2020 State Fair of Texas – Results are In!

Earlier this year, it appeared that the State Fair of Texas would be a “no go” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  But, thanks to the ingenuity of the organizers, the State Fair has been modified to allow modified participation.   Modified means:  Drive Thru State Fair, Special On-Line Competitions, Video Tours and limited participation in Creative Arts Competitions.   So … I put on my mask and took five pieces down to the Fair last month.  This morning the results were announced … TADA!!

Here are my entries … two Blue, two Red, one White!

During Spring Break and Summer Hiatus …

I was fairly busy:  finishing up projects from earlier in the Spring semester, working on new projects and experimenting a lot.

One goal was to use up partial bags of cone 6 clay that had been laying about the studio for far too long.  Another goal was to experiment with using slips and trying new forms.  Finally set aside a day to take pictures and …. here they are.

This first bowl/platter is made on a form that I found in someone’s bulk trash pile.  It turned out fairly well and I like the glaze except for all the tiny glass bubbles in it.  Guess that’s because I used dark clay and it gave off the gasses during the firing process.  The glaze is Red Gold by Coyote Clay.

 

 

Worked with slip and underglaze and a bit of sgraffito.  Obviously, I need to refine the process so the words aren’t smeared.

This pot has a rough texture created by a crater slip.  The part with the gears has a white slip to emphasize the texture.  Overall, I like the effect and will have to try this again.

This artifact/pitcher is a project from Spring semester.  It uses a crackle slip and was soda fired.

More from Spring semester. This project was to demonstrate what glazes look like when overlapped and partially blocked out.

A bowl with slip on the outside and glaze on the inside. Again, I like the way the glaze highlights the texture.

A vase with a face.   And another (below).

The head is supposed to show left-brain/right-brain.  I like the concept but not the execution.  Will have to try this one again.

A couple of experimental forms.  They were almost too tall for the kiln.

 

A tiny dancer and a pitcher and a totem …

And another vase and and mug and bowl.

And remember the cat?  Well, I added some decals.  Here are close-ups …

And that’s how I spent my Spring Break and Summer Hiatus.

Glaze Test

One of the last things I did before Spring Break was mix up a batch of Pete’s Strontium Matte glaze and put it on a small cup.  Finally, it’s been fired.  And here are the results.

 

Looking Back and Forward

For a while now, I’ve been storing photographs on an external hard drive.  Thought it has beaucoup memory but it looks like it’s getting full.  So, I decided to go through and delete duplicates and those that aren’t in focus, etc.

Well, that meant that I was looking at photos of pottery that I’ve created over the past eight years.  You know what??  Some of them were pretty good and it might be nice to redo some of them using different clay and glazes.  And some of them gave me ideas for new pieces.

Stay tuned and let’s see what develops.

Making a Cat Sculpture

I’ve been fascinated with hand-built clay sculptures for a long time.  Tried to create a few with some success but more disappointments.  I think it’s because I’ve always built over a form, not trusting myself to build it from scratch.  I’d even tried a sculpture class or two but didn’t really understand the process; so, it was back to my partial success with forms.

When Creative Arts Center of Dallas offered an animal sculpture workshop, I signed up … a couple of times.  But, each time, it was cancelled until last month.  Frankly, I was surprised that the workshop was a GO! because class size was limited and we were required to wear masks.

Well, this was the best workshop ever! Susan Giller helped me understand the process of building a solid figure, refining it, hollowing it out and finishing it.  Here are some “work in progress” photos.

 

Catching Up!

In mid-March, Brookhaven College (where I take a ceramics class) closed for Spring Break! And then, due to COVID-19, it didn’t reopen. Fortunately, I was able to continue working and building pieces in my home studio. Some of the results were great; other, not so much.

Anyway, here’s a sample of what I worked on (some of these are from earlier when I did have access to Brookhaven’s resources).

Snack Plates with Messages

I’d been thinking for a while about COVID-19 and pandemics in general and wondered if the word “pandemic” came from a Greek root that also gave the name to Pandora. According to the myth, Pandora was given a wonderful box. But she wasn’t supposed to open it. Curiosity got the better of her and she opened it, releasing all the plagues/ills of the world. At the bottom of the box was a small piece that said “HOPE.”

Pandora = pandemic but at the bottom of it all is HOPE … which is why I created this small set. Of course, one of the words had to be HOPE and it was created first. The others are qualities that we need in this time of pandemic … PEACE, JOY, MERCY.

Honored to be part of ART214 in Dallas

My piece “Chemo Brain” has been juried into ART214 in Dallas.

It will be on display at the South Dallas Cultural Center (3400 S Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas, TX 75210) from April 4 through May 30th.

This year, the ART214 committee received more than 1000 submissions from artists across North Texas. The chosen artists’ work will be displayed at various venues across Dallas. Check out specific information for each venue and the artists chosen.

UPDATE, March 22:  Due to the coronavirus quarantine in Dallas, all ART214 events have been cancelled.  This piece will stay in my closet gallery for now and, perhaps, be displayed later this year or in another juried show.

Fe Fi Fo Fum

This is the latest BIG pot. Fun to create, it turned out pretty much as I wanted. It’s not a pretty pot but, hopefully, gives some people memories of childhood.

Remember all those so-called fairy tales? Yes, they had a princess and a knight. But they also had darker characters: ogres, giants and more that would scare the bejeezus out of young children. You can look at this pot in the daylight and realize that those monsters can’t hurt you.

Little Air Plants

When Significant Other and I went to Hawaii in December, we stopped by an orchid nursery. While lovely, I’m not all that crazy about orchids but I’m fascinated with air plants. So, I took out a $20 bill and bought some to bring home.

The first week, I anchored them to pieces of driftwood with copper wire. They looked fine and were even getting bigger when I discovered that copper wire is a no-no. But, little pots are fine.

I made these little pinch pots a few years ago as an experiment with crater glazes. They’re cute but not really practical … until now. They’re the perfect “home” for the air plants.