Every so often, my closets become crowded and it’s time to thin out things. I’ve toyed with the idea of having a “pottery only” garage sale but that seems like too much work. Instead, I decided to put load up a table with odds and ends and offer it FREE!!
We live on a fairly busy street; and there’s often foot traffic, too. So, here’s the table at the beginning of the day. No one actually stopped their car to gather up FREE pottery but a couple of neighbors came over and selected pieces. At the end of the experiment, half the pieces had new homes and the rest were wrapped up and put into a box for a charity drive.
Note: I didn’t actually sit and monitor who was coming by and looking. I was surprised by what pieces were chosen and what pieces were left.
I’ve been working on a couple of ideas and wanted to see how they’d work in various clay bodies and glazes.
This first set is the Sea Life series. (You can click on the photos to see a larger version.)
It began with the pot on the left that I created in class at Brookhaven College. I was going for tubular growth/sea life and wanted it to be pristine. So it was made of a cone 10 white clay (Trinity Ceramics T-Mix10) and I was planning on using a white glaze on it. Well, I couldn’t find the white glaze; so, I dipped it in “Snow”. Now, you’d think that a glaze called “Snow” would be white, wouldn’t you?? It’s more gray than white but, actually, I like it better, especially the white tips on each tube.
Next, I built Sea Life: Gulf using a cone 6 red stoneware. Then, it was glazed with Lapis Satin, Gun Metal Green and Copper Blue (Coyote glazes). The glazes ran together; I like the result.
Finally, there’s Sea Life: South Pacific. The clay is a black (actually dark brown) cone 6. And, before the bisque firing, I coated the tips of the tubes with a slip/silicon carbide mixture. You can’t really tell it’s on the pot until you add glazes and refire it. Glazes are Matt Bronze Green all over, then Copper Blue (Coyote) sprayed on and Sea Salt (Mayco) dabbed on. Love it! Gotta try more of that.
Sea Life: Arctic
Sea Life: Gulf
Sea Life: South Pacific
Next, I wanted to try new shapes; so, I created tarpaper templates and these pots are the result of that experiment.
The main body of the pots are glazes with Coyote’s oil spot glazes. The one on the left is Brick/Marshmallow; the one on the right is Licorice/Marshmallow. The top/bottom accent sections are glazed with Coyote’s White Crawl. Interesting but need to play with these concepts and glazes a bit more.
When my friend Allee Etheridge found out I was going to Santa Fe, she urged me to go to Santa Fe Clay. So, on Saturday morning, I headed over there. Even with a GPS, I got a little lost and then got caught up in the Farmer’s Market & Art Show traffic. It took a while, but I found a spot in a huge parking garage and then walked over to Santa Fe Clay.
What looks like an unassuming (warehouse) building houses an amazing art gallery, retail space (for ceramic supplies), studio space, kilns, and more. It took a while to look at (and take pictures of) the pieces in the art gallery. Then, I *had to* buy some supplies and a mug.
A quick visit to a local restaurant for lunch and I was off for my afternoon adventure: creating a glass paperweight at Liquid Light Glass. I’d been wanting to do something like this for a long time and this was the perfect opportunity. Fortunately, there were two experts helping us (me and 8 others) through the process. But, instead of taking my piece with me that day, I had to wait until Monday to pick it up. Apparently, after creating the paperweights, they have to be in a kiln to anneal and then cool.
Anyway, here are photos of the mug from Santa Fe Clay and the paperweight from Liquid Light Glass.
Seriously … what do you do with all that pottery? You can’t keep everything and you can only “gift” a few pieces to relatives and friends before they start running the other way. Unless you have a gallery or a storefront or are willing to spend hours taking photographs and posting on Etsy (then wrapping, packing and shipping), it’s hard to find homes for all the good, perfect or nearly perfect pieces.
Then there are the pieces that didn’t turn out quite as expected. Perhaps they cracked while being fired or the glaze turned out really ugly or … whatever. Some of these can be put in a box and be donated to a charity. Some can end up in the trash can. But there are those pieces that you’re still fond of.
Well … if you have a house (I do) and a yard (oh, yes), there’s a solution: yard art!! I have pieces in the garden, under downspouts, hiding under leaves of plants (pictures, below).
Remember about three months ago when I broke my leg? Well, I sure do. After healing for a couple months and, while I was still trying to get stronger and more flexible, my doctor sent me to rehab. That was the best thing for my leg/ankle.
The therapist worked with me a couple times a week for four weeks. At the end of that time, there were a few twingy reminders of the injury, but I was 98% back to normal. So …. as a “thank you” gift, I took her a small sculpture of my left foot and put a small succulent inside.
Hopefully, the succulent will continue to grow and I will continue to heal.
In Dallas, April is “Art Month” with galleries and art venues hosting a variety of events.
This year (2018), for the first time the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) sponsored ART 214 Juried Exhibition.
“As part of Dallas Arts Month, four cultural centers of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) are hosting a multi-venue juried exhibition to showcase the works of artists who live in Dallas and the greater North Texas region from late March to early June.
Through this exhibition, OCA hopes to discover and develop relationships with new artists, provide opportunities for artists to exhibit their work for the first time ever or for the first time in one of our cultural centers, and cross pollinate artists who have previously exhibited at one cultural center by exhibiting their work at a different center. Another goal of this collaborative project is to draw in new audiences who have never been to (or even heard of) our Cultural Centers and to share audiences who frequent a specific center but have never experienced the others.”
More than 750 entries were received and, when the jury process was complete, 192 pieces by 137 local North Texas Artists were selected to be in the exhibition.
I’m honored that my entry, “Uncommon Stones,” is included in the exhibition at the Latino Cultural Center. Here’s the description that was submitted with the entry:
Finding an actual geode is a rare experience. They look like common stones but, when cracked open, they reveal their hidden beauty. So, I wondered, could I take clay and glass and create faux geodes? These Uncommon Stones are close but don’t rival the real thing. Clay and glass; reduction fired
Way back in early 2017, when the new administration in Washington D.C. was transitioning, chaos reigned. My heart sank. But, instead of railing against them on social media or crying constantly (as many of my friends did), I went to the studio and created a new totem with a circus theme. All the while, “not my circus … not my monkeys” ran through me.
This piece took some digging to get appropriate photographs; then, incorporate them into a monkey graphic; and, finally, send them off to have decals created. Originally, I wanted a three-ring circus, but the rings kept cracking/breaking during firing.
The finished piece is not symmetrical. It wobbles somewhat. And it stayed in my studio for well over a year until a friend was having a “meet the Democratic candidates” gathering at her home. I offered her the totem as a sort of door prize for anyone who would have it. She decided to turn it into a fund-raising opportunity and give attendees the opportunity to bid on it. And, someone did and took home the totem. Hope it lives a long and happy life in her home.
Sometimes I create a piece of pottery that seems destined to find a home with one of my special friends. Recently, two pieces ended up in their perfect place.
The first piece is a vase with many stamped details and additional textured pieces added on. It was given a colored wash before being clear glazed. Then, decals were added and the piece was fired again.
I’m thrilled that this ended up in the home of a dear friend. It fits her eclectic style perfectly.
The other piece is a wall mask that just seemed to “belong” to my trainer. It suits him and he’s already hung it in his home.
My closet is overflowing with pieces. Hopefully all of them will find their way to their perfect homes.
A small group gathered at the main Dallas Public Library for the FODPL reception on Wednesday, August 10th. All 16 entries for their “Reading to my Friends” competition were on display. There was such variety and creativity that the judges had a tough job choosing winners.
The piece below on the left was the grand prize winner and it’s beautifully conceived and executed. The other three pieces were honorable mentions … including my piece on the far right.
All pieces will be on display at the main Dallas Library until the end of August.
Remember a couple weeks ago when this piece was a “work in progress” and I couldn’t decide how to finish it? When in doubt, ask an expert.
So, I asked my friend and expert pottery teacher, Nancy Trezza. She suggested that I just put a coat of paste wax on it. Great!!!
Lowe’s carries the paste wax and I had plenty of soft rags to apply it. It gave the piece a soft luster.
Then, this piece (“Once Upon a … Happily Ever After”) was delivered to the Friends of the Dallas Public Library for their exhibition.