Posts Tagged ‘ceramics’

Finally, a proper winter has perhaps arrived? Temperatures were bitterly cold last week just as they should be in mid January. Cold enough to freeze the snot in your nose and give you one of those ice cream headaches. So I hunkered down and immersed myself in a fascinating new book about the studio potter Michael Cardew. That still qualifies as work, no? The book is called;

The Last Sane Man

The book is stimulating those creative juices again. I have enjoyed gazing at the sturdy pots that he made, so much so that I have dug out my sketchbooks and sharpened my pencils. Solid, practical forms that look as though they would feel comfortable in the users hands. Thanks to one of my former instructors at Sheridan for the heads up on the book. Nice one Tony Clennell!

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Did I scare you? You don’t need to rub your eyes because I didn’t play a real trick on you. Are you surprised that I glazed another pot this deep colour?  Yes, I must be in my blue phase again. The cobalt really does pop out when I open the kiln lid and this vibrant blue colour stands in the middle of a sea of white vessels. I just reread that last sentence and holy schmokes I could be a poet!  Where do I find such inspiration? “A sea of white vessels”…….you heard it here first folks.  I could be famous (only in my own mind I am, really).

Remember to Keep Calm and Carry Yarn.

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Lately, I have been inspired to work on some new pieces in the studio.  Often I will work on something, then need to put it aside to wait while it sets up.  As I am still in the thinking stages of my latest project I will randomly wander over to a shelf and just look at what has accumulated.  Then I wonder what was I thinking when I found that such-and-such. This is good for my brain, as it fires off ideas that may seem wacky at first, but then boils down into something productive. Ironically, the things in my head are related directly to my photography as of late. What a coincidence, as you can see an old Kodak tourist camera.  Notice the bellows?  I just recently added another camera to my collection that has bellows….a B&J 4X5 press camera from the 1940’s.  Now I just have to get one of those spiffy press hats.  I have already bought the film for it!

The B&J won’t be hanging out on the shelf in the studio.  No way I am going to get dust and soot on that puppy.  It may partake in a photo shoot or two.  I may need to wear my welder’s goggles after looking at that flash. I could light up a small village with that.

So here is what I was gazing at last week, and then gazing through the lenses of my Yashica-A Twin Lens camera.  Feel free to let me know if you are inspired by anything you see through the viewfinder.

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A good friend asked me if I ever took photographs of birds when I am out and about with various cameras.  I realized that maybe only once and that was out whale watching outside of Tofino.  Way up in an ancient tree was a beautiful and majestic eagle.  At the time I was using a Minolta SLR that I was still learning to use and had forgotten to attach the zoom lens.  Who needs a zoom with whales I remember thinking “whales are huge”.  Serves me right, as the eagle looked more like a sparrow in my small lens.

I have learned my lesson.  I asked said friend what type of birds would you like on a mug and she wasn’t fussy.  So this spring I have patiently waited for a cluster of birds (crows, something with good contrast) to land on a great formed tree out in the countryside.  Never happened.  But, eventually while throwing large wedding bowls I could hear a kerfuffle out in the back tree in my yard. Fortunately my camera with good lens was nearby and I was able to clean my clay covered hands before tweety and his pals decided to head for a bigger tree.  I would not describe this image as having qualities that would interest National Geographic, but my friend is happy with the end result.

I am learning that the images I photograph on film do need a little spit and polish before they translate well to my pots. However I am enjoying the process.

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If you may have been misguided in thinking that all I do now is play with plastic cameras….. I do in fact still throw pots in the studio.  These are for an order that will eventually make it’s way to the UK (ash clouds permitting).  These make nice tumblers for all sorts of beverages, my favourite just so happens to be wine, hence the title of the blog entry today.  I am a potter who thinks it is important to test her work in the “real world”, and if you are like me, then you may enjoy some fine wine on the odd (cough, ahem) occasion.  I’ll have to get my best pal Peter, the official Sommelier to also give them a test run.

In case you have been following me from the start of my blog, these will look like the Wee Cups with the Oak tree. If you haven’t, we’ll I suggest you pour yourself a glass of vino and get reading!  Not on a lovely day though, a rainy one, where you are procrastinating about your taxes or wrestling with the hoover.

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In case you may have wondered if I had fallen off of the planet, I just have been consumed with productivity in the studio.  This is the mad time of year, when people get all excited about purchasing handcrafted pottery made by yours truly.  I love this time of year!  Although, I always seem to come up with so many brilliant new ideas, and just not enough time to get them all done!  Then, I always seem to misplace the notebook where I jotted all of those ideas down.  In truth, there is a certain little person in the house who has taken to hoarding my little notebooks!  At this point, I know where all of his ‘secret’ hiding spaces are.

Come out and enjoy the show, and say Hello!

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Yesterday I enjoyed the lovely sun and warm temperatures and took the time to shoot some photos of my work. Then I spent the entire afternoon post-processing them to sell on my etsy page.

This morning while I was out walking with my beloved and the pooch (we had a sitter for the wee one, don’t panic), apparently I was on the Front Page of etsy and not only that, but the piece sold! How exciting! Plus, the yarn bowl is going to Kalamazoo!! I have always wanted to add that to one of my destinations.

So I spent the rest of the day making more…yarn bowls!

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When Mali Comes to Me, originally uploaded by claygrl.

I am a huge fan of West African music. I also really love the music of local talented gal, Tannis Slimmon. Imagine my good fortune to see two amazing artists at my Guelph Pottery & Sculpture Festival. Did I mention that I also love bogolan or mudcloth? Check out the great poncho that Jah is wearing. Notice the hut? I love it!!

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A Stitch In Time, originally uploaded by claygrl.

I’m bunting away, making lots of festive bunting to celebrate the upcoming Guelph Pottery & Sculpture Festival this coming weekend! This bunting will be nice and colourful!!!! As will the pots and potters in attendance. Come and see;

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Mugging For the Camera, originally uploaded by claygrl.

Here is the office for us potters in the summer, outside in the fresh air! Goldie Sherman is decorating these mugs (thrown by me) with her artistic flair and fun designs. It has been great to work together on this huge mug and bowl project, lots of laughter and deep conversations. The hens are great at keeping us in line and stop us from getting sidetracked!

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