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!