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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Work at Charlie Cummings Gallery for "Cup: The Intimate Object VII"

I wanted to let any of those that don't know about the new show up at the Charlie Cummings Gallery in Gainesville, FL, it is amazing and you should check it out as soon as possible.  Charlie has put together a phenomenal collection of cups from somewhere around one hundred and fifty artists to have a cup show with over six hundred cups in all.  Not to mention the logistical nightmare of all of those cups coming in at once,  to photograph and post all of them for the masses to see and buy, and to have such a great group of potters is awesome.  I'm honored to be a part of it.  I have included a few of the cups that I sent for the show, all of the photos are taken by the gallery and are great shots.  
I have been having fun with making these hipped cup forms for a little while now and they're really engaging me.  I am really interested in the new movement and energy that they put out and also how the surfaces can have an even greater dialogue with the form, texture and new movement.  I haven't put many out into the world yet, but they're heading there now and we will see how they're received.  

Here's the link to my page:  Cup: The Intimate Object VII.

I am also still really exited about how these pots have such a strong profile but are really flattening out more and more.  There is this Flatiron building in downtown Syracuse that I drove past the other day and have looked at a lot in the past, but there is a certain point that you can stand while looking at the building, and due to a shift in the end of the architecture the building almost looks like a paper cutout.  The building completely flattens out in such an illusionistic way that it is very disorienting.  I love that.  I want some of my pots to have that same quality, and that same strong profile and these are starting to really do that.  I like when the studio energy is really crackling. 

I really need to have that energy going right now as the spring is really stacking up.  I have gotten in to two more retail craft shows in the first half of the year.  One of which is the Craft-boston Spring show that I did last year and really enjoyed.  It will be interesting to do it again and not have the enormous overhead of making a booth, travel and truck rental, etc. that made the profit from sales of work practically null.  I am also going to do the Paradise City show in Northampton, MA on memorial day weekend so i should have a full schedule with just that.  I know what my winter break will consist of this semester break, and I can't wait.  Bring it on.

Thanks to Charlie Cummings for the great photos.  My hopes to a great show.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I love this time of year.

This time of the year is awesome. My morning commute felt like I was in another world, with thick fog and low light. It feels as though the air is changing and light is following. I love the light of fall in it's warmth and depth. There was just a group show that opened at the Cazenovia College art gallery that dealt with the idea of dwelling. Sanders Watson's paintings that are in the show made me think of this type of light and a very particular time of day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Columbus/DVD filming fun

Well, it's done. The DVD is a rap and tomorrow I head back to New York. This has been a great time and I met some great people and got to know a pretty great place while I was at it. The last time I was in Columbus Ohio was for the 1999 NCECA here and it left a good impression on me. I'm not sure if it was because I was in college and getting to know what happens at NCECA, but I would like to think that it was the combo of that and the fact that it was a pretty great town.
This trip firmed up the fact that I do really like Columbus. The DVD filming was great and it was really interesting to go through the process. It is super strange to talk to a camera instead of a person, but that slowly dissolved over the last two days. The Ceramics Monthly folks are awesome, as are the American Ceramics Society folks and it was great getting to know them over a few beers. This was the studio where we shot, and it was a really nice community studio/gallery and seemed like it had some really great things going on.

The other thing that I discovered thanks to Jen Harnetty, is Jeni's Splendid ice Cream. this is unbelievable ice cream. We went last night to get a cone and I was blown away. I took a walk this evening after supper and wouldn't you know it but I ended up back there...and along with the small cone I got I also got a shirt. I will wear it with pride. Highly recommended with a trip to columbus.
Be on the lookout for the release date for the DVD as it should be out by NCECA Seattle next year. I'll post more about the filming later when it has a chance to sink in.

This was Jenni's ice cream with the line out the door. I guess others in Columbus know it's good too.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

South Carolina nostalgic

Saw this clip today and it made me think back to June while on vacation with Fam and Friend on Folly Beach, South Carolina. Sam Snyder of Headwaters and I had the fun of spending an evening stalking Redfish on gorgeous salt flats in absolutely beautiful weather. We learned just how hard it is to sight fish to tailing reds and only had the pleasure of casting to a few of them. It makes me want to go back, both for the fun of being on vacation with family and friends as well as for the potential to hook up with one of these beauties. Happy viewing and thanks to Carolina Fly for the facebook post, much appreciated.

Morning cup of coffee

These are the mornings that I love. The semester is barreling down, and the pressures of getting things ordered, meetings getting scheduled and upcoming registration, new schedules, new syllabi etc are all crowding my mind, but then there are the things that remind you that the moment itself is awesome.
I am a firm believer that the handmade cup can save the world, and this morning was no different. Today's choice is a great Victoria Christien mug which is one of my recent favorites. But while I sat at the table, with the sounds of the kids coloring in the other room, I was reminded why I love where I live. At this point in the year you get a slight hint of the changing of the seasonal weather patterns. It's colder at night and the new crop of foods beginning to be harvested. The beauty of fresh local peaches and the first picked Paula red apples is a great example. Summer and fall are intermingling, and they are sitting on my dining room table smiling at me.

The kiln is being fired now, getting prepped and ready for the journey Monday to Ohio to begin production on the DVD. New work in the kiln is exiting and it has been nice to be able work on some new shapes recently and I like the things that are happening in the studio lately. Things will be out and assembled tomorrow, and I'll try to post some images before heading to Columbus. The coolness if the night was evident in the fog across the road from the house and studio, and the morning sun lit everything up is a great way. The perfect start to the day, all starting as usual with a good cup of coffee.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Filming for American Ceramic Society

I am going to try this blog updating thing a bit more regularly, although I do keep saying that, and hopefully I will be a bit better at sharing some thoughts, updates and developments with everyone out there. The studio and life have been busy, and I have been currently getting ready for the upcoming filming of an instructional DVD that will be filmed by the Ceramics Monthly/American Ceramics Society about my process and techniques. I filmed the short version during a workshop at Funke Fired Arts in Cincinnati back in march, check it out here, and was asked afterward to do one that was full length and much deeper in content and process. It so far has been an interesting yet different experience from some of the regular studio processes. In preparation for it I been building the work in triplicate so that I can get things to various stages of completion and then will build them again for the film. I am the type of maker that never seems to make the "same" work multiple times. I have pots that I make consistently, but I am constantly tweaking shapes or playing with proportions, forms and volumes and color are always evolving. I have also been working with some templates recently to assist is some more geometric or calculated shapes so for this process I has been a good tool for multiples.
I find that it is good process to work in series, I can see the smaller nuances in the forms that I am working on. New forms come from this and the process evolves repeatedly and some really informative things emerge. This process has been the opposite. I have been particular about size and dimension, height, volume and measurement and I am trying to make things so that I can do the Julia Childs from cake batter to cake in no wait time, and it will seem to the viewer that I am working on one piece start to finish, being fast tracked to keep it condensed and interesting.

I am pretty excited by this new shape that I am working on. I have always been interested in implements and other non-ceramic utilitarian objects and references have always shown up in the work. Bu this pot is a little bi more literal. I found draftsman's plans for tin forming and there were some diagrams for flared tin pans. I have been wanting to make some bucket forms for a while, and this bucket is a variation on that tin pan shape. It will get a bail type handle and a ceramic handle grip. I'm sure I will develop over the next little while, but it will make it's debut in the video. Until next time, cheers.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Fever

chasing hatches from RA Beattie on Vimeo.

I have posted this before, but due to the feeling of spring this little clip really helps me get exited. The fish always seem to be a little dumber in the spring, maybe its the colder water. Regardless I hope to get out on it really soon. Enjoy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Show at Szozda Gallery, Syracuse NY, Opens this friday!

Hey all that are in the area. This show is opening on friday, April 8th 5:00 - 8:00. If you are able stop down, it should be a good one. I will have 23 pieces in the show so it should be a pretty good collection and Karen Thomas-Lillie's painting are spectacular. Dont miss it!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

CraftBosotn and NCEcA wrapped up

Well, another two month have passed and I am glad to admit that the reason that I have been away is due to the fact that I have been buried in the studio. As I had said in my last post, I had been prepping for a social and research/development experiment by doing Craftboston, a handcraft retail show in Boston that ran from Thursday the 23rd of March through Sunday the 27th. I haven't done one of these before but was invited by the Director as a "Directors Choice" exhibitor so I though I should take the opportunity. After all of the three+ A.M. mornings had been logged, the late nights designing, constructing, and finishing the booth, kilns had been fired, trucks had been loaded, and all of the necessary "i's" had been dotted and "t's" crossed I set out with my Sister in Law, Carolyn, towards Boston. I really didn't know what to expect. Up until this point I had normally boxed up pots and sent them away. The gallery would then take over and it was hands off for me. I would either receive a check, or a box of pots back after the show closed. Of course I would always hope for the prior, but it wasn't always the case in full, but it was up to the gallery owner/director to really sell the work.
So we pulled into Boston Wednesday afternoon and unloaded the truck. The booth framing was set up in order to hang floating wall panels. I have a number of things from plates to tiles that I tend to display on the wall. I feel that they are more dynamic and are more about color and texture, less about function or service when they are on the wall so needed a way to get them off the horizontal surface. These panels allowed me to do that plus give a more economical use of space. I also put green AstroTurf down as a flooring material. I love the relationship that my work has to the landscape and wanted to pull some of those things in through background color.
The tables went up next in order to put out the rest of the work. I wanted to have a nice, recognizably domestic surface to be able to put the work on and I wanted the structures to be visibly light, airy and unobtrusive. The other challenge that I was faced with here was to make a space that fit in a ten by ten booth space but could be flat enough to use little real estate in the back of the truck, yet fill the space nicely when set up. The tables were built with detachable legs that once off can fit inside the under cavity of the table.Then we needed to unpack and set out the work. I think that we came with about seventy to ninety pots in all, and had enough space to put out just over half of them.

The folks at Craftboston, who are not only awesome to work with, but also took care of putting my images all over publication materials. Come to find out images were used in three to four of the major Boston area newspapers including the Boston Globe, there was an image used in one of the subway lines, and when we were in the middle of setting up, I looked up and this was what I saw.
The Director of the Society of Arts and Crafts, Beth Anne Gernstein, came by at one point and when I had commented on the amount of publicity she said, "If you don't sell anything, it's your own fault."
So Thursday came and was all about tweaking things. We finished setting up the lighting and got all of the work that needed to be out, out. The preview party was that night, was a sucess and set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

One of the great things about this experience was the face to face research and development that i was able to do with the people who came into the booth and also the people that bought work. I got a lot of great feedback about color for one. People really responded well to the saturation and color palette that I was using. People for the most part were responding to the color and how it made them feel, and almost all of them stood in the booth and smiled while they looked at the work. Another great thing that came out of the show was the networking and connections that were made with galleries, craft centers, and potential outlets for my work in the New England area. I knew that this would be an opportunity to work on those connections, and made it a point to be as professional as possible with my materials, and have a feeling that the financial and professional returns from this show will continue on for some time.
Boston was great, we had a lot of great food and great drink, we met a lot of great people and saw and incredible amount of outstanding handcraft. I think the gallery at home will pick up some new accounts and get in some new work. Carolyns help was immeasurable and her extra set of hands plus the company while driving for six hours was invaluable. I hope to return next year and do the show again.
So I returned from Boston, had two days to spend with the little ones and a few classes to teach and then it was off to Tampa Florida for the 40th annual NCECA conference on the ceramic arts. I had work in the Resonance show, put on by the university of Florida and curated by Nan Smith and Ray Gonzales, plus I felt like i needed to recharge my batteries on the thinking end of things. NCECA has probably 80 shows of contemporary work that is up for the week of the conference and all of that work begs to be looked at. Having done my graduate work at University of Florida in Gainesville Florida, it was also like a home-coming of sorts.. So many colleagues, friends both new and old, Mentors and artists were reconnected with, many of whom I hadn't seen in an incredible amount of time. Two of those Mentors and friends, David MacDonald and Linda Arbuckle received lifetime achievement awards. The reason that I teach is because of the the passion displayed by the two of them and it was awesome to see them be awarded for their passion.
Florida of course, was amazing. After the winter that we have had in Central NY I think that sarah and I both needed a little break that included some sun. We got there just in time for torrential rains to arrive and to have an amazing dinner with the Snyders who have been lovingly married for 40 years. These two people are incredably loving and sharing people and it was wonderful that they included us in the evening. We had the pleasure of sharing the night with some amazing minds in the world of ceramics as well as some amazing object makers. It was unbelieveable and we went home beyond stuffed. Thursday was like a hurricane, litterally, and gave me great flashbacks of our time here. High winds and torrential downpours kept us inside for most of the day, but didnt keep us from getting out to see shows and making it to the opening of Resonance at The Studio at 620. Friday and Saturday were both outstanding days and the weather only got better and better. The egret that is above came up to the back door at the house we were staying at while we were eating lunch on Saturday. It seems that they are drawn to food because morons choose to feed them human food.
The weekend at a glace couldn't get much better, but later found out that indeed it could. Once the conference was over we wanted to spend a bit of time with our friend John who had been putting us up (or putting up with us...not sure which). With business done we decided to have a dip in the gulf. What trip to Florida is complete without a bit of saltwater on the skin. Took a swim, and then headed home to eat some dinner. John being a birder said that he had a spot that we could go to check out a little wildlife and take a walk to get some air. We went to a local park/state wildlife area and one of the most amazing thing happened. He knew that there were a couple of Barred Owls that were nesting in this area and he managed to call one of them out. After a couple of seconds of calling, this giant owl silently swooped down over our heads and flew up to purch in the tree behind us and continually told us to get the hell out of there. It wa samazing. The perfect end to an incredible two weeks. Now to get home and spend some time with the kids, and to get back out in the studio to make some more work. I'll keep you all posted.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back to it?

Well, it's been two months since the last post. Maybe I can say that I have been so busy that I haven't been able to find the time to post which is true. The studio has been rocking and I can't seem to keep up which is awesome. I was asked to do a retail show through The Society of Arts And Crafts called CraftBoston this march in Boston. I thought long and hard about it and finally decided to gove it a go. It is a huge commitment both work wise and financially but I figured it would be a good experience. I always thought that maybe a couple of these a year may be able to get a bit more work out there as well as keep the fire lit under my backside (not to mention a little bit more cash in the bank). I will keep this up to date over the next couple of months to document the process so I can see it in reverse at the end of the whole thing. The link to the show is on the CraftBoston website.

I am also getting ready to head to Cincinnati to give a workshop at the Potters Council Surface and Form conference/workshop. The format is a little different and I will be giving two half day workshops, one Saturday and one Sunday and they are set up a bit like a condensed working period. I am going to attempt to bring a couple of unfired pots in a carry on and hope that they get there safely in order to do some surface demonstration and discussion on Terra Sig and low fire finishes. Its sort of like a Julia Childs episode where she puts the food in the oven and then pulls out the finished casserole with no time wasted. Build, finish, slip. Should be interesting, just hope that i can pack it all into the allotted time. I'll try to post some pictures and things from the workshop.