Saturday, April 16, 2016

First Firing of 2016

Over spring break, a few weeks ago, I was able to spend some time in the studio--enough time to apply underglaze and glaze to about half a kiln-load of work. This week I stole some time in the studio again and was able to prepare the other half of the load. I'm firing today. I'm still quite a ways from having all of last summer's work glazed, but I can almost see the end.

two sculptures in process on my crowded workspace

Last summer I didn't really finish any new sculpture during the summer, though I built a few small pieces and started some parts for a wall installation. I spent a considerable amount of my time preparing for the move to the new studio and preparing for, attending, and finishing work from my summer workshop at Archie Bray in Montana. 

my crowded glazing station

The academic year didn't get much less busy, as one could conjecture from the infrequency of my blog postings. I have new administrative duties as head of the art program and there have been some issues with regards to the new building and new studio, our department added a credit to most of our studio classes, and I took on a new-to-me art history series which required fairly massive prep time. But the most exhausting part of my year had to do with the tenure process. This was my third and final year and I was surprised by how emotionally exhausting it was at the end. 

an experimental underglaze decoration on a sculpture piece

Now the tenure process is complete and I have a lighter teaching load this quarter as a balance to the heavier load necessitated by the increased studio credits the rest of the year. I keep anticipating that I will be able to spend a whole day or a whole afternoon in my home studio, but that time is elusive. The academic and administrative duties that require my attention will swell to fill any available time. I need to actively carve out time in my studio, then jealously guard that time or it will disappear into a thousand other activities. 

small flowers to be added to a sculpture from this summer

In light of all this, I think a firing in April is fairly good progress. I'd like to see the results of my glaze application before I finish the last few pieces, but I am optimistic that I might be able to finish my outstanding (in the sense that it hasn't been finished, not necessarily in the sense of quality) work from last summer before classes are over.

glazed sprigs to be added to a summer scupture

This summer, like so often, I wish to maintain my studio autonomy, but I have already said yes to a couple of studio projects that are not my sculpture-making. I think they will be good projects, beneficial even, but not exactly my creative work. I'll write about both of these projects eventually.

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