Photo Shoot with my Lunch

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Last year, my pottery studio held an event called “Soup for Syria”.  This year we’re calling it “Soup’s On”.

You come join us, pick out a beautiful homemade bowl to take home and we fill it with soup!  Last year’s donation went to a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. This year we are helping closer to home.  The proceeds will support refugees settling in Rhode Island as well as the Granola Project which gives settling refugees a place to work and job train right here in RI.  They produce granola, package and distribute it.  It’s been a terrific success and delicious to boot!

What’s crazy is we selected our charity before all of this national political conflict errupted.  Coming together and supporting people fleeing very serious conflicts, seems all the more relevant these days, unfortunately.

For me, the fun comes when I get to create the flyer using some of my own pottery.  I get to “play” graphic designer and set up a photoshoot right in my very own kitchen. LOL.

2017-01-23-12-04-40On closer inspection, you can see I was working with a peasant blouse and two scarves. Did you notice I chose red, white and blue?  Yeah, that was no accident ;)

_2017-01-23-12-09-37_2017-01-23-12-08-45b__2017-01-23-12-06-32I am so darn lucky.  My husband is a crazy-good-cook.  There isn’t a day I can’t pull something  yummy from my fridge.  So that part was easy. This is my Dad’s recipe for Tuscan Hunter Chicken.  Red wine & rosemary… one of the best parts of winter!

So without getting all political… (I lied, I’m getting political :)  Let me just throw it out there.  Maybe you can’t make it to my teeny little willage in RI to come to our soup event. But, you can band together with like-minded people and create your own!  All it took was one woman in our pottery studio reading a newspaper article she connected to.  People trying to help with a local problem. She called and asked if we could contribute money.  What agency would say no?  From there it’s easy.  We pick a date and all start working towards it.  For us potters, we make bowls, but there are others.  Last year 15 crockpots of homemade soup showed up.  Some from people who could not even attend, but still simply wanted to help.  Panera Bread donated a giant table of diverse breads.  The room was filled with food and good folk.  It smelled amazing! –tasted pretty darn good too!

Do you belong to a bowling league?  Do you knit?  Are you part of a book club?  A corporate division? Walker? Soccer mom sitting on the sidelines for way too many hours? Of course there’s churches and schools who are already organized, but it’s amazing what even 10 people can accomplish.

Local. Lots and lots of little local can become something bigger. A difference.

You should definitely try this whole community service thing -It’s madly addicting!

 

 

Getting Limber with Timber

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I live by the beach.

That means I beachcomb!

But beachcombing can add up if you don’t find ways to use it.

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After Hurricane Sandy I made myself a 5 foot mirror. But let me tell you, that wasn’t even half of what I collected!

So it’s time to put all this driftwood to good use.

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Strewn all over the floor, I can begin to look for shapes in the abyss.

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More to construct…nailing, painting and assembling to do…

I shall record the progress… not getting much done today though! :)

 

Painting Away

_2017-01-12-11-25-58_2017-01-17-12-19-53img_1183_2017-01-17-15-47-33_2017-01-19-10-03-46_2017-01-19-12-21-48img_1173_2017-01-18-13-54-11_2017-01-20-13-23-42img_1168I’ve been painting and painting and painting. Nothing’s finished. I seem to be lacking focus, but I am plugging along anyway. At this point I want to finish all of these so I can have a clean slate and begin again…. there is a part of me that wants to step away from these crazy abstracts and work on realism, but there is a strong part of me that is madly addicted to the unknown. I think you can see  that struggle in my lack of direction. As my mama says just keep painting and it will work itself out.

We shall see!

Alphabet Eww…

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For some time now, I have wanted to create “alphabet soup” bowls.  You take alphabet pasta and push it into the clay.  After firing in the kiln, the pasta incinerates leaving its imprint behind.

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I didn’t have time to paint these the other day, so I spritzed them with water and covered them in plastic to prevent them from over-drying.  Well…. let’s just say they were the opposite of over dry ;)  I was bummed.  The pasta absorbed the water, swelled up and molded.   YUCK!!!  Would it still work?  Were they ruined?

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Apparently, the answer is NO.  They worked out just fine …whew!  I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out.

Other than that, I have been on a BOWL-BONANZA.  In March my pottery studio will be hosting “SOUP’S ON” to benefit refugees just settling into Rhode Island.  Last year we raised money for a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. This year we are focusing local. It’s pretty cool when you dig in and find ways to actual help the causes you believe in.

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These came out a while ago.  Half-wheel thrown/half slab.  My teacher is calling my style thrown and altered.  That seems about right :)

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Remember my experiment with kid foam?  I made my own stamp and wanted to see how it would look in clay?

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Well, it worked.  It needs some tweaking.  When I try making a stamp again,  I will need to really think about positive vs. negative space.  You know, what areas do I want raised and what  areas recessed?   hmmm…this definitely entails thinking.

Yesterday I threw the largest bowls I have ever thrown – EVER!!! (like family popcorn size!)  Did I take a picture?  Of course not!  But trust me, they were YUUUUGE!  Throwing so many bowls at once has really improved my game.  Something clicked yesterday like it hasn’t clicked in 2 years.  You may start to see some improvements on my technical side – Oh, one can hope!  I’m going to keep at it. I’m still addicted to this muddy stuff –mold and all!

#BOSTON WOMEN’S MARCH

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I decided to include these photos as their own special edition.

As an artist, this aspect of the march just knocked my socks off.

Participating in the Boston March took 8 hours.  I can tell you by 5pm, after standing, chanting and marching I was spent.

…And then we stumbled into this.  As people finished the march they left their signs behind.

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For the first time in the entire day, people were standing in absolute silence.  Now for me, I might say it was total exhaustion, but it was definitely something more than that.

Every single piece of paper represented someone’s wish, dream, angst, and fear. And here after a day of releasing a tremendous amount of energy we could quietly reflect.  So many people. So much hope. So much creativity.

I left a better, stronger woman.

 

 

OK Mugs…Last Time Around

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I promise! This will be the last round of mugs for some time. I’m getting sick of them myself!  Ha!

Quite simply, I have no mugs left.  The last two rounds of mugs felt incredibly rushed, so it’s been nice to rest, take my time and enjoy the process. In the new year I truly am ready to move onto bowls, vases, plates and platters… I am so ready to experiment!

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Now let me tell you what came to me in my sleep.  During my Creative 365 a couple years ago, I enjoyed making tons of different hand-made stamps to incorporate in my printmaking.  I used leftover blocks of wood and kids craft foam.

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I don’t know why I didn’t think of it until now, but why not create my own stamps out of craft foam to press into my hand-built clay creations?  The two examples above are sort of weird because they were all I could find on short notice, but  I now know the concept works.  Be fore-warned, the light bulb has gone off.  Now, I will design some hand-made stamps with intent… Wow, imagine the possibilities!

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