Friday, April 11, 2014

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Surface Design Workshop

Last weekend I led a workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts investigating surface design on pottery.  The course was developed by Linda Arbuckle to allow students to explore, through creating multiples, personal content through surface decisions.  We started off with color collage, used a viewfinder to hone in on composition and color proportion and then we translated that information to a series of paper plates.
paper plate compositions
We used single color decal sheets from Chinese Clay Art and cut them up to create shapes and imagery on commercial china plates.

The class was part of Arrowmont's Master Weekend Workshops, which allowed students to explore questions beyond a beginner level.  It was a great fall weekend for the surface class.  Students worked very hard and developed wonderful designs.  Many left with more questions than answers--a good thing to fuel studio research for months to come.
class photo on a perfect fall day
visitor outside clay studio
recognize any of these forms?
Chris was the lucky winner of a Linda Arbuckle dish!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A little starch goes a long way

Ever need to transport pieces that have been glazed and not fired? This happened to me recently, as I needed to get a stray jar home from Montana.  I was a bit worried that the glaze would rub off during the 3 day drive back to Kansas City. Spray Starch was suggested to me by fellow ceramic artist, Chanda Glendinning--and guess what!? It worked! Flawless finish.
Just spray the glazed unfired surface with starch, let it dry, wrap the piece with soft material, pack it well and get it to a kiln.
Better late than never! Thanks for the tip, Chanda!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How-to: Custom Texture Mats

Anyone who has been to one of my workshops knows how much love I have for craft foam.   Not only is it available in bright colors, but you can purchase it with an adhesive backing that works great for making quick custom texture mats for clay.  Here, I'll show you how to quickly make your own texture mat using craft foam and scissors.

Purchase craft foam with an adhesive back.  It is available at many hobby and craft stores, as well as discount stores. 
Cut shapes out of one of the sheets of the peel and stick foam
Create a custom design by placing your cut-outs onto another sheet of craft foam.  Here I have used two levels of peel and stick foam (white and yellow) and attached them to regular craft foam (red).

Place the texture mat face down on a slab and use your rolling pin to transfer the relief pattern.

The craft foam won't stick to the clay and your design imprints perfectly!

The craft foam texture mats can be reused countless times.  Play around with positive and negative imprints by cutting away and adding to the texture mats.  Different thicknesses of the craft foam will yield different depths of texture.  So many possibilities!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Photo Finish

treat server under loose plastic
One of my rituals after finishing an involved piece, like this treat server, is to snap some photos of it.  Seeing the silhouette, flattened on an iphone screen, actually allows me see proportions and shapes that were unnoticed in the round.

Since most pots are viewed through photos on the internet, making picture taking an active part of process, evaluation, and evolution just makes sense.

Form is as important to me as it is to most makers.  The in-process photo also allows me to see Form, uncorrupted by my obsessive surface decoration. ;)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Process Shot

Get to work!  It's Friday and since returning from SOFA Chicago, I've taken a few days to do NON-STUDIO life maintenance.  It's been nice to attend to some things I've let lag, but I am itching to get back into the studio rhythm.  Here's an image of me forming a handbuilt platter to get things going.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Newsletter

Check out my Fall Newsletter highlighting my upcoming SOFA lecture, workshops and exhibitions  here.