Lotso-Pots

This week, I got to play with my new hand-made pottery stamps.  Way too fun.  Way too addicting.  Can’t wait to see how they come out.  Working with the stamps is firing off all sorts of ideas in my head!

Here’s a bunch of other things that have come out of the kiln:

I’m still painting too… will have some paintings to show hopefully next week.

As I like to think and say…

Keep on keepin’ on and bein’ creative!

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Pottery Stamps

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While watching TV one night, I grabbed a hunk of clay and decided to make a bunch of my own stamps.  I pretty much used the ends of pencils, pens and the ends of all my clay tools.  Points, squares and round circles. They were then bisque fired.

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I didn’t put too much thought or planning into them. They are pretty much doodles -in clay form.  Mainly nature motifs, patterns and textures.  I guess that’s what comes out when I’m not “thinking”.

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I can’t wait to use them.  So far I only got to use them yesterday when making this lid for a cream and sugar set.  I am already in love with their imperfect organic look.

Below are some more cream and sugar sets getting ready to head to the kiln. The patterns on the ones below are from wooden textile stamps.  See how they are a little more structured.

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Well, I love new inspiration.  I like that the patterns come straight from ME.  I think you’ll see these stamps creeping into my future work.

I already want to make more!

 

 

Compass School Yearly Vision Event

 

2017-10-13 08.13.18For the past few years, my kid’s school principal has asked me to help create vision boards for the school’s annual Vision Night. I tell ya, what a cool principal!  The parents write down their “wish list”, the principal listens and each year we get to look back at how far we’ve come and which goals we have attained.  This year our principal helped us accomplish an amazing feat.  Our school created a giant vegetable farm and we now have a real farmer on staff! I can’t tell you what an amazing experience my children have been blessed with. It is an amazing goal to celebrate.

Here are some of my past year visual contributions:

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Summary

4 Paintings

Here are the 4 paintings I forgot to photograph :) 3 of them are 12×16 and the smaller 11×14. All of them are acrylic paintings.

This one is of the clay cliffs of Block Island, RI.

Another Block Island painting, this is one of our favorite fields to sit and watch the sunset. Ok. We never sit. It’s more like hike!

There is a tiny little shed near my kids school in Kingston,RI. It’s bright white against the fields and trees. The white of the building always says “haunted” to me. I guess like the famous haunted “girl in the white dress”.

This is a view of the Island of Jamestown, RI from the mainland. The area where I live is blessed with both beautiful farmland and breathtaking seascapes. The juxtaposition of the two is a painters paradise!

My thoughts are to paint a bunch of 12×16 paintings. Reason being the size will allow me to work rather quickly. The more I make the more “gems” I will produce.

I’ve learned in pottery that not every pot comes out perfect. If I make 6 mugs, I can count on really loving 1 or 2. I call those the “gems”. With these four paintings there is only one true “gem” for me.

my favorite is this one. Other people may agree or disagree, but this painting meets my standards of what I deem a successful painting, a gem.

Ahhh…. I guess I am putting it out there (again :). My weakness.

Deep breath…. I have perfectionist issues…. Don’t judge me, we all have something! ;) This one is mine. Not my first mention of it, but I think it’s important to admit imperfections in ALL humans exist. I know I haven’t found that real-deal airbrush app for real-deal-life so until then, the first step to fixing anything is admitting it, one time or apparently twenty times….or maybe thirty for good measure.

I get it. I do. For instance, I’m new to pottery, I am gentle with myself, I know I have to put a ton of time in to master the art form. But with painting, I am not so forgiving with myself, even if I know I haven’t put In a spec of the time needed to master the art form. I create all sorts of stuff. I cross a wide range of mediums. And I feel no anxiety. No cares in the world. It’s all just play for me. Except for painting. Every insecurity and ounce of angst pours out of me. If I go even deeper, to find the source of my angst, it’s probably a childhood incongruent thought. I grew up in an art gallery surrounded by incredible talent. My childhood association with ART and SUCCESS was based on my observation of PAINTERS. As I sat there scribbling with my crayons, they were the unattainable in my mind. Natural talent. Just pure magic. Little me scribbles = big artists come in to frame their masterpieces. I could never be that good. Why did little Mary think that? Beats the shit out of me. I wish I could go back and shake it out of her!

So, in my 43rd year, I am finally putting the pieces together. All the “unattainable” artists I observed as a child with their perfect paintings, were get this -not perfect. What???? Really, they are my people now. I talk to them regularly. Did you know they have a garage full of duds they never show the world? Did you know they have to practice and practice and paint and paint until they find their gems?

Mind blowing. I know. I wish someone could have told me not every piece will be a masterpiece . Then I’d just need to find a way to get the last thirty years of my life back!

So that’s it. I am going to paint a lot this year. I am not going to craft and fill every hour working on craft shows. I am going to practice my heart out painting and heal my little inner-child. Who is going to come out of this year saying “I am not perfect, but I’m a darn hard worker. If you don’t believe me, check out my garage. It’s full. And there may even be some gems in there.”

Clay Carving

I am continuing my personal goal of wheel-throwing pots instead of hand-building them.  This is forcing me to come up with different techniques for embellishment.
For the pitcher up above, I found a beautiful photo of a Moroccan carpet and used a part of the motif as inspiration. There are 4 different tear drops in my design.  I painted with underglaze paints and when they were dry, I took carving tools and carved outlines.
The vessels below utilized the same technique; hand painted and then carved.
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After their bisque firing, I will dip these pieces in clear glaze and they’ll be ready to go!

My pottery teacher laughed. She said “Boy, the extent you will go to avoid traditional glazes!”   …she’s right.  I’m going to have to embrace those muddy-brown glazes eventually!  …eventually ;)

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” :)

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 :)