staying cool in the studio

studio 002

well my studio mates already poke fun at my apron of choice: an old towel wrapped around my waist and clipped in back with a mini clamp.  luckily no one was in the studio tonight when i had to utilize yet another after shower towel trick.  the head wrap.  as previously mentioned our studios have no air con and in the thick of florida june that means sometimes swimming in sweat.  i couldn’t take it anymore tonight, even with 2 fans pointing at me.  finally i took one of my studio towels and wrapped my hair up in it.  it really did the trick.  but i don’t know if i can rock the head towel when i have company in the studio.  haha.

anyway, it was a productive weekend.  i have been working on some more wall peieces.  j- and i were so excited about our firing that we decided to sign it out again asap and will fire again on the fourth of july.  i thought i could bang out multiple wall hangings in preparation for the kiln but i am so into making these toes that i ended up spending 2 days on 4 wall peices.  anyway, i am having a great time.  and j- needs space in the kiln with an upcoming show so i am happy to build up a collection of bisque work.  when j- leaves, i’ll have to fill the kiln up on my own won’t i?  unless one of our new a.i.r.s works in soda fired raw porcelain too?

here’s a sneak peak at this weekends work:

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studio 004

studio 003

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and a new chicken butt in the works:

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soda pop goodness.

friday night after a long week of work we loaded up the soda kiln.  c- was having an opening for his show in the gallery, everyone was wearing cute opening clothes, c- was even wearing pants, not shorts, but we were all sweaty and disgusting, shuttling work, wadding, loading.  we finished around 10, turned on the pilots and hung around the kiln pad for a few hours drinking and chatting with other a.i.r.s.

somehow i dragged myself out of bed at 6, getting to the clay company and doing my first turn up at 6:20 am.  it was really interesting flying solo.  for the first few turn ups i was a little insecure.  is this enough sputter?  too much?  but eventually i got comfortable trusting my gut.  r- taught me well, whenever i wasn’t sure i’d stop looking and listen to the fire.  sputter-check.

even at 6:20 am, it was already hot.  i spent the 28 minutes between turn ups sitting in one of the cushiony barber chairs yawning and sweating.  oh and i heated up my leftover gyro in the peep.  yum.  when j- rolled up with iced coffee, it was a good thing.

almost everything in the kiln was porcelain with no glaze.  we did a long, full on body reduction, adding wood to the ports in hopes of getting a good amount of carbon trapping.  there weren’t any major stalls, the kiln was pretty even troughout.  at the end of the day we had 11 flat on top and about halfway down on the bottom.  sodaed using a mixture of soda ash and baking soda in “chalupas” and sprayed and then added a bit of wood at the end.

good times!kiln 001

kiln 004

kiln 006

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here are some pics of j-‘s sweet work!kiln 012

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last stop.

friday after work i went to visit s-.  we walked around her neighborhood for awhile looking for apartments for me.  after my lease is up here in st. pete i am thinking i’ll move to sarasota.  i had entertained some sweet thoughts about screened in porches and tomato plants but i have recently decided that i am only looking for temporary sublets.  i love my life here in st. pete/sarasota but i am ready for another adventure.  in january of 2010 or so i am gonna roll on from these parts.  my clay co. residency ends in september, my contract with creative clay in december.  yeah, the economy is in a downward spiral, and i don’t know what that will mean in another 6 months or a year, but i know i have to keep moving forward.  there are so many good reasons to stay in one place but one thing i learned in tokyo is that it’s even when it’s easy and comfortable to stay in one place it’s not always the right thing to do.  i might have multiple jobs and a studio here, and in tokyo i had the ultimate good thing (l.o.v.e.) but there’s something bigger than all that.

getting on your train tracks and staying on them and taking them to the last stop.

studio day

ok, i’ve been working full time for about a month now.  in theory it’s not many more hours but it’s really kicking my ass.  i feel the days passing, get up, go to work, take care of mundane tasks, get into bed, restart.  it’s not a nice feeling.  there is so little time to just “be around” the studio.  the salt and soda kiln have been fired in the last week and i wasn’t present for either.  it’s not the one job, of course, it’s just that between working in sarasota, with the commuting, and part time at creative clay, and one day the the clay co my days are packed and i’m starting to feel a little claustrophobic.  i love all the things i do but everyone needs a little spare time right?  ok, my pity party is over.  today i did have the day off and i got to work in the studio for the majority of it.  i finished up a third in the chicken butt series and started a fourth.  j- and i are going to fire the soda kiln this weekend and i’m hopeing to get all four of them in.  i’m always pushing it to the last minute with firings…

number 3

number 3

family

family

work for sale at st. pete clay.

the garden and flower sale was a success.  everything ran smoothly and i even sold some of my work.  today was great as plenty of friendly faces came out to support the cause.  it’s so awesome to see people buying handmade (and hand grown) products.  with the economy continuing to tank i think it is our responsibility to keep buying handmade objects.  walmart may be able to sell everything under the sun cheaper than a bag of clay, but when walmart tanks too, where will we be?  let’s keep supporting each other, bartering and doing it ourselves!

planters with succulents (separated and rooted by my mom from her own collection of succulents) still available at st. pete clay for a limited time.  anyone interested in some free plants or trees for their yard should plan a visit to the gugliotti’s house in sarasota county.  my dad loves to share his plants.

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