Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Let's all make a New Year's toast to consistency!
 And to the infinite wisdom of Snoopy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dug Up and Consumer Complaint of the Day

I like these little pots (about 4" high) because they look like they were dug up from an ancient pit. Contrary to what usually happens with my glazing, this was exactly what I hope to accomplish. Sometimes the Kiln Goddess smiles on me.

I tried to sell them at the Student Art Sale but no one was interested in stuff that looked "old".  Including me, I'm sure. One of the nice things about growing old is how invisible you become to most people, which means I don't have to shave everyday.

But growing old does turn you into a Cranky Consumer. Younger people seem to be oblivious to (or have never experienced) the notion of "Customer Service", as in "I want to help you efficiently so you'll appreciate my company/product".

From my Consumer Complaint Department, Consumer Complaint #1
(#1 for now, but there are still more hours left in the day for challengers):

You receive your new credit card to replace the expired one.
You call the number on the card to activate the card.
"Thank you for calling to activate your new card. Please hold while we process your activation."
Then you are forced to listen to 2 minutes (yes, t-w-o) of a disgustingly cheery spiel about some other crud they want to sell you before they finally say "Your card is now activated." Click.
You and I both know they could have activated that card immediately, because that's the way it used to be. Back when I was younger. And less cranky.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Star of Wonder, Star of Night

I had a scrap of clay left over, crunched it up and tossed in in a box. Later on I put some pieces for raku glazing and firing in the box. When I was glazing the "good" pieces I noticed this piece (about 3" high) and since I had some extra glaze, I just slapped it on it. When I did the raku firing I tossed this piece in, just to do something with it.

Sometimes, art happens when you aren't looking for it.

Have a Happy Holiday season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Map Nichos

These nichos are starting to incorporate some markings that I am beginning to consider as "Map Markings." Susan has always been intrigued by maps and now I'm starting to see the attraction.

The color difference (aside from the photo background) is due to the various types of oxide stains I put on after the bisque firing. The stain is applied all over the entire piece and then wiped back off with a damp rag - a very messy procedure - leaving the resulting stain in the markings and texture of the clay.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nichos and Bones

These two nichos were sold at my Austin Community College Student Art sale.  I wanted to be sure people noticed the nichos had niches that you could put things in so I included some "bones" pieces. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly said he was "very happy to have the boat motif" in his work, not only for its autobiographical relevance (as a child, he spent his summers with his parents by the sea in Gloucester, Massachusetts) but also because he like the "reference to crossing over" associated with it. In this sculpture (shown at the MOMA), a boat is conjured through a hull-like slab of wood mounted with plaster atop a boxy wooden form.

Every time we go to Houston to visit museums we include the Menil's Cy Twombly Gallery on our list. It is a small building on a quiet street, just a few large rooms containing his magical paintings. The word "magical" is Susan's and she swears that although it might look like scribbling, it is impossible to scribble like that, even if you are 5 years old. Unless you are Cy Twombly.

I'm not that big a fan of his stuff but I did find the boat to be interesting and am thinking of ... boats.... clay..... drippy glaze.... boats.....  We'll see.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Time Warner: Pitcher This

Susan is bouncing off the walls so I picked these pictures all by myself for this blog entry. This is a raku pitcher I made, about 14" high. I liked making it but don't think I'll make any more of them soon because I've got another concept idea in mind. Stay tuned.

Why is Susan bouncing off the walls? Three words: Time Warner Cable.

1) Our online printed bill comes with 4 pages.
Page 1 is the summary of the costs and Page 3 gives the current service pricing.
Any good reason why Page 1 says the billed Standard Cable TV cost is $67.99 but the Listing of Service Prices page says $65.99 would be the cost?  They have no idea but they will "research the issue".

2) Five years ago they started using my Social Security number as a password for account information.
She insisted they stop using that and let her designate a specific password. That worked fine until today when they told her they had no record of any password whatsoever and she'd have to give up my birthdate for account access.

3) She had the nerve to ask what she had to do IF she decided to cancel the cable TV service and just keep the internet service.
There will be a $39.99 charge to do that.
What if she canceled both the TV and the internet service (all the services we have with them), thereby closing out the account?
There will be a $39.99 charge to do that.

4) About 5 minutes after she hung up, the phone rang with an automated survey about her "experience" with Time Warner.
She had to answer the various questions by pressing 1 for "Absolutely No" and a number up to 10 for " I Love You" (or something like that).
When they asked a question like "Would you recommend our service?" she would press 1.
Everytime she pressed 1 for a reply, the automated survey would then say "You pressed 1. This means Absolutely No. Are you sure this is correct? Press 1 if yes ...."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Crab Nicho

Above is the finished Crab Nicho.

But this is the crab nicho before it was fired, you saw it back in September. Once the piece was raku fired it had some nice crackle marks on it but the crab shell just didn't look right. A little paint magic took care of that and it all seemed right.  This nicho went to one of my favorite Kiln Goddesses, Julie.

My blog has been sparse lately because my Blog Wrangler has a bad cold. She's promised she'll get back to work soon. Besides, we've run out of kleenex.