Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Niches Again

More niches. One of them seemed just right for a head I'd made awhile back. The glaze on these niches is an attempt to duplicate the effects I'd had on the test cups. I think I got pretty close in my efforts. Each niche is only about 7-8 inches high.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The First Niche

As usual, I am heading off in a new direction. Anytime I start ricocheting between a lot of different ideas my Blog Wrangler reminds me that behavior is often referred to as "farting in a colander." But I am continuing to make little cups.

This niche is only about 6" high and hangs on the wall (see photo below). There are a number of ceramic artists who make niches and at this time I'm still developing the technique so my work is very derivative and similar to theirs. Eventually I'll feel more comfortable making the niches and then my work will become more individual and mine.

I'm enjoying making these because it gives me a place to display some of the odds and ends of metal pieces I've acquired over the years. Also, a while back I was ripping apart dolls (here and here) and maybe now some of those body parts will find their way into these niches.

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Cups

Two more cups came out of the kiln with glazes I like. My problem now is that I like each glaze treatment I used on the "test cups" but I need to pick just one to focus on. Or maybe two. Or maybe three. Any suggestions here? The one with the rough edges is interesting but a little hard to casually pick up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Cups

No, this isn't about bras.

Remember when I started making cups instead of test tiles? They were to check out different glazes and effects. Go here if you don't remember what started this all.

These are two of the latest ones that I'm very pleased with (more to come once I get them photographed). They are only 3 -4 inches high and I'll think about selling them at our Spring Student Art Show (April 20). Or maybe not. I've mentioned selling them on Etsy to my Blog Wrangler but she runs off screaming anytime I say anything about something that will require her to spend more time on the computer. And there's no way I can figure all of this out -- I'm still puzzled about how to listen to voice mail on my cellphone.

Just For The Record
(in case you wanted deeper insight into my creaky old soul)
Two Netflix DVDs recently viewed that I gave 5 Stars to:

Goodbye Solo
The Band's Visit

Friday, March 19, 2010



Our taxes are done and we have paid our part to keep our inept government afloat.

Inept? Our Senate and House of Representatives spend all their time squabbling and arguing with each other, claiming and reclaiming their "turf". They never learned how to play together, like most of us learned by the time we got to kindergarten. Therefore, little really gets accomplished. Probably a lot more would get done if we banned all television coverage of any elected official.

But we give them our tax money anyway.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Chain Gang

Above is a coil of rebar wire. And below is the chain I made from a piece of the rebar wire.

The class was Keith LoBue's Chain Gang, click here to see the video of our jump ring assembly line in action. Susan was vaguely interested in it as a bracelet but only if I could permanently fasten it together (yes). Then she had second thoughts about that causing a problem with metal detectors at places like the airport and at the courthouse (she has jury duty).

I was pleased that I was (finally) able to consistently make shapes that are alike and go together with continuity.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Guy Jewelry

I made this piece in Richard Salley's Skulls, Wings and Rusty Things class at Adorn Me! last week. When you go to Richard's website (here) you'll think it just shows his picture. But watch carefully. That's cool. How does he do that?

I like Richard's classes because we hammer, rivet, drill, saw and torch things. And I'm usually the only guy in the class.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Adorn Me! and Risë, The EGE, Janis, and EJ

Did I have a good time? You bet. One of the cool things was getting to meet Risë Freeman-Zachery and her husband, The EGE, wearing some great jeans. As I told Susan, this pictures doesn't do him justice and she probably would consider him definitely a G. Go here to see what Risë really looks like and for more details on The EGE.

Risë is an artist, a writer for Somerset Magazines, an author of several books (her newest one is Living the Creative Life), has a website, a blog, a Fan Page, does podcasts, is on? in? does? Twitter, and still finds time to hang out with ordinary people like me at AdornMe!. She probably even knows, unlike me, how to text.

Below is a sample of what happens in a class at AdornMe! (or ArtUnraveled). You can see my "spiffy" toolcase on the table, Janis is wondering what I'm doing and EJ is just barely visible past Janis. We have set up our own assembly line to make jump rings and they both need me to get back in my place and back to work.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ancient Shield

Susan speaks:
For the past few days Don has been in Houston at the AdornMe art workshops, with his "spiffy" (thanks, Marie) new tool case. Therefore, quiet bliss here at home!

Carol was in Richard Salley's Ancient Shield Pendant class with him and was generous enough to snap a picture of his work and email it to me. (Obviously, Mr. Non-Techie didn't take a laptop with him and has a dumb, not smart, phone.) More details and photos about the classes and people there to come, so stay tuned.

What about his ceramics? He has several ideas about ways to incorporate his jewelry work, his metalsmithing and his junk metal pieces into his ceramic pieces. Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Getting Carried Away

I have just had a big lesson day on stenciling, thanks to Susan. This is my "suitcase", purchased el cheapo from Harbor Freight, for my jewelry-making and metalsmithing tools. It was way too shiny and prissy looking and seemed like a case that drug smugglers would use.

Now it is obviously the case of an ARTIST, thank you very much. The curly circle stencil shape was one I even cut myself, the foot and shoe were ones Susan had previously cut.

As you can see, loading up a case for jewelry classes takes a lot of work. And the overflow goes in the other big bag. Stuff multiplies when you aren't looking.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Good Start For A Good Day

Very early every Friday morning before class starts, I meet at Einstein's Bagels for coffee and conversation with Yetta (on my left), Mary, and Mike Grafa, our instructor. We talk about who has been where, what we've seen and done, our aches and pains, and good places to eat. Seldom do we talk about our clay work. Then we walk 2 blocks back up the hill to school and just get to work with clay. For many years in the soul-sucking corporate world I had to meet people for coffee and use the time to talk to them about financial products that might be useful to them. Not enjoyable.

Now, finally, I have coffee with people who make me feel good.

Ceramic piece by Mike Grafa