Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bluegill plates, a new addition to my fish line

 Teal/light grey with saffron stripes
 Dark grey/blue/saffron with red spot
Blue/aqua/light grey with red spot 
 Dark grey/greenwith red spot
Bluey-green/goldish saffron with red spot
These are some new fish that I am adding to my wholesale line of work. They are based loosely on the Bluegill, which I chose for my pottery name back in 1995 or so. People often ask if I fish, which I don't, but I really admire fish. My grandfather, Nolen, took me with him in his boat when he would go fishing and to check his trot lines. I've always loved the sleekness of their skin, the startling colors some of them display and the way they just zip around in the water. Very happy with the way this line is progressing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tree Mask

This is a large mask made by a young man in one of my Create in Clay classes. His mom contacted me earlier this year and sent me photos of these great faces he had made on the trees in their backyard. He just dug clay out of the ground and had a great time. He told me that he dug some holes several feet deep. When it rained, though, the artwork washed away. So, he wanted to have an opportunity to work in clay in a more permanent way. Can't wait to see it fired. I love teaching because of the excitement that people bring to clay and how accessable it is to work with.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Renewable impressions

I use Japanese maple leaves and Ginkgo leaves in my work and I'm always so glad to see the soft green baby leaves sprouting on the branches of my trees in my yard. That means fresh new leaves for impressing into the clay in just a few weeks. Oh, I've learned to make due with preserved leaves, worn-out leaves, frozen leaves.......but there is nothing like  pliant, unmarked, unfrayed edges of flexible nature to roll into clay. It's kind of like having to use preserved apples or dried apples at the end of spring to make apple pie.
Just for the record, freezing your leaves is the best way I found to get a supply through the winter. I gather them when they are green, when they are just turning colors and,  in desperation, scoop them off the ground before the first frost. It's best to lay them flat on top of one another so they don't get a lot of wrinkles, then pop the bundle into a freezer bag and press out the extra air.
To use, you just thaw them out for a few minutes. However, don't let them sit out for days on end in the freezer bag at room temperature or they will begin to grow mold.