Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Elaine Rocks the Fish Plates



 We had a special guest teacher, Elaine Pinkernell, show our class how to make fish plates. Not only did she show us how to make them, but she also taught the fifth graders next door on the same day. Unbelievable. We were all very excited to learn a new technique. Can't wait to glaze and fire these! All 60 of us...












Monday, March 2, 2015

Trying Hard

Sisyphus by Tiziano Vecellio a.k.a. Titian

The past couple of months have been super trying for our family, especially for our dad. Sometimes it feels a bit as though each and every one of us is impersonating Sisyphus. We are pushing that boulder up the hill, bowing under the weight. But, I think the strength and the stubbornness that all Hansens possess, enables us to keep stumbling along. I keep wanting to do the right thing, to show that I care. I guess it just really matters to me to "try hard". There is value in effort and persistence. I wear a bracelet that reminds me. It says, "Don't settle for less." Be a better person, even if you're feeling crummy. And, every now and again there is some comfort. A phone call from an old friend. A laugh with a student. A friendly conversation. All of these things assume magical status when you're feeling that the boulder is too much. Burdens are lightened.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Drowning


Ever feel like you're floundering? Recently, I've been so busy and overwhelmed. So, today, I just chucked it all and went to the beach. It was nice to officially start walking the dog again, after two long bouts with the flu. She met a lot of new friends, including a very saucy bird. We stopped in and dropped off a clay wall heart to replace the clay wall heart that sold at the gallery last week. And, we arrived home just in time to grade some journals!








Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mr. Lincoln





This is generally the month when I share with my fourth graders my collection of photos of Abraham Lincoln. My photos are all on old black and white transparencies. So this year, I made a slideshow with photos that I found online. I tried to duplicate many of my transparency photos, which I had copied from a giant book of photography by Matthew Brady. It is so interesting to look at his face, and to see the weathering over the years. We learned in class, that Mr. Lincoln grew a beard in response to a suggestion by a little girl named Grace Bedell. The top photo is her letter to Lincoln, and the bottom letter is Lincoln's response to Grace. It is stained by snowdrops, because she read it while walking home from the post office on a snowy day. I like that he took the time to write to a child, during his campaign. What politician of today would do such a thing? Enjoy the photos, either with whiskers or without…  You can watch the slideshow version: https://vimeo.com/119919742.











Monday, February 23, 2015

Tutoring

Unfinished Arbol Wall Wreath

 Right now I'm trying to make a flyer for ceramic tutoring. So, I'm using these two pieces on the flyer, because they're two of my favorites. I've never taught adults how to work with clay, but I sure have taught a lot of second, third, fourth, and fifth graders before. I really like teaching third graders, because they seem to be the least nervous about taking risks with clay, and trying new things. They relax and just let "stuff" happen. It's something that I sometimes forget to do in my own ceramic practice. Their work habits are an excellent reminder...


Saucy Vase

Monday, February 16, 2015

Nesting

This is the start of a nest...
I'm running very low on clay...
Molded pinch pots...
Some decorations are in order...
Adding some twiggy texture...
Finished nests with eggs inside...
An added black wash to this piece...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Work

Making some tubes...

And, now a base...

Arms air drying near the door...

A bouquet of flowers...

Thinking about my dad as I work...

Many leaves and flowers...

Getting the arms attached...

Last weekend's bottles...

Replacement for a broken arbol...

Open Studios application hopeful...