flooded and nearly 20,000 people are stuck with water surrounding their buildings, contaminated water, no power, no water. That's more people than the population of the entire county where I now live. And Hoboken is but a drop in the bucket of just how many people live in the Tri-State area. New York City and it's environs may have some very wealthy people and real estate in it but not everyone from there is part of the one percent so consider donating to the Red Cross. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wood fire in Waco

What better time to start a wood-firing than when there's inclement weather on the horizon, I ask you? Best to my peeps back on the East Coast. Best to the pots in the kiln!

Friday, October 19, 2012


We cannot see time so we make a line for it to mark it off as it happens. Time is change. We look behind us to recognize time, measuring against our origins.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Binders full of rock art

Paleolithic-style horse carving on vase, on Etsy.
     I don't like watching debates of presidential and vice presidential candidates. They are meant to play like some kind of reality show and turn elections into gladiator-type events. They cheapen things. Reality shows are anything but real. I don't know what I find more disheartening, that people watch these shows or that they don't understand that they are still scripted like a sit-com but without union writers and actors and scale pay. I digress. Political media people, the bastard step-children of media, don't pull in high ratings so political events end up mimicking high-rating tv shows like reality shows. It's not for information, it's purely for ratings. Everything is scripted including the headlines and run-up to the Big Show. It's sad. I wish we could get the big money out of elections, get the free-for-all advertising out of elections, make them 6-8 weeks long, tops. Level the playing field and no more of these MMA/UFC-type "debates."
     In lieu of this interruption of my time, I have work in the studio, several books and alternate television to keep myself from going nuts. If I'm going to watch a reality show, I'll watch a genuine one. In fact, I have actually enjoyed "Project Runway" in the last few weeks. I've also taken to reading real paper books. My selection in the last week has been between Jane Austen's "Emma," apparently the only Jane Austen book the Estill County library possesses, and "Ambiguous Images: Gender and Rock Art" by Kelly Hays-Gilpin, a book that re-examines identifying gender in pre-historic rock art world-wide, and our beliefs about who made rock art and why. Since the things that inform my work are based in gender identity, origins, connection to the natural world around us, I find examinations about this subject fascinating. It has always piqued my interest as to why we assume all full-figured female figures in the prehistoric record must relate to fertility. Or why, even, do we assume that any gender depiction of women must relate to fertility? It could be posited that much interpretation of rock art stems from the ethnocentric point of view of the interpreter including the gender of the researcher. A prominent question about rock art is the assumption by many, historically and perhaps, presently, that the makers of rock art were male. Why assume that? Highlighting that bias, Hays-Gilpin relates a summary of a conversation with a male student on the subject that 'in the Western tradition, men and a few iconoclastic (and mostly upper-class) women "do" art while most women and working class men do "crafts".' She continues: " One of the most unproductive arguments I ever had with a student was about this art-craft dichotomy. He insisted that pottery and textiles were crafts and that painting was art, and nevermind paintings on pottery. Because they appear on pottery, they are clearly craft, he said." She argued that "we cannot know what kind of values other cultures, especially past ones, placed on decorated objects; the decoration on the objects; and the decoration of rock, plaster, clay or canvas surfaces. Are we really using some inherent aesthetic qualities to assign images to "art" versus  "craft," or are we using the socioeconomic class and gender of the makers to classify their products as art/superior verus craft/inferior?"
     This paragraph made me think about how often this point comes up even now in modern art/craft times and how does it relate to me, practicing art as a woman in a medium classified as a "craft?" So I stopped reading to give my mind a break, wandering out on the internet for some entertainment. Trending on Twitter at the time was this:
     It's moments like these that confirm for me that I am right to not watch the debates in real time. Watching on Twitter, after the fact, is far more interesting, funny, thought provoking, &c. Just what the does this mean? Who said it? Why did they say it? What on earth would precipitate a phrase fragment such as "binders full of women" to trend on Twitter? In what context? And then reading the transcript this morning to find out how this phrase came about sends me back to that gender bias question from Hays-Gilpin. Why do we assume that things of importance, jobs of importance, art of significance, can only be done by men? That we must research and collect "binders full of women" for cabinet positions because, gosh darn it, there are just no qualified women out there! That "objects" equals "crafts" but "crafts" do not equal "art" which translates into "inferior to art" for some unknown reason. When I draw on a piece of paper I elevate my thought but when I draw into wet earth to be fired into a permanent object, I'm cheapening it? How does that cognitive dissonance work exactly? Because I am female? If a man does the same thing, is it less of a "craft?"
    The bottom line as far as I'm concerned is that unless we can extract some DNA from the rock art itself and definitively connect it to the maker of the art, we do not know who made the art. We cannot assume. Well, we can, but should we? Here's another thing to consider: when I make my art, I have an artist statement that can accompany it. I have my daily/weekly/monthly process that a person can follow along with, on my blog. I can tell you what this particular piece means from my point of view as I made it. However, I also know that if you do not have all of this information, you can still relate to my work artistically, without knowing my gender, my background, my thought process. So when I look at rock art, is it fertility that it speaks of when the images presented are gender identified? Shamanistic? Or did humans then, have moments like I do now, where they just did it because they could, to get better at it, to practice, to explore a thought?
     Our own biases are sometimes invisible to us.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bit of this, bit of that...

Thank you,  Kentucky Mudworks!
pendant thingies...
     Bought a bead rack. I'm experimenting with some pendant ideas and working out the kinks. Tomorrow, I'll do another glaze firing, a bit of a re-fire to test the "one cone higher" idea for my kiln-sitter just to see if I reach closer to temp. Cross my fingers I don't open the kiln to puddles. Well, at least I know the clay is high-fire.
Jason Bige Burnett at EKU
     On Monday, I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture at EKU given by David Katz and Jason Bige Burnett about residency programs. Both of them are doing residencies at Arrowmont, a wonderful place. I was fortunate enough to get a a scholarship to attend a one-week workshop with Nick Joerling when I was an undergrad at EKU.
     David Katz does some wonderful unfired ceramic installations that are just wild; they fully inhabit the room and you have to walk into them and interact with the space. Jason Bige Burnett was also kind enough to demonstrate his screen-printing technique of colored slips on leather-hard clay surfaces. Both of them have diverse and interesting backgrounds and do amazing work.
     Next up for me, though, will likely be getting ready for a wood firing at the end of the month. For now, fire that kiln!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One more treasury...

Etsy Treasury Time!