It’s been a bit since I’ve written, so I thought I’d post a short hello and studio goings on, lest you think I’ve fallen into a bucket full of clay. Last weekend I was able to attend the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI. It’s the closest festival to home and I love seeing all the familiar faces and fiber friends. The harbinger of the fall season complete with flocks of migrating geese and crisp sweatery mornings. It’s also the primer to the largest show of the year, New York Sheep and Wool, aka Rhinebeck. As I’ve said in the past, ceramics is a process, and it takes some time to get the studio all primed and running. Those who attend Rhinebeck can send a thank – you to Wi for getting the ball rolling. Now we’re chugging along, getting ready to shift into high overdrive in the few short weeks to Rhinebeck. (I’m currently pretending my calendar doesn’t exist, a childish but effective survival tactic)
Again, I’ve designed a special mug to commemorate this year’s New York Sheep and Wool Festival. (More on that later, but for a little tease- think woods)
As I spend most of my studio time making all the work for the show, I oft neglect to post here, as it is so easily slipped off of my to-do list. I’m going to try and post a bit more frequently in the next few weeks so you can see some of the great things I’ll have available in my booth! I’m especially fond of these floral bowls I’ve been playing with.
As always, if your interested in more of the goings on in the studio, follow me on instagram, as I often take quick photos of my process and post them there.
Please help me bring along the forms and designs you’re most interested in!
Post a comment with your jenniethepotter hopes, I love granting pottery wishes.
Vases waiting for their bisque
One of the surprising benefits of my summer arm injury has been a refocusing of my creative process. It was initially immensely frustrating to cope with being unable to make and carve pots. I had to embrace other ways of creating the pattern and play I so love about making and decorating pots. Now that I can throw again, with almost full capacity, I can take these ideas and transfer them into new pieces.
Rice Bowl inside view
I would describe my thrown forms as clean, utilitarian and simple. These new pots allow for a bit more texture and surface dimension. The result is less “tight” and has a bit more “flow.” (Darn it is difficult to express thetactile in words) I am enjoying this step into uncharted territory, I hope you all do too!
Rice Bowl outside
Every now and again I do something that makes me take my palm to my forehead and do my best Homer Simpson impression, “D’oh!” Why haven’t I done this before? This design is definitely one of those moments. Easily executed, and awfully pretty if I do say so myself, this new birch motif is sure to be on every form I make! They’ve always been amongst my favorite trees, and now I’ll be seeing them in my sleep.
Ps… I’ve been asked a lot lately what my next show is, and it is Wisconsin Sheep and Wool in September. My current studio work is being earmarked for an online update. I’m in the throes of summer revelry with the kiddos, so the date and time haven’t been scheduled yet. So, TBD!
Just a few weeks and I’m headed into spring for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I’ve been making lots of new pots. I often take pictures of my process and share them with my instagram and twitter followers. I should share them here too!
Here’s what I’m doing today in the studio. Having fun carving some sweater ornaments. A variety of colors and yoke designs will be available soon!
I’ve been hand carving stamps to speed up my image transfer. It’s one more trick up my sleeve. I’ve always been a big fan of carving, duh look at my pottery, but these stamps are equally addictive to carve. It’s like carving into a rubber eraser. The lino cutting tools are slick and make me feel extra crafty. The end result is SO satisfying. I’m rather pleased with how quickly I can get an idea “to print”. My work is pretty labor intensive, and I really don’t cut corners in many areas of my making. This one I’m sold on. After carving I use a dye based ink to transfer to my leather hard pot. Now it’s ready for the three coats of color I apply, then MORE carving! Lord help me if I ever stumble into a woodblock printer…
Bonus? I also have awesome new stamps for paper stuff too!
When making my event specific pieces I try and use logical sources of inspiration. Typically I look to the environment, the Madrona Fiber Arts piece is no different. When I, a landlocked Midwesterner, think of the Pacific Northwest I think ocean, roaring rivers, soaring mountain vistas and fresh salmon. Logical jump for the yarn-centric potter? Salmon fishing using a yarn ball lure.
Here’s the stamp I carved to speed up the painting process. After doodling my design with a sharpie marker I transfer it to a piece of ez cut linoleum block using pencil. I carve the design away keeping just the lines I need to aid in painting. I stamp the design using a simple stamp pad (it burns away in the first bisque firing). I then have outlines to place my underglazes inside of. This makes the painting go so much faster, and makes the design a bit more uniform. Then comes my favorite part, the carving!
I’m working on some new techniques to add to my artist’s quiver. I’m not entirely sure where, or how these are going to end up on my pots but I thought I would share a little of my studio obsession at the moment, speedball ez cut blocks.
I’ve been playing with paper cut outs lately. Here’s a pile of them. I find it nice to play with paper and scissors to work out design ideas. I often tell my students to work out design conundrums with a media they’re familiar with, paper fits that bill nicely. Pots with these designs should be out of the kiln this week. Yippee!!
A short stack of mugs in progress.