Monday, February 22, 2010

Teapots and Houses

Back in the studio after almost a week away. Was able to finish up these teapots, which I had stashed away in my "Sam Chung" box (large plastic box with a poured plaster floor about 1" thick - acts as a great greenhouse for greenware).

Trying to fight off feelings of stupidity - a part time potter trying to compete with full-timers? Luckily, I got the Conchords and everything sort of fades into absurdity. Just need to keep making stuff and let it all sort itself later.

Found a great new blog this weekend: My friends Reed and Anne recently moved to Chicago from Seattle and Anne is working on a blog that is exploring the architectural history of lakes area. She and Reed bought a 1957 house and are renovating it. She writes an excellent blog - unlike me, she has command of the English language. Great drawings, photos, history, thoughts and ruminations.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Touch Fire

Just back from some time spent up in Vermont. Kids vacation week and we took them up to Brattleboro. Snow is really minimal up there and we did not get in any sledding. Did manage to in some time at the Montshire Science Museum, a great place to take the kids, right outside of Dartmouth. Liam got some great ideas for his forthcoming science project - thinking of building an "air cannon" - basically a drum turned on its side so that when struck, the air contained on the side of the drum comes shooting out - we'll see how far away we can get and still be able to blow out a candle.

One of the artists I sought out while I was up there was Natalie Blake. She makes gorgeous vessels, carved with intricate drawings of foliage or patterns or shrubbery. She shows her work at Gallery In The Woods. She had a great piece of tile work that was a collaboration withCynthia Houghton. It was intriguing and beautiful. I loved seeing the collaboration between a couple of Vermont's finest!

On the way back home, we detoured to Northampton and went to Smith College to see Touch Fire. Gorgeous work! Exhilarating to see clay used in such different ways. My two favorite artists of the show were Hoshino Kayoko and Kishi Eiko.

Kishi Eiko

Hoshino Kayoko

Both women had such a powerful way of moving the clay about to create these dynamic sculptures. As an added treat, there was a 10 minute movie on Eiko that did a great job of explaining her process. The show doesn't have too much time left at Smith but if it travels, I highly recommend going to see it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Round Trip to Sam and Mary's

Made the round trip to Mary and Sam's. Both individual's are so nice. Had a great talk with Mary about internet life and potters - I'm trying to put something together for the next SP. Sam made a tasty lunch of rice and beans. He also invited me out to his next wood firing, which I think I am going to take him up on - very generous! Made it back just in time to pick up the kids. Crazy trip - I shoulda marked the mileage but suffice to say: 2 hours out, one hour down, two hours back.

Opening for the show is Feb 24 and both Sam and Mary will be there!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In Praise of Small Cups

A while back, we had the good fortune of having Mark Shapiro as a visiting artist to Nobles. During his time with us, he spoke about his affinity for small cups. I, at the time, was making some enormous cups - things you could take a hot tub in. Definitely things to hold with two hands.

This week, I went to Lacoste Gallery to pick up some work for Foster Gallery - we are having a two person show: Sam Taylor and Mary Barringer. While I was there, I saw a small Warren Mackenzie cup, about the same size as Mark's. I bought it on the spot and had a bit of beer in it that night - a strong Belgian beer - something for sipping. The cup fit so naturally in my hand, something that I admired in Mark's pieces (I bought two of his cups while he was in residence).

This week, I decided to try my hand at something smaller and I really like making them. Here's the first go:

How do you all feel about small cups? Do you make them? Do you use them?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thursday Afternoon, the Opening, and the Saints

Saturday night saw the opening of the Raku show here at Gorse Mills. Place was packed - although that may be easy within our tight quarters. Had a great talk with Eduardo Lazo, whose beautiful piece is one of the highlights of the show. He is such a nice man and very generous with information. His website does a great job of explaining his vapor firing technique.

One of the other pieces that we liked was Don Ellis' vessel. Celia kept referring to it as the "big peach pit" which at first I couldn't understand. Then I realized her point of view and that she was primarily looking at it from the underside, it being on a pedestal and all...
Don Ellis:
Eduardo Lazo:The show is open until March 19.

Thursday after school, I had the kids back to the studio and they were excited to get on the wheels. Guess which child is the one who loves to focus and stay on task and which child is a bit of a more free spirit, the "creative type"?

Love the image of Liam throwing with a tie on - so Bernardish...

As to the Saints - my friend Reed probably put it best:

Maybe the most satisfying emotional sports moment since 1980 us hockey team win in the olympics.

Friday, February 5, 2010

12 by 12

Michael Kline published a challenge on his blog: create 12 pieces by noon. I took on the challenge and thought it would be a good opportunity to put some images up of actual work that is going on in the studio. The day before the challenge, I had actually thrown a bunch of cups and bottles (whiskey and tokkuri). So during the challenge, I finished them - trimming, paddling, incising, stamping, etc.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Trip to the Children's Museum

Not sure if this blog is turning into a Dad's blog (like Seth's excellent blog) rather than a pottery blog. I'm still working in the studio, but every time I pull out the camera phone, its usually to document something about the kids...yesterday, it was a trip to the Boston Children's Museum.
As you can see, my kids aren't afraid of challenging gender stereotypes..

...or mix up 2D and 3D reality...

This was Liam's favorite room when we came here and they were little. Truth be told, he probably averages an hour and a half a day on our little nerf hoop at home. Must be all the Sportscenter highlights that makes it easy to imagine that flying at the hoop, tongue wagging, is an easy thing to do.

This last image is from last night. It is Celia's list for her mom. Trish is travelling and Celia was determined to take notes for her on the American Idol contestants so that she would not miss a thing. Kind of in her own code but still pretty organized. Last night's tryouts were from Denver and Celia could not get over Bikini Boy! I think she was laughing too hard to write down anything of value.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have an image regarding clay...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lunch with Trish

and a couple of monkeys...

Over the Weekend

Over the weekend, Steven and I came in to finish setting up the show. We were really happy to get almost every single piece in that was sent in. The work looks great and the show is powerful! So many good pieces altogether in one place. Jim Romberg and Gail Piepenburg hanging on the back wall, Marvin Sweet with his tentacled piece in back right, Rick Hirsch in the foreground...
This figure by Amber Aguirre is unbelievable - it has such a quirky presence and almost takes over the room. The vase by Michael Hough is rich with texture and physical presence as well.

The opening is this Saturday, from 5-8. If you are in the neighborhood, come on by!