Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ferocious felines, a portmanteau and how to make the change...


 They are quite possibly the greatest dreams ever.  Enough said.

Now, on to the good stuff. 

There is a serious lack of craft breweries, and breweries in general in southern IL/southeast MO.  Oh, there are a couple in the area.  There is Big Muddy in Murphysboro, Buckner in Cape Girardeau and a couple wineries that have jumped on the band wagon.  I am also eagerly awaiting the opening of Scratch Brewing in Ava.  When you compare it to say, Chicago though, this area really doesn't have much.  Certainly not enough to do a proper brewery trail (although there is talk of organizing one).  As a lover of craft beer, I would like to see this changed.  Somebody get on that.
Actually, if there was anything I could do aside from being a potter it would probably be working in a small brewery/brew pub.  I would be fine with doing little stuff, but it would be wicked cool to help create the brews.  So if there are any breweries in the Carbondale, IL area that have a few extra bucks to throw around (HA!) and need some part time help, give me a shout.

Say hello to Maggie.
  Maggie is the new cat my wife and I decided to get recently.  I am not entirely sure why my wife wanted to get a cat.  I think it has something to do with thinking it would be cute watching Noah playing with one.  It is kind of cute, but only for us.  Maggie seems terrified.  Of course that may be because Noah's idea of playing with Maggie is getting 2 inches from her face and laughing hysterically. 
I am hoping Maggie grows up to be a ferocious beast and hunts down all the moles that have been tearing up our back yard.  In the mean time she has been running around the studio pestering the dogs and such.  She seems quite interested in whatever I am doing, trying to jump in my lap and get on the wheel whenever I am throwing or trimming, attacking my elbow when I am decorating, etc.  It is not too bad having her around the studio most of the time.  She has only broken a few pieces...so far.

Luckily these were not among them.
I made these beer steins recently featuring people with sheep heads, or "sheeple" if you prefer.  Now, there are some particular associations with the word "sheeple."  Although this is where these pieces started, once I got working on these they became more about the visuals and less about the meaning.  I was really just having fun with the images, seeing how different sheep heads would look on different bodies and such.  They start a story in my mind.  I am hoping they do the same for other.  I think I may continue this line of decoration and do a little run people with various animal heads.  Swine-dividuals?  Cow-mans?

  Last post I was rankling about the oppressive heat.  As luck would have it two days after that post my wife's grandpa brought over this little gem! 
Sweet, sweet conditioned air!
He has owned numerous rental properties and now has quite a collection of things that were left behind, this being among them.  I thought it was going to be a bit too small at first, but not so.  I usually only run it at about 20 - 25% power and it cools the garage-io plenty for comfortable working conditions.  Freaking great.

And finally, I have been seriously thinking about making a major style change with my pots lately.  Currently my work is sgraffito decorated stuff fired to cone 5/6 in an electric kiln.  I enjoy the pieces I make, but came on this style more as a result of circumstances rather than choice. 
 Originally I wanted to get some sort of graphics on my pots.  The more I work on pots and in my sketchbook, though, the more I want to see the illustrations on paper instead of on pots.  That idea has been floating around in my head in a sort of insubstantial way the past few months or so, but was really solidified in the past two weeks.  I have been working on building up inventory and have found myself putting off the decorating part of the work in favor of throwing more.  A pretty fair sign that it may be time to move in another direction.

In addition to graphic pots (and probably before those, actually) I have always been extremely interested in wood, salt and soda firing.  The pots that come out of those kilns are just plain beautiful.  There is definitely something to the interaction of the clay and the flame.  Those pots seem to have a different, more natural life than pots that I have been making.

So now the question is how to transition from what I am doing to what I want to do.  Whenever I figure out what I want/need to do I want to get to it right away.  I have plans to go to a wood firing workshop next year, but that is an awful long ways away.  I have looked for other potter wood firing in this area to sit in on or help with firings, but to no avail.  I know SIU (the college 'round these parts) has a wood kiln, but I am not sure how often it gets used.  I am thinking about contacting the ceramics professor there to see if I can help with anything there or maybe even audit a class or something.  If I can get in on something like that I may even try to stretch it into getting into the graduate program.  I am sure my work would benefit from some serious critiques, especially if I am going to try my hand at wood firing.

Ok, that was a lot of eff-ing writing, so enough of this.  Next time...beards!

No comments:

Post a Comment