Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vent it!

Here's a great reminder of why its important to vent your kiln & kiln room. Take a look at what a few years of kiln fumes did to our heavy gauge stainless steel Envirovent blower. Here are "before and after" pics with the replacement...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Painting, Fish Test

Super excited today! Yippppeeeeeee!

I've been working on some new things and had some awesome test results out of the kiln today. The goal is to come up with some design motifs and ways of extending and complementing the line drawings with more depth...particularly for larger pieces. The thing that has interested me most is the look of water color overlayed with pen and ink. I think this started with a painting in a high school art exhibit that I juried last year.

Let me see if I can dig up the photo right now. Yes here it is. Sadly I've lost the artist name. This was a small detail of a huge painting. But I love the crisp lean lines on top of the color.

Here's my first test result. I'm not sure if it'll be color little monsters and cartoons, maybe some, but I'm really eager to try some abstract and some more expressive fire pots and some calming nature is likely too.

From a technical perspective I couldn't be happier! All the colors stayed true, no weird interactions, the color layering worked well, everything stayed smooth and shiny, fine detail stayed fine. Happy happ-E. Time to start testing my 80 jars of mason stains and spend some time in the notebook composing.

I don't know why I picked a fish for my first test, it just worked out that way. I'd like to capture fire, water, air, earth somehow, have a series of each. How varied can I get with the decoration and still have it be Erik Pottery with the same materials and forms? This is what I'll be drifting off thinking about in a few minutes.

Peace, good night.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Riding A Wild Pony... how I think of this life of the artist and arts administrator. The hat rack seems to grow ever bigger. Here's a bunch of posts I've been meaning to make and I'll just lump them all together. Maybe not ideal from a writing perspective but a good glimpse into the wild of the ride.

Man down! One of the vents on our kilns quit the other day. Not a big deal if you're firing for yourself outdoors, but in a building full of kilns that people are working in every day moving work for 160 ceramists in and out, its really not safe to fire because of fumes, and if you don't fix it the ware shelves back up pretty quick. Luckily it was an easy and routine repair and we keep the spare parts on hand. I learned that working on a sail boat....keep 2 or 3 of everything on hand, because when you're 50 miles offshore is when things decide to break. Take a look at what several years of firing fumes will do to a heavy gauge stainless steel blower fan when you fire continuously...

Did I mention I love my socket set?

My fine friends at Maralyn Wilson Gallery in Birmingham, AL had a big cup show including work by yours truly. While the show is not online, it did get coverage in a nice segment on the local news on the ABC affiliate. Maralyn does a great job in the interview, although she does make the newscaster kind of snort and make senseless comments when she reads the caption from one of my mugs "Bunny Loves Riding Smiley 3-Eyes". I helped with some artist suggestions and was excited to see my friends Joey Sheehan, Ronan Peterson, and MudFire Ranger Megan Ramsey join me in the show.

We've been busy with events and big spring marketing push here at MudFire the past several weeks. I realized the other day I had nothing drying and ready for bisque firing. I've got a few days to throw throw throw and I can't wait it's been a while. My last run of making was mostly handbuilding, which was unusual and fun. I made some cool boxes getting ready for the Containment show at Crimson Laurel Gallery that opens in April. This is going to be an awesome show and you'll be able to view it online. I'm doing my final decorating work this weekend and shipping the work out this week. I'll try to grab a few pics and post a sneak preview of my contributions to the show here. I'm truly honored to be included in this group of artists.

And of course, no blog multi-post would really be complete without a picture of one's darlin' with her new green mini-goattee...