Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Body of Work

As I enter my second year of working in clay full time, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. What exactly do you mean when you say a body of work?

All of my pieces are formed in the same way and appear to be related. I really think the viewer can tell they come from the same artist. However, a lot of artists have certain surface designs or firing methods, such as wood or soda that help unify their work.

I love glaze, I mean really love glaze. I love to test new glazes, and I have a tough time limiting myself in the studio.

I have a cone 10 black, white and shino. I have a cone 6 yellow, blue, and plum. I have a couple of crossover glazes: a glossy brown, which is identical in cone 6 or 10, and Rob's Green, which is more of a matt pine green in cone 6 and a glossy, almost metallic green in cone 10. Then I have some cone 10 glazes that look awesome layered. Oh, and I have a couple of Fake Ash glazes that look pretty great.

I find myself wondering how a certain pot will look in such-and-such a glaze. What I have ended up with is a hodge-podge of pieces in my show space and thus a hodge-podge of work to take to galleries.

Do galleries want to see only a few glazes? Do I send all of my cone 6 work to one gallery and cone 10 to another? Should I reserve certain glazes for my functional and others for my decorative pieces? When you send pictures for jurying, should the work have all the same glaze, or at least glazes that look good together?

I'm sure it would simplify my life if I limited myself to only a handful of glazes but would I have as much fun? I'd certainly get the kiln loaded faster.

Should I get off my schizo-rant and give myself a break? I've only been reduction firing again for a year and a half. Perhaps I should give myself the freedom to make however many glazes I can stand and then begin to scale back as I lose interest.

In the meantime, I still need to figure out how to present myself and my work to galleries and guilds so they can will take me seriously.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Runt is Travelling West

There she goes

Brenda came by this weekend to pick up the Runt and say goodbye as she moves west. Her truck was pretty loaded down already, but Jay built a nice crate around the kiln, and we stuffed every nook and cranny with her belongings. Jay took a look under the hood, replaced a faulty O2 sensor and gave the truck a clean bill of health. 200K+ miles on the odometer would make many of us reconsider the road trip from South Carolina (where she started) to Colorado, but not a determined gal like Brenda.
That little Evenheat aka the Runt (thanks to a comment by Jim Gottuso) has been a very reliable kiln over the 9 years that I used her. I'm ready to move on and hopefully the oval Evenheat that Brenda traded me will prove to be just as reliable. I've still got a bit more work to do before I can fill up a bisque load.

The Runt

Brenda really became part of our family, as we've seen her several times over the past year. I'm sad to see her go, but her journey is taking her back to some of her artistic roots. Besides, her son still lives an hour or so from me, so I know she'll be back to visit.