one fun thing about my program is that we are required to take a class outside our area. it usually ends up being something unique that informs our work. since i consistently use nature as a source material and have a deep love if the plants, animals and ecosystems here in my home state if florida i was amped to take a botany course called northern florida flora.
today i unpacked the work i’d taken with me to “eclectic and then some”. since most of the smallies had just come out of the kiln they hadn’t made it to the shelf before heading over to gulfport. these are some quick snaps, but you get the idea of my shelf space at the clay co. i am really loving the pieces all together like this.
john cage says “Rule 8: Do not try to create and analyze at the same time. They are different
processes.” gettting a look at everything together, the low fire wall pieces i made about a year ago and the small ones which i made a couple of weeks ago really get’s my brain going. the collection in the second picture feels like a display case of a natural history museum. shells? fossils? an aquarium? this is the kind of situation i would like to put people in. and then they realize they can take a little piece of the display home with them.
welcome to my collection of specimens…
i have been absent from this blog, but still working on stuff in the studio. learning about the soda kiln and preparing for a show in west palm beach. i have the opportunity to work with curator kara walker tome and to participate once again in the showtel installation show. this year i’m collaborating with a good friend of mine sue stevens (www.suestevensart.com).
here are some images of the “fanciful microbes” i’m creating for our installation. we’ll be working on a miniture scale for this peice.
made of highwater p10 porcelain. haven’t decided yet if i will soda fire or gas fire these montsers. tpictures of it’s friends to follow.
below is an image of the bacteria plates i was working on for a doctor i work with. i had scavenged some underglazes that were getting trashed at the studio to use for the color. i covered them with underglaze while leather hard and sgraffito’ed the image. i once fired them, putting clear glaze on top of the underglaze while everything was still bone dry. unfortunately when they came out of the kiln chunks of underglaze were flaking off. i thought it might be because i had once fired them?? so i remade them, but this time bisqued the underglaze on, THEN clear glazed and glaze fired. same problem. any idea what the problem could be? i’m stumped. i decided to get rid of these underglazes and go with something new. news to follow.
matt long and his students were visiting in january and they tore down and rebuilt our soda kiln. today r, our lovely kiln tech was putting the finishing touches on the burners. he and b have been working hard on it and i’m hoping we’ll fire it up this week. i’d like to get the garlic in if possible. i think that it would look super in a soda fire.
recently i have been interested in jason briggs’ work. actually i fell in love with it when i saw it in the exhibition “biomimicry” at the 2004 NCECA. it was totally awe inspiring. it was one of the pieces which i looked at and saw in it so much visual language that i wish i could speak. if you know what i mean. it seemed perfect, more exquisite than is possible to make by hand.
recently i googled his website (why had this never occurred to me??) and was delighted with what i found. his site has lots of information and images as well as a image loop showing a piece from start to finish. in lieu of seeing briggs demo in person, i was pretty satisfied by viewing his site. it’s here.
seeing the progression of his work and reading about his process really gave me a different perspective on atmospheric firings. i guess i think of them in a rustic kind of way. though i see the amazing way they work out for other folks i hadn’t really thought they were right for my work. his chicken skin speckaly, bumpily blushes really turned that thinking around and has given me a fresh perspective on atmospheric firings. yeah!
this week i finished a set of slab plates with sgraffito. they are for a doctor at work and they feature a stylized pneumocystis pneumoniea (sp??) carving. i had a mishap with one and had set it aside and today i went at it with the carving tool and fashioned a “syphilis” plate, the first in what promises to be an exciting series. next up, chlamydia, gonnorhea and trichamonis. note, i am only featuring curable infections. non-curable infections are way too much of a bummer.
this has been a month of gathering. i’ve continued work on my wall pieces at a snail’s pace, but taken time a few evenings each week to flip through books and websites, researching for my next body of work. i selected a few books from my shelf: college biology text, microscopic photography, louise bourgios exhibition catalogue as well as the global feminisms catologue and a contemporary art text, also from college. i learned a few things. almost every page of the global feminisms catalogue features figuritive art. robert arneson was a pop artists working directly with clay in the 60’s. jason briggs’ work is freaking amazing and i wish i could see him demonstrate. i remembered how very attractive eva hesse’s forms and materials are. reading the abc’s of louise bourgeios presents art about you familial obsessions as rather favorable, i mean, since i’m obsessed with it anyway.
i guess in a way family is biological. the way we are tied to people genetically is disturbing and uncomfortable. the way we are tied to people who do not share dna with us is biological as well. maybe this is why the figure factors so prominently in feminist work, or, you know, art in general, because people are obsessed with other people, the way they shape up, nurture us (which could be a good thing or a bad thing), mess with us, etc.
it’s like you spend the first half of your life figuring out why things are the way they are and then the second half realizing that it doesn’t matter because you just have to play the hand your dealt regardless of why…
but i’m not sure where this leaves me. there is a lot going on in my brain but it hasn’t puked itself out yet into images to be assembled.
a problem i had with the garden path was that it was too pretty. working in such a rapid way allowed the process to become more important than the concept. i’m not very prolific generally and maybe that’s why. the process is important, it’s the fun and the flow of the peice but the process is not the point. the process is a tool which allows the peice to make it’s point.
i could make a sign that says “the world is fucked up” or “i’ll vacuum my uterus if i want to” or “racists are so lame and boring” but that wouldn’t be very much fun would it?