Friday, January 27, 2012

Today in Kirkland I taught two great classes. This is not to brag. In fact , the only reason the classes were so much fun was because of the people in them.
At 4 till 6:30 PM is my Wheel World class. In this class we just explore clay. The ages generally range from 9 to 16. Of course, the focus is the wheel, but overall I am most intrigued by getting my students to understand the nature of clay as a way to learn about themselves and what they really want to know about this world. This might sound really wild --and it is! That is because a piece of clay has infinite possibilities and if we are able to strive for certain possibilities within the clay then we may use that as a metaphor for shaping our own lives. Lives with infinite possibilities shaped by the mind that controls the hands. So today's class was great. A pair of best friends returned to make Fairy houses and mushroom pads, 3 girls learned how to center their first pots on their own , and a boy of 10 learned the difficulty of working on the wheel and eventually found the sculptural tools, particularly the slab roller , a little more satisfying.
From 7 to 10 is my clay 101 class. It is an adult class, though in this session I have 5 people who are under 20. So today we explored the sculptural techniques of pinching and coiling. For the pinch projects I started off with a simple pinch pot, and talked about the importance of a foot. I added textures using various fabrics and stamps. I put on a handle and since I accidentallypoked a hole in the bottom of my cup, I showed them all how to repair a tear by patching the bottom. Then I carved my initials in the bottom and set it aside. From there I talked about all the possibilities of hollow pinch pots. Especially, how easy it is to make an owl or a hollow head shape for a person or animal. After that I talked about the two part- pinch pot and I put them together to make a whale. We explored pinch pots a little more and then moved on to coils. We used the SUPERDUPERCLAYEXTRUDER to make coils and then I showed them how they could make coil pots. I made a big clay skull that kind of looks like a mummy as an example, just for fun.
During the class we talked about all kinds of things. We talked about science, water, history, supernatural beings, and more. We did not talk politics. About half of the students were returning, and a few were new. Some were exploring clay for the first time. It was really fun for me to share my knowledge of clay with them with the hopes that they will continue to work in this medium and be inspired to create whatever their heart desires. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures....maybe next time around.
The class was a great mix --like clay. We'll see what happens....

Monday, January 16, 2012

sculpture supplies from the sky....

This was the last large owl I did. I used wax carving tools for detailed lines
My front yard looks like a sculpture garden....and so does the back.
I used found objects to accent the eyes and beaks.
This is a nest.....I rolled snowballs in a spiral to get this effect.
This is my self portrait. On the opposite shoulder sits a small owl. My portrait uses river stones as eyes. I made these sculptures in my yard in South Seattle. Snow is such a direct sculpture medium, you don't even have to fire it!! Of course it is only temporary, but everything time.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Larger sculptures coming soon

One of the great things about teaching is that I often get some time off in between classes to make more art. In the last couple of weeks I have made several new sculptures of larger proportion that I hope to show soon. I made two very large pegasusunicorngiraffes that I plan on putting at SEATAC airport during the NCECA conference. I also made another large unicorn skull and a giant hippopotamus with cats all over it. I call the the hippo sculpture Hippocats as a pun on hypocrites.....and also since hippos usually have catbirds on their backs. I just fired them yesterday and so far-- so good.
I also recently inherited several large blocks of stone, some slabs of old growth walnut wood, and a few boxes of clay. These are great sculpture materials that I will be using this summer to carve and sculpt. Special thanks to Richard James who just moved to China after clearing out his sculpture studio space in West Seattle.
Picture coming soon.....