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: www.chrisgarofalo.com

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: www.FireWhenReady.com

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...


Patricia Griffin said...

Sounds like the perfect day! Chris' work is amazing. All those appendages.... and I have trouble keeping the handles from cracking off mugs! Jeez!

Linda Starr said...

Wow, what a wonderful trip and such great shots of Chris, Gary and Emily in their studios. Can't wait to visit Chris and Gary's sites; I already knew about Emily's. Thanks for such an informative post.