Thursday, April 28, 2011

chicken soup and...

Why didn't I make myself any last week?  No clue.  Then a friend got sick, and I offered her some, and am presently simmering it away in the kitchen.  I'm sure to have a little for my own lunch too.

At one time this set had 6 bowls, but I sold a couple.  The other four are lovingly used by me myself.  I need to make some more, the torn slab construction is easy to build, reminds me of these blue ridge mountains around me, and they are enjoyable to use.

I've only got a few left of these combination vases, thrown base with slab pieces smoothed on the insides, but left with their edges showing on the outside...highlighted by various tones.

This bowl was my friend Teresa's wedding present.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

clay class

These pieces are not mine.  I can't make the images much larger because they were on FaceBook or an Etsy site, and this is as much as they enlarge.

Annie Singletary is the potter.

She's also my new clay teacher.
I'm having major difficulty editing my blog today, the text will not behave, and just seems to go wherever it wishes, rather than next to the images.  Sorry.  Not my fault.  I guess.  Perhaps I don't know some major editing thing. 
Annie used to teach at Black Mountain Center for The Arts...and then she didn't, for the longest time.  She's been pretty busy with family and having a baby 6 months ago.  But when she decided to come back to teaching, I was thrilled.  I have actually taken a one or two day workshop with her before, and know she's a treasure trove of pottery information.

So I'm endeavoring to learn some of her techniques...and this class is all about techniques, for me at least.  It's so hard to go back to basics of cutting a first try, or second or fourth in half to see what I can learn about what I'm doing.  But hey, I am going to be a better potter and sculptor as a result of this.  Aleady my dreams of projects are changing, and I'm sketching ideas like crazy.

I feel so fortunate to have such a good teacher!  Thanks, Annie!

The Clay Club meeting next month will be at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts (May 11 at 6:30 pm).  This group of potters (mainly from the Yancy and Mitchell Counties of Western North Carolina) gathers from hither and yon to eat and greet monthly.  But Buncombe County is also included, and I guess elsewhere.  Whenever we're in a studio, apprently it's an opportunity for a demo or two.  I've only come to 2 of their meetings so far, and felt very welcome.  And everyone can dues either!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

got that settled

Muffin has been watching Nature shows for quite a while...but here she is showing she is part of the great majority..."Do you think Pets share some of their owner's personality traits?"

Ah, now that that's settled, time for some absorption of rays.  Note the play feather that she's trained me to bring back from whatever sources I happen upon them.

And of course we both enjoyed the splendor of the cherry tree which never bears fruit, has no scent, and I was hoping no pollen.  That may not be entirely true, as something rubbed off the bark that was tan and stained my granddaughter's sweater.

My menagerie now includes one cat and an angel fish and a bunch of guppies, which the grands enjoy feeding (fish, not cat).  They really were pretty patient with trying to pet Muffin.  In her opinion, not so much.

Here are 2 of my lovely granddaughters getting used to my home...

And parents as well as granddaughter were happily surprised to see my son in an old photo when he was around 3.

The littlest one had some trouble with the feeling of clay on her hands, but after a while she got into it...all of our dear little clay experimenters did something for Easter.

My porch studio was happy to host three new little clay artists.

Even clean-up was easily accomplished with a nice big bowl of warm water.

Mom and Dad got into the act also, and helped make everything from bunnies to eggs to baskets to chicks, and each child made her own clay basket. 

A special drawing was added to my refrigerator, commemorating the activities of the day!

My son and his three girls (and wife not in this shot) seem to have a fun time no matter what they are doing.  Since they are driving many miles on their vacation, I'm glad it will be a happy trip for them.

More pictures will be posted later on.  I'm still catching my breath, and trying to deal with the pollen which has hit my breathing.  So I'm not out there doing as much as the younger folks!

The storms that tore through western NC last night and this morning were truly ferocious...and the BMCA studio had a lot of water on the floor at noon, so I didn't stay today.  I can work there tomorrow.  Reports on the news say there were many tornadoes.  I'm grateful that none seemed to occur near us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Old and not so old memories

Lovely evening with professional clay workers at One of A Kind...OOAK, in Micaville, NC last night.  Renewed acquaintence with Susan and sort of started one with Cynthia from Penland. 

Raku goddess of ??? (in Teressa Balinger's collection)
Muffin mask, another raku sculpture.  Mmmm, I think I'll try to do some more raku this year.  Both of these were not made of raku clay, but Bella's Blend.

Loved looking at the new works around the OOAK gallery...lots of potters represented, and some sculptors too.  I will have a new place to take my out-of-town visitors.  Susan welcomed me to come to visit the clay studio at Penland too.  It was fun again to be introduced as Tai's Mom.  (He's been their studio assistant there twice).  I do like the energy of these artists.  Susan keeps urging me to take a class.  Maybe...

Micaville is east of Burnsville, and I made the mistake of going up future I-26 and then had lots of construction on 19 E, still.  I hadn't been there in a year, and it has progressed, but still is going along for most of the length.  I came home via Marion, and was glad to go through the switchbacks around Switzerland before nightfall.  My night vision is deteriorating, especially on two lane roads with on-coming traffic.

I'm really looking forward to Clay Club meeting here in Black Mountain next month at our clay studio in town.  I was the only person there who had ever been to the Black Mountain Center for the Arts...since the other 2 "members" that I know of weren't there last night. 

Toe River area sure has lots more potters, evidently.  But then again, they meet this way because they are all working in isolation most of the time.  We at the BMCA Clay Studio meet every time we go into the community studio to work...providing a social experience as well as working/learning one.  And by social, I don't mean necessarily talking about our families, or restaurants (though that has been known to happen).  At BMCA we compare glaze results, give critiques (gentle ones) of each other's works, and praise progress of people who started with only minimal skills as they develop into real potters.

What are you doing today with your one wild and precious life?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

St. Pete ceramics - art?

what makes art?

Surely not a stuffed camel with a iron chair next to it on a sidewalk?
How about a plastic chair like a hand?

I tend to think Jeff Campana's pottery that has been sliced apart and re-constructed is art.

My son, Tai, would say this is admiration of technique.  True.

So as you browse through these works of clay at the Morean, St. Pete Clay Company, Train Station gallery, whatever it's called...think about which ones represent art to you!

For every picture I took, there must have been 10-20 other pieces nearby that I didn't take pictures of.  Many were outstanding, and I just pointed and clicked this direction instead of that.  But my collection of pictures does show something interesting.  I leaned away from functional and to sculptural.  That's just me.