Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reclaiming Blue

I probably first heard the phrase, "If you can't make it good, make it big. If you can't make it big, make it blue" right after unloading a kiln full of noxema jar-colored early attempts. Potters usually have a love/hate relationship with the color. Often referred to as "cash-flow blue," it is a favorite among buyers, yet easy-to-come-by cobalt blues often cause potters to throw up a little in the mouth. My studio mate, Virginia Jenkins, would have two words for this: "ceramic baggage". Well folks, it's time to throw out the baggage and reclaim the color blue.

Confession: I am a lover of the cool-hues: turquoises, celadons, mint greens and yes, blues of all shades. Mudfire Gallery in Georgia is too and their new exhibition, "Damn Right I Got the Blues" proves it. Usually the blues are cool, but if you want to check out some HOT work, featuring the coolest color, see it at
The exhibit opens officially on June 4th, but you can preview all the work now.

The folks at Mudfire are on top of it, and have created artist pages for nearly every artist they have worked with. I even have my own artist page, which lists the five pieces of mine in the show:

And while you're there, check out my friend, and fellow UF alumn, Sara Marraffino's work in the show too.

Hope you can let the blues get the best of you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cups in Process

Loading up a glaze kiln of yellow, pink, purple, blue and green cups today. I use two resists to mask off the drawings from the first glaze spray (blue tape and contact paper). The blue shapes made by the tape are pretty interesting. These cups feature more playing characters. Pictures of finished work to come.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Playscapes Blog

For me, "play" and "research" are not necessarily mutually exclusive terms. Especially, when the "research" involves lots of exciting ideas and gorgeous pictures or a chance to ride a roller coaster, like I have planned to do tomorrow when I visit Busch Gardens. Aahhh, research.

When the research happens at the computer, Paige Johnson's playscapes blog is a regular stopping point for generating ideas and connecting with playground design from many lands and eras. It's great for anyone interested in the landscapes of play.
Arcady, aka Paige Johnson, writes of her blog, "Playscapes":

Because it's difficult to find non-commercial playground information. And I find that frustrating.

Because a playground doesn't have to cost a million bucks and come in a box. In fact, it's better if it doesn't.

Because playgrounds are under-recognized as an artistic medium.

Because everybody loves a playground.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


My studio research has focused on play for the past few years. How does play influence personal identity? How is play portrayed in Art? In what environments do we allow ourselves to play? What do our toys look like? (And what do they teach us?) Who is allowed to play? Can we transcend our realities through play?
The word, "playscape" has multiple associations for me. First, it refers to the environments in which we play. I am interested in what these landscapes of leisure look like and how space is divided within these landscapes.
The transcendent potential play provides leads to the second association of the word, "playscape." I think about how play allows us to escape or 'scape present realities, or troubles.
For my most recent exhibition, I developed a series of plates that featured imaginary creatures, each with a physical limitation, such as limited mobility due to aging, being overweight, missing a limb, etc. I attempted to show these creatures in a state of play, overcoming their current reality.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cup Forms

I spent a lot of time this past year obsessing about my handled cup form. I made several grossly unsuccessful (and frankly un-sellable) attempts at reinventing the cup, in an attempt to have it speak the same language as my other pottery forms. Anyone who peeked into my studio looking for cups, surely walked out with wrinkled eyebrows, scratching their heads. I am going to spare you the cups that didn't make it to sale status, and instead post the two cup-forms I feel most successful about. The first, a cup and saucer, features a beaded handle that is tedious to make, but surprisingly comfortable for the one-finger grip. I have a passion for form and design and enjoy bringing a touch of the unexpected to functional ceramics.

The second form is a very simple, generic form that lends itself to illustrated surfaces. The contours of this cup shift smoothly from one angle to the next, meaning no surface of this cup is unavailable to an illustration. In fact, what I enjoy most about this form is being able to wrap the drawing around the bottom. The stories illustrated are of creatures engaging in some sort of play activity: roller skating, dancing, jumping on a trampoline, playing with a ball. I love that the illustration is not fully visible to a spectator until the cup’s user drinks the last drops of liquid from the cup, fully exposing the bottom and the entire picture.