Thursday, February 26, 2009

Signature chops and grad school

There seem to have been a few folks talking about signing work and making a chop and such lately (MudStuffingSketchbook, Colorado Art Studio). I have always tried to sign my work, partly because that is what we were asked to do in school and partly because my wife gets on my case when I don't. I tried making a chop a couple times but never ended up with anything I was happy with. I wanted my signature to be impressed in the clay, but carving backwards into plaster clay anly made a raised signature. I finally made one this week, though, that I am pleased with so far. I'm not sure why I didn't think of doing it this way before, but I didn't. I guess I'm just foolish. Anyway, here is the leather hard clay "mold" where I carved what I wanted my chop and a few other stamps to look like.

Then I "cast" the stamps by pressing wet clay into the molds and attached handles.

Again, I have no idea why it took me this long to think of this. I have yet to try them on a pot as they still need to be bisque fired, but I think they should work.

Now, for more interesting fare than making stamps, I finally finished putting together my application for grad school. Yes, I said application in the singular. I know it is wise to apply to more than one program and I would not mind doing this, but my wife and I recently built a house in Southern Illinois so I am kind of limited in the range of schools I can go to. But that is ok. I took a summer class and attended a workshop at the school I am applying to (SIUC), so I am somewhat familiar with the program and the instructor, and I like what I have seen. Now all I have to do is get in...

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I have finally gotten around to setting up a blog...not that I am excited about it. The whole idea of devoting time to using the computer irks me. But I suppose it is necessary in this day and age, damn progress. And I suppose it will serve some purpose. Lately I have been attempting to get my work in front of the public more, which for me right now means working on my website, setting up a blog and looking into Etsy.

And this will also serve as an impetus to be more consistent with working in the studio. The plan is to post on here at least once a week, which means I will have to accomplish something worth posting every week. A daunting task, I know, but we'll give it a shot.

Which leads us to my most recent accomplishment...

...a clean studio. I have always found it kind of difficult to work when the studio is a mess. And since this is really just a corner of a cluttered garage it is distracting if it is even a little messy. Hopefully one day I will have a separate studio, but for now I will have to keep my corner as tidy as possible.

These are a few mugs I was working on today while trying not to be sick (it is just a head cold, but still irritating). I have been working with some sgraffitto on my latest work. On these I carved through white porcelain slip (brown stoneware underneath), then painted the incised lines with under glaze. Probably not the easiest way to do things, but I've never been accused of doing things the easy way. The imagery is all pirate based; pieces of eight & ships & parrots & all that. Not sure why; it just kind of happened.

Any way, I guess that is enough for now. Hopefully I will have more to talk about next week. Bis spater.