So I’ve just completed my 23rd year of teaching. This year, back in person from the COVID closures, was a thrill. It was not without its challenges, but what a relief to be back in person.
Students created some great works, we had some positive raku firings, a successful student art showcase, we created a display to go along with the drama programs show of The Old Man and the Old Moon, and donated some vases to an Art in Action fundraiser, we worked again with the Mandarin class to make terracotta warriors. I had two staff members come in to work with clay on their own projects.
I was able to attend NCECA and reconnect with some friends, I helped again create a piece for the de Young Museum’s Bouquets to Art fundraiser. Some other projects include the ongoing hideNsheep, and with ETC have a gallery show with the opening this coming August.
I think it comes down to collections… that don’t take up too much physical space. As a kid, I collected stickers, M.U.S.C.L.E.Men figures, and business cards among other things. Now, it’s images of shapes or objects that catch my eye.
Here are some mugshots from the past, just a few to get us going. A while back I was taking these of all the mugs, the good and the less than good. I have a new collection starting that I shared with a friend who pointed out it was like the water tower images from Hilla and Bernd Becher. I hadn’t heard of them before, but am intrigued to look closer at their work. I relate it more with that of Sol Lewitt’s PhotoGrids. I have a few books worth of Rounds that I have been collecting over the years too.
Welcome to the post where I will dig back through some previous works, or talk about a project that I have or have had going on. Just a place to start to put out some of what I’ve done, or am doing. Thank you for checking it out.
I don’t know if I will ever sell anything, but I am enjoying the idea of the connection between a real-life object and an NFT for the object. There is an article in Ceramics Now about a gallery in Portland, OR hosting a show with objects backed by NFTs. I did list a piece on Rarible, a raku-fired panda head. One aspect that is a challenge is that I have not, with my limited attempts, found a way to have more than one image. If listing a physical object, more than one view would be preferable. As with most everything else, there’s more to come.
Having just been introduced to this site and work, I am really enjoying the Guardian Monsters. Even more, I appreciate the sharing of the inspirations and collection of images and experiences that go into a specific piece in what is called “The fixins for, the makins of…” Looking at a few of the images closer, there is an explanation as to how the final piece came about. Feeling a bit like a game of exquisite corpse sourced from travels and eye catchings of the artist. I have not spent too much time on the site or looking at their work, but this is definitely worth a closer, longer look.
I am trying to build some new habits, put up some new ideas, and will see what sticks.
I am in a cycle, a periodic cycle of posting. In the gaps between these posts, I am still active. I often find that I don’t want to be at a computer, I don’t feel that what I am doing is worth talking about, or… I am not sure what else. So, starting with today, and working my way into the recent past, I took a trip with John to the Art Ark Gallery in San Jose to set up two barrows from the EamesTillsonCollective (ETC). The gallery hosts an annual show called The More the Merrier.
This year we have the Cellars Belles and an Untitled Barrow for viewing. Check out some images of the work and more info on the show itself.
Well, it was a week that went by pretty quick, in hindsight anyway. Not too much to report. Classes are moving along, students should be finishing up their monster project. We are realizing that this year is primarily experiential for students. Quality is a challenge when you are not working with students, rather guiding them through the steps remotely, and oftentimes without seeing their work easily, or at all before it is finished.
We did fire the kiln, some sheep came out (Check out hideNsheep on Instagram for updates on that project.), and a valentine piece I made for Cat. Slip cast and then modified, underglaze and glaze, single-fired. I am still playing some with the clay, beyond the class projects.
I submitted a mini-grant to the PTA for a new raku kiln, it is more expensive than what they typically fund, so now we wait to hear back. IF they don’t fund it, I may find a different source of funds, and it is in times like these that I want to focus on the Peninsula Pottery, a non-profit, I am just at a bit of a loss as to the next steps in promoting it, there are not many opportunities in COVID-times for that sort of thing.
So here we are, another week into the year. I am feeling pretty good about the 100-day project. I think I picked a decent approach and have in mind that I will start soon working on the actual transfer of the drawings. Here are a few of my favorites so far. You can follow the Instagram account for the daily update.
I am waiting still to hear back about the official aspect of the Master’s program and will definitely post an image of the degree when it shows up, until then, I’m moving on. I signed up for a class through the Ceramic Materials Workshop folks and so far have found some really good, introductory information. There are longer and more in-depth classes offered but I think this is a good start. I also bought a book by John Britt to help me understand more.
Beyond that, I fired off two kilns at work this week, one bisque and one glaze, and am waiting patiently to see how the glaze fire turned out. I have a few small things in there amidst the student work. More to come about that when the cooling has happened.
So the kilns fired just so, it’s good to see. One of the projects in the glaze fire is a new flock for my @hideNsheep project. As a part of that, I started looking into core values and came across this list from James Clear, who I happened to have started following recently, so that was pleasant to reaffirm that I appreciate his content. Anyway, I am working on adding core values to the sheep, so that when they are found, they can spread some positive messages.
I cannot understand what happened to the time, already a month into 2021. Actually, I do know. I finished up a Graduate program through The Art of Education University. It has been a long process, taking classes over the last few, I think three, years. So the Capstone class in which I wrote my thesis finished up on January 24.
The few days following my final presentation, I started to fill a book with my ideas of projects I wanted to pursue with my newfound extra time. I have about ten ideas, projects of various techniques, things to build, and more random. I have published a book using Amazon, and a collection of rounds from 2018. Mostly just to play with their system and see what the process was. I think I am my only customer so far. In any event, it was fun, and I have the 2019 and 2020 collections to publish and improve as I see what they turn out like.
Just yesterday I started, for the second time, participating in the100dayproject. In which I have a creative task and will (plan to anyway) post each day, for 100 days, that task. I have chosen to start to play with underglaze transfers. Last time I did this I made it as far as day number sixty-something. That round had me sketching on a 3×5 card. I will see how this one goes.
We are coming up to the end of week six of distance learning. It has been a strange experience to have been thrown into this format, at first thinking it may just be a few weeks, to the realization that it is until the end of this semester, and school year. A few weeks back the school board implemented the move to ass/No Pass for grades this semester. Along the way there have been many conversations, meetings and debates about the best way to move forward in these times.
As the push to return to “normal” and bring the economy back happens, we are now looking at how to start the fall semester under the assumption that we will still be practicing social distancing behaviors. How do you operate a school with a student body of around 2500 and keep everyone six feet apart? Not to mention the cleaning of air and surfaces in between groups of students.
Whatever it looks like, the digital divide has been highlighted in these past weeks. It is amazing the discrepancies in access to the online world. A technology that was intended to connect has been one of the main factors in the division of the community.
So we are now in week 2 of the shelter in place order. I did go out to the store for a few things yesterday. Otherwise, I have stayed in the neighborhood. Dog walks, a few short runs, and probably too many calories consumed for what I’m doing.
Distance learning, some ceramic work, hanging out with students on Zoom. Watching students sleep later and later, some until 2 PM.
Appreciating what we, as a family, have. Appreciating the dogs, the sun, the rain – even though I am solar-powered and really miss the blue skies. That goes to my appreciating where we live. Weather wimps, yes. I will take the mild climate in exchange for the occasional earthquake.
I have started a morning picture in the backyard, so that’s a good way to start the day, take a moment to appreciate it all.