Sunday, October 30, 2011

Raku Penguins

My latest Penguin/Pod People. These have been raku fired, frantically, on the one day we had rain. The crackle is characteristic of the technique, as is the grey which is the smoke set into the clay. Raku firing is very spontaneous and you can plan all you want and the fire will do just exactly what it wants to do. So my plan with raku firing is to not plan.

They stand about 6" high. The picture below shows them at another angle.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ice Ink

Are you asking yourself "Now what?" (Sort of like this?)

Very simple. Take sumi ink and pour it into an old ice cube tray, a little in each compartment. Freeze it. Then put the frozen cubes on some heavy paper and let them melt. You'll be impatient and pick the paper up and move the cube around and blow on it and all sorts of odd things will happen.

Ok, you ask "But still, now what?" Well, eventually I'm going to do something with these and all I can say for now is that is is related to coffee. Stay tuned.

If you are the curious sort (aren't all of us?) you might try freezing some other kinds of ink or poster paints (especially for kids). The paper needs to be the heavy-duty watercolor paper so it won't warp too much.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kervin, At Last

If you look at the previous post of Kervin (named after my barber, who gave me the antlers) you'll notice there doesn't seem to be much difference.  Sometimes, but not always, Less is More. Sometimes, and actually most often, this is a tough thing for me to realize. But this time I think I got it right.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Do Doodle

When I was at ArtUnraveled I took a class from Traci Bautista. It was called "Doodles Unleashed" and oh yes, I can unleash my Doodle. In fact, I was definitely the best guy Doodler in the class. Well, actually I was the only guy in the class, but hey, I'll take my glory where I can get it!

Traci is sometimes considered what some people call a "Girlie Glam" artist but that isn't all she can teach you. I had fun, she's a great teacher, I learned new stuff, and I got a long way out of my comfort zone. I'll be taking more classes from her in the future (she does some classes online also).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Good Penguins, Good!

This is what well-behaved Penguins/Pod People look like.

Blog posts have been few and far between lately. No, my Blog Wrangler hasn't left me. With my encouragement and urging she has taken a break from spending way too much time at the computer, which meant she quit doing any photography tweaking and posting and quit typing in my answers to my emails and comments and even (shame!) quit reading other people's blogs!

But she's baaaaack! Be afraid. Be very afraid.

In the meantime, our latest Netflix movies (yes, we'll stick with them, we love it when red envelopes show up in our mailbox because our internet connection is too flakey for instant viewing) have been:

Inside Job - explains a lot of the anger shown in the Wall Street protests. Portrays perfectly the bumper sticker sentiment "If you aren't completely appalled then you haven't been paying attention."

Bill Cunningham, New York - Love this guy. Susan and I try to take "theme" pictures all the time in New York City but it is very hard to do. He makes it look easy.

Flawless - Interesting mystery and I didn't guess the ending. Susan kept telling me to watch for expressive wrinkles on Demi Moore's face - couldn't find any. I said she was supposed to be acting "detached", Susan said Botox. What do you think?

The Bank Job - Great movie, reminded me of "A Simple Plan".

Cedar Rapids - Movie was interesting and held my attention all through but the story was a little sappy. Worth watching again if only for the priceless 30-second scene of John C. Reilly wearing a trash can lid in the swimming pool - pure creative genius.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bad Penguins, Bad!

I call them Penguins. Susan calls them Pod People. They do talk to me. These two told me: "Not my fault!"  Hmmmm, maybe, maybe not. OK, I didn't make them stable enough and when they got in the kiln, out of my control, they danced right into each other and now they are stuck forever.

Very discouraging.

In addition, a glaze I liked decided to join in the trouble-making.

Turn your back on your Penguins and they just get into all sorts of trouble. But at least one of them behaved.