Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Final Post

so, this should be the final post for the mendo blog, as i am now back in cincy. if you are following, please check out to see what i'm up to with the collective!

thought i should boil down the lessons i've learned with my work at the residency.
1. underglazes are ok.
2. low firing is for me
3. stop using shitty clay from reclaim
4. get that artist's statement realed in asap
5. i still want to work on the surface/form problem without giving in to obvious gestalt solutions.

guess that's it. thanks if any of you read this business!

CCACA Highlights

the work i had at the conference. this school bus yellow pedestal i built was meant to hold three heads, but, being the occasional master of disaster, i rushed and exploded it instead. all in all, felt ok with what i had.

couple of examples of lovely tumblers from students. unfortunately cannot remember what schools, as i lost my notes in travel... oops. especially love the detail on the bottom of the cityscape tumblers, and the mirrored shelf. so nice.

this is the work of a student named jonathan huang. his skill with facial expressions and musculature is inspiring. he recommended the videos of forensic artist phillipe farout for reference. will be a future investment. great stuff!

i had never heard of clayton thiel before ccaca, but, frankly, i lost my shit when i walked onto the roof of the natsoulas gallery to find about 10 of these enormous narrative heads. there's a great video on his website that shows his process for these. this remains the highlight of the conference for me. 100% pure love.

altough i forget artist's names chronically, i have babbled to anyone who will listen about the "teeth woman" for over a year now. in fact, esther shimazu is the reason i decided to carve teeth and implant them for my moche vessels. her work is smaller than i expected, maybe @9"-a foot. no less amazing for that. it was inspiring and exciting to finally see these beautiful figures in person!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


so, nceca did not happen this year, but i VOW that next year it will. instead, i will enjoy the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts. very excited and hoping to swing the registration--lectures i want to attend= jim budde, kurt weiser, monica van den dool, karl mcdade. the art center has a booth, and i'm super excited about that as well. what a great end to this residency... but more on that soon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

work it out

acrylics. this is fun, but perhaps again, should have been low fire. the director here, darrin ekern, works with low fire and uses future floorwax over underglazes. i am learning to see the wisdom of this practice, for the clay's absorption abilities more than for sheen. i'd prefer a more beth cavener stichter look to the plastic look i'm getting. again, lesson learned.

amaco velvet underglaze. they are not kidding with the "velvet" this stuff is my new favorite.. now i must switch to low fire for sculpture. lesson learned. this had five firings....^04, ^6, ^04, ^04, ^018. i'd explain but it would just hurt your eyes and my head.

these are mugs i've been playing with. left to right, sandblasted with masking, soda fired with engobe, and ^6 with engobe. handbuilding mugs makes me really appreciate slipcasting...a lot.

this is the first moche. pretty much done. though the more i look at it, the more i think i need to go into overdrive on the prints...perhaps it's not done. drop off is's done.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

print/ repeat

so, in the spirit of the mayan codex, i made some symbols to describe a frame of mind/ a series of events. right now, print/ repeat. started out printing them in a storyboard way, but found repition in rows much more visually pleasing. think i can still tell a story this way. good news: more than halfway done.
other news: with the first layer of prints.
p.s. other news: first time using acrylics for a surface so i do not know if i am finishing or ruining this piece yet...
can't wait to find out. since blobby is next!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

just something to show i'm working

building up layers of thin acrylic on this, one more coat on the dot, and printing with the acrylics is next. just another process shot, since i'm waiting for acrylic to dry. also working on bondo with the blobby, but took a day off from the messy sanding since i have a cold.
tried using acrylic medium to thin the paint, but it looked a little more plastic than i liked, so most likely just water from here on.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

insano on his way

this guy is about ready to bisque. had a few problems along the way. ended up extruding the handle and spout, made it thick to allow for it's a bit thicker that the actual vessel, so hoping it's not too apparent once fired. (hopefully that's the least of my worries.. had a structural crack in the first vessel, and now have decided to cold finish after a ^6 firing) anyway, tried to be more attentive and careful this time.
the only other issue was losing some detail after spraying on my slip, but i was able to put it back in without too much work. the wrinkles lost their depth, so i spent some time today with what i call the "awesome tool" carving them in again.
this will get more slip after bisque, if things go according to plan.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

redwood elementary

taught a couple of workshops to kindergarden and first grade classes today. they used watercolors and pastels. here is some of the pastel work. talented kids! and lots of fun!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

captain insano!

captain insano! though he needs to be cleaned up, given some fun blobby add-ons and a spout, i am enjoying where it's at. also, the first piece snuck into this photo in the background. that one evolved into a wall piece. i sank some cash into acrylics and cannot wait to paint it. i am loading a gas bisque tommorrow or monday with a few others who are working large. fingers crossed for a good firing!!

i have to admit, i'm pretty jazzed about his grill. i made dentures and a tongue, then inserted them into the gaping insane mouth hole from behind. ha!

also working on some magnets to ship to cincy for the crafty supermarket in april. fun to make, less expensive to ship.

Monday, February 15, 2010

other residents

thought it would be nice to post about what some of the artists around me are up to, so here are a few to start. also, all of the residents bio's etc are on the art center's site at:

this is the work of arie grie. i work in the same studio as arie, and she's a great artist to have around. she handbuilds porcelain tea sets, also does work with narikomi, and has a great formal eye.

this is a piece by allen chen. he builds steel, wood, or thread armatures and dips them in a big stinky bucket of paper slip.

though she's into metal, not mud,

another great resident to check out is lindsay mis at :

Monday, February 8, 2010

keep the pace steady.....

extruder fun!! finally got a demo on the mysterious pneumatic extruder, so decided to play around with a 5" tube die. also pulled handles for the first time ever! not a bad beginning, but hoping to get better at it.... are some engobe tests. they work with the thermal screens, which is very exciting. i may be facing a limited color palette, since i will not be using any mason stains. i think it will be a fun challenge.

drying....drying....drying....ended up handbuilding the spouts, and doing a double spout instead of stirrup. has been pointed out to me that it isn't actually functional, as it can only be filled halfway. i think i am ok with that, but if i can have aesthetics and function next time, i'll try.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Blobby McBlob

so, finally finished modeling piece #1. just letting it hang around a bit so i can cut it up and hollow it out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


sun for one full day. fairly certain this is only the second time this has occurred since my arrival. since the reclaim is stored outside and is full of pine needles, i've decided not to fight it. walked to this lovely little clearing where a soft bed of needles covers the ground to collect a bag so i can mix it with my clay body for some experimental pieces. first need to get closer to wrap up on projects 1 and 2. more photos on those soon. also planning to try some bisque engobes with thermal screen prints. seems like it will be a gummy mess, but worth making sure before ruling it out.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

working on what i hope to make into a vessel with a stirrup handle/ spout inspired by pre-columbian Peruvian effigy vessels. planning for some engobe with masking as a surface treatment....but that may change. planned to use the pneumatic extruder today to get the handle ready, but was outsmarted by it.... hopefully my next post will involve victory!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Time to Make the Doughnuts...I mean clay

making clay from reclaim to save $$
note to self: if i ever get a nice mixer-- put that fucker indoors!!!! rust!!!