Geta by Andrea Zimon

I  am working on my project list for next semester's ceramics class. While doing this I pulled out this piece from last semester's work which is a geisha shoe, called a geta. 

 I like my concept, especially the lack of practicality. No sane geisha would wear this geta. 

I loved doing the carving of my favorite motif - a leaf shape. 

I am happy with the result of the hanao (cord). The hanao texture looks like fabric with its cracks and lace imprint. This was difficult to do as I used thin-ish clay and the cracks appeared as I was rolling the clay into a tube. I was hoping this would happen. However, when it got into the bone dry stage I was holding my breath as the clay gets so brittle at this stage and tends to break if handled too much (that quantity you only find out after the piece breaks). 

By the time I had to glaze this piece,  I admit I was tired and snafus beyond my control led to more hand painting than I wanted to do. Hand painting ceramics is great when you have time. Not so great when the end of semester is looming near.  I thought I would water down the glaze to keep its organic feel. I used four colors which is minimal for me.  The black is too strong and the watered down glaze just looks weak. 

What I will take from this project is to plan enough time for the  next projects. I didn't really estimate how much time a piece should take. Glazing, also, tends to be the most difficult for me. Last semester I didn't really put down to paper what how I wanted to glaze things. I will for the next.  

If I stick to a plan next semester will provide some really incredible fodder for this blog.


new ways by karin sanborn

Northeast Films [NEF] is many things. Sometimes it is a contemporary playground where Warren Miller hangs with the ghost Robert Altman, promising to keep the story going for many posts to comeHowever perhaps my favorite characteristic is the phenomenology present in the consistent voice and gaze of the camera. It is a hopeful one. Let me explain.  

The eye that takes in each scene is able to shapeshift from one benevolent view to another: first as an ant up at the long-boarder's transport system, then as a common bird hovering low taking in the action of characters living the day purely for the joy of it. Other favorite shooting angles include plants given priority of focus while activities blur by in the background. Am I an insect? Maybe, yes, I can believe it... because while observing cropped views of bike wheels through the forest, the event is clearly more important than any single identity pedaling. Being present seems to be the only important criteria.

Creative efforts like NEF's are an elegant reminder that artistic expression comes from everywhere in the universe. Not just sometimes, but especially, outside galleries and museums. The places depicted in these films are from the realm of the living. Both the viewer and the viewed momentarily inhabit the same time, same place, in connected by disconnection between their respective shells.  


Tea Time Part 2 by Andrea Zimon

I dug this particular clay project out the box well before Karin wrote her blog with her tea items. Since no one is going to believe that story, I figured I might as well steal her title as well. 

My remaining clay projects were finished, graded, unceremoniously thrown in a box with dirty saddle pads ( which I forgot in the car. Aren't you glad I am not an Uber driver?), into my car, and then into the garage. I was tired and didn't really want to look at them anymore. I had put a maximum amount of effort into creating these treasures but was irritated with technical difficulties beyond my control. So why learn acceptance when you can embrace denial instead, and bury crap you don't want to deal with?

But now I will reflect and share. Aren't you lucky?
Welcome to non-functional pottery project number #3. The  tea set inspired by Mondrian’s Composition No. 10 Pier and Ocean.

The project is blue, like the painting.

It has Mondrian's patterns. 

The tea pot is heavier than all get out.  The double walled aspects is an interesting aesthetic but detrimental in functional use. Ditto goes for the handle. It is a handle in the loosest sense of the term.  Use this as a teapot and you will get the tri-fecta potential for going to urgent care; 2nd degree burns,a broken foot, and deep cuts requiring stitches.  Well, it is kind of pretty to look at. 

Square mugs. Yeah, square mugs. Weird but yet continuing to work that Mondrian vibe. Do people drink out square mugs? Of course, who would want to after hearing about the cohabitation with dirty saddle pads?

So right now, I am taking a drawing class. I am doing a 18x24" grid pattern self portrait. I appreciate the exercise but not so crazy about the subject matter.  I won't complain any more about technical difficulties and contemplate the serenity prayer. It is useful advice if I could only follow it. 

P.S. I was given a challenge to do my blog in one hour. This is how my blog usually is without my painstaking editing. My apologies. 


tea time by karin sanborn

it's blogging time again.
to be honest i'm really tired. no shame in it.
same as the rest of you; not enough sleep, too much work, too much everything.
not enough nothing.

this month's post celebrates space.
no coming up with reflective topics,
or how school is going (thesis work starts soon if you care).
float, be quiet, watch the universe.

have a nice day.


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?