Saturday, January 30, 2016

Le Coq

I really love this design from the last half of 2015.
Definitely an image that's loaded with more meaning than I probably should share just yet.
Needless to say, it's not just a rooster under the stars. It's much, much more personal than that for me. 

I've been running a short list of cone 6 glaze tests the past few weeks using this design and the Compass Rose motif
What started out as easily readable quickly went to place that required a more participatory role of the audience. 

Pictures, even high resolution pictures, don't convey the jeweled depth of these surfaces.
It devolves (or evolves) into a game of obscura, where the viewer holding the work is the only one that's in a position to puzzle apart the design. 

It's a game that connects the artist, the work, and the person holding the yumoni. It's a subtly intimate game that, when done right, teases.

The downside and delema once again is, figuring out how to show the work using pictures. 
After all, it is said...
"If you can't shoot it, you can't show it...
and if you can't show it, you can't sell it." 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hashtag... Reboot

The refire worked just fine. In fact, the word "surprising" comes to mind. I really couldn't be more happy with the results.

think white on white was the winner of this winters tests. 
6tile slip stenciled over a cone 6 Laguna Hawaiian Red fired using a Mag studio Carb glaze.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hashtag... Damn IT!

Well I can go to sleep knowing that I learned something new today... When going into the studio at the end of the day, our old little Cress kiln with a kiln setter was turned off and cooled down. BUT the flip switch wasn't down, the timer hadn't gone off and when we looked, the cone hadn't dropped. 
Apparently a temporary power outage will turn a kiln off even after the power returns. 

Makes sense, but the obvious isn't obvious until it's obvious... Damn.

Friday, January 22, 2016

She's got it Covered

This is why I love collaborating with a partner.
While the unexpected is most often the norm, (for better of worse) it's still a joy to find jewel like this tucked away in a corner of a fired off kiln.
Jess quietly put this one through the glaze bucket and set it in the kiln with the rest of the load.

A casual swipe with a wet sponge before dipping made a serious difference in the final surface. 
A detail I would have probably never done (or stumbled over). 
The result was a dramatically uneven application of the studio crawl glaze across its surface. 

Easily my favorite from this load.
It's easy to believe that we couldn't do this if we tried...

... but that's exactly reason that we play.
It's through the unexpected that we are thrilled and entertained.
When we are done, we get to climb out into the audience and get to see what's been done. When it works, we get to enjoy standing up with the crowd and enthusiastically clapping along.

"I really Love their work..."

Monday, January 18, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wonder and Reason


The demand for reason and rationalization in the domain of art plays directly against one of Art's fundamental underlying roles..the need for a magical experience... an experience that creates wonder through aesthetic engagement and through a public violation of our private assumptions. 
  The really good stuff is seldom "safe". It doesn't need brandied rationalization or commercial viability to justify itself. 
  It simply is...
 Fuck reason. 
Just step away from the cash...

 Let's make Art.

Leaning In

"Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground" -- Rumi

Sunday, January 10, 2016

For No Good Reason (In praise of the amateur)

I recently had one of those rare moments where I stepped outside myself, sat back, and really took a look at it what was in front of me. 

I was shooting work as it came out of the kiln before heading off on vacation.... 
and I found that I liked what was sitting there in front of me.
I mean, 
I really, genuinely enjoyed it.

Not only did it satisfy my somewhat nebulous checklist for being well crafted, but possibly more importantly, it created its own appetite of need. It needed to be picked up and explored, and even lent a sense of wonder to the moment. 

Despite being delighted, as I sat back looking at this piece, it ran through my head, "would I actually take the time to make anything like this if I was creating out of a desperation to sell?... If money was my primary goal, would I actually make something like this?"

And I have to admit , I really don't think I would.

It's been my an experience of my own studio life, that pandering to outside expectations, (price points, forms, motifs, colors...) I can inadvertently and very quickly devolve my own work into mediocrity... A mess that's worse than bad and it just becomes damn uninteresting too... to, well... to me.

It ends up turning what I love doing into something that I would just as soon avoid participating in.

I guess the point I've been trying to make is that I'd much rather be an Amateur enjoying what I'm doing, and be relevant to myself than to be an Artist and desperate to prove myself relevant to a jaded audience.