Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bridge for Obama

Please forgive one more political post on my otherwise pottery focused blog. Today I attended a rally on the bridge in downtown Minocqua. The organizers of the Bridge for Obama rally expected about 50 people. Over 150 people showed up in the freezing cold drizzle to show their support for Barack Obama. This may not sound like a lot of people to some of you urban dwellers, but it was a huge turnout for this largely republican small town. We had a great time, got lots of honks, waves and thumbs up. We also got a few flying middle fingers and one full hairy "moon" from a passenger in one passing vehicle. Another classy McCain betcha!

Here's some photos. They speak for themselves!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Clay Bonding

After the two back-to-back shows and some extended hours at my job I was able to take a few days off to visit my mom in the Chicago suburbs. While I was "home" I made a trip downtown to catch up with some of my clay buddies.

My first stop was to see Chris Garofalo at her studio on Ashland Avenue. Chris had the studio across from mine for a couple of years at Lillstreet. I killed many hours (when I should have been working on my own pieces) hanging around in her studio. It was time well spent. Chris has her own home studio now... a unique little habitat where her sculptures grow.

If you work with clay you know how delicate and fragile these pieces are before firing. She has loading down to a science. I've fired with Chris. It's a special event opening/unloading a kiln full of her pieces.

To see some finished pieces go to her website:

Next I headed over to Lillstreet to meet Gary Jackson and Emily Murphy for dinner. Even though I never worked at the new building on Ravenswood, it still feels like home to me. I love wondering around, looking in the classrooms, peaking in the kilns, checking out the latest show. I work in solitude now, (which I prefer) but it's comforting seeing this big community of potters thrive. I need my fix now and then.

I sat with Gary as he worked on pieces for the soda kiln. Gary's work incorporates intricate stamping techniques on functional wheelthrown pots. There's a great balance in his work between the tight throwing and decorating style and the random glazing effects from the soda kiln.

You can find photos of Gary's pots on his new blog:

Once Emily arrived we were off to dinner at a Thai place down the block. Attention urban dwellers: DO NOT TAKE YOUR ETHNIC FOOD CHOICES FOR GRANTED! Some day you may move to the country and no longer have options. The closest Thai restaurant to my house is 75 miles away. Of course the real reason for our dinner was perfectly illustrated by my fortune cookie...

... the Pad See Eiw & spring rolls were just a bonus.

After dinner we returned to Emily's studio for computer support (she made me join facebook), clay talk, girl talk, trash talk, etc. Those of you who read Emily's blog know what a wealth of information she is. If you don't read her blog you should:

Here's our silly midnight self portrait...

...and some of Emily's pretty, pretty pots!

I'm back in my studio on friday...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Northwoods Fall Art Tour

Last friday, saturday & sunday was the Northwoods Fall Art Tour. My studio is one of 23 that participated in the 3 county area. With the economy in shambles no one expected much in the way of sales. From what I hear so far the results were mixed for the artists. So I consider myself really lucky that my turnout and sales were up from last year's fall tour. The best news of all... I sold the new sprigged platter (see post from Sept. 24th).

Here are some pics from the weekend.

Here I demonstrate how I attach feet to a small slab build dish.

My guest artist Wendy Powalisz (left) and glass artist Kathy Furda of northernlightglass.

Some fun returning tour visitors.

Barb & Paul Koester spot their tiles.

Glimpses inside my tiny gallery area.

A quick self portrait.

I demonstrated my scrafitto technique on small clay tiles.

Another tilemaker returns to see the finished project.

I had a record 16 people at once in my small 12' x 24' gallery/studio space.

Birdman supports Barack Obama!

My shrine to electricity.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hands over fists!

I am an Obama supporter who lives in a largely republican area of northern Wisconsin. It is hard enough driving around a place where the McCain/Palin signs outnumber the Obama/Biden signs 20 to 1. But it's even worse when your patriotism is questioned just for supporting a candidate. That's what's happening here and it's infuriating. I don't understand why some folks feel that if you don't agree with them about the Iraq war, you are no better than the terrorists who struck on 9-11. Trust me, I'm no terrorist — just a bleeding heart liberal!

My like-minded friends and I have determined it's time to be brave. And we are coming out all over the Northwoods as proud patriotic supporters of Barack Obama. Simple acts of courage are cropping up everywhere. A group of 200+ Northwoods women are listing their names in local newspapers ads supporting Obama. We are volunteering when we can. Our cars are adorned with stickers and our coats and purses covered in buttons. The Obama/Biden signs remained posted on our properties during the Northwoods Art Tour even though it could affect our art sales. It may not be much, but every little bit helps (if nothing else our morale).

So here I go. I'm coming out for Obama on my little pottery blog.

I support Barack Obama for president because I believe he is our best chance at restoring our good standing around the world. I believe he will protect our nation with honor and diplomacy first, and use military force only when justified and necessary. I'm looking for a leader who chooses a hand over a fist whenever possible. I'm looking for a leader with an open creative mind. I'm looking for a leader who will champion new ways to protect our environment and strengthen our economy. I'm looking for a leader who keeps his cool in a crisis. I'm looking for a leader who chooses a running mate (and possible successor) based on merit and qualifications — not simply as a way to pander to his base. I'm looking for a leader who motivates our young people, and who inspires action, passion and service. I believe I've found that leader in Barack Obama. I'm filled with hope for our future. Imagine that! In the beautiful words of John Lennon "you might say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

Amy Higgason

Obamaware Fundraiser

Some of the best ceramic artists in the country have joined together to raise money for Barack Obama's bid for the White House. Go to this link Obamaware on Ayumi Horie's web site for more details about this internet pottery auction going live on October 15th, noon EST.

Participating Artists:
Dan Anderson
Chadwick Augustine
Andy Brayman
John Byrd
Victoria Christen
Steven Colby
Michael Corney
Josh DeWeese
Diana Fayt
Donna Flanery
Julia Galloway
Ayumi Horie
Janice Jakielski
Garth Johnson
Kathy King
Michael Kline
Beth Lo
Kirk Mangus
Alleghany Meadows
Jeffry Mitchell
Peter Morgan
Jill Oberman
Jess Parker
Ron Philbeck
Elizabeth Robinson
Justin Rothshank
Shoko Teruyama
Jason Walker