Off day by Andrea Zimon

The work on its side. It looks better this way. 
I started out ambitious with my Frank Lloyd Wright inspired project plans.  But it proved too complicated. I simplified it. And then it broke. Not once but many times and I repaired it equal amount of times .

Bone dry, preparing for its next big break but not for stardom. 
Somebody said that if you have a bad piece, recycle the clay and start over. Glaze will not make a poor piece look better. They were right.  However, you don't have that luxury when you need a grade. 

Top view
As much as I am unhappy with this piece,I did learn something.  Using too thin slabs of clay is bad unless you want a lot of bone dry breakage or warping from the kiln. I learned about pacing myself better with my projects. Many of my projects were big and ambitious. They were almost too big for my artistic energy and physical energy to confine within a four month deadline. Finally, I learned acceptance (clay is very much about acceptance with so many stages to survive) but what do I want to do with that acceptance? Do I want to bemoan or chuckle at this epic fail? Laughter is always the better choice. 

Top view with cover. The cover originally fit well at the bone dry and bisque. It warped during the glazing stage. 

Pick out your favorite technical misfire!
Still on the other side of this, is that again I used a thin slab for a beach background for my shell which you have already seen. I like my shell but one of the tendrils broke and was sort of glued on by glaze so I made a background support  for it so the tendril would remain attached and could hang it on the wall. It warped but this worked for me and shell is in a better place for it. 

Bad artwork. It happens. It should happen. It helps the learning process. What is definition of insanity? Repeating the same process and expecting different results. Making mistakes is how we go forward successfully, of course, only if we learn from our mistakes. Or as artists want to do, 'That mistake is so cool. How do I do again? I almost want to do 'warped work' again. Would someone repeat the definition of insanity again?


Clay Journey Part 2 by Andrea Zimon

My ceramic class continues. Bisque and glaze firing has begun. There are pluses and minuses to working bigger. It takes longer to create and complete which isn’t shocking but I usually don’t work big so I didn’t really account for time management but as of yet I am still on time with my projects. 

Project #1 is an autobiographical assignment and still in the works. It is an abstract piece that really doesn't quite have any visual value, yet.  

Project #2 is slab container inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.  This piece broke 5 times and now looks less like Fallingwater and more like a hacienda which isn’t a bad visual but not what was desired. Its only separate piece is the cover. 

It started out big like this. 

Then it broke and the size got reduced. 

Project #3 is making a tea set inspired by a 20th century painter. My tea set is inspired by Mondrian’s Composition No. 10 Pier and Ocean.  I initially started to dislike the project which became very heavy and over detailed but then I changed the spout and handle. It is currently awaiting its escape from the kiln.

The beginning

View of double walled teapot and the mugs.

The spout is larger than the body. 

The final result at the bone dry. 

Project #4 is a room assignment, an aquarium room.  Currently drying, this is probably my least serious assignment.  It also deviated from the original plan.
Make fish. 

Make sardine shaped container with seaweed patterned by lace.

Project #5 is a coil vessel with neck.  This piece has been fired, glazed, and is in the kiln to set the glaze. I used black underglaze and then sponged off the excess to bring out the coils. I didn’t fully glaze it but gave it a partial transparent glaze. This piece ended up being 13” high.


Project #6 is creating a shell from a pinch pot. This is complete. An extension did break buy I sort of glued it with glaze. I played with underglaze and glaze which is why it has the random orange spot. I did a lot of playing and experimenting with this one. None of which I wrote down because I thought I would remember.  Safe to say, I remembered little.

Project #7 is four bowls that focus specifically on the body, rim, feet, and handle. A constant theme in these bowls is the leaf shape which is my current shape obssession.
The body bowl has been fired and glazed. Odd colors were chosen because I named it Creepy bowl.


 Footed bowl again deviated from the original plan and became much larger and obnoxiously detailed. I say ‘obnoxiously’ because of the time involved. 


Rim bowl became quite unusual as the rim is also the body. Mike Sherrill does these incredible leafy porcelain works which I could not get out my head. Those works inspired this rim focused bowl.


Bowl with the handle as the focus. 

Project#8 is a positive/negative cylinder and with a much negative as positive space. This project needed to be restarted because of excessive breakage.  I totally deviated from my notes. It is about 12” high and seems to have a visual lean. I used slabs that were cut about 1.5” x 4.5. I twisted them for effect. 

Project # 9 is a shoe project.  I am doing a stylized version of the gita (geisha shoes). This is currently in the leather hard stage but complete for the most part. Totally stylized and unwearable.

Project #10  Wedding Cake Project. All three cakes started and currently in the wet stage. So much more to do.

This was done last year and not on my project list and I wasn't going to glaze it but I changed my mind because I wanted to experiment with some things. 


Um, No Thanks by Andrea Zimon

Minimalism in art?

When I heard that this existed, I decided that I would never be involved with it. No. Not happening. Forget about it. 

How could I? I like the process of my busy art. For me art is therapeutic, not settling into the maw of some art theory. 

In fact, while creating I was arguing with myself on how I could not ever be a minimalist in any way. Much internal resistance and battling ensued. Of course, I should have realized that by saying no to minimalism so vehemently, that I did, indeed, settle into that theoretical maw.

The other day I saw artwork on the internet that had a lot of media in the piece.  It was neither good or bad. It just had a lot of stuff and I took notice. I then had to laugh at my 'involvement'.  So much for never.

I realized something. 

Minimalism didn't want be in my art. It wanted to part of the conversation and to make me aware of the possibilities. 

graphite, fixative, digital effects.


learning to play chess by karin sanborn

Today's topic is concerns the latest studio challenge.
Typically I find the 'make' process easy on a certain level. Show up, create, express with intention, often oceans of it. The problem is not this current level. Getting to the next level is.

The most recent art coaching involves trying to create 'with the least possible moves'.
If this were chess, that is equivalent to a master who captures your queen before you know what happened. That is the kind of piece I am working towards.  This doesn't mean no effort. In fact to get there it is hard for me to imagine what it won't involve, meaning it will take everything I have, and then something I don't yet have, to make less. A false equals sign.

Step 1: Definition of user requirements.

Later will come development, feasibility, and then only after these components will manufacturing occur. Then edit ruthlessly to remove all that is not 100% in service of the goal.

Today and everyday is groundhog day until step one is mastered.
This is me sitting still with the emptiness of square one. No horror vacui allowed.
I will imagine Sol LeWitt as my opponent.


The Journey of Claywork Part 1 by Andrea Zimon

This is my second semester of clay and here is a peek into my project binder.  Over the next four months you will get to see how all the work develops. 

 Project #1 is an autobiographical assignment.  I am studying psychology and this piece is based on one of the theories I am studying. I will create a piece of  puzzle sculptural parts based on that theory. There are about ten separate parts that are supposed to fit together.

Project #2 is slab container inspired by architecture. My creation is going to be a jewelry box with trays inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater which has about four separate parts. 


Project #3 is making a tea set inspired by a 20th century painter. My tea set is inspired by Mondrian’s Composition No. 10 Pier and Ocean. The Mondrian aspect will hopefully be present in the handle and teapot overlay. 

Project #4 is a room assignment. I was going to do a  horse stall but I changed my mind and created an 'aquarium' room. 

Project #5 is a coil vessel with neck.  My goal was to make a braided, wonky effect with three coiled tubes. It will need to dry, to be sanded, and to be fired.  If it survives those stages, then I will decide how to glaze it. 

Project #6 is creating a shell from a pinch pot. This was the project I started after the Christmas break and it took some time to get the clay mojo going again.  It is almost complete except for some drying, sanding, and visiting the kiln.

Project #7 is four bowls that focus on the body, rim, feet, and handle.  I have started the body one which looks completely different than the sketch. I call it creepy bowl. It is very delicate and I am not sure if it will survive the kiln but I did put in the effort to make sure pieces stay on. We shall see. 

Project#8 is positive/negative cylinder and with a much negative space as positive space. It has been started but I am having some technical issues so this may need to be restarted.

Project #9 is a food project that is also our final. I came up with doing a three tiered wedding cake with flowers. It may end up being another jewelry box of sorts because I need to make it in pieces for easier handling.

Project #10 is a shoe concept.  I am doing a stylized version of the gita (geisha shoes).