Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I give up

I've had many troubles with WordPress...especially in showing pictures of a quality I'm used to here at blogger.
I'm back.
Just can't figure out how to do all the things "media" wants, and posting a picture takes way too many steps.  I can see WordPress is geared more to those who want to post a bunch of words.
Not I.
So I'll be updating things here again.  Until I get another whim...are you used to this yet?  It's the alchemy...the changes that happen without our expecting them, no matter how we try to predict them.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pitcher pumpkin

Well, it's not really a pumpkin, maybe a bit like one though...

 I enjoyed making this shape so much with speckled brownstone clay...
 that I kept making shapes like it with some Little Loafers (the greenware at the top of my page above)

 I didn't want the glaze to be solid, so brushed off lots of it on different shoulders.

So this was the first of a series...and it's the first that has been glazed so far.

And here's the psychotic blue red and white bowl. 

I do need to remember to try to make this shape again, and have a simple glaze as was intended originally for this one!

Starting tomorrow, I won't be posting any more at this blogger address.  Go to this site for my I stumble along learning yet another program...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Faces at the sale

This whole posting was supposed to be on Black Mountain Center for the Arts Clay Studio blog.  However, apparently I was signed in on my personal blog, and I can't seem to cut and paste it into the other one...and I just don't have the time or energy to repost all of these pictures again.  (Not that I wrote anything).  So I hope you all get a chance to see your pictures here!

 I'm not going to name anyone here...we have a few shy potters in our group.  But many thanks to everyone who participated.  The Center for the Arts (and the Clay Studio) will benefit from all the sales that were made!

Your author, Barb, the blogging-est potter at the studio.  I just made the posters, didn't get to sit with my fellow students selling the pottery.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Negative space reversal

OK, now I'm really feeling crazy.  First there's the expresso which didn't make anything but water.  Did I do it right?  How could the grinds be there, the switch on, and there's clear water in the container?  Well, try pouring the water through the machine, Barb.  Duh.

Will the car keys be in the freezer next week? 

I've been wondering why everything is so hard to do these days.

Then I noticed the first time I looked a picture, I had figure ground reversed completely.  The shape looked kind of like one thing, and had something over it.  And then a few minutes later I looked again, and the convexity of it had changed to concavity.

It's not exactly figure/ground reversal.  It's changing an object that comes toward you in the middle to one that recedes away in the middle.  Nothing made sense before, and now it does.

Did the person who posted the picture change it somehow?  No, not likely.  Just my brain.

Our dear visual connection to our brains.  On some TV show there was the comment that since our brains are wired to take the upside down images from our eyes and make sense that they are right side up...if we wore lenses to change them back so our eyes actually saw things right side up, it would take 3 days for our brains to adjust.

I didn't need 3 days to switch from concave to convex.  But it may tell you why I'm fascinated with this imagery.

Friday, June 17, 2011

New bowls

This is another "second" due to the glaze not behaving.  (well, I guess I should take some responsiblity for it being so thickly applied).

Can't refire to get the craters out either, cause there are already slumps into big kiln stuck blobs...which I've ground off.  This will probably see the hammer soon.

These are the small and medium of a set fo 5 stacking bowls, done with Mexico glaze on the outside, eggshell inside, on speckled brownstone.  Three more bowls still to be fired.

In order to avoid the dred "thick glaze application" I brushed off some of the Mexico...and I like the brown of the clay showing through like this.  Not all of the bowls will have this though.

 A large bowl with Mexico and Eggshell glazes again, this time on Bella's Blend clay body.  I like that a friend called this the big Martini glass bowl.  That would be a lot of martini!

When Eggshell is applied thinly, it has the brownish specks.  When it's thick, it's pretty creamy.
 Another set of bowls that became glaze seconds, with their bottoms ground down to at least usefulness.  The Mexico inside and Eggshell outside are much clearer than in the large bowl above, and there is a lot of eggshell on the kiln shelf. 

Too bad they are pretty, but glaze can be fickle.  That's why I'm trying to just let go of my expectations.  But since it's the last step in the long process, it's really hard to say, oh dear, there goes another one....don't you know?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BUY Pottery

Did you know student potters make some pretty wares?
Of course they do, and you already knew about it.

You, being a professional potter, remember when you first started...right?

Or you, being a person who eats and cooks in pottery, know how you first became aware of the beauty and usefulness of living with pottery.

Or You There, loving to have beautiful things in your home...
Or how about YOU, who enjoys the sensuous feeling of handling hand-made pots.

OK, you've got the message.  I'm not going to drag it out.  You go to all these art walks, and bring home things as much as you can carry...already.

You attend fund raisers.  One of which may be the Black Mountain Art in Bloom, which starts this Thurs. June 16.

While you're at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, (STARTING FRIDAY) there on the patio will be student pottery for sale.  (Incidentally, none of these potters is under 29, so we're not talking about kids making dinosaurs.)

Fri. June 17, 1pm – 5pm
Sat. June 18, 10am - 2pm
On the patio at the lower/back entrance to Black Mountain Center for the Arts

For a few brief hours, student pottery will be available...Fri and Sat.  And the prices are reasonable (after all, students aren't pretentious).  And if that doesn't get your interest, after you've already supported the arts, these sales do too.  The student receives a portion of the sale, and the rest goes to support the Center for the Arts and its Clay Studio.  So you're supporting artists in the time of their questioning, exploring, and needing feedback.

If you live in Washington state, or California, I understand you missing this sale.  Otherwise, I hope you stop by.  I'll have a few things there too.  After all, after all these years, I'm still learning!

AND ANOTHER ad for BMCA tourist opportunity...2 hours and go home with pottery you worked on yourself!



June 13 – July 18.

Min. of 4 pieces or 2 people (@ $25 per pc.).

You get 1 hr glazing, 1 hr clay play with Sarah Meyer, studio manager.

call Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 828-669-0930 to reserve your Mon. of fun in clay and glazes!

OK, next post will be back to my egotistical chatter.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Negative space

This was the gardenia bush a week ago, just pushing out blooms to beat the band.  And lots of buds promising more to come.

I would put the pot in the sunshine in the mornings, then leave it on the coffee table, it's small enough, for the rest of the day and night.

When it is done blooming, I hope to repot it.  But don't want to shock it at this point.  No buds have fallen off (yet).  And no more leaves are yellowing and falling off since I brought it inside out of 90 degree sunshine.  (It was on the southeastern porch of my house ever since frosts stopped)

I've been cutting off blooms for 2 weeks at least...and took about 12 to the TailGate last weekened.  Wore one to church for 2 Sundays.  Put a pot of them at the studio for a few days...but there's a fierce air conditioner fan which blasted them to browness quickly.  Anyway, this is almost all of the buds having opened.  There may be a dozen still to come.  I think maybe I should fertilize this lady, who has been blooming so profusely for me.

Sorry I can't do scratch and sniff for you.  Walking through my house is really something else!

Profile of a vase with negative space.  I have gotten back to this finally.  Making concave surfaces within the exerior walls of a vase.

It's fun to try to take a picture of this little leaning but interesting piece.

And though my initial reaction to the glaze is that it's flawed, I've come to enjoy the crackle of the HR Satin over a layer of Fish Sauce Slip.

And even the funky way it leans and sways.
Even though it was another test of how the Satin and cobalt slip combine, and has that drip about to fall out of the concave portion...I've grown to enjoy looking at it.  However, when I glance across the room at it, it does look rather sad.

Did I mention it was made out of brownstone clay?  Thus the Fish Sauce White Slip.

So it's not going to be for sale, but go to my "body of work."  That means I'll have to dust it for years probably.  (If you know me, I never dust.)

Tomorrow I'll show you some bowls, some in speckled brownstone that go to a stacking set, some that had a glaze accident.  If you're a potter you know about those!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gardenia petals

Does anyone know how to dry gardenia petals so I can make "sachets" out of them?

I've picked apart the first batch of flowers, because the one I tried to dry whole has no smell at all...

maybe it's not possible??

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Eagles

I'm listening to the rock group, The Eagles.  One of the few groups I went and heard in concert in the 70's.  Linda Ronstadt was another.  I still enjoy the Eagles music.

I wish I had a picture of an Eagle to post, but I found these wonderful monarch butterflies in my files.  I organize all my pictures, somewhat.  When I feel like being organized.

This time of my life I'm trying to flow with my feelings.  Of course different appointments intrude upon that.  But no longer a job.  I've got 24 hours each day at my disposal...and I probably waste around 1-2 each day.

Retirement is truly wonderful. 

You've already seen how I love to post pictures taken with a digital camera.  The initial cost of the camera, memory card, and rechargeable batteries was covered while I had income.  So now the only cost of the pleasure of sharing photos is the electricity to run this little old (purchased used) computer and the battery charger.

I also love that air, water, sunshine, breezes, bird songs, and the sights of nature's abundance are completely free.  Well, unless you want the water to come out of your tap.

Taking a walk is healthy and a great way to enjoy nature, and to make acquaintances.

I thought this snow filled nature picture was just right...the Summer Solstice is just next week, and we need to remember the winter one especially now.

Music is there on the net, through iTunes streaming radio programs, through Pandora radio choices...thus I'm listening to The Eagles right now.  I don't think I ever bought any of their records (yep, that's what they were produced upon first) or tapes, or CD's...but I do appreciate that this music is just here.

Reading?  The library systems wherever I've lived have provided me with excellent resources for anything I'm interested in for entertainment or education.

Spiritual connection to others of like minds?  Sure, there are enough churches around that this is an abundant resource also.

Art?  We are constantly baraged by it in advertising through various media...but there are also festivals of arts and crafts available for the price of being crowded and sweating a bit.  Galleries welcome everyone to browse.  Inspiration doesn't require perspiration!

What are some of the free joys in your life right now, whether you're retired or not?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

On blogs and pots

Oh my, there are so many great blogs for potters, and lovers of pottery.

I follow quite a few, and just noticed yesterday that there's a new list of the top 50 pottery blogs, published by some organization that bothered to do it.  I'm not on it.  It's funny to see Jen Mecca listed, who hasn't updated her blog for 3 months or so...she is however posting on FaceBook, so I made a "congrats comment" to her for being listed, and she answered that she maybe better post something.  Tee hee.

Now I understand why Mom's bloggers are competitive.  There are actually people trying to be the most popular blog writer, who are also moms.  I kind of wonder how their children feel about this.

But I would like more than 2 followers.  That just seems like nobody is reading this.  So if you are interested in listing me on your blog following, or somehow can become a follower without having a blog...go for it!  I honestly don't know if you can follow a blog without being a blogger.  It's a strange new world to an old lady here.  Remember yesterday I was talking about new changes...well, blogging is certainly something I've tried and enjoyed.  How about you?

I'm so happy to find out more information about the clay studio in Missoula, where my son, Tai, will be a resident next year.  He's moving a long way to do this, and it looks like it's got some other talented potters.  Here's that link to see what they are all about.

And in case you are an artist and haven't looked at this blog site, I highly recommend it, since I see things as reminders here that come from other successful businesses.   For instance she spoke of reading emails and answering them immediately as a way of clearing out mail boxes that get cluttered.  I remember working in offices, and you just didn't sit down with your correspondence unless you were ready to answer everything you could at once...or else you had a "pending" box that got more and more full.  Of course I now use my email mailbox as a kind of filing system which even has a search engine, so I can see what people said a while back, when I want to.  But for art, getting a push in the heinie every once in a while for business aspects, check it out here...

I'm surely getting over the blues of the Tail Gate non-sales.  After all, there was the TRAC tour In Yancey and Mitchell Counties, as well as Asheville's River Arts District tour the same day.  Plenty of great potters out there trying to market their wares.  And it was definitely a glorious day...waited till I was done napping to have the first thunderstorm hit Black Mountain.

I remember sitting with my head thrown back, looking up through the leaves and feeling so grateful to be having that experience, this morning.  Some ladies came in our booth right then, and as I looked at them, I appologized for having a "meditation moment" away from the business of selling pots.  They laughed and said it really felt great to be  in the shade.  I agreed.  But later I again looked up through those leaves, and realized the trees which live on and on, year after year (a maple and an oak) had leaves which were at most bright and alive for only 6 months of the year.  They know what they are doing though.

I'm re-reading Starhawk's "The Fifth Sacred Thing" since it is about to be made into a movie, according to the buzz on FaceBook.  What a lovely story, full of hope for the future, though written back in the early 90's.  I hope the movie comes out before the plot takes place, in 2048 I think.  Great characters that live and love as an extension of the ideals of the 60's.  And great concepts of dealing with environmental disasters.  Starhawk has certainly given a lot to these energies.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Paradigm shifts

When moving into new zones, out of our comfort zone, changing like shedding our very skin as we become butterflies from worms...we undergo paradign shifts.  Marilyn Ferguson introduced this concept to me in the 1980s.  I believe I'm about to go through one of these shifts in my life.  No clue where it will lead.

Sleeping goddess of Malta (replica)

Barbara Rogers at Black Mountain Center for the Arts Clay Studio

At Craggy Gardens on Blue Ridge Parkway

I read Tarot cards a while ago, which suported my idea to balance my intuitive side with more earthy ideas.  I also watched Homeward Bound, (remember it?) about the 2 dogs and cat who travelled home...using a sensory system that many animals rely upon.  A recent news story about a dog travelling with 2 broken legs for 3 weeks following a tornado until he got home, brings this to my rational mind as a certainty beyond the fiction of movies.

Unknown artist at Penland School of Crafts 2009
Well, I'm an animal, and I've been neglecting that wonderful system that could tell me to build a cocoon, or which way I should point my steps...and so I'm going to be listening more to that inner directional compass.  Why not?

Patti Bilbro (as Odyssey resident)

Time travel was one of the topics a group of us considered over lunch the other day.  And my proposal was that science fiction can again lead us beyond scientific limitations, in considering that time as a concept is what makes the limitations.  Time does not need to be considered as a linear function, rather perhaps a more intuitive one, or instantaneous one, or something that hasn't been thought of yet...we can get off the past/present/future time line.  Then we get back to the philosophical construct that all that really exists that we can act upon is NOW.

Akira Satake
Now, not what was before, not what is to come.  And at this point, this instant, there is infinity.  That's space within time.

Cathy Babula at Haywood Community College
 I'm sure that talking about this is somewhat off the main path of my creative musings.  And yet it spurs me to be more creative.

Barbara Rogers at Black Mountain Clay Studio
I loved re-connecting with a friend who was coming in the post office as I left.  I had just completed a major task.  So we celebrated at her house with tea.  And we enjoyed catching up and sharing some wonderful ideas.  I know this is part of the "new way" I'm turning into.