Shows and Publications: 3/14
This month is becoming a busy month in terms of shows and publications. I am in two shows that are running for the month of March. The first is at Bradley University and is entitled Central Time Ceramics. Bradley University is located in Peoria IL. The second show is Varsity Art XVIII being hosted by Art St. Louis in their gallery downtown St. Louis. I am also a featured artist in Straight Up Magazine. This publication promotes artists and venues around the St Louis area. Below are the links to these different events. Also there is a new Meet the Artist video created for the Varsity Art XVIII show on the About page.
Art St. Louis: Varsity Art
Bradley University: Central Time Ceramics
Straight Up Magazine
Art St. Louis: Varsity Art
Bradley University: Central Time Ceramics
Straight Up Magazine
Mold Making: 2/3/14 - 2/13/14
For the past two weeks I have been working on a new project. I decided to "Go Big" and create a series of work consisting of a two foot tall tank form. The first step was creating the positive form which would eventually be made from clay. This was created using foam and plaster. Once the positive was created it was time to create the mold. I needed two parts to this mold so half of the positive was submerged in clay. Then plaster was poured over the other half. With such a large mold I reinforced the sides with angle iron. Once the mold was created it was time to fill it with clay. Each side was filled with clay slabs then the parts were pressed together. Once the clay stiffened up it was time to remove it from the mold. The last photograph is the first of the finished tanks. Many more will be coming down the way. Stay tuned.
Mid-Course Review: 1/31/14
So I have made it through the first major step towards getting my degree, the Mid-Course Review. Today I spent a few hours with the members of my thesis committee critiquing my work. I put together a 35 minute presentation showing my application work and the work of the past three semesters as well as my influences and future goals for my work. Then spent a good hour or so discussing my work and answering questions about my ideas. After all of this my committee deliberated and unanimously voted to allow me to continue in the program. Below are pictures of my set up and the pieces included in my review.
Wood Kiln Unload: 9/17/13
So with the wood firing cool and critiques quickly approaching we were finally able to unload the kiln on Tuesday. Upon first glance the colors seemed a little dark side. As we began to unload the work the subtle nuances of color created by the wood firing process began to be noticed. I was overall very pleased with this firing. My work, along with others, had some nice ash buildup and some wonderful colors. Not all the pieces were so lucky, such is the nature of a wood kiln, but overall it was a good firing with nice results. Below are a few pictures taken upon opening and unloading the kiln. For photographs of the work after it was cleaned and finished check out the gallery. The new work is at the top.
Wood Firing: 9/13/13
This past week has been spent preparing for a wood firing. It was an extremely hot week. On Tuesday we cut and prepared the wood in 95 degree heat. It was rather unbearable. Fortunately the heat departed as the actual firing approached. Friday ended up being a perfect day for the firing with a high of 70 degrees. The firing of the newly rebuilt wood kiln went off without a hitch. The highlight of the firing was the visit by my lovely supportive wife Katie. She joined the firing and even participated in the activities. The first activity was cutting some pine for the later part of the firing. She got all decked up in ear protection and work gloves. Katie also learned the ins and outs of stoking the kiln. She took to it like a fish to water, like cereal to milk, like gum to a bubble (you get the idea). She is becoming a true potters wife. After the firing I asked if she would help me in the future and her response was "only if I get to use the chain saw". I for one can't wait for that day. We are all anticipating the results from this smooth firing. Updates on the results will follow shortly.
New Studio Space: 8/31/13
Its the start of my second year at SIUE and after a summer without a studio space due to renovations in the ceramic studio I finally have my own space back. The ceramic studio has been completely remodeled and with it the shanty town of grad spaces has been redone in sterile white washed permanent walls. For the last few weeks I have been busy searching Craig's List. After scoring a stainless steal countertop, a slab of granite, and some metal shelving, the studio began to take shape. With a few projects; refinishing an old set of lockers, building a cabinet for under the counter, and a wedging table, the studio was completed. I miss the old space with its unique character, but this new space is working out well and I'm excited about the way it all came together.
Unloading the Anagama: 4/21/13
This past sunday, two weeks after shutting down the firing of the anagama, the ceramic students spent the afternoon unloading the kiln. After taking down the door and cleaning out the firebox we were finally able to take our first glance at the fruits of our labors. What we saw was impressive. The pieces were taken out of the kiln and placed on the driveway in roughly the same order in which they were placed in the kiln. It was extremely interesting to see how each piece was affected by the ash traveling through the kiln. After unloading a section, shelves and posts were scraped and cleaned. We then proceeded to the next section of the kiln. As we unloaded the path of pots on the drive grew. The only thing left is to clean and sand the beautiful results of this firing. Overall it was an extremely successful firing. I will post photos of the work once I have it cleaned and photographed.
Upcoming WPA Spring Pottery and Glass Sale: 4/26/13 - 4/27/13
The sale cards are in and the anual WPA Spring Pottery and Glass Sale is fast approaching. The members of the WPA will be gathering up all their work created over the last semester and put it out for the masses to purchase. Doors will open at 9 am on Friday April 26 and will go through Saturday April 27 at 5 pm. This years sale will be held in the Art and Design building in the New Gallery on the campus of SIUE. If you are in the neighborhood or feel like going for a little trip head down to Edwardsville next weekend and check out the plethora of pots.
Anagama Firing: 4/2/13 - 4/7/13
This past week a large number of the ceramic students participated in firing the Anagama kiln. An Anagama kiln is a wood fired kiln that consists of one chamber that slopes upwards. They are often built into hills or mounds of earth like the one at SIUE. This particular kiln has space for approximately 1,500 pots. We started loading on April 2nd and finished the loading on the 3rd. It was great to see all the work that was produced throughout the semester ready to be fired. The firing lasted a total of 4 full days. We started the fire at midnight on Wednesday and shut the kiln down on Sunday. Overall the firing went smoothly and everyone is excited to view the results when the kiln is unloaded on April 21.
Chili Bowl Sale: 3/14/13
Today the members of the WPA (Wagner Potters Association) took a break from the norm of creating pottery to participate in the Annual Chili Bowl Sale. The WPA is a student organization of ceramic students. The organization is instrumental in bringing in visiting artists as well as providing funds to help students attend events such as the upcoming NCECA conference. A couple weeks ago the members of WPA got together and spent an afternoon making bowls for the sale. It was fun getting dirty with clay and producing some wonderful wares as a group. Today was the actual sale. Each member brought in a batch of their favorite chili of which Katie made her famous White Chicken Chili (Which was the first demolished by 10:30 am). With the purchase of a bowl the costumer got to fill that bowl with the chili of their choice. It was a bit cold today, a nice day for a hot bowl of chili, a little cold for those of us that had to stand outside selling bowls. It was a big hit and a good time was had both selling and eating chili.
Wood Firing: 3/3/13 - 3/6/13
Things are moving into full swing here in Illinois. As April fast approaches I am creating work to help fill the Anagama kiln as well as looking forward to my trip to Huston in order to attend the upcoming NCECA conference. In the mean time, last week was spring break here at SIUE. Two undergrads and myself spent a good portion of the break firing the Train kiln. The firing went smoothly and ended up lasting a total of 55 hours. The long firing produced some nice results. Included in the kiln were a number of buttress bowls and two tray sets. Below are the images of the bowls. I will be posting images of the tray sets once I have cleaned them up.