Thursday, September 20, 2012

So much...

I have so much to post about right now, I'm not sure where to begin. I have so many new pieces and great pictures along with news of coming events...I'm on overload.

Let me see if I can't just jam most of it into one single blog post here...

I will start with a follow up from last Friday's opening at the Clay Place at Standard and the exhibition "Potters of Indiana County". Admittedly, it was one of the first openings I had attended at this location since Standard had taken over this long standing Pittsburgh ceramics gallery. I quickly understood that I had been missing out. This was a well attended opening with many of Pittsburgh's local clay luminaries coming out as well as people driving in from out of town. I chatted with several of the other ceramists included in the show, gabbed with my favorite maker of masculine majolica, Ms. Christy Culp as well as meeting a ceramic fave of mine, Ed Eberle AND hanging out with Jeff Greenham and his wife that had driven up from West Virginia where he is the ceramics professor at Fairmont State. With all that jawin' I barely had time to shoot many quality pics but here are a couple just to give you an idea. From here on, I will be marking my calendar for the openings and making sure to attend.
Brett Freund

Birch Frew and Cathy Bizousky in foreground

hanging out...

 On Monday, I made my all day, round about drive...first stop: Dan Kuhn's to pick up my decal fired pieces...thank you DAN!...then on to Little Mahoning Creek Pottery to drop off work for the wood firing and to load the bisque kiln...and finally back to the infamous basement of my house in Indiana to retrieve my old friend...the slab roller. What a long ass day of driving...but it was a bit like Christmas when I got to Dan's to check out my pieces from the 04 firing. The decal firing is "the finish" for making of a piece for me...although I have had great results wood firing, I still want more...and many of these pieces were the cherry on top. Which leads me to my it all at once or focus on a more cohesive entry...hmmm...OK, I am trying to focus.
What I will post today are what I am feeling are transitional pieces for me. Transitional in the fact that they bridge a gap in my own creative output that lays between my interest in electric fired sculptural work and my wood fired utilitarian pieces. Although these pieces are in fact wood fired, they feature bright underglaze color and not much(but some) in the way of effects from the wood kiln. This becomes very interesting to me because I have decided to go all electric and I will be focusing on making more wall based works. The new colors, including the sorta "blah" grey, are a big part of the thrill for me. The surface imagery has always been the most important component to me and I plan on flattening out the forms to concentrate more on the composition. The composition now includes slips, underglazes and glazes used in combination with mark making(scaffitto), stamps, and layered decals. In the following pics, I am literally flattening forms so that they become a wall hanging...thrown mugs squashed flat and hung by their handles. Sounds goofy but they turned out really are a couple that I shot hanging on the outside of the studio at LMCP.

The other real breakthrough for me would have to be the mugs below. Like I said, not much in the way of looking like a wood fired piece but they still retain a certain element from the firing that I like. I am not sure if its the larger loose-ish forms or the fact that the grey exterior surface has a strange clashing sensibility with the interior and foot...but I like it. I think I have been wanting to get a certain look from the wood  kiln for so long now(and been getting) that I have been closed off to explorations. Well, no longer, I have decided to broaden my palette. I have many new pieces to fire that sport uncharacteristic colors and scrawling line work for the next wood kiln firing. So please comment and let me know what you think and I will stop this post here. Next time I will post more pics of my usual suspects from the wood kiln complete with decaled surfaces. As always, click on the images to see bigger. And on a final note, the Potters of Indiana County will be having another group show at the Artists Hand Gallery in Indiana, PA starting the first week in October. This show will coincide with the Potters Tour that happens on October 20 -21. Thanks for looking and hope to see you at one of these events!
Hula Mama

backside of Hula Mama

Double Flamingo Head

Backside Double Flamingo

backside of Go Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice


barbaradonovan said...

I reeeally like these. The warmth of the wood fire surface peeking through really is a nice contrast and adds yet another layer of depth. They'd have a much different feel if it was C6 white clay. If you go all electric with the functional pieces too, the feel would probably transfer well with a dark maybe not the evil blistering dark clay you tried a while back, but you know what I mean.

I'm a sucker for imagery. Go ask Alice is my favorite.

k.houser said...

Thanks Barbara...the Alice image is also one of my faves as I have a thing for flamingos...I have it in a much larger version on some upcoming wall pieces...and yes, I will be using a brownish clay body...not really red and NOT the evil dark brown from before...