• Games People Play: Color Theory

    On: February 7, 2018
    In: Art Biz, Artmaking, Community, Studio Journal
    Views: 514
     1
    Ceramic Board Game Color Theory

    “Color Theory” Ceramic, Sand and Found Object, 2018

     

     

     

    Here’s the second installment exploring the series of ceramic works I have created in the past nine months: sculptural but playable games. Let’s take a closer look at “Color Theory” which challenges players to move across an 8-colored grid based on what color their opponent just landed on.

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  • Games People Play: Intro and First Game

    On: February 1, 2018
    In: Artmaking, Community, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 589
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    Ceramic Crystals and Corns Game

    “Crystals and Corns Game”, Ceramic and Found Object, 2017

     

    Let me formally introduce you to the first installment of a series that I’ve been creating for my upcoming (March 2018) solo show at Roscoe Ceramic Gallery in Oakland, CA. With a working title of “Games People Play,”  the show’s all about seven artfully intriguing and fully playable games which incorporate my hand built ceramics in major ways. I fashioned the playing pieces for all of them, and sometimes I created the playing field as well. Found Objects abound. Let’s look at the Big Idea for this Exhibit and then at the first game I made. We’ll explore the other six over the month of February, providing I finish the last two!

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

    On: January 25, 2018
    In: How To's, Studio Journal
    Views: 520
     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.”

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  • The Nasty Woman Studio Intervention and Rehab Plan

    On: December 13, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 616
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    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.

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  • I’m Iterating As Fast As I Can

    On: November 30, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 467
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    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.

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  • Forbidden Ceramics

    On: November 15, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Community, Studio Journal
    Views: 531
     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.

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  • A Smashing Success

    On: October 31, 2017
    In: Artmaking, Community, Creativity, Studio Journal
    Views: 491
     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.

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