Thursday, 29 March 2012

March 28 Update

Well things are crazy busy here and there seems to be something going on at all times of the day. My Schedule goes something like this.....
7am get up
8am breakfast
830 go to class and start to work
10am slides or discussion or demo
1230 lunch
1pm back to work
2pm demo or keep working
3pm beer break?
430 clean up and read aloud supremely trashy pirate romance
5pm cocktail hour or go for a walk cocktails, walk...cocktails, walk...hmmm
615 dinner
7pm back to the studio and work
815 some evenings there are visiting artist slides or presentations.
915 ichat with Brian
930-11 work in the studio
 til midnight or so my roommates and I gab about our day and laugh our asses off.

My days are pretty full and I am trying to absorb all the things that I am learning here. Every day there is something going on, we even had a forest fire in the neighbourhood last week. I guess a train gave off a spark and caught some brush on fire and there were helicopters flying all over the place.

We have gone on a couple of field trips with more next week to some local potters studios. There are a TON of potters around here. It is amazing because a lot of them are the same people that I have been idolizing the last few years. We went to Nick Joerling's studio and he is so nice and willing to share his information with us. We also went to Glaze Master John Britt's studio. Crazy glazing!! wow! I can't even explain some of the glazes he has formulated. He does mainly cone 10 which is way out of my heat range but it was very cool to see what he is making. He is most famous I think for his oil spot glazes which are phenomenal. 

We have also had the  privilege to have some incredible visiting artists come in and demo their techniques. Last week we had Jason Burnett come in for two days and show us his methods of screen printing on clay. It included burning our screens and doing a transfer technique with newsprint and coloured slips. It was fun and he is freakin' hilarious. I have not laughed so much since I arrived here!! We had Jason do our trashy novel reading a couple of afternoons in a row and he was fabulous!

This week since Kathy was supposed to head off to NCECA we have had an alternate instructor come in from Florida. Julie Guyot  does a similar technique to Jason's but she also uses water slide decals on her work. I have learned to say deecal instead of decal. I think I am actually getting a bit of a twang going on. I still haven't said "Y'all" which is fine by me but I have a feeling by the end of 8 weeks it will have surfaced. Be prepared for my return to Canada with a southern accent!lol I ask learned today that Americans say "Catty Corner" instead of "Kitty Corner"!!! I still can't stop laughing at that one!haha

Kathy King is my instructor and in the 3 weeks that I have been here at Penland I have learned soooo much from her. I can't believe how my work and ideas have evolved in such a short time. Kathy is an awesome teacher and extremely giving with all her information. As well as surface techniques, she is also including an art history course that she teaches at Harvard. Yes she is an instructor at  Harvard, how cool is that?!!

I have been throwing a lot more than I normally do and i am going to use this 8 weeks to hone some of my skills in that department. Kathy showed us how to make a 3 part thrown object with a lid and this is what I came up with....
Dont laugh too hard!!lol it was really disproportioned so I added a lid with flower holes and a base. I heard a good friend say to "work it till it's pretty!"  It has a slight lean so it needs to be placed strategically on the right crooked  table for maximum effect. I will be inlaying black into the incised lines and I think I will also be adding some commercial and laser printed deecals to it. 

 I am currently  waiting for the first batch of glaze fired work to come out of the kiln to see how my pieces turned out. The mugs that everyone freaked out over got broken one by one as I was glazing them. On to bigger and better things!!!

Walkway to the ceramics studio, flowers are blooming and the whole wall is made of ceramic pieces.

Ceramics studio with the fabulous Pirate's Patio. During the last windstorm our pirate flag blew off but we still have the christmas lights on the railing.

Road on campus where I went for a walk today. All the flowers are blooming and the trees are budding out. It is beautiful but still a bit chilly when the wind comes up. The are carpenter bees here that are bigger than the bumble bees in Canada. They are all freaking out right now and getting all territorial or something. last week they were dopey and half dead, this week they are buzzing around like crazy and attacking each other. I guess they make huge holes in wood siding and do a lot of damage to buildings here. People here don't really like them  but I think they are pretty cool looking and they hover and really still and watch what you are doing, it is creepy.

Well it is beer time....Cheers!!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

New Work March 20, 2012

I am too tired to write much. Yesterday was a marathon carving session. I carved 3 mugs and 10 small cups.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

One Week Down

Well, this place is truly amazing that is all that I really have to say.

 So far this past week we have had 2 lectures, one reading assignment,  3 demos on surface treatment techniques, we have to make 13 cups or mugs for the cup exchange we are having amongst the people in our class, we are throwing and joining 3 piece vessels,  2 other throwing assignments I can't quite remember right now, 3 parties, 2 yoga classes, 2 thunder storms, 2 slide shows of instructors work(bookbinding and ceramics), trip to Wal-mart where I was hoping to see some of those "Wal-mart" people in flashy outfits that seem to frequent my email inbox. So to say it has been a busy week is a bit of an understatement!! this place is crazy amazing! I walked over to the Penland Gallery the other day and thankfully(!!) I didn't have any money or credit cards...waaaaay too much good stuff in there. I think my budget will be broke in that place. Brian may have to top up my bank account or I will have to do some serious potting when I get back to replenish my funds. Either that or send Brian back up to Ft McMurray for another shift.

I have some other students lined up for haircuts this morning, we are trading haircuts for art work(earrings, pottery,....) good thing I brought my scissors I just need to find a way to get it all back home!!

There was a party at the Iron shop last night(foundry, welding, fabricating) incredible tools!! It is kind of funny how in the handbook Penland sends out they state that there is no drinking allowed in the studios and blah blah blah but yet the abundance of booze around this place is hilarious. I thought it would be a good place to curb my beer intake but alas, it isn't happening. The ceramics patio with our fridge full of beer is quite the party hotspot on campus. The Iron and Wood studios are amazing, the tools and studio space is incredible! All the studies have all the tools you would ever need to make anything that you want.

I have to tell you all about this book that I learned about this week called "Fashion Cats". Truly a disturbing yet totally hilarious in a twisted for way. This Japanese woman got a message from God to become a "cat tailor", dress up her cats and photograph them. TaaDaa!! Fashion Cats is born!I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my life!! it is so weird and wrong on so many levels...just my kind of humour. Google Fashion Cats and you will totally know what I am talking about. I am now obsessed with this book and I think  I will have to buy it for my coffee table( when i get a coffee table that is).

This is the dorm that I am staying in(Studio 54) and all the buildings have these cool tiled signs.

These are the views from the patio outside of the studio(where the magic happens). The white building is The Pines dining hall  and the small one in front is the Dye shack, I heard that a lot of people go there to dye, no word of a lie....hey that rhymes!

Pretty foggy some mornings but it has been incredibly warm and mild here. It is pouring down rain this morning so I may have to postpone my walk and throw pots...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Arriving at Penland...

Well...I dint think they were going to let me cross the border. I think I pissed the chick off at the US customs office when I told her that I was retired and that I didn't have a job. She made me go back home and bring back proof of  residence in Canada(a utility bill) and bank statements showing that I actually have access to money to support myself here for 2 months. I guess she didn't understand the I have already paid for room and board and my only expenses will be beer and art supplies!! She also really wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to get a "side job"(her words) to make some cash. What kind of a side job does she think I can find up in the mountains in Deliverance country where there are only 6 different names in the phone book?!! I didn't actually come up with that reference, an older lady in my class did!!
Asheville is a beautiful city!! I spent the whole morning before heading to Penland touring around the downtown area and it is full of art galleries and amazing large sculptures. Wow! I can't wait to come back and explore some more. Asheville has the most breweries in the US. THere are micro breweries all over the place and some really good beer! (I had a few samples when I arrive the night previous!) I also found the shoe store of my dreams so I am definitely coming back...with the credit card of course!

The drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway was amazing and the country here is gorgeous. The drive in to Penland is breathtaking especially when you come around the last corner and all the buildings come into view. I think the weather here is probably a month ahead of Creston, I think today it was 22C, sunny and warm enough to sit on the porch off the studio and have the first cocktail hour.

Here is the clay studio. you can see some of the kilns on the lower level and it is hard to tell there is an upper level but that is where the studio is that I am in.

the road in...

Ceramic studio

The food here is fantastic!! It is really hard not to be a total pig at every meal but I really don't want to have to buy a whole new wardrobe before I head home so I better watch the caloric intake...

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

3 Days to go!!!

Well, 3 days until I get on the plane and fly to North Carolina. Why is it that when you are about to go somewhere for a period of time there is excitement and reservation about leaving? I wouldn't turn down this opportunity to go to Penland for 8 weeks for anything but I will miss my home, The Man and my dog. BUT.... I sure won't miss cooking and cleaning for 2 months!! I am sure this is the huge underlying reason for going away and I am just telling myself that it is for furthering my artistic career. I already have a cleaning lady lined up to do the "spring clean" for me before I get back home so I won't have to jump right into the domestic duties I so rally against. Thank you Brian for your continued sacrifices working up in Fort McMoney.
Cheers! from the Anti-Domestic Goddess

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Penland, NC

I am leaving the snow behind and  heading off to The Penland School of Arts and Crafts in Penland, NC for 8 weeks March for updates!!