getting ready to fire up the alpine. i have an evaluation at the end of next week. lots of experiments in here, colored clays, feldspar inclusions and tessellating tiles. yay.
the last week has been kind of bananas. last friday i had pretty much run out of clay and took the opportunity to go to the clay store and get more, thinking i had another week of building ahead. that afternoon we had the monthly kiln meeting and i realized i had more like 3 days left. yikes!
i have amassed a pretty good collection of wall pieces for the installation i will mount before the end of my stay. i am using a mixture of local clays, both a smooth white and black shigaraki clay and a black clay with the ubiquitous feldspar inclusions. i am also using (sparingly) arita porcelain from kyushu.
i have organized a mini- trade with the other residents. these are my little guys. see that fake grass under them? i found a whole case of 12″ x 12″ squares of it in the dumpster and might try to use it for something….
working here the last couple of weeks has been awesome! i love that all i have to do everyday is just eat, sleep and work. and being able to wake up and walk right to my studio pretty much rules.
i have been able to put everything else out of my mind and i’ve even had time to do some cooking. sometimes the residents get together to cook and eat. i invited everyone to share some nabe one evening and the other night everyone cooked something and shared, kind of like a potlock.
ok, maybe not everything else. i keep having dreams in which my kitties wonder off. it’s so weird. during the day i think “this is so wonderful i hope i can come back and stay longer some day” and at night my brain feels guilty or something. miss those little nerds:(
yesterday i arrived in shigaraki japan where i will do a one month residency at the shigaraki ceramic cultural park.
after taking the shinkensen from tokyo to kyoto, i transferred to a local train and then to two buses. the bus ride was long and curvy, so i wanted to vomit a little but was eventually distracted by the amazing view out the window.
my view had been particularly beautiful for a good deal of my journey but soon after boarding the second bus i was literally awestruck. i am sure that these pictures, taken from my phone, through a rainy window, while the bus barreled upwards and around curves don’t do the scenery justice but my chin was on the floor. this might be the most breathtaking place i’ve ever been.
once i arrived at shigaraki, i was shown my room, introduced to the staff and several residents and taken to the grocery store to get provisions.
i unpacked my stuff, wondered around a little and in the evening there was a little welcome party. one of the women here is from the gunma prefecture and had several types of pork from her family’s farm.
this morning i woke up early and met with the staff to discuss my clay needs.
then we went off to the clay store, where i purchased some black clay, which you can see (ish) in the test tiles above.
everything everyone has said is completely true. it was totally overwhelming choosing clay. i haven’t been to the tool store yet but i’m planning to be blown away.
i’m really into the fact that there are entire stores dedicated to clay.
anyway, finally back to the studio and getting to work:)
just found this little post on “the white show” curated by elizabeth kozlowski on the occasion of nceca 2011.
so it’s almost the end of the semester. this program has been super challenging. when i look back on the last few months i feel like i haven’t gotten much work made, certainly no where near the amounts of productivity i was at during my residency. but after my last crit i felt like what i wasn’t making in quantity i was making in quality. the work is no where near resolved but i feel so great about it. i feel like it’s moving forward and coming closer to the images in my head, i’m so glad!
this weekend i’ll partake in a night of installation art at 10 x 10. the audience will have a chance to wander around the maze-like lake worth storage unit, finding art. and for the first time ever, they’ll have a chance to buy work from the artists in the “store” unit. i’m really looking forward to what is always a super fun show. kara walker tome is a west palm beach legend and always draws a huge crowd. here’s a sneak preview of what you’ll see in my storage unit.
this represents fresh, new work from me, and get ready because my installation this weekend will be even bigger and better.
i just can’t wait to see what all the other artists will do!
well, i’m settling down in yet another temporary home. i guess i’m starting to get good at this. anyway, i am now in gainesville, fl doing a year of post-baccalaureate studies at the university of florida. gainesville and uf are both quite nice places. really a breath of fresh, oxygen rich air after philadelphia. philly is a amazing city but i am amazed at the unconscious sigh of relief i breathe when i look around and see so much green. proximity is much improved. i’m back to an 8 block (ish) bike ride to the studio which is sweet. this is a much bigger program then i’ve ever been a part of so space is limited, there is a snap of my work space above. this decrease in personal space is more than made up for in the huge and wonderful community, faculty and facility.
my favorite piece of equipment, at the moment, is the test soda kiln. it’s a small soda kiln that shares a chimney with a regular sized soda kiln(very similar to the soda kiln at the clay co.). it’s just one shelf (12×24) deep and you can stack 3-5 up depending on what your making. it’s firing away right now. very excited to see what comes out.
sorry for the rough pics. they are from my phone. anyway, i’m still plugging away in the studio. the trip to florida, and working quite a bit has been keeping me away more than i would like, but that’s the way it goes. in addition to my regular job i’ve been doing something really fun and educational assisting a local artist. so far we’ve installed a piece at the nceca invitiational and pulled some stuff out of storage, organized and packed up work. it’s a really wonderful experience. i’m learning a lot just seeing how she does things.
i’ve got some aps in the works, and a few deadlines coming up. like every other ceramic artist at the moment, i’m scurrying to finish up aps and wondering what i’ll be doing next fall.
in the studio i’ve been amassing some work, but i’m still really struggling with how to finish it. i haven’t even bisqued any large sculptures yet. i’m waiting for them to get super bone dry, but i’ve been keeping plastic on them for weeks. i’m afraid to keep them uncovered and risk cracking. and since i don’t know exactly how i’ll finish them i need them to be perfectly smooth. ehhhhh, finished work…..sometime….eventually…….:-)
new sculpture in progress….