Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cats in the Garden

Coil-built white stoneware with sgraffito decoration.

Just under the wire I have successfully submitted these
photos to the Arts & Cultural Alliance in Knoxville
for their National Juried Exhibition.

No telling how many times I actually sent the entry form.
I had help.  And this time it wasn't one of my cats...
it was my daughter Kelsey's Amelie who, with pin 
point accuracy, leapt onto the laptop
and deleted (or sent) the form.  Twice.

My goal is to enter more shows and competitions,
and though I now have a decent photo set-up
there is still so much to learn about
the photography end of this biz.

If you'd like to see a pic of this bowl during 
the carving stage click on April in the 2012 archive 
to the right of this post. 
Guido is helping.

Wish me luck! 

Friday, November 30, 2012

My Fridge... The Original Pinterest

It occurred to me this evening
as I spent waaaaaay too much time poking around Pinterest
...instead of working in the studio...
that I've been 'pinning' things for years.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Custom Mug

This is a custom mug I made for my friend, Stephanie, last year.
It was to be a surprise gift celebrating their dog, Hogan, and new puppy, Bogey.
Steph sent me several pix of the dogs, including one of Hogan, the dachshund, in his
 life jacket!  There were also plenty photos of critters from the garden.
It was great fun incorporating them on the mug.

Although I thoroughly enjoy doing this technique it is very time consuming
and requires 3 firings instead of the usual 2.  I use an underglaze pencil for the outline
and amaco velvet underglazes for the color.

Hogan swims inside the mug, while Bogey is on garden duty.   

Hogan, chipmunk, baby birds and hummer.

Hummingbird, purple coneflowers and strawberry-thieving chipmunk.

Leigh sent me an 'action shot' of Hogan swimming in her morning coffee. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Children's Museum of Oak Ridge

I am so honored to have been asked to paint a birdhouse for the
Children's Museum of Oak Ridge's Annual Gala!
Several area artists were asked to decorate wooden birdhouses
which will be auctioned off to help raise funds for
this wonderful museum.

I was on a roll and stayed up pretty late working on this.
Apparently Guido got tired of waiting for me to go to bed.  He found me and seemed to
decide that if he refused to budge maybe I'd give up, and we could go to bed.
He makes a very soft and patient arm rest!

I found this little brass chicken in a box of odds-n-ends at an auction years ago.
It's a happy way to keep my 'palette' from sliding around.

I love the pop of complimentary colors together. 

This was great fun! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Growing Home

This sgraffito'd vase has a removable roof and non-removable owls.

Growing Home.  
Many thanks to my daughter, Kelsey Cartwright Roy, 
for coming up with this clever name for my vases.
So far... just cottages, but it will be fun
to create some different styles.

Detail of cat in the window.

View before glazing.

This one is drying.  I use sand-filled socks to weigh down the roof
and prevent it from warping.  Next I'll place the 
whole thing on some old wooden 
building blocks in order to help the base to dry.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Puppy post.

My dog loving friends have requested more pups to go along with 
all the cats I make.  So here is a new, small sgraffito'd dish
waiting to be bisque fired.

Coming soon: 
pandas and monkeys!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Finding my way back home...

I'm back.
Back home.  Back in the studio.  

It's been a very long summer full of stress and oddities and not enough art.

I moved my mother and her partner-in-crime to a 
retirement center 3 weeks ago and am only just finding myself again.
They chose to remain in Florida which meant driving 8 hours 
every other weekend all summer in order to help them prepare.
That's ok.  I enjoy driving, and the return trip was a time to decompress.

(And I now know where all the Starbucks are between here and there,
as well as a great Barnes and Noble for emergency audiobooks.)

Watching my mother try to process all the changes was heartbreaking.
Add to that the stress of trying to make it as easy as possible for them 
(and in a short time frame) it was... intense.

I shall be forever grateful 
(I want an uber word for grateful... it isn't strong enough)
for the help and support of dear friends and family.  
I absolutely could not have done this nor remained sane without you.
The move was a success, and I'm relieved to say that 
they are settling in well and enjoying themselves.  
Not having to cook is a particular thrill!
 The cats and I extend a very special thank you to my neighbor and co-Queen, Karen Smyth, for her loving care while I was gone.
 And Earl da dementia dog is happy to be home.

a shallow sgraffito bowl... wasabi dish for sushi?  a cookie?
jello would be fun...  

Lack of sleep and excess stress has made my occasional 
double vision problems worse.
Maybe that's why I wanted to put glasses on the cat.  

Guido, unfortunately, has discovered he reeeeaaaally likes
my studio chair.  Without chain mail gloves it is too
dangerous to remove him. 

There are 2 shows coming up in November.  The Terra Madre Show 
November 10th and then the Foothills Guild the following weekend.
I will just do the best I can.
It will be whatever it is.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tripod dishes & random thoughts

Ready to glaze a few new sgraffito tripod dishes.

I get a kick out of designing and carving these.  In part because
sgraffito (carving) forces me to loosen up... there's no erasing ; )
Everything ends up kinda quirky.
Neville the ring-tailed lemur.
I love these guys.  Couldn't have anything to do with
that black n white striped tail...

Random thoughts...

I wish I didn't crave coffee at 1am.
or that I liked decaf.

I find it odd that I often get hung up on the idea of
posting stuff in chronological order.
I sometimes hesitate to post something
(or don't post at all) because I think an earlier
event 'should' go up first.  really??!

I have the best kids.  ever.

I am not able to say the word 'mango' without smiling.
It's a funny word.

I probably shouldn't post stuff when I'm this tired.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guido and sgraffito!

Guido poses and keeps me company while I dive into this coil-built bowl.
I like to use a Tombow watercolor pen... with a brush draw
guidelines on the underglazed surface.  And if I mess up?
Just grab a different color!  

Carving the design is great fun!
Although I have guidelines, I don't always follow them.
Spontaneously adding details is part of the joy,
as is watching the design appear bit by bit
The technique is also soothing and makes the time fly by.  Which is one of
the reasons I get to bed sooooo late.

After hours of carving it takes some time to
stretch out my ring finger (right hand.)  That's the one that had
trigger finger surgery in December.  I'm grateful that it doesn't hurt when I'm carving!

Can you find the 2 cats, 1 bug and 1 bird?

A side view as the bowl dries.
Here it sits on 2 boards so the bottom can dry more easily.
I also rotate it often, and turn it upside down on some foam.
These photos were all taken before the bisque (first) firing.  I'm thrilled to
report that it came through that firing just fine, and tomorrow I will glaze.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's the little joys...

My new key holder and favorite Mike Quon illustration.


Here's my happy solution to having a loose key in the studio.  
No longer must I fumble around in a little bowl for
the key to the studio/patio door whenever 
Earl da dog wants in or out.
Bonus... the bird is also a whistle! 
This would be perfect for signaling Earl da dog 
to come in... if he weren't so deaf.

and now... back to work.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Color... lots of color!

I had a little hand surgery at the end of December.  
It was just a trigger finger release, 
but it kept me out of the studio for a while.
And what better way to get back into the swing of things than  
underglazing happy, colorful bowls?  
And not just any bowls, thank you very much...
but Bill Capshaw's lighter-than-air creations.
It was an honor and delight to play with these.  Play being the 
operative word.  No pressure.  Just fun.  LOTS of color.

This collaboration was for the Oak Ridge Art Center's
popular fundraiser, Souper Bowl.