Sunday, January 31, 2021

From Start To Finish

 I was going through an old folder of images and came across several of my pieces from The Roadside Attraction series back in their early greenware (unfired clay) stage.  I thought I would pair them together with their fired appearance to show the progression.

This first one will show up eventually in its own post (once I complete it), I just wanted to include it so I could talk about being a bonehead while handling my own work.  I was transporting this piece to the kiln room and grabbed the horizontal block projecting perpendicular to the upright block/mass piece, and popped it clean off from the rest of the work.  Eventually I will make a 'sign' piece to replace the block (and just seal it into place with glaze).  The lesson is: stay focused on the task at hand. I just let my mind wander and in an instant later, messed up a piece.  Easy mistake to avoid, and I should know better, but here we are...

In fact, I pulled a similar maneuver with this next piece, it was just later in the firing process.   I wasn't paying attention, and next thing I knew, I had two separate pieces.  Bonehead.  A series of near-comic mishaps happened to this piece between the bisqueware stage and what ultimately came out of the glaze fire.

You can readily see that it's missing a couple of bits...

Don't worry, I saved those 'bits'.  They'll be showing up in a future piece of some persuasion...

Anyway, on to the heart of this post, some 'before' and 'after' shots.

I was really happy to see this next one turn out.  That 'sign/billboard' section on top needs to be thin/light so the piece isn't too top heavy.  Thin/light ceramics tends to be delicate, so it's always a bit of a relief to successfully bring it in and out of the kiln without some minor mishap.  As I demonstrated at the start of this post, I can accidentally smack a fragile piece into another object with the best of them.

There was a similar sense of relief when this one came out of the glaze kiln still intact.

Next time we'll take a look at the two parallel bodies of work The Roadside Atrractions and The blank Scape Vista series.

Friday, January 29, 2021

The Crown Sign Becomes Entourage Promenade

The Crown Sign needed some more imagery added to bring the piece together.

Like this!

Now that the line work has dried, there is nothing to do but paint!

The color really activates a whole slough of visual dialogs within the piece.

Bring it all together and it looks like this!

On final note, the title 'The Crown Sign' was a working title -and a not-particularly eloquent one at that (not as bad as Bottles or Dude Looking Up, but still...).  After riffing on a few potential titles I have settled on Entourage Promenade for the title.  So here you have it, Entourage Promenade.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

2020: The Year That Was.

 A year in review.  Not just any year, but 2020.  A year that I suspect won't quite blend in with the others.  Normally I post my year-in-review post by the end of the first week of January.  2020 was such a dumpster fire, that I figured I'll get to it when I get to it...

With just a few days left in the month, I'm finally getting to it.

My year started out with a road trip out to a remote part of Nevada.  It turns out that Nevada has a lot of remote parts.  Several of them are quite beautiful.  It was a fun drive and I was able to capture of few images for research purposes.  Here's one of them.

Ultimately that picture became this drawing...

...which I re-drew a second time...

...and then ultimately put it in this piece.

Btw, the structure on the lower left corner will show up on a future piece/post.

This one on the left.

I started the year out doing a few projects (mixed media painted constructions) in the studio, but actually a fair amount of time building things with clay.

That was all well and good until mid-March when suddenly (and mostly unexpectedly) I didn't have access to the ceramic studio.  I had to walk away from several pieces for some unknown period of time with the understanding (or at least mindset) that the pieces might not survive scheduled maintenance at the school.

I bid those piece adieu and re-engaged what I had going in the (my) studio.  For the most part, I just played around in the studio.  I worked everyday, but rarely had a specific goal on what I was going to work on.  These next several images are to just provide a sense of what I was messing around with.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention one of my high points of 2020 was getting to help my friend Terry Rathje (check out his website: )install his solo show out at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum in Clinton, Iowa.  It was a killer show, and it is always a blast to spend a couple days with Terry.  Here are a few images from his show!

It was a kick-ass show and as I type this while I look out my window at the snow and ice, I really miss Terry's show!

In mid-October I received a text message that the ceramic pieces I had abandoned back in March were intact and needed to be finished ASAP and removed from the building.  I diverted the bulk of my efforts over to glazing and firing to get my pieces gone.  I less than two weeks, I had everything out of the art building and safely transported to my studio.

Finally, I have to give a shout out to the places that provided me with amazing meals and a sense of comfort/normalcy this past year.

Taste of Ethiopia!  Website:

Hemispheres Bistro!  Website:

Boozies!  Website:

2021 is already starting off with several interesting projects underway.  Stay tuned!