Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pods Again

OK, it's not a pod, it's a magnolia blossom that has started turning brown. When she was a kid Susan lived for few years in Alabama and still remembers climbing in magnolia trees and smelling their great smell.  Our new friends, Archie and Martha, have magnolia trees in their yard and brought Susan some of the cut blossoms. If you leave them out they turn this beautiful brown color very fast. But if you put them in the refrigerator they stay white for a long time. Sure, you don't get to see them constantly but in our place the refrigerator gets opened often. Probably too often, but I'm not going to discuss that.

What does this have to do with pods? Two things. One, the center thingy (stamen?) is sort of pod-like and is good inspiration for me. Two, Susan took pictures of the pods I am making now and decided to take all the color out of the pictures so I could focus on the shapes. Eventually they will get glazed or painted or something, although I'm liking just the odd shapes of some of them.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I am working. Unfired pods.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hang It

Three birdies, all with a hanging hook that was put in while I was shaping them. I thought they could be hung in a tree. My idea was OK but the concept was faulty. They aren't flying, they are just sitting, as if on the ground or in a nest. So why would they be hanging in the air? Whatever.

We experimented with different acrylic paints on them and this last one has the old-world look I like. But maybe it's not "birdie" enough of a look.



We are catching up with our Netflix queue. Gave 5 stars to Nebraska, replayed the ending of the wife's scene in the cemetery three times before we could stop laughing. Gave 5 stars to Frances Ha, great acting and a story that managed to pull itself together by the end (we had doubts in the beginning). Gave 5 stars to Dallas Buyers Club, with a 6th star to Jared Leto for his acting. Gave 4 stars to Rush, a little too predictable. Gave 5 stars overwhelmingly to American Hustle, the incredible Jennifer Lawrence just seems to suck in all the air in a room when she's in a scene, making it hard for you to notice any other actors.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Buried Treasure

Go here to see what Seth Apter is up to once again.   Although we are identical twins, born several years apart and mysteriously separated at birth, we are both artists. But.... his art work is more creative than I could ever dream of. Go here for the listing and links of all the artists he inspires and admires.

And here is the Buried Treasure from my blog, an entry that reminds me that it's not hard to remain humble when you are trying to make art. There are days when Your Art just stomps on you but you come back day after day anyway, knowing that one day you'll make magic.

From October 20, 2013, Sad Birdies:

Look pretty good, don't they? This picture and the next two were taken by a fellow classmate, Bernie, who has a big honker of a camera. So you think all went well? Right now the Kiln Goddess is laughing her head off.

For starters, notice the small spot on the back of the dark bird below? Somehow the glaze just skipped that spot -- an air bubble? Or did the Kiln goddess spit on it?

Below is a really interesting sort of pink glaze and sheen effect I'll never be able to create again because I have no idea how it happened. Take a close look at the bottom of that bird. See that clunky spot under it? That's a bad bird butt.

Here's a quick shot I took of all the birds from that particular firing.

So you politely ask "Why are they sad?"

They are sad because I screwed up their butts. First, I like to make the birds rattle (they are hollow) so I put BBs in them. Because the birds are hollow I have to make a small hole in the bottom so air can escape. This firing was high-fire for these special glazes, not low-fire which is what I usually do. Much to my dismay (and huge learning experience) the BBs melted this time and flowed out the air hole and made a mess on the bottom of the birds. To make thinks worse, my glazes ran more than I expected and flowed over. AND, even though Susan has warned me a hundred times, some of the birds' butts weren't exactly flat so they fell over in the firing and messed up the glaze.

Out of 17 birds, 8 were a BB disaster, 3 tip over all the time, and 3 had a lousy glaze job. Three are OK. And you thought making art was easy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

47 Years

Ah, to be young, and dumb and fearless once again.
Still hanging in there, 47 years now.
As if we'd have it any other way!
Late edit, in response to query: We are on a dive boat off the Kona Coast of Hawaii, many years ago as the antiquated dive equipment shows, there and Bonaire were our favorite spots. We also dove Kauai, Maui, and Caymans Islands and Susan also dove Cozumel and Cayman Brac. She had over 120 dives, including 3 solo dives, I had about 85 dives. We finally quit diving when it got too tiring to be safe. Yes, you are weightless in water but the equipment isn't lightweight when you have to bag-drag back and forth from hotel to car to boat and the boat leaves really early and the long days on dive boats get really .... long. We miss it a lot.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Robert Capa, photographer, Normandy Beach , June 6, 1944
 "The move to the ships and craft took place the 3rd of June and we started loading up the night of June 5 but waited twenty-four hours. ... June 6 ... eating a quick breakfast at about 2:00 a.m., climbing over the side on a cargo net at about 3:30 a.m. into a wildly pitching LCM, bouncing on board while the craft joined a rendezvous circle and waited for the last of our wave to join.  We were afloat and sailed out with barrage balloons to prevent bomb attack.  Training and planning had ended and D-Day had started for the 54 occupants of LCM 1098.  Finally, we ceased circling and started the straight run to the beach, still in the dark.

While we travelled the 12 miles to the shore line, the dawn came up... Everyone soon was experiencing the pangs of seasickness, wanting to get off that pitching and rolling boat no matter what might come next. You couldn't stick your head over the side, so everyone was vomiting in the boat.  I positioned myself right at the front as I believed it was essential that the members of the command be first on the beach...

In our craft we could feel the bottom scrub some sand and jar to a grounded halt. Obviously the boat had struck a sand bar.  I plunged forward, jumped into the dark water, feet first, and was surprised to find I was in eight-foot deep water. My lifebelt brought me back to the surface, already swimming.  Soon my feet touched bottom and I was able to begin splashing and running out of the water.  Winded, I paused to kneel in the shelter of a steel hedgehog, then lunged ahead and dove into a depression filled with water.  Suddenly, my ankle felt as if hit by a baseball bat. I was afraid to stand up for fear of being shot and I was afraid to stay where I was for fear I'd be drowned.  Eventually I decided I had to move, and I'd try running and if I could run OK then my leg must not be broken.  I hobbled the remaining 50 yards to the shoreline and lay down against the stony rubble. .. There was no one in front of me, beside me, nor behind me that I could see or hear."

Being interviewed, Normandy, June 6, 1994
Susan's step-father's account of June 6, 1944. That day he was shot in the ankle but went on with the 121st Engineers Combat Battalion, 29th Division, to St. Lo, Brest and on to Paris. He continued to serve in the army in France and later in Okinawa and in Viet Nam, where there was, to his immense pride, a $2,000 price on his head.

Pops, we miss you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's Criminal

This is the what Susan (and I) had for breakfast this morning. They are attractively arranged on ... no, we don't call those "paper plates" in our house ...the "summer china".

First, you start with this:

After a good toasting, you apply this:

Don't worry, you picked the kind with 1/3 less fat so it's healthy.  Then, you apply a liberal smear of the best, most criminal stuff in the world:

If you don't eat or like bacon, never mind. Otherwise, belly up to the trough. They probably could have called it Bacon Jam Crack.

Just to keep this in the art realm, here's a little birdie, wings are a bead glaze, the rest of the body is Golden's Iridescent Stainless Steel (Coarse) acrylic.

Susan speaks: There are days .... he sat right next to me as I entered what he wanted to comment (finally!) on several different blogs. Somehow, randomly, about half of the comments disappeared into thin air. What the ....?  Why is it that every time I'm trying to show him how he can do his own stuff the computer just barfs on me?