Sunday, April 27, 2014

Last Week to See My Work at Oak Hollow Gallery

This is the last week to see my work at Oak Hollow Gallery in Yakima. The show runs through May 3 (this Saturday).

It was nice to see a lot of people at the opening reception at the start of the month. I also sold a good number of things, so I'll have a little less to bring back to my crowded home studio.

Last week I brought a new piece to the gallery that was not there during the opening, so stop by this week if you want to see it.

Coming up, another opportunity to see my work and work made by my YVCC student this past year. May 6 is the opening reception for the YVCC Department of Visual Arts Student and Faculty Exhibition at Larson Gallery. The reception is from 5-7pm and the show continues through May 31, 2014.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mulberry Paper Layers

finished repaired form with mulberry paper additions

The other day I had some free time at home and decided to do some repair and refinishing of a few pieces I've had around the studio for a while. I had one large sprigged pod type piece that got dropped or knocked on the end a while back and the tip broke off. I epoxied the tip back on when I was putting together my last bike part pieces.

the black ball was added as a replacement, the originals were all matte brown

The piece also had a missing ball on one of the inner branches. I had misplaced the correct ball, the one that was originally attached, so I found a different piece that was the right size and epoxied it on instead. The replacement piece was fired differently, in a raku firing years ago instead of an electric kiln.

detail view of three yellow and three blue balls

After I did the physical repair, I added a mulberry paper layer to the exterior of the bulbs. I always liked the sprigged exterior and the sprayed underglaze coloring with a matte finish, but I was never happy with the original brownish red color of the bulbs that are bursting out of the pod form. The blue and yellowish orange mulberry paper is similar to the underglaze decoration on the exterior of the pod, but I like the contrasting texture that seems to soften the round forms.

view of the interior of the paper layered box

I also finished applying purple mulberry paper to the exterior of a rough little raku fired box. I finished the interior over the summer. I like the various tones and textures of the interior paper, but the exterior is pretty simple and difficult to photograph.

the closed box looks a bit like a cartoon easter egg--maybe a dinosaur easter egg

Monday, April 7, 2014

In the Gallery and Epoxy Camouflage

This weekend I put the finishing touches on my last piece and took my sabbatical work to Oak Hollow Gallery for the new show that opens Tuesday. The show features my ceramic and bike part sculptures and photos by Becky Blair, Jeff Reynolds, Corinne Hines and Eric Tchemitcheff. 

an accidental picture that I kinda like

I made some changes to one of my pieces last week, but I still wasn't entirely happy with it on Saturday. I used a large quantity of epoxy to attach the metal pipe to the ceramic base. I needed a lot of epoxy for stability, but I didn't like the look of the epoxy at the seam between the ceramic and the metal.

the ugly, but strong, epoxy attachment

It is obvious that the ceramic and bike pieces are not built and fired together, but I find myself torn between wanting to acknowledge the built and combined aspect of the work and wanting to hide the attachments. I return to my inspiration, prostheses and mechanical supports, and these, too, may have visible attachments and abrupt changes between the soft natural forms of the body and the hard manufactured or built surfaces of the prosthetic. Part of the appeal for me, aesthetically, is the contrast between the two surfaces, so I hardly want to obfuscate the differences. 

the hidden epoxy

Though I don't think the essential question of attachments and joints between the two materials is answered completely, I addressed the issue in this particular piece by camoflauging the epoxy with paint. I am happier with the piece today than when I first put it together. I expect to explore the question of how to hide or celebrate those mechanical/clay boundaries in future work.

"Bespoke Piece" 2014 --it spins!

I took the last two pieces to the gallery today after my morning boot camp class. Josie, the gallery owner, had my work out already but most of the photographs weren't up yet. I placed my last two pieces and tried to take some pictures of the gallery arrangement, but I was apparently still shaky from my boot camp class, so my photos turned out blurry. 

let's pretend the blur was done intentionally so that you need to come see the show
If you'd like to see the work without the blur, and if you'd like to see the photographers' work, join us this coming Saturday from 2-4pm for an artists' reception. Oak Hollow Gallery is in the breezeway of Chalet Place at 5600 Summitview Avenue in Yakima. The show runs April 8 - May 3, 2014.

the gallery before the work was installed

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bike Wheel and Letter Pieces

The piece I was working on during spring break didn't end up working quite as planned. I intended to put a bike wheel with bulbs on it onto the base I had built with computer keyboard keys. Unfortunately the base is pretty wobbly and the bike wheel is heavy, causing the whole thing to tip over with that much weight. I traded in the wheel for some other parts, though I still have some work to do in balancing the piece.

keyboard letter piece

I altered my plan for the wheel, too, and decided to put it onto another base I had prepared for a different top. I don't believe I ended up finishing the top for that piece--it was one of several pieces that ran up against December's end of sabbatical deadline. The bike wheel was still too heavy for the new, more stable base, so I ended up filling the base with cement. I've never put cement in any of my pieces before, so this was an unusual experience.

spinning bike wheel piece

I'm not sure that this work will be particularly portable, since it is so heavy and wide, but I had fun making it. The top spins on a ball bearing that was part of one of my boxes of bike parts (Thanks, Revolution Cycles). The base, besides being filled with cement, has a bike chain built into/around it. 

I accidentally spun the wheel during the last moments of the photo, causing a strange faded color and a ghostly image in some places

I plan to bring the wheel piece and other work from my sabbatical to Oak Hollow Gallery this weekend to set up for the next show. The exhibition opens April 8 and features work by four photographers (Becky Blair, Corinne Hines, Jeff Reynolds, and Eric Tchemitchell) as well as my ceramic sculpture. Join us for the reception on April 12 from 2-4pm.