Since we’ve had a driveway and small camping area cleared on our property, the first thing I did was buy a table and set up my mini-studio under the shade of a Torote tree. It’s been a little bit of a challenge to deal with the intense sun and some wind but I’ve figured out a system that seems to be working. I’m continuing to work on my smaller Bone Series Medusa and Urchin forms while I’m here and will be able to fire them in a friends kiln before I make the journey north again. I’m hoping to have a large batch of these to show and get up in the online shop next year.
In the meantime, I’m definitely finding inspiration here in the desert and the beaches. I’ve been finding and collecting all sorts of bits of bone and wood that inspire but my latest prize possession is this pelican skull below. The center photo is a close up of the fibrous structure of the beak connecting to the skull, I love how fragile and also how strong it is. I also love how translucent the bone is, so reminiscent of working in thin pieces of porcelain.
I’m spending the remainder of the year at our property in southern Baja, and it’s so easy to get inspired here. I’ll be setting up a little mobile studio to get some new work built and connecting with some local artists to borrow some kiln time getting things fired. I’ll be sure to share the process but in the meantime, here’s what I’ve been looking at for inspiration these days. I post a lot of these images on my Instagram feed, if you want to follow me over there too.
I just received notice that one of my newest pieces from the Bone Series: Medusa series was selected for an international online exhibition! You can see all 35 artists chosen for this exhibit here: Distant Ceramics
About: Distant Ceramics was created by Thomas Stollar to provide an outlet for artists during a time when physical exhibitions have become more difficult. This is the second edition of the online exhibition. Artist, and Associate Professor of Ceramics at West Virginia University Shoji Satake juried the show. We are very excited to announce that for this edition of the exhibition we received 320 artworks, from 125 international applicants. From this pool Satake, chose 35 artworks for the exhibition.
You can check out my individual page here, but be sure to explore and see all the talent that Santa Cruz has to offer!
About: The Visual Arts Network is a curated directory of over 300 artists living and working in Santa Cruz County. Here you’ll find creators of all kinds — from painters and sculptors to woodworkers and glass blowers. Each artist has their own page where you can learn about their process & their creations and connect with them directly. Search by name, location or medium, explore all the artists, or meet featured artists . Explore the Network and meet your creative neighbors!
For 34 years, artists across Santa Cruz County have shared their creativity directly with the community through the Open Studios Art Tour, a program of Arts Council Santa Cruz County. This year, our methods have had to adapt, but our mission has not changed. While we won’t be making that connection in person, we’re excited to present this online space where our county’s creators can showcase their work and build relationships with local art-lovers.
I just wanted to take a moment to THANK ALL OF YOU who participated in my Virtual Open Studios Sale this year! I was overwhelmed with the response and so happy to see lots of new art find happy homes! Hopefully we will be able to see each other in person, sipping wine, hugging hellos and chatting art talk next year, but until then, stay safe and healthy everyone!
And just to keep you all posted on my whereabouts and shenanigans…
I’ll be spending the rest of the year working on our property in Baja Mexico and enjoying leaving a cold, wet winter behind me. I’ll be setting up a little make-shift studio space there too so I’m sure to stay creative and busy. I’ve also set up the studio to be ready for my return with lots of new work from the large Rock Candy pieces drying and awaiting a ride through the bisque firing. And I’ll also be continuing working on my porcelain pieces embedded in resin, I’m looking forward to getting some of these pieces finished and up in the shop for 2021.
Thanks again for continuing to support independent artists!
After quite a few trials and errors on my extra large Rock Candy pieces, I’m pleased to report that I ~finally~ had a kiln load of successes! Phew!
This stage of the creative process is always the most exciting; the challenge figuring it all out, the emotional rollercoaster of cracking the kiln lid to see if there is success, the frustration of figuring one part out while another part becomes the problem, it’s all the best. Now, I feel like I can go into production mode and start cranking out some big pieces, feeling confidant that when I open the kiln I’ll have what I’m expecting. This stage is also exciting because now I get to really start to play with color and I’m looking forward to getting these into a garden space soon!
Turquoise piece is 20″x 12″x 13″, Blue is 20″x 15″x 12″ and the green is 10″x7″x6″
piti piti, zwazo fè nich | little by little the bird builds its nest – Haitian Proverb
I learned this proverb when I was working in Haiti years ago and it definitely applies to my studio practice these days…
Since the ash has stopped falling from the skies here, I decided to start working with embedding my ceramic pieces in resin. It’s been an exciting but very slow process to get some actual results. I’m working with a new-to-me resin product that is non-toxic, which is great and it’s also easy to work with, and is supposed to be extremely resistant to yellowing with age. The only drawback is that I can only pour an 1/8th of an inch layer at a time and I need 5 hours between pours, so it is a very, very slow process to pour pieces that are over an inch thick, but even with that, I think that these results will be worth it.
My husband Nate built me (yet another!) contraption that I can use to modify for different size circles and so far it seems to be working great. Since this is still in the R&D stages and this resin product isn’t the cheapest, I decided to make only one piece to start. I poured a solid base layer to start, let it cure and then started layering in a few ceramic parts and have continued doing that for nine individual pours so far. I love how clear the product is and how these pieces really seem like they are floating in the resin. They also leave shadows when the light is strong, which adds to the sense of depth. So little by little I’m building these out but very excited to see how they finally finish up when I remove them from the mold!