Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Vessels, People and Spirit

This little pot sells for about $22

more women potter's quotes

Christine Boswijk

'A vessel is the enduring symbol which is expressed as the vehicle for carrying all life and thought.'

I look around my shop and try to find a pot with life and thought.

Special orders in progess

This Henry Moore like figure was in a friend's back yard and broke. The original is from somewhere south of the border and is made of concrete.

The original has been glued together to help me see it to duplicate it. It is a large figure with simple lines and will have to hang from a half shelf to be fired. This figure will be fun to be inspired by as I alter the shape during the next few attempts. The concrete figure is considerably thicker than I want to make in clay. Timing is everything keeping it wet enough to work and dry enough to support itself.

In order to make a similar form I have to make constant comparisons. The difficult part of copying is sometimes I like my version more and then I have to remember I am copying a form for someone else. Here, both pieces set propped on boxes and I stand back to examine the differences and similarities. This involves several hours of work and looking.

This is an attempt to duplicate the 21" wall piece below. I have built three so far but have not added th color and designs. That comes next. It is made in red earth clay and is built from slabs and extruded parts as well as a few supporting coils. Again, timing is everything and it takes several hours to complete. I am creating one like the original and two variations of the original. I will probably build 5 an hope for 3 we really like. The underglazes and carving begin soon.

This is a side view of the broken pot I must remake. Does anyone recognize the original artist of this pot? It came from the Dallas area in the 70's. I have searched on line for the maker of this pot googling several words.

This pot was one of the owners favorite wall pieces. Obviously, it broke. It is more difficult to make than I realized. However, I have wanted to make similar pots to this one for years and this project gets me going on this idea. It is a mystery exactly how it was made and fun to remake. I will have to glue parts back on to recreate the design.

Yes, I work on special orders. I choose projects I relate to and I feel is worth my time. If I can learn something in the process lots of times, I will choose to do it. I looked around my shop this week and I realized I am remaking a lot of broken pots and sculpture for people. This is different in my shop. These projects have been challenges and I am enjoying working on them. If anyone recognizes the artists of these works please let me know. I am reproducing the originals and then taking the projects a few steps in another direction.

Ceramics Arts Daily A good source for potters looking for more technical info

If you need a source of free inspiration and you are working in clay, I suggest you subscribe to www.ceramicartsdaily.org

They send out a lot of emails so it will fill your email box faster than you like but it is an interesting source of ideas.

And if you want to read art blogs in OK go to the OVAC blog.

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Wonderful Quotes by Women Potters, the Differences of Men and Women Potters

Jane Hamlyn:
'I am a woman, a mother and a potter, I am interested in feminism and though I do not feel oppressed by men, I am aware of difference. Our bodies for a start are not the same. If pots are about our bodies and women make pots, then I think there is something about that which communicates itself.'

I don't know who this is but I really agree with her quote from Women's pottery quotes. I have always considered myself a feminist potter artist person but guess what? I don't hate men. I really like them and I like the differences. I have joined several groups of feminists over the years but left quickly if it was a complaining group of whiners. Not to be confused with women who like wine. I don't want to be around negative Nellie's.

I have a really nice husband who respects my space and independence and we are really good friends and enjoy each others company. We listen to each other and encourage each others creativity even though we don't always actively participate in each others projects. It is nice that way.

In pottery, I have observed that men work with a lot of angles and want it to be straight and accurate. A good male friend was watching me work in my shop the other day and bingo! Geometry in action. Yes, Mr Dyer, after all these years I do need to remember those formulas. My friend remembered the formula for the circumference of a circle and told me how many inches long my extruded rim needed to be to fit the pot in less that a few seconds. Thank you. And another male friend comes up with a lot of carpentry type solutions as I work with new shapes. They hesitate to tell me, the experience potter, what to do. I encourage them and listen to what they say and evaluate it as a new approach. I appreciate their comments and suggestions.

Women seem to work with more curves and a looser approach. Men lots of times want to "be as accurate as a machine" and women tend to want to express themselves in a softer way. No, this is not always true but with my 35 years of so of teaching I see some general differences and appreciate both approaches. There are few absolutes. No one is right. No one is wrong. So many answers that make creating wonderfully complex.

These are not absolutes. I see men and women changing rolls often in approaches to clay and construction. And, I guess we all start with the same lump of sticky dirt.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dinnerware and friends

'High tea! Wow! I love the idea of people getting together to have a celebration, especially if there's food involved! I think that's why I make tableware, its to do with thinking, great, people can have tea parties!'...Morgen Hall from women's pottery quotes

Last night I stayed home and cooked for a couple of friends and John. I made oven baked fried chicken (John's grandmother's version), mashed potatoes, a giant iron skillet full of buttermilk gravy and a salad. John made his delicious french bread. There was no room for dessert. I want to do this more. I love cooking with and for friends.

And, I would enjoy cooking for lots of friends before I leave for my trip in January. The more the merrier.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Leaf pots from the Katie Trail in Tulsa and Dinner plates

Wendy's dinner plate $22-sold

stoneware dinner plate $22

stoneware dinner plate $22

Katy Trail Leaf Plate $42-sold

Katy Trail Leaf Plate $42-sold

Katy Trail leaf plate $32

Katy Trail Leaf Plate $42

Katie Trail Leaf Plate $42

My theme being leaves, birds and trees, these are a few of my latest pots from this series. They are fired cone 5 oxidation making them strong stoneware. The leaves were gathered from my favorite tree off Riverside Drive in the parking lot at the Katy Trail. They measure about 8-10 inches square and are lead free, micro-wave safe and oven proof. They are lovely party plates and can be mounted on the wall for storage. Art meets function.

Woman's pottery quote:

Sandy Brown 1989

'I am an adult with the joy of playing and who is free enough to express it in an uncorrupted manner.'

'I have some considerable experience of playing and the desire and ability to continue to do so.'

Lillies, candles and cheesecake for Christmas

The diet comes later.

Whew, made it through Christmas

Katharine Whitehorn:

From a commercial point of view, if Christmas did not exist it would be necessary to invent it.

Thank you for supporting your local potter. I am grateful to everyone who visited my pottery, joined in making gifts for Christmas and my regular customers and friends who buy a little something from me each and every year. You make it possible for me to live my life long dream of being an artist. Thank you.

Life should be calm enough now to create more blog posts. It is time to start thinking about my book.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Brrrr-It is cold in the shop

It is so cold. The shop is cold. But, friends keep coming. I have noticed most prefer to sit on the wooden rather than the metal chairs. Standing in front of the heater is the best spot.

The season as a retail person has been really weird. I am just "riding the wave" and trying to think creatively about how to keep going. Don't over read this. We all seem to be in the same boat. The great thing has been watching people make more gifts this year.

My classes really work well and it is a pleasure to watch both beginners and the more advanced discover how fun it is to produce original works of art for gifts. They report back with fun stories about how others loved their work. It is the way it ought to be.

I have a lot of people asking when the next class is. Most likely toward the end of February.
I will set the schedule soon. I just have to get through Christmas first. My regular students will meet off and on probably Thursday nights until I leave for Costa Rica for a month. I leave January 21-February 19th.

I am so looking to Costa Rica and then I will come back all inspired to teach again!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Uplate with Ben Sumner airs again Saturday night

Did you miss us on TV earlier this month? It will rerun this Saturday night at 11 this weekend if any of my friends are "uplate." Or, you can watch it on line as well. Great people to work with!
Hope you can watch it! You can find it here.

More Photos from our Christmas Open House

Linda's Angel Let it Go Series

Kelly's pots

Kelly's traditonal Cherokee design

Kelly's pot-sold

Kelly's mixed clay pot

Kelly's small pots series

Ian Coward's Garden Goblin $60

Monster man Ian Coward

Randy Doss's 12 rings of Christmas $300

more pots in my shop

Mike Flannigan and Connie-He makes some of finest bonsai pots in the country
Tent in the courtyard, Kelly boy and Kelly girl. Kelly Girl shows her Tulsa Tie Die's. both are really talented

I taste Kent's incredible ham for the open house. The food was fantastic.

Thank you Vera for some of these additional photos.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Old Fat Ladies for Peace

Oh we must be fair and keep life even. So if you have not seen this YouTube, watch it. It has probably been around the world a couple of times. I just watched it again after a friend sent it to me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Silly potter

So we did the "Open House" and some pots sold and some did not. And then, as the organizer you have to write the letter telling how much you like the other persons work and how you are thankful they were in your show and how sorry you are you did not sell anything. It gets a bit sappy and I honestly felt bad to have to tell my friend he did not sell and had great pots. Thought you might enjoy this hilarious re-interpretation of my letter. Basically he re-wrote my letter and sent it back to me. I laughed until I almost fell off my cold metal stool.

My letter of apology:
Hi again. Wish I could tell you i sold everything but I can't. You had lots of compliments and admirers but did not sell anything. Rats! And, it is all so lovely and ridiculously inexpensive. And people even talked about how inexpensive and beautiful it is. Rats.
So, thanks so much for participating and we will touch base about returning your pots at your convenience.

Oh and guess what? We really lucked out. The enormous and EMPTY tent caught the wind in the middle of the night blew into the air, over the fence with four really heavy blocks and crashed in the garden. We regrouped the next morning and everyone was moved inside. The wind was not supposed to arrive until morning. That was a close one and the tent is repairable. Good grief! No art was lost.
Soon, With hugs, Linda

My re-written letter by Kevin as it returned to me
On Dec 14, 2008, at 11:11 PM,
Linda Rimstidt Coward, in a fit of delusional ecstacy, wrote:

> Kevin,
> Hi again. I sold everything . You had lots of compliments and > admirers . Rats! You are so lovely and ridiculously inexpensive. > And people even talked about how good you smell. Occasionally. > Rats. I think you stink in your armpit-personal regions.
> So, thanks so much for participating and we will touch various > privates at your convenience.
> Oh and guess what? We really lucked out. The enormous and EMPTY > tent caught the wind in the middle of the night, blew into the air, > over the fence and crashed into the life sized statue of the > monster Dick Cheney. We regrouped the next morning and everyone > had their movements inside. Good grief! No art was lost. Mercy!
> Soon, With lascivious hugs, Linda, pass the > marguarrittaszzz, R C

This is why I love my friends. What a great attitude! "Who, me worry?" He confessed that he and his brother have rewritten peoples letters since they were children after they sent them.

So now I will have to buy at least one of his beautiful pots. It is worth the price to just keep laughing and remind me of this letter in my old age.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Rest of the Story

This was our enchanting art tent at the open house at night
It took a lot of savy helpers to raise the tent for our show

The parking lot was transformed into a "courtyard."

The tent made for a great expanded Brookside Pottery with more room for more artists and appeared to be a great idea until the middle of the night and the great Oklahoma wind came.

So in the middle of the night the wind came and lifted our beautiful tent over the fence and into the garden, weights and all. Luckily we had emptied all the artwork into the studio so we lost no ones art. The tent and the birdhouse are repairable and we were lucky.
You have to respect mother nature in Oklahoma. The wind was not supposed to arrive until the next morning but we could hear it late in the night.

We moved all the artists into inside spaces the next morninng and partied on. We rallied our good spirits and proved we could do it and had a great holiday open house.

More pictures tomorrow of art work available.