Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Art of Nature

 This is me at a local lake in the white mountains here in Arizona.With the rain,  I am  garbed in my poncho and hat. It is always necessary to be prepared when one is at an altitude of 7,000 feet. What causes these trees to be so green? Yup: water. 
Off in the distance are Canadian geese eating out at their  delicious cafeteria.  Native wildflowers surround me. The smell of the pine trees waft over the breeze that comes with force, and then dies down. This is my first time to explore this area, and I am enchanted. 
I write in my artist Biography : " I draw my inspiration from the native landscapes, people and animals, to create my present and evolving works in clay". Here is nature painted in a broad brush stroke. I am in awe of all the different climate in my home state. I am filled with gratitude to be here.  
 I am surrounded by the White Mountain Apache tribal lands, which are left mostly natural, except for those black cattle you run into on the back trails. They have a casino and I did explore  into their towns. A lot of change in the last 100 years, is all I can say.
I guess I  wrote about this area because it is nature in a rather pure form and that is good for my head, my soul, and I hope my art. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Beads of Many Colors

Isn't this a cunning use of beads of many colors and dimensions? I've always made jewelry from my ceramic beads, but this past year I have added other sources to my new designs. Each set is a one of a kind.
 There are the four bone pieces that add a touch of tribal look to this. Then come the brown beads made of  tigers' eye stone. I find these a little dense in color,  so adding the yellow  glass beads gives them a nice contrast with the variations of the tigers' eye.The necklace is @ 16"  in length, and the earrings have a nice ability to catch the sun and make one feel well dressed. 
I like the immediacy of making this jewelry. With clay it takes a month to make it, then it has to  be fired once, then again high fired  to finish it. Here the time is in choosing, trying, rejecting, trying again until finally, the whole pattern pleases me. It is now for sale in a gallery, but I can tell you how to find it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Rumi 's Words in my Calligraphy

Here is an example of my calligraphy that uses the words of one of my favorite poets, Rumi. A 13 th century Persian poet, scholar, and Sufi mystic, he is one of the more popular and best selling poets in the world. Perhaps even here in Sedona, AZ.   
I was doing this piece for a client, so they chose the alphabet. It is called  Foundational . English calligrapher, Edward Johnston, started teaching this in the Central School of arts and Crafts in 1899. It was the beginning of the modern study of calligraphy as an art form. This was an alphabet I taught at NAU. Now most of you turn to your computer to write out everything. But look closely, isn't this similar to one of the fonts that you often choose ? 
As the artist, I  added the flourishes. After all, I have to have some fun, and show where the human hand differs from the machine.   
I like this quote because we all seek certain elusive answers to our life's challenges, especially depending on what is going on in our lives. I will end this blog with another quote of his: "Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Art of Sumigashi

 Look at this flowing decorated paper I just created. Its technical term is Sumigashi, or Japanese water marbling.
I attended a workshop with my local fellow bookmakers. We are always trying to learn a new technique to teach each other and  apply to our handmade books. 
This is a natural extension of my art as a Calligrapher here in Sedona,  creating by hand the vessel to hold my handwritten words. There was also a lesson on how to create this diagonal Pocket folder, which can hold a hand made book or card. Now that was a  lesson unto itself! We put on a backing  to make it into this folded form.Back to the paper...
The process starts with a pan of still water. Into this container I put the tip of a Japanese sumi brush, or its equivalent, which  has as nice pointed tip. Only touching the surface, it will spread out into a circular designs.
Using primarily black ink, we did a lot of experimenting with adding colored inks. They went in bright, but diluted quite a bit with the final rinsing process. I must add I was using a pink paper to start with  since it seemed to hold up better than the thin rice paper, although that does work. Just be careful taking it out. 
The paper is folded and lowered into the pan center first, then the edges at the end.  It is the down side of the paper that will be the printed side we look at.  This is a fun art and definitely Not for those who want control.
I think I will call it the art of the Surprise!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Art of My Flag

Here is one of my favorite art pieces I have created. Actually, this ceramic plate is the one that sold, but I kept the original for me.I used low fire glazes to create the bight colors, and it has a nice foot to stand on, or it can hang on the wall. I named it " A mer i ka", which was probably the pronunciation given by some of those early immigrants entering our country.
This seems such an appropriate choice considering I am writing this blog on July 4th, 2019 here in my hometown of Sedona, AZ. There are a lot of flags flying here today. 
When I was young, on the kitchen wall above the vintage yellow chrome table and chairs where we kids ate, was a huge map of the world. Below were all the flags of all of the countries in front of us. Of course we played " guess which flag" with each other. 
Maybe that's where my love of travel started. My conservative parents let us go off to all corners of the world when were still young. It was our education they thought, and so it was. I wanted to see those countries myself, and so later, if I had any money at all, off I would go! I liked seeing those flags flying where they lived!
Here I am years later making the flag I care about into a nice ceramic abstraction. But you know what it is when you look at it, don't you ? 

Today is the day we celebrate all those heroic women and men who fought for our freedoms and independence from England.  I know, that  story continues.
 But today, I celebrate the art of my flag.

Monday, June 10, 2019

the Little Goddess

Here is my little Goddess necklace. She is the smallest version of the much larger clay sculptures I have created.I thought this might be a more affordable and playful version for collectors.
  This lady is about four inches tall,including her hair. She is made of smooth, burnished porcelain and then pit fired for that magic color.
 I even created all the beads that are   beside her. Two are the same burnished low fire style, but the tiny beads are high fired porcelain and stained with iron oxide. She is a real Sedona lady!  
Hanging on a cotton cord gives her the flexibility to be a choker or flow into a longer version. I wanted to keep the whole organic feel to this jewelry creation.
I have always liked to sculpt the female form. Often I prefer to create in a  more free form, even a bit abstract, so you, the viewer, can interpret her through your own eyes.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Un Petit Bowl = a small bowl

Un petit bowl.  A small bowl that just came out of my last firing. The French have a nice way of saying small, but the word bowl stays the same. This is what I named this particular creation. I love that it can fit in the  hand that made it.
You can see the decorative coils I have added to the edge. Why not create some interest? This is a high  fired porcelain clay body, which means it can be heated in the stove or even microwave. Naturally, it is totally food safe.
The white color you see is the actual clay showing through a clear glaze. I use this color scheme often, as I think it shows off the form and highlights the contents. 
I added an iron oxide to create the contrasting color on the outside, where I have added an organic pattern. Living here in Sedona AZ, we look up at he red rocks which are colored by this oxide. Inspiration from the outside in.  I like the juxtaposition of the smooth inside and the textured outside. This is a theme I use on most all of my handmade pieces.
Today I share with you, le petit bowl. Comments are always appreciated by this blog writer!