Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another cup from the collection...

Tea and honey, a nice warm up after a walk with Izzy in the very wet and cold snow this afternoon. Posey Baucopolous' majolica mug is my favorite tea cup. The body is lightweight and it's tall so it holds a nice amount. I'm not sure why I prefer this cup for tea as opposed to coffee. It doesn't have the personality for dark roast laden with sugar and heavy cream, I suppose.

My favorite tea (today) is Yogi brand Kombucha decaf. Describing it is difficult, you really need to get some. Add some local honey and you'll be nothing but delighted. An added bonus to the great tea that it is--- real tag lines!! Remember when Salada used to have great tea lines? Now they have silly puns, nothing profound. Today's tag is ,The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment."


Monday, January 24, 2011

"Inspired" Exhibit

"Inspired" Exhibit, Kipp Gallery, IUP, February 5- April 4, 2011. High School Art Teachers and Students exhibit their best works. This is the work of Alyssa Trocki, senior art student at Deer Lakes High School. She's been making ceramic art for four years and hopefully will continue to do so after she graduates.
"Ruffled Platter"- Alyssa Trocki, earthenware, layered under glazes and glazes. Multiple firings.

I'm going to leave this picture sideways, simply because if you know Alyssa, this is perfect. Free glaze test to you if you can name where this ceramic installation is located...leave it in the comment section.

Commissioned cake plate, created in November by Alyssa. She is a big fan of Amaco Majolica glazes.
"Tube Sculpture" was juried into the National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition last year. Alyssa and her family travelled to Philly to see the exhibit and experience the gallery scene!

As a teacher and artist, it is very heartening when the ceramic community and higher level educational institutions provide exhibition opportunities for young artists. Standard Ceramics just informed me today of an exhibition for young ceramic artists at the Clay Place in Carnegie, PA in April. Hope to see you all there to meet the tomorrow's big name artists!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday full of pears...

Call me lazy, call me too busy..whichever...I was in too much of a hurry to take a better pic of the pears before they headed off to the "Inspired" show at Indiana University of Pa (IUP) for the month of February. This show is for high school art teachers and one student. A tough decision for any teacher to make. Alyssa Trocki, a senior who had a piece in the K-12 juried show at NCECA Philadelphia last year will be exhibiting with me. I'll post her ruffled platter tomorrow- the image is on the school computer! Kyle Houser (you know, Homefry Sketchbook) is curating the show, so I met up with him at Stoke Hole Pottery ( Birch and Debra Frew)for a drop off this afternoon. He's been working on mugs, mugs, tankards and mugs. Check out his blog for an update!

These pears are covered with two layers of Amaco under glazes and three applications of some top secret opaque series Amaco glazes.

After the drop off with Kyle, I headed into Martin's in Indiana for a produce raid. Look at these beautiful babies!! Who couldn't be inspired by these??

I'm hoping to get a similar color combination for the next batch of pears. I've got the greens and the reds, now to get them together for that intense combination. We'll see...until then, they're lunch for the week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vegetarian Cannibalism?

Yesterday's favorite child, today's afternoon galette. Ahhh, pretty pears, pretty pastry with rosemary on top. While the galette was baking, the stems were being added and the first layer of underglazes was applied. I made two groupings, one with buttons, one without. By the end of the week they'll be dry enough to fire, after which the next layer of color will be rubbed into the surface highlighting the textures.

Remember "Little House on the Prairie" when Laura would climb in bed with her bed cap? I couldn't put these girls to bed without their "caps".

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Produce" Section

Pears, anyone? This is the beginning of 6 sculptural pears I'm working on for two shows in February. I threw the bodies two days ago, and have been carefully waiting for them to "ripen" enough to manipulate the forms.

My idea is to texture the surface with some of those crazy plastic doillies from the 70's (of which very few exist due to their low melting point in SUNLIGHT. Lucky for me, a co-worker cleaned out 30 years worth of stuff and I pounced.)

Once these get a a little firmer, I'll begin layering under glazes into the surfaces before the stems and leaves are attached. Then begins the first of many firings adding more layers of transparent glazes, trails and drips. I needed to go to the actual produce section this morning to purchase some visual aids (i.e. lunch tomorrow). I wasn't thinking when I began this process and forgot I needed some cushy surfaces. Those pillows are clean only because they were just purchased this morning. My son wouldn't volunteer his pilllows for the cause.

Tools of the morning. Mug by Kristin Pavelka ( Love, love, love her stuff. Sooooo girly. Picked it up when she was a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena MT. (

No comment from the Izzy gallery today. We're heading out for a walk in the game lands next while we wait for the pears to set up.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's hip to be square!

So what do you do with a 2 hour delay? Unload the kiln and make your 16 year old take a picture. I decided to try out some square plates for the show in Feburaury. The hardest part is waiting for them to dry slowly on the drywall board. I just want to get them in the kiln so I can decorate. The square format is a nice change up from the never ending line up of bowls in my studio! The next group of plates will have a black center with the cherry border, making a more striking plate. Maybe some cedar plank salmon on a bed of risotto for the inagural serving?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Boulevard Gallery Exhibit

Hope to see you all there! I've been invited to do a show at Boulevard Gallery in Verona in February. My colleague and fellow artist Bill Pazman will be exhibiting paintings and prints, as well. We've taught art for the past 13 years in the Deer Lakes School District. He teaches grades 6-8, and I put the final polish on them in 9-12 before we send them into the "real world." He and I taught together through a PAEA "Teachers as Artist in Residence Program" grant a few years ago. What a blast, and what a great person to work with. We had his 6th grade students make "Story Mugs" using red clay and slip to slab build mugs which incorporated images from their family histories.
Bill's images are pop oriented: Superman and Marilyn Monroe to name a few. Why isn't Bill billed on the announcement above??? Hmmm I don't have any images yet!!! Check back, I'll get some posted!
In getting ready for this show, I took advantage of this snow day (Though, not snowy enough to keep me home...went to the mall. Damn gift cards anyway.) It is amazing how much work gets done when I don't go back to bed. This day started at 6:30...and still isn't over. Finished glazing and loaded the kiln by 10, then did a little "retail therapy". It worked so well, I glazed more for the next load and threw 6 large sculptural pear bases. My idea for the show is to have these larger table pieces- yellow, green and red pears with heavy decoration as the centerpieces and surround them with the fruited functional ware. Lemons will be appearing again for this show along with a resurgence of pears. I've been having this love affair with the cherries for quite sometime, it's time to add the yellow back to the line up.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Finally finished those tea pots...

Ohhh, the excitement in the studio....

I finally put my thoughts about new glazes onto the teapots, my thoughts being I wanted to give them a surface with more depth and the illusion of a little age. Using commercial 05 glazes and a trusty electric kiln doesn't always give me the little happy accidents of gas firing, but it has forced me to experiment with mixing and layering with some good results. Mixing Amaco Amber and Clear (3to1) resulted in a warm cover to the majolica cherries. The same glaze covers the Fat Teapot, underneath is Amaco white and naked clay. I wanted to leave the form be, slightly reminiscent of the leather hard forms I adore. (If I could keep the pieces at that stage forever, I would!)

When the opportunity to salt glaze presents itself again, I think this form will make its way there...

These pots will be part of my February exhibition at Boulevard Gallery in Verona. Opening reception February 5, 6-9. Mark your calenders and meet me there!