Saturday, February 28, 2009

Linkin Up with the OPA

On a warm and sunny Labor Day, over 100 children came to the Clay in Education booth at Art in the Pearl. Along with myself and fellow OPA members, Dorothy, Dawn, Christine, Skye and Gwen, we played in clay with all the kids. The project for the day was making links for the "Linkin' Up with the OPA" and at the end of the day the kids had made 172 links plus numerous clay animals and sculptures that have become kiln gods to protect the pieces during the firings. The kids didn't have too many instructions other than it could not be bigger than a paper dinner plate and it had to be able to connect with another link in some way. That was it - so simple. The links that were made include, snakes, lizards, circles, hearts, bracelets and rings to a dragon, fish, the Statue of Liberty, Graucho Marx and many free form pieces. I am just amazed at the creativity of everyone that participated. I have had friends from California and Oregon also get involved in the project and I am now hoping that my fellow OPA members will get involved and make more links to link up with the kids.

The links are going to be on display in the Justice Center Windows for the month of May.

More updates to follow as the project progresses.

Upcoming Soda Fire Workshop

Soda Fire Workshop with Chris Baskin at Mt. Hood Community College

March 7 - Demos, lecture & glazing
13th - Load kiln in PM
14th - Fire Kiln - intorduce soda
15th - Unload Kiln in PM

$75.00 pp includes 1 cubic foot in firing

Contact Chris at or (503) 491-7309
Click on the link to see the flyer!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Upcoming Workshop w/Victoria Christen

Constructed Forms & Slipped Surfaces

March 7 & 8, 2009
Oregon College of Art & Craft

Victoria Christen lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is a full-time studio potter. She has been a resident artist at Guldagaard, the International Ceramics Research Center in Denmark and the Archie Bray Foundation, in Montana. She has given many workshops across the United States. Victoria has been the recipient of an NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship Award, two Minnesota Arts Board Grants, and a travel grant to Japan. MFA University of Minnesota

Thursday, February 26, 2009

thoughts, ideas, recipes, etc.

Just so it is clear for all members of OPA - any member can contribute to this blog. It was set up as an additional forum for us to communicate, share ideas, trade recipes, food, glaze, martini - whatever. I must confess though, the Tamale Pie recipe is not available for posting. I have been sworn to secrecy by my Mom that I will never reveal her great recipe. However, I will share any other recipe that I have - ^6 oxidation or reduction glazes that I have collected over the years.

So please, if you would like to contribute, which is different than posting comments, please contact the OPA webmaster through the OPA website and we'll get your name on the list of contributors.

We are many voices.....

Monday, February 23, 2009

forms for molds

I am always scouring for great shapes to make slump & hump molds. My suitcase is always full of treasures that I find in the most unlikely places. What do you collect? Do you have some favorite object that you have cast? I found these great leaves at the water garden and I can't wait to start using these.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

testing, testing testing

How is it that all of my best intentions seem to go by the way side? Test new glazes, firing schedules, clay bodies, you name it there is never a shortage. The only thing that I always fall short with is time, ok and maybe space in the studio. But now that I am going to start firing at ^6 reduction, well now I don't have a choice but to start testing. It is an incredible adventure that I am looking forward to but at the same time, so nervous about starting. Maybe that is why I am running out of time....hhmmmm, something to ponder.

While I am pondering, I'll take inspiration from nature as it seems everything out my studio window is changing, buds are appearing on the trees, birds are becoming more active, squirrels are chasing each other up and down the fir trees, how busy they all are.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

the soul

is it just me or does everyone search for just the right cup or bowl to cradle in your hands? I have a cupboard full of cups and bowls, most made by my dear close friends, and every time I pick one up and fill it with whatever I am in the mood for, it brings a smile to my face, as I recall that friend working in their studio creating if not my cup or bowl, but something that speaks to one's soul.

how lucky we are as potters to know that our work is out there somewhere in the world, bringing a smile to someone's face. How powerful and how humbling.

sheer bliss....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

unlocking creativity

I was in my studio trying to get the creative juices flowing and get loose when I remembered a little trick that Jim Romberg taught me. I rolled out 20' of craft paper on the floor of my studio, grabbed a big fat brush and a jar of stain and started putting down big broad strokes down the length of the paper. How good that feels, so uninhibited and free.

Often when I am staring at a blank canvas, page or pot I tend to freeze and the marks that I make a timid and static so this exercise gives my brain the freedom to roam without worrying about where or what it is doing. I'll even put a piece at one end of the paper and by the time that I get to the end, I've got some great marks on my piece.

Now I've found a website that allows me to do the same thing and release my inner Jackson Pollock.

Go ahead - splash - splatter - draw - make broad strokes - let your inner Jackson Pollock out and be free.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Worth Checking out -

Upcoming at the Museum of Contemporary Craft

Toshiko Takaezu

An exhibit in the upstairs gallery of recent gifts received by MOCC.

If you haven't seen Toshiko's work, this is a fabulous introduction. And for those like me, that stare at her wonderfully sublime pieces in awe and marvel at their perfect proportion and line, a chance to see some new pieces.

And, of course, a chance to visit MOCC and support our fantastic craft museum in its time of peril.
What a glorious morning, in the midst of February, blue skies and sunshine. The promise of a new day...hmmm....what new work will be inspired today?
This morning I was intrigued as I read the morning paper, a small commentary by Barry Johnson, "Taking 'craft' back to a verb." It got me thinking about my craft and the whole, art vs. craft debate. Where do I fit in? Is it important to me that someone look at my work as either craft or art? To be called a craftsman - what a delight, as there are so many craftsman that I do admire and respect.
What are your thoughts? What inspires you?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Yet another avenue has been created to help Oregon Potters Association members stay in touch, share ideas and stick together.