Friday, December 22, 2006

Back in the studio....

Back in the studio, work needs to progress on the floorcloth!
Its been a couple of weeks of paperwork, promotion, art shows, not to mention some fun, holiday related, social life.....but it can be frustrating to take that time away from an on-going, and rather interesting, new project.

The new floorcloth has a very specific theme, which is based on the world travels of the recipients. It will include views of places they have visited together, representations of the four classical elements : fire, air, water and earth, plus the sun and moon, an actual hiking map of Kilimanjaro, (making this a mixed media floorcloth) and some other stuff if there is room!!!!

I have been able to get some work done on it, and now it is beginning to really take shape.

I am feeling frustrated that I haven't been able to spend more time on it- there is a wonderful sense of peace and satisfaction at spending many hours at a time working on a project, without interuption, lost in the process of creating something out of a blank. I listen to music, get wrapped up in my thoughts, and have so much fun making the paint do stuff.....I am eager to get back to real work. For some real hours!

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In the meantiime....

As I remarked in my previous post, the professional life of an artist consists of many non production related shows are one of these.

Art shows require a lot of detailed preparation logistics and followup....everything has to be thought of from lightbulbs to lunch, not to mention display, pricing, printed material and the show itself takes a lot of energy to get through. If its a show where you have a lot of items for sale, that takes some management too....and with ceramics, there can be breakage!

Art shows are also a nice way to meet new people, see old friends, get dressed up, and out of the studio.

I had a fun time! And it was, in fact, a productive day, besides.

Time flies....

Good Heavens! Is that the time? I see now that several weeks have passed since my last entry, I knew it had been a while....

The life of any artist consists of many work related activites that are not very compelling to blog about... for example,
streching canvas:

Above ,you see one of the steps in the the preparation for a canvas floorcloth.
Heavy canvas (heavier than that used for a regular painting) is stretched, in this case, since it will fit, on a table. It is easier in many ways to paint on the table, I can use more liquidy paint when I feel like it, without worrying about dripping....large floorcloths are stapled and stretched on a wall, and that makes them also easier to see, and reach! Everything has its good points.

Here is the back of the floorcloth to be. This side has been primed various times, with a special paint formula I concoct to ensure the flexibility of the finished floorcloth. Very important.

The final coat for the back is a colour I feel will be keeping with the finished work, which will be on the other side.

I turn the whole thing over, staple it firmly to the table and begin again the priming process on what will be the front of the floorcloth.

After a few coats, I begin my art work.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Building the winter inventory.

Yes, I am still at it- painting a large inventory of pottery for a variety of winter obligations.
Every day I tell myself I have to stop!
I have some new work I need to get on with, and I think that after I fire the group I am painting now, I will close up the kiln until next time, put away the underglazes and move onto the new work....a floorcloth and a mural for starters.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pottery fired

Here are some of the mugs and teapots - all fired very nicely.

Painting pottery is one of the most absorbing things that I do. It is a never ending source of fascination to me, to paint something so utilitarian and with so many surfaces, that is basically very small....and to see how they all come out.
When one batch is fired, it creates a great desire in me to do ANOTHER batch, building on the succeses and interesting ideas from the previous group.

long time painting pottery

For the last couple of weeks I have been preparing pottery for the Christmas Present buying season.
I have learnt through experience that this is the main time to have a little inventory! Its just no good making up a batch of gift items AFTER Christmas, as much as someone might have wanted something in mid December......

Thursday, October 12, 2006

very sharp tile installation!

Here are some pictures of the tile installation I wrote about last time .
They were put in in a very cool and creative way.

This section by the loo looks like a fabric scarf, sliding down the wall!

another tile project

Here is yet another tile project.
I find that in my work there is a curious propensity for kinds of work to go in phases.
Sometimes its several floorcloths in a row.
Or lots of fabric.
At the moment it's tiles.
And ceramics.
Since finishing this project last week, I am now working on a quantity of mugs and other table ware for the Christmas present season.
But more on that next time.
Here are the tiles ready for glazing.

Here is the glazing process - the first coat.

And the last coat, 3 or 4 coats later.
The design colours should not be visible through the glaze, although the raised parts will show through, dimensionally

Another very successful firing!

These tiles will probably not be installed all together, but more likely spotted around in a wall of plain field tiles.
They are for a client who had similar tiles installed into a home that has subsequently been sold. They were so sad to leave the tiles behind, they have comissioned me to make another batch to install in their next home!

Its always fun to see what wierd things you can do with the pattern!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

All the tiles together at last.

Its a very exciting moment, when, after cooling over night, the kiln is finally opened. The suspense is over, and I see that all the work has fired well throughout the kiln.

Here is the wall mural portion of the project laid out as it will be installed.
In the top left hand corner you can see the solid blue field tile that the rest of the wall will be tiled in.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Time out for quick kiln repair!

Here is a picture of the heating coils being reunited!

After exactly 6 hours of firing the repaired kiln and its precious cargo, the cone drooped over, and I shut it all off, noting that the glow coming out of the peephole was just that precise F1,940 light. You can just sense it somehow.
This morning I was very happy to see an entirely successful result.

The Frustrations of Firing!

Last Sunday everything was set for a productive firing; the kiln was loaded, the pyrometric cone was in place.

When the kiln reaches the correct temperature, (approx 1.940 degrees F) after about 6 hours , the cone bends over gracefully.

Unfortunately, the kiln never reached the correct temperature.
After waiting an extra 2 hours, I shut off the kiln.


Obviously something was malfunctioning inside the kiln, and the tiles were underfired.
I emptied the kiln, and although the top layer was underdone, the bottom part had fired perfectly. There were some very pretty tiles indeed!

I was also able to see the problem with the kiln.
The top two elements were severed. Oops.
Time to make some repairs!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Back to the studio.

Having completed the mural, now its time to work back at home, in the tile studio.
The project is a tile mural for a kitchen wall, and matching tiled shelf.
The centre portion of the mural features a lemon tree growing in a decorative pot.
Geometric patterns will frame the centre image.
The shelf contains similar geometric patterns, and some individual lemons scattered about.
Here you can see the lemon tree, unfired.

Here is one of the geometrics, unfired; four pieces making up one floral.
When the tiles are fired, sometime next week, the colours will be very bright and the tiles will be shiny.

Its fun to play around with the seperate tiles that make up the 4 piece clusters. See how the floral cluster can become a wigggly stripe!

Here is the lemon tree getting glazed, under the watchful eyes of Maya the cat. In fact she actually does most of the work. The whole ''Pam Marwede" thing is just a cover.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Here you can see some more mural work as it idyllic Old Florida scene; sadly, no longer a frequent sight these days, outside in the real world.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mural inhabited by sombodies.

The depiction of animals in a mural makes it come alive.

They make it feel like this place is talking to YOU!

Its not just an empty have been noticed.

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