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Hand built ceramic houses workshop featuring Susan Delatour LePoidevin

TriCity Potters and the Arts Centre and Theatre (ACT) are sponsoring a workshop entitled “That Special Place: Hand Building Houses.” The two-day workshop ($78.75), led by Susan Delatour LePoidevin, takes place Saturday, April 12th, and Sunday, April 13th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the 3D studio at the ACT, 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge B.C. Overnight billeting in Maple Ridge is available upon request (write to TriCity Potters at tricitypotters@gmail.com for more information). Call (604) 465-2470 to register or to get more information.

ACT_Delatour

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Idaho iPods: A Tom Trusky legacy

(Note: The following story by Tom Trusky has been preserved on this site. The original is no longer in place at the school site. As a result, a number of the original links for the January 2011 story no longer worked and needed to be updated. It’s still a good story and record and I’m reprinting it here verbatim. A photo gallery has been inserted, which was not in the original story. Tom Trusky coined the word ‘creativity’ and his work will continue to be available on the Internet through sources such as this one.)

Recently, I was thinking of an intriguing project Tom Trusky assigned to his students in 2007. He was my poetry teacher at Boise State University in the early 1980s. Then, from 1984-86, I had the good fortune to be co-editor of cold-drill, an amazing literary magazine Tom founded and for which he was faculty editor. He later founded a poster series, centers and archives for book arts, western writing and rare films. He discovered artists hitherto unknown or long forgotten, wrote and edited books and traveled extensively on speaking tours. Click here to go to a site that has a podcast of an interview with him, just scroll down the page and boot up the Tom Trusky podcast. It’s a wonderful interview. The kingpin of pranks and puckish humor, Tom amused us all with daily e-mails, snail-mail postcards and packages. He was also the king of kitsch and I remember eating Chunky Monkey ice cream and curly hotdogs with him when he visited us in Montana. Some time later, we all met in Seattle to watch Nell Shipman movies and listen to him lecture. A number of years ago, he and his partner, Enver, visited us here in Canada, as they made their way through British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan (if I remember correctly!). The last project I worked on with Tom was a book published in 2007 called Michael b., about a good friend of his who lived in British Columbia. But, now, let’s switch to one of his many adventures. In reprinting his words below and posting links to his photos, I honor my friend and mentor who passed away three Decembers ago.

Tom Trusky next to the sunflowers he grew in his backyard in Boise Idaho in 2008. Photo by Enver Sulejman

Tom Trusky next to the sunflowers he grew in his backyard in Boise, Idaho in 2008. Photo by Enver Sulejman

October 22, 2007

IDAHO iPODS

by Tom Trusky

Introduction to Book Arts students are usually assigned to create one pre-book structure such as a scroll; however, fall of 2007 I decided inflict a new plot on students, a plot I had been considering for 25 years: utilizing Idaho clay to make a tablet. I had been galvanized to concoct this assignment by news that the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) in Boise had Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets over 4,000 years old-among the oldest examples of writing in the Gem State.

I called this assigned tablet an “Idaho iPod” and defined it as “a real-time, full-text, random-access, read-only information storage and retrieval device.”

The project began with field trip to ISHS where students learned of the tablets’ provenance from Director Linda Morton-Keithley and were allowed to inspect the ancient tablets “gloved-hands-on!” Students visited two pits to obtain clay for their tablets. The first site was on US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property and is located between the small town of Grandview and C. J. Strike Reservoir in SW Idaho. BLM clay is white and very pure.

• BLM clayscape (photo by student Corrine Fuller)
• Instructor, retrieving BLM clay

The second site was located by Geo-Archeologist Jerry Jerrems and is found near Cartwright Road (CR) on soon-to-be developed private property in the northwest Boise foothills. (Both BLM and CR sites required permission from property owners, prior to removal of clay.) CR clay is dark grey and often contains sediments and artifacts.

• Jerry Jerrems, providing historical background about the site.
• Student digs in Cartwright Road pit.

Basic tablet construction advice was provided by Rick Jenkins of the Boise City Arts Center. Student lab fees purchased dowels and rolling pins used in the construction process which concluded with either air or sun-drying or kiln firing.

• iPod construction begins with hydrated, screened and 
kneaded clay, dowels, and rolling pin.

Clays from seven Idaho pits or sites had been obtained over the summer by the instructor and all were test fired by Jenkins-who also made city kilns available for student tablet firing. Results of test firings of Idaho clays, student (and instructor) iPods, and one deck of US Army “Heritage Resource Preservation” playing cards (which feature a cuneiform tablet on the back of each card-and tablets, seals, and other historical artifacts and structures in Iraq-ancient Mesopotamia-on the face side) were then placed on display at BSU.

• Display photos
• Deck of cards array
• ArtTalk: Lost in the Shuffle (163K PDF)
• Fact Sheet: Training for In-Theatre Cultural Resource Protection (50K PDF)

(Note: some of these photographs are no longer available. Instead of editing Tom’s article, I’ve just emboldened info for the ones for which photos are available. See gallery above.)

A selection of iPods by eight students (asterisked captions are followed by photographs taken by Carrie Quinney of BSU Photographic Services):

PAIGE WEBER: A “traditional” tablet made from Cartwright Road (Boise) clay. Tablet emulates the cuneiform markings of a Babylonian tablet. (2 ¾ x 4 ½”)*

 Paige’s tablet

FRANCES SUTTON: Round “tokens” have been created out of three Snake River Valley, Cartwright Road, and BLM clays. (Each approx.1 ¼ x 1 ½”)* Frances’s tablets

ISAAC GUNTHER: Tablet made from BLM clay simulates a real iPod. (3 ¾ x 2 ¼”)*

 Isaac’s tablet

JESSIE BEARD: A punning “eye” pod tablet (from BLM clay). (1 ½ x 2 ¼”)

 Jessie’s tablet

TABBY JOLLEY: Jolley’s punning, painted and decorated tablet is an Idaho spud-a plural iPod (eyes of the potato-get it?). (3 x 6″)

 Tabby’s tablet

AMBER TRENT: A Winco supermarket receipt tablet. Trent is emulating hundreds of thousands of Babylonian tablets which are receipts, receipts for sheep, honey, land sales, etc. She has used Cartwright Road clay. (2 ¾ x 2 ¼”)*

 Amber’s tablet

HOLLY GERE: Air or sun-dried tablets are far more fragile than fired tablets. Breakage has rendered Gere’s message (on BLM clay) ominous and/or ironic…. (4 ¼ x 7 ½”)

 Holly’s tablet

RANDY PURVIANCE: BLM and commercial clay have been mixed-much as the elements in Purviance’s cutting-edge tablet. It’s a “green” tablet (wind powered-note propeller?) that turns a spool on which have been affixed a 19th century ( Eadweard Muybridge) sequence of photos:

Photo 1

Photo 2

which may then be viewed on (through?) a 21st century screen (square hole?) in the clay:

Photo 3

Credits: Many individuals assisted in the Idaho iPod project. Many thanks (in alpha order) to: Gary Bettis, Scott Brown, Cort Conley, Virginia Gillerman, Felicia Burke Halter, Mark Hofflund, Sharon Hubler, Clinton Hughes, Rick Jenkins, Jerry Jerrems, Rick Just, Linda Morton-Keithley, Coyote Short, Paul Swiergosz, Mike Wardle.

 

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Progress Report for Jane Street Clayworks

W & H Sch grandfather clock face 2

Progress Report meets Father Time: The face of a W & H Sch grandfather clock at the Marines’ Memorial Hotel in San Francisco. By BrokenSphere via Wikimedia Commons

Oh, yes, I’ve too many irons in the fire. Add to that the fact that I’m not a multi-tasker! But, soon, soon, my I’ll finish my tasks. Today, I’m posting the new blog banner… It’s a little darker than the version on my Etsy site. I’ll tinker and decide which I like best… When my logo’s done (currently on the back burner), I’ll pop it into the various photo slots now filled with the stacked letters. I remind myself that if I continue to be patient and keep plodding along, it’ll all be done soon:

Progress Report:

  • Facebook biz page, in progress
  • LinkedIn page, need to update
  • Logo, in progress
  • Other monetization, in progress
  • Begin making artwork again, when everything else is done

A friend and I joined forces and have been holding each other accountable with bi-monthly meetings. We chart the progress of our respective online projects and have fun, too. We spell out our progress reports when we meet and send our ‘to do’ lists to each other between times. I must make mine out and send it…I received hers and must reciprocate…. Since we’ve started being accountable this way, I am amazed at how much I’ve accomplished. It’s easy to procrastinate and twiddle thumbs by oneself, but when you have an accountability buddy system, it’s grand. It is sometimes easy to let ourselves down, but we don’t want to let another down, especially if we’re committed to the process. A practically fool-proof method! More changes will become apparent sooner than later, as a result… 🙂

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Announcing our new Canadian Amazon aStore!

If you live in Canada, it is fall and the days are growing longer. What better time to nestle by the fire with a good book, to listen to some new music, or to work on your art projects? And it’s going to get chilly…rainy…or snowy. Well, now you don’t have to even leave the comfort of your home to shop for your art supplies! It is perfect timing for the Grand Opening of Jane Street Clayworks’ new Canadian Amazon storefront.

Over time, I will be researching and offering the best that is available on the Amazon.ca site,  material relevant to ceramics, pottery, sculpture, creativity, and art appreciation. Everything under one umbrella, convenient, and created to serve you. Eventually, I would like to offer as many things as I can that are made in Canada. In addition, I will be mindful of the best deals, materials, sources. I am truly excited about my Canadian Amazon aStore!

Built expressly for Jane Street Clayworks, this aStore currently features the following:

  • Books (The Books section includes print matter pertaining to ceramics, pottery, or sculpting. Also included are materials on creativity and art appreciation. In addition, there is a special section for books with Canadian content.)
  • Business (The Business section includes media focusing on business topics relevant to ceramics, pottery, or sculpting.)
  • Digital (The Digital section will include DVDs [NTSC format], CDs and MP3s. Chosen topics are relevant to ceramists, potters, sculptors. In addition, for those interested, there is also material focusing on creativity and art appreciation. Note: Kindle books are available through the Amazon aStore (US $), found on the blog toolbar.)
  • Storage (The Storage section focuses on containers for storing and transporting tools.)
  • Tools (The Tools section spotlights items used to produce work made from clay.)

Please take a look at our new aStore! The color theme is different because I want you to easily tell it apart from the US version. The index runs below the gallery, so scroll on down.

Enjoy!

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