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


back from pittsburg

i noticed at our accommodations in kansas that the jonquils had started to bloom and once back in central texas (after the freakish hail/rain storm) that the wildflowers are out in abundance primarily the blue bonnets but other sprigs are starting to show up amongst the blue.   which means its time for my yard to get more than its fair share of tlc.

getting there and getting everything unpacked and installed went better than expected.  We met with Portico that evening, got settled into the Sperry Home (the former residence of Dr. Sperry a leader of restoration ecology) it was filled to the brim with the research and lives of he and his wife.    This left the evening to unwind, and look over my preliminary specs for the space and of course let the nerves keep a small steady fire burning.

The next morning we got to work, first unpacking shelves and measuring walls, the lovely assistant Ross showed up and I put him to work.  Once the spacing was determined it was leveling shelves and unpacking work.   it was great working with Ross- a history major who is delving into the world of performance art.

getting the work secured to the shelves

getting the work secured to the shelves

Working up till lunch, we grabbed a bite at their campus food court (i’d like to point out some universal student behavior here: Portico had left her class to take care of our lunch needs and found herself running into one of her students from the class, not realizing that yes the Professor sees all ((insert robert deniro meet the fockers ‘i’m looking at you’ gesture here))

We got back to find Ross had all but gotten things taken care of in regards to lighting and tags.  so a few quick readjustments and back to the house for a change of clothes, something more suitable  a lecture and reception.

Then it was time- all the prep, all the scanning of images, saving tiffs as a “jpeg copy, calling the slide librarian for another lifeline and practicing of what i was going to say.  I managed quite well and the questions from the audience were really quite well and thought out. which was a relief, many things can go wrong, but having no feedback what so ever is one of the worst.    (i was also happy to know that the titles were not lost on this group, they realized they had meaning and were from something and with my explanation it took effect and was a success)


reception porter hall pittsburg state university pittsburg kansas

reception porter hall pittsburg state university pittsburg kansas


after the reception was dinner, some great conversation and then we took advantage of the extra daylight and checked out monument clay company and saw all of their old kilns.  (these are the ones were jun kaneko fired his dango forms)  no visit to a new place is complete without one checking out the ceramics available and two having donuts from the local donut shop on your way out of town, which completes the whole thing,