Monday, October 27, 2008

More winter than fall.

Coming down from the studio, I looked into the dark area below the tree line and I saw my first snow flakes, constrasting against the dark, feather their way onto the leaves, themselves barely laid to the earth.

Teachers, history, and inspiration

I came from east Tennessee in 1969 to go back to school at a small collage northwest of Nashville, Tennessee some 50 miles. Fort Campbell was barely there and the town of Clarksville was a small farm town with a movie house. It was perfect for me, because I knew nobody and I would be less likely to party hardy.

Olen Bryant (pictured) was my sculpture teacher, mentor, and friend at Austin Peay. His influence framed my thoughts and ideals in art. My exposure to the arts was incredible, Lewis Burton formed my foundation, Roger Evans pushed me to create images on canvas, Philancy Holder and Tom Brumbau (Verderbilt University) helped me to understand the reasons for art. Austin Peay State University had just received its university status the year I enrolled, but I felt that I could not have gotten a better foundation. Thanks to all of you at the Peay for the gifts you gave everyday.

Cynthia Bringle, she sat me down and showed by example what constructive criticism could do. She taught me in a couple of weeks what I had not known in several years of work. She showed me what I was lacking in skill and how to do it much better. It's hard not to throw a pot and not see the influence she is for me.

The reason for the above is two fold, I'm sentimental today, and I wanted other folks to see the work and persons that directed me into clay and painting. I hope you will enjoy the imagery that I enjoy and draw inspiration. More photos: in Flickr.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Random thoughts

The first frost occurred yesterday morning and I had started a fire last night and night before last. I also have had to have a fire in the studio when I go up in the mornings, even though the days are warm. I'm trying not to use the heater, because I'll need that fuel for the firings toward Christmas. I'll be very happy if I can get this wood kiln built. In the mean while, I have to get in the woods to cut firewood and wouldn't you know it, the sheriff calls me up for jury duty. I imagine this will kill my week, or more, to fulfill this obligation, if I'm selected.
Maria and I decided to keep the pup, he is as good a little fellow as can be for us. Squeak, our cat at the house, has warmed up to Spud, slightly, the fur is down now, but Malcom, my cat at the shop, jumped the pup first thing, he's such a bully. Maria says, "what goes round, comes round." The pup will grow up and with Malcom afraid of everything, we'll see who is the bully, later.
For the pass month or so, I have been trying to pump my determination up a notch or two. I'm looking at as many new images as I can to be inspired. I'm also going to pump up the amount of work I do each day, but not to the level I had done before, I want to make each piece a little better than the prior piece, define more surface as to how it relates to the whole, sometimes it only takes a little to make the whole form come together, "a little dab will do ya", for those that remember Brelcream, and then again, I've seen some fantastic forms that have been cut and beat to make a whole new concept.
Got to head out of here, if anyone has some work that they are looking at, please send me a link. So, go make them good pots.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Morning kick start

If you haven't checked out Emily Murphy's blog, do so. She has some archived blogs that are "how tos". Her blog is among the top blogs when you do a google search and several other searches. Every time I go to her blog, I pick up new info. I just added google reader, on her suggestion, and it has improved my ability to read any up to date blogs, it will list any recent blogs that have been added. With Emily's suggestion I added her blogs to my "reader" and went through and selected the ones I wanted to follow, every morning I can read just the updated blogs, with out having to check every blog.

It's just about time to get out of here and head to the shop, day before yesterday I threw 50 cups and I need to get them handled this morning. With the rain, I am going to have to build a fire and get the place warmed up, first.

The Spruce Pine Potters Market is this weekend, and I am trying to stay optimistic with as good an attitude as I can, The more news I listen to, the more that attitude crumbles and changes. But, I am positive that the "market" is a very good direction for this area to take. A lot of my customers like to come to the studio, but with gas so high and studios scattered, the "market," becomes ideal for them to see new people and visit with the older studios. Good luck to us for the market being the best ever. Make them good pots.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Gathering harvest and some production thoughts.

Maria and I gathered the pumpkins and squash today. We had one more pup to find a family for and I told Maria that I thought that we could offer "pick a pumpkin and get a free pup", before I could get the picture and a sign made, some folks stopped and said they wanted another pup, so I offered them a pumpkin and a candy roster, with a recipe for squash souffle. They said the other pup was great that they have, and they wanted another to go with it.

I worked on some photography today and got a couple of pieces shot before my bulbs burned out, after about five minutes. I've got to go to quartz lighting, this is getting expensive with bulbs only lasting a few minutes and then burning out.

Tomorrow, I've got lined up to throw some and get the bisque kiln loaded. Two of the really big pieces got bisqued without cracking, love those programmable sitters. Maria thinks that I should get back to some of the production I use to do. My tendency, when money is tight, is to fall back on doing wholesale and large volumes of pots. The problem is that I tend to not push the limit on playing with pieces as they are made and I don't seem to have a bond with the work. I think the pieces have a Wally World look, you know the nice shape you find on the shelves, only to turn the piece around and they have stamped it with a goudy image. Coke done it with their soda fountain glass, nice shape, but a logo all over it. Olen Bryant had told me,"wouldn't it be nice if some forms were left complete, without some image having to be stamped on them?" "So that just the shape stands on it's own, without adornment."