Blog

  • Contemporary Crafts Market in Pasadena

    Our next craft market is right around the corner!  It’s a fantastic show with really great vendors and high quality wares – and it happens to be the 30th anniversary!  Just print out the postcard in this post for free admission for 2, or visit contemporarycraftsmarket.com for the QR code and more information.  Looking forward to seeing you there!  (I’ll be in booth 627.)

    PCCM2

  • Pedagogic Clay II

    I’m honored to be starting 2015 off with a bang by contributing a sculptural piece to Orange Coast College’s Pedagogic Clay II exhibit, opening Jan. 28. This amazing month-long exhibition will feature work from 60 truly exceptional ceramic artists and instructors, and also include student workshops and panel discussions led by distinguished experts in the field. It’s really a must-see!

    From the press release:

    “All events during the exhibition are free and open to the public. The opening will take place on Jan. 28 from 6-9 p.m. in the Frank M. Doyle Art Pavilion and will include light refreshments. Most of the featured artists are expected to attend the opening, including Eric Kao, deputy director of The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, University of California, Irvine art professor Gifford Myers, and Chapman University ceramics professor David Kiddie.

    Coast Community College District Interim Chancellor Tom Harris will be included among the talented group of artists presenting at the exhibit. Also on display will be work by University of Southern California adjunct faculty member Phyllis Green, who recently was named a fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

    The show will include two pieces by the late Ralph Bacerra, a well-known ceramist and career educator. Bacerra, who taught at California Institute of the Arts and later chaired the ceramics department at Otis Art Institute, passed away in 2008 in Los Angeles.

    The opening will be followed by a Master of Fine Arts Graduate Presentation on Jan. 30 from 6-9 p.m. in Fine Art Lecture Hall 119. Recent graduates of the top ceramic graduate programs in the country will present their work and talk about their experiences in the field.

    “The function of this is educational,” said Myers. “Attendees are going to see artists who have gone through the academic rigors and preparation for graduate school.” One of the MFA graduates who will be presenting is Robert Moore, an OCC alumnus who went on to graduate from the prestigious ceramics program at Alfred University.

    A workshop is scheduled for Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Fine Art Lecture Hall 119, featuring Ventura College professor Jenchi Wu, East Los Angeles College professor Chris Turk, and freelance ceramic artist Mark Henderson, who is slated to teach at OCC in the spring. The workshop will be interactive, with the three artists working on a current project in front of an audience.

    “The way it’s set up — platform, forum seating, artist Jenchi in the middle, guys on side — it’s theatrical is what it is. They’re going to be making sculpture right on the spot, and students are welcome to establish an interactive dialogue with the artists,” said Myers.

    The final event, a Distinguished Panel Discussion, will take place on Feb. 1 from 1-4 p.m. in Fine Art Lecture Hall 119. The three panelists will be David Armstrong, founder and head of the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, curator and historian Joe Lauria, Tom and Russell McMillin. Tom is a retired professor of ceramics from California State University, Northridge, and Russell heads the sculpture department at El Camino College.

    Individual works of art will be displayed in the Doyle Art Pavilion until Feb. 26.”

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  • Glass + Ceramics

    Don’t forget that there is still time to go visit the Glass+Ceramics Show at the Grand Central Art Center in downtown Santa Ana!  The show runs through January 11, and features the work of a number of local artists, and includes two of my teapots and a cream and sugar set. More information is available on the GCAC website.

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  • Shop Small on Sunday!

    I will be in booth 59 at the Patchwork Show in downtown Santa Ana on Sunday for my last show of the season! Don’t miss the opportunity to do some holiday shopping while supporting small business. I will have all my newest work so you can find a special something for that special someone (even if that special person is you!) Looking forward to seeing you there! For more information, please visit dearhandmadelife.com.

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  • Frankie Magazine

    In all the hustle and bustle of shows this month, I forgot to mention something else very exciting –  the very adorable Frankie Magazine (Australia) found us through our presence on Etsy, and did a short feature on one of my cream and sugar sets.  The set has since sold (of course!) and we are very honored to have gotten a mention (and increase in sales to Australia)!

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  • Tomorrow is the big day!

    I’m so looking forward to my annual Open Studio Holiday Sale!  I’ve got lots of new pieces, and for once in what seems like forever, the weatherman is not forecasting rain!

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  • Contemporary Crafts Market

    My first show of the season is in two weeks!  I’m excited to be a part of the three day long Contemporary Crafts Market in Pasadena Oct 31-Nov 2.  If you’d like a pass good for two free admissions to the show, please visit contemporarycraftsmarket.com and follow the instructions.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

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  • The Assembly of a Teapot: Parts to a Whole

    Thought I’d give a few snapshots, for the curious, on the process of constructing a teapot.

    Prior to the above picture, I have collected random items that pique my interest and have made molds of them out of plaster. The plaster is allowed to cure for at least two weeks. At this point, I pour in porcelain clay, in the form of slip. The plaster draws the water out of the clay, creating a thin skin which exactly replicates the form from which I’ve made the mold. After about 20 minutes, I pour out the liquid clay that has not hardened into the skin. After a few hours, the skin has hardened enough to remove from the mold. At this point, the consistency can be a little like a wet noodle, so I let it dry to a bit more stable state. This is what you’re looking at in the picture above.

    The particular molds I’ve selected to make this particular teapot are:
    body – a plum pudding cake pan
    handle – a giant vintage teapot
    spout – GE percolator coffee pot spout
    lid – the same vintage teapot
    reindeer – plastic Christmas decoration
    feet- plastic communion cups

    Once all the parts are made, I begin carefully hand building each piece onto its place on the teapot. The trick is to make sure each piece is securely attached, without distorting its form. At the same time, I am monitoring the water content, trying to keep the work wet enough to attach without cracking, and dry enough not to smoosh. I am also scraping, filing and sanding along the way, to remove the parting lines and imperfections from the molding process.

    In this second picture, I have begun by attaching the spout, then the feet. Separately, I have attached the horns to the deer, and the deer to the lid, fitting the lid into the teapot.

    photo

    In the picture below, I have formed the handle from three castings of the same shape. This is the final shape, with the construction finished, except for refining and further sanding. At this point, it is like working with a thick eggshell. Not to be overly dramatic, but any fast, wrong move, and it turns to dust! After it is slowly dried, it will go through a bisque firing (1950°), be glazed and then glaze fired (2381°).

    photo

    detail lid/handle:

    photo

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  • Kites

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  • Patchwork Show

    I’m so excited to be a part of Patchwork Long Beach once again.  The show is being held Sunday, May 25th, at Marine Stadium in Long Beach.  Come visit and see all my new pieces!

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