Feb 12 2011

The Art of Slip Trailing

I’ve long admired the skill it takes to slip trail a design on a pot and make it look right. Not only do you have to execute an artful design and be sure of your line, it takes some coordination, being aware at all times of the exact amount of pressure you have on the bottle to control the flow of slip and have it come out in a controlled and continuous flowing line. Air bubbles in the slip bottle can be disastrous, and a clogged tip can break your flow too.

Here are just a couple of video links I came across by people who have got it down. The first is Scottish potter, Hannah McAndrew. Her work is quite lovely and in the long slipware pottery tradition of Great Britain.

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And here is Minnesota’s own Paul and Denise Morris of Morris Pottery, who do wonderful slip trailed designs on wood fired pots. Denise, slip trailing here in the video, sure makes it look effortless.

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Enjoy!


Feb 8 2011

The Devaluing Starving Artist Statement

“Your artist statement is the backbone of your marketing. “
~ Alyson Stanfield, author of I’d rather be in the studio! An Artist’s No-excuse Guide to Self-Promotion” and the ArtBiz blog

I was on facebook this morning and followed a link to someone’s website and this was the first thing I saw plastered across their home page:

Hello. My name is {omitted} and I am an artist. What is an artist? It is someone who instead of wearing a suit and going to an office everyday goes to a studio and produces art. Being an artist is kind of a divine calling – something one cannot ignore because the need to create is greater than the need for a 401K, proper health insurance, and reliable income. I know that I am doing what God created me to do and even though it is full of struggles, it is an incredible journey of faith and I am grateful He made me an artist.

(..rolling eyes)

Would this make you want to look at this person’s art or even the rest of their website? Would a collector? ..or would he/she have some concern that this person might not be around tomorrow (ie a poor investment)?

People like this who perpetuate the romance of ‘the starving artist’ are doing themselves (and all artists) a disservice: Artist: charity case, strain on society, dispensable, hobbyist, dreamer, etc., etc.. Hello..? However “Blessed” this person may feel, why would any working artist want to portray and devalue themselves like that?

As with any business, the most successful people I know, working artists included, put forward an image of themselves that is successful. I don’t think this should be any different for artists. Since most of us are self-representing, how we present ourselves can set the tone of and directly influence the perception of our work, possibly even before its seen.


Jun 9 2009

‘Shared Expressions’ Exhibit at the MMA

Looking for something around town to do?  Lowell and I, along with 2 other fellow members of the Coastal Artisans, Charles Smith and Maria Spies, are pleased to be taking part in the Shared Expressions  exhibit on now through to Sept 13th at the Mobile Museum of Art.  The exhibit is a compilation of work by regional artists working in a variety of mediums, from painting to fibre to lapidary, to clay.  For more info, please contact:  http://www.mobilemuseumofart.com

sharedweb


Feb 10 2009

Looking to Nature

zengarden

This weekend we were out on a forage for interesting and unusual driftwood. One of the nicest spots around here for this, is down at the Gulf, off of Fort Morgan Road (west of Gulf Shores).

I love these little jaunts. The beach is just full of unusual finds, interesting patterns, and unexpected textures.   It is a great place to seek inspiration and come up with some fresh ideas.  Check out the section of  sand in the photo above, formed by the ebbing of the water.  It reminded me of a Japanese Zen Garden.

Here are a few other photos.

branches

Upended Roots
Shoreline off Fort Morgan


Aug 14 2008

Mugs, Throwing, and the Birdie

This spring I took one of Alyson Stanfield’s latest art marketing workshops based on her recently published book I’d Rather be in the Studio. I’ve been following her blog on and off for a few years now and it is great, but its nothing like having her right in front of you to interact with and ask questions of, not to mention feed off some of her positive energy.

I regret that this summer has been crazy with both kids home and increasingly demanding as they get older. In preparation for the upcoming time with *both* of them in school and a fairly regular daily schedule of uninterrupted time in the studio (its been so long), I’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning, sorting, organizing, and FINALLY going through bits of Alyson’s book, hoping to start this fall show season off some good footing. With several bags of trash and reclaim removed and the wheel moved to a different spot to allow a better work flow, my work area is so much more inviting and I actually really like being there. The girls went back to school this past Monday and its been really good.

Late last week, in my cleaning frenzy, I finally came across my little tabletop camera tripod which I thought would be really helpful in shooting some pottery videos unassisted. I’ve posted a few videos on Youtube in the past 2 yrs, but my intention all along was to post some demos online as well. Youtube is another great free resource available to get our work and names out there! Making a demo tape is a lot harder than it looks and most certainly different throwing for a camera than for someone in front of you.

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Baby Mockingbird

On a sadder note, I haven’t posted much about my little baby mockingbird lately. After his first week of successfully being spoonfed, he/she jumped up one day and bunged up his/her leg. I guess their little legs and bones are pretty fragile because that one never came back. He was lame in the one leg, then a few days later he stopped using his other. Last Saturday morning we found him/her motionless in his little box. I’ll miss the little guy. I was really rooting for him.


Jul 3 2008

On Paul Soldner

Playing with Fire, DVDI found this lovely video/DVD put out by the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) online and thought other people might like it as much as I do.

For those of you who raku, or simply love raku pottery, you may or may not know that Paul Soldner is known as the father of modern raku as we know it today… but that is only part of the story.

This video is available at: http://www.playingwithfirethemovie.com

Please check out this video trailer of the film I’ve linked in from YouTube below:

:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnN13tsIJTA]


Jun 30 2008

In memory of..

Raku Urn with Magnolia Design

Magnolia Raku Pottery Jar by Anne Webb


May 21 2008

Bernard Leach

Thanks to my friend Kathy, here is a great quote by Bernard Leach, the father of modern day studio pottery:

Every artist knows that he is engaged in an encounter with infinity, and that work done with heart and hand is ultimately worship of life itself.
Bernard Leach


May 14 2008

Young Apprentices

Mixing glaze (by the way, the drill and mixer are actually being supported by an adult out of the photo)

Mixing glaze

We try to nurture interest in the clay process and art whenever the opportunity presents itself. (A few years off from being able to wedge clay though. hehehe)


May 2 2008

See you in Baton Rouge May 3 & 4

Here’s where we’ll be this weekend. Maybe see you there!

FestforAll, Baton Rouge - May 3 & 4th

(For more info, please visit the FestforAll section of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s web site).