Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Artist Talks at LBCC

Had the opportunity to hear two swell Mid-Valley artists share about their work. Above is Kristin Kuhns who stands by one of her paintings/constructions that has also been sewn, and one of William Park's paintings.

William Park mentioned that he had one of those epiphany moments in his 40s where he felt abject depression thinking that he might grow old and never be the artist he would like to be. He said he began painting that day and hasn't stopped. He didn't take the time to get formal training but felt that the more he could paint, the better it would get. He's now in his 60s and his method surely worked. You can see the mastery of each brush stroke, scumble and abstraction that occurs as an aside to his main subject. He also advised students that the importance of "knowing when to stop" when working on art is a big mis-nomer. It is often when he has pushed beyond the point of no return where he feels he learns the most.

Kristin described herself as more of a constructionist, dealing with concepts and making the artwork in whatever way possible to get at what she wants to express. She confessed to learning things the hard way. When her sewing on a piece involved getting up and moving around to the other side and then back to the other side over and over because her arm wasn't long enough to reach where her needle and thread had to go, it indicated a maximum "arm's length" width of a piece. She also talked about Noticing! One work is a lovely "backside" view stretcher bars and the canvas stretched on the other side, not facing out but facing against the wall, with a maze of other sticks and marks that work just right. She kept noticing how nice pieces looked on the back and went with it.

My contribution: I tagged onto what both of them said and pointed out some examples of pushing beyond finished in some of the new wire/paper ceramic sculptures I'm showing there.

The students asked thoughtful questions and it was a treat being with all the artwork again.

The LBCC Invitational Show at the North Santiam Gallery is up through the end of February.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Finally some results

My momentum to finish these new forms had stalled out a bit.
How to tie different styled works together?
How much or how little wire and/or paper to use and not cover up the forms themselves.
Where to begin?

It took a friend coming over and asking, "What are these forms about?" and "what are you trying to say with the wire?" to get my brain to mulling and pondering it all again.

Since my work is about the process as much or more than the end result, I determined minimally that these forms have something to do with rocking cradles and boats, are figurative, representative of some remains or essence. The wire is playful line, an outline of form, a skeleton and foundation, a structure for the paper. The fragile paper is the opposite of clay, translucent but not transparent.

So, guess these forms return me to old ground of trying to show both the inside and outside at the same time...inner beauty defined by the outer form.

Got busy and got a few started and possibly completed...


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Coming along but a ways to go...

Bisqued piece with nichrome wire ready to be cooked
My head continues to think in pod shapes and I'm adding holes, sometimes deliberately and sometimes as the spirit moves me. Here are some of the solid porcelain shapes.

Some of the shapes are being made in a dark stoneware with a white wash. Others are stoneware with layers of underglaze that will be sanded through... So many variations, but hard to see where this is going without getting any of them DONE to assess it this is a good way to go or not... having fun and making a lot of little fine crumbles that I'll have to slake down and recycle into something else... maybe a cast piece of some sort . . . with wire inside of it?!?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More wire and clay?

I thought that my series of making vessels for wiring up had run its course. Then these forms came to mind, so have to see where they will lead.

I see these as fairly figurative form with a ghost-like silhouette. Two influences I must be following:  earlier work by Christine Bourdette and the subtle forms of Amanda Salov, from whom I acquired a swell little dish last spring sporting this same shape.

The white pieces are porcelain. The dark brown stoneware shapes were layered with grolleg slip, with some edges left showing their brown bodies.

I can see a variety of ways to "lace" these up with wire... can't wait to get them bisqued so I can begin.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Stack Workshop #2

Second weekend of stack piece making... a second weekend that started out cloudy, drizzly and with questionable weather. Lucked out again, tho. Had just enough sun to get everything cut out, made and finished and into the kiln to dry. 

They were still on the moist side the next day, but dry enough to glaze up. This group attacked the glazing with a vengeance of multiple colors on their textured pieces. 
Ann and Hester.
Susan takes a brief moment to contemplate.
Susan and Lynda.

Bold forms from Lynda Farmer

Whimsical marks and brushwork by Susan Pachuta

Texture Queen: Hester Coucke

Kid drawings have helped Ann Larh perfect her brushstrokes.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Two New Works

Finally finished up two new pieces to take to a new gallery end of the month. Both are with deliberate layered and sanded through glazes, but one uses a blue/purple color scheme that I snitched from one of my workshop students. Yay! for students with new ideas. I did tell them I was going to copy them at least...

"Unintended Consequences" 
"Unintended Consequences," Other Side 
Fake Tiny Barb Wire
Have long been fascinated by creating two pieces to work as a whole. This time made it one whole piece from the start. The two halves were envisioned as being even more distinct, but as I carved away they "twin-ed up."

Took this piece to my Critique Group with a single silver wire spanning the gap. The wire connecting the two sides was always part of the piece in my mind, but since both halves were connected as one piece it made less sense to everyone. Then someone had the idea to make it barbed wire. CLICK!! After wrapping and cutting tiny wire, a coat of black paint. Now the two sides are tied together even more -- but with a slight twist of irony that only some will catch.

"Time Will Tell" is a return to a favorite shape, trying once more to try and get it perfect. This looks good to me now, but whether it will hold up to future pieces...? Only time will... 

"Time Will Tell"

"Time Will Tell," Other Side

Monday, August 12, 2013

Form and Function Working Together

My Neighbor and OSU Emeritus Prof Michael Burgett gave me a quick tour of OSU's Honey Bee Hive Laboratory where a piece he'd commissioned from me is hard at work. (See original post.)

At the beautifully landscaped lab, they have working hives of many different designs, including my pottery hive, created to look like a Greek-style Hive used centuries ago and also today.

Underneath a marble lid you'll find rows of wooden slats.
Each slat is spaced the distance bees like to make their combs.
It appears they like using it. Comb in process.
Comb being filled with honey.
A couple other types of hives: European-style, and how the bees did it before we humans decided we would like to harvest some of their hard work...