Thursday, November 25, 2010

Seeing is Believing

Kasey and I ended up not displaying our monster/critters together. I think it was a good decision because they looked like very different sets of creatures, and I think they were stronger shown in their own settings. The picture frames sectioning off each group of friends. Your brain naturally categorizes friends into mutual friend groups, and it was cool to see myself in the "UD art kids" frame. Similarly, I really enjoyed Griffin's set up of surfing/beach pictures. The thumbnail context that the grid gave was also appropriate considering that he wanted to eventually blow some of the images up much larger. Alex Phillips also had a set up similar to what my critique ended up looking like. Somewhat of a "many around one, friend or foe" feeling.

My second project contained about 24 monsters (and one smashed monster) and looked like this:

I really like the colored monsters compared to the generation of pure white ones last semester. I think they have more personality.

I'm a little lost with my last project. I wanted to make plaster molds and slip cast big lego blocks, make a wall (a mini wall) and have an image painted on the wall with a few bricks switched around/missing/etc. However.... the lego blocks aren't coming out of the plaster mold very easily at all and there is a huge time delay between pouring and extracting bricks. For these reasons, I'm not sure how many "perfect" bricks I will end up with. It is also an issue because they don't actually fit into each other very well. I would have to do a lot of modifications to them to get them to stack as intended. Thus, I need a new plan of what to do with lego bricks. 

My ping-pong table at home aka new casting station.

Drying bricks...

The final product...
So.... what to do with bricks now....?

Sunday, October 24, 2010


It is officially fall now. Although a lot of my time is spent daydreaming about how I'm going to carve my pumpkin this year, how awkward I'm going to be as a giraffe on Halloween, and generally how I can procrastinate on my accounting homework, I have also been spending more time in the ceramics studio as well.

I'm back to making monsters. I made a few earlier this semester, and of course I'm once again addicted to making them. The only unfortunate part is that I always curse how time consuming they are to make as soon as I commit to making many of them. Below are a few examples of completed monsters...

Soy sauce/sushi set.

Leopold, the almost aborted child that Kasey convinced me to keep.
Unfortunately the only reading I have done lately is about my accounting and finance homework. However, as the result of a previously rocky relationship, my dad and I communicate via letters now. My dad was very involved in the art scene back in Lancaster county and did mostly photography. In his most recent letter to me he said "I've been doing a lot of painting right now of gourds. They are such strange, useless things- but interesting." I broke out a little smile when I read this because I know I think exactly the same way. I hoard random things that I find all the time because their interesting. I don't necessarily gravitate towards art that has an intended deep meaning, really only towards what I find interesting visually or of interesting content. Once again it's clear that I get my organized, professional side from my accountant mother and my love of random/odd things from my artist father.

I don't particularly enjoy eating cookies (unless they're straight from the oven), but I love making them. My favorite recipe of all time comes from the Alpha Bakery book that I used ALL the time in my childhood. Below is a link to the recipe.... except with a dash of vanilla added. Cookies are always better when made from scratch!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Surround

Oh my goodness did this semester pick up quickly. I have an auditing exam, a resume to fix up, at least 4 jobs to apply to, and a monstrous ceramics project to complete soon enough that it will dry, be able to be fired, glazed, and fired again all on time. Wow. Let panic ensue.

That being said, my project has been coming along fairly well so far. I sat down to throw for exactly an hour today and managed to throw 12 mug/bowl/teacup items. It's an interesting experience to sit down and try to throw as much as you can in as little time as possible... it takes all of the "creative art" aspect out, and makes it more of a production line until they all get attached together again into something that is more interesting than a mug thrown in 4 minutes.

Right now the goal is a cube of pots. so far I have about two layers high and the base is roughly 17x17 inches. I'm definitely kicking myself for deciding to do something so time consuming... again. This is what it looks like so far:

I think they look pretty cool even just 2 layers high. I also started thinking about a potential next project. I threw a new shape and fell in love. It's simple but I think it would make a really nice backdrop to interesting glaze/wash techniques. We shall see. 

 I've also fallen madly in love with a man named Charlie. He's mostly red with a little blue and a SPOT:

He's my new betta fish and I think he's beautiful. I've never seen one with a spot before. I often find myself just staring at him even though he usually tries to attack me through his tank. Which leads me to a recurring dream I have. It's not always beta fish but I have a similar dream every couple of months about fish. They're always in a puddle that is drying up or they fell out of a tank or a similar dire situation. In the dream I always have a cup or something small that I'm trying to scoop them back into, but there are always more fish or my cup tips over, etc. It's a pretty clear metaphor for feeling like your life is out of control and no matter how much you try to fix everything, there are always additional problems. I'm just not sure why it always manifests itself in my mind as trying to save fish...

A visual memory that has stuck with me is one with my dad. I haven't seen him in about 8 years now (the phrase "extenuating circumstances" doesn't even begin to describe it) but when I was little I was a total "daddy's girl". My dad was the stay-at-home parent and I wanted to help with everything he was doing. The visual memory that probably sticks with me the most is the time we got a huge amount of mulch in the back of our old pick-up truck and my dad was trying to spread it all around our gardens. To help him, I would fill up one bucket from the back of the truck while he was off distributing the other bucket. After a while I got tired of walking around in the mulch, so I just sat down in it and started burying my legs like I was at the beach. I thought it was fun (even though it smelled weird) but my mom wasn't too pleased that I was absolutely covered in mulch. Either way, sitting in mulch in a pick-up is one of those strange visuals that has stuck with me since I was little.

That is all for now. Hopefully I wont go crazy trying to throw enough mugs to make an entire cube.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What is It?

Unfortunately this summer I had the great fortune of an Internal Audit internship in Philadelphia. My days consisted of staring at computer screens in an enlarged cube with two other interns and a co-op and checking excel files against support documents for numbers to match up. Needless to say, it wasn't particularly artistically stimulating, but it did get me thinking about space. My space, where it was, and what space I would rather be in.

Waking up at 5:30 every morning enabled me to experience more sunrises in one summer than I had ever seen throughout my whole life. They were beautiful and they took up a lot of open space. Although I often slept on my train commute into work, I usually tried to stay awake for the prime sunrise spot: over the Delaware River. The colors were beautiful and made a nice taunting metaphor of my life this summer by creating a beautiful, spacious background behind office buildings the likes of which I would soon have to sit in for 8 hours straight.

 The rest of my summer was spent lamenting that I hadn't been back to the ceramics room, and how many teapot monsters and teacup furniture pieces I wanted to make when I got back. Teapot monsters have turned into an ongoing hobby, but I want to explore the potential for creating a space that is inhabited mostly or only by ceramic furniture. I've already made a coffee table, but I want side tables, lamps, storage containers, etc made from jumbled teacups, mugs, pitchers, saucers, and bowls. I've already started throwing practice pieces to start assembling into something later.
My first piece of ceramic furniture
My family of teapot monsters

My friend from way back in second grade, Andy Babin, is very involved with the theater/audio/photography/general art world of Central PA. He sent me a link to a youtube video he helped create about the "Keys for the City" Project in my hometown of Lancaster, PA. Twenty pianos were set up all over Lancaster City and the general passerby were encouraged to play. The clip below is a short compilation of a few of the musicians: 

Another one of my favorite Lancastrian artists is Ms. Susan Gottlieb. She has been a very positive force in my artistic life for many years now and I always wish I could see her more often. I believe myself to be an awful painter and thus admire even more the people who can do wonderful things with paint and canvas. Her website is as follows:

In conclusion, my summer was spent wishing I could fall down my own "Alice in Wonderland" rabbit hole and end up in my own little ceramic world. Hopefully I can start creating bits of my little world in the studio soon...