Tuesday, December 17, 2013


A little post on the progress of a new project. 
A head.
I sometimes follow the first sketch that gets my creative juices flowing. I sometimes enjoy it just as a start, and continue morphing the project at hand.
This head is an example of how a starting image can morph into multiples

The first few hours 

Hey, female gone young male
The sarting image ( a woman with a bird in her hair)
laid in front of the resulting young male clay sculpture
proportions are close
just a sex and age change.
I notice and question:
The eyebrows seem real high, 
oh, well.
 Then with the use of photoshop ( elements : the baby program) I overlay a multitude of photos of found faces.
Overlaying these makes me realise that my facial feature positions match quite a few other photos of real faces and painted, sculpted faces.

and some other permutations,

these I find give me some new 'start' to imagine possible very light colorings to investigate after bisquing the piece.

Next: get the head ready to be bisqued.
I am at present juggling on how much I want to define the ears.

Claying is to me a very slow process.
I feel I have arrived at home, so I cherish that it is not rushed. That does not mean that I am very humbled by the media, and find myself being challenged regularly.

sitting figure

Was in Florida for a short visit. 
Found a little clay left and sculpted this piece.

Inspired by my sleeping muse.
My muse doesn't actually watch tv in the nude ( he does sit in an armchair). I here blended both Pierre and his armchair. But we have spent so many hours together after supper just zoning-out in front of the telly. I am the one who actually sleeps. And not in an armchair, but in an old battered kakhi green cord sofa.

done in a clay-body called Maccabe from axner pottery supplies

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fresh out of the kiln

Opening the kiln this morning I did not expect
to see any clear shinny glazes.

I was expecting the very thin pinched bowls
and flower
to be very cracked, but no!

 (colorful! and a little out of focus-sorry)

 let's try again, 

now everybody smile!:

Good job guys!

Friday, September 20, 2013

more steps to the process

There seams to always be another step waiting to be done.

 dripped some 'bermuda aqua' over some sage
terra sig + Mason stain mixtures

 felt a little playfull  with this one

I could'nt figure what this little creature's story was.
Just being attentive making some half-decent hands was what I needed to work on.
I have the feeling this will also be part of the 'bell' family' 
it's base is already waiting for the hands to dry 
(to the left)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

additions to the red clay family

Revisiting the red clay
to do a few ''tweeks'' - mainly softening some of the harder edges and changing eye-direction.

 'angel bell #2' - bone dry

bone-dry red clay family
gathered for a picture: click!

Limited palette

a limited palette
seems to work best for me

(a recently fired plate, 4 x 5 inches oil on board portrait)



Connectivity and community
For you who have time,
here is an excellent TED conference given by Steven Johnson

Remix! another video for the creative community

Nina Paley statues - Remix

Remix : by Nina Paley


goddess eye candy danse video

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This morning's clay exploration

Worked on another head yesterday using clay labeled '519'.
Things were so messy and I felt I was caught
in a repeat: do-undo-redo cycle.
Was wise enough not to destroy
hours of cycling and dunked the '519' head
in water to smooth everything-out and placed it under a bag to wait.

This morning I start with fresh plans and intentions.
After watching Kiki's video.
I decide to give a special attention to my intuition.

Let's see what happened:

After seing a dear print ,
I started laying clay on top of the print, realizing
- Hey that is a fast way to get realistic proportions,
after a few minutes: got bored,
definitely thought of not placing the legs or the tail or the ears,
but remembered to:
listen to my intuition - and finished off  
rapidly the little dear and called it a: ''sketch!''

 a sketch for?
got yesterday's head out, and placed it on the print!
Yep! time to do a sculpture!
 Funny thing was, that I had somehow already rolled out and shaped some cylinders
chop, chop, slip, slip
yep! just need some legs and ears now!

 1st time around,
got legs, tail and ears.

 After removing the little creature from it's hefty cylindrical support.
I get myself into a:
beginner's mistake! = learning curve : up-hill time!
legs cannot bear the weigth,
are especially uneven
and crack, crack, crack
one ear comes off as well.
intuition time!
it's for the best!a do over is what is best for the little creature

morning turns into afternoon,
it finally stands : and it is time for me to halt!

has the dear morphed into a lamb? or is it wearing a baby cap with bear ears?
Time only will tell

Always follow your intuition when doing art

Love Kiki Smith's sculptures


her mom told her to always, 
always listen to her intuition while doing art - with that sound advice I began this morning's clay-explorations


Monday, September 9, 2013

Pinterest and the Creative Process

Pinterest has been a teacher, a friend, 
a fabulous source of 
enpowering thoughts 
and connectivity
to a supportive and generous artist community

Once more, I cherish listening to the wisdom of this
 short video ( found , many months ago on Pinterest) of Ira Glass - on the creative process

Pinterest is such a fabulous way to keep research albums of our interests.
Here are a few links to some of my favorite personal albums

Thursday, September 5, 2013

into a bell

Started as a bowl with a high foot - I had the best intentions of making a bowl:
turned it upside down, yesterday afternoon

it now seems this piece will likely turn-up as a bell! 
(not sure about the shape and location of the wings though,....)

Since June :
this is the 3rd mutation of this head!
Clay's got to do what it's got to do
And I have to practice letting go!

This afternoon,
I will be attending my local potter's guild first get-together since joining the group.
Today's theme is: ''bowl throwing'' for the empty bowl charity.
I just read the e-mail giving some more details about the event.
Members wil be given clay for 5 bowls.
(that is: 5 bowls in 5 hours)
Since November 2012,
I yet to have one bowl fired and glazed
a finished piece that could be referred to as a bowl! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

one little tile

one little tile
OK with me!

put a branch on it!

''Put a branch on it!''

High on a shelf in my studio-office
 two sculptural clayworks are at a stand still under their see-trough wraps.

I have watched lately a series appearing on Netflix called ''Portlandia''. Amazing acting, crazy creative characters, what a laugh! 
Absurdity and parody of an era:
 the 90's Utopia thrives in the city of Portland

One sketch is called:

''put a bird on it!''
( for all us artsy/crafters - what a reality punch line that is!)

put a bird on it!

a decade later the analogy could be  :

put a branch on it!

Awesome little bird

top photo: 
unfired birdy color test tile painted with underglazes
 ( Mason stains mixed in terra sig)
looking good on that bone dry clay prior to it's bisque firing!

middle birdie photo: 
O-O ?
What happenned?
after bisque firing at cone 06. 
Where did all the pretty blues go?

bottom photo:
underglazes refired over glossy dark brown glaze successfully!!! 
How totally awesome is that!!!!

sticky situation!

Forgot to put a little spiky thingy under this vase prior to firing at cone6 - did not know that matte underglazes ( such as Cover-Coats and EZ-strokes) stuck to the shelves - did the inside glaze melt through? 
The sticky situation for me here is more taking on the challenge of hues
more specifically the clash of : 
blacks and blues ( and a little toast)

a little toasty

Here are a few pieces that I just unloaded from my ''home'' kiln. 

This was my first cone6 firing. I am glad to see the colors of matured clay - however I never expected, or even new that clay could toast!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's under the plastic bags?

 What's hiding under all those plastic bags?

 A few picces and partsd of work in progress
in slow-progress

A lot of bowl shapes are popping up in my work for I will contribute some ''bowls', to the ''empty Bowl'' Charity - to help fight hunger- an event held once a year- where for $25.00 or so you can purchase a bowl and get served soup with a piece of bread - a rudimentary meal to remind us of those in need!
This event took place on Saturday the 13 th of April- this year- should be arround the same dates next year!

Noodling with slip

Noodling with slip!

This recipe:
Pete Pinnell's White Slip:
40 OM4
40 Talc ( mine is grey , that's OK)
10 Silica
10 Nepheline Syenite
+10  Frit 3124
+7 Zircopax

(You can add a few drops( very few) of sodium silicate4 - a defloculant - makes in runnier and easier to apply with a slip bottle
Listed as low fire: however my pieces were first bisqued, then glazed and fired to cone 6

Bisqued trial slip trail tiles

Bisqued vase
Mix-Match !

Monday, June 3, 2013


A very recent interest:


Color test tiles

 For a few weeks I was obsessed in doing solely color test tiles.
(Thank you Eric of MIY for your patience in placing these irregular shaped thingys into the kiln, and never conplaining!)
Breaking the color-code remains a quest and a mystery

red clay !

My first 3 sculptural pieces in red clay:
an odd threesome!

to the left: ''Bowl with bathers''
center piece: ''dog urn''
to the right: ''entwined couple''

This red clay has a lot of grogg which makes it a fast sculpural medium with coarse details.

Yellow nude series

The yellow nudes series
A very short serie - but none the less a serie - inspired from yellow blooms early summer a few years back. Reality is: it takes me a while to develop, paint , photograph and post.
The use of the nude to me transcends time/social class and culture. They are part of  my imaginary mythological world of humanity.
My wish for these yellow nudes are a physical and emotional connection to the landscape : rest, contemplation and heroic vision.

 ''giant at rest''
(oil on canvas : 30'' x 30'')

 '' just contemplation''
(oil on canvas : 24'' x 48'' )

''Diana without her bow''
(oil on canvas: 20'' x 20'' )


 Came out of the kiln intact. (back in March or April of this year)
All the pieces that I made in Florida ( November through May 2012/2013) are still in Florida.
When I will get back it will be time to:
decide !
How and especially What to glaze


One of my favorite

This bulbous vase sums up what winter into spring looks like to me, a few leaves floating on top, white and the promise of fragile shoots of lime green and tender lavender blooms

''winter into spring''
(Matt underglazes)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bisque in waiting

Finally got some bisqued pieces.
I am giddy happy.
And, I am totally freaked -out
OK, I am afraid to mess things up and stay stuck in the land of MUDDY-COLOURS.

No colour is better than muddy-colour
Maybe less is better?
I must agree that the last experiment I put a lot of matter on that poor jar!

Here are a few pieces in waiting:

 ''She devil with wings'':

 a funny little squirrel - with removable cap, log and coffee mug : 

an imaginary cactus? flower pot:

What else is in the works?
greenware: A hare on a rock:

A member at our workshop called this next piece:
 ''the Frankenstein Baby'' , hum,,,,
it is a tentative sculpture of my brother at age 3 
( I hope to place a bucket of maple syrup in his hand )
I feel very insecure about this piece, and can't let go
of my negative criticism!