Friday, September 27, 2013

Wim Delvoye

Wim Delvoye is arguably most famous for his tattooed pigs, the above being my favorite. Nice and simple, yet speaks volumes with an easily recognizable minimalist repeating pattern. I was trolling through the Guggenheim collection, which can be found online and found this piece:

Concrete Mixer, Wedgwood III

I was very excited about this piece until I realized it was made from wood and paint instead of actual Wedgewood Jasperware. As a ceramic artist I find this a little disappointing, but a nice visual anyway.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bonniers International

Ashtrays manufactured by Japanese design firm Bonniers International. Part of the MoMA collection.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New Surfaces

Porcelain, silicon carbide glaze, majolica, Oribe, Shino, sink sludge, marbled stoneware, slip, Frit saturate glaze, chrome oxide.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ben & Jerry's

Did you know that MoMA has a Ben & Jerry's waffle cone from 1896? Turns out it is one by Italo Marchioni who patented a mold for edible pastry cups to hold ice cream but in fact did not patent it as a cone shape and therefore was unable to sue anyone for patent infringement.

MoMA thoughtfully (and hilariously!) purchased one of his original cones and has preserved it forever as an homage to the unfortunate New York Italian.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Abstract Painting and Ensuing Contemplation

Anselm Kiefer

Asger Jorn

Cy Twombly

Jackson Pollock

Jean-Paul Riopelle

Pierre Alechinsky

I've only been to the Solomon R. Guggenheim once as it is one of the few museums in New York City that one actually has to pay full price for. I'd rather give a nickel to the attendant at say, the Met or the Brooklyn Museum, get my understanding smile or over-the-top-eye-roll and ticket and explore endless rooms for next to nothing. One day when I am a thousandaire I will return and smugly pay full price and sweep my way up the spiral ramp feeling really proud of myself, but that won't be for a long while so in the mean time I'll satisfy my sudden interest in abstract painting with the online collections.

You must keep in mind that most of what any museum has to offer is stored away in the dark in climate controlled rooms to preserve it for (hopefully) future display, but most museums have all of this documented and available online for any looky-lou such as myself. Once feeling suitably inspired I will imagine breaking out my paints, brushes, etc. and getting to work until I remember that I work in clay and I can never seem to find a sheet of paper to make a note on let alone a decent tube of paint. Glazing is similar, perhaps not in material properties, but in essence and since I am on this new kick of making things as challenging for myself as possible I'm seriously considering doing some 2D work in an effort to wrap my mind around this new style of glazing I'd like to try. I'm finally at the point where I am willing to admit that the reason I don't do any work on paper is not that it has very little to do with my art practice (not longer an applicable reason) or that I don't think easily that way, but really just that I was too stubborn and scared to even attempt to try and rope it in. Being at the Bray makes you do crazy things and it seems high time to challenge myself in a way that seems terrifying and not just a fun new way of working with ceramic materials that I am comfortable with.

That being said, I also managed to get in a bit over my head in way that I am building these new pieces and keep having to remind myself that I am new to hand building and I am going about it in the most difficult way possible what with using plastic instead of plaster and reclaimed materials that are often so short that I can't do anything with them but pinched coils. Being a loving slave to process as part of the concept I refuse to change this and am instead changing the old adage from "work smarter, not harder" to "work smarter and harder" in an effort to overcome myself. It's going fine and I'm learning a lot and while bouts of self and object hatred are to be expected any time one overfills one's plate, this is surely a sign of personal and artistic growth. So keep yer eyeballs peeled.

Browse the Guggenheim Collection to find more images.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Getting in Shape

This post bring an end to an unforeseen blog hiatus. A lot of things got paced into the last week including but not limited to a trip to Missoula and eating amazing pizza baked in a giant head of garlic, another round of piece building, the discovery of a large amount of cadmium red stain I didn't know I had, and a span of five days without a computer due to a broken charging port mixed with a pack rat biting through my AC adapter.

Now I am faced with the task of 04 glazing my first round of pieces and despite my previous post sounding very confident about this I am in fact feeling a bit lost. Too many things on the brain leads to complete creative confusion. Hopefully in the next week I will have all my info for the show ready, have found somewhere I can tentatively live in Philly, which is by far the largest source of stress in my life, and have a nice kilnful of sweet looking stuff. They say eating well and exercising improves one's mood and clears the mind, but I find this only works in the event that you aren't employed (word choice?) as a ceramic artist and are already predisposed to bouts of mania and depression. I've been told this is an asset in my line of work and I don't disagree, however, it's more a matter of learning to control the excess emotional energy into something productive than to sit and ponder the fact you are different and isn't that great? Immediately after writing that last sentence I realize that it is true so now I am going back to work as the night is young and has lots of ideas left in it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thoughts on Glaze

With all the down firing I've been doing I have learned to control some of the peeling with the majolica and overglaze. While I have been sticking to one color, I think I will broaden my horizons a bit and use multiple colors to give a hint of this sort of aesthetic. And also to show the correct orientation for the lids on the boxes I've been making. Try as I might, I am not yet able to build square or rectangular lids that can fit in either direction. Either way it fits into my concept.

all images from Google

Thursday, September 5, 2013


images from Google