• Help Me, Mother of the Muses, You’re My Only Hope

    On: January 25, 2018
    In: How To's, Studio Journal
    Views: 407
     1
    Jars of Glazes and brushes

     

    File this in the How-To Category. Specifically, “How to Do an Easy, No Paper or Smart Phone Needed, Foolproof End-run Around Your Faltering Memory When It Comes to Being Certain of the Answer to the Question ‘How Many Glaze Coats Have I Brushed On So Far?’ and Other Mnemonic Devices.”

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • The Nasty Woman Studio Intervention and Rehab Plan

    On: December 13, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 484
     Like

     

     

    Studio Intervention Altar

     

    Each year I do a short unstructured ceremony in my studio to review the year and reset my sails for the next year. Most years I assemble the work table altar items with care over the week preceding my session: flowers, candles, music, and aromatics join meaningful pieces, well-considered written summations and questions, paper for note-making. This year was different: I needed to not just record, but to JOLT things, so I began calling the event an Intervention. To support that idea, I roughed out a space in the over-crowded studio for just a scant few basics and went to find the recipe for the Nasty Woman Cocktail, a leftover from a former time of optimism.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • I’m Iterating As Fast As I Can

    On: November 30, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 402
     Like
    Spiral of small ceramic tiles in tones of red

     

    Clay work as I experience it is unforgivingly slow-going. Asking clay to do the wrong things at the wrong state of wetness doesn’t yield desired results. Rushing claywares to dry invites problems the whole rest of the way. Bumping a bone dry piece can see it revert to dusty chunks. Not wiping bisqueware off before glazing it is just asking for glaze burbles. We won’t even speak of all the ways an inattentive firing can ruin entire loads of works, regardless of whether they were circumspectly made and decorated or not. I say clay taught me patience. Now I wonder if I learned that lesson a little too well. I’m certain that I make clay work even slower in at least ten ways. Let’s count them out.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • Forbidden Ceramics

    On: November 15, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Community, Studio Journal
    Views: 464
     1
    ceramic vase with sgraffio

    Dude, how’d ya make that sick bong?

     

    At the turn of the millennium in my Beginning Ceramic Handbuilding Class, I met my first artistic censorship. As it was explained: “This is a College Art Course, not Grade School, a Rec Craft Program or Summer Camp, therefore we will not encourage, fire or grade your ashtrays. Or your pipes and bongs.”  Often those sorts of pieces would mysteriously break or disappear.  I have some observations about that.  After this, you probably will too.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • A Smashing Success

    On: October 31, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Community, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 421
     2

     

    Re-Smashed Leeds Vase wallpiece

    “Re-Smashed Leeds Vase (After ‘Erased de Kooning Drawing’ by Robert Rauschenberg)” Liz Crain 2017

     

    For me the past couple of years have been an exploration of new artistic avenues. I wasn’t particularly stuck (once I figured out I still wanted to work with clay, that is,) I just had no compelling path forward. So while waiting for that path to appear,  I goofed around, tweaking old works and testing all new inklings, until I found myself curious again. Sometimes that re-working involved happy breakage. Here I explore a few rationales for both the rambling and the rupturing.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • You Go Back In The Studio and Apologize to That Clay!

    On: October 18, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Community, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 455
     Like
    Handle ceramic drum

    Ceramic Drum with One Piece Handle

     

    First off, a hearty welcome to new readers of the Studio Journal who joined us last weekend at my Open Studio. That annual crush of enthusiasts always gives me a chance to tell old stories related to how I came to make the stuff I do. Here’s one I’d forgotten and I thought to repeat it here because it contains one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received.

    (more…)

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More
  • Moving Fast, So Don’t Blink

    On: October 12, 2017
    In: Art Biz, Artmaking, Community, Studio Journal
    Views: 359
     Like

     

    OPen Studio 2017 Blurred View

    A quick glimpse at my 2017 Open Studio Gallery

     I am in my final approach to my first Open Studio in two years and moving like a dervish. Like childbirth, I guess, one mercifully forgets the gory details, remembering only the love. The task this year was to trim the whole affair and still retain excellence. I think I did that. I think that stripping it down led to solutions to recurring problems such as flow, display, and labeling and here are some that took it to new levels:

    • Adding the Open Studio 2017 section in my website’s SHOP creates a whole new staging arena. It extends the weekend in-person tour mightily, with new work being added all month. Samples of everything are there, except for sculptures and sale stuff. I had a lovely first sale and a couple of inquiries. After the live weekend, I will add even the Sculpture and Studio Sale items – if there are any left.
    • Two years away let me go deep into new creative territories and find the heart of what I’m about now.  While I have plenty of vintage trompe l’oeil cans remaining, fully 70% of my work is new to my Open Studio gallery. It’s delicious to present it in such fullness and fun to find out how each new series looks best. I have lots of wallpieces, too, which is brand new territory, needing a fresh approach to my display spaces.
    • The Studio Sale table is a deep dive into the archives this year. I even got stuff from the attic I forgot I had. Not only are things wildly varied and priced to move, I am continuing something I started two years ago: Anyone still in high school (18 and under…) can choose one item from the Sale Table and get 50% off. It is heartwarming to foster new art collectors by moving into their realistic budget range.
    • In the end, I see that going simpler is essentially good editing: the story gets told with more verve and sparkle and we all benefit from it.
    Snaek peek of Open Studio 2017

    A Sneak Peek at New Works for Open Studio 2017. Don’t Blink!

     

    –Liz Crain, who invites you to visit her this weekend if you’re in the area (details below) or move over to the SHOP to enjoy a bit of the new works.

    OPEN STUDIOS 2017 brought to you by the wonderful Arts Council Santa Cruz County. My Capitola Studio is open one weekend only: Saturday and Sunday, October 14-15 from 11-5, Artist #234 in the free printed Guide or in the free App by artscouncilsc.org. My studio is also available for private appointments, so contact me directly for that, but it’s always lovely to visit when things are all cleaned up. Gotta go back to work now, being on deadline and all.  Hope to see you here or there.

    share this post:
    Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
    Read More