today was a great work day at the studio. right now i’m obsessed with slump molds. i’ve been using some i borrowed from b to make my wall pieces and had been meaning to pour my own for a month or so now and today i powered through three of each size. i also rolled slabs for all the slump molds i already have (also did this yesterday) and now i have 7 slumped slabs ready to build wall pieces from. friday night i got a few more wall pieces out of a bisque fire and my collection of bisqued wall pieces in growing. i need to glaze these puppies and get them up on my etsy site asap (but trying to quiet the internal critic, it’ll get done). once i get the photos done i can get them up on my retail shelf at the clay co and hopefully make some cash.
anyway, i also worked on a little birthday present project for my brother. he requested a garlic shaped wall hanging with the words “garlic isn’t a spice, it’s a vegetable.” inscribed. today i rolled out some luscious porcelain which i trimmed into a stylized head of garlic embellished with some simple lines. i had intended to stamp the words (with stamps also borrowed from b right into the garlic but i stamped up some scraps to start blocking out the words and it looked so cute that i decided to stamp the phrase out on little slabs of clay which i attached separately to the garlic.
while this garlic isn’t cutting edge art but i have to say i really enjoyed getting a request and executing it. kitch is so satisfying! sometimes it can feel so difficult to make what’s in your head come out of the clay. it feels like doing some kind of math problem but there are no signs for multiply or subtract. like j said one night when she was working on her coils and i was working on my belly buttons “you just have to roll them until they’re right.” i think folks who are really successful have found a systematic way to extract their visions and that i’m still very green artistically, working intuitively but needing to move to the next step. i’ve always had this fascination with idiot savants though so maybe that’s what i’m going for……
ideas for my next body of work are congealing and i think i will start posting pictures again soon.
p.s. just a note on new year’s resolutions i haven’t failed at: today from about 4-6 pm i took a break to bike up the pinellas trail a bit with k. we’ve been trying to go every week and it’s really delightful. we’re doing 6-10 miles in a couple of hours, which isn’t too bad for beginners (of course there are a lot of hard core bikers on the trail, flying by us and i did get yelled at the first day for meandering over into the passing lane while chatting with k and m-“trail! trail! heh heh) and we’re improving! and it feels great! physical activity just can not be beat!
this has been a month of gathering. i’ve continued work on my wall pieces at a snail’s pace, but taken time a few evenings each week to flip through books and websites, researching for my next body of work. i selected a few books from my shelf: college biology text, microscopic photography, louise bourgios exhibition catalogue as well as the global feminisms catologue and a contemporary art text, also from college. i learned a few things. almost every page of the global feminisms catalogue features figuritive art. robert arneson was a pop artists working directly with clay in the 60’s. jason briggs’ work is freaking amazing and i wish i could see him demonstrate. i remembered how very attractive eva hesse’s forms and materials are. reading the abc’s of louise bourgeios presents art about you familial obsessions as rather favorable, i mean, since i’m obsessed with it anyway.
i guess in a way family is biological. the way we are tied to people genetically is disturbing and uncomfortable. the way we are tied to people who do not share dna with us is biological as well. maybe this is why the figure factors so prominently in feminist work, or, you know, art in general, because people are obsessed with other people, the way they shape up, nurture us (which could be a good thing or a bad thing), mess with us, etc.
it’s like you spend the first half of your life figuring out why things are the way they are and then the second half realizing that it doesn’t matter because you just have to play the hand your dealt regardless of why…
but i’m not sure where this leaves me. there is a lot going on in my brain but it hasn’t puked itself out yet into images to be assembled.
a problem i had with the garden path was that it was too pretty. working in such a rapid way allowed the process to become more important than the concept. i’m not very prolific generally and maybe that’s why. the process is important, it’s the fun and the flow of the peice but the process is not the point. the process is a tool which allows the peice to make it’s point.
i could make a sign that says “the world is fucked up” or “i’ll vacuum my uterus if i want to” or “racists are so lame and boring” but that wouldn’t be very much fun would it?
today is 2009. it’s been a long year. i started the year in tokyo, with a long term romantic partner and a job at rbr art center and even though things seemed to be in place i wasn’t happy, one year later, here i am, working at a great job and creative clay, partnerless, in residence at st. pete clay and feeling pretty good. (i don’t miss tokyo or rbr, but i certainly miss my former partner masa, who is the best person you could ever meet. geography is a harsh factor sometimes) but it just goes to show you that life isn’t perfect and pretty all the time, sometimes you have to give up something you like the best for things to move forward.
finally, after of a week of turtle life i moved my stuff into the new place with the help of my brother. i’ll be living with on of the girls from the studio in a big place (a couple of blocks away from the old). we’ll each be on a different side of the house with the kitchen and living room in between and we even have our own bathrooms. A LOT more space then my little garage apartment!
speaking of turtles, this month i’ve been working at a turtle’s pace in the studio. i’ve completed another set of wall hangings, but that’s about it.
so new year, new life and more time in the studio starting now with the help of my favorite christmas gift, the hand built sculpture stands from my brother. he built three, sized so that they nest together when not in use. (pictures coming soon).
and of course some obligatory new year’s resolutions:
1. get my etsy shop up.
2. start taking some yoga classes or JAZZERCISE!
3. if it’s in st. pete, bike there ALWAYS and bike the pinellas trail.
on christmas eve i moved everything out of my place. i started the night before, packing up all my books, journals, sketch books, etc and wednesday morning i took them to the clay co to drop off (temporarily). i could barely lift the big boxes since so much heavy stuff was packed in so i had to invent special methods to lift things into my car. i was like a racoon with an oyster.
yeah, i like a simile.
my awesome sister came and helped me pack up all the breakable stuff and load everything that was left into my van. anyway, i’m moving to my new place tomorrow but the person taking over my old place needed to move in early. so i’ve been a turtle all week. good times!
last february i visited the u.s. briefly, in an attempt to decide what my next move in life would be. after being super broke for months and months i scraped up every last dime i could to get that ticket. i knew i needed to get out of tokyo to figure out what i wanted to do. i made plans to see friends one on one, to meet with old professors and art world friends and to stay with my sister in brooklyn for the first week i was in the states. outside of whole foods in the city a women had a table of jewelry set up. jackie said she’d bought something from her before and we went over to check it out. renee, the artist, encouraged us to look all we liked, and to not worry about buying anything. i don’t know if that was her tactic but i was sure that i wanted to support her work and also to own one of her necklaces.
after A LOT of decision making my sister and i bought each other compass necklaces, to help us find and stay on our paths.
i wore mine everyday until i left tokyo and i wear it nearly everyday now, to remind myself that everything i do today is building a bridge to what i will do tomorrow.
hese aren’t too handmade but they are great stationary stashes. I found this great shop in Shibuya that sells all the best stationary. They have a bunch of delfonics items, which are really affordable, superly designed and functional notebooks and such and many others. It’s called Picnic on Picnic.
masa, my wonderful partner is a huge geek for baseball. and this summer when he visited the u.s. with me he wouldn’t stop singing the mcdonald’s commercial, “i’m lovin’ it!”. i can remember driving down the street in okinawa a couple of years ago and him pointing to the navi screen and saying read this. in my beginner japanese i proceed to sound out ma-ku-do-na-ru-do about 3 times before i realize that i’m saying mcdonald’s. he thought it was funny. anyway, his favorite team is the chiba lotte marines. he, crafty boy that he is, married his love of all things geek and made this shirt.
he used really soft iron on that stretches with the t-shirt.