Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Leonardo da Vinci must have been a lot of laughs.

I read once that he loved to rig up mice and small animals in costumes or tiny kinetic harnesses. Can you imagine a mouse with working wings?

Now just how cute could that be?

Did you know he made automatons and a robot? A Google search will turn up lots of U-tubes of antique models and a museum of Leonardo's models .

He made a life-sized lion that walked into the room, sat on it's hind legs, reared up and his chest opened up to reveal lilies. It delighted the King of France, but it also probably cleared the room.

And speaking of rooms, he figured out a way to make a whole room explode in a ball of fire (without destroying anything--I'm assuming it was minus the furniture at the time).

He atomized a propellant into the sealed room and rigged up a sparking device--probably attached to the door.

Good thing most of the building were stone.

I'd be impressed.

Below: His drawing of an explosion.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Woo Hoo! Nice New Year's Gift


Let's start the new year right!

Got notice that my photo was accepted for the new Potter's Council calendar.

My pot is the Miss January.

Here's the link to order: www.cafepress.com/potterscouncil/6017452. The calendars are $19.00 and some each. There are two calendars available.

The Potter's Council is a group of volunteers that organize and provide professional level workshops in various areas around the country for artists. They also offer discount subscriptions and other benefits through their auspices. You can find their web page at: www.ceramicartsdaily.org/potterscouncil/index.aspx or google potters council. Ceramic Arts Daily is the home of Pottery Illustrated Magazine.

You've seen this pot before. And, true to style, I don't own it anymore. It was sold last year through a gallery and I've let the gallery owner know that it will be published (I still hold the rights to the image.) I want her to let the owner know.

The front cover of the calendar is a masterful job of layout. It's beautifully balanced to move your eye around the images. I learned this lesson from my mom many years ago about how to make images with extensions to point inward; to weight and balance them on the page and how to use color.

Great Job, Potter's Council print people.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Season's Greetings

We've escaped the ice and snow.

And just in the neck of time, it seems.

Glass for ice; paper stars for snow. I like the trade-off.

Last year, we bought an artificial tree.

I miss the real kind, but it seems more responsible to have the other.

,,,,,,,,,Bought plastic--resulting in encouragement for the manufacture of more plastic.

.........Effect on reduction of live trees cut each year? Probably none, excess trees are cut each year. Would take years to make impact, if at all.

.........So possible reduction of one live tree into landfill for each year of plastic one used ? Iffy.

.........But since we didn't buy a live tree, possible excess of 6/8 live trees added to mulch or organic recycle?

.........Results in a chance of a plus to the environment BUT excess trees must be mulched using machine that either runs on electricity or fuel.

.........Landfill: Addition of one plastic tree in about 6/8 years.)

.........Balance of impact on affecting environment: ??

Message to brain: STOP THINKING!................

We hung a real evergreen wreath on the wall though, just to have the smell in the house.

.........Are we even on the environment thing?

.........Message to brain: SHUT UP!

Anyway, Best Wishes for the Holidays and Good Cheer for the New Year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Influence of the Things We See

It is amazing how we can be influenced by the things you see......

The basic shape and balance of the Arab teapot of a previous post has influenced these hand-built pitcher forms: The cinched waist, the flaring spout and the balance of the handle.

It's funny how one thing influences another. It's true that artists are the reflection of their environment.
That is why it is important to seek out and look at good design.

(I have to confess, I cringe when I walk into a not-to-be-named-in-this-blog store with shelves of plastic flowers, feathery thingys hanging from the ceiling, end-of-aisle attack displays, Me-- with thought-bubble: "I'll just get in and get out and nobody gets hurt." And if I'm lucky, I can go to the place where whatever I need is, get it, go straight to the check-out, and LEAVE.)

These pitcher forms have been the subject of reoccurring constructions ever since I started making the square teapots.

They have developed alongside each other, but I didn't realize it for quite some time. It has a lot to do with the construction of the leaf-shaped spouts since I use the same paper pattern to make both, though I modify it a bit for each particular vessel.

And where did the form for the spout originate? It is a combination of thoughts about tropical plant leaves designed by nature to eliminate excess water and to carry it away from the plant. And the fact that, while working on a square teapot one day, a paper label attached to a plastic spray bottle caught my eye and I thought, "Nice. That would make a great spout shape." So I carefully peeled it off and made a paper pattern to cut a new spout shape.

This little pitcher is 'getting there'.

"Now stick out your tongue."

Ya never know where inspiration will strike if you keep your eyes open.

(Or closed, as in the case of disturbing stores.)

Monday, December 8, 2008

aaaah addendum

One thing you learn working in ceramics----

You learn how to deal with loss.

Sunday, December 7, 2008



Woe is me!


I guess I was due.

For years I've fired my little shortie kiln with no mishaps, no glaze-running-down-the-side-of-the-pot, no blisters, no spitting glaze off the pots, no meltdowns, or whatever other problem you could possibly have within the power and mysteries of kiln goblins.

This time though, they got me.
All of them.

My lamp bases, (the white one was gorgeous, by the way) the three square teapots were cemented to the shelf and, of course, the lids were perfect. One glaze blistered and ran straight to the shelf and my shino glaze had gotten senile and developed a skin condition to boot.

Could I have used stilts? Set tiles? Nah, this time, there could be no remedy.

Okay, okay. My dues payment should now be marked "In Full". (Hah, brave front here, but I don't think they heard me, though.)

NOW what do I take to NCECA?

Photo: Nightmare by Fuseli