Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Virginia is for lovers...and ceramics...

First of all let me just say...HOLY SHIT! Yes it has been that type of month...I kid you not gentle reader, it has been like 2 months rolled into one. I will not get into all the stuff that I had going on and still have going on in the month of March ...all the crappy stuff I mean, that kept me from my dear old blog as well as the simple stuff like...relaxing. Lets just focus on the immediate clay geekery at hand and say "F" the rest. ...quite the potty mouth tonight too.

So I just returned from a long and agonizing drive down to Virginia in pouring, blinding rain with periods of very dense fog and then a fevered drive home...I was actually running a fever of 102.8 when I got home. But the in between time...installing the work and hanging with my bud Adam Paulek, whom I am showing with there...it was just fine, in fact I had a good time. Our two person exhibition at the J Fergeson Gallery in Farmville, Virginia is looking really good. It was great to see Adam again and visit his studio(more to come). I was really pleased with the gallery space itself and Jarrod of J Fergeson was also a pleasure to deal with in all aspects of installation as well as the details of leaving a bunch of your work in a gallery. The show is called "Not Particularly Precious" and runs from March 30 - April 30...official opening on April 10.

The three smaller images are my new "Hills and Valleys" series. I am pretty excited about these guys...thrown and altered closed forms, glazed a little in my own industrial looking fat white glaze,decaled and finally flocked on the tops
Each pod like form showcases a singular image from my own digital photography. I am seeing them as the basis for a much larger piece and thinking of these as pairs...gold ball chain couples each set. The green flocked top looks like either a rolling hill or a slightly sunken valley and creates the visual of a miniature landscape on each. Hence the name..."Hills and Valleys"

This is a new piece I fondly call Udderly # 5830...the cow side looks kind of blue...that's me rushing to take quick pictures, but I think you get the idea.

This is the gallery space, its a large open plan with the main exhibition space located in the loft...so cool.( Sorry,I cant make these damn pictures line up to save my life!!) That's Jarrod in the vertical image with his happy little pup Maynard. The lower section of the gallery is loaded up with a bunch of nice pottery...mainly wood fired work from the near by Cub Creek Residency. Below is an image of Adam's pieces...his work is made from slip cast porcelain fired to cone 6 and then layered in a myriad of decal imagery ...he and I share the crazy decal love. I think our work really looks good together and I hope you do too. If you are in the Virginia area I hope you truck on over and check out the show...just an hour from Richmond and Charlottesville...its so worth the drive.

Tomorrow I am off to Philadelphia to hang out in NCECA for the rest of the week...speaking of clay geekery. I will diligently report on all the cool clay happenings from my suite(room) at the Holiday Inn Express...if I am sober enough. Tune in again for NCECA, Philly 2010!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Shape of Things to Come...

Yep...that's been the story of my past week. The snow melted and the grass reappeared along with daffodils and crocus breaking through the muddy surface. I love the idea that there was something happening under what seemed like the big white blanket of deathly winter. Also, there were new things taking shape for me...working in the studio some, making a handful of new sculptural pieces for my upcoming two person exhibition with Adam Paulek. Its down in Virginia at the J Fergeson Gallery. I am excited to do the show with Adam...he is a friend of mine that I have known and worked with for a grand total of 1 month in 2 years. Honestly though, I feel like I have known Adam for a long time...he's just that type of guy. I first met Adam two summers ago in Chautauqua and immdeiately liked him and his work, which by the way, you should check out on his blog or etsy site... Our show is called "Not Particularly Precious"... and runs from March 30 until April 30. This thing came about pretty fast and I have been hustling to get some new pieces finished. So in a pinch, I fell back on a theme I like...nonsense machines that combine ideas or hints of utility with voluminous organic forms which reference mans' representation of nature and landscape through the objects we find inside the home.Yeah...you got that. The images below are waiting to be bisque and while I write this post, are surely on their way.

I will keep you posted on the progress of these pieces...they will undergo 2-3 more electric firings for me to get the surfaces complete. I will shoot them as I go and post the results prior to the exhibition. I have a very busy last half of the month ahead of me...install work at the gallery in Virginia on the 28th and 29th...NCECA on the 31st...oh yeah, I do have a class of 128 students still and I will be opening two more student centered shows in the IUP Kipp Gallery. UGH...it will be fine...it will be fine...no problem...I got it covered...I think anyways.
Think Spring.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Go bowls is right! Yesterday was the Empty Bowls Fund Raiser and it was a great success...Nancy, Josh, and Harmony worked hard to organize the event...Dan Kuhn stepped up for the IUP ceramics department and hosted the "throw down" and fired all the bowls, and those that donated the soups and bread and their time were all great. Another nice surprise was that Jeff Greenham from down at Fairmont University in West Virginia delivered a couple boxes of bowls made by him and his students. I really feel good about being involved with this event...donating my bowls and my time. I also love the sense of community I get from being involved, people coming together and simply coming out and supporting the event by breaking bread over some hot soup in nice hand made bowls. I think at the tail end of a long snowy winter, that this was beneficial on both sides of the fund raiser. In the end I heard from Josh that we made just under 4,000.00 buckaroos for the Indiana County Food Bank!

I couldn't help myself, I bought three bowls. I bought two Don Hedman bowls and one of Nancy's flowery, Majolica bowls, and for the record, I did only eat one bowl of soup. Don Hedman taught at IUP for twenty-five years and retired in 2004. He still lives in the area and has a great studio where he continues to produce very nice salt fired pottery. Ten bucks each was hard to pass up on for a couple of his bowls. Below is an image of me with Nancy's bowl and the next image is local artist Hisham Youssef declaring his soup to be quite palatable, and a picture of Dan Kuhn and his significant other, Aasta Deth, thoroughly enjoying their soup. So, you too enjoy some of the images from this event and if you didn't make it out this year, maybe we will see you next year.