Thursday, August 15, 2019

Poetry in Art 2019

Poetry in Art is an exhibit which pairs the writing of regional poets with artists.  Artwork is created for the exhibit based on the poems.
Usually I hesitate to show pictures of a piece before it becomes part of a show because I am afraid it takes away from the viewer's anticipation (for those who plan on seeing the exhibit in person).  This is particularly true of the exhibit "Poetry in Art 2019", as part of the appeal of this exhibit is the revelation of what the artist took from a poem to create his or her artwork.  It is different for each artist.  One may focus on a visual cue while another attempts to capture something less concrete- thoughts, feelings, mood.  Sometimes a poem serves as a springboard, directing the artist to a place seemingly unrelated to the writing.  Working on a project for this event is somewhat challenging, as I am never sure I am doing the poem justice.
I decided to show parts of the piece I created and attempt to explain the elements of the poem that influenced/ inspired me.
The poet who wrote the poem I chose, "Blue Moon", is Kristine Williams from Athens, Ohio.  There were plenty of visual descriptions throughout the poem.  In my first readings I was very focused on those images.
If this excerpt looks smudged and wrinkled to you, it is. It is a victim of laying on my clay table for many weeks.
While dithering with myself over the form the piece was going to take I read the poem several more times. Eventually the last few lines and the meaning they contained became more important to me than the images described in the poem. 
Whether or not I captured that meaning, I'm unsure. More likely, it pointed me in a direction only partially related to the poem.
Those lines brought to mind my grandfather who died when my mother was 13 or 14 years old.  I remember being told about him and there are some pictures, but that is all I know.  And I thought how strange it is that this man who was, by my mother's accounts, a large personality and had many friends, is truly gone to the world.  There is no one alive who knew him. 
I also thought of the little treasures we squirrel away, things forgotten in drawers, behind the cabinet, old wall paper revealed, letters written long ago- the things that have value because they are a physical reminder of someone, some happening, or a symbol of what went before. 
The name of the piece is "Remnants". 

The show will be up for a Sept.6 (Friday) soft opening 5-9 pm.  A reading of the poems will take place during another reception, Saturday, September 21, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, and will include an artist talk about how the poems inspired the artwork. Poems will be displayed near the corresponding artwork.

Riverside Artists Gallery
219 Second St.
Marietta, Ohio

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Where in the world is River City Farmers Market?

When we first moved to Marietta, Ohio, back in pre-internet days, sometimes I'd see an event in the newspaper I might be interested in but didn't know how to find- because the building was named but there was no address given. Apparently I was to drive around looking for it. Or, just know.

Even in these days of google maps and Facebook events it is not uncommon for me to run into people who do not know that Marietta, Ohio has a farmer's market at the Washington County Fairgrounds, and some who do not know where the fairgrounds are located. I hope to help.  First of all, the fairgrounds are practically in downtown Marietta. I don't know about you, but I expect fairgrounds to be a little more out in the country. That was my experience as a kid and I expect it to stay that way the rest of my life!  Second, there may be some confusion caused by the multiple entrances to the fairgrounds. Plus, there is no road sign at the main entrance for the fairgrounds, and the main entrance is where we're going.  There is a Washington Co. Fairgrounds sign, yes, but it is much higher than a road sign and out of the sight line of drivers.  So, here are some clues:

From Rt. 60:  Going south and passing Wendy's on the right, drop down onto Front Street where road forks.  Pass Eaton St. on right. The entrance you want for River City Farmers Market is the next right.  (.9 miles from Wendy's).

From the Armory on Front St.:  Pass Muskingham Park on the left.  Look for Fair Ave. on your left (after Front Street curves to the right but before it meets Second St.)  Take the next left after Fair Ave. (1.4 miles).

From Marietta College:  Take Fourth St. to Washington Blvd.  Turn left and follow Washington Blvd. to Second St.  Turn right and follow Second St. to Front.  Turn right then make a quick left. (1.6 miles).

Once there, you will  need to find the building.  Yes, there is a building.  Although I sometimes set-up outside, I do have a regular space inside the building as do other vendors.  Here is a link to a map of the buildings:  Washington County Fairgrounds  The market is in building #4.  This is adjacent to the Fair Board office which is building #3.

Some of the vendors will only set up outside and can be found from spring through fall, while others are year-round inside the building.  The market is a favorite Christmas shopping stop, in fact, for many customers.

On to pottery, here are a few things out of the kiln this week.  I will have these at the market Saturday.

Above and below:  Flower children.  In the past I have attached these to steel rods.  The last few I've made are on sticks.  Let me know what you prefer.  The steel rods, of course, are going to hold up much longer, but the sticks are easier to attach (whittle, whittle) and I also whittle a couple of bucks off because they are free.  Easy to replace, too, obviously.

I really like the above bowl.  The stencils were a last minute decision.  They were cut from newspaper and difficult to work with on the bisque fired bowl. I tried moistening the stencils with water, but it really wasn't that helpful.  Had I thought to do this when the bowl was still somewhat moist green ware it would have been much easier. Hindsight!  Black and blue engobes used here and some rutile wash splashes.
More stenciling, but this was a store-bought stencil. Actually, I think I may hold onto to these two bowls.  This was supposed to be a set of three.  The middle sized bowl developed a surface crack in the bottom. I have another set of three that are not yet fired and now I am thinking that it might be best to hold on to these two until I see how the other set fares. Just when I thought I had gotten past the S-crack issues!
Hope to see you at the market!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

a little walk

I have put the clay away this past week, trying to get ready for Christmas.  I did wire a few things together (some fish and driftwood ornaments/wall hangings) last Saturday at the market- sorry, did not take pictures.  Still have a few mugs, a couple of berry bowls, one bluebird ornament, honey pots, vases, planters (mostly for small succulents), wall hangings and a few wall pockets and other items at the market for this Saturday.  When they are not there right in front of me it's hard to name them all.

This morning, I headed to the woods for a walk.  Here were a few of the sights along the way. Click on the pics to enlarge.

No snow, but a little ice.

 I often see holly trees in the woods.  I don't know if they are indigenous in this area or if  the birds gifted the woods from plants people have purchased.  Below: some succulents at the base of a tree.  This is the only place I have noticed succulents growing in the woods.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Local Artist Show 2018

Here we go.  Getting ready for this show which starts tomorrow (Friday) 5-9pm and continues Saturday 9:30am to 4:00pm. (Not 2 weeks from tomorrow, which I somehow got stuck in my head until just recently.)  So, there's been a lot of sawing and sanding and putting togethering this week.  You would almost think I had a wood shop instead of pottery.  As I am still in the midst of preparations (boxes, tags, display, packing...) this is going to be a very brief look at some of the things I will bring to the Local Artist Show 2018.
 The rocks in these "cairns" are wheel thrown, some altered after throwing for more variation.

Some knob hangers for necklaces.
Below:  Flower children, or maybe I will call them moon flowers.
And I have a few small planters with succulents. Middle one has a loop in back for hanging. 
I do not have as many ornaments as I would have liked, but there are a couple of bluebirds, and chickadees, and a few oak leaves made.  
Also have the usual- some mugs, honey jars, berry bowls...etc.
Stop by if you are in the area.  There's lots of good stuff made by, um, local artists.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Seeking salvation on the bluebird of happiness

This is my piece for the Poetry in Art 2018 exhibit at Riverside Artists Gallery based on the poem, "An Invitation to My Sister" by Athens, Ohio poet Jean Mikhail. 
Poets submitted poems for the event and artists created works inspired by the writing. 
Poetry in Art will continue through Sept. 29.  The gallery is open 10-5 Tues. through Sat.
To make this piece I formed the bird on the wheel, just like any pot, with the beak being the top of the form.  I left a little extra clay at the bottom so that I could pull (yes!) the tail- a lot like the traditional way of making handles for a mug. The figure was then hand-formed and attached, and a little carving done here an there to define some details.  I hoped to use colored slips for the entire piece but found I did not quite achieve the colors I wanted so parts are painted with acrylic paint- mostly the figure. It was finished with a protective  spray varnish after mounting on the wooden base. This piece sold at the August 25 opening. 

Below is an excerpt from Jean's poem.  The full poem is on display in the gallery. 

A big part of the show is seeing the artists' responses to the poems. This is very personal, of course, and may be tied in with their own experiences.  So it is all the more fascinating to hear what the poets have to say about their own poems.  They had the opportunity to do this during a reading of the poems on the opening evening (Aug. 25) of the exhibit.

Below is another version I made- because working with ceramics you never know what can happen.  Always good to have a back-up plan.  This one is going to the WOAP exhibits, curated by Kari Gunter-Seymour.

Also going to the WOAP exhibits is another piece that was inspired by a poem, this one by Lisa M. Pursely.  Her poem, "Where Catfish Bloom", was submitted to Poetry in Art in 2016.  It was not chosen by an artist for that exhibit, but is one of those poems that stayed with me.  I could name several more.
It does happen that some great poems are not chosen by artists to work with simply because the artist cannot envision what direction the poem will take him/her when it is first submitted. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Castle jar, tests, and stuff on the shelf

True to my status as an un-production potter, I sometimes (often) take on individual projects such as this reproduction jar for The Castle Museum in Marietta, Ohio.  The jar is an approximate reproduction of one made by Nathaniel Clark who once operated his pottery on the site of The Castle, and is destined for a raffle fundraiser at a garden party there on Thursday, June 14.

 Below are some very small jars, approx. 5 inches tall, that will be for sale in the carriage house gift shop at The Castle Museum, along with, eventually, 70 others.  Unusual for me, the outside glaze was applied to leather hard (on the dry side) green ware.  On bisque surfaces the air bubbled through, making small craters.  
And, tests.  Round one for the Castle jars.  There was also a round two.  The time frame for testing is easy to underestimate.  I can get quite fascinated with the endless possibilities.  In this case, trying to get a not glossy, but not completely matte surface in an electric kiln to come close to a pot from a wood, or maybe coal fired kiln. And the right color.  The winner was a primarily Red Art/ ball clay mixture with a little wood ash and nepheline syenite.  Also a bit of Mason Stain and ochre.  The inside of the pot is a glaze I had on hand.  Parkersburg Art Center helped me out greatly by firing my round two tests when the power cord on my kiln fried.  Thanks Vance! The kiln technician suggested replacing a couple of other parts which were beyond their life expectancy after we sent him pictures of the problem area.  It was intensely complicated and I seriously would have been crying if Ivin had not been on the job.
On the shelf:  some toad houses that tagged along with the Castle jars in the last firing.

 These little, um, bird objects below have been in the glaze firing, but are not glazed, only decorated with colored slips.  More to happen with these, as far as mounting/display. I have about a dozen ideas, and hope the one I go with will realistically be within my skill set.  Have to remind myself that I am not a cabinet maker.  Stay tuned.
More tests- this time of slips with various colorant combinations.  These for above birdy objects.  I am pretty well maxed out for spots to place test containers and test tiles. Need to edit.
Future flowers.  The pressed lace flowers at River City Farmers Market sold out last Saturday and I have some other ideas I'd like to explore.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Bowls for Empty Bowls 2018, Marietta, Ohio

The 2018 Empty Bowls Luncheon to support area food pantries will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Marietta on April 7 from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  
Buy a bowl and you will get a variety of soups donated by area restaurants, breads and rolls donated by Panera Bread, beverages, and deserts supplied by the sponsoring churches.  Bowls are donated by area potters and woodworkers.  Here's a look at some of the bowls I have put aside for the event:

These jade green bowls are each  carved with a different design.

A bowl in a chawan tea bowl style.

More chawan bowls. I think I have at least four of each glaze.

A bit of oribe green glaze runs down the inside of the tenmoku bowls.


Outside of tenmoku bowl.

A couple of the larger bowls are for the silent auction part of the event.

A not-so-blue heron.  I'm O.K. with it, but often wish that glazes were like crayons or paint, so I could see, without testing, what happens with this or that combination of materials.  Most of the time it is best to test.  But so time consuming!

Also going on in Marietta same day is the First Settlement Festival .  Check the schedule- first performance starts at 1:00.  Have some soup then walk over and catch some live music.

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