Tuesday, March 31, 2009

additional photos - Justice Center Windows

Justice Center Windows

The latest display in the Justice Center Windows features the work of seven OPA members. Windows chair, Denise Krueger met us on Sunday morning and despite the chilly damp weather the windows came to life with pottery. The variety of work on display is inspirational. From the whimsical sculptures of Nicole Gekov, the delicate work of new member Chayo, the industrial creations of Larry Nelson, figurative sculpture by Margaret Synan-Russell, raku by Michael Moullet II, nature inspired sculpture by Denise and my /naked Raku and Reduction work. How is it that we all work with the same materials but we create such diverse work? It always gets my creative juices flowing and inspires me to challenge myself when I return to work in my studio. This is such a great venue for OPA members, if you haven't taken advantage of it, you should. Make sure you contact Denise for the next OPA display. And if you're in the downtown area, make sure and stop by and see the display.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Three Days of Soda

What a great way to spend the weekend. The Soda workshop with Chris Baskin at Mt. Hood Community College wrapped up this past weekend. It was 3 days of learning about soda firing and it was a great experience. Friday we spent glazing our work and loading the kiln. And thanks to Chris, we were able to go home and catch some shut eye before returning on Saturday to fire and introduce soda into the kiln. It was a learning process for most involved and so we were all hands on. During the down times on Saturday, conversation and discussion fueled the kiln yard. There is something to be said about sitting around a firing kiln, a chill in the air, at times downpours of rain and such inspiring and informative conversation. What a great group to spend the weekend together, firing and learning. Sunday evening brought the big reveal and I think everyone was quite pleased with the results. We found that we got a bit more reduction in the kiln and the effects from the soda varied from a light touch to very heavy. Our slips flashed, our glazes were luscious and I think everyone took home a few gems to add to their collections. You be the judge, let me know what you think of our results. I've included a few photos from throughout the workshop as well as from the opening.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

the value of work

A friend of mine sent me a great keynote speech given by Charles Lewton-Brain. I've been reorganizing my studio and came across it this morning and re-read it and there are many pearls of wisdom. I thought I'd pass them along from time to time. Let me know your thoughts.


We do not make toasters. We make objects that grow from our lives, our minds, our materials and process. Not to mention our experience. There is an old story of someone questioning the price of a mug and asking how long it took to make. The potter responds with, "30 years and 15 minutes".

Indentity as a maker is vital in the relationship with the audience. Generate content. Tell stories about your life, your ideas, your work.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Soda workshop

I ventured to Mt. Hood CC this past Saturday and attended a Soda workshop with Chris Baskin. This was the first day of the four day workshop. It was a small group of attendees but the studio was filled with MHCC students finishing up the semester. It was a bustling studio, kilns were being loaded, a wood firing was taking place, students were trimming and glazing their work. We had a chance to talk with Don Sprague who was there glazing work for a salt firing. It was so nice to see such an active studio. After a tour of the studio and kiln yard, a lecture and demo we all had the opportunity to let loose our inner child. Chris laid out yards and yards of craft paper, brought out his magnificent collection of brushes and off we went - writing, doodling, experimenting. It is one of my favorite ways to loosen up and get the creative juices flowing. All this in preparation of embellishing and glazing our work which we will load this Friday and fire over the weekend. It'll be Christmas on Sunday evening as we unload the kiln.

...to be continued

Thursday, March 5, 2009

First Thursday

So many galleries, so little time tonight! Where I'm heading first -

Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery

The gallery is highlighting two artists with Japanese roots. The first, one of my all time favorite artists, Toshiko Takaezu. The gallery is exhibiting Toshiko's classic tea bowls from the estate of a Northwest collector. The picture is of Toshiko's "Earth Moon Pot". The exhibit will run through the 28th of March. The second artist is watercolorist Yoshihiro Kitai. The picture is a detail of Kitai's "Shangri-la 3".

Monday, March 2, 2009

signs of Spring

The first signs of Spring are full of promise as the land awakens from a deep Winter sleep. The fragrance that fills the air is intoxicating. The warmth of the sun on my upturned face brings joy to a brand new day. I shall savour this moment as grey skies move in.