the summer work

my my my we are treating each other just like strangers

my my my we are treating each other just like strangers

you can speak your mind just not on my time

you can speak your mind just not on my time

well here you go again you say you want your freedom

well here you go again you say you want your freedom

between throwing and firing wedding pots and a dry salt firing of functional ware, which was more an experiment to see what residual salt would get me (the results were not too bad, and i admit the nice orange of reduction is growing on me) there wasn’t  as much time this summer to get work made, but i did manage to get a few sculptures finished, sandblasting was quick and a return to the old norm of having premeditated ideas and sketches to work from.  the next to goal is to start writing more, ive been gathering my thoughts and notes on pop music and am about ready to start working them out on paper with the writing being the next focus of time.

these were from the short lived billy joel phase, which earwormed its way in before the cds appeared at the house, sealing the deal as it were.

this pair was a redux from the end of semester/start of summer.  i had returned to listening to more of the classics, a moniker that has different meaning depending on ones age, for me this meant returning to the late 70seventies and early eighties. i had wanted to capture the declarative and empowering start in dreams.  and it was a redux because the first set, where a little to thin (think enveloped) so i got out the sketchbook and returned, liked what i got out and then changed up the sandblasting for more angled edge to further the piercing.

music musings

one of my fb friends posed the question ‘ if you were stuck on a desert island and could only listen to one band for the rest of your days what would it be’ while it was interesting to read the choices of others,  i myself chose talking heads, which then caused me to put them back in heavy rotation in the various devices.

I’ve hit replay more than a few times since on, houses in motion,  and have narrowed down a couple lines that i find most intriguing for what i want, then its been playing with punctuation, line breaks as well as the lyrical movement. not quite a haiku or tanka but close.

never get to say much

never get to talk

tell us a little bit but not too much.

Get out of the way!                                                                                                                                       no time to begin.
This isn’t the time,                                                                                                                                            so nothing was done.

  the next step is to figure out what to do with them, i’ve been sketching but so far nothing has clicked, i’ve also got a trifecta in the studio that has been staring at me for a while waiting. waiting and it might just be that some sandblasting can make that happen, its the pesky middle piece where i want to not only focus but tie the other two together and apart at the same time.
besides talking heads, i’ve been playing with some fleetwood mac and trying to work out a little something referencing dreams
and in the respite of dry, humid weather we’ve been having i managed to get some work sandblasted and shot.

i want nothing in return but the softest little breathless word

i want nothing in return but the softest little breathless word

don't look for opinion there is only simple fact

don’t look for opinion there is only simple fact

more from the air, less from the studio

well the last trip out had a small unwelcome hiccup, but i returned home safe and albeit a bit sore.  its left me pondering whether it was possible i have some how entered a co dependent relationship with texas where it won’t let me quit it.

however trip be damned or not i managed to get a couple more nice shots from the air over phoenix, these remind me of turkish tiles and mosaics. the phone camera did not do the colors justice, but i might have to incorporate some of these water shapes into functional ware soon.







and while our studio is being repaired and i am taking it easy, there is no new work to be working on i’ve got a few waiting for glaze and fire.

april pre showers

new blackies 1between the trips (upcoming will be #3) and planning other life altering events i’ve been lax in the studio this semester; but this week i managed to get 3 completed up to the point of sanding, which required drying time and lucky for me i’ve got other things to keep my mind afloat while they dry.  i also got to sandblasting more of the work from early in the year, this pair i like, although i have misplaced what i thought the title would be so for now they have settled on ‘the lengths that i would go to the distance in your eyes” although they and i are not content with this.



the way it sometimes goes



me and barb

me and barb

cleaning up images and uploading them reminded me of the backlog of things i had wanted post/write.  once the procrastination starts the next step is avoidance and then feeling overwhelmed in a “where do i start, those thoughts were so 3 weeks ago” feeling came.  instead of beating myself up or putting it off further, i’ll begin before trip one: i was surprised to see that the caring place used an image of myself and my pal barb for their annual report.  while doing good is payment in itself, it was really just awesome to see me and my friend on the cover.



northern illinois farm fields by air

northern illinois farm fields by air

On the flight home I got lucky with window seats, actually the planes were all small so the choice was window or aisle.  On the way to the Windy City for my connecting flight home (which cancelled right before my eyes but there are worse places to be stranded than ohare, and i did make it home so no harm, no foul) looking out the window and perhaps having 2D design on the brain, I was reminded at how our landscape has some pretty terrific views.  This one was of farmland and while snow covered you can still make out the borders of fields,roads and waterways.  I am in love the juxtaposition of the  hard and organic lines in the composition.

All in all the traveling has me thinking of my responses to questions and wondering whether they were answered proper.  One that I don’t think I gave complete justice to  (and in my defense I can only say I was sleep deprived and nervous) was the question was what is next in my work and research.  The correct answer of course is a long one.  Yes I have a direction and the next move is to write about the work from a music standpoint, which is a major influence in my work although i’m still trying to find my start point, this can often be the hardest part.

a few summers ago I went down a course to figure out why I was making the work I do, not just the canned answer or artist response/statement but more in depth.  It led me to read and research quite a bit: Lyotard, Danto, Merleau-Ponti, back to Baldesarri ( because surprisingly i can always get answers there), Tratctatus (although while I can find answers there, I don’t know if they are the correct answers and i’m not ready to touch that with a hot poker in academic circles just yet)  I had thought my next move would be to theater (for the drama, the interaction) but it wasn’t and the book i sought proved interesting but not helpful so sitting in the q. is alex ross’ the rest is noise and a file folder stuffed with notecards and ideas waiting to draft.

The other part of that question was where is my work going? well i’ve been thinking about doing more platteresque (read: flat wall work) and dealing with aesthetic choices – keep them as a platter, have them be individual pieces, et al… one of the goals here is to have the work read more lyrical movement wise and the option to incorporate multiples rather than coupling.   So I’ve been working on those ideas (as well as working out the technical kinks that come with working with porcelain)  Below are the successful fruits of this labor with working titles.


you and i in silence with nothing else to do

you and i in silence with nothing else to do

shut your mouth cause i'm not listening anyhow

shut your mouth cause i’m not listening anyhow

Spring Break

i had hopes to have some work started and others complete, but it seems that since late february the driving force of life has been work, then traveling (for the possible start of new adventures) and work again (the dean actually had some wise, great words which basically made returning on focusing on the ask at hand quite easy) late last week i wound up sick, so this spring break was not spent doing the things i wanted but at home resting, taking care of little things and reading.   i sped through the david sedaris book ‘ when you are engulfed in flames’ which reminded me of many things, which at some point i shall write about, because this book after all is signed (and there’s a story there without having to go any further, but i might)

so while feeling human and ready to tackle the world all my ideas were thwarted by rain, so i bring you ‘ode to gaiety’ by  james broughton

Go gloom
Begone glum and grim
Off with the drab drear and grumble
It’s time
its pastime
to come undone and come out laughing
time to wrap killjoys in wet blankets
and feed them to the sourpusses

Come frisky pals
Come forth wily wags
Loosen your screws and get off your rocker
Untie the strait lacer
Tie up the smarty pants
Tickle the crosspatch with josh and guffaw
Share quips and pranks with every victim
of grouch pomposity or blah

Woe to the bozo who says No to
tee hee ho ho and ha ha
Boo to the cleancut klutz who
wipes the smile off his face
Without gaiety
freedom is a chastity belt
Without gaiety
life is a wooden kimono

Come cheerful chums
Cut up and carry on
Crack your pots and split your sides
Boggle the bellyacher
Convulse the worrywart
Pratfall the prissy poos and the fuddy duds
Take drollery to heart or end up a deadhead
at the guillotine of the mindless

Be wise and go merry round
whatever you cherish
what you love to enjoy what you live to exert
And when the hight spirits
call your number up
count on merriment all the way to the countrdown
Long live hilarity euphoria and flumadiddle
Long live gaiety
for all the laity

Chinese New Year!

DSC_1578One of the students brought me this beautiful (and delicious) pomelo yesterday to celebrate Chinese New Year.

It got washed, cut up and devoured by the class.   wonderful treat!


Not a lot of work time has been afforded the first part of the year, partly due to family and friend obligations taking precedent and of course stuff around the house (or the never ending list), search for venues and books (finished 4 so far this year).  this was our first real free weekend at home and i spent this morning in the studio working on a couple of pieces I began earlier in the week and got the wheels in motion for a couple more.  I also managed to gather up my empty bowls and for curiosities sake I counted and got a total of 97, not bad, not bad.

Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls

I also hung the masterpiece gifted to me last year by one of the painting students taking abstract sculpture.  I absolutely loved how cerebral a thinker she is.

"the plank"

“the plank”



hall and oates are going to california

welcome news in the inbox after this past weeks tragic loss of a friend.

Congratulations! Your artwork has been accepted into the 3rd Clay and Glass Biennial. The competition was especially tough this year, with only 10% of the entered artworks accepted into the exhibition.

nelson_kate_where does it stop