Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Finally Filling Up the Studio

Well,  I have been busy and with 2 weeks to go I am finally filling up the studio.  I do have to glaze it all unfortunately.

The tunnel kiln is shut down until after thanksgiving, so I will try to have some of this ready then.  I do have a small wall set up with fired work, but have to work on it some more.  Elyse has come to help me in the studio and has given me hope that I can get it all done.
Elyse in the Studio!

The pieces are pretty rough and I decided that they should remain that way.  Ironically, the glaze really covers them and smooths the roughness, sort of like snow obscuring the hard sections of the landscape.  It is pretty liberating to leave in the mold lines and imperfections.  I love the cartoonish branches.
 These arrangements really remind me of taxidermy dioramas from local nature centers.  If you ever wonder what is inside these nature centers, it is taxidermy of all kinds. Driving from Sheboygan to De Pere twice a week and then sometimes to Appleton, seems to have influenced this work.  The landscape changing to fall and then winter seems to have sunk in.

Whenever I feel like I'm filling the space, I just have to look at this picture of Sunkoo laying out all his tiles before packing.  He has filled 8 crates!

Well,  I'm off to Appleton tomorrow after finishing up a few things.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Making Things and ArtStart Install

Well, it has been almost a month since I have posted.  I've been in the studio vortex.  I am busy making things now.  No more molds, although I could probably make them endlessly. I spent a lot of time on this one, and it turned out to be a bit problematic, but I haven't had time to remake it.

I spent time putting up my show at ArtStart Rhinelander last week.
Topography, ceramic, wood, found objects, ink on paper 2014

It did slow me down, but the show was a great opportunity to set up this work. The front of the gallery has two works that explore the idea of landscape and out relationship to the natural world.  Most of the individual pieces and things that anyone could make, although I did start to get carried away after a while.
Passage, porcelain, wood, 2014
Passage reflects on my time in Alpena, Michigan in the wetland, Wildlife Preserve in the center of town.  I've been very interested in movement and shadow.
The back section of the gallery has two pieces that are about memory and how we create the past and mediate it through objects.  I love the idea of ceramic being a drawing material and that through the process of drawing we become more intimate with the images and objects that we take for granted.  Both works have the sense of the thing itself, the copy and sometimes, the copy of the copy.

Memory/ Nostalgia, porcelain, string, wood, found objects, 2014

I also find the machined image of the tree a very interesting idea.  I sometimes think about how this piece would be different with a material besides wood.
In this piece, I was interested in the contrast between the permanence of porcelain and the drawings.  I wanted to explore how we create our own identities through objects and perceptions of the past.  The drawings of objects are all images from my past.  My parents had a 1973 Fleetwood Cadillac.  We had so many of those telephones in our house.  The images of people are all from photographs.  Most of them are my relatives, but some are images from the internet.  I now have these photographs and am their keeper, but I wanted to explore how we create identity through this concept of ancestry.  None of the people in this piece are my blood relatives, since those are unknowable, but they still inform my identity even though they only connected to my by chance.
Simulacrum/ Personal History, porcelain, wood, found object, string, pencil on paper, 2014
I like the way that the object interact with the images.  I had some objects that I really love, like the porcelain axe, that were left out because they created too strong of a narrative implication.  I hope the work allows viewer to build their own narratives or connections with this work.

I have to run off.  Next post about the residency!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

First big molds and casting

Finished up the rabbit mold on Tuesday.  Here are some shots of the process.  A very long process.  I do start to run out of patience and energy at the end.

2 sides poured.

ready for sides 3 and 4
I'll spare you the rest of the images and skip right to the end.  Finished molds!  They are not pretty or well made, but they work.  The only way to make really tight, beautiful molds is to be a very patient and meticulous person.
the positive peeking through

taking them apart for the first time
I made good use of the scraper and hammer!

For you skeptics out there, here is the result.

So I immediately began working on the third wall mount. 
I got it ready tonight and will begin making the mold tomorrow.  I'm not quite sure if I can handle the amount of plaster, but I'm just going to start.  Sunday seems to be my mold making day.
Looks like a lot of fun, right?
Got a few more tests ready and hopefully will start to get some stuff out of the kiln.

test birds

Another test piece
It looks like tomorrow will be a busy day.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mold Marathon

After my visit to the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, I headed back to Kohler to get down to some mold making.  I decided that starting two more complicated molds at once was enough. 

Ready to pour plaster
Only 5 more sections to go
After about 10 hours I made 5 sections.  Two in the rabbit and three on the dog wolf.
Not pretty
Instead of going home I decided to power through this third section last night.  I am reminded of how ugly my molds are.  I still haven't figured out how I'm going to lift it to cast.

Here is the finished big mold.  We'll see how it holds up in the dryer. I'm going to finish the other one tomorrow.

Here is my piece out of the kiln and some test birds.  I have to admit that I accidentally sprayed clear on it instead of white.  I'm going to try and label my buckets before I spray this time. 

I finished another small piece tonight after I came back from teaching, but will post it up here tomorrow. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

First Piece and Other Stuff

I have been too tired to upload all of these, but I have made my first piece to send through the system.  It should be out tomorrow.
This is mainly a test.  I have made a few more small ones, but they are in the kiln already.  Here it is sprayed and loaded.

You can see SunKoo's tiles and Hilary's buoy's next to it.  I also drew on some forms.  Here they are with the 'small' tiles.

You can see SunKoo and Scott loading them into the kiln.  Can't wait to see the really big ones.
Now that I have some of the small molds done, I am working on some larger forms.  These are finished and sectioned off to start the process.

Can't wait to see what the fired ones look like.  Headed home for the Pumpkin Patch later, but hope to get one section of each poured before I leave.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Molds and Positives

I cleaned up my five molds and started on a new positive, the first in a series of 6.  I alson drove to DePere to teach my class today.  I've decided that 5 molds is too many at once.  I start to loose focus as the day wears on.
just started this positive

the five molds ready for the dryer