Monday, September 26, 2011

lost a piece!

At 4 a.m. I heard a crash and this morning found that one of my (favorite) pieces had fallen off the new wall.  It is the round piece farthest to the left in yesterday's post.  Either the glue for the mount didn't hold or set properly.  It is not repairable.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

studio update

Heading into the last week of September.  I've started up fall classes at the Davis Art Center and expect to begin teaching at Esparto Elementary School next month.  With Robert Ortball's suggestion, I had a wall built so I can display my works that need to be hung.  It was quite the project; a wooden frame on wheels (which I found from an old desk while just cleaning up the studio) with wall boards and particle board between.  After painting the wall, I grouped the last batch of ceramic forms to create an installation.  A kiln is cooling with several more works including a pound or so of "pinches", a circular mound with protruding bubbles, and another cell structure.  Then I hand built another large cup, threw the saucer from a slab, and proceeded to run it over tonight.  I will mimic a willow ware pattern but am not sure what will spill out of it yet - maybe some rubber ducks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

3rd Mentor Meeting

It was just two weeks since my last meeting with Robert Orbal.  He suggested I go into a frenzy and scheduled another review for yesterday.  That is not a lot of time considering the work needs to dry, be twice fired in a kiln that takes 3 days from start to finish, and a second glaze firing in two smaller kilns for the majority of work!  What a frenetic pace it was!  I unloaded the final kilns in the morning and headed out to CSUS where Robert teaches and there were some gallery walls for me to hang the pieces. 

Robert didn't feel that this work is more than just an exercise although I do see a number of them as finished, even if small.  The only piece that stood out for him was the red "blood cell" one. Truthfully I don't feel as passionate or attached to these pieces as when I am constructing one of my narrative works because they originate from a strong experience or emotion.  What I have gained is the experience of creating works based on form and color, not plotted out in advance, and mixing in other media.  I experimented with firing in metal wire, rods, and screws and a few pieces have astro-turf glued on.  I have played with using foam insulation as well.  Mentioning that my work has a Baroque connection, Robert said it seemed more Rococo.  I do see a connection to the flowing drapery, figures, and esthetic of painters such as Carracci, Rubens, and Caravaggio.  The goal will be to find a way to draw from both ways of working to reach new ground. Unfortunately, I left feeling downbeat.

We have another meeting planned for mid-October. A few pieces are being sent through the kiln again.  My studio is so cluttered; how I wish for a bigger space.  Today I went down to the local hardware store and arranged for a moveable wall to be made so I can step back from my work and view  it properly, even if it means opening the garage door and moving out on to the driveway.  At least I should have a few more months of sunshine in CA.  After my new wall is in place, I plan on spending some more time grouping these works as installations before plotting my next path. 

Most pieces wall mount and vary in size from 8 to 15" with some smaller segments thrown in.  (Sorry, color is not great.)


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The latest activities & finished piece

Narcissus is completed.  Yesterday I dyed the doily and today the mirror appropriately cracked in the right place.  It's amazing how work is self directed.  The large kiln is cooling with the next batch of amorphous forms.  A flurry of glazing will take place soon so that I can meet with mentor Robert Ortbal on Monday. 

On Friday I visited SFMoMA to see highlights of the permanent collection, a selection of contemporary sculpture, and new ceramic work of Tiago Carneiro da Cunha (Brazilian) and Klara Kristalova (Swedish).  I found Tiago's primitive forms off-putting and high school like in form and glazing.  Kristalova's work was more powerful with historical reference and intriguing surface, but his forms are so bottom heavy and one gets overdosed with the dripping glaze that seems to melt along with the figures like fudge.  It is surprising to see this kind of work highlighted of all the ceramic sculpture being produced world wide.  That same day, I also went to the Berkeley Art Museum to see the Kurt Schwitters "Color and Collage" exhibit which is surprisingly the first solo museum exhibition of his work in the US in 25 years.  His "Mertz" assemblage pieces (begun in 1918) use found objects and include works on paper, painting, sculpture, installation, performance, writing, and sound, spurred artists such as Rauchenberg and Johns to incorporate collage in their paintings.