Thursday, July 14, 2016

the show, the birds

My plan was to take a couple pictures of the show, "Elements" so that the show can be seen as a whole.  The gallery is a co-op with member's work displayed all the time, while a center section towards the front of the shop is devoted to separate exhibits which change monthly.  Taking a picture of the "Elements" display results in picking up a lot of background artwork not in the show.  It is not distracting in person but becomes rather confusing in a photo.  Also dealing with fluorescent light!  So, I am showing just a small sampling of "Elements":

 One of Steve Comb's rings.  He has a nice display of jewelry set on a plate of glass and raised up on clear shot glasses inside an antique case.

An encaustic work by Shila Wilson.  There is a green tint applied to this, though this pic may not  represent the exact shade.

 This is my favorite panel.  Works by Shila.  To the left of the panel you can see a sliver of some member work in the gallery.

 Most of my pieces are in one place on a cluster of pedestals.  My attempt of getting a good shot of my work here in the gallery failed, but I wanted to show the display stump that Ivin cut for me.  He noticed that someone had left a dead tree cut down along the road and asked if he could cut some pieces from it. (Yes, take the whole thing.)

 I have one panel for my 2-D work.  Orange panel next to it is my nemesis. Don't ask.  Shila's work looks great on it, though.

Below are close-ups of bird images.  I just noticed I used this bird seven times on my work for "Elements". 
I am not so confident with free hand painting on pottery. I usually draw the image on paper or cloth, place the paper on the leather-hard clay, then trace so it is etched onto the surface.  Then I paint inside the lines with slips or engobes.  Or, when the piece is bisque fired, paint over the etched design, then rub off the excess with a damp cloth, leaving the dark color behind in the lines. 

The show remains up at Riverside Artists Gallery through July.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

river rocks and garden stones

Here's a couple more things for "Elements":
Though I call these "garden stones" they could go anywhere.  These are the only ones with critters on them.  There are a few more at the gallery with different designs.
I'm calling this one "river rock" because I had to call it something and it has a line running through it which represents a river.  There is one more river rock at the gallery with a little different glaze treatment.
I am very pleased with the way the show has come together.  It is almost completely set up and officially opens Friday evening (tomorrow!) and will remain up through the month of July.  Shila Wilson has some wonderful monotypes and encaustic pieces.  Steve Combs will bring in his silver jewelry tomorrow, which will be a great addition.  Steve is known for his artistry and craftsmanship.
Riverside Artists Gallery is located at 219 Second St., Marietta, Ohio.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

details, process, failures

Most of the time I do not take pictures showing the step by step process.  I am so involved with the work that the thought of interrupting to take pictures does not occur to me. Often, there are many steps to get to the finished project.  In the wall pieces below I have incorporated some aged wood and other found objects with the ceramic tiles.  These may be part of the "Elements" exhibit at Riverside Artists Gallery along with works by visiting artists, Shila Wilson and Steve Combs.  We are setting up today and will have to see how it all fits together.  The pieces shown here are also part of the show.
 I may be adding one more found object to this piece.  Have to decide when enough is enough.
 The bead board was helped along with the aging process. This piece was left over from a house project, so not so old as it now looks.  To age it I first painted the raw wood with some strong tea.  Then I soaked some steel wool in white vinegar for a few hours, or until the steel wool started to break down a little.  After the tea was dry, I painted some of the vinegar mixture over it.  During the next few hours the wood starts to turn a dark gray color.  Instant age.  I'm sure you can guess the rest- I had some house paint, painted a thin coat of light blue (darker color may have been better), let dry, scraped and sanded here and there down to the gray wood, then a thin coat of white paint, let dry, more scraping. 
 I used a jigsaw and utility knife to cut out the center.  And a file.  Lot's of filing because I was afraid of making the cuts too big. This was plan B.  I found I was completely inept at chiseling a recessed area in wood to receive a tile (that was plan A), but I can use a jigsaw. I did not think ahead, that when I cut the wood, the new exposed edges would not have the aged appearance so I had to do the tea/vinegar solution thing again.  This ended up being a plus because it helped the aging of the painted surface by making it look yellowed.

"Aerial of River" 
Melted bottle glass in the tile represents a river.  Wood piece is driftwood found along the Ohio River near Marietta.
 Picture below shows the bottom of the piece with a sinker, also found near the river.

 "The Grid"
Much of the hardware you see on these pieces came with the found wood.  Some, like the screws in the vertical piece of wood, are new but have been aged to get rid of the shiny silver look by soaking a few hours to overnight in white vinegar.
Click on the pics if you want to see them bigger.
Inspired by a poem by Becca J.R. Lachman submitted to Riverside Artists Gallery's Poetry in Art exhibit in 2014.  A couple of other artists used the poem as inspiration for artwork for that show.  I loved the poem and it stuck with me.  The gallery will be doing another one of these exhibits with new poems and artwork this Sept.
What you don't see-  Sometimes there are fails behind the pretty pictures.  This structure was going to be a garden piece.  The top slab was the last to be attached.  The sides and bottom had dried too much and the top slab cracked along the seam.  Usually I can avoid this by equalizing the moisture after I make attachments.  Covering with cotton cloth followed by plastic sheeting works great for that.  In my concern that the pressure of attaching that last piece could weaken the sides and bottom, apparently I allowed those parts to dry beyond the point of no return.  I really wanted this to work, and would like to try again. Being part of an exhibit seems to push me to try new things and sometimes the trial and error involved with that process gets a bit too lengthy with a deadline looming.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Getting ready for a show at the gallery, coming up July 8, and preparing for this one has been more of a challenge than usual.  I had  many ideas, all going in different directions, and it took awhile just to pare down the possibilities. The one that stuck in my mind above all the others was to alter wheel thrown bowls with hand building techniques. I'm sure this is not new to many potters, but I have not tried it before. I find I am using hand building more often in the last few years.  The wheel work and hand building classes were separate when I was in school. It would have benefitted me to take a hand building class but I never did so I can only start a project with the attitude of O.K., let's see if this works.
This bowl is my favorite.  Lots of texture with layers of slip and engobes applied, then wiped or scraped off to reveal the lines.

I cut out crescent shapes from opposite sides of the bowl, then built the sides up with coils of clay.  The round bowl becomes oval and lots of variation is possible. 
 More texture obsession going on. I am also exposing my obsession with "interesting" pieces of wood.  There are many interesting sticks, planks, whatever in our garage.  Some were washed up from the Ohio River, and some found in the woods nearby.  Not saying where because it is not my property. If from the river, I have soaked them in a bleach solution.  I take the goose poop situation very seriously.
 I had not intended to veer from bowls to baskets but the idea of using some of that wood took hold of me.

A few vases, too- Although I wanted to continue with the bowls, I needed a little height to go with them.  Again, with the wood.

These are a bit of a departure.  I made a series of these flower bricks.  I'm not sure if that is the right description.  This is a jar with one hole in the lid for a flower.  Some of these have three holes and some have five.  I kept the surface pretty simple so as not to complete with the blossoms.
So, that's it for now.  There may be more pics later, as there are a few more things yet to be completed.  Back to work.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

hey there

Here's a couple of things I took down to the gallery a few days ago.   Also have a few new mugs with decal transfer images.  I was in too much of a hurry to meet the deadline of a silent auction fundraiser for Marietta's crew team to take pictures of the mugs.  A couple of the mugs went to the auction.   I sometimes give things away for these events, then hope someone bids high on the item- It feels better to give away my work if I know it raised a good chunk of cash. Frankly, the frequency of these requests can get out of hand and I try to be choosy.  It was easy to agree to this one because my son was once on the team.
 Wall piece wired in back to hang.  Slips and engobe, no glaze.
 Sometimes you get a song stuck in your head for days...
Did you guess June Perry's purple?  You are right!

I've been a little hampered lately with posting on this blog by the fact that my pictures haven't always loaded.  Something to do with the photo editing program I was using. I don't know what the problem was, but I tried something new, so we'll see.  I have to use something since I need to be able to straighten my pics.  Even with using a tripod.  Yes, I do check the leveling bubble.

Friday, January 22, 2016

snow time

After looking outside to gauge the snow accumulation/driving situation, I cut short my day to work at the gallery by a couple of hours and got in a little hike before dark.  Getting out there on foot is way better than driving in this stuff, though there have been a few more inches since I was out, so hiking may be a different story tomorrow.  

You are safe, tree. Don't worry, no one will ever steal you.  This is the second lock I found wrapped around a tree.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Mystic vs. pottery

Ditch the last minute pottery making frenzy before Christmas?  I could still get in a couple of firings, or I could tag along on a business trip to Mystic, Connecticut. 
The little dot on top of one of the masts is an evergreen tree.
 I walked through a cemetery to get a good view of the river and found this small, leaning monument with "Our Hattie" carved into it.  Date was on back, but could not read the year as it had sunk underground.

 We drove down to Stonington to take a look around on a cold, misty day. 
 This stone was on the lighthouse lawn. Didn't notice it has "washbowl" carved into it until viewing the picture later on.

Also toured Mystic Seaport (below). More rain, so not many outdoor pics.

 My favorite part of the tour was this room full of figureheads. Ivin is providing scale. He was educating himself while I was gawking.

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