Monday, October 27, 2014

Jewelry Is Always in Style

Here I am at looking at pieces from jewelry of long ago. As a ceramic artist, I create porcelain clay beads, from which I make necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. I like jewelry. I make it. I wear it. I know I am not alone. Here is proof.
 These beads date back to 3800 BC.Over five thousand years ago, and people were adorning themselves with jewels. Making beads from shells and clay. We have come a long way, yet not very far at all from our sense of style.  
While travelling recently in Chicago, I visited the Oriental Institute, part of the University of Chicago. It houses a collection of antiquities from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. These lands were called the " Orient" at the turn of the last century, when university archaeologists began unearthing artifacts.Hence the name.
I just couldn't believe how lovely these items were, how contemporary in look, and yet how ancient.The continuity of people, with our need to be decorated and individual. That is why I know that jewelry will always be in style. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Artisan Bread is Art

Here I am slicing up the artisan bread I just spent five hours creating, with the help of a creative friend.  Every time I go into my studio to create a ceramic or calligraphy  piece, it seems to take much longer and be more involved than I originally thought.This art seems to be the same. 
I like the thought that what I eat is healthy and fresh. I must confess I grew up on wonder bread. As a kid, I never had spaghetti that didn't come out of a can. Pepper was an exotic spice that I started using when I was on my own. So you can see, this is more foreign than loading my kiln or teaching students how to hold their pen.
The term artisan refers to a handmade loaf that has an original shape.Often it is round or oblong, with lots of crust. This one is full of nuts and seeds and organic wheat flour. Before it goes in the oven, the chef scores the loaf with a sharp knife. It's like a signature on your work.
While playing with the sticky dough, shaping it with my hands until the consistency was just right, it felt a bit like wedging my clay. Each step must be done in a precise order to get desired results. There has to be time to let the yeast rise. In ceramics, if you rush it, there is a chance of breakage. It is all about the final result.
I don't think it is a mistake that the word "art "appears in artisan bread. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Selling Your Art

 Selling your art is a challenging proposition. Sometimes the artist can talk with a potential customer and make a difference. Often, the customer has definite preferences and nothing will affect their buying decision.
 I just sold a piece in this style today. It is part of my Abstraction series named Dimensions II. 
 It measures about 14" across. Displayed on a wall, it has a foot, and thus can stand on a table.The buyer indicated she will use it. That's fine.  All my glazes are lead free and food safe.
I do enjoy creating in an abstract style, using the clay as my canvas. This piece connected to something inside the viewer. They wanted to own it, enjoy it, and look at it every day. Artistically, we are on the same page.My vision connected with theirs.This is the best part of selling your art.