Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

This piece is drying, and then I'll begin the process of layering underglazes on it for a multicolored sculpture.

Recently needed to write an artist statement about the "conceptual framework of my artmaking" and realized that all of these spiral forms have been about creating joyful works. Some are bold strong shapes, others are just plain fun. The spiral or twist provides a good contruction and glazing challenge for me and there are permutations galore. At least I haven't come to the end of this road yet.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing ... good thoughts go out to you from my studio to yours.

Hope to see you in 2009!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Week before Xmas

Completed this stacking sculpture for The Arts Centers' Chocolate Fantasy Auction that's in February.

There are always tricks with cooking larger pieces slowly enough to not blow them of these pieces has a slight rattle from something that blew on the inside (luckily). The colors come from low fire underglazes fired at cone 6. I love the way they get stoney and saturated at the higher temps right before going glassy.

It'll be interesting to see if this gets bites at the oral auction. 59" Sculpture - $550-$600 special order.

Friday, December 12, 2008

15 Second Sculpture at SFMOMA

The challenge by artist Erwin Wurm was public participation to create a one-minute sculpture with props set out in a corner of SFMoma. I took the challenge in a 15 second version. Sticking my head in the wood refridgerator was much easier than the other two balancing acts (5 fruits with head, chest, and legs against a wall, or three brooms in a crucifixion pattern).

Can I add "Sculpture in SFMoma" to my resume? Ha!

Something a Little Larger

This piece took shape over the past couple of weeks. I started with a definite form in mind, but as it went up in my pinch/coil methods, it took on a life of its own and came out like this. This is about 4ft tall before the drying/firing shrinkage. Think it may be destined for woodfire but am already making a sister piece that will probably be fired with layers of underglazes high fired so they scinter a bit.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Warm Studios

With the weather cooling off even more, I thank the builder of our home for putting in steam radiator heat 50+ years ago. My studio is in the basement and even though the thermostat turns down the heat, the pipes keep it a pretty nice temp most of the day.

I've been listening to "DUNE" on tape this week... Sandworm pots?!?

Here's another porcelain vase with a jaunty jig figure. A little taller so maybe it will get even more ash as it flows over the stream of pottery.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back in the Saddle

After the Fall Festival hubbub, wrap-up work and post event vacation, I'm finally back in my basement studio slinging clay. I'm working on a sculpture for the Corvallis Arts Center's Chocolate Fantasy Auction, and making pots for salt and wood firing. Feels good.

This Mt Hood Porcelain vase turned out pretty nice: chubby fullness, off kilter pose. The flames should lick around it nicely. Still just greenware 10" tall-NFS.

Speaking of vacations...In October we spent some time eating and drinking our way through the South of France, and with a little over 24-hours in Paris, also visited the wonderful Nikki de Staint Phalle fountain again. What a delight. The engineering to keep it going is mind boggling. Stravinsky Fountain:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Festival Week

The gallery view of "Dream Tree". Yes, resting on my laurels another week because this is the week all heck breaks lose with orchestrating the Corvallis Fall Festival -- my day job in arts administration. The 36th annual this year and it's hard to turn off my brain with all the details to deal with.

Most of the time artists are my best friends, comrades and mentors. This week they are a royal pain in the patooey as they cancel our show, call with myriads of questions that should've been asked weeks before or whine... It's all part of life, though, as we are all getting older with aging bodies and parents who are failing and brains that don't always remember as well as they should. So really, I'm not complaining because sooner or later the shoe will be on the other foot and I'll be that whining, forgetful artist.

Here's hoping to get back in the studio soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

August Musings

It's been a few weeks... My arts admin job has beat out my studio time by a mile. Did manage to squeeze in time to work on this collaboration with Jerri Bartholomew that we'll be showing at Art in the Pearl over the Labor Day weekend. "Dream Tree" is our first experiment together. It may take a few of these to get the hang of it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Week Nine

Sometimes we're asked to be philanthropic and sometimes it's fun--sometimes. "Tro-PIG-al Postcard" is my submission for the Old Mill Center's "Skinny Pig Out" fundraising auction. Skinny was a dear friend from the school and so I couldn't say no... Been awhile since I picked up paint brushes and this had some definitely "less than pretty" moments.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Week Eight

Oh dear, it's been a bit of a hiatus from the blog.

I'm getting into the studio, but nothing is getting close to completion yet. A glaze firing is still quite a ways off.

This vessel is part of a long line of "student homage" pieces. After being an instructor at the Benton Center for almost 20 years, student styles creep into the way one thinks. There is a little of Anthony in this piece, for sure.

Greenware vase, potentially a salt or woodfire piece - NFS

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Week Seven

My little corner of the Exhibition "Half-a-Million Pots" at the Corvallis Arts Center. Jay Widmer invited Cheryl Crownover and me to show work in celebration of his 30 years of teaching at the Benton Center of LBCC. The pots I fired with him back in March were made for this show and here is a nice grouping of them all together. The two pieces in front are "Two Old Paints" - Stoneware sculpture - $900. Can you pick out the one stunning Crownover piece amongst this grouping?

Gallery shows with pedestals and nice lighting make any pot look like a keeper.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Week Six

This is a good example of how the woodfiring flames and ash can decorate a piece better than I could have imagined. The form is a simple one, with just a slight attitude. The shadowing of the ash on both sides with the bold outline marks accentuate its pose. This was my gallery piece at Showcase because it turned out my favorite from the last firing.
Tall stoneware vase - NFS.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Week Five

This vase came out of the last firing getting ready for the pottery show in Portland. The handle got squished funny while I was rolling it out, and I decided to attach it as it was. It's funny how a small modification can spice up an old standard form.
About 12" tall - $55

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Week Four

This woodfired vessel was used in the Ikebana Display at last weekend's pottery show. A Sogetsu artist finished it with this lovely simple arrangement. It doesn't take a lot of expensive flowers--just a good eye with the right floral materials.
This piece is about 22" long - $175.

Below is one of my "Split Vases" with an arrangement and an example of how they look without flowers. I enjoy making these odd vessels that need to be finished with flowers. It's interactive and gives me great joy to see how they are used. Beginning arrangers shouldn't be afraid of them because they make arranging fun.
14" tall - $175.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Week Three

I've got a show coming up at the Convention Center in Portland (26th Annual Ceramic Showcase with 200 other potters-April 25-27, 2008) and at The Arts Center, Corvallis, (April 23-May 20) but unfortunately this lovely little pot won't be amongst the wares. A slight hairline crack that didn't go all the way through, opened up in the firing even with a good sealer glaze inside. I liked this piece too much to not fire it, but knew better. I just have to use a liner so I can enjoy it at home, or yet another "garden pot". I seem to make a lot of those.
NFS porcelain pot.

Friday, April 11, 2008

More Brown Pots

This pot should've come out lighter with warm waves of orange colors. Instead, I'm learning to appreciate how the flames licked around the sides and left hot ash deposits with just a hint of fumed redish orange undulating in the center.

Why do we love these little brown pots so? Because of the toil, vapor, ash and heat that put each and every mark there. The flame keeps informing us just what shaped pots we should make. And so we make rounder shoulders and fatter bellies or use different clay bodies and stack our wares just so to get the ash to paint beautifully on our works. Of course there are disappointments, but sometimes a few months down the road even those pieces tell us something about what to make next.
"Oval Vase" - $200.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Week Two

While March was leaving like a cold snowing, hailing, wet lion, a group of us were also trying to woodfire in the Oregon Coast Range at Jay Widmer's Anagama kiln ( This includes stoking a large fire breathing dragon for two days, eating mass quantities of wonderful potluck food, and being immersed in a group process that yields lasting bonds and a few wonderful pots. On Friday we unloaded to sights like this.

Woodfiring is humbling. Pots that seemed perfect for the firing come out showing every flaw, that the liner glaze was a mistake, and that it really should've been made from a different clay altogether. Then a piece that almost didn't get put in because I wasn't quite sure whether or not it "was worthy" comes out being one of the gems.

I will never be the perfectionist potter that I wish I could be and woodfiring continues to point that out to me with a big "Nyah, nyah." But it also encourages me to let go of that notion as being silly in the first place because in woodfiring there is no control.

Below is Week Two vase after she was cleaned up a bit.
"Vase with Stripes" - 8"x8" $195

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Week One

So Trophy Wife isn't a vase, per se. It is one of my breakthrough sculptures from a few years back, made after several show rejections, and with an exhibit at the Northwest Craft Center looming in the distance. It is made from highfire stoneware with porcelain inlay and a 23k gold leafed addition. About 26" tall. $950.

It could be a great centerpiece for a big dinner party, if one throws big gala affairs with lavish spreads of food. A friend hosts a Dinner Party Show at her gallery, The Blue Dome, and has used my torsos as vases. (
Ahh to have received the hostess gene.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Vase of the Week

Blame it on spring cleaning or possibly a wish to join everyone else in the 21st Century.

For a long time I've had a dream that more people will see and appreciate the unusual vessels I create. If a few people like them enough to purchase them from me, I'll be able to be even more daring and make more.

Here we go...