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Thursday, June 26, 2008

YIPPEEEEE!!!!!!!

Here is the letter I have been waiting on (as just stated in my last post!)
The package came today, yes package, not a single sheet folded in an envelope saying we are sorry, but a bundle of letters saying yes, you go right ahead and build that gas kiln young lady!!
So any of you out there with supply info, suggestions, hints, anything, go right ahead and send it my way. I emailed John Britt today to see if I can sign up for his August workshop so I will actually know what I am doing. Hopefully by next Spring, I will be firing here and no more hauling greenware around with me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I usually get inspiration for pieces looking through books from the library, and digging through my sketch books,but every now and then I go through dept. stores and kitchen stores for inspiration for functional pieces.During the summer most of my inspiration comes from looking through kid's books because of my summer camps. Last year I got a lot of ideas from South American folk art books and tribal art.I saw a dish similar to this in TJ Maxx and thought I would try a bunch of them with different stamped words: salsa, dip, hummus,etc. I found some great letter stamps at Michaels craft store that are used for stamping in stepping stones(say that ten times). So, here is my bisque from last week's work. I tried a few different bowl shapes in my never ending search for one I really really like. I am very happy with them, especially my pasta dishes and now have to not screw them up glazing and firing them! The kiln at Claymakers sometimes gets too much reduction, sometimes not enough. Ana Howard fires the kiln there, and does a great job, but sometimes the kiln wants to do it's own thing and doesn't pay any attention to her. There are also some fussy glazes that have to be persuaded to work just right. Anyway, I have to get to this sometime this week. I still want my own gas kiln, when are they going to announce the Orange County grant recipients?! Most important, when will they send me a letter saying that I got the grant!

I have to glaze at Claymakers for my cone 9 pieces, put them on this shelf, wait until it is full and then it gets fired. Very slow process. I am thinking that I may just save up a bunch of stuff and rent the thing, might be quicker. I still have to bring everything from home though.
This is our beloved kiln.When it behaves, it fires beautifully.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SOME THOUGHTS..........
First of all, I enjoy all of your blogs so much! and learn so much every day. I have been wondering about my list of bloggers, I only have a few listed, but if you go to Ron's blog or Sawdust & Dirt you can find most of the blogs that I like the most. It seems redundant to put them on mine as well, but I don't want anyone to feel that I am "dissing" them by not posting their blog. If you want me to, I will gladly, just let me know. Otherwise find some other great bloggers through Ron and Michael, that's how I found them.
Second, I was a bit disturbed by the Anderson Cooper comments on Michael's blog. This has been such a positive and supportive community of artists and I feel like I have new friends out there. It saddens me to see such negative energy come in especially with something that was so obviously a joke and a clever one at that. Too bad for that....
Third, I am going to join Ron for some self analysis here: I was a designer for the Charlotte Repertory Theater until we moved to Chapel Hill. I got to go to Clayworks in the morning and then to the theater at night, perfect schedule. I tried some theater here but my pottery head kept getting in the way, so I took this past year off to focus only on pottery. That was fine until we went to NY and stayed in the theater district and saw Spamalot. I started missing the theater really bad. Wouldn't you just know..... when we got home I had an email from Playmakers asking if I was interested in a summer position working on The Music Man.
Divine Intervention possibilities arise, right? Anyway, of course I said yes, and now I am trying to work out in my head how to have a split personality again, pottery/theater career. Can it work? I guess it will have to because I love doing both. Plus, I am really good at what I do in the theater, I have a lot of experience, and I can say with confidence that I am good at this.
So maybe I will just have to work in my studio in the mornings and the theater in the evenings, and see what happens................This is the first set I ever worked on, what an amazing cast and crew that was! Thanks to Michael Bush, fantastic director that you are!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cafe Wha? is in Greenwich Village on Macdougal St. in the very coolest part of NY. This cafe is legendary for the musicians that have played there. Bob Dylan played his first NY gig there. It has been a popular hangout for such artists as Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springteen. Still a great place to hear good bands. When I go back to NY I am heading straight for Greenwich and Soho and going no place else! It is not as loud, there are great galleries, restaurants, bars with good music, there is less traffic and everyone seems to be enjoying life there. Many of the restaurants are open air with tables on the sidewalks and you can get any ethnic creation you want there. We met a kid Wesley's age from Nepal, Pimba Sherpa, at Land of Buddha (a very cool Himalayan shop), and Wesley is now emailing him. We are hoping to take her there when she graduates from High School and Pimba will be back in Nepal by then so we told him we would contact him for guide service when we go!

Because I live with these two musicians/photographers, I saw a lot of photography and musical landmarks in NY. We went to the International Center for Photography and saw their current exhibit of Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and Lissette Model original prints. There was also a great exhibit of Japanese photographers, quite unusual. The Met's photo collection includes photos by Henri Cartier Bresson, Matthew Brady, Man Ray and many more early influential photographers. Gerry nearly drooled through the entire exhibit.
The Hard Rock in NY has some great memorabilia. Leather pants owned by Janis Joplin, guitars that belonged to Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Star's drum kit. One of the coolest things was sheets of paper with scribbled lyrics to LA Woman by Jim Morrison. Wesley's favorite was the Jimi Hendrix guitar below. If you don't want to eat there, they are fine with you just walking around and taking pictures. Just go early.

When I was in design school, my final paper was on Van Gogh and Henri Matisse. It had to be really good because I needed to pull my grade up, so I worked extremely hard on it and learned more than anyone ever needed to know about these artists. I can't even describe how emotional it was to stand in a room in the Metropolitan museum full of their paintings. I was so overwhelmed I completely forgot to take pictures of all of them, but I did manage these two. The first one by Matisse was my absolute favorite painting in the whole museum. The photo doesn't do the intensity of color justice unfortunately. There was such a crowd around Van Gogh's Wheat Fields that it was impossible to photograph it, but it was breathtaking.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Here are just a few fun iconic photos from the streets of Manhattan. Two of my favorite shops: the Virgin Records store at Times Square and the Hershey Chocolate store. The kabobs from the street vendors were awesome, grilled right on the spot. No fancy restaurants for us, we just don't have the clothes for it. I loved the DJ at Virgin Records, up in her little tower, rocking out. What a great job. I could do that. Hated Macy's, crowded dept. store, the Hard Rock was crowded but we got there at 11am before the crowds and just walked around. Their food really sucks, but they have some fantastic memorabilia. I'll post some from there later.








Hi All!
Finally home from a crazy week in NY. We took the train up on Sunday and spent the week walking from Central Park to the Battery and everywhere in between. Our hotel room was overlooking Times Square right in the middle of the theater district. Some highlights were
The Metropolitan Museum (of course!), the International Center of Photography, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, The Broome St. Bar in Soho, the World Trade Center site, and seeing Spamalot at the Shubert Theater. I'll post some pictures over a few days instead of boring everyone senseless all at once. I'll start with one of my favorite things, the Egyptian pottery at the Met. I thought Ron would especially like the cross hatching on the red pot. I liked the mugs on your blog, Ron. First is a view from our hotel room day and night.








Saturday, June 7, 2008

I am leaving for New York Sunday morning and will be gone all week, so blog on, mates!
I will leave you with this thought for the week:

"I am most captivated by things that touch me gently at the heart, or by things that leave me defeated, knowing that I could never match them. "
Shoji Hamada

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Did you see Jen Mecca's four year old on her blog? The cutest thing! I used to have one of those, same little ballerina outfit and all. Then in 3rd grade she asked for a violin. Last year she asked for a hollow body epiphone and she started a band. Her dad is a drummer and now our dining room has a drum kit, guitar stands and amplifiers and this is where the band rehearses.
I have a VW van, so guess who takes them to gigs?
Look out Jen!!!

Laura Korch is an incredibly talented potter at Claymakers and she is having a show at Pullen Arts Center in Raleigh through June 30. Check out her website at www.troutceramics.com
Well worth checking out her site, her photography is really creative.
Laura worked at John Glick's studio before coming to Durham. She brings a lot of great energy to Claymakers!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Much better day today, got a lot done, and no I did not leave these in the sun! They are just placed for a quick snapshot. I did learn my lesson, these bowls were in my reclaim bucket yesterday. Although it was 90 degrees here today, the deck was nice and shady most of the day and it felt great to work outside and soak up some vitamin D. I literally threw until my finger bled. I looked down and my middle finger was bleeding, I have a bad habit of using my middle fingernail and I had ground it down to the meat, yuck. I was whiny until I thought of
Brandon Phillips throwing all those cups for his wedding with his broken finger. How did he do that?! Did you see his cups? They are sooooo beautiful!

I have been needing some pasta bowls for the longest time, so I am keeping these in honor of the first batch from my new wheel. Soon I will be sitting out here eating pasta with basil that is growing right beside my wheel. How cool is that!
The tallest piece has black and white slip on earthenware, the first pot I threw on this wheel, so I will plant some rosemary in it.I think rosemary is the herb for remembrance?I can't remember- ha! More pots are covered up for trimming tomorrow. Now if the magic kiln building fairy would show up with that gas kiln I want, I'm set!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Monday indeed! From the looks of Michael Kline's blog he had a better day than me. These were bowls that got too dry too quickly. I tried to trim one, but it wasn't pretty. Guess there will be a learning curve on working outside. I've been used to AC in studios. Still, it was really beautiful today and I love being able to work out there. Only two little bowls survived, so I practiced a little brushwork on white slip, never did this before, I like it, but need much more practice. Maybe I should take a sumi-e class. Hmmm..........
I liked the pictures Michael had on his blog of the pottery journals and thought I would share a few of mine. I don't have the patience to sit down and sketch very much but I am very good at ripping images that I like out of magazines. The only problem with this many books is finding what I'm looking for when I need it. One of the best journals I have seen was Debra Fritt's book. I did a workshop with her at Arrowmont and she shared her book with us. The one she had with her was a very soft brown leather journal with amazing notes and sketches. Very inspiring. The best journal ever was Dan Eldon's. I gave his book to Wes for Christmas one year
It is also very inspiring. Check out this really interesting website for more about Dan www.daneldon.org

Monday, June 2, 2008



What a crazy weekend. My daughter played a farewell concert at her school Friday night. They are moving into a brand new school next year and sadly said goodbye to the old school. Wesley wrote the music for her band and they rocked the house!
Saturday I had a Raku fire with Barbara MacKenzie and Sunday went out to Cedar Creek to help Tim Turner stoke the wood kiln. Tim very patiently answered my never ending stream of questions and was great fun to be with. If you haven't been to Cedar Creek before, it is well worth the trip out for a visit. There are great sculptures and plantings on the grounds and the gallery has some really beautiful pots, glass, and other fine art. Check out the teapot show there next weekend. Sunday was also my 23rd wedding anniversary. Why you might ask was I stoking a wood kiln and where was my husband? Well, the Associated Press has decided to train a group of their photographers in multi media presentations and he was one of the chosen, so I put him on a plane for Dallas Sunday morning and then headed out to Cedar Creek. Thanks, Tim, for a great day, although a very HOT day! I learned a lot that I will be able to use when Susan and I fire again in the fall.