Thursday, November 27, 2014


You want to try to stuff your turkey, not yourself. Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Snake Pot

Here's another tall neck pot. I think I got a little carried away with the neck on this one. Susan said it looks like something a snake charmer would use.

Our maintenance staff man, Dennis, found this snake skin under his porch. Of course we wanted it.

 Peter McFarlane does some really great work with snake skins:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Turrell, Monet, and No Banana for Me

The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is actually in two separate buildings with a busy street between them so they put in an underground tunnel to connect the two  A sensible idea that becomes a GREAT idea if you commission James Turrell to make a permanent installation in the tunnel, The Light Inside, made with neon and ambient light. 
The picture above is what you see as you start along the elevated walkway. The colors gradually change during the day, from blue to red to magenta, so you never know what it's going to be. The only difference in the reality as opposed to the picture is that there is always a guard posted in there to be sure you don't step or fall down off the walkway which is raised up about a foot. The pink square is the wall at the end, you walk toward it and then around it to enter the other part of the museum. 

The museum's featured show was Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River. Yeah, we all know about Monet's water lilies but before he moved to Giverny and did those he painted scenes near where he lived. He actually painted more river scenes (over 100) than he did of water lilies.

The show grouped the paintings by site and subject matter which was interesting to see because you could compare how he changed his view and style depending on the time of day. Also, the show had gathered in paintings from many different sources, both museums and private collections. Below, two paintings of the same site, one painting from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the other from Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.

Finally, a lesson based on my life experiences. If you go to a park and sit down to eat a banana, don't set it down when you walk away to take some pictures, even if for just a few minutes. Unless you want to share it with a bird. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Austin Street Art

There's my bike, parked in front of one of our major streets into downtown Austin. Every weekend I find something new is added to the wall. Eventually it will be painted over with tan - a futile gesture, because within a day there will be fresh new street art added. One of my favorite ones was right after it was painted over with tan and someone did the color pours at the top.

Albert Einstein didn't have the mask at first and now he actually has a cap on. We like to keep Austin weird.  As the wall says, Sweet.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Skinny Pots

This is stained with slips instead of being glazed, but not yet fired. And below is how it turned out, which has definitely pleased me.

I'm really getting into the skinny neck stuff.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remember: Veterans Day, November 11, 2014

To our oldest generation:
Thank you for believing that freedom was worth fighting for.
To our youngest generation:
Thank you for volunteering to serve to protect our freedom.

Today, less than 0.5% of the American population serves in our military armed forces. Here's hoping that today, Veterans Day, the other 99.5 % of Americans will take the time to thank a veteran and to thank an active duty service member. They've earned your respect and your thanks.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Designer Breakfast and The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Susan hates fruit so I try to entice her with Designer Breakfasts. She especially hates raisins and calls them "rabbit droppings" but she did actually eat these. And the Cheerios. And the banana slices. A small victory for the Healthy Eating team leader.

This is the start of a pot that was made from two types of clay, raku and Gruene Butter. Their colors are different definitely different. The structure to hold the base while I'm making it is a half of a gourd.

After shaping, as it dries.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Oliver and The Pod

This is Oliver. He had a broken leg that I glued back into place. He wasn't glazed except for some of the black copper oxide in the groves around his shoulders. And he looked bad. But I sort of liked him anyway. Susan said I needed to do something about the fact that the glue job on his leg showed up, didn't really like that I had glued him to the base piece of wood, said the pod was too dark, and he looked too ghost-like. I really hate it when she's right.

So we attacked him with acrylic paint, trying to disguise the leg fix and make the pod less dominant by putting some grey areas on him. It just wasn't working well and all of the sudden she accidentally made a drip on the front. That I really didn't like - I told her drip looked "high school" and I wasn't happy because once paint has settled on an unglazed surface there is no way to get it off.  She said that when a quilter is making a quilt and one color is just too dominant that means the quilter needs to add more of that color. So she made more drips on Oliver and now he looks pretty darn good.  Did I mention that I really hate it when she's right?


The pod in Oliver's belly comes from the Turtle Pond. Below is the sequence of how the pods develop. At the end, after the flower petals drop off, the pale green pod keeps growing larger until it pops open with the new little pod seeds in it.