Thursday, October 28, 2010

Graffiti Guy Again

The sharp eye of a Magpie spotted these Graffiti Guys.
Go here to see some others.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just Another Day

A railroad trestle I pass by on my Sunday bike ride, downtown Austin high-rises in the background.

Yarn Bombing on the recycling box at ACC's Rio Grande campus.

My current class site is at Laguna Gloria, where they also have a lot of after-school classes for kids. This tile tacked up on one of the office walls brought me right back to being 8 years old.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When The Moment Is Right

Susan and I laugh a lot at the current Cialis commercial that features the line "When the moment is right....". Now, whenever I do something definitely unromantic (I specialize in those moves) she says "When the moment is right.... kill it."

This video I took made us both crack up.

Susan supplied the final play-by-play:

"She's not paying attention to him.
Not paying any attention.
She's not looking.
She could not possibly care any less.
She's not ready.
Definitely not ready.
Not interested.
Not.  At.  All.

He doesn't even notice!!!!"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Perfection on a Pumpkin: Meredith

At the end of my Sunday bike ride I stop by Whole Foods for coffee and a snack. Today I started taking a lot of pictures of the huge piles of pumpkins and squashes...squashi? .....squashs? ... anyway, those round lumpy things.

All of the sudden, as if by magic, this little girl wandered over and sat down on one of the pumpkins. There is no way I could have ever found a more beautiful model. Or planned a more perfect picture. Thank you, Meredith (and Meredith's Mom), for letting me take and post this picture.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Pots

More pots where the texture became irrelevant as my glazing techinque was too heavy-handed. I've also changed how I'm doing the feet on the pots.

I thought about putting these into my Etsy shop but they've already been claimed by fellow students. As Susan puts it, my "Phantom Etsy Shop." Since she'd be the Etsy Wrangler, just like she's the Blog Wrangler, she's not pushing me toward it. Also, the Student Art Sale, which benefits a scholarship fund, will be coming up in early December so I need to get some work going for that.

Below, the pots before glazing:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hot Pot

A new little pot, just about 5" high. The image below is of the piece before it was fired, with a lot of nice texture showing. Here is The Teaching Moment:
Do you want your texture to show?
Then don't cover it up with a thick glaze.

I like the pot anyway and am working on other pieces that are similar.

Both the glaze and the clay for this pot were High-Fire. This means the piece has to be fired at a high temperature, Cone 10, which means "Very Hot".

Friday, October 8, 2010

Obedience School

Above are two unfired pots I've made recently, both are made with Raku clay.  Just so you know I have been working.

My classes are taught through Austin Community College and this semester the class I'm in is scheduled out at Laguna Gloria. This is a great location and, aside from being able to find a parking space, it's a heavily wooded area right on the lake where peacocks have free-range permission to roam the campus and audit any class they like. In the videos below you'll see just a few of the many I see every time I'm out there. This guy was probably waiting for someone to open the door for him and let him in the classroom.

I don't see that he has any ears or he would have obeyed me because I definitely have an authoritative and commanding voice.

Did you know peacocks came in brown and white as well as the typical blue-green? The coloring could easily be a gender thing but I'm not checking under their feathers to tell you who is what.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh, My Aching Back

Susan speaks:
This Blog Wrangler isn't doing much wrangling lately. I'm fine except for my back which got painfully wrenched when I bent down to pick up the newspaper. This same kind of back pull had also happened few months ago (and many times before that) but this time it seemed really bad. So I decided it was time to see an orthopedic surgeon to make sure I hadn't really messed up some sort of bone or disc.

I'm doing minimal Blog Wrangling (or even looking at other people's blogs) because the most painful position is sitting. I can manage about 5-10 minutes at a time. Careful walking is ok, I'm swimming my laps, but I'm also getting a lot of couch time and a lot of books read.
Don wasn't too sure how bad I really felt until I came home from the doctor and said I'd be getting some x-rays and an MRI on my lower back to be sure it wasn't a bad bone thing. An MRI? The big "Happy Box" they slide you into? Yep. Then he knew I was really hurting because I am VERY claustrophobic.

How claustrophobic am I? VERY, VERY.

We used to scuba dive in Hawaii and dive in and out of lava tubes, which are long underwater caves that thread along the coast line. For years we dove with some really great Dive Masters, Tom and Lisa of Dive Makai. They taught us a lot about underwater life, how to dive carefully, and how to manage your air supply. They loved to take us in the lava tubes to see creatures visible only with dive lights deep in the back of the tube.
We would slide in to the tubes slowly and carefully, tubes so small our tanks would bang on the top and our bellies would be scraping on lava rubble, single file, until we got near the end where we could shine our lights on some incredible little creature. Then we would carefully slide on past, out the back opening of the tube into open water. This would take about  20 minutes total. I did this one time. Just once.
On future dives my choice was go into the lava tubes with everyone else or to follow along the outer edge of the lava flow area, around to the other side, to wait at the back opening of the lava tube for everyone to come through. Unfortunately, the outer edge took you into an area where sharks often cruised. Here were my choices: in a small dark lava tube or out in the open, by myself, with sharks. Three guesses which one I took.

How did I manage the MRI? Since only a small part of my back had to be imaged it was not more than 20 minutes in the machine. And I survived it all thanks to the miracles of modern medicine: A lot, a whole lot, of Valium. I kept my eyes closed. I made them put me in feet first. They played a CD I brought. I was zonked out. I might have even fallen asleep except that MRI scanners are unbelievably noisy, even with the sound-muffling headphones they put on me, and the bed rattled and shook at times. I thought it would be soundless. Thank you, Valium, I love you.

Lucky, lucky me. Not bad bone or disc things, just degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis which I put in the category of "Growing Old is Not For Sissies". A lot of Advil and physical therapy are on the horizon.

Eventually you'll get more of Don back on his blog. He has pictures for you.