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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.