situation gets rough and i start to panic

opened the kiln with the first official works completed and immediately shut it.  not sure why its electric the glazes were tested/ what i wanted and aside from some sort of electronic meltdown, that did not occur, they were gonna turn out like i knew they would.  and they were fine, actually they are more than fine, they’re good.  they still need the obligatory sit around time while i decide what part of the surface to sandblast and make sure the working titles indeed work for the work.

i was being to hard on myself, as an artist it comes with the territory and so does the neurosis and overthinking it all.   however this time i think i hit the nail on the proverbial head.   in a world with the internet of things and the ability to constantly alert all to your emotional state, your location, your goings on, your rants/raves i find myself sometimes wanting to waste all of my time and scream out all of the above and more. its as if this constant need to let all know “what is up” seems to straddle the line of narcissism, hero worship and voyeurism.  I realize that none of that matters as 99% of the time there just fleeting thoughts inside my head and people either misread, read into entirely different meaning than intended or bring it up after the fact to the detriment of progress, not to mention i would rather get stuff done.

there are those who want to play and those who want to watch, i fall into the latter category.

As metaphors go both sports and music have the best but i prefer music to sports and in the working out my problems i was reminded of the big boys fun fun fun video- at the very end on a piece of paper are the words “now go out and start your own band!!!” which in a way is what i did.  and to continue the musical anecdote, “i did it my way” so as i regroup from a few months of intermittent serious work and play, refocus and realize that part of the struggle when i decided to set up my own studio is trial and error, success and letting go.


can you hear them they talk about us

can you hear them they talk about us


one of the first pieces out  slightly out of focus (which is the asshole reminder that i need to get my eyes checked) and yet to be sandblasted.

number one with a bullet im a power pack

while i cant say everythings coming up milhouse i can say firing two proved to be much more beneficial in its results!  a few more tweaks and my cone 10 satin black is now cone 6 oxidation approved and in the process came up with a slick new black that i’ll be keeping around the studio (i’m interested in seeing what i can do with it and where it can take me option wise)

i’ve gotten a white that works, but after sleeping on it a few days still feel like its not quite what i wanted. somewhere in the recesses of my mind i had a whole schpeel abut finding the perfect white and likening it the 100 words Eskimos have for snow; but the internet got in the way and it seems some killjoy has dispelled this mytho legend thus putting my whole story to rest.  however i will say the minds eye wants what it wants and currently i am sitting here with too stark of a milky white and not enough stark of the refrigerator white so back to my base glaze i’ll continue to experiment.

no studio this weekend, we had social calls and the obligatory weekend working on the house day; repairing and refinishing decks is becoming a special skill of mine and before anyone asks, you cant afford it.

i’m off work in the studio but before i go, i wanted to share a couple of links from the fine folks who sell my work.

the three faces of green

the three faces of green

trying to work past a semi spectacular hair cut (for dramatics replace “semi spectacular” with butchered) i was less than happy with my first round of test glazes.  i know i know there tests and i am maybe just a little to hard on myself.  but i unloaded yesterday walked away and got on with the day.  while out running errands i came across a sign that i snapped (image to be revealed in future post because right now they’re just a couple of print out sitting on the dining room table) and snapped me out of it, after circling back to park and take a picture i ended up at home,  ordered two books: david sedaris theft by finding because i am thinking after reading it there might be some appropriation insight from a different angle to ponder and  john britts complete guide to midrange glazes because i need to become one with the mid range.


so after wDSC_1864[1]ork i went back to the studio and looked at the results with a little more kindness and started making notes.  what i thought would be my challenge formulating a decent cone 6 black was really not too bad it turns out the challenge is going to be getting my just white,white.  promising results for the tiki line with the exception of my the amber glaze, which did not flux out. so i need to remix and see if it was user error or its back to the drawing board.


Monday June 12 i will be featured as Saatchi’s Artist of the Day , you can check it out (and tell your friends!!)

its always showtime

here at the edge of the stage

here at the edge of the stage


an attempt at keeping things organizedmess

in true kate fashion the chemicals made it into the studio, got opened, mixed up and became part of the larger problem.

as the front of my brain was getting creative with the limited horizontal space and mixing glazes, the back was plotting ideas for storage and organization and a return to the sanity.  so i hit the store for small containers for my collection of opacificers and metal oxides, brackets and wood for shelves.

streamlining part 1streamlining part 2

as i couldn’t see before i put in shelves, i’ve got quite alot of work stockpiled and so today i test fire my glazes and hopefully get some good results and have a decent palette to work with.  i’m also excited about the cone 6 blacks i tinkered with because electric bill wise cone 6 is a little easier on the pocket book esp in the texas summer.

my next work

my next work

as for projects: next up will be to repaint my library cart for bats and misc tools so that if need arises (and i know it will) i’ll be able to add more shelves. under the large section of shelves i decided to build a small rise to house bags of chemicals under and glazes on top,but that stuff can wait because i’ve got some lovely wedged porcelain calling my name.


grab your things i’ve come to take you home

i should of had a glaze or two by now, but i’ve been struggling with the left and right sides of the noggin.  mostly because the last thing on my to do list with the studio was to stock chemicals for glazing, which i had budgeted for but incidentals being what they are, that budget got smaller and smaller. so my brain was having the battle of do you want to go into debt or can just make more work and wait till the next paycheck to buy the stuff you need.  in fact i had been toying with the idea of having a sale of my pots old stock and a few new pieces, wherein i would invite friends and friends of friends over to buy some work and fund my glazing needs the old fashioned way.

But then came Tuesday and word from Saatchi that I sold a work! got my paperwork printed, scheduled the pick up and got them packed up.  This morning i am drinking coffee and checking my emails and the facebook and i discover i have sold a second work.

so i bid adieu to these two lovely works and say a giant thank you to the two people that bought my work! I am humbled by your generosity  and thankful for your extremely good taste.


two objects at equal distance acting as if they care

two objects at equal distance acting as if they care


but she wants to be sure because you know sometimes words have two meanings

but she wants to be sure because you know sometimes words have two meanings

i’m sorry but i was just thinking of the right words to say

the artist with two of her acquisitions for 2016

the artist with two of her acquisitions for 2016   (that second acquisition being a new teabowl and a post for another day)

after too long of a hiatus i’m back and in my own studio.  actually i’ve been working for awhile (my kiln is not due to arrive till late february) but i’ve found that i’m just not a constant updater or poster on things, esp. when those things are ideas and its those ideas you’d rather spend your time on trying to bring to fruition, not a constant look at me update.  (not to mention being inundated with pots in varying stages of getting done is like watching paint dry)

But i realize i am a blog update or two behind, so bare with me as i throw as much as possible into one post.

Act 1:Finding the studio.

the home of lucky girl ceramics

the home of lucky girl ceramics

This was the easy part and hard part all wrapped into one. The easy part being we had made the decision to sell and find something that better suited our needs, our criteria were either to find property and build a studio or luck into something with a pre existing out building in good shape.  The hard part of course was procuring: there were houses that we liked but were out bid on, ones that would work but just weren’t right and shit you could not unsee (bandages used like tape along the perimeter of a shower wall was by far my favorite) .Eventually we weren’t outbid and the choice has proved so far to be a good one.


Act 2: Electricity and something to tie the room together.

something in a waterproof faux woodThe hurdles to getting the studio were minimal; it needed electricity and flooring. Installing the floor came easy enough with the requirements being a free weekend without rain and alot of advil after.  Lessons in futility I got to move all the stuff we had dumped in there while we unpacked and decided what stayed what went.   Next up scheduled an electrician, whose first visit ended up only being only to install a very expensive plug for the kiln (had i been able to have the requested day off as planned,i might of been able to get everything done that first go round, but things never happen as planned so i chalked it up to adulting) second visit on the tale end of 2016, Austin we have power!


Act 3: Equipment.

the wheel

the wheel

Since I had been working for universities the need to own your own wheel or kiln(s) was pretty low, so i ordered both. However things being things i.e. storms in the northwest skutt was backlogged and the kiln won’t be in until late February.  But, where there is a will there is a way! I drove up to Ft Worth to pick up my wheel and I was in business. The work table and shelves were just a matter of firing up the saw and getting in touch with my inner jesus christ supercarpenter.


cups and bowls

cups and bowls

Muscle memory still intact, i decided to start with mugs.

i can’t explain how great it was to be working again and after a couple of weeks of throwing pots (fodder for tests so i can work out my new glaze palette) I started back in on actual work.  I hate showing work in progress, but here happen to be the third set i started, shown in progress and with their accompanying sketch.  The title being ever so apropos: it took me a while to get me in and i’m gonna take my time

first works in progresssketchbook


straddle the line of discord and rhyme

A little earlier in the week I was contacted by an independent blogger who found my work through Saatchi and wanted to write about it.  Of course I said yes, I spent the week looking at the blog because work was slow and my mind is always hungry.

Anyway the results can be found here:

if you’ve got time, i recommend reading not only mine but some of the other as well,  they’re quite eloquent and well healed in verse.  She shares thoughts on established artists, writers as well as ones I would not know of if it weren’t for the internet.

below is a shot of the studio


after weighing my aesthetic/functional needs with the old pocketbook, i settled on some delightful and durable faux wood.  Next weekend will start the installing followed by an electrician.

i’ve got some groceries, some peanut butter

the essentials

Soon rabbit they’ll be updates on the set up of the studio and the start of new work.  But for now, literally everything has been boxed up and awaiting the sale of one home and purchase of another.  I’m amazed at how much has been accumulated and how much is left out for just the getting by


There is part of me that feels like I am Gollum sitting on a high throne of all my precious (shoes, pots, books, art) neatly packed and waiting its new home.  There is another part that feels like a hoarder; because there is the stuff I use, the stuff I sometimes use and then the stuff I might someday want or need or just can’t let go even though it’s been in a box for more years than I care to acknowledge and it will either stay there until I am gone and its someone elses job to deal with or until I act.  There is also the stuff that we’ll no longer need but are taking with us, until we are settled and figure out what goes and what stays, ending in a cathartic purge.

Regardless, all the packing and disseminating reminded me of this poem, which is actually much more despondent and depressive in its subject matter than our move, but none the less

All My Pretty Ones
Father, this year’s jinx rides us apart
where you followed our mother to her cold slumber;
a second shock boiling its stone to your heart,
leaving me here to shuffle and disencumber
you from the residence you could not afford:
a gold key, your half of a woolen mill,
twenty suits from Dunne’s, an English Ford,
the love and legal verbiage of another will,
boxes of pictures of people I do not know.
I touch their cardboard faces. They must go.

But the eyes, as thick as wood in this album,
hold me. I stop here, where a small boy
waits in a ruffled dress for someone to come…
for this soldier who holds his bugle like a toy
or for this velvet lady who cannot smile.
Is this your father’s father, this Commodore
in a mailman suit? My father, time meanwhile
has made it unimportant who you are looking for.
I’ll never know what these faces are all about.
I lock them into their book and throw them out.

This is the yellow scrapbook that you began
the year I was born; as crackling now and wrinkly
as tobacco leaves: clippings where Hoover outran
the Democrats, wiggling his dry finger at me
and Prohibition; news where the Hindenburg went
down and recent years where you went flush
on war. This year, solvent but sick, you meant
to marry that pretty widow in a one-month rush.
But before you had that second chance, I cried
on your fat shoulder. Three days later you died.

These are the snapshots of marriage, stopped in places.
Side by side at the rail toward Nassau now;
here, with the winner’s cup at the speedboat races,
here, in tails at the Cotillion, you take a bow,

here, by our kennel of dogs with their pink eyes,
running like show-bred pigs in their chain-link pen;
here, at the horseshow where my sister wins a prize;
Now I fold you down, my drunkard, my navigator,
my first lost keeper, to love or look at later.

I hold a five-year diary that my mother kept
for three years, telling all she does not say
of your alcoholic tendency. You overslept,
she writes. My God, father, each Christmas Day
with your blood, will I drink down your glass
of wine? The diary of your hurly-burly years
goes to my shelf to wait for my age to pass.
Only in this hoarded span will love persevere.
Whether you are pretty or not, I outlive you,
bend down my strange face to yours and forgive you.
Anne Sexton

And for all the whining about possessions, which ultimately come and go, it was harder to pack away the studio and take a break.   I’m looking forward to having a studio, not just a workspace in the garage and getting back to work.  The songs the songs are a calling.

a little to high

Its been ages since a post and I’ve missed being able to work in clay.  But adulting or whatever the kids my age are calling it these days has kept me away (first their is prepping your and closing up shop for the sale)- well the house sold, and the next logical step of purchasing a new one has been slightly out of reach.  This is part and parcel to the market but also has to do with our requirements (i.e. an actual studio space, not just some space in the garage, and a gaming room for my husband along with all those other things you want in a home at the price you are willing to pay)

And I haven’t not been arting, just no ceramics.  And since its been a while I thought i’d share some sketches from the old book, ideas that were originally meant for plates (and still might happen that way) but are now leaning towards drawings.

kate web update1

is it getting better or do you feel the same











 a little brian eno too dark shark with a hint of feminism

a little brian eno too dark shark with a hint of feminism









And I have not been a total wash out in the ceramics arena – I had work accepted into the Third Coast National at K space contemporary gallery in corpus.  I’m glad these are seeing some love and attention from the art world.  I’d been playing with the idea of these for a while, i knew the song, i knew the exact words, but the actual pieces kept failing me.  i  tried a couple of unsuccessful attempts, put them on the shelf, put my sketches on the back burner and worked on other pieces, then came back and tried- lengthening and softening up the overall form, not just the centered area (Skipped the platinum lustre, glad that phase is over) and continued the softness with sandblasting a more circular shape.

dont you prefer a bitter taste to a bitter site

don’t you prefer a bitter taste to a bitter site







rebel rebel

Not long ago David Bowie died, folks took it to hear and then just a little bit farther.

fb was flooded with those saddened and in stunned disbelief, my feed was a parade of videos, images and stories.  There were memorials, tributes, bowie specific art shows and the town i live in (which has no real ties to the man) someone took down a street sign and replaced it with ‘david bowie avenue’ there was even talk about trying to effect this tribute as a permanent change.  for me the display of public mourning seemed production like and maudlin, in fact the continued force of it rubbed me the wrong way.  its always sad when someone you know or appreciate dies.  but this was not a close friend, relative or even some tragic lived fast die young.  this was a person with his own family and life, who happened to be a celebrity and for all case and purposes someone who was blessed with living a long life.

don’t get me wrong, i am not lacking in empathy;  its just his death didn’t make me want to talk about how he influenced me or how he influenced the world around, rather it reminded i am getting older and mortality is always present.

for me Bowie and other celebrities that have been around my entire life (formative years and beyond) have reached the status of familiar. the memory traces i   posses are a culmination of the times and styles we experienced because we have had the good fortune of crossing the same celestial paths at the same time.

drawing between the light and dark

drawing between the light and dark

after graduate school i got a a visiting artist professor position; between teaching and learning the ropes; i kept experimenting and making work, pushing the ideas i had started and focusing on what i wanted my work to convey.  these pieces were the only successful pieces i had to show from that time and in fact findingthe title required almost as much  i settled upon dinosaur jr.s version of quicksand, which to me was ever so slightly less depressing end of your rope than bowie’s  version.  these not only were my first personal success (direction wise)  but they also  really started my art life and career, they were accepted into several shows; including making the catalog cover of Silent Conversations, Craft Alliance, March 16 – May 6, 2007, St. Louis, Missouri