Sunday, July 27, 2014

Visits to the Ann Arbor and Bay Harbor Art Fairs

Gosh, I have to say I miss doing these fairs.  They're hard work, for sure, but also the excitement of being around other artists and seeing the eye candy is hard to beat.  This year our daughter met us there with our new little bundle of joy - AJ. He is a trooper - no crying - ate lunch, laughed, slept. 

Ann Arbor is the home of University of Michigan.  It's a fun place to go - as you can see from the father and daughter portrait.

I'm sorry I did not write the artist's name down.  These were fascinating and textural despite being glass.
I did see an interesting use of what looked like float glass - window glass.  These sculptures were made out of thousands of cut pieces.  Several were over six feet tall and they just glistened in the sun.  For all of us glassy types it was quite an interesting use of those pieces....another recycling alternative.

This Saturday we attended the Art Fair at Bay Harbor in Petoskey, Michigan.  Here are some scenes from there.  Petoskey is a beautiful town on the shores of Little Grand Traverse Bay.  It's beautiful, it's arty beyond reason.  Lots of galleries and fun things to explore.

Since my father was a Navy man and had his own boat I am drawn to the water.  We lived close to Lake St. Clair where he kept the boat.  So it's especially fun to me when we get up to Petoskey and I see all of the great old boats and new very "cool" ones.  Having the art show right there on the water is always an interesting way for me to blend my love of quirky towns, art, and water.  Whoo Hoo.  Here are a few scenes from the fair.  Again - no real photos of anyone's work - I should have asked a few but didn't.  And look at the little cars that people drive around the Bay Harbor community.  Too fun!  And the fancy boats in their private docks - what treasures they are.

I'm not feeling miserable as an artist but I do think there are good times when reminding yourself what to avoid is a good idea.  I'm bringing it up because we saw an old friend and colleague while at the art show.  At one time he was making art he loved - he didn't wait it out and moved to being a showman kind of artist.  He'd put up these huge canvases on a stage about two feet up and slap acrylic paint on them with a palette knife.  He's personable and showy and the paintings (which are generally landscapes in nature) are just - well - ugly.  They do not represent his talent or any care for something that has that intangible feeling of coming from someone's soul.  Listen to me - like I am the bearer of knowing good art from bad...LOL.  Anyway, they sell - to whom I am not sure.   Like I said - I am not the bastion of all things art where I get to point a finger and say you're an artist and you're not!   But, I felt quite a ping of sadness for him and maybe for myself too so I decided to pass on this Don't list. 
I hope you've had some great weekends - I know I have.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Still Working Mixed

I love glass.  I love clay.  I guess I'm just a mixed media kind of person.   To add to the "look" of the clay I've been adding more and more homemade polymer clay stamps.  Nothing crazy just some patterns I can use.  You see the results on a few of them in this plate of new goodies.  The round beads were made of twisted ropes of red and white earthenware clay.  I hope the difference in color pops once they are glazed.  Some of the old plates full have already made it to being bisque and the horned vessel it currently sitting in plastic wrap with a damp sponge waiting for me to be inspired enough to finish it off.  Maybe tonight I can work on the stopper or top and see if there are any more textures I'd like to put on it before it gets dried to go in the kiln.

Then there are glass sets I've been putting together for a show in October.  Little by little the pile grows - discs, mermaids, hearts and two Buddha bundles. 

Peace, Love and Happiness!
and make lots of art too.

Friday, July 11, 2014

OMG, I'm a GEEK!

I'd of never thunk it!  But then I looked at the facts.

1. I love the Syfy Channel

I never was a Trekkie but when they started get smarter, scarier (Alien), and CGI entered the picture I caved BIG.   Although Sharknado doesn't do it for me there seems to be a gazillion shows that do.  To be fair I probably come by this naturally.  My father could not get my mother to go to "scary movies" when I was a kid and I was tapped to be his "plus one".  I got popcorn, pop, and nightmares!  LOL - We weren't as smart about kids imaginations as we are now.  I even worked at a theatre as a teenager.

2. Super Hero's are the BOMB!

Really Sharon?  Really? - Yup, love them.  Tortured souls who seek to right the injustices of the world.  And better yet if they are the brooding and smoldering kind - complicated.  Okay, shoot me - I'm married, too old for that, but not dead!  Even the non-hero's like Captain Flint and Captain Vane in "Black Sails".  Have you seen that series yet?  A-hoy matey.

3. I'd be a Zombie in a Zombie walk if there were one close to me. 

I don't know where I'd get the paint or who does that for them but it looks like a hilarious way to spend an afternoon. I already have a lock on the walking weird part (arthritis and stuff is a big aid to walking like a zombie, who knew). Again, I'm not dead but it would be fun to play "undead again"  for a couple of hours.  Hello, Walking Dead?  Need a zombie?  I'd do it for paint job.

4. I read Science-Fiction.

Yup, do that too!  It's not the only thing I read but after seeing Black Sails I reread the original Treasure Island too.  Outer Space - Historical make believe - I've always loved an interesting story that takes me out of "normal" for a while.  Ah, I even loved Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument series.  I love a good vampire, werewolf, and whatever else have you that's a well woven story.   And, yes, George Martin and his Game of Thrones series is already under my belt too.  Dragons - - - - oh hell yes!

I doubt this purging of information begins to cover my geekiness completely.  And, I'd love to see Comic-Con.  Would I fit in?  Probably like a sore thumb but it wouldn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of it.  Oh, and I taped the whole season of Supernatural - I'm saving it for a binge watching session - I adore those boys.
Uh, so I'm flying that freak flag today - GEEK and proud of it!  What's your thing, aside from being an artist?  Are you feeling just a little geek too?

Go Forth and Prosper!
and have a great weekend.
Oh crap, maybe I did learn quite a bit of Star Trek stuff - I do a good Vulcan sign too!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Plates Full of Clay - Not Like Feet of Clay - LOL

Stomping around in clay does sound like fun though - don't you think?
Shucks, nearly all my friends are going to the annual Gathering this year.  It's next week.  I just can not justify the expenditure while I'm saving for Daisy's new hip.  Maybe next year - or the one after.  Can you tell I'm in full out whine mode here?  I need to have Cher to slap me and tell me to "get over it".  LOL
Well here are 3 out of the five plates of clay components I've been working on.  They're about ready to hit the kiln and then the real work begins with the painting.  Some will get under glazes and others will just get glazed. 
I've a yearning for earring components so that is what I've concentrated on.  So far so good!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Missing All the Fun...

I'd show you all the paper plates of clay components - and might do that tomorrow when I load up the kiln - but for now I'm going to post some images I found.  Why, oh why don't we have anything fun like this in the Midwest of the United States?  I don't know the answer to that and it's a bummer.  This looks like fun - at least as much fun as Faerie Con and the paint is simply amazing.  Would I fly Austria to see this?  In a New York minute if I could afford it.  But, bummer...not going to happen unless the lottery comes along.  LOL  In the meantime here are a few images from the show and I guess I'll just have to settle for seeing the cute kids with their faces painted up at the art shows (smile!).  They are so cute wandering with their parents at a show.

Isn't this one simply amazing?  What a brave soul she is and I wonder if it tickles to be painted up like that.

Isn't this just delicate and feminine for a skull image?  Just beautiful!

Can you imagine how this would look in the dark - so cool!

Well, that's all for today.  HHmmmmm, maybe there are some color possibilities for some lampwork here.  There are a ton more images to see - just google World Body Painting Competition and they will come up.  It's just fascinating.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy Fourth of July Weekend

For all of you I hope you are having an absolutely outstanding holiday!  I know that I have been.

And all of my wonderful friends too! 
Sharon, Brian, Trudy, Daisy, and Maui

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Older Moment and a Damn Good One!

You have got to go and play this for yourself - if you're female and over 30 you deserve to see it.  LOVE IT!  Go to the  site and play the video - it's just GREAT.
Those aren't my legs but they look just like that - hot damn.

Do Over as I work on clay beads

Working on some redo's in clay today.  Tomorrow I'll be doing some more lampworking and when I'm ready to sit down for the day to relax I work on making some clay components.  Yes, it's how I relax.  The one that's complete (glazed, colorful, not so great) in this photo was an original I made about 6 years ago in a ceramic refresher I took with Jennifer Heynen.   I hadn't touched clay since college so I was having a wonderful time refreshing those skills.  I haven't stopped since that class.  I just intersperse it in with everything else.  I know lots of lampworkers who work with polymer clay, fibers, or metals - us artistic types never seem to sit still. 

The original is kind of yucky - I'd never done under glazes and you know how classes are - rush rush rush and learn the techniques.  But I like the craziness of it so I decided that with some alterations it might be an interesting focal piece, albeit a fairly large one.
I put on the wing - Maybe I should have stuck with it but all of a sudden wasn't sure if I liked it for the bigger work - or instead of people thinking it represented a mask they might get some sinister angel vs. devil kind of thing, which it isn't.  So, off with the wing and on with two horns. 
Hopefully the colors I chose for the mask will help to make him a more happy character and less ominous.   I guess I better keep it colorful.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

As if there wasn't another bell or whistle....

Well, who was it that said. "Less is more..."  I'm just not sure but it was a chance meeting with Cindy Jenkins who said something about more never being enough - shucks I wish I could remember exactly the way she phrased it but alas, that ain't gonna happen.  The only thing this aquarium bead is lacking is the turtle.  I had all I could do to handle what I did put in.  Two jelly fish swimming off the ledge (that's the new addition), a star fish, some murrini, coral (yup, that's new too!), other fun stuff (like sparkly dichro) and lichen too!  It's big - about 2 1/2" big.  I should of put a turtle on the back but I had done about all I could do - maybe on the next one.  Yikes!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Making Glass

The photo and the text are from Lauscha Lady's newsletter. Since we were just talking about murrini I thought I'd repost it here because it's a great shot of how hand pulled glass is made.  This is a German glass and very beautiful.  They pull those huge wads of glass to 5/6mm thick for the rest of us to use in our flames. It takes three to do it as one lays down the crossbars the glass lays against or uses a paddle to hold a sag while the other two are holding or pulling the larger gather. I just can not imagine the strength it takes to do that. Amazing stuff glass!  The reason they are referring to the clarity of the transparent glass is that their clear is a favorite among glass artists who want to encase their beads.  It is beautiful.  My favorite is their opaque red...I just love their red.

Hand pulling glass rod.

Hand pulled versus machine made = more pristine.  What this means is that a team of three people are involved in rod making.  Two pull the gather into the diameter needed.  Then a third cuts the pull into meter long rods. This is how it’s been done traditionally for 150 years. That is the reason the clears and transparents are exquisite.  Not touched by hard machines, just pulled in the same manner we pull a stringer.