I’m so thrilled to share that this large (18″ h) piece of mine, which was juried into the 19th San Angelo National Ceramic Competition by Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio (who also awarded it a Merit Award), has been purchased by the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts in TX for their permanent collection! Very much a delightful, triple honor. This is the third museum to purchase my work for its collection. The other two are the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taipei, Taiwan and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Fort Wayne, IN.
This last month has been about allowing (maybe giving) myself time to play. YAY! It’s a rare thing for me because of deadlines and requests; my inherently deliberate pace (‘fast’ and ‘detailed’ are mutually exclusive it seems); and currently, perennials are calling to me like Sirens to abandon my studio and toil away my afternoons with them. I chose to play by re-visiting forms from the past, so it has been Retro Month for me here in the studio. Perhaps I felt a bit guilty for sidelining other responsibilities, or I’m just a masochist, but I apparently chose to re-visit some of the most complicated forms I’ve ever made. Go figure.
The first things I made were six Corset vessels (above). This is a form that is the most distinctive in my reperatoire I think, but is actually not a form I make often. In fact, I haven’t made the size pictured (+/- 9″ h) since 2005 when I was still firing cone 10 soda. For some reason when I moved to mid-range electric-firing in ’06, I scaled them up to 15-18″ and made only a couple every so often. So, it was fun to work on a smaller scale with patterns and polka dots I’ve developed in the last years. Indeed, a big part of the point of Retro Month was to bring my new palette (color and pattern) and accumulated experience to familiar, loved forms.
Next, I made Double-walled Baskets (only three; the one pictured above is my fave). I made these the latter part of graduate school at Ohio University over 10 years ago. I LOVE this form—pouffy walls, upholstered-looking surface, voluminous shape, elegant yet jovial attitude—but it is truly a technical nightmare, basically everything that clay doesn’t like or want to do, particularly in porcelain. While this image was the most “liked” pic I’ve ever posted on Facebook, and part of my style has always been to partially ignore the personality of clay, these lovelies may not be coming to an online shop of mine near you soon. They may have mostly served as a wistful reminder of why I stopped making them last time. We’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath as much as they appear to be.
Lastly, I made sets of Screen vases, which haven’t happened for a handful of years for no particular reason, not since my stripy/dotty phase began anyway. I love how these zig zag together in pairs and trios, pattern flowing from one to the other. These were supposed to be the less laborious end to my month…which made my hubby laugh (with love, of course).
As promised in my last post (before NCECA), here are some new pots that I’m most excited about, ranging from small covered jars and house forms to quite tall (for me) jars and flower bricks, many using underglaze color for details like stripes and dots.
From top right, first row: Large covered jar w. Blue stripes & Allium (16″h) and Large pear covered jar w. Polka dots, Moonlit (15″h); Second row: Tall flower vessel w. Lilacs (Corset series) (14″h) and Tall flower brick w. Stripes (17″h); Third row: Medium plate w. Tangerine stripes (8″ dia.); Fourth row: Small house from flower bricks (each approx. 5-6″h); Fifth row: Small covered jar w. Red ribbon stripes (8″h) and Stamped vase (10″h); Sixth row: Tall flower brick w. Blue stripes (18″h) and Small covered jar w. Polka dots (8″h).
Left: Altered, darted and footed. Right: Cut and defined lip/neckline.
Left: All four in-progress. Right: Handles and further definition.
The first two ladies complete with their slip-trailed deco.
I began this Corset series around six years ago (a story I’ll delve into at a different time) and though I don’t actually make them often, they have become somewhat of a signature form. This vessel idea began as corset-like, becoming more literal before morphing into something I think of now as more akin to upholstered furniture than vintage undergarment.
It was gratifying to spend the last week and a half (not at my computer) making some pots I just felt like making. The four are now complete and drying slowly in anticipation of joining other smaller pots yet to be made for a bisque firing.
The images above show some of the stages in the making process, minus the most dramatic image (because it didn’t occur to me till later to document it). These begin as straight-sided cylinders…subsequently altered, darted, built, added on, refined, defined, slip-trailed, slip-sponged and carved.
I have had a “publicity” postcard made every year or two since 2001. (There are two other postcards from ’95 and ’98 I’ll have to dig up for another—more humorous—post.) The two most recent cards, with the jars and cups, are cone 7 electric; the others are cone 10 soda reduction. The image directly above is my MFA graduation show card from Ohio University. Six postcards of work from four different studios. It’s interesting to see how things have changed, most notably after my thesis card, going from what I see as just “ornate” to more “elegant”. Aside from additional layering, the surfaces haven’t changed a lot, but the lines that define the forms have. They are more crisp and where I see the elegance happening. I was the photographer for all of these too, baring witness to the transition from film to digital.
*If you would like a postcard, I would like for you to have one. My most current 2008 Covered jar postcard and the 2005 Flower Brick postcard are still available. (The former because it’s still new and the latter because a printing error left me with 2500!) Simply drop me an email with “Postcard” in the subject line, your mailing address in the body, and specify which card: 2008, 2005 or both. I would love for you to have a pot, but this is a nice precursor, and something you can actually hold in the meantime.
Thank you to Charan Sachar of the great Creative with Clay blog for presenting me with one of his Lovely Blog Awards. I appreciate the friendly acknowledgment!
Spring is coming! I have added new items to my Online Store for your shopping and gifting (Mother’s Day, weddings, graduations) pleasure. I hope you will buy handmade for yourself or someone special. ♥ P.S. You can still receive a postcard, just drop me a note.