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



fall work is here

got a few gems out of the kiln last week, pretty happy with them and sort of motivation one needs to keep making more.  i actually attribute some of this to changing out the car cd’s, my  continued slow read of david byrne’s  ‘how music works’.  I also spent quality time reflecting on a couple that initially i had liked but when they became were off, too trunky and stiff.


the lengths that i would go to the distance in your eyes

the lengths that i would go to the distance in your eyes


IMG_0568there’s always a sign of sorts at the start of the semester, that lets you know its going to be a successful one, much akin to the ding on the airplane after you’ve taken off and reached altitude.  this week the powers that be displayed two: thursday they had their first glaze lecture/demo and after i discovered this little gem written on the board in the glaze room.  it made me smile.  the next day i was loading a bisque and one of our students mentioned having already come up with glaze puns. drumroll please….. “i shino evil”  i almost cried it was so good, admittingly i’m a bit jealous of not having thought of it myself.

its gonna be one of those good semesters.

sunday brings the dawn in

spent the morning finishing up the pots i threw when i was firing on tuesday; which included putting handles on cups and trimming a few lids.  while putting the handles on i was thinking about the actual motions of it all, i suppose prepping for a fall semester of beginning throwing and all that entails.  i realize from time to time when throwing i am guilty of going through the motions letting muscle memory carry me, but i began to delve a little further with my handles and think about it more, which led me to play some lou reed in the studio and think about his proficiency in tai chi.

the ware made during tuesdays firing

the ware made during tuesdays firing


All in all it was a pretty good firing, I had a few pieces that I knew what masking would be done and I managed to get those sandblasted and shot today; the rest I am letting sit with me a little bit longer, listening to them and thinking about them before I commit to their final look.  I am pretty pleased but looking forward to working on some new forms next week and getting perhaps 10 more done and a few more wall pieces to add to the mix.  Its also application season for several opportunities so my hard earned cash shall be going to be considered as it were.

But for now here is a new one from the summer

we lifted up our hands to promise and reciprocate

we lifted up our hands to promise and reciprocate


spent part of the last 3 weeks making work and empty bowls (kiln fodder) yesterday i fired it up and at first glance things were pretty nice.  i’ve got a couple of days to figure out masking options for a few and then i shall sandblast and shoot and get things entered before the various deadlines that are approaching.  Most important is the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics.

new work and empty bowls for spring

new work and empty bowls for spring


I spent most of yesterday throwing stoneware for upcoming salt firings and after listening to my back complain that it was old and needed a rest.  I wound up doing some more cleaning in the studio and came across this on my wipe board from the spring.

wipe board shot

one of our our ‘sassy ceramic spinsters’ (their wording not mine) left me this note after a semester of forgetting to turn it off.  which on the big scale of things is really not so bad. they are such bright, creative and hard hard workers and I know the studio won’t be the same this fall.  Two of them headed off to graduate programs and i can only they are ones that make the world a better place.

the box of ceramic art mostly from the 90s.

ted randall sofa

last night in lab i was discussing the various professional organizations with the advance students and got to talking about the Randall Sessions, which led to a  tangent about Ted Randall that I think started somewhere “i have images of his work i took photos of at a SOFA , i recalled how i remembered getting in a “harsh talking too” for taking the photos, there might of been a sign… i’ll have to remember to dig that box out and show you guys.  (to paint a proper picture sympathetic to my cause the year was 1997 the only pictures i had seen of his work were either slides or black and white, while the internet was around, google was in its infancy not yet the big brother informationhouse image at your doorstep magnet that it is today and i was deciding what i wanted to do and be and having actual images was pivotal to my predicament- hello visuals) so this afternoon while looking at the bounty that came out of yesterdays firing i found myself in my studio looking for luster and found the green marbled box – and brought it out to share.  delighted to find not only the randall images, i forgot i had this beauty shot of  toshiko takeazu and a ken ferguson bunny.

ken ferguson bunny and toshiko takaezu