Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Things

2012, Stoneware, glaze, slip, silk, wool, pine cones, cedar, gold leaf
     Here are images of new sculptures that were finished in the beginning month of this year. This piece started out as most of my work does, referencing gourd-like shapes. I'm beginning to think the gourd often references the womb, at least in my case, most of the time (Sometimes it does reference the masculine), and my contemplation about how I see myself as a woman having chosen not to have children, particularly now that I'm entering my menopausal years and any choice will be a moot point soon.
     The sculpture above is one of those instances where you begin and don't know quite where your idea will finish. Some people don't work this way. They have a concrete concept and idea and execute it faithfully, right down to the last millimeter. I can work that way about 25% of the time. Well, maybe about 10%. 9.5%. Anyway, the point is, I feel very strongly about intuition. Part way through, I ask myself, what if I make a sharp right turn? What happens if I close off the top? What if I split the end in two? What if the bottom is no longer a bottom? What, then, does the piece say to me? At each stage of the form, then surface, then finish, I try to detach from what I've created and view it as a stranger. What does it evoke? What could it evoke? Where am I in life and what possible intentions did I include in this piece?
     The funny thing about Evolving is that at nearly every stage, I just wasn't sure if I had anything worth having. Great uncertainty. That is, until I put the last cedar legs in, the last bit of silk and positioned the appendages that remind me of demented fallopian tubes. I photographed this creepy monster and fell in love with its expression, its determination, its identifiable characteristics and its ambiguity, all evolving from the first coil.
2012, Stoneware, glaze, slip, thorns, beads
     Vagina dentata anyone? Watch out because it's got sucker-feet that can crawl towards you.
Uncomfortable Surprise
2012, Stoneware, glaze, slip, beads
     Unexpected moments in life, life-changing events, the kinds of things that you know are significant but you're not sure why. Not being able to discern if something is a good thing or a bad thing right away can cause anxiety; we like to put people, things, ideas in a box, label them, pigeonhole them into pro and con, good and bad, black and white. This form reminds me of a Christmas Cracker, the paper toy common at Christmas time in a Dickensian setting, ruptured, faceted, splitting down the middle. Will it be a pleasant surprise?
Orchid of Emptiness
2012, Stoneware, glaze, slip, copper, wool, beads
     Orchids are beautiful but they are parasitic. I ponder, often, about the nature of parent/child relationships, particularly mother/child relationships. Whose needs do they serve? Is it beneficial for both? Is it a good thing? When do parent/child needs evolve into adult/adult needs? Do they ever? Not all parent/child relationships end up this way or are like this 100% of the time, but that prospect is always there, in my opinion.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Clay3 Show at Clay Space

The Co-dependent Seeker2010, Stoneware and porcelain
     This sculpture and two others will be in the upcoming Clay3 Show at ClaySpace in Warrenville, IL beginning this Friday, March 2 and running until April 1. I am honored to have three of my pieces selected for this exhibit in such great company and tickled that I will be exhibiting along side of my EKU alumni, Lyndsey Fryman.
     If you are in the Chicago area, Warrenville is just west of the city. ClaySpace (28 W. 210 Warrenville Road) is also offering clay workshops this weekend so it's worth a look-see!

For want of a horseshoe nail

Carved Teapot on Etsy
There's a poem, a 15thC proverb, I remember from my childhood, "For Want of a Nail"

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

     It resonates with me often when problems crop up in my life because the origin is usually not some big catastrophe but, instead, the tiniest of inconsequential things that has snowballed. Even the solutions to my challenges involved a maze and scavenger hunt of steps to fix one tiny thing.
     My laptop is no more. It has become a desktop computer, forever connected to the wall. I don't fret about this because it's better than no computer at all. And the last time I had a crash on this machine, I finally invested in a back-up system. How I went decades without one is beyond me, sheer luck, I'm guessing, but it only takes one good scare and suddenly, I'm more efficient! The journey of laptop to desktop was fraught with horseshoe nail-like moments. I did a lot of sighing and spaced looks off into the horizon contemplating the absurdity of it all. My mother asked my the other day, "What's the point of all of this? We're like ants." Pretty much, Mom.
    Here is a picture of Maxx:
Maxx has arthritis.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Updates and notes

Uncomfortable Surprise, 2012,
4"h x 12.5"w x 4"d, Stoneware, cone 6 oxidation, glaze, slip, beads
Tricky time for me on the interwebs. My laptop is non-functional which makes getting on the internet limited and problematic for me. The desktop computer is in a room that isn't really accessible in the evenings without disturbing my husband (he has an odd early, early morning shift). So until that gets fixed, the internet interaction is sporadic and limited. In addition, where the desktop computer sits is uncomfortable for me at the moment so I am less motivated to spend time in front of it than munching on snacks, typing on the laptop. Although that's kind of what brought down the laptop in the first place.
Uncomfortable Surprise,  detail
But! We are moving the computer area! So all of that should be resolved somewhat shortly. I hope.
Uncomfortable Surprise, 2012,
4"h x 12.5"w x 4"d, Stoneware, cone 6 oxidation, glaze, slip, beads
In the studio, I am on several application deadlines and work deadlines. And running out of time. Naturally. Later this afternoon, I will be taking a break from the carving work on cups, teapots and sculptures to participate in an Empty-Bowl-A-Thon at Eastern Kentucky University's ceramics department for an upcoming Empty Bowls event. Check your local area for an Empty Bowl event near you! Great community event to help feed the hungry. I help out with about two a year.
Commissioned Tea Set in ivory, light blue and green with pink.
And so, these are images of a finished sculpture and a recent tea set that was commissioned. The aesthetics on the tea set are derived from the cups on Etsy but the cups are smaller, more like sake-sized. The ridges and lines remind me of the hyphae of fungi that I was reading about just recently from Dr. Nicholas P. Money's books, Mushrooms and Triumph of the Fungi: A Rotten History, which I recommend.
Tea Horse Studio, Drinking Cup, $22

Spring is just around the corner. I sense I'll be buying seeds this weekend...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I'm overdue for a blog post. It's colder out now than it has been in a while and naturally, I'm throwing. Throwing cold clay. Such fun. You can almost hear me whine through the screen, can't you?

In the mean time, here is a picture some cups I made with squiggly things on them and some crazy old lady I know. Enjoy.

Squiggly lines

Watch out for this one.