Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sources of Inspiration

You need not look far sometimes for inspiration. I have walked past this stone sculpture at the front of the art building for almost 3 years. Now that I am interested in doing tall rock like vessels in clay it is my favourite piece of art on campus. The different views of this piece are inspiring my clay work. Prof. Dan Murphy is my studio mate and I love to watch Dan work. He handles clay so confidently and he has been very encouraging and helpful with what I'm trying to pull off. Here is Dan making a 3 foot long horizontal bourbon bottle. I'd love one of these pots in my collection.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I should live down under

I made a tall vessel and the more I looked at it the more I thought it deserved to live it's life upside down. The shoulder was a belly and needed to be a shoulder. So I arranged to have Superman Trevor Dunn help me flip the thing, cut out the foot that once was and add a rim and then plop it down on a new foot. I show you what it looked like when I build it and once it's flipped. It's the one on the right. Even the other pot could look good turned upside down. The third picture includes the start of a rather tall straight cylinder I'm doing. These pots reference the "flower pots" of the Bruce Peninsula where I lived for 20 years.
This a very rugged part of the world and I remember it's beauty fondly.
The top of the arch of the double wide train kiln is 45' so these pots are 44" in height.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Finger condoms

Last week we loaded the train and started it up only to find out it was a "Red Day" and therefore due to pollution we had to abort the start of the firing. A week later we got a "Green Day" and pulled outta the station. We had a 45 hour long firing to Cone 8 using some of the shittiest wood on the planet earth. Most people would take cottonwood to the dump. Check out the bark on this tree in the land ladies backyard. We try to put thru as much bark as possible for big time surface on the ware. If you think wood firing is a picnic check out the insulated pants I'm wearing to withstand the cold of the Rockie Mountains.
I've been complaining that my fingers are splitting open from the dry Utah climate so at night while I was sleeping the studio pranksters put a finger condom on the harp of John's that I'm using. They left a can of Bag Balm and two dozen finger condoms.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Desert Fox

This past weekend we had the ceramic team of Sandy Simon and Bob Brady do a workshop at USU. I have long been a fan of Sandy's handles and so was anxious to see her demo. She is a prolific and thoughtful maker. She had some good dialogue about operating Trax Gallery.
Bob Brady was a force to watch. The pinched chair/human form he made from 10 in the morning till noon. His finger pinching is like watching Jerry Lee Lewis play the piano. The shishkabob sticks you see in the middle of the piece is to give it integrity so that he can keep on building up and up. I'm going to use them to keep the my work puffed out.
Bob was born in Reno, Nevada(desert country) so he has this pension for throwing without the use of water- no water!!!! He bangs his fist into the ball of clay to open it and then throws dry using two ribs. He gets a really nice rim. Once this hand building gig of mine is over I'm going to give it a go.