the inevitable crash

wow, what do i do with all this free time?  i guess that having  a deadline really amped me up to work.  i have been assessing everyday, figuring out what hours could be spent in the studio coiling, and now (post deadline) i’m experiencing the inevitable let down.  i spent some time with my sketch (list) book yesterday working on what i’d like to do next.  gotta get back to work.

yesterday i worked my a.i.r. day.  j and i did a lot of hard, glamourous work, like cleaning some funky ass bathrooms (a weekend of 24/7 use, yeah!), loading up 3 bisque kilns and 1 glaze kiln and cleaning up the kiln pad for the unloading next week.  the dumpster was full, so we couldn’t even do the trash until the garbage truck came, and then whooo the large amounts of trash we had.  but to be honest that is why i like working tuesdays, there’s always a lot to do.  it’s satisfying to make a dent in the work load and i’ve learned a lot from j.

d-o-n-e done

i am exhausted, but just a quick post to say 10 x 10 went well.  it was a really great time, a chance to catch up with lots of folks from south florida and i was very pleased with the installation of garden path.  j and i headed out friday morning after the longest freaking thursday ever (4 am kiln shift, then a training at tampa health department, visit to my parents house to load up some materials and then packing the car to max capacity with our art work.), installed most of friday and saturday, showed from 6-10 pm and then woke up bright and early sunday to deinstall.  it was hard work but it was worth it.

i was able to find a landscaping supply co. to graciously lend me the crushed shells, stepping stones and borders i needed for the garden.  the owner and his wife came to the show and before they left they gifted me the materials they had loaned me.  how cool are they?  anyone in south florida needing landscaping supplies should definitely support AAA sod and supply on military trail between maleluca and lantana. they are like, totally my art sponsors.

unfortunately i don’t have a camera, and am too poor to buy one for the time being, so i will have to wait for pictures from kara.  she had a photographer shoot the whole show which was so awesome of her.

here’s a little taste via my cell phone:

blurry garden path

blurry garden path

as you can imagine that crushed shell was a pain to clear up.  i shoveled up a couple of containers of it and brought them out to the car.  when i returned a had shoveled another 2 containers up, she then proceeded to help me clear up the rest, which we did in record time.  s showed up and after giving us root beers, pitched in.  we took the hand truck down the elevator and as we wheeled it to the parking lot, i couldn’t help but be struck with how awesome my life is right now and how many great folks are part of that.  therefore i have to shout out some thanks to all my co-residents especially j for making the trip with me, a and s and all my sofla ladies and, you know, the universe for rocking so much.  yeah!

anagama loading

this week don reitz and john ballisteri are firing spcc’s anagama with us.  what an honor to work with and learn from such respected potters.

yesterday i rushed home from work and to the studio.  the studio was full of people glazing.  wonky bottles and tea bowls covered the glaze room counters (ballisteri’s work).  things seemed to be wrapping up.  the studio emptied out, i stayed and worked for a few hours, but didn’t get much done.  i headed home for some dinner and then to j and j’s to drink some beer.

yesterday was kind of uneventful, but today more than made up for it.  got to the studio by 9:30 am, people are still glazing, slicing up soft brick, bringing out boards of ware. we all gather round to get the run down, chunky, delicate, 5 inch, 9 inch, etc.  wad with glue (not saliva?) and slightly in, in case glaze runs.

we are like ants (someone says) buzzing back and forth with more work for the kiln.  j, k and i bring out some large relief tiles of don’s and when i tell them where they are he says “thanks for bringing them out, thanks, thanks so much.”  he is so sweet.

kiln shelves need wash, r tells me how to make it and i start measuring out alumina oxide and epk, j from bowling green helps me mix it up into a slurry.  we bring it out and start rolling it on.  i love community activities like this.  while we are inside mixing the wash, other folks have laid out all the kiln shelves on 2 x 4s and started chipping off any previous glaze runs.  so we’re all chipping, and rolling and j is going behind us, wiping off drips from the sides of shelves.

the loading starts, wadding rolled into balls, dipped in elmer’s glue, stuck to pots, small station are set up, folks are in the kiln, others are spread out finding the right size.  j, j and i make cone packs, though our high temp cone packs get shot down by ballisteri for not being slanted enough, so i remake those with help from k.  it’s great fun to learn and repeating things just helps this along. spent awhile in the kiln as part of the human chain moving work in.

i tried to float around as much as i could today, doing a little bit of everything.  around 4:30pm things wrapped up and around then m stopped by and i got to show her around the studio and my apartment.  it was fun to share a little of my st. pete life with her.

to add some kick ass frosting this 3 cake of a day k invited everyone to a meal at her house.  k has an utterly amazing ceramic art collection in her house and she hosted a lovely evening for us.  we all got to enjoy some conversation with each other and relax.  i felt very lucky to be part of this day.  hard work, awesome artists, awesome art, learning tons of shit, speaking japanese with don reitz…it was really super great!

sorry, no pictures, but i’ll work on that.

sayaku. the complete and total worst.

one of the bushes burst.  yup that’s right.  the 3 bushes are not out of the kilns yet but i peeked in on the medium bush (which had become one of my favorites) and the top had fallen in.  i was soaking it for a long time so that the water wouldn’t make it explode, but at the end of the day it was stupid short cut taken in construction that caused the damage.  i’m not sure if it will be repairable, but i went ahead and fired it hoping it will be.  given the time crunch, i ended up with two parts of the bush with very different amounts of dryness.  the bush was a sweet leather hard, and if there had been more time for it to dry with support it might have been ok, but popping that leather hard bush into the kiln with a heavy, built up area that was still a lot softer and speed drying it just didn’t work.  it collapsed.

rough, but that’s the way it goes.  the kilns fired off, and tomorrow they will be cool enough to unload.  tuesday morning in nice light i will spray them with glaze and fire them one last time. other than that i am in full mixed media mode, trying to prepare for installation friday.

tired and inspired.

i’m super tired.  i loaded 3 bushes into bisque kilns today.  bisque fires with 2 long ass 24 hour holds.  i have this schedule i’m working with and i’m being superstitious with it now.  like it worked the first time so i’m sticking to it.  i need to do more inquiring and refine it to make it my own.

i did the math yesterday and i made all five bushes in 22 days.  while working THAT fast isn’t really my ideal, it feels good to have had a goal and worked my tail off to make it happen.  barring any complications, i think my installation at 10 x 10 will be a success.

for me not getting intimidated is a big problem.  i’m easily discouraged.  i’m trying to take my work horse kind of nature and turn it in a more positive direction.  i think i am always kind of searching for somewhere to stop.  somewhere to settle in and do something for the rest of eternity.  finish, rewind, repeat.  of course then i get massively bored and try something else, always lurching off in some kind of awesome direction, but not really being able to pull it together at the end of the day.  i don’t know where i picked up that habit, but i’m working on getting rid of it.  a is really good at moving forward (maybe too good at times, girl).  i’m always amazed at her ability to intuitively know how to move toward her next better goal and really do amazing shit.  she is on her way to being an art star, mark my words.

right now feels really right.  for the last few years, in the back of my mind, i have been thinking “i wish i was doing this…” and now i am doing it.  i am trying to keep options on the horizon so that what i do today makes a bridge to what i want to do next year, or in five years.  i suspect this is the way to live life.

anyway, my studio mates have been enormously generous this week, helping with heavy lifting, kiln firing, spray gun lending, and ass loads of other shit (like the pillow case-tea towel-raw glaze-lashing strap maneuver into kiln no. 8).  i don’t know this studio very well yet, my shit is majorly heavy and as previously discussed i get discouraged easily, so i could not have done it with out them.  seriously.