Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa came early...

That's right, opening a kiln is like Christmas presents under the cant wait to see what they are , some you might want to take back, some are just what you wanted, and some are real surprises. Well, the other day when we opened the kiln up, it was full of just what I was asking for...I must have been a good boy this year. What an easy and steady firing we had, and the work in the kiln sure reflected that experience. We flattened cone 11 all around and our shinos sure liked that...they are juicy! Everybody was pleased with their pottery booty that we unloaded and I celebrated with a cold Troeggs Rugged Nut Brown Ale.

I am posting some images here as a teaser for
my upcoming 2010 etsy sale. I just finished making new decal images that started with my own digital photographs and I am anxious to fire them! Wild Cucumbers a.k.a Balsam Apples, Hops and Milk Weed...

Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the images.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow and fire...

'Tis the season...just finished firing the wood kiln last night. Nancy Smeltzer and I fired the bourry box kiln in 18 hours or so, with a little help from some friends. It was also our first winter snow storm. It started around 10:00pm Friday night and didn't let up until late Saturday night. The snow made the roads a little treacherous but it was not blowing and I guess if all you had to do was chuck wood into a kiln for the whole day, it was rather beautiful. Nancy started it about 3:00am, our friend Cindy Rogers(below) came to take a turn at 7:30am. The kiln climbed steadily all day and we put in the soda mixture with Dan Boone(pictured below) and Nance and I cleared it out for a little while, then closed her up.

Below is an image of Nancy blowing back the flame so she can see our flattened cone11!

Just like kids at Christmas, we are eager to see the goods...we will be opening Tuesday afternoon and hopefully having a little celebration of sorts. I have around 30 pieces in this firing and most are bigger pieces; platters, large vase, pitchers and bowls. I will try and post them on here before Christmas Eve...Speaking of which, I'd like to say thanks for continuing to tune into this ol' blog and I hope you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday,Great New Year and wish you many more to come. ....until next time gentle reader.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mr. Gallery dude...

That's the identity I feel I switch to for short periods of time...and as of today, I'm returning back to me...whomever that might be.
I have been in a mad rush of setting up for an opening this past Monday and also preparing for our visiting artist Justin Shull. Justin has been traveling around the United States with his project "Porta Hedge: Mobile Observation Laboratory since July of this year. We hosted this piece of his in what the University calls The Oak Grove. It is the center of campus and is a very pretty green space complete with, that's right you guessed it, Oak trees. The Hedge was open for two days for people to view and visit and Justin met with our grad students. We had a great visit and I hope to continue being in contact with Justin.

Justin Shull and grad student Bifei Cao decorated the side with Christmas lights powered from the Solar battery in the Hedge. It is the season you know...
Th exhibition in the gallery is(was, it comes down today) a very successful collaboration with a colleague in the English department. He teaches Literature and Criticism and is also the co -founder of what is called The Center for Digital Humanities here at IUP within the English department. Ken Sherwood did a great job curating this group of interactive, fully digital, text based pieces created by artists/writers/programmers from around the country. Ken was enthusiastic about showing the work and really invested in the idea of the gallery setting to feature the event.

The exhibition was a great success as a "New Media" art exhibition that was well attended, an English department experiment in pushing the envelope, and a collaboration of two separate schools within the University that worked together to create a week long event that educated and/or introduced people to new concepts of poetry and fiction writing in the post-book era using current technology. You can visit the site for the show as Ken was putting it all together in conjunction with the course he is teaching this semester...readingrebooted...there are links and thumbnails of all the pieces we are showing in the exhibition, slide show of images I shot at the opening, and other related links. I was very pleased about this venture, and I would say to anybody who poo-poos the idea of cross discipline collaboration, to try and jump up and down because that might help release your head from your tightly puckered ass.
OK, I'm much better now...
AND, now that I am about to enter the last week of the semester really, I am feeling a little more relaxed. Even though I just took in a really big contemporary wood show that a friend curated for The Dairy Barn Art Center in Ohio...its big...and I am opening it on February 2, 2010. But in the in between time, I'm concentrating on making some more pots, firing some new decal images, and throwing the last of the chocolate brown clay for a new sculptural wall piece...oh yeah, and Christmas and my family and teaching the winter online course problem.

Check out the links...PS. firing the wood kiln in the next couple weeks...stay warm.