Last weekend I fired twice getting out several plates for a dinnerware order. Pictured here are the ones I have not sold. I did several Virginia native wildflower designs as well as geometric and Eastern songbird designs. I really liked working on them.
Each style is working for me, but I like to change them a bit each time I do them to (in my mind) make them better or maybe, just to tickle my mood.
I drove up to Philadelphia, PA to see The Clay Studio and the Barnes Foundation Collection because my friend Leigh is turning 50 years old and I wanted to be at her party.
The entire weekend was amazing. First I went to The Clay Studio in the Old City part of Philadelphia and spoke to the shop director Dominique Ellis. I don’t know if I’ll get my work in there, but it was a great space in a cool part of town.
Dominique went to UNL which is where I went to Grad School, so it was cool talking about old friends and places.
While waiting for for The Clay Studio to open, I ran over to see the Liberty Bell which is around 7 blocks away. That was cool too.
Next I went to the Barnes Foundation. What an amazing collection of Impressionistic art.
Let me say, it is pathetic that they broke Barnes’ will, but this collection is so worth going to see. I would have loved to see it where it is supposed to be, but I’m guessing that the light is much better now which allowed for the images you see here. The old mansion it was in was renowned for dark lit rooms.
Anyway, some of my favorite all time paintings were there. Included are just a few of the amazing artworks up on the walls.
This article isn’t right without a Modigliani painting. So here was my favorite.
I’ve finished painting the bowls and have moved on to painting the plates for my Eastern Songbird commission. I’ve very excited as the results are turning out better than I anticipated. Some bowls are glazed and out of the kiln as indicated by the featured image of this article, but others are still waiting to be fired. This weekend I will finishe painting the plates. My last one to do is the Goldfinch which takes extra time as I have the bird sitting on a group of sunflowers that requires more work. Luckily, I love what I do.
This picture was taken after the underglaze was painted, but before it was glazed. The color is muted, but will pop once the durable clear glaze reaches temperature of 1948 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bird cup is an example of what can be done with this imagery on other forms.
I completed a new sample series that came out of the kiln last weekend and looked really good. I made a chickadee bowl, a goldfinch bowl and a titmouse bowl with an abstract pattern background.
All my work playing around with backgrounds is starting to pay off. I’m using a combination of painterly brushwork and stamped color that together is organic and colorful. It took a while to find something subtle enough that let the birds stand out.
My next round of imagery should be just what I want. 🙂
I was able to see the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC this past weekend. It is my favorite museum on the Mall and I really enjoyed seeing the treasures they have there.
There were only a few different items set up in the 20 rooms they show items in, but it was worth the trip. They had a Japanese tea room utensil set up which I really admired among the other items.
Whistler’s paintings were also up and they had 3 of the Nocturne paintings that I really like. I’ve been thinking of including them in my paintings. I think the Nockturne idea will work well with the goblins and dark fairies I’ve been trying to create as imagery.
In the 80’s I was lucky enough to inspect the vault below the Freer. I hope to do that again once I can get enough people together to do it. It is free, but you have to arrange a meeting. They may have a minumum amount of people to go as well.
I just finished a weekend showing my work at a craft fair at Hardywood Brewery. There were a little over 60 booths showing their wares and trying to move their merchandise to at least a thousand people a day. It was a great turnout and I’d like to say thank you to the vendors around me that were nice and gracious with advice.
What a great show! I hope I get in to do it again next year.
Yes, the annual firing was done the week after Thanksgiving and I went and picked up my pottery last night.
I am so thankful for Mike and Alex firing my pots at Tree Hill Pottery, here in Richmond, VA. My work turned out great and I’m excited to show you the results.
I reformulated my clay body to create a red flashing clay body. Unfortunately, I failed again. I researched and studied flashing bodies in Graduate School and lost the recipes I created, so now I’m working to create a new body with less expensive and readily available ingredients.
I have 4 glazes that are really looking good in the firing. My favorites are the Tenmoku, Amber, Cobolt and Pumice. I have a great Oribe, but didn’t use it in this firing. My next glaze will be a white.
I hope you like these as much as I do. They are an Asian aesthetic. The cups are small holding 5-6oz. The trays are 14-16in long.
I’m having a great time working on designs inspired by my recent trips to the National Gallery in DC and the VMFA, here in Richmond. Mostly, abstract work have been coming out of my head, but some new motifs are out that are based on realism.
Each kiln load spurs me on to create new designs. I feed of small areas where brush strokes and stamped color collide and promise new material for the next piece.
As the holidays are approaching I have created a new series of snow person mugs where I really got into the background abstraction, trying to represent a landscape. It felt to me that I was creating slipware which I am inspired by as I enjoy the different historical representations and designs.
Also, I have made more Gnome pieces. I think they represent the Christmas spirit well and I like the childhood memories they bring back when I paint them.