Tuesday, January 31, 2012
All of the other pieces that came out are tagged for galleries, so there goes any inventory I might have. I just can't keep any of these houses in my studio. I suppose I could have worse problems, but keeping up with supply and demand is a chore.
This doorknob was a great find, I'll be sad to see it go. It's been in my studio for awhile waiting on the right thing. It's all good though!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Thanks everyone for your comments on the last post. I spent a couple of hours with my clay books and my laptop and I think I have come up with an answer for the pieces that decided to pull themselves apart. As I said, they seem to be pulling apart at the seams, and it has been very random. All of the pieces were constructed the same way, I have ruled out the score and slip issue, I do that correctly, it was not moisture, everything is dried slowly and is bone dry when it goes in the kiln and I candle for a long time.
All of these made it :)
However, here is what I discovered:
these pulled apart... I loved these :(
I have been so puzzled by the randomness of this, but the article I found makes sense of this. The little houses that made it were all cut from the same slab in the same direction. The larger pieces that didn't make it got cut from different slabs and probably in different directions, against the grain.
This didn't happen to me before I got my slab roller because I threw all of my slabs and changed directions to get the thickness even. Since I got a slab roller I have been lazy, just rolling out the slabs and cutting out my parts. Somewhere in the back of my mind I am remembering a class I took years ago and the mention of rotating your slabs when rolling or throwing them came back to me. Ah ha! I am pretty sure this is the problem, so next round of slabs, I rotate them when rolling them out and we shall see if this solves the mystery.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Three of the pieces that were new forms for me and pieces that I wanted to use some of the doll parts with, committed suicide. They just blew themselves apart, every seam, the roofs, the shelves.... in bits and shards all over my kiln shelves. I came in and had a pity party, decided I didn't want to make these damn things any longer. I lost five of the fifteen houses I made this month. That's a lot when three of the five were the best of the bunch for me and I have five galleries waiting on work. I really haven't got a clue what's making this happen, except they seem to know when they are special and they don't want the pressure so they die....... sigh........
Oh well, I made a nice pot of lentil soup with andouille sausage and some cornbread, we had lunch and then I went out to stain the ones that survived the carnage. They are lovely, although few, and then I sat this little girl in her little alter space and all was right with the world..... sigh.......
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Does any one object to me using the word "Jesus".........
The Chatham Artists Guild is now accepting applications for new artists. I have once again nodded my head in the wrong direction and agreed to be on the board, so my first duty as a board member is to put the word out for interested Chatham County artists. If you know any, send them to the website
Applications are due March 15, 2012
This beautiful piece of jewelry is by one of the members
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
This is Porter Robinson. I just came across this video on youtube. He was Wesley's best friend in 7th-9th grade and then he started writing electronic dance music, they sort of grew apart and now he is traveling all over the world performing at raves and music festivals. I can't believe this kid used to eat supper at my house and now just look at him! I am so proud of what he is doing with his life and he is just 19!!!!
What was I doing when I was 19? Probably worrying about getting a tan and some new shoes haha!
Follow your passion, look where it could get you!!
Just to clear up one thing. This is not for those of you who know me, because you know better, but someone called me out on Gerry's expression fag off, in my recent post. Let me just make it perfectly clear that it was not intended as a derogatory comment and perhaps I should have spelled it in a more phonetic way, I didn't think anything of it at the time. When Gerry and his friends (biking/climbing buddies) use this term it is pronounced more like faucgk off, sort of saying fuck but really not, I don't know how to sound this out for you, imagine a british guy saying it, that's what they do. Anyway, I don't use this word in my language, my best friend in college was gay and died of aids, Gerry's best friend in high school was gay and died of aids, I have friends with kids who are gay, I was a designer and most of my associates were gay....it wasn't intended that way so if you were offended, my apologies, it wasn't meant to!!! I guess I should have just said piss off, to keep it simple :)
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Feeding my daughter well while she is home for a four day weekend, she's very happy and back on track YAY! Sweet potato and curry soup in one of my new Hatchville Pottery bowls, sooooo beautiful!!!
Let's see who can name the other potters at the table, Brandon, this might be tough for you, a couple of them are NC locals :)
Thanks for all of your comments on the last post and I think we all got a great laugh from Ron Philbeck, thanks Ron, but you were spot on!
I got another email from someone that is hanging in the background on the comments but I'm going to post what she said because I really like it :
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Went over to Goldenbelt in Durham last night for the artwalk with my art pal Laura. All the artists had their studios open and there was lots of alcohol and the best kettle corn I have ever had, so all was great. Except conversation with people you are just meeting for the first time. It goes like this:
This is my friend Sue the artist
Hi how are you (shake hands)
What do you do?
I'm an artist too
oh, what do you make?
What kind of sculpture?
what kind of clay sculpture
houses, uh, barns, uh, it's hard to explain.....
I was talking to Gerry this morning about how difficult it is for me to introduce myself as an artist and then answer the unavoidable questions about my work. I find it very difficult to talk about and explain. I can show you a photo and explain it on my blog, but face to face, forget it. I cringe every time.
I need to come up with a format for what follows when you say those dreaded words, I am an artist.
Here is what Gerry said to say:
Hi what do you do
I'm an artist
what do you make
clay sculpture, you wouldn't understand, fag off!
This made me laugh
of course I would never say that, I appreciate people's interest in art, interest in my work and I do want to talk about my work, I just need to figure out how to do it!
Friday, January 20, 2012
I started messing around with some of these new forms, and all of the photos I shot seemed to get a beam of light from the heavens. Is this a sign? :)
I really like this new shape, but the cross is doubtful, I can see it getting broken off very quickly. My mom will be happy though, since she drug me to church nearly every day when I was growing up!
I've been reading all of your blogs and watching as the many many pots stack up in the studios. You all put me to shame, I managed to make ten pieces this week!
Meredith at Whynot blog has a good post about production vs. studio potters. I'm neither, I'm slow poke potter, haha! I'm so afraid that if I start making multiples of these at a time, I will get bored with them, and then what will I make?
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I don't know if this is a southern thing or if everyone does this. My parents and my grandparents always loved going to cemeteries and so do I. When I was a little girl, we would go to the cemetery where my grandparents and my dad are now buried, and feed the ducks at this very beautiful pond on the grounds. We would drive up to Stokes County and visit my dad's mother's grave. My grandparents liked to take me to New Salem down near Seagrove to visit the "family" graves. We would walk around the graves and talk about those family members that were long gone. My parents would take drives on Sunday after church and sometimes we would end up at All Saints cemetery in Pawley's Island and walk around the graves dating back to the 1700's and 1800's, with the spanish moss hanging from the live oak trees and casting strange shadows on the graves. I loved to walk around in that cemetery and imagine the lives of those laying there in the ground. What must their lives have been like in South Carolina in the 1700's!
Last year when I went to Beaufort with my friend Barbara, we stayed across the street from a cemetery. I got up very early on Sunday morning and went over and walked among the dead. It was so peaceful and so beautiful there. Again, lots of spanish moss hanging in the trees, azaleas were in bloom, the graves were cracked and old with green moss growing on the stone, so amazing.
I have felt such a familiarity with the new shapes I'm working on and couldn't quite put my finger on it until I saw this photo from Pere Lachaise. Years ago, I went to New Orleans, and the only thing that has stayed in my mind are the mausoleums in the cemeteries, and the trout with pecans I had at the Commander's Palace! I think the relics I have been collecting lately are wanting to be used in some sort of shrine or alter type form and somehow these mausoleum shapes keep coming in to my head. I think this is going to work out.....During the holidays, Wesley showed me this video and it started all of this thinking about cemeteries and my work. I'm so inspired by this video:
Well, let's see where this goes.....
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Yes, my hair is a mess, I haven't brushed it in several days....I'm busy!
I read a blog post today about why people blog. This topic has been discussed quite a bit, I have written a few posts on the subject as well. Instead of responding to that conversation, I thought I would say
Because I blog:
I have met people like Meredith and Mark Heywood, who send me an email from time to time and say hey come for lunch. I fixed this spinach pie for breakfast/lunch today remembering the one I had a couple of weeks ago with them. The recipe is on my foods I like tab and it's at the Whynot blog. I met Meredith and many of my customers through her blog, and now she is meeting people like Dennis at Whistle Creek blog and others through my blog.
I have also been invited to stay with other bloggers when I'm in town. Dee and Hollis Engley welcomed me and my family in to their home at Hatchville Pottery, cooked an amazing dinner, introduced us to their friends and hooked us up with some wonderful roasted coffee. As I write this I hope to have a couple of those bowls Hollis posted on his blog on their way to me! Michael Kline also fed me and gave me a place to stay when I was up his way building a kiln with John Britt.
I have received gifts, even those of the anonymous sort, like the book on Japanese baskets, which is wonderful. I received these doll parts from a customer and blog reader, I have a studio sign and all sorts of interesting things from blogger Cindy Shake. Fantastic books from blogger Gay Judson, by the way, where are you these days, Gay?
Because I blog, I met Jennifer Mecca, who was on the jury for the CDCG guild, she knew of me and my work and was able to speak to that when the time came for me to be voted in. Thanks Jen, I am now a guild member!
Also, because I blog, Lark and Key Gallery found me and has invited me to send work to them on a regular basis and I will be in a show there in June. When I know more about that show, I will do a proper blog post on it. I have also been asked to be in another show from a blogger that I don't have any details about at all right now, but I'll keep you posted as that unfolds. Another show that I am very excited about came to me by way of blogger Lori Buff. She suggested I contact Mudfire Gallery in Atlanta about a show they have coming up, and I have been invited to be in that show as well.
So, because I blog, I have friends like you all over the world, I get invited to stay on Cape Cod for free, I get gifts in the mail that surprise me and delight me, I get invited to be in wonderful shows and galleries, and I have many new customers that found me through my blog or through one of yours. If you haven't checked out the other bloggers I have on my blog roll, do so when you get a chance, there are some really great blogs out there!
By the way, for those of you that read the first draft on my last post, the vulture feathers are now back in the woods, and thanks to another blog reader for giving me the heads up on the laws regarding taking raptor parts from the woods. Yet another instance of blogger assistance. Thanks to that email, I am not in prison now with the rapists and murderers for taking feathers that were scattered around a dead vulture carcass.
Do I consider my blog to be a worthwhile endeavor? You bet your sweet ass I do!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
I took the last post down, to avoid opening yet another can of worms I'm not interested in getting into a discussion about right now and I have unknowingly done something I didn't know I couldn't do, and I have to undo it, jesus, the world is so annoying sometimes! Anyway, enjoy the video, Sunday was a great ending to a very good first week back to work!
ps: Wesley singing, from a CD Christmas gift :)
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I shot some video in the studio today, I'll get that posted later, but for now check out the Jordan Lake eagle live cam. Mom is sitting on her eggs/babies, pretty cool. Wait for stupid commercial to pass....
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I made some templates last night, so I'm working through the new forms and getting used to new measurements, trying to figure out how I want to fit in the found objects I have to work with. I seem to be inspired by churches these days, so the doll figures are getting their own little house of worship, or shrine, whatever you want to call them.
Dolls and churches, more ghosts from my childhood......
Now it's time for a shower and some hot chocolate to warm up. Ahhhh...... a good day!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Well the girl child is gone and instead of being awakened and annoyed that she was getting home at 4:00am, I got a good night's sleep. I worked in my studio today for the first time since before Thanksgiving. I couldn't find anything, so much had been tucked away for the studio tour, so I spent the morning cleaning and reorganizing. I forgot how much I like being in this space with all my treasures, my shells, driftwood, feathers, bones, amputated doll parts, haha! I'm so excited to be back at work. I have a bunch of slabs rolled out, they will set up over night and then first thing in the morning I'll start cutting out some new pieces. Tonight, Gerry has a late ball game to shoot, so I'm going to work upstairs in my other new space drawing some new house templates for the doll parts. I love that I can still use the drafting skills from my past life as a designer. My drafting table is the one I got when I was in college and I still do it the old fashioned way with a T square and a triangle. I had drafting classes long before there was CAD for computers, actually personal computers didn't even exist then, as I type this I realize I am a dinosaur!
I set up a new little shrine, lit a candle, burned some incense and just enjoyed the peace around me, the birds were tapping at my windows, the dog was at my feet snoring, and all is right with the world once more.
Thanks to all of you for reading my blog over the past few years and for leaving so many kind comments. I noticed today on my blog roll that Paul, Hannah, Doug and Meredith had all posted in a row, ironically these were the first blogs that I found when I started.
My blog has become a great tool for sales and marketing. I had an email from Lark and Key in Charlotte before Christmas asking for work for the new year, they had found my blog, and this week I received an email from the Philadelphia Art Museum Craft Show with an application attached. I was curious how I got this email so I asked and the reply was that they found me through my blog. I don't think I can afford to do this show, even if I were to be accepted, but it was nice to get the email.
I have also received emails from people that have commissioned pieces after seeing my blog, and then there are all of the friends that I have made as well. I'm still not a fan of Facebook, still not going to twit or tweet, but I do love my blog, so at least for now this is where you will find me. I hope everyone has a very happy and prosperous 2012. Have a groovy year, ya'll !!!
Monday, January 9, 2012
This is the room I used to use as a studio.
This time last year, I was sick of this arrangement, and set my intentions to build a studio that was a bit more professional. In March 2011, I started construction. Now here I am a year later with a nice studio that has served me well this year. I have made the money that I invested in the building back and then some this year. Well worth the cost and the labor.
This past weekend, I took everything out of that tiny room upstairs, cleaned, threw out boxes of junk, and painted the walls white. A clean slate to draw and sew and make jewelry. A nice quiet space for the winter months.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Today Wesley and I went with my good pal Laura to see the Rembrandt exhibit at the NC Museum of Art. What a great museum this is, I love going there and seeing some of my old friends they have in their collection. A few years ago they had the Monet exhibit and it was breath taking. The Rembrandt exhibit, not so breath taking for me, I'm more of a Georgia O'Keefe, Andrew Wyeth fan, but it was amazing art nonetheless. The only thing is, it was old people day apparently, and the room was very crowded with slow moving folks and their audio listening tour devises. Who came up with this concept!? It does not move the crowds along, it's irritating! We were women behaving badly, laughing inappropriately and saying inappropriate things, like my comment that Rembrandt looked like he had a serious coke habit brought a stinky eye look from one of the audio tour participants, who obviously didn't have the volume up enough on her head set. It was sort of a yawn for me, the one with the attention span of a knat. The room was hot and moist and as Wesley said, it smelled like old people. So that is my very eloquent review of the show, not quite worth the $35 I spent, when I can stroll over to the regular museum and see some of my favs for free, but I least I can say I have seen a very well put together exhibit of Rembrandt. I know the curators worked very hard putting this show together. UNC TV had a great special on it, I think it's still running, if you live where you get NC public TV check it out.
Neomonde Deli in Raleigh. Go there, go there, go there if you visit Raleigh. OMG, the best food ever!!!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
But I do try to set some goals, give the house a good cleaning out, put Christmas away and clear the space for new possibilities. Today is that day. Here are the most amazing heads I got in the mail yesterday, that sounds odd doesn't it!
I had a weird dream last night that each year, one day was taken away, so for example next year we would have 364 days, and on the day that was taken away, everything on the planet shrank a little bit until everything vanished. It was creepy, woke me at 1:00am and I never went back to sleep. So with the fog in my head and the creepy dream, I thought it was appropriate to photograph the body parts that have been given to me by my wonderful artist friends that understand how much joy they would bring to me. I have put them out on my kitchen table where my good friends sat not too long ago with so much energy and talent gathered around, just so they will absorb some of that energy and go out into the world soon....
Have a groovy day!
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
And, I haven't made anything since November, and as I just typed this a light bulb went off in my head. There could be a direct correlation between my mental state and the fact that I'm not being creative!
So here are some other goings on in my week, keep reading it's gets strange:
*Uncle is doing good, He was my dad's best friend and I sat with him the other night and heard tales of him and my dad, let me just say my dad was crazy and I can't believe he lived as long as he did. My uncle said that he flipped over 18 cars in his "career", started many bar fights, and landed in jail quite a few times. If you knew me well, this would explain a lot to you.
*Yesterday, I had lunch at Whynot Pottery and Meredith has a very nice post about it over on the Whynot blog, if I need to give you a link to this blog, you have been under a rock somewhere, look it up on my blog roll, I'm too lazy to do the link thing right now! I'll just add to hers and say that it was a well needed break from home and she is the best cook EVER! Try the recipe she posted, unreal, yum!
*Yesterday I received a letter from an inmate in prison wanting me to sell his popsicle stick jewelry boxes in my studio, he read the article about me in the newspaper and wrote to me. I want to write him back, I want to sell his boxes, I want to be his pen pal while he is in prison, but first I want to find out what he is in prison for. Here's the kicker to this story though. The letter came from a man that mailed it for him from Clinton NC, my uncle, the one mentioned above, lives in Clinton, and the prison? My cousin, (uncle's daughter) works in the prison system in the same area the inmate is in. Weird, right?
*Today, Wesley and I went for our New Year's tarot card reading to just check in and see what adventures await us. My good friend/intuitive told me that I would get some parts for my barns that would strongly influence my work. I'm thinking that I already got them, the doll parts that came from Sonia and Meredith, but when I got home, I had a package, another gift from Sonia, stoneware doll heads from the same factory in Germany, and they are..... I don't even know what to say about them, but they are beyond great. I'll take pictures sometime and post them. I can't even find time to shoot pics for my blog right now.
So that should catch you up, bizarre things going on, crazy family, and I am back in the studio next week with fresh clay from Starworks! I'm reading everyone's blog, just don't have the energy sometimes to comment, sorry! I'll get back soon.....as I'm typing this I'm sitting in a quiet dark room with the Christmas tree but... wait.... Gerry just turned on the TV and it's blaring Jaco Pastorious on youtube, somehow feeding through our blue ray, see what I mean.....
Sunday, January 1, 2012
This is the best CD I have bought in a very long time. Not a bad song on there!
Hi there everybody! I hope everyone is having a great New Year's Day! I'm just home from visiting my mom in Myrtle Beach with Wesley. Gerry stayed home to get some rest and get to feeling better. The weather was amazing, the beach beautiful, a little bit crowded but not too bad, and my mom and I didn't have one single argument, a monumental occasion considering there was a time we couldn't be in the same room for five minutes without arguing about something. I suppose one of us is maturing, just hard to tell which one :)
The drive from my house to Myrtle Beach is a long slow drive with nothing but farms, cotton, abandoned barns, run down houses, and a lot of bleak communities, especially when you get into South Carolina. I love it, it's my home. Poor Wesley had to endure my stopping to photograph old barns, and then I stopped and walked around for a while in a cotton field that was in the middle of nowhere. It had been picked already and I wanted some of the cotton for some of my work. I felt so much peace standing there. I thought about the lives that had lived in that field, the conversations that had taken place, the dreams, the sadness, the songs, the hard labor in that hot South Carolina sun, and the wind blew slightly down the rows of the cotton plants, and I felt the ghosts that live in the south all around me. I could have sat down in that field all day and soaked in the feelings I had there. It was a moment I'll remember for a while into this new year.
And then there was the ocean, another place for peace and healing and comfort. How do I live without this in my life everyday when this is where I grew up, this is where I found my refuge in a world I couldn't control. This is where my daughter and I found peace this week from the chaos of the holidays, and first year college blues (for both of us!). We talked and walked and just sat in the warm sun and let it work it's magic.
and we saw this movie, go see it, fantastic movie! I loved it.