Not much spring action here in upstate New York. The sun is shining after two days of rain so maybe later this afternoon we'll see some blossoms. April showers bring May flowers.
These robin guys (gals) are pretty petite. Perfect for a sprig of pussy willow or japonica to hang on the neighbors door. Handwork and Mint Velvet have a few in stock. The remaining flower cones on Etsy are much larger and would look super awesome with a bunch of tulips.
By the way my shop on Etsy opened exactly one year ago today! It's been a fantastic way to set up custom orders if you don't find exactly what you are looking for. TTFN.
Opening Reception Saturday, May 3rd 4-7pm at Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs, NY
Exhibition dates May 1- July 3
From the looks of the show post card if all the artists are included I am the only three-dimensional object in the show. Yes, the colossal vase built to the size of my kiln and covered with Turkish inspired flora will be there. My more practical hand painted pottery, tumblers, mugs, dishes and smaller bud vases, are sold in the gallery shop as well. See you at the opening hopefully.
The winter here in upstate New York has been relentless which has put me in the mood to make lots of mugs. For every snowmageddon this season there has been a mugalanche in my studio as I wait out the bitter cold in my subterranean studio with my rolling pin and a hot cup of tea. On March 20th spring begins and the madness ends. I'll post dozens of new mugs that day in my Etsy shop. Read on if you want to know more about how I create my mugs.
Mugs are one of the more challenging items I make as they require a lot of attention. I usually make a particular shape in a small batch of 3, 4, 5 or 6 depending on how much time I have in the studio. Cut from soft slabs of clay using paper patterns I have to let the clay stiffen slightly before tailoring the form and pressing the seams. The rim is centered by "throwing" it on a turntable. This helps keep the form round and provides a decent lip to drink from. An hour or two later I attach the handle waiting a day or two for the whole mug to become very stiff. Each piece is then ready to be dipped in porcelain slip. Yes, dunked completely in liquid clay. It's terrifying. The first time I did this the handles peeled away from the mugs. I now make a casting slip which requires less water to be liquid and keeps the handles firmly attached to the mug. Still scary all the same. The next day the surface is finally ready for decorating. Follow my work in progress via Instagram. Use the code SHIPMYMUG to get free shipping on Etsy until the end of the month.
I'm off to the post office now with my application to Baltimore Clayworks' Exhibition,. In Full Bloom. I'll find out January 20th if I'm in the show. Also, entered is the Colossal Vase and Fauve Tray. To see images from the making of this bowl on my Facebook Page. Click here.
I am looking forward to my first event in Binghamton this weekend. I met Liz Tilley of Sugarcoat Couture this summer at the Ithaca Artist's Market. We bonded while taking down our booths in the dark. Yes, they turned the lights off on us. We put on a good show and were the last to pack up and leave. It's no doubt that she has put together an amazing group of artists for this event at Red Tent Studios. The work is fine. I promise there will be no popsicle stick ornaments or reindeer poop candy. There is a little something for everyone to put art at the heart of your holiday giving from Sugarcoat Couture's amazing glam upcycled fashions to my brightly patterned functional pottery.
State Street in Downtown Binghamton has many great galleries that participate in Binghamton's First Friday Art Event. Lost Dog Cafe is around the corner with a fabulous lunch and dinner menu. Plus, Boscov's is only two blocks away if you want a trip back in time to a good old-fashioned department store.
Self-control is understood in different ways throughout history. My sculpture juxtaposes the Greek struggle for self-control with our own. This portrait bust of my son is a reference to a completely random scene within the architectural metopes of the Parthenon. The image of an idolized trophy child appears among illustrations of force and destruction. Historically, these stone carvings display the story of the Centaurmachy, the conflict of barbarism and civilized behavior.
Children are inherently weak and impulsive giving into their lower untamed appetites. In our present age of excess and over compensation the image seems rather prophetic as I ponder the guilt and humor of my own childrearing choices.
The exhibit History in the Making is on view through October 26 at the Fire House Gallery in Rochester, NY. My sculpture of Abel is positioned right under the fire pole hole in the garage of the old brick fire house which is the gallery for the Genesee Arts Center. The national juried show includes ceramics artists from all over the country who draw inspiration from historical works.
July 14–September 8, 2013 in the Grand Gallery (members’ opening party July 13)
Every two years, Rochester’s longest-running juried exhibition showcases work by artists from western and central New York.
This year’s Finger Lakes features 100 works by 81 artists—including 39 who are new to the show. They were chosen from a field of 623 entries by 230 artists byAlex Nyerges, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
I love exploring history and culture through clay and I love a good challenge. This vase is as tall as my kiln. I typically make functional pottery that is more practical in scale despite decorating every surface. I always create the form first then imagine the pattern and colors. Dishes, plates and bowls are gently press molded in custom plaster molds. If you look closely you’ll find the rim of this vase is actually an oval serving bowl. The rest of the form is coil built. The dark brown clay is coated with porcelain slip and then hand-painted with vivid floral patterns. Lastly, I scratch through the painted surface to reveal the clay underneath creating a bold outline. The shape of this vase creates two distinct areas for decorating. On one side is the tree of life and on the other, two pomegranates both inspired by patterns in Turkish Ceramics.
I have to finish this puppy up today! If you're near Corning, NY come by Glass Fest and enter to win this beautiful mosaic garden cart. Follow Mint Velvet Vintage for updates on it's progress. It's been a chilly weekend but the happy crowds warm my heart. Today you can try out my technique and make your own hand-painted ceramic magnet.