Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Adorn Me - Over the Top Hinged Bracelet

Here's my effort from Richard Salley's class at AdornMe. The red piece is an enamed cone I made in another class. The center pieces are straw but if I had had more time I would have used tiny copper rods with little bead ends (not that hard to make but time was short).  Below are some of my classmates masterpieces (if I have your name wrong, please let me know so I can correct it). I'm still in awe at the level of creativity I find in these classes.

 Jessica Papke

 Kelly Schroeder

 Sherrie Drummond

 Jayme Savage Stoutt

 Janis Cowell

 Rene Lindquist

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Adorn Me - All Choked Up

All Choked Up was taught at AdornMe by Richard Salley.  We all started out with a piece of bicycle chain and some PVC pipe. My result is shown above and I plan to do a lot of adjusting of the doodads hanging down and will add a lot more.

Michelle Goodyear

Rob McDonald

Kim St. Jean

Tish Reed
A very meticulous artist, she didn't have much added at the
 end of class but had the most precise and evenly spaced copper coils in the class.
Mike McMillen
Our class "ringer" -- an accomplished artist.
And an all-around great guy to be in class with.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Adorn Me - Mixed Metal Milagros

Most people in this class, taught by Richard Salley at AdornMe, actually made things with their enameled pieces (see pictures at the bottom of this post). Me? I just kept practicing the enameling stuff. Eventually these pieces might get worked into something. Or maybe I'll just keep admiring their colors. Susan's favorites are the rolled cones which I learned to make right at the end of class or else there would be more of them.
If I'm showing your piece below, let me know and I'll add your name to this post.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Adorn Me - Tool Making 101

Earlier this month I spend 6 days in Houston at the annual Adorn Me art retreat. The site is an Embassy Suites with great breakfasts in the morning and a manager's Happy Hour every evening. All classes focus on jewelry or something closely related and I have a great time revisiting old friends, learning new stuff, shopping at the vendor show and just having time that is 100% art-related with no pressure.

This year my instructor for all classes except one was Richard Salley. Usually I have several different instructors but this time I just happened to want to sample everything Richard had to offer.  In Tool Making 101 we made steel tools that can be used for jewelry making or, in my case, mark-making on ceramic sculptures. We actually used the tools we made in a class the next day, Repouss√© Without Pitch.

The picture below is Richard, working with my friend EJ.
If you are interested in taking some of Richard's classes, check out the ArtUnraveled website -- look for me there this August (don't worry about the heat, you'll be inside in class all day).
More pictures of my classes to come in the next few days.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lucinda Hutson's Garden

Today I ran an errand and took a back street I'd never been on before. I saw a woman working in her front yard garden and was so impressed by the garden and her house that I stopped.  Her garden was fantastic and so was her house, so I took some pictures. She was very friendly and chatted with me about her garden and even gave me some plants for my yard.

When I got home I started to tell this to Susan and said "Her name is Lucinda...."
Susan: "Wait. I bet I know who she is, she's Lucinda Hutson and she's a famous cookbook author."

How in the hell does Susan know all this stuff? The day my wife stops amazing me with the bits of surprising or unusual or obscure or miniscule or arcane information she has retained will be the day I stop breathing.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from her yard and colorful house.  I hope you'll check out her website for lots more information, and not just because she wrote a Tequila cookbook.

To make this art related, here is a picture of some pieces that are going to be fired soon.  The largest is about 5" tall, most are about 2-3" tall.  Three different kinds of clay and 5 different glazes.  We'll see.....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Problems Are So Small

You can build storm and tornado shelters, you can barricade yourself in your home, you can earthquake-proof your buildings and have all sorts of alerts and alarms but there is nothing you can do to stop a tsunami.
Photos: AP, Reuters, AFP

Monday, March 14, 2011

Getting Blood Out Of A Turnip

We're working on our taxes. See you in a few days.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

James Tisdale, Thoughts from China

James Tisdale was my first ceramics instructor. I am continually inspired by the diversity in his work and in awe of his unlimited creativity. These pictures were taken as he installed the "Thoughts from China" show.

James Tisdale
Thoughts from China

"This new body of work is created through the experiences of my recent residency in Jingdezhen, China.

It is a reflection of moments that changed my perspective on both a large and small scale. The trip taught me to refine, to shed and to simplify my life and, in turn, my work. It is a reminder to find the importance in my life and to release that which becomes only a burden.

This can be seen directly in the simplicity of the figure, their sufaces, and their relationship to one another, as well as their environment."
James' work will be up March 4 - April 1 at AMOA-Laguna Gloria Gatehouse Gallery in Austin.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day

Over the years I've tried to get in touch with my feminine side. That's another way of telling you that I've watched Susan over the years and I have paid attention to what she says and does and what has happened to her at work and in society.

I do all the laundry, can iron somewhat, do dishes a lot, and am learning everyday how to cook better. When I'm not doing the cooking, I'm the sous-chef. I've learned to scramble to make dinner within 30 minutes of walking in the door after a long day at school. I'm trying to get better at multi-tasking -- like answering the phone while I'm stirring something on the stove and monitoring what's in the oven so it won't burn. Fortunately, I don't have to be watching a kid while I'm doing this.

All of these things are probably making you women, especially the mothers, laugh because you know you do all of this instinctively, with one hand tied behind your back. Some of you do it after spending a full day working at a paying job outside the home.

Women, you deserve better than you are getting.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Susan speaks:
This little guy was taking a sunbath today on the edge of my spraypaint table out on our deck. It's continuing to be in the 70s and sunny every afternoon so lizards/chameleons/geckos are showing up everywhere. The gunk on the table is overspray from the online stencil class I took over a year ago.

The first project was to make a portfolio for your work. I used some old corrugated cardboard, sprayed the living daylights out of my stuff and then duct taped the front and back together along one side. If I had been energetic I would have made some sort of tie for it but I do have my limits. Photos below show the front, back and insides.

Both Petya and Inessa were given the same spraypaint stencil treatment.

Today Don comes back from 5 days of jewelry-making classes at AdornMe in Houston. Most of his classes are Process oriented, not Product, but he should have some pictures of some stuff to post soon ("soon" depends on me, of course).

What did I do while he was gone? Well, I got up in the morning and had nothing to do and by the time I went to bed I had done half of it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Going My Way and James Tisdale

This is what is on the wall in front of me as I work in my garage ("The South Studio"). If you can't read the quote, here it is:

All that restraint he showed on other
 pieces came out in a big creative fart
 that he couldn't hold in any longer.

These are some of the mark-making tools I use. I've raided Susan's button drawer and glued some stuff onto corks to make stamps.

This is some work by James Tisdale, the first ceramics artist I took a class from. He continues to amaze me with his creativity and he's always patient when I ask questions, even though I'm not in his class.