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Jane Street Clayworks: Looking behind at ’12, looking ahead at ’13

Thank you for reading Jane Street Clayworks during 2012. You give meaning to what I do here and without you this blog would be a completely solo venture. While the numbers have yet to be crunched with Google Analytics, I’ll soon will be able to announce which posts were the year’s favorites. This will be helpful, as I want to know what you liked best during 2012, so I can tailor more coverage to your tastes. Speaking of which, we’ve entered our third year and it is my fond hope that you continue enjoying Jane Street Clayworks in 2013!

Over the year, I learned much more about social media and the upshot is that the blog went through a major transition. I created an Etsy shop, Facebook business page and connected them to my blog. I updated my LinkedIn page and connected it, too. The learning curve was very steep, at times, and it took me months of studying and experimenting. Thank goodness for YouTube and the Dummies books series! I don’t know what I would’ve done without them. Seminars through Small Business BC were invaluable and I have yet to implement everything I’ve learned. Of course, having a new iMac and Dragon voice dictation program makes all the difference, as well as switching to a vertical mouse, which is easy on the wrist. I began developing a new logo several months ago and will be completing work on it as soon as I’m up and running with my new Photoshop Elements program. I’m also test driving a new blog theme and my ‘identity package’ will be soon be complete and the look cohesive.

Blog content also went through transitions in 2012. The news agenda had been fairly regimented, with set coverage on specific days of the week. I changed that, dropped news and workshop coverage near the midpoint of the year. I will incorporate a new version of this later in the spring, maybe in a monthly format. Less locale coverage meant a broader appeal. Because I was distracted by getting up to speed with social media, I was not able to devote nearly as much time to blogging. There were times when I could only post a photo or re-post a favorite article run in the past. Now, I am back on task and must simply keep the plates spinning….

The year 2013 will bring many more changes. Last year, I ran some ideas past my “particular friends,” as Jane Austen would say, and they very much liked what these ideas. To start with, the blog jingle, “exploring ceramics and creativity” will be changed to reflect the makeover. For the duration, I will keep the name to Jane Street Clayworks because of the established of SEO connections.

Next, will be broadening of focus. Writing about ceramics, pottery and sculpture continues to delight and coverage of these areas won’t change. New areas of focus will include the following:

  • fine craft —  examples: master woodworkers, the origin of craft guilds, etc.
  • fine art — examples: individual artists, styles, movements, and techniques
  • writing — examples: specific authors, genres, pieces.
  • social media — examples: experiential pieces, trends, relationship to art
  • reviewing — art exhibitions, books, movies, etc.
  • Science and philosophy will not be out of bounds, either.
Lienzos_exposicion_Kitaj

Series of three paintings by RB Kitaj, 243.8 x76, 2 cm, The Arabist, The Greek, The Spanish scholar. By L. A. GARCÍA (elpais.com) via Wikimedia

In short, I will write about what appeals and continue to work with the foundation: ceramics. I’ll start slowly and will storyboard with you in mind at all times. The new focus won’t dominate the blog, so it will still be a recognizable and familiar resource. I have been itching to write about certain things, though, and will give myself leave to do it if I think it’ll interest you. I want to acquaint or reacquaint you with certain works. The first artist to be featured will be R.B. Kitaj, too little known and too little appreciated.

The year 2013 will be great fun at Jane Street Clayworks and you are all welcome to come on board because we’re about to embark on a most amazing journey! Happy New Year!!

Cheers!

— Jan

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Filed under Articles and Interviews, Current Events, Featured Artists, Fun, My Work, Videos/Photos/Slides

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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Egyptian exhibition at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center

Last Friday, my husband and I met my mother and sister in Seattle. We were on a mission. The next day, at 9:30 a.m., a coterie of people were standing before the doors at the Pacific Science Center, north of downtown. We were there to see the National Geographic exhibition, “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs.”  The exhibition, which opened in May of this year, ends January 6. If you are interested, you may want to schedule a trip, as these artifacts are not scheduled to return to North America after the show closes.

One has to reserve a time slot and it turns out the best time to see it is right after it opens or just before it closes. Being part of the first  group meant no one was in front of us and the next group didn’t arrived for some time. Our group was small and we were able to study pieces without anyone pressuring us to move along. It is a dramatically staged show, too, and the elegant venue was a treat in itself. Dark, it was easy to forget anything else was there besides the statue in front of you. Non-flash photography is also allowed, which was surprising to me, so I photographed the whole show, save three or four pieces.

At present, I am working on a two-part slideshow of the photographs I took. The first segment will be posted on Monday and, in the meantime, the following photographs are a taste of what is to come…. My husband saw the King Tut show at the same venue back in 1978, so it was a real treat for him to see this show and he so wanted me to see it. We all enjoyed it immensely and I am so glad I have photographs to pore over now.

It was truly incredible to see, at close hand, carving marks on colossal statuary, hieroglyphs, and representations of people and animals from the many Egyptian dynasties. The regimentation and ritualization of this culture really sunk in. Had I not seen this Egyptian exhibition, it would have been a great personal loss. Of course, I would dearly love to travel to Egypt to see the gargantuan monuments, but I treasure having been able to see these. I was also amazed to learn that one of the pieces is made of unfired clay. Incredible! The fragment shown below is about eight feet tall…

An example from the Egyptian exhibition: Relief detail at the top of the fragment. Depicted is the falcon god, Horus, son of Isis, Egyptian god of the sun, protection, and war; patron god.

 

“Relief of Horemheb. Quartzite, Cairo (Heliopolis), New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Region of Horemheb (1343-1315 BCE). The last king of the 18th Dynasty, Horemheb removed the vestiges of the Amarna revolution and restored the traditional polytheistic religion. On this wall fragment, perhaps a scene related to coronation, he offers incense before the solar God Khepri, no longer visible.”

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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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