Friday, September 28, 2012

A Set of Denim Blue

Sorry I have been away from my writing  this week. I  can't even say I was working too hard. No, I was  at the beach, looking at the  blue sky, and blue and white frothy ocean.Sometimes, I even was inside those blue green waves, although my goal was to ride them as smoothly as those surfers out there on the horizon. 
Of course this sets me thinking about my blue artwork.I'm still into the jewelry I talking about in the last blog. I resonate with the color blue, in all its hues and variations. Here is the full set of my "Denim Blue" beads, with the necklace, bracelet, and earrings.Personally, I like my baubles to match.  Every item  I make is  individual, with each porcelain bead being rolled out  by hand,  and assembled one at a time with its crystal and blue stones for accent.I think  this gives  a feeling  of variety to each creation, yet an overall harmony within each piece, or as a set. That's my belief, and I'm standin' by it. 
 Putting on your denim jeans any one?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Beaded Jewelry

I like making beaded jewelry. I especially like it with my handmade porcelain beads. Here is a sample of the three different colors I use in creating my long necklaces. I call the colors, moss green; earth brown; and denim blue.I like to intersperse the beads with chunks of crystal, and a colored stone, such as tiger eye with the browns, or some complimentary native stone. The necklaces measure about thirteen inches in length. That means you can just slip them over your head without worrying about some tiny little troublesome fastener. I really like a necklace to be a either longer version, or a short choker. That in between length doesn't show off very well. In between has never been my style. 
Each bead is rolled out by hand, cleaned, and then fired in the bisque firing. I like to have the small beads about one half an inch in length, and the larger ones at least an inch.  Since I make each one individually, there is always the human variability in size and length. That is part of its one of a kind ambiance. I like porcelain clay, because  of its white color, smooth surface, and how well it takes a stain. I use an oxide for the color, and fire it with my larger vessels in a high temperature. As I often tell people in the gallery
 " This jewelry will last longer than we will". Think of what we glean from ancient civilizations. Usually, it is some  form of clay vessel or adornment. I wonder where my jewelry will end up in the distant future?  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another View of Small

I am not quite ready to leave the wonderful world of miniatures yet. I found this picture which shows the size of the small vase  in relation to my hand, which isn't really very large.  Someone once commented I have the hands of workman. Well, I guess I do. I can't have long nails or I rip the clay, or  tickle the hand that holds the pen. I am always playing with mud, water, ink or watercolors. Lily white hands I do not have. It isn't all bad to be able to do all the fun things I liked as a kid and have people pay me for them. I digress.
When you look at this vase you can really see the details I added: small clay coils; tiny balls of porcelain: feathers; a turquoise stone. This was not a wheel thrown piece, but rather a hand built construction. After forming the two sides, I joined them together, then added height to the  neck for style and symmetry. Since it is a one of a kind piece, I wanted to add those special touches that make it an individual V.Norton ceramic artwork, however diminutive. 
 As we get older;as we move; as we cannot afford a large space, perhaps having a tiny piece of art fills a lot of needs in today's crowded world.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Miniature Vase

My last blog was on my flower bowl and how much I like flowers. This picture is of a carved, miniature vase with a few blossoms within.Still a flower vessel.
 It is a wheel thrown piece, and doesn't even measure four inches tall.The bottom is all hand carved, and then an oxide  is applied. This seems to make a nice contrast with my turquoise glaze, and it is a  trademark style of mine. Actually, this is pretty big for a technical "miniature". I think the scale is one inch would be one foot. So instead of a four foot vessel, you get something you can hold in your hand and put on a tiny shelf.
 I enjoy making smaller pieces. They fit my need for precious, help fill the odd spaces in the kiln,and are easy for the travelling customer. In high fire ceramics,  everything you create in going to shrink, from fifteen to twenty percent. Usually the problem is that  I haven't made it big enough to start with, and the end result is not the anticipated. With my small creations, I do not have to stress the end result because it comes out  as it is meant to be. Good feeling, when what we do comes out just fine because we aren't worried about a precise ending. This is a nice thought to carry into life. 

Monday, September 10, 2012


I love flowers.This is a handmade porcelain "Flower Bowl" that just came out of the kiln. The shape is more  triangular, which I like because it is individual.Who says all bowls must be round? It measures approximately six inches across by two and a half inches high.Perfect size to hold anything! I make each little petal out of rolled porcelain, then attach them to the rim in a small blossom. I then hand roll each tiny stamen so it has a true floral dimensional feeling. First I fire it in the bisque, so it is solid enough to take a glaze. Next comes a second, high temperature firing with my magic turquoise glaze.This is totally lead free, food safe, and strong enough to use in the oven . Delicate but durable. These are qualities I try to bring to all my ceramics. 
I think flowers appeal to all of our senses. I like the colors, textures, and sweet smells that some emit. They make me smile.I just went to the hardware store and found myself in the garden section.I was compelled to buy some flowers for my garden. I hope I get blossoms all fall. When I go to the grocery store, I have to check out the bouquets of flowers, as much  as the fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I just  must take some  home with me. I know they will not last too long, but oh what a joy for the time they are with me.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Friend

This  piece of calligraphy I printed and then added the original water color background. It is titled " A Friend", and the words speak   to me. What a wonderful feeling to have  someone with  whom we can share our feelings and ideas and feel heard. As the poem by this  unknown author writes,"knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away." 
I so like that image. How nice not have to be so careful about our words because we feel we are accepted.That is such a basic need. We all like to hang out with those who like us, don't we?  In the art world there is an expression " a friend of the arts",i. e. a supporter or patron. I certainly like those who enjoy and buy my work. It is a positive affirmation of myself and what I create.My observation is that someone who gets to meet or know an artist does feel a closer connection to what they buy. Often they choose to take that feeling, as well as the creation, home with them.So the term friend has a lot of meanings. These are my thoughts for today. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Poetry in Motion

Well, I am  sad that I have not been able to post my blog for a week, due to technical difficulties. This machine age is great, as long as it works! Here is my calligraphy card that seems to apply to how time sneaks every day, entitled "Ten Years Ago." The first lines reads,  "Where did it go, that ten years ago?" 
A decade earlier the world did not seem to be so totally run by the computer and  all the machinery that seems to get a glitch in it at the most inconvenient times. Perhaps the foundation was set up, but I know I did not have to have an entire space in my house for these critical toys. 
How much of each day do I now spend reading  email ? How many minutes waiting on hold for the tech support in a country where their English is really hard to understand , even if they are very nice people? It feels like much of my time is spent just trying to get these time saving devices working. OK I am venting, thank you for listening.
 I know we can't go back to the days where everyone wrote a nice copperplate hand to communicate. Still,  the calligrapher in me would love it. The last stanza in my poem reads, "Amazement at life's passage, No regrets, well maybe some,  But that ultimate question, How much yet to come?" I cannot  foresee that one, but I think I would not like to spend it on hold.