Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Think, think, think...

Today was more cerebral than most have been in the studio...I went to the MAG and trimmed most of the bowls I threw a few days ago...then the rest of the day was hanging out in the studio talking to other artists...I had to get something creative done today though...I was inspired by this piece of driftwood and a necklace I carved out of alabaster for Jen as a gift for our first Valentine's day. I see a sacred heart in glazed terra-cotta with oiled driftwood and maybe barbed wire. I'm thinking wall mount...a little kitchy but I think it will look cool...which in the end is good enough for me...
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

15 minutes with Scotty G.

My plan today was to start session III with Joel but he was unavailable. I got lucky though and my boy "Skillz" stopped by the studio to needless to say I roped him into a portrait session. This is a 15 minute bust...I really dug his hat...reminded me of the Manzu's Popes and Cardinals sculptures...I plan to do a life sized portrait of Scott at some point soon...I'm gonna need more armatures...
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Throwing Session I

It's been 15 years since I've thrown vessels but I decided it was high time to remedy that situation. Today I threw 17-18 forms and my "mentor" Paul Harp had me toss 8 and keep the rest for trimming practice and glaze tests...can't wait to get back tomorrow!
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joel session II

Today is when the struggle really begins...there is always a mildly gut wrenching feeling at this stage of a portrait. It's at a point where detail is starting to come into focus but there is always the specter of the model and observation looming over the tendency to stylize from memory. I tend to remind myself as I get to the panic stage that the viewer will never know if it really looked like the we know what Rodin's models looked like? Well, at least this is what I tell myself....the struggle continues...
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bust of Joel

I really want to get my portrait bust skills back; so I thought I'd start by sculpting my friends. Joel is my first victim. I'm not sure yet how "finished" I'll take this bust but I know I want to incorporate some of the feel of Russian propaganda sculpture. I'm thinking of adding a high collared woolen soldiers overcoat...hmmmm...
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Driftwood experimentation...

I was recently given a bunch of driftwood by someone who was getting rid of it...I wasn't sure what I was going to do with today I assembled 2 display easels and made one "artifact" out of a few different pieces of the driftwood...
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Homage to Athena...

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All hollowed out...

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Skull #8

If you can't tell I have an obsession with skulls...not in the creepy way...more an abiding sense of morality...the skull for me symbolizes the preciousness of the moment and the ephemeral nature of existence...
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I've been reading Homer and couldn't help being inspired...I think this is one of those pieces that will work better when its fired...maybe I'll burnish it and then pit fire it...hmmm...
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crow Skull

I'm sculpting this crow skull out of bees wax...I'll cast it in bronze or iron...but I'm not sure what I'll do with it after that...maybe sculpt more or take a rubber mold and play with some multiplicity...
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eye for an eye...Tooth for a tooth...

This is a fairly new piece that I'm working on for "Thaw", which is a theme show in Feb. 2011. The show is here at the Hungerford building where I have my studio. I'm juxtaposing two necklaces; one made up of eyes and one composed of human teeth. They will be displayed on stainless steel jewelry stands with plaster gauze casts of a female and a male upper torso stained with tinted shellac. Both will be placed back to back with the eye necklace on the male and the tooth necklace on the female. You'll just have to tune in later to see the finished piece or better yet come to the show.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vessel #24

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I'm starting to get a better handle on the various Traditional Japanese pottery shapes...This one is a Tokkuri (sake flask) blended with a type of flower vase. The form was created from a solid block using a piece of drift wood as a paddle to shape it and then hollowed out with a loop tool and re-assembled. I would label this vessel as an Asobu Katachi (playful form). As I do more research I'm starting to be able to distinguish pottery styles and techniques. My favorite include: Bizen, Iga, Shigaraki, Hagi, and Mino. The first three are my favorite styles. They are all defined by the region in which they were made, which determined the local clays available, as well as firing methods. I've also started to develop an interest in Raku...but I'll save that for another time...

Chawan bowls & pendants

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I'm currently fascinated with Chawan tea bowls. I love the pure wabi-sabi associated with these forms. They have a quality that evokes the inherent beauty, order and design of nature and the cosmos. I have come to ceramics through the back door so to speak because I have been a sculptor first and foremost. What I love about these bowls is the same thing I love about finding a really beautiful rock or piece of drift wood...they just have flow...they make you want to hold them...turning them over and absorbing every facet in an unconscious way. I have felt like I'm cheating a little bit because of just how fun these are to make. I use various tools to shape the raw pieces of clay. I create texture with the tools I use and by pressing in natural materials that will burn away during the firing process. After I shape the raw bowls; I then hollow them out with a loop tool. I have also been creating Chawan bowls using the pinch-pot method to create the forms. A pleasant surprise was that as I worked and developed a more efficient method for hollowing the tea bowls I began saving the spirals of clay I was removing. I set these pieces aside to dry and I plan to make glazed pendants on hemp twine to sell at the next open studio event I have. My plan is to fire all of the vessels either in an Anagama kiln or some other wood kiln in the spring when the weather is more favorable.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Studio #214

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