So…4 weeks ago I had a surgery (surgery #3 in fact) on my right wrist. I had my mp joint fused  and my cmc joint reconstructed using pieces of my my own tendon from my fore arm.  Needless to say this has interfered greatly with my work.  For a while I was going with the flow, trying to maintain my cool and trying to be enthusiastic about the idea that maybe this my change my work.

this is what the titanium screw looks like that has fused the mp joint. There is a stainless steel rod in there as well...

cast came off yesterday to reveal my new racing stripe. Now to a splint for 4- 5 weeks

Well…I’m over that.  The thing is that I have known all along that this was going to be temporarily so it just became a major pain in the ass.  Not to say I haven’t made any new realizations…I now know that I really enjoy mold- making and slip casting (though I’m going to drop the mold making class I’m in right now and retake it when I have full use of both hands).  Mold making really jives with my personality…I’m talking about the whole process of designing and making the mold itself as well as casting.  It’s like I’m making 2  objects when I work this way  and I’m interested in both plaster and bisque molds.  Not to say I want to completely switch over to molds work from throwing…I just want to investigate it much more in depth.

So now I’m interested in researching the work of contemporary ceramic artists that work with molds.  Of course there is my own teacher – Tsehai Johnson…and then along with Heather Mae Erickson and Kari Radasch (bisque molds – less slip-casting) there are a whole of people to look into…

Tsehai Johnson with her DAM installation
Heather Mae Erickson at work
Heather Mae Erickson
Kari Radasch at work
Kari Radasch's work - I have one of the small square plates on the right.

New items for the wish list

I love these pieces by Jeff Campana.  I lack the kind of patience it would take to make them but would love to watch him do it. And I would like to own one…

Artist Statement

I draw lines by dissecting and immediately reassembling each pot. The result is a surface decoration with structural implications. Lines seen on the exterior coincide with lines found inside, as each line is in fact a seam, a scar where it was once severed. Though fragile seams decorate the surface, pooling glazes seal and strengthen the ware. The fault lines that decorate the surface threaten to, but do not actually undermine the vessel’s ability to contain, display or deliver.

This method of making fulfills my desire to develop a virtuosic touch in clay. When pieces are dissected for decoration, I am able to get an intimate view of my forms. The precise knowledge of pottery cross sections is rarely known by most potters, but mine are constantly viewed, critiqued and refined. I truly know my work inside and out. It is my preference for conspicuous labor and skill that drives me to these intensive and challenging processes.

Currently, my formal choices are influenced by botanical references. Starting with just the vague notion of various plants, I create idealized and stylized renditions of leaves and flowers, controlled and chosen primarily by the intended utility of the vessel. Certain patterns lend themselves to certain forms. I try to listen to the material when determining this. Structural failures in the drying and firing tell me to find new solutions. . Working in an almost scientific way, new pots are made in a search for truth, accuracy in expressing my aesthetic ideals. I know a work is successful when it makes me smile just to look at it. This is the tuning fork for my aesthetic calibrations.

Via Jeff

Alone Time…

This was sent to me in an email from my artist friend Judi Strahota…

“We are the ones making unreasonable demands. We expect our artist to be able to function without giving it what it needs to do so. An artist requires the upkeep of creative solitude. An artist requires the time of healing alone. Without this period of recharging, our artist becomes depleted. Over time, it becomes something worse than out of sorts. Death threats are issued….
      An artist must have downtime, time to do nothing. Defending our right to such time takes courage, conviction, and resiliency….An artist requires the upkeep of creative solitude. An artist requires the time of healing alone. Without this period of recharging, our artist becomes depleted…. We strive to be good, to be nice, to be helpful, to be unselfish. We want to be generous, of service, of the world. But what we really want is to be left alone. When we can’t get others to leave us alone, we eventually abandon ourselves. To others, we may look like we’re there. We may act like we’re there. But our true self has gone to ground . . . . . unless we alone make the courageous act to nurture our own artist self in any idiosyncratic form it beckons for. “
                                                                                              – Julia Cameron

I can really relate to this.  I especially like the “…in any idiosyncratic form it beckons for.” part.

I do find that I must find time to be alone to recharge – I am no fun if I don’t.  I like this statement by JC because it helps to give me permission to do what I need to do to take care of myself.  I have to hope that my friends and family  understand this …



Maira Kalman

Love this quote from MK:

In an ideal world, work and life would be seamless. It’s about finding your love and your work, and having them intersect all the time—my painting and writing is all about that. If you have a vision that feels intensely physically correct to you, then it’s true. When it’s actually realized could be 20 years after that initial feeling.

Interview here   Check out this too. Ooh…and this.

Some cups i like #1

Just a few.  You may notice a theme…

Click on the images to learn more about the artists.

Takashi Yomiyai
Elisa Helland-Hansen
Olen Hsu
Pigeon Toe Ceramics
Emily Schroeder Willis
Kristin Pavelka

What a great idea…

I came across this flyer for a combined show and seconds sale on Whitney Smith’s site. First of all I think it’s wonderful to combine a show and seconds sale.  Secondly…I love that it is tied in with a way to benefit the community.  Oh – and an opening party to boot!  I would love to encourage something like this at our Guild.

art…craft…good taste/bad taste…

I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot lately.

I have to think about it in order to figure out what I like and why…. and that this will help me focus when it comes to my own work and what I’m trying to accomplish.

Nesting bowls by Clair Catillaz at Clam Lab

I’m planning to head to the studio shortly(finally!) and I’m feeling a bit at loose ends – I don’t know what to do first.  Of course the first step is to just get there.

Anyway…I stumbled across this essay this morning – Notes On “Camp” by Susan Sontag.  More to think about.

Maybe I’m over-thinking things.

I recently read a review/artist statement by Rae Dunn  and  it really resonated with me…

Dunn writes:

“I don’t think my art is a reaction against the complexity of life today, but rather a way for me to embrace the joyful, spontaneous elements of daily life that seem to be wanting in so much of what we do. Today, more than ever, I think we all need to slow down and grasp that which is honest, real, and personally satisfying. I try to express those feelings in all of my work.”

Her work is strongly influenced by the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. “I don’t strive for perfection in line and form in my work, because for me the balance I’m trying to achieve can’t be represented that way.

Christa Assad’s statement  is a powerful influence as well.

A design instructor I had suggested that we spend time reading artist statements to help figure out what we are trying to say in our own work and this is something I’ve only just started doing in the last year.  Took me awhile…

An interesting side note…at least to me – my stats for this blog show that the overwhelming majority of searches that lead to my blog are for “paper mache.”