Friday, June 12, 2009

June madness...

I started off this month racing to finish up work for a group show and upcoming applications (amid much drama with elements burning out and packed kiln schedules), zipped off to Seattle, pots in hand, for a wedding on Orcas Island (lovely!!), and I am now in New Jersey visiting with the fam and headed to another wedding tomorrow (number three of four this summer). Such is the season. When I get back to Minneapolis next week, Aaron and I will round out the packed month of June by boxing up our belongings and moving a few miles east to the Seward neighborhood of the city. Come July first, we will be a grand total of four blocks from the Northern Clay Center. I am thrilled (double thrilled!!) by the prospect of walking to the studio, the grocery store and the coffee shop! Aaron doesn't have it quite so easy, he'll be commuting south to Northfield three to four times a week, but at least it's a reverse-commute... I'm hopeful that we'll find a place in the future where we can both walk to work - wishful thinking, I know - but a girl can dream!

On the clay front, I've added some tractors into my line of imagery, and I want to put them all over everything! I love having new stencils to play with and explore. I have endless lists of stamps and stencils yet to make, but the process is a tad (just a tad!) tedious, and so my image arsenal is rather slowly mounting. I really want to get back into the farm animals, cows in particular. And bees, I need some bees in the mix!

I'm still trying to resolve how much color to use in my work as well. I love the little splashes of yellow that the canaries provide and the subtle variation that I can achieve by layering the white slips. The red clay adds another lovely surface, but I'm left wanting a little more. Like some blue... I have a thing for blue, like a lot of folks do. I know that there are some potters out there who think that blue is a cop-out, just an easy way to sell some pots. But, honestly, there's a reason they sell - blue can be so spectacular! So, I'm going to keep testing glazes and continue to slowly build up my surface. There is this delicate line between too much and not enough that I try to tread upon, it can be so hard to know when enough is enough!

So my work over the next few days (besides wedding fun-ness and family time of course!) revolves around those things I manage to neglect when there is clay at my fingertips. Take this blog for example, or my website that could use another round of updating, or my etsy site that needs finishing. I'm excited to have some time to give these things the attention they deserve, and hopeful that I can eventually find a rhythm where they fit more regularly into my schedule. Do any of you clay bloggers out there set aside weekly time for the non-clay activities essential to running a successful business? How would you say your weeks/months are allocated? The more I delve into this clay business, the more I realize that there are a lot of other responsibilities other than just making work. But, all of these things are part of the package, and keeping my toe in all aspects of the business side of things only seems like it will help me in the long run. There are some times though, when I'd just rather make pots and not think about anything else. I stumbled across a great posting by Whitney smith earlier today that outlines one of many things that can get away from you if you're not careful. It was a good reminder that to be successful requires some sort of system - I'm still tinkering with what works best for me, and I while I dread excel spreadsheet days, after I enter all those numbers I feel that much more legit. It's sort of like exercise for me - painful while I'm running, but so satisfying when I'm done. If anyone has any good tips for successful accounting though, I am all ears!

Have a great weekend.

8 comments:

jimgottuso said...

beautiful work... love the tractors

FetishGhost said...

I just found your blog and I love your work! The approach that you've developed for layering your stencils is really cool.

Otto said...

Hello Kip

I follow your blog, saw this video demo and thought it may be of interest to you. I'm not sure that it would work with the detail you use. A woodworkers scroll saw with an extra fine blade would be your best bet for detailed cuts.

Best of luck

Otto Wenger

Jen Mecca said...

I really like the added birds and color on your plate. I think it adds that extra something of excitment that we all are looking for. Nice work!Jen

Multiple personalities.. said...

As always, very beautiful work. It certainly sounds like you have a full and busy summer.

pinkkiss said...

Beautiful work!I just found your blog and I was curious as to how you make your stencils? I use stencils too and have been cutting them with a heat tool from plastic sheets. I love your new work....I am digging the layering and the red of the clay showing so much! Enjoy your summer.
Shawna

Kip said...

Hi Shawna -- Thanks for looking at my work, I'm a big fan of your stuff, too :) In terms of the stencils, I use thin plastic tablecloths. For the best cutting, I tape a paper drawing on top of the plastic (I usually fold it so I can cut 6 at a time) and then use a sharp xacto knife to cut through the paper and the tablecloth at the same time. They work great on leatherhard clay! If you want more info, I posted a photo of the tablecloth I use back on February 10th.

pinkkiss said...

Wow, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing your process:)