Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jean-Michel Basquiat

For mad, obsessed, genius artists (good or bad) little is valued beyond the making of the art. The rest of life, not matter how held dear, is lived to feed inspiration for that primary addiction.

-Bo Lane Holland

Jean-Michel Basquiat

New York 1960 -
New York 1988
Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in New York on February 22, 1960, his father is from Haiti, his mother is Puertorican. In 1978 Jean-Michel Basquiat, along with his friend Al Diaz, begins his artistic career as a graffiti sprayer in the streets of New York, he signs his graffitis "SAMO", which stands for "Same old Shit". He earns a living by selling painted postcards and T-shirts, he makes assemblages from scrap metal. He soon calls the attention of the New York art scene. Basquiat meets Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf, who both find inspiration in the graffiti scene.
Jean-Michel Basquiat's very authentic painting style, that he has been applying to paper and canvas as of the 1980s, makes him a star almost over night. In 1980 Jean-Michel Basquiat partakes in the "Times Square Show", which earns him a lot of attention. In 1981 the art critic René Ricard publishes the article "The Radiant Child" in the magazine "Artforum". His breakthhrough as an artist finally takes place when he participates in the exhibition "New York / New Wave" in the P.S.1. the same year. At the age of 21 Jean-Michel Basquiat is the youngest artist ever who is invited to the renown documenta exhibition in Kassel. Exhibitions in Europe, Japan and the United States follow and earn him world-wide acknowledgement, his works are popular with critics, collectors and other artists.
In 1984 Jean-Michel Basquiat gets to know Francesco Clemente and Andy Warhol, with whom he works together. Andy Warhol does not only become his patron, but also a very close friend.
Jean-Michel Basquiat dies of an overdose of heroin on August 12, 1988. Julian Schnabel portraits the artist in the film "Basquiat" in 1996.

Chris Staley A Search for Meaning

Still finding my way, I always hoped a teacher that would sit down and share words like these with me, but absent that teacher, I'll settle for YouTube and a bowl of popcorn.

Four stages of learning...
  1. unconscious incompetence
  2. conscious incompetence
  3. conscious competence
  4. unconscious competence 
-Abraham Maslow                


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mr. Bones

Who say's a cylinder can't be a proper canvas for drawing? 
 There's still plenty of learning to do...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Happy dance!

Make darn sure to take advantage to do what you can't do any other way.

Cone 10 reduction using a Malcom Davis Shino...


Fall Dance

The cut-wax linework and black wash blasted through a simple dip in the studio Shino.

Thick, it was nice... thin looked good too, but dipped and poured, the strength of the linework using Jessica's black wash just gained from the varied readability of glaze thickness.

 This second muted example uses a Black Englobe to inlay the lines.
Muted or strong, either of the two blacks work for me.

Push'n It Forward

 I love my job...

Opening a kiln load of tests and finding something like this just gives me something to think about while I'm raking up piles of leaves. It makes me wonder where this stuff comes from. 
Holding a gem is such a joy, and the feeling I have as I familiarize myself with new work is very much like the feeling I've come to cherish as a father. Work is like critters, I enjoy the mechanics of make'n em, but I'm not sure I'm fully understanding the true miracle of making things real just by accident... 
The wonder is that they exist at all...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Alchemical Art

I've long maintained (in my own head anyway) that the surface default for functional ceramics is abstract expressionism.

It's a delusion of living in a cloud of imagination and chemistry.


I'm at a loss why local exhibitions won't let us enter work in their 2-D exhibitions when there are 9 sub-categories for surface art and just one (at best) for 3-D.

Maybe it's time to press for at least one category for the alchemical arts?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Sharing a cold, wet, windy day from 2008. It's a vignette of studio shots glued together to create a stop motion animation of a piece that was left half buried in the studio until it was based and finished 2 years later for exhibition.

Admittedly it's just a look at process... 
but hey, ideas are nothing but ideas without process.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Line Quality

In the last post I mentioned getting a much needed tutorial in line quality from the Girls...
First off I should mention that "the Girls" that were mentioned are studio mates Jessica Fong and Junior member Jade Danielson.
Second, I didn't realize that the reference I was making was part of a post that was sitting unposted, soooo.

A wax resist on a near bone dry surface can be a magical surface media for creating an expressive lines. Check out the tightness of these lines as they stack under the our basic studio Shino.
If there's one secret I could share it'd be "don't be stingy with the wax".

The stiffness of Shinos holds Jessica's black washed lines brilliantly.

Jade's too.
Jade continually shows me not to be afraid to fill a space end to end.

They both make it easy to see how confidence carry a line. It's line's job to illuminate an idea and accentuate form.
 A confident of form, created with the hand in mind, is one of the fundamental precepts of craftsmanship... It's when we take the time to create a narrative, we begin to move beyond the pedestrian.

Play with line!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Washing the Fiddler

 The Fiddlers been waiting, he's got all day, fiddler's been waiting cuz it's time to play...


Been waxing up a few of the greenware cups to give the girls line style some fun.
It was nice...
Once I lost the "I can't" attitude and started playing, the lines started getting easier to lay down. 
By the 3rd cup, I was really starting to enjoy the process. 


Bisque and black wash before glazing.

I haven't been sharing enough clips lately, here's this afternoons diversion.
Horrible horrible, resolution, but hey, sometimes that's the way the wind blows.

Friday, October 19, 2012


 White on white with panels. 
Halloween Carnival characters have been wanting a chance to climb out onto some surfaces.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Somebody pinch me!

Lot's to love in this issue!
Sherman Hall's opening note from the editor, giving a nod to seeing leather hard clay being one of the most attractive surfaces in ceramics, hit one of my sweet spots.
The joy that grows from playing with that specific point in the development of a piece sitting there in-front of you, is worth all the accumulated failures of process and aesthetics.
 Getting a chance to see that pivot point of form and surface every month has always being something to be relished.
For me though, being allowed to contribute has just been a dream...

(check out page 18...)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jade Danielson

Our newest and youngest studio partner has decided to lead the way on the idea of line.

Give her a form and, WoW!

Go girl!


 Things are slowing down.Just a few R&D's have come through this weekend's firing.
We've spent a whole lot of time chasing the idea of "line" this year. 
Even though the chase has shifted into slow motion, it's just starting to get interesting...
Finding ways to crispen and burn a line through a pallet of glazes has been the main test.

With Jess's help, now there's a tested path. The lines burn through the studio Shino great.
Now it's time to work on my narratives.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Schaller Gallery Exhibition : Kenyon Hanson and Brandon Phillips

 I'm humming along tonight while I explore through this offering of work over at the Schaller Gallery site.
This is an exciting pairing of hands for an exhibition.

If I could pull one artist into the studio for a workshop this winter, Kenyon would be it.
Love his approach to form.

For me,
his work has an complex organic fluidity of line that still reads as controlled and very deliberate.

Add slip and soda to his well practiced style and it's a mesmerizing mix.

The second artist is non-other than  

 Like a lot of people, I've been following Brandon's blog for so long now that for me, he feels like a familiar acquaintance. I've enjoyed watching him refine his vision and admire his commitment to tradition.

He generously satisfies expectations of function with plush, comfortable work...
but his surfaces are just getting richer and richer. 

Very nicely done!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tile 6 Slip

Cone 10 white slip

20 Nepheline Syenite
20 Calcined EPK Kaolin
50 Tile 6 Kaolin
10 325 mesh Silica
1 VeeGum (I use Gum Arabic)
2 Bentonite

Used as a white on white effect, it provides a subtle effect under a translucent or semi-translucent glaze.

The Cadigans - Iron Man

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Today's results of playing with the readability of a 6Tile Slip under our studio shino on a flower vase.

Going for muted...
Think we got it. It's a surface that is fun to explore, but still shouldn't distract from the bouquet.
The premise is to use this for a base for straffigo line drawings.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Thank You for the Validation!

To a very special KVIE supporter, It feels really, really good!!!
Thank you :)!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goodwill Ambassadors

What great studiomates I have!
Two free tickets that I had for the KVIE Art Auction Gala didn't go to naught..

My goodwill ambassadors frolicked for me!
Thanks you two!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September's Collaborations

Thrown, etched, and fired by Fong, I just stenciled the buggers...

 Just taken out of the kiln...

 A fantastic way to get out of your own skin and let go of personal preconceptions about "how work is supposed to be". 
Relinquish all of the control.
The trick is finding people to play with...

Enter stage right...

Jade Danielson

Our 15 year old Jr studio partner. 
The form was provided but the surface is all hers!

Amazing !!!