Tag Archives: hand-building

Open Studio Update

Kneden van kleiWe were all quite busy during Open Studio today, all making headway on our various projects. The slide show below features the work of Nan, Joan, Taryn, Gary, Pauline and myself. I am happy to say that I have finally learned Flickr well enough to present photos with good resolution for this particular slide show. (Click any photo to be taken to the blog’s Flickr site, as the subtitles are visible there. These photos are larger size on that site, showing more detail. You can also work with the slide show’s toolbar here by hovering over the top or bottom with your cursor.)


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Open Studio Report

The new year approaches and, with it, change. Our delightful Pauline Doyle has served as artist-in-residence for three years running at the Port Moody Arts Centre, a first. She officially ends her tenure this year. We will so miss her lighthearted spirit and inspiration. The centre has developed other positions and the book closes on hers after she leaves. I wish her luck as she pursues her own art work and takes some time for herself and look forward to the classes she will continue to teach. Pauline became my friend over time and I’m a little sniffly about the fact that her energy will be gone, but she won’t be completely absent, as she is helping our friend, Dan Severance, segue into his new position as Ceramics Technician at the centre. She, herself, will join the Open Studio come May. Dan takes over Pauline’s departmental duties: making glazes, firing and fixing kilns, overseeing the Open Studios. In May, an artist-in-residence will set up shop in Pauline’s vacated studio and they will hold this newly created position for one year. Unlike Pauline’s job, they won’t have direct duties related to the centre, but will be given a studio and the use of the centre to create their own work. Big news, big changes.

Kamensek’s current work is shown below. He suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, which he has had since childhood and this sculpture depicts the agony he feels in his joints because of the condition. The musculature and sinews are hallmarks of Otto’s style and the individual heads represent pain felt in the areas where they are located. A very powerful statement; you cannot help being affected by it. Masterful! (Click on them for close-ups.)













Pauline has been working on the boxes below for her relatives, each of whom will receive one for Christmas. Her soft boxes are so lovely and the glaze job on these is the result of a combination of three different glazes. Each has a different design treatment. They’re exquisite and I look forward to taking her soft boxes class in the spring! (Click on them for close-ups.)





Gary Ruckman’s dear lady elephant is done!
Today, he was discussing what he wants
to do to finish it… He considered colored slip, oil paints, and a clear, matte Minwax seal. It’s a beautiful sculpture. Then,
right before our eyes, he made amazing
headway on a maquette for a horse
sculpture. (Click on them for close-ups.)

As for my own project, shown below, I can’t tell you how good it felt to finally place my bird house in the bisque area! Such relief… I last worked on it in May, after which I was stricken by illness and subsequent surgery. I’ve been back at the studio for some time now, but have had other irons in the fire. It has been taking up too much space in the damp room and I decided the year couldn’t end without making an effort to bump it to the next step. I don’t know whether it will be bisqued till after the new year, but it’s in the queue. (The cone-shaped base will be inverted, the lid will go over top, then it will be suspended with chains. I will get a metal fitting for the hole, to size, and to prevent squirrel interference.) I also worked on ten “Snowfall” tiles and rolled out three slabs for a new project I’m working on. The studio closes over the holidays and, during that time, I will be masking off some tiles with liquid latex, in preparation for glazing in January. I also plan to make decorative elements for a partially built paper clay obelisk. In addition, I will be creating the prototypes for a series of new tiles.

Dec. 22nd is the Winter Solstice. From then one, light re-enters the world, growing in intensity till Summer Solstice. I welcome the sun and look forward to it brightening our lives. It gets mighty dark up here in Canada and Vitamin D is our friend. My neighbor tells me a lantern festival will take place in Port Moody for the first time this year. The new year already holds much promise for us at the studio. I so look forward to it…







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Open Studio Update

As many of you know, every Tuesday I meet with my friends at the Open Studio at Port Moody’s Arts Centre. Some of us hand build, some of us throw and hand build, but at certain times you’ll find all of us together around the big table. It’s time you met the crew: Pauline, Joan, Gary, and Otto! While Nan was unable to join us, our former member, Gale, made a surprise visit from Vancouver Island. I’ve assembled a slide show which shows us working on our various projects. Wasn’t it silly to give you Open Studio updates and only show and talk about my work? After all, an Open Studio is about people working together and community. In the future, you’ll be seeing a lot more of my claymates! (To read the slide show captions, click once on the photo; double click to go to the Flickr site. Also, Flickr photo resolution problems will be solved soon.)

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Open Studio Update

Today was one of those days when I accomplished quite a bit, or so it felt. Of course, that feeling is a byproduct of the ceramics production cycle… When you have much to bisque or glaze, things are looking up! When pieces are drying and there’s not much action, I feel less productive, yet it’s all part of the cycle. Very soon, I’ll post photos! I had meant to take my camera in today, but I forgot…post-Thanksgiving trip mental fuzzies. So, no process-oriented pics yet, but will shoot finished pieces next week and get some process shots, then, too.

Christmas Decorations: I glazed the hand-stamped cut-outs I made, what, a month ago? My intention was to underglaze in bright colors, but expedience won the day because of the late date and I used glossy Red Chrome glaze. They are part of my favors for a Christmas Cookie Exchange party at my home this coming Sunday. Made with wooden German cookie molds, for me, the decorations are a lovely reminder of my childhood years in Deutschland and yummy Springerle cookies. (Pronounced “shpring’-er-lee”) Springerle dough is mild-flavored; the zing comes from impressing whole anise seeds on the undersides. When I was on Bowen Island this summer, I met a potter who used a Springerle rolling pin, which has designs carved into it, for relief on slab forms. Good idea…might try it with mine. Take a look at this pretty site to see what these cookies look like: The Springerle Baker. The section called ‘Original Molds’ features photos of some beautiful molds. Here’s a recipe for Springerle, too. Mine is slightly different, as I place the anise on the bottom, but I can’t find my recipe at the moment, so give you this one instead.

Northern Lights

Fish-eye lens view of the northern lights taken mid July 2004. The Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major is on the left and on the right is Queen Cassiopeia in the constellation Cassiopeia. Between them in the middle, is the Little Dipper in the constellation Ursa Minor. The end of the Little Dipper’s handle is Polaris, known as the North Star. Observatoire Mont Cosmos, Quebec, Canada. Source: Image Editor via Wikimedia

“Snowfall” tiles: Nine tiles ready to be bisqued! Made of Navajo Red terracotta, I’ll be using Green Oribe and Cottage White matte glazes on them.

“Northern Lights” tiles: Have four ready to fire, but am testing only one first, as I want to see how it turns out. I’ve used broad bands of Green Oribe over Red Chrome, which produces an aurora-like green with hints of red. Solid black over the rest of the tile tile. I adore the Northern Lights. When I have seen, they’ve always been a beautiful green…

Escutcheon Tiles: Am finally at the stage where I’m painting decorative leaves, vines and berries in pale burgundy and green underglazes, lightened with Cottage White glaze, which makes up the background. I may have been a little too tired to work on them tonight, though. I used a watercolor and Chinese calligraphy brush and it felt a little like what China painting must feel like. I am going to clean them up considerably before they’re fired and I just might drop by the studio to pick them up to work on them at home. That way, they’ll be ready before next Tuesday’s Open Studio. I’d like to go in tomorrow night, but it’s a packed week and I can’t add anything more to my schedule.

Seminar: Tomorrow, I head down to Small Business British Columbia, in downtown Vancouver to attend a seminar in ‘branding.’ As a former graphic designer (actually, it never leaves you…), I am very familiar with corporate identity projects, but, thus far, I’ve never gotten the hang of what branding is in its entirety, so I’m taking a class that will explain all. Small Biz BC’s seminars are excellent and I’ve gotten so much out of each one I’ve attended. Last week, I had to postpone a slew because I had a cold, but I will catch up with those seminars in Dec., Jan. and Feb. and it might be better anyway, because there is a hefty learning curve with each seminar. Best to space them apart, really.

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