day two (and a half?)

making work, museum and wondering around the grounds. day two felt busy, but i also feel like i got a lot done.  one of the other residents commented on how fast i was working and  as those who share a studio with me in florida know, that doesn’t happen often!

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residency time.

yesterday i arrived in shigaraki japan where i will do a one month residency at the shigaraki ceramic cultural park.

after taking the shinkensen from tokyo to kyoto, i transferred to a local train and then to two buses.  the bus ride was long and curvy, so i wanted to vomit a little but was eventually distracted by the amazing view out the window.

my view had been particularly beautiful for a good deal of my journey but soon after boarding the second bus i was literally awestruck.  i am sure that these pictures, taken from my phone, through a rainy window, while the bus barreled upwards and around curves don’t do the scenery justice but my chin was on the floor.  this might be the most breathtaking place i’ve ever been.

mountains! trees!

clouds

 

once i arrived at shigaraki, i was shown my room, introduced to the staff and several residents and taken to the grocery store to get provisions.

i unpacked my stuff, wondered around a little and in the evening there was a little welcome party.  one of the women here is from the gunma prefecture and had several types of pork from her family’s farm.

meat! from kumie’s famliy.

amazing spread.

this morning i woke up early and met with the staff to discuss my clay needs.

serious business.

then we went off to the clay store, where i purchased some black clay, which you can see (ish) in the test tiles above.

everything everyone has said is completely true.  it was totally overwhelming choosing clay.  i haven’t been to the tool store yet but i’m planning to be blown away.

i’m really into the fact that there are entire stores dedicated to clay.

anyway, finally back to the studio and getting to work:)

 

 

color!

i put a test of the blue porcelain in the gas kiln last week.  didn’t look so hot.  the body didn’t melt which was good but it got a little burned/dirty looking in reduction.  in the electric it stayed a nice bright blue.  the particular mason stain i used had vanadium in so it has a little yellowish hue which really came out in the reduction firing.  i decided to go ahead and fire the little blue wall pieces to cone 6 oxidation with a wash of gerstley borate since it had worked so well on the white piece.  the next day, while i was at work, one of my studio mates sent me a phone pic of the piece finished.  i couldn’t totally tell what was going on but i was pretty excited.  it looked amphibious……

i finally got to see it yesterday in person:

weird huh!?  i wondered if it was some kind of anomaly so i sprayed the other piece and slid it in the test kiln and this morning i pulled this out:

so now i’m wondering, is that what happens to gerstley borate at cone 6, or is some kind glaze forming between the gb and the mason stain components.  lot’s of questions.  love it.  especially love to see the BRAINS surface.

install.

today i spent the day helping install a show at a gallery in old city.   it was great to spend the day with 3 such well established, interesting and very amicable artists.  i find it very important and inspiring to be around people you respect, especially really amazing women.  i wish i would have thought to take a picture or two of installation but anyway, if you’re in the area, definitely check out the show at the rosenfeld gallery.

getting a little more work done…

some pics of the previously mentioned work.  new sculpture, and new blue wall peices.

the idea with these new pieces is for them to go on the walls.  i’m embarking on a kind of challenge, figuring out how i would like to finish these.  so i’m looking at everything as a test right now, not knowing if anything will come out well.  i did some tests with raw materials, trying to keep the surface and the substance closer to each other, and playing with the color clay is the same idea.  trying to avoid putting a layer of surface over the whole thing.  i GUESS that soda firing amounts to the same thing, a layer of surface treatment on top of raw clay, but i feel that the interaction of the soda, fire, clay and carbon means it’s more of an extenstion of the clay surface vs. a covering of the clay.

with awesome guidence from g.m. i’m looking at artists and doing some reading in a more studious way then the last few years and right now, form wise, i’m really interested in ron nagle, ken price and especially kathy butterly.  of course their surfaces are amazing as well, but i love the forms.  BUT they all treat the form so intensely with surface, and there is this idea that they are 3d paintings.

i’m really intrigued by the work i’m seeing both in person in philly (super great art town and gearing up for nceca with a plethora of clay exhibitions) and in research, and trying to figure out what kind of inspiration i can take from all this to push my own work forward.  definitely moving along at turle pace right now, but i’m not worried.