Day of the Dead Mugs

IMG_1266

Hot out of the kiln.  More Day of the Dead Mugs.

Untitled-1The last time I made them, I didn’t add handles. So of course people asked me to make handles!  These vessels are a grey stoneware.  In hindsight I probably should have used white clay like I did on my first try.  Either way they a plenty funky and plenty fun.

IMG_1272

IMG_1269

I was even a good girl and loaded them onto my etsy store today. They are officially ready to find a new home :)

Advertisements

In the Springtime

 

2016-03-17 10.21.38.jpgIn The Springtime – acrylic and charcoal on canvas 20 x 24 inches

This is another intuitive painting, meaning there is no preconceived subject matter. You just show up to the canvas, add some paint and make some marks. Here is the progression:

2016-02-24 10.44.22

2016-02-26 15.35.02I didn’t like where this was going, so I slopped on some heavier layers of paint…

2016-03-10 11.32.59At this point at least the painting started to get a little interesting…

2016-03-17 10.21.35The movement of pattern in the leaves of the trees was enough to make me stop drastically changing and layering the painting. It started to give me a feeling of nostalgia for the spring and the beautiful pastel haze of all the trees.

Mmm… I love the spring!

  I love scratching the earth, planting seeds and feeling the warmth of the sun…

Yeah, do you think my subconscious is trying to tell me something?

Come on Mother Nature. BRING ON SPRING!!!

Hand-Built Color

IMG_3470

Untitled-1

These are slab-built mugs.  Usually I combine wheel-thrown with slab-rolled clay, but after seeing completely hand-built mugs the other day, I thought why not?

They are wildly imperfect which I love in pottery.  I like to see and feel the person who made the vessel’s hands on the piece.

Plus add a ton of colorful underglazes and now they say “Mary’s hands” all over them! For their second firing, I am going to rub the glossy glazes into the crevices like tile grout.  The finished product looks something like this:

IMG_3491

So all though they look like they are going to be crazy bright, they will be tamed down a bit by the glazes.  Colorful but traditional. Ok. Maybe not so traditional.  Maybe I should just call them crazy-happy?

Back to the Drawing Board

imageimage

6 months since I picked up a paint brush! I definitly have some nerves to shake out. I spent a day or two doing these little 8×10 inch contour drawing water colors to loosen up. Water color always frees me up. I think it’s the swirling of water on the paper and watching the paint bleed in uncontrollable ways that gives me such a kick! I thought I’d do 6-8 little water colors until I felt safe in the habitat, but with my ADD Gemini Energy, I was done by the second painting and onto 6 foot acrylic canvases.

I can’t help it :) it’s how my natural energy works!

Before I close, let me share an amazing sight from my visit to Miami. Have you heard of Wynwood Walls? As soon as my hosts heard I was into art, they sent me on an amazing excursion. Click the above link to learn more, but in a nutshell, artists from around the world are commissioned to create graffiti all over this districts walls.

 imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Totally Rad to the Max!!!

So if you wind up in Miami, now you know a creative must. Blocks and blocks of amazing works of art!

Skeleton Mugs

image

image

Just dropped these to the kiln today.

image

image

I wheel threw the heads and hand-built the bases. Then, I painted them with underglazes.

image

The first time I made these I didn’t add handles and everyone at my holiday shows said “can you make these with handles?”  Yep. Handles it is!

When they come out of the kiln I will rub them with black underglaze and then apply some regular glazes.  It’s the part I am most nervous about. At this point I am in for many many hours and I can very easily ruin them by choosing or applying the glazes wrong.

I shall hold my breath ;)

Let it snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

image

Check out this fun idea for an impromptu children’s art class.

I was asked to create an hour long project for 30 kids ranging in age from 5 years to age 12. What do kindergarteners and sixth graders have in common??? Yikes!

Oh and next, there’s no existing art room, so if I didn’t mind, could I cart everything I needed for the project?

Ah…Sure!!!

One hour, 30 kids all different ages and bring everything….yeah ok. Got it!

piece of cake ;)

image

I don’t know why, perhaps because I watch too many Food Network challenges, but the idea hit me to give each kid a filled up paper bag of materials and challenge each kid to use them. This made sense too, because I had to haul a lot of materials quickly.

image

The ideas started flowing from there. I made a pit stop at the Rhode Island Recovery Center. This is a place where all RI businesses can recycle anything from their businesses that people may be able to repurpose for education. You never know what strange materials you’ll find and its like 40 cents a pound. I chose the items with a certain theme in mind, divided up all the loot and filled up 30 lunch bags.

I decided to make the entire event a challenge. The bags would be stapled up tight and there would be about 10 secret ingredients within. The kids were also given a piece of light blue mat board and a chunk of self-hardening white clay.

They couldn’t touch a thing until I said “GO!” This created excitement like a race. I finally told them the theme was winter. I got their minds going…  What colors come to mind when I say winter? What would you find in a winter environment? What types of animals? Ect….  I handed each kid some wet glue and a glue stick and said “On your mark, get set, GO!!!” And they went at this project like they were on a mission!

image

image

image

image

In all the mayhem, I think I only photographed the younger kids snowmen, but there was definitely more diversity. There were birds in nests, a narwhale, polar bears and penguins. I scored a bunch of jewelry boxes which were perfect building blocks for dioramas. I also found this 4 foot long silver tinsel at the recycling center which was perfect for icicles.

The moral of this very long story is if your ever stuck in a jam, turn the project into a challenge! The kids were so proud of their ingenuity, they had a great time building and they even enjoyed walking around to see what their peers came up with.

I can see the potential for this in my summer camps. The organizational aspect felt wonderful. All of the chaos was contained and I even challenged them to use the bags!

You’ll have to try this one… We’ll call it The secret bag challenge!

PS.

(pardon the grammar and writing – I totally struggled to write this on my phone!)