Wax Resist

_2017-08-14 21.31.46_2017-08-14 21.30.11For the distant future, I am challenging myself to only wheel-throw as opposed to my chronic  obsession with hand -building pottery.

Here are a bunch of mugs I left very simple and un-altered. Of course I am not one to keep things completely simple (aka. PLAIN), so this will be a challenge to decorate wheel-thrown pieces without adding extra clay.

For these mugs I stamped in some sayings and images. The fun part was painting on wax . Any place there is wax, the glazes will not adhere. Later, the wax burns off in the kiln. As a design element, I created arches with the wax, glazed them and it produced a nice effect. The bare clay shows through  in the arches and yet I still have areas of beautiful glazes.

I am currently painting and sgraffitto-carving a bunch of vessels. I will add photos  of these pieces in the current days. I’ve also tripled the amount of clay I would typically throw on the wheel.

I love giving myself challenges. It makes me grow as an artisan and keeps things fun and interesting. I think they call that ” a perpetual learner” :)

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More Fun at Pottery Camp

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Spoons!  Who knew spoons could be so cute, cuddly and fun! lol

Spoons are a great opportunity for kids to make those pinch pots. Plus coil making and scratch and slipping.

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These little orbs are rattles we call “spirit shakers”.  They are based on a Native American tradition.  Tiny pieces of clay are wrapped in paper and placed inside these hollow balls.  When the paper burns off in the kiln, the tiny clay pieces are released making a fun sound.

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Next we have wheel-thrown bowls that were then altered into animals. Don’t forget to scratch and slip!

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Finally, I saw this pin on Pinterest and thought.  We have to make these!!!

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When the kids came to pick up their pots, we had grass seed and some instructions to make their very own chia heads.  Fun stuff!

So this concludes pottery camp 2017.  600 pots later, the kids are going home with some great projects and memories to boot!

Blank Slate

This fall I am setting up in what is yet another new studio. The lease on my old spot ended mid-June. I’ll go wherever there is sunlight and heat!

My husband had an office not being used in his computer business… so I begged… and begged and made all sorts of offers until we came up with a successful scenario. I’ll pay some rent and I’ll make part of the office space a lunchroom for employees.

DEAL!

Again, there’s sunlight and heat! Two things I have gone without in the past and two things I don’t ever want to go without again!

So for this week I’m painting what was dark furniture – light. I like to have a nice bright white clean slate (at least in the beginning :)

I’ve wrapped the floors, counters and walls in plastic so I won’t leave any trace of art-making in the room when I’m done.

I have carpets and bookshelves to add. But for today, I got a bunch done :)

Narragansett Arts Guild

 

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I will begin my conversation on weekly art festivals with these photos of me from above.  A fellow artist came by and took a bunch of pics.  I pretended to be a tiger, to walk down some fake stairs, a serious Lolita face… It was all about laughing and being silly.  That’s the cool part of being with a group of artists.

The other part is that it is TOUGH, EXHAUSTING, GRUELING, WORK.

I just never realized how tough it could be.

In a matter of a few hours you have to:

1.Gut your car

2.Load a tent, walls, weights and about ten crates of items to sell.

3. Get to festival site. Unload tent, walls, weights and ten crates of artwork.

4. Set up booth and make it look as beautiful as you possibly can in 40 minutes.

5. Smile, be friendly and talk about yourself and your artwork for 4 hours.

6. Pack up entire booth in pitch darkness.

7. Load tent, walls, weights and ten crates of art materials back into car.

8. Drive home at 9:30pm and Unload tent, wall, weights and ten crates so you can use your car again in the morning to ferry your kids :)

I am telling you selling your wares, in a booth, at a weekly festival,  is TOUGH, EXHAUSTING and GRUELING WORK.

What makes it do-able.  LAUGHTER! LAUGHTER! LAUGHTER!

I simply crack jokes.  Find something – anything – to engage and talk to passers-by.

Being completely silly with the artists to my left and to my right. That’s how I get through the grueling work.

Here were some photos from my booth.  mind you it was dusk under a tent, so they aren’t the best, but you can catch a glimpse of some of the things I was selling.

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Ask me if I’d do it again?

Today I’d tell you – HECK NO!

Ask me in February and I’ll say “oh yeah, that was really funny…I could do that again…”

It happens every year.  Winter amnesia.

If I’m being serious.  I have two thoughts about it.

  1. There has to be a better way to get my art out to people without it having to take such a physical toll on my mind and on my body.
  2. If I did it again, I’d REALLY have to go through my books, figure out what sold the most and streamline what I bring.  I brought too much every week and it almost killed me!

At the moment, I am philosophising on -THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY.

I am going to find it darn it.  Just you watch!

Hi Neighbor!

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In garbage picking the other day (totally normal!), I stumbled on a Narragansett Beer bottle cap.

Hmm… I am selling my wares off the Narragansett sea wall and these bottle caps have ‘Gansett  written on them… hmmm…what can I make out of these???

So I made a few necklaces and a bracelet to try out tonight.  Let’s see if anyone finds these cool or wonders why I strung some garbage on a chain and tried to sell it ;)

Making a Mess!

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My favorite part of summer vacation is my morning walks.  Every morning I grab a cup of joe and a couple canvas bags and head out.  It is complete isolation.  An introvert’s paradise.  Not another soul for miles and miles.

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It’s a driftwood paradise.  Too rocky for most people’s taste. To me it’s a playground.

This year I took home 12 bags of driftwood of every shape and size.

Ohh… my poor husband who so cleverly tetris-ed all of it into our car :)

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I had absolutely no intent on searching for sea glass which is the only reason I found the amount I did!  I came home with a gallon-sized Ziploc!

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Now home, the chaos persists :)

It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t occupy that poor husband of mine’s parking space in the driveway.

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But I have slowly begun to tame the chaos.  Small shapes, fin shapes, fish heads, tails… into organized chaos.

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Ideas coming to fruition…

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Some final pieces…

I have 8 more giant driftwood fish to complete.

Hee Hee Hee….they’re still in the driveway, but rest assured husband – I am working on it!

Rock On

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Have you heard of this? This is sooo cool!!!

So, I’m strolling through a garden in my town and I look down and see this pretty little flower rock.  When I flip the rock over there is a message to go to a Facebook page.  When I get to the page I see all sorts of people hiding and finding rocks throughout my community. People post photos of the rocks they painted and then they go hide them all over town like an Easter egg hunt. The person who finds the rock then goes to the Facebook page and posts a photo of where they found a particular rock.  This way the painter can follow where their rock travels to.

Let’s talk about all the positives.

First, I can’t tell you how excited I was to find a little piece of treasure and I’m a grown-up!  Through this activity you are anticipating making random strangers happy which is a great small lesson in selflessness.  Next, it’s creative and free!  What??? Creative and free?   Who knew you could spend hours at a table chatting with loved ones and decorating with little to no cost?  Brilliant People! Finally, the entire activity is madly addicting.  The painting, the hiding, the finding and the checking in on the local rock page are just too fun to stop!

Now consider this.  I am vacationing on a little island, it’s raining and we have a house full of kids. Yep. You guessed it.  We collected buckets of rocks and got busy!

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By the time the rain stopped, we had amassed 117 painted rocks and seashells.  I don’t know which part they liked better, the painting or the hiding.  We walked all over kingdom-come finding silly places to hide rocks.  My son put one in the bottom of a soda dispenser.  My daughter snuck one into a book at the library.  They rocked the ice cream parlor, window boxes, landmarks, bikes, stores, streets… It took us a good two hours.

All FREE!

It’s been a few days and we are still finding people through Facebook that are still finding our rocks.  Seeing someone smiling in a photo with the rock you painted?  PRICELESS!  I’m telling you, you have to get in on this craze. I’d imagine you can Google “painted rock hiding” in your area.  If you don’t find a community page, you need to create one!  Trust me, it’s a terrific way to spend a day :)

CATCH UP

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Time is flying!

From the day of my first festival, it’s been non-stop!

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This weekly festival I am doing is awesome.  I have a fantastic ocean view and everyone that stumbles by is in a “I’m on vacation” groovy kind of mood. Great vibes. Cool breeze.

Things are good :)

I was away on my family vacation last week. I have some fun artsy-fartsy projects we accomplished on our rain days… and there were a few of those. I’ll post in the next day or so.

I hope everyone is enjoyed nature and the great outdoors. Carpe the Diem out of this awesome season!

Souvenir RI Ring Dishes

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These little ring dishes were experiments in creating my own stamps for pottery.  Each has a sea theme and something about Rhode Island.  We are such a small state, I think it’s safe to say when you come to visit, it’s very easy to see it all. That’s why I find it so hard to write very specific towns on everything. From Providence, to Newport, Watch Hill and Narragansett.  It’s all beautiful and an awesome place to play.  So I will stick with my favorite saying  -I love RI!