December 20, 2007

Waiting is no fun

So I think the universe might be telling me to stop trying to rush things... And really, it's been quite subtle about the whole thing, so it just dawned on me today, while I was waiting for my *new* crockpot-dyepot to heat up to a simmerAnd at the same trying to untangle some single ply yarn I had spun up a few nights ago... ( I'm still waiting on the dye as I type, so hopefully it will work, I have no idea...) and as I was trying very hard not to break the yarn (which it did) and not stare at the pot trying to convince it that boiling is a fun thing to do ( it hasn't caught on yet) I realized that maybe I need to concentrate more on the moment and a little less on the future. Maybe. I have yet to decide if I would like to take the universe's advice. Probably should. but waiting is not one of my strong points. And besides, I did finally untangle the yarn and wound it up in a ball, I think the yellow and blue will be a hat someday.


Oh well, and maybe someday we'll fire a glaze kiln again. Perhaps in January.

December 6, 2007

Done-zo




Finally, some finished work!

November 24, 2007

More Tiles





Here's an update on some of the tiles I've made in the past week or so. The gas kiln should be done and cooled by sometime early this week... Not sure how long it cools down for, but it is well into being fired at the moment. Finished work soon!!!!!!

November 19, 2007

beauty

One of the things that has made moving to Cub Creek worth while is all of the nature that I can't seem to get away from... Ok, so it's a blessing and a curse to live out in the sticks, but it has its perks. Like this:

November 18, 2007

wadding




Wadding is what happens before one can put work into an atmospheric kiln (like soda, salt or wood kilns). The reason for this is to prevent one's shtuff from becoming stuck to the kiln's shelf and therefore ruining the shelf and the piece, as one swift whack with something hard is the only way to pry it off after the glaze has attached itself to the shelf. This happens because of all the shite floating around the kiln while it is being fired. In salt and soda firings you pump salt or soda into the kiln at a certain, very high temperature and it melts to your pieces creating a very cool glaze and it makes normal glazes even cooler. or it makes them ugly as hell. but that's what re-firing is for. And in the wood kiln, ash is what settles down and melts on to the pieces. Its all very neat. But it means extra work for yours truly. What in god's name is wadding you ask? It's a secret formula you carefully glue (yes, i use Elmer's) onto the bottom of your piece.

looks like this:



This takes a long time. It better be some pretty cool stuff coming out of the salt kiln or I'm going to be very busy refiring things and that might make me cranky. who knows. It'll also just be nice to have some FINISHED things finally.


And here is some knitting. Same yarn, the open knitted looking side is not felted ( really, it's called fulled) and the denser, softer side went through two cycles of hot water and a little soap to shrink it down. I basically did the whole, "oh shit I just shrank my favorite wool sweater" fiasco on purpose. It should turn into a bag when it is done. Might not.

November 17, 2007

Tiles are taking over my life




This cat button is a cross between my buttons and my tiles, I made holes in the side and back of the disk after absently carving this cat while on the phone one night. I liked it too much to put holes through the top, like a normal button. It now is sew to my curtain and I plan to surround it with more embroidery.

At the moment I am not only making my own tiles of various sizes and shapes and motifs, I am also the prime tile-layer down at the big house. This means I spend a few hours everyday laying down some lovely slate tiles and then later grouting them. It can get a little uncomfortable, but I can get in a great rhythm once I get going. It's nice to have something concrete to see at the end of the day. But more importantly, the tiles I am making!


I can't remember how exactly I got to them, but it had something to do with the buttons. Anyways, I roll out the slabs, smooth them down and then use a nifty cookie cutter like device to punch out squares of clay that I then carve into. Most of the designs are abstract, with heavy textures. On others I have been exploring bird motifs and seeing how far I can go with this whole bird fixation I seem to have developed since moving to Appomattox.

There have also been some sculptures out of said tile squares...



Since I started with the curtains, I suppose ending with some newer embellishments has a nice symmetry. The second bird is about seven inches above the first one, there will probably be more of those as time goes on...

November 13, 2007

my new best thing in the world

My bed. that's right, the one I haven't slept in for about... oh lets say... about 3 and a halfish months or so, as I slept on an air mattress for a awhile, then moved to Cub Creek and slept on one of those foam mattress cover things (an egg crate is what I've hear people call them but they do not resemble one at all...) in a tent for the past little-over-two months. Finally the big house is done enough to move my bed into! Rejoicing happened big time.

I've moved from buttons to tiles and am really loving them, each one i get to carve the heck out of and sometimes its a beauty and I keep it. I've also come up with another way to get fibers and clay together, i'm going to be using some of the tiles as PIECES OF ART by sewing them onto canvases and other fabrics and then embroidering around them, possibly beads will also become involved with this. This new range of possibilities means that all the tiles do not have to be... tile shaped, so I've had fun mushing and throwing them into new, crumpled up forms.

Still want to knit a sweater. Still don't really know which one or what kind. well, no, something with skinnyish sleeves and cables. yeah, too bad the funds are too low for that kind of thing. I may have to start searching the web for cheap-o yarn deals ... hmmmmm.

So I have no pictures of the tiles, but here is my little sister's first finished knitting project EVER. We sat on the couch together while I knitted a certain brown and blues scarf for someone special... It was probably one of our sweetest things we 've done together so far.

October 31, 2007



Here are some more pictures from the workshop! The bird cup belongs to me now, another photo of Ron working, I think he is making a tea pot. And a carved goat tea bowl that I assume he plans on either salt or wood fire. And then there's Roxi, everyone's favorite giant lap dog. She used to live at Cub Creek, but has since left to pursue graduate school with her poppa. Like I said before, the weekend was great! Here's a video of the last piece Ron painted with some of his favorite characters ...

video

October 28, 2007

Workshop at the Creek



After three days of pretty heavy, always steady rain and then a workshop, I'm too worn out to tell you all about this past week and weekend, but it was great. Ron Meyers came up to Cub Creek to do a workshop/demo for two days. I love his work , the people were great, he is such a warm, real person that you couldn't help but feel nice listening to him tell stories and explaining his work. Yes, that is THE Ron Meyers in the photo above, one sweet lookin old man, huh? And below is one of his works, it's the, well, blue plate special... duh. anyways, he told us he makes these most places he goes, called them his ...well, i think i know how to spell the word he used, chachski. but i think some how it starts with a k... anyways, I love that word. I love all my chachskis too.


I'll add more photos, including the tea bowl I bought from him later this week when I'm hiding out in one of my favorite places for a few days. Yay! Whee!!!

October 25, 2007

Numba Two


Here's something that i made really quickly hoping that it would spark some sort of creative flow yesterday... or the day before, it all runs together out in the sticks... anyways, it didn't work like I'd hope it would ( i still felt very uninspired after making it... boo.) but i still like it. then i went for a walk and found a place to lay down in some tall grass... lovely,no?

And now that it's been cooler, the salamanders (newts?) have moved into the studio. They're lovely animals but have a habit of stopping where I tend to walk and I have almost squashed one already... almost.

finally the rest of them

freaking finally blogger let me finish posting my photos that i've been talking about. here's the bird i embroidered on my curtain ...
A small selection of my army of buttons that's still growing, they'll be (hopefully) sold to the masses via yarn stores when they are done. I might glaze some, but most will be put in as bare clay into the wood kiln and the salt kiln. I'll explain about those later when i have work done in the actual kilns.
and this is a piece of melted glass i found in the back of John's house in the mud one day. It must have been melted in the fire it is an amazing little find. I might go out looking for more some day, but first it has to stop raining.

So that's what I've got. It's nice. oh, in the background of the glass picture you can see a blurry vase hung from the ceiling with pink yarn I spun. It's part of a series I may or may not expand to many many vases hung with spun yarn. Time will tell.

October 23, 2007

picture day!

Finally they decided to let me post some pictures of my work! My curtains, some yarns with no projects yet planned... my second sculpture here...

and of course, as soon as i tried to put more photos up, the damn thing breaks again... geeeeeze people. get with it!



Oh well, at least I figured out what to do with my alpaca, Mitered knitted scarf/shawl/small blanket! ( it all depends on how much yarn i have... white, black, dark-deep blue, light blue,dark gray, light gray. very nice and soft)

October 20, 2007

Curts, mommy! Curts!

I have found a partial solution to all the stress and distraction that comes with living and working in the SAME space. (Sleeping in a tent doesn't help either, but that's another can o' worms). The problem: I get distracted... easily, especially when it comes to what is going on around me, and since I'm here to work, and haven't gotten nearly as much done as I had hoped would happen, I was getting stresssssed. Tensions were high, until i decided to put up some curtains around my space to block out all the visual noise. Works like a charm. I can pretend i'm alone! This is Great! Now I have a cozy studio that I can work in without so many "breaks". It's kind of like being in a tent all over again, but with much more of a Lawrence of Arabia feel to it, I'm in love and have already started embellishing the muslin. Here's to keeping sane in a crazy situation! woooooooooo


So I tell you about my lovely, potentially life saving curtains, and blogger isn't letting me post pictures. they will have to come later I suppose.... damnshite.

I was also going to show you some yarn I've spun, some alpaca that is turning into a scarf (?) the little bird that's growing on my curtains and my latest sculpture and new and growing army of buttons... oh well.


( when I was small, we were moving away from CT to Japan and my mom took down my curtains. this was not, apparently, ok with me. I went running to her after discovering them missing crying, " Mommy! Mommy, Curts! Curts!". Curtains and I go way back.)

October 9, 2007

Creeker

So now I've made it to cub creek foundation ( www.cubcreek.org) Which means I will be spending a year living in Appomattox making things... I will be concentrating on clay works mostly, but of course, I can't to one thing for too long before I remember all the other things I know how to make and there will be many many fiber projects spilling out of my studio as well as ceramics. I'm looking forward to what this year will bring me, and am trying very hard not to look to hard into the future, as that always leads to craziness and frustration. The moment I'm in and the week ahead at the most, that's all I am trying to think about. It is harder than I thought it would be. Thanks to my darlings who help pull me back down from the crazy shelf I often find myself on.

But here's a work that's almost finished...

August 1, 2007

Catch up time...

So this one's for ray after he called me out on not blogging for so long... I've been busy and here are a few projects to prove it! (excuse the wrinkles, it's how i live )







This purse is one of my favorites i've made thus far, I hand beaded the center on a piece of felt with whatever beads i had already laying around. the fabric is a gray corduroy that I made a blazer with last winter. The skirts are all part of my determination to buy no new clothes for as long as possible and only make new / remake things already in my closet. So far so good and it started in June!

July 24, 2007

Ok, so it's warm, and my brain flits around when i'm in the sun

And as a result of the sun making my brain not focus, I havn't been finishing much else besides skirts, lots and lots of skirts, and of course, of course I have no pictures of them somehow. I also made a dress!! one of those projects that have to be ripped out, and started over completely with a whole new pattern (of my own making, hence the ripping out).
I've also been spinning a whole bunch of the orange with white roving i dyed a while ago, my unlikely goal is to be knitting it into something warm and cable-ly by the time the leaves match the yarn. so i've got to get going on that! yikes....
Speaking of yikes, my computer is about to die and i dont want to go back inside the coffee house to plug in. so hi, i'm alive. woooo!

May 31, 2007

I have many projects that are in the middle of being done



Making things, be it knitting, pottery, sewing, hanging dry wall or linking dandilions together into a crown for my little sister, is incredibly satisfying for me. There isn't really anything else I can see myself doing but continue to make things and hope and pray and beg I can keep doing it forever and manage to support myself some how. And believe me, I've tried to think of how things would be different if I had,say, decided to major in biology instead of art... it makes me shudder and feel yucky. So this must be the right thing for me to do. I hope.

Thinking about how miserable I would have been if I had chosen another major/career is kind of reassuring though... ( ok, maybe I wouldn't be miserable, but damn, it would've been horrible-bad-no good-times more often than not I imagine). At least I have something Im good at, and enjoy doing. Someday I might have to get that nightmarish office job to eat and live somewhere not in a box, but for now I'm pretty sure I've got a good deal with life going and I don't think it should change the way its going. I mean, sure it can get better, that would be cool, and I am sure that things will also get worse, but as long as i can make things, I'll be ok.

Huzzah for making things!

May 28, 2007

Pouring rain and a sprinkling of hail on the drive back today.

Here are some of the little doodlies from the soda kiln, the one with the lid started out as an uglyone, a victim of my glaze experimentation, but now look how lovely it is!! the other two are small things, about 3in tall each.



I went home this weekend, spent the night at my brother's place and walked down to the church ( not that I go to church anymore, but the people are good, so I do try to stop by for coffee hour at least, plus it makes the momma happy, and everyone knows that's a good thing.) But as I was walking and enjoying the quiet and coolness of the morning, I decided to try walking and drop-spinning at the same time. And yes, I am that coordinated apparently. It was amazing, all i want to do now is wal k around and spin, I think I might just be able to get through the piles of roving from last week's dying in a fairly reasonable time if I every time I go for a walk I spin. Very exciting.

I also learned how alike my brother and I are. It was nice to have some time and beers with him, what with all our other siblings, its been hard to just hang out at the house, so it was good to have his place to retreat to for some real conversation. Yeah, so it was nice, a successful trip home.

May 24, 2007

Dropping the spindle

So I had a day off from work and went to the studio to dye the remaining pile of Australian wool roving I've had for almost a year now... Figuring that I'd be more excited and actually spin some of it if it looked pretty. It worked. Check it out:



pretty, no?


I have some amazing ceramic pieces from the first no-professor's-help attempt at a soda kiln, it went great and we were all very happy/relieved that nothing was ugly (hey, it can happen). I'll try to remember to put up some photos soon.