Sunday, 3 June 2007

Trimming, trimming and more trimming!

I usually try to post every other day; however, I had to deviate this weekend because I've been so busy trying to get as much made for the Summer Art Market next weekend. I'm really pushing the envelope and will most likely have my last glaze fire on Friday so that I can have some fresh work for Sunday.

On Thursday and Friday, I threw quite a few pieces and continue to handform work everyday. Yesterday, I trimmed all of my work and since I didn't have any photographs of finished work I thought I'd share the trimming process with you. Most of the items that I throw on the wheel have a foot. In fact, I insist on it for the most part. It feels more finished. In fact, if you pick up any ceramic pieces in your own home, you'll notice that there is a foot, or small raised lip on the bottom of your plate, cup, bowl etc. For me, it's an aesthetic decision. Some people don't add feet, and that's perfectly okay too.

A woman who I met at the Art Student's league, throws work and then alters most of it, making a foot nearly impossible to put on an asymetrical mug or bowl.

Yesterday afternoon, my family tore me away from my studio and we took a jaunt downtown to check out the Capitol Hill People's Fair. It's a 2 day event and downtown Civic Center Park is blocked off to all traffic. There's tons of live music, food & drink and arts and crafts for sale. I think they have 250+ vendors. I went specifically to check out the potters and other artists to see if it's an event I might like to apply to next year. I talked with one ceramic artist and asked about his experience, and he didn't really recommend it for pottery. He told me his sales had been declining year after year and he had participated at the fair for the past 7 years. He did give me the name of some other out door venues that he thought were better suited. One in Boulder and one in Manitou Springs - so I'm going to check into those events.

Oh, by the way, I tried a new technique trimming my pots after watching a pottery video the other night by Henry Mead. He used a jar cap to help trim his ware. The funny thing, is I had just seen an ad in a ceramic's magazine for a trimming tool that basically did the same thing! I do have plenty of jar caps available...

Well, I had better head out to the studio now,

Tuesday, 13 March 2007


Wheel thrown clay cylinder with sgraffito decoration

Wheel thrown clay cylinder with design painted in shellac

My ceramics instructor at the Art Student's League asked everyone to try some new surface decoration treatments on our wheel thrown pots. I think it's a great exercise and will hopefully give me some ideas for new work. (Thanks M.C.!) Our task was to throw 4 cylinders and then apply a different technique to each one. The first one involved painting on a colored slip and employing a method called sgraffito, which comes from the Italian word sgraffire or to scratch. It is commonly used in ceramic arts but can also be used in 2d work. Paint on 1 color, let it dry and then paint another over the top and use a sharp point (or other end of the paint brush) to draw back into the paint. With clay, colored slip is applied and then scratched or carved back into the form.

The second technique I am doing is to paint my design using shellac. I am going to carve away the unpainted part of the clay, so that the shellac painting will remain raised (the shellac will burn off during the bisque fire). We are also going to do some glaze stamping and cold surface glazing. Cold surface glazing is when color is applied but not fired in a kiln. You can use shoe polish, paint (oil, watercolor and acrylic), gold leaf, ink, wax, you name it-the sky is the limit.

I'm super excited! Last week, I applied for a tax ID and am ready to go on that front business wise. I used it today when I visited Mile Hi Ceramics and purchased a new Aim 88T Test Kiln for firing my pendants and other clay derived jewelry and I also purchased some raw materials. I will be test firing my kiln this week and will hopefully have a batch of pendants ready to fire this weekend.

I just signed up for another FREE tele-seminar with Art Biz Coach, Alyson Stanfield and Katherine Weber, author of Red Lotus Letter. The tele-seminar is titled How To Energize Your Art Career with Feng Shui. The seminar promises to introduce the listeners to the prinicples of Feng Shui and how proper studio organization can influence your energy and momentum. I figure, what the heck...I'm converting my garage into my studio space and I can use all the help that I can get!
I should probably mention that the tele-seminar is open to the first 250 people who sign up and takes place Wed. March 21st at 8PM EDT.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Gustav Klimt's The Kiss Re-interpreted

Painted Background Fabric

The beginning of the painting

Finshed Painting

Click on the image to see the detail
Finished Quilted Fabric Postcard

Whew...I really procrastinated on this one, and I'm not sure why. I think, I was challenged by how I was going to do this one, so I stalled. Once, I started painting, however, I liked how the progress was coming along. And, now that it's sitting here in front of me, I really like the outcome, if I may say so myself!

It's not an exact replica, but close enough. This is 4.3 x 6 inches, painted, quilted and assembled into a fabric postcard.

I have to run to my daughter's swim lessons right now, so this will have to be it for this afternoon.

Dec. 14th update: Since I didn't have enough time to write much yesterday, I decided to add a little more to the post...mainly background info on Klimt. He was 1 of 7 children born to a poor family in Austria. He attended Vienna School of Arts and Crafts from 1879-1883 and was an early member of the the Austrian Symbolist group which was an off shoot of the Romantics (think Casper David Friedrich, John Henry Fuseli. Other symbolists include Odilon Redon, Puvais de Chavannes and Edvard Munch.

Klimt was publicly criticized for his almost pornographic and sensuous paintings. While not pornographic in a modern sense, the phallic symbol is alive and well in a lot of his work...just look at The Kiss, it's there!

His drew inspiration from ancient Greek, Minoan and Byzantine art work and engravings by Alrecht Durer. After reading this, I ticked off a number of my own favorite artists, Redon, Friedrich and Munch. And, Durer is the bomb when it comes to printmaking! I think I have to pull out my 19th C Art History book after I sign off!

After I made this mini replica, I must have stared at it for at least 30 minutes or longer. The figures merge, yet they are dileneated by the patterns on their clothing, he has large geometric masculine shapes in black, gold, white, copper and she has smaller round shapes in all of the above colors with the addition of red, blue, and green. I might not have noticed if I hadn't studied the painting and painted a copy. It got me thinking about shapes, colors and the idea of frequencies. I'm going to explore that theme in more detail on a larger scale in my own work!

Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Bird Heart Quilted ACEO #2

Bird Heart Quilted ACEO #2
Originally uploaded by cmg art.
I am really having a lot of fun with this new medium! Right now, it just seems as if the possibilites are endless! I need to get to the fabric store...STAT.

This went a little faster than yesterday's, though I had a few more technical problems that I hope to have resolved or at least work on for my next few textile works.

ACEO (art cards editions and originals) sized, 3.5 x 2.5 inches. Fabric, beads, applique, embroidery floss, thread and wire hanger.

Bidding starts at .99.