Sunday, September 28, 2008

Art In The Yard

We've been blessed with warmer and sunnier weather than usual this fall. So my hopes were high for a nice day for our outdoor show "Art in the Yard" last saturday. When the thunder and lightning woke me at 4:30 a.m. I mentally prepared myself for the worse — setting up in a downpour and being cold and wet for the rest of the day. As I pulled out of my driveway at 6 a.m. the rain had slowed to a light mist. An hour later when I arrived in Land O' Lakes it had stopped.

As I started to set up and all my friends arrived with their gear, I couldn't help feeling optimistic. Rain or shine it would be another fun day with the Art Gypsies!

Our host was Jody Kennedy. Her gift shop Wild Expressions is just west of downtown Land O' Lakes on county highway B. Fall is in full swing in the northwoods.

Me in my trusty tent.

My whole set up.

Potter pal Anne Appel.

Photographer Carol Miller and a friend.

Debra Ketchum Jircik with her clay sculpture.

Weaver Jan Zindell demonstrates on her antique sock machine.

Kathleen Kimbal creates journals, collages, & wonderful hand made soap (the old fashioned way).

Wendy Powalisz (left) is a painter and jewelry maker. Cathy Wirtz (right) makes felted wool purses & hats.

Wendy's jewelry...

and her painting.

An Art Gypsy tip: always provide a seating area for husbands!

The real purpose of the fire is for wish sticks – an Art in the Yard tradition. Here Debbie composes here message for the flames.

One more wish for the fire!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Finished Platter

Here is the completed platter from the previous post. It measures 14" in diameter. I was happy with the results. I need to explore this concept further with an entire series of decorative platters. I envision a wall full of them. It is very time consuming process, so I have been hesitant to commit time to it during the busy season. But now I am on the record. Hopefully this blog will keep me honest and I will work towards my goal over the long long long northwoods winter.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Decorating With Clay Sprigs

I embellish a lot in my work with clay sprigs. I learned the technique in a workshop with Matthew Metz at Santa Fe Clay. It is an easy way to make duplicates of a small object. I made most of my sprig molds by pushing objects such as buttons into blocks of wet clay. After pulling the object out, I let the clay dry completely. Then I bisque fire the sprig molds.

Once you have a mold the rest is pretty simple. I roll a small ball of moist clay. Drop it into the mold. Push the clay into the mold. Scrape and excess clay off with a metal rib. The moisture of the clay is drawn out by the bisque, so poppping the clay back out is easy. Just touch the back side with another ball of clay and pull it out. Then score the back of your sprig and the area of the pot you are going to apply it to. Then join the two together with slip or vinegar. I prefer vineger—less mess.

Here is the center of a large platter. I am using 3 different sprigs to build up a pattern.

Now the sprig pattern is complete and I have started carving.

I'm almost done. Now I need to texturize the area between the sprigs and carving and add other final touches.

Here is the completed platter. It took over 3-1/2 hours to complete the decoration. I'll dry it slowly under plastic. When I spend this much time on a piece I tend to baby it.

I will post the final glazed platter (barring disaster) in about 2 weeks.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Busy as a bee

After the family "vaca" I've been back in my studio for the last 3 weeks making work. I have 2 shows coming up back to back at the end of september. What to make, what to make? One part artist and one part business woman, I've been throwing like a madwoman and lining up the bats.

Freshly thrown pots are soooo beautiful!

I am working against the clock to finish what I've started. My bisque date is 9-17-08. Most of this work will be carved with patterns and embellished with spriggs like the greenware pieces below.

No brown & black pots this time. I plan to use my Josh Green, Slate Blue and other colored glazes on this batch. I bounce back and forth between my 2 distinct lines of work –– for my own amusement, and to satisfy two different "markets". Like I said, one part artist, one part business woman! I probably won't post again until I have some fired work. Stay tuned.