Monday, February 27, 2012

Studio Update

Well, it is finally complete! We received our Certificate of Occupancy three days ago and I'm so happy to have it done. For several reasons, but mostly now I can use the space to get ready for my show! I threw in some folding tables and got straight to work- I have sooooo much to do to catch up!

You can see the boxes lining the walls... I still have to get my shelves from my other studio. I have no where to put things yet, but isn't a concern for now. I'm going to get through this show and then I'll organize.

I am absolutely thrilled to have a space of my own. I think it's do important to the process of creating, whether it's a spare bedroom, a garage, a studio or even a folding table in your house. You have to feel like you have a space to let it all out. I can't wait to settle in and really make this space feel like home. I love it already!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Supportive Friends

I am so thankful for my friends, online and in real life.  Having a circle of support is so important to us as artists.  Family doesn't always understand what we do, so its so very important to have friends that can speak our language and understand our needs or concerns. 

Just recently, I was super thankful for one of my potter friends, Liv at Terra Locale Ceramic Studio.  She let me fire my little pieces in her kiln while I was waiting for my studio to be built.  She understood how stressed I was getting because my show is coming up and I have a lot of firing to do.  By firing my stuff in her kiln, I was able to get a head start on glazing and that takes a while.  I am so thankful to her for letting me do that!  And I certainly would return the favor if she ever needed it!  So if you have a moment, head on over to her Facebook page (which is the link on her name), and if you feel inspired to do so, give her a "like" on her pottery page.

Last night, I loaded the kiln with some glazed pieces for their first firing - YAY - and I'm happy that I'll be able to finish everything before I leaving for the ACC show on March 6. Thank you, Liv!

I hope you all are having a great week!  I am :)


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making It Work

As most of you know, I've been without a studio for a while.  Last summer, on July 1, we moved out of our old house (with a studio for me!) and into a new house.  We did a decent amount of renovation on the new house, and barely finished that before the baby came in mid-August.  For the next two months, it wasn't a problem that I didn't have a studio.  There was no time!  We were still trying to decorate and finish painting the house, plus with a new baby and a 3 yr old, there just wasn't a lot of extra time.  I worked a bit in my art journal when I could and just didn't worry about it too much.

But then I started to get the feeling.  You know what I mean - that FEELING - you want to create, make art, the soul needs it.  And I had no place to do it.  Insert grumpiness and frustrated feelings here.  We had plans to start building a studio for me, but we hadn't actually moved on that plan yet.

one table for clay, the other for sewing and journaling
On a whim, I agreed to do the American Craft Council show in March, thinking that the studio would (hopefully) be done in time for me to get some work made.  Time stretched on and on, with the studio still not being complete, and I kept thinking about this upcoming show (I was obviously insane when I made the decision to do that show)!!  So what I ended up doing was setting up a 4' folding table in the house, and that has been my studio since January.  I started making small sculptures at this table, and then setting them aside until one day when I had a kiln again.  My goal was to make 20 small pieces before the studio was made - I actually made 37!  It took so long for the studio to get built, that I just kept stockpiling my work, and I am so glad I did.  It was not too bad, working here in the house.  The two biggest challenges were the mess and keeping my 3 yr old out of my work. But ya know what?  It was better than not working at all.  I put my table by a window and I enjoyed the view while I worked and dreamed about my future studio.  It did make it easy to work in short bursts, like 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there, which would be harder to do if I had to walk out to the main studio.

So from all this, I learned that you don't have to have a fantastic space to work in.  It's lovely if you do, but I was able to make 37 little pieces just at my table.  On those super frustrating days, I just had to go look at my stash and I started to feel better about things :)

My show is almost here, and while I won't have a gazillion pieces made like I would like to have, I will be able to attend with what I have, and I'll be thankful to be there. AND, my studio is now pretty much completed, and I'll tell you all about that later :)

Have a great day everyone,

Friday, February 17, 2012

House and Home exhibit at Mudfire

One night I got some very exciting, unexpected news.  There was an invitational exhibit that I seriously wanted to be a part of, and so at the last minute I sent in my materials.  The notification deadline passed, without any kind of word from the exhibit, so I immediately thought, OH WELL, I guess I'm not invited to this exhibit.  Fast forward two weeks.  Then one night, hanging out with the baby watching tv, I happen to check email and there it is!  An invitation to participate in this exhibit!  OH yes!!!  It was made even more exciting by the fact that I didn't expect it.  I swear, my heart actually started beating faster and my chest tightened in excitement.  I danced over to to my hubby, and I could barely hold still and wait for the right moment in the conversation to tell him!

So the time has come.  I've shipped off my pieces, filled out all the paperwork, and the show officially opens on March 2.  Work will be available for preview online on Feb. 27.  Mudfire is a fantastic clay center.  I went there for a workshop three years ago, and I was totally floored by what they had created.  Erik and Luba, the owners, are young, energetic, and totally passionate about this place.  They took an old space in an industrial park, and turned it into a gallery/pottery center/super cool living space for themselves.  This place is about the energy, the vibe, the community, the SHARING of knowledge, and the support they give to clay folks.  Every week, they do cookouts at the center, and anybody is welcome.  The pottery students, the workshop attendants, whoever.  Folks bring food for the grill, and then everyone sits down and shares a community meal, and it is fantastic.  I so LOVE the positive energy that is created by everyone sharing interests and creating friendships.  So, can you tell that I really, really LOVE this place?

Here's the information to this awesome exhibit.  I'm honored to be one of their artists and to be included in such a show! Click on the photo or exhibit title to go to their website:

House and Home

March 2, 2012

MudFire welcomes an outstanding group of sculptors and potters for a domecile-themed exhibit. The show features 16 artists invited from across the country to express their concepts of house, home, shelter, nesting or dwelling places and represents a broad interpretation of the theme, not limited to human concerns but also the hidey-holes and getaways of all manner of creatures. We look forward to sharing a cup of tea with you at the opening reception on March 2 from 5-9pm.
Work will post in preview mode by February 27, and will be available for purchase starting 12:00 pm on Friday, March 2, 2012.

I'm so excited!  I will be able to attend the exhibit after my ACC show, and I look forward to seeing all the works!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Studio is Almost Complete

Wow, today was an exciting day!  We had to move the kiln from my old studio to the new studio.  No small feat! I've got a fairly large front-loading electric kiln that required some engineering to get it moved.  My old studio was above our garage, so we had to figure out how to get it off this upper floor.  We ended up removing a section of the handrail on our front porch, and raising the forklift up to that level.  The kiln was put on a pallet jack and then rolled to meet the forklift.  All this done by my most awesomeness hubby, and two guys totally new to moving kilns.  But the three of them did it, by golly, and the kiln survived!!

I don't have any pics of the kiln being moved into the new space, as it was dark and we did it by flashlights and floodlights on the house.  That's enough to make me nervous!!  Hopefully, by the end of this week, we will have power out there and will be able to hook up the kiln.  It's slowly getting done, but these baby steps are killing me!  I have exactly one month to get everything done.  It makes me sweat just to think about it.  I see some long nights in my future.  :)

That's it over here.  I've been working on two new sculptures at my little folding table, but I'd like to wait until they are fired to show you pics.

Have a good week everyone!