A few weeks ago, my brand new computer’s hard drive crashed. Still dealing with that, but in the mean time, I have been able to rebuild my photo files and invested in a smart phone, which should allow me to upload photos and everything else and keep things up to date here! I feel like a crazy zippy technology wizard! Pow!
Which doesn’t really relate to anything, but it’s part of the ongoing narrative of this time in my life. A few days ago was also the anniversary of my car crash, and I must admit to feeling rather proud of the changes I’ve made and pursued since this time last year.
I have completed a second series of Graphic Novel Inspired Autobiographical Tiles, which turned out well, with the exception of some firing related glaze bubbles which somewhat obscured some of the letters. I will be re-firing these to see if I can settle the bubbles down. This series was the first with my delightful type-set. I find I may be losing perspective on how well the lettering works, simply because I love the delivery- it’s very methodical and meditative, and I am thrilled by the sort of “old typewriter” look. I need objective witnesses. Here are photos:
Then, I am working on a series of Story Bricks, each stamped with my favorite words. This current bunch is, I hope, the starting point of a longer series, even just for my own fun, that will continue to document the words that I find particularly satisfying to use, or their meaning is important to me, or I just like how they sound. The idea is that viewers can stack and re-stack these bricks like a 3D magnetic poetry set, but instead of making poems or sentences, these bricks will form a wall or pile of visual and verbal textures. Communication is sometimes hard, there are walls and small gaps, and there are intents and then understandings, sometimes inexplicably achieved. How do we ever really know if we are understanding exactly what someone is telling us? And how do the “feelings” of words work to portray that? My current favorite combination: Shrike, Empirical, and Cathexis. These form this logic in my head: a Shrike is kind of hawk, a great observer, the eagle-eye, forming Empirical views, objective realities, which in turn confirms existence, giving meaning to the objects in view (a side-long interpretation of Cathexis). Oh, god, the nerdery. This may be complete BS, but I love how each of these words could tie to the others, and as I keep moving them around in the studio I see more and more of these connections.
The figures in this photo are body language studies for this piece:
It is based off of a combination of two of these small figures, and this piece, which is the sculpture that could have impaled me, but didn’t, in my car crash a year ago.
It is also a continuation of some previous work, finding figurative but somewhat organic forms to depict growth and change, which has been a lot of what this past year has been about. For this piece, I was looking for shapes like the ecstatic arching up of bulb sprouts, coming out of the earth in the spring. Also, abstracted spine and lumbar musculature- some of my favorite human shapes, combining grace and core strength simultaneously. This piece, I think, embodies a lot of what this past year has been for me, stretching into new purposes, and a new(ish) feeling of enthusiasm for these purposes, including Grad School and new jobs, and shaping my teaching work to its best potential.
These are the continuation of the mugs from the first half of the semester. I just am not drawn to make super fancy mugs, though I will keep pushing to find what mugs are really “mine”, and these are by far my best ever good-useful-mugs-with-more-character-than-before. I had a few weeks of spectacular throwing luck, and the walls are thin and solid, with handles that I am growing very fond of. The handle angle allows you to hold your wrist straight and drink, for the most part. They slope downward slightly, which must be a visceral shape to me, because I just can’t stop looking at them. I wish some of the lips were just a touch thicker, but I love the feel, and am looking forward pursuing this series further in the future.
On the whole, I am very satisfied with these series’.
These are my two most recent glaze test pieces, Copper Carbonate and Cobalt Carbonate:
I want to eat the blues.
I love doing these different colorants, and weighing out the recipes. Comparing subconsciously which ingredients are heavier, like a pile of EPK is almost double a pile of Dolomite of the same weight. Fascinating. Or that when I weighed my Rutile tests this week, it was really hard to get the smaller measurements, because Rutile is such a molecularly heavy material, where weighing the same gram amount of Copper Carbonate made a much larger and more easily reduced pile. Dig it.
So, this is where work is at right now. Kiln firings this week. More to come.