Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting Ready

Adopted Family Member Flea Market Portrait
My living room is a pretty crowded place. Years of travel and flea marketing have taken a heavy toll. There are knick knacks and mementos a plenty. Open Studios is coming up in October. Since my clay studio is actually a smallish outdoor shed, using the living room as a gallery is a better solution. It's times like these that I wish I had a lot less books! Everything in the living room is going to have to move into the clay shed or into the garage. And, the ceramic work is going to, in theory, fill the living room. We'll see.

Mantle Junk

Many, Mostly Heavy Books

Mask Collection Members

Books Removed, Work Stocked

Never-ending Book Filled Boxes

Things I'll Miss

More Things I'll Miss

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to the Beach

I officially declare this Fall/Winter beach season "OPEN". We usually don't visit the beach much during the summer. It's too hot, and there are too many people. Fall and Winter are our beach seasons. We like it windy and stormy, as a rule. Today, the last day of my summer, was gorgeous. I worked to get my classroom in order for the first day of school tomorrow, then took Betty to get her shots at the veterinarian. We treated ourselves to a stroll on the beach afterwards. 

Santa Cruz is just visible...

The cement boat...

Great white shark spotters...

Pier parking...

Taunted by a saucy seagull...


Saturday, August 18, 2012

When Things Go Terribly Wrong

All summer, I've had a pretty successful run. Most of the work that I've been producing for Open Studios in October has been turning out well. But, lately, I've been reminded that art is actually just a form of problem solving. We create problems for ourselves, in our minds or in our sketchbooks, and we try to solve them using our specific medium. The ceramic process is a lot like cooking. There are many steps in the process, and it's easy to ruin an entire meal by missing one small detail.

In my last entry, I posted some pictures of greenware trees of life. Well, they have been nothing but grief, in the firing process. During the second firing of two of the flat panel pieces, there was major cracking. So, I rebuilt the backing panels, and then recycled the wired leaves and flowers. Many people have helped out with advice. That's the good part about having a lot of knowledgable clay friends! Now, the new back panels are thinner, and the wire on the "pokies" is shorter, to keep them from piercing the back panels. Also, I'm placing the pieces on an asbestos blanket in the kiln so that they heat and cool evenly. Both newly resolved pieces just need time to dry. If these steps don't work, then it's back to the drawing board, to play Sherlock Holmes, figuring out what went so terribly wrong.

A couple of wall pieces have gone from sketchbook to successful completion. So, the walls won't be totally empty in October. These are clay paintings on wall boxes. And, the last one is a clay wreath. Thankfully, all are survivors.

Fingers crossed on this Arbol de Vida wall panel made from brown clay. I really hope that it makes it through, from greenware to completion.