Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Temporary Chaos

Sunflower. Fibonacci sequencing. Awesome patterning. Math, science, art are related.
     When it rains it pours. Something happened in the middle of this year that caused my rhythm to explode and suddenly, I'm the headless chicken. Boom and bust. We've gone from warm in March to cool in May to horrendous heat and drought in June to Suddenly, rain! in July and August with the latter part of August being dry again and rather comfortable. Unusual for August. My Mammoth sunflowers exploded with huge heads! One has reached 11 feet tall.
KY7 Biennial, Lexington Art League, Loudon House.
Uncomfortable Surprise
     I went with fellow artist, Lyndsey Fryman, to check out the KY7 Biennial at Loudon House a few weeks ago. My piece, Uncomfortable Surprise, is included in this interesting, eclectic collection. The exhibit runs until September 9th in Lexington, KY.
Bowls and soap dishes
     Lots of throwing to bulk up on inventory for future firings. In between the items for myself, I've been throwing some Raven Black Clay for Empty Bowls in Lexington, KY at Bourbon n' Toulouse on Sept. 22. The bag of Raven Black I received must have been a bit dry since it was hard and a bitch to center. Very groggy but made for some nice sturdy bowls. I think I'd stick to hand-building with this clay, though. Dried quickly, too. I'm assuming it's heavy on the iron and manganese. It leaves my water chocolatey brown so I always have to have a snack of chocolate after throwing. With tea.

On Etsy: Wood-fired Carved Stoneware with Turquoise Eye, $70

Fine Tea. Highly Recommended.
    Here's a suggestion for tea. One of my teapots and some Harney & Sons tea. I love a blend called Chocolate Mint. I'm generally not big on flavored teas but these guys hit the right ratio of flavor to tea. Awesome brew.
This new doorway only took all day to cut through heart pine and oak panels!
A pineapple for 29 cents??? (Pineapples have fibonacci sequencing, too, you know.)
      At home, we have undertaken some renovations in a front room that has sat relatively unusable for the last decade, for us, at least. Too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter. It's been reframed, doors taken out, doors put in, new windows, you name it. Our friend, Nate Miller, did the work and he is fantastic. Not enough that he's great at remodeling, he happens to be a terrific botanical photographer. Here is his site to purchase his images:
Murray, Super Cat.
     In the midst of all the renovations, my sweet, eighteen-year-old cat, Murray, took a turn for the worse and died. He was my transitional cat. I got him when I was living in Manhattan, still married to my first husband. He came with me through the divorce, the move to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Greenpoint, Brooklyn and then the Westward push to Estill County, Kentucky. Through it all, he was a trooper and talked to me the whole time. He would wander the hills of my property, howling to hear himself echo. When I would take a walk, he would howl after me, so I would answer and he would come running at the sound of my voice. My friend, relatives and I referred to him as The Cat With Eyebrows since he seemed to have that same capacity for eyebrow expression that dogs do, but in a cat way. He was often concerned for me, sniffing and raising his head, peering down his nose, particularly when I was taking a bath or shower, as if to say, "You realize you're in all that water? You sure you want to do that?" He touched my heart more than I realized. He will be missed.
     And finally, I joined the parade of clay people-types at Mud Colony. They have this nifty blog and Facebook page. If you're into clay or pottery, as a maker or collector, this blog contains some great spotlights on artists as well as links to other ceramic artists and potters from around the globe. Check them out!

Monday, August 6, 2012

It's a jungle out there

Lovely husband hanging my new sign for the road.
     One of the harder things to do when you work for yourself alone (for me, anyway), is maintaing discipline of a work schedule and routine. It's not that I don't love what I do but because I work at my place of living and alone and for myself, it's very easy to get "off track" and get distracted. Not only do others believe that I can just stop working to accommodate their desires, I can easily con myself of the same thing and end up getting way behind on goals and projects with personal errands and other things that can wait until I finish working. I think working in the field of graphic design in New York City for years helps me keep things moving forward. Design is very "deadline" oriented. If I set a deadline for a project, that's step one. Step two is practicing the self-discipline to follow through – that's the much, much harder part.
     Right now the discipline is about maintaining a Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM schedule in the studio and be ready to deal with any visitors. I don't expect any visitors for a while but first I have to get into a new habit. In my mind, once I hung this sign, I was committed to this schedule. Assuming this goes well, I'll continue this next year for the Spring/Summer season of April through September. Of course, being the semi-solitary person I am, when it's not my work schedule, I reserve the right to be my rude and cranky self. There will be exception weekends when I have events and firings to attend but I will announce that here and on my Facebook page.
Some abstract carvings
     New wood-fired work is on Etsy and at Damselfly Gallery in Midway, KY. Most of the horse items are at Midway. Above are some larger vase forms with cave art and abstract carvings for either electric firing or future wood-firings.
Cave art carvings on larger vases in bisque.
     Western Kentucky is still in a drought. Where I am, however, has gotten buckets of rain since Mid-July. Suddenly, my stumpy Mammoth sunflower plants have lived up to their name and shot up over the last several weeks. My volunteer gourds below them have also exploded. I'm 5'5" so you be the judge of how big this one is. The heads of these guys are heavy with seeds. Birds will be well fed this winter.
Bursting with seeds!
     I have, however, abandoned my garden to the weeds. Occasionally I go in and find some beans and check to see that the onions are still growing. Even some banana peppers get picked. My frustration with how well things grow here, particularly weedy, viney things means I hope to build a more permanent garden of the raised bed variety to maintain some order out there.
Irvine, Kentucky
     Lastly, kudos to the Olympic participants and the Mars Curiosity rover team. Wow! on both counts.