Sunday, November 4, 2007

Long Time, No See

I always seem to have such good intentions about keeping up regularly on blogging, and then somehow three months slip by and I haven't posted a thing. Man. A quick ceramic update... I took a class on mosaic and have been happily making zillions of little tiles for my table project. The class is now a few weeks over and my table is still in pieces, but it will get there. Eventually. I've also been working on a new prototype for another slipcasting project, making plates as test pieces for the low fire kiln, and working on a platter project for my Dad. Lots to think about and keep me busy -- not even considering all of the NCECA madness! I hope to at some point start getting some images up here, it would be great to document all that is going on with my many clay adventures.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Revisiting Wood

It's been three years since I last participated in a wood firing and I've only been a part of two. This past weekend I had the chance to put work in a kiln built last year by Jim Dugan. It's a beauty of a kiln and in a spectacular location in Aurora, West Virginia. I'm still recovering from the strange sleeping patterns I had last week and getting anxious to see the results of all that hard work!

We had some exciting moments during the firing -- some a little TOO exciting... the roof of Megan's beautiful kiln shed caught on fire while we were firing. Everyone handled it beautifully, but we did seem to lose some of our momentum after that. Still seemed to be a great firing though -- most parts of the kiln got to temperature. We will unload this Sunday, I'll post some images as soon as I get them back.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Long Overdue

Hard to believe that my last post was nearly three weeks ago... Since my last post, I got that first prototype low fire piece done. I'm pretty excited about it, but nervous about glazing. Martina gave me a number of glazes this weekend, so we'll see what I can pull off. Here's a view prior to glazing....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Time for a Change: Part 2

In addition to my previous thoughts about slip casting, I'm now thinking about ways for me to draw some of the nagging ideas from "The Omnivore's Dilemma" into my work. I've been sketching a lot of corn lately (and painting it, too) and I have some drawings down of cows, corn and oil. I think it's the oil that really makes theses ideas political -- cows and corn could just be good ol' Midwest culture... but add oil into that mix and you've got a whole different ballgame.

All of this has me thinking I'd better start drawing and painting on my pots. I have spent some time looking into china paint, but from what I've found it's not food safe. So, I'm now thinking some sort of majolica decoration could do the trick. Some drawing through the slip, some bright colors on top, maybe some sprigs and stamps too....

I've got some low fire red clay and I think the next step is to start testing. I've got a slip recipe to apply leatherhard -- hopefully then I could put colored and clear glazes over the top of the slip. I think I'll go mix up some slip right now and start making those tests!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Missed Opportunity

I can't believe it... I was just looking around at some of my favorite potter's work and discovered that Bernadette Curran just gave a workshop this PAST weekend here in Pittsburgh. And to make matters worse, I was even free that day. Oh well, so it goes. Perhaps I'll catch her at her workshop in NJ in August -- I'm on the waiting list...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Time for a Change

So, I've just been browsing one of my favorite blogs (one black bird) and I think I'm finally ready to jump into a new technique: slipcasting. I don't remember when I first heard about this process, but I first saw it this past March at NCECA. It was like a magican pulling a rabbit out of his hat. I've been meaning to delve into this technique since I saw it in Louisville, but now the book is on the way. I often feel so frustrated by how long my pieces take to develop and as a result I am timid about decoration. With slipcasting, I think I'll be able to be more free with the surface knowing I can make more. And, I really think it would be good for me to work in a series... I'm impatient, what can I say -- I get frustrated when I think about how long it takes to sit down and make one of my pots. Discouraged, even. But, I love putting things together these days, that's what really gets me going. So I need to get to that point faster, and I think slipcasting could be my knight in shinging armor!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I made a few changes to my website today -- got some stuff up from my two weeks at Anderson Ranch. It was a fabulous trip, I only wish I could have stayed out there longer. I got a lightbox up and running, a background and a tripod, so I'm taking my own images. It's great to have the ability to shoot right at home, now I just need to get the camera dialed in...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

So my website is finally up and available online. Pretty exiting. Check it out at It was a lot of work to get it going, but I think it will be pretty easy to update now that the framework is in place. The next step is to get a place I can easily take my own digital images, then I'd be all set to update regularly...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I'm working to learn more about the kiln at PCA and how to best reduce for carbon trapping. I always thought that starting reduction at 08 was the way to go, but I've come across a number of recommendations for reducton beginning at 012. I found a particularly interesting firing schedule at David Buemee's blog. Definitely worth a try...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Group slides/statement

I strive to capture moments of expression and an eagerness to be used in my utilitarian ceramic work. I envision each piece moments from waking, frozen just before stirring to life and carrying out its intended function. Teapots and mugs tilt in anticipation of pouring or receiving and pitchers reach to deliver their contents, pursuing a sense of generosity and openness. It is the range of interactions a functional pot has, from a precious display to a daily necessity that draws me into my studio. I continually search for ways to merge unique form with practical function, creating work that is a pleasure to touch, see and to use.

My influences often come from things that play a role in my own daily rituals. The defined edges of the radiator in my living room, a sleek band of sliver running through my cell phone, the yellow rusting bridges of my Pittsburgh home and the expressive faucet on my bathroom sink all inspire my work in clay. I blend aspects of everyday routine with human expression to produce objects that we not only use, but also can interact with and visually enjoy.

It is primarily through form that I articulate my interest in animated pots. I employ added coils to emphasize joints, attachments and edges, defining and highlighting those areas that appeal to me. I use these details, along with symmetrical altering, to heighten the human gesture of each piece as well as indicate and inform decorative space. Glaze serves to emphasize detail, accentuate underlying structural decisions and aid in creating a sense of soft touchability.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

This is my first post with a link!
Here's a link to aaron's blog.
While I'm at it, check out where I work.
I finally started a blog! This will serve as a place to jot down ideas as I go figure out where I want to go with my clay. The first thing that came to mind was graduate school and here are some I'm interested in researching:

-James Brashear (MFA Louisiana State 1990)
Length of program: 3 years

-James W. Sullivan (MFA California State)
Peter Beasecker (MFA Alfred)
Length of program: 2 years

-Bob Anderson (MFA Alfred)
-Joe Zeller
Length of program: 3 years

-Kent State
-Kirk Mangus

-Eddie Dominguez
-Gail Kendall
-Peter Pinnell
Length of program: 3 years

-Penn State
-Chris Staley
-Liz Quackenbush
Length of program:

-University Of Colorado, Boulder
-Scott Chamberlin (MFA Alfred)
-Kim Dickey (MFA Alfred)
-Jeanne Quinn (MFA Washington University)
Length of Program:

Instructors-Laurence Bush (MFA, Alfred)
- (MFA, Alfred)
-Linda Sormin (MFA, Alfred)
Length of Program:

Ohio University
Ohio State University
University of Minnesota
Utah State
University of Nebraska
Kent State

Back burner
Louisiana State University
Indiana University, Bloomington
Southen Illinois University, Carbondale and Edwardsville
SUNY, New Paltz
University of Florida Gainesville
West Virginia U
Southern Methodist U
Fort Collins
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Montana, Missoula
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Syracuse University
Bowling Green
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
San Diego State
University of Washington
U Mass Dartmouth
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design