Archive for October, 2010

Travertine-ish-ness-ity…

October 30, 2010

Well, woke up this morning to a balmy 36 degrees. Lots o’ stuff happening around here… the evil holiday that’s not Halloween, Sofia’s birthday and election day (which are the same day) and I finally finished up decorating and fired the second bisque (which is cooling as I type this). I will be glazing all next week and hopefully get both glaze firings done… of course I always like to wait to see one before I commit to the next but we’ll see. I’m a bit excited about some of the new etched looks and I guess I’ll see how they seem after they’re finally fired. Right towards the end of my shellacking I started fooling with a different technique and have a bunch of cups that seem at the greenware stage to be… let’s see, travertine-y, that’s a word right. Here’s a bunch of them green…

The bug was very excited the other morning because before the cold blew in we woke to a wonderful 75 degree morning with a very powerful warm wind whipping through which brought storms later that day. Sofia decided that pig tails were in order for school and while I was having some java in the wind, she came out to dance for me before she left for school…

The last pair of shoes we got her for the summer were typical kid’s shoes with a velcro strap and, in this case, fake “jewels” glued all over them. Anyway, I don’t inspect her shoes and she came home the other day and whipped off her right shoe like it was on fire and hopped around trying as quickly as possible to remove her sock. Inside her sock was a small handful of the “jewels”. Apparently, days earlier, her and her friend sat on the playground and pulled all the fake jewels off both her shoes and they held them and talked about them and how they had a treasure. Anyway, she had so much fun that she wanted to keep bringing them to school each day so they could play with them at recess again, but… she didn’t have pockets in her pants and didn’t want to put them in her lunch box, so she put them all in her sock and was walking around all day with a bunch of plastic things in her shoe. Here’s another windy pig tail shot…

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Moh Show…

October 29, 2010

I headed down to the Crane House this Thursday night to my friend Sebastian Moh‘s opening. The Crane House is a beautiful venue for an exhibition and the building in Old Louisville on 3rd Street faked me out because years ago I used to take Tai Chi classes there and when I arrived the space didn’t seem familiar. I kept looking at the walls and wondering about my memory of the room where I had spent so much time. Later in the evening I was told that the organization had moved one block from its previous location… so see, it’s not always pre-dementia. This East Asian cultural center boasts a library, gallery and quite a collection of Asian artifacts that run the gamut from ceramics to textiles. Anyway, Sebastian had a wonderful collection of yunomis, teabowls, vases, ewers and lidded jars. The pots are sublimely beautiful and at an intimate scale. Here’s a shot of Sebastian…

Here’s my fave from the show…

This last one is not a shot that I took, at least not a shot I took with a camera… I took it from Mr. Moh’s website and if you get a hankerin’, go check out his work here.

Congrats Sebastian.

“A Collection of Small Miseries”…

October 28, 2010

I was perusing Carole’s blog a while back and she was having a contest to win a self-published book that she made about her sculptural work. To make a long story shorter… I won a copy of the book and it arrived in the mail yesterday. Carole’s book details sculptural work but she also does fine functional ceramics and coincidentally was in the “Clay and Blogs” show. The book titled “A Collection of Small Miseries” features Carole’s socially/politically provocative sculptures and is really an amazing account of a body of work that challenges our cultures’ ethics about issues that run the gamut of controversial subjects. It is also a fine example of what an individual can publish on their own. Working on a mac myself, I realized that this book was created using an iPhoto feature and have thought a while about using this in some similar way but really couldn’t visualize exactly what I would do. Carole’s book is an inspiration and has me thinking again of how to use this program in some way. Of course the problem that Carole doesn’t have is that she doesn’t lack a complete and cohesive body of work to structure the book around. Maybe I should wait another year or two. I wish I had some better pictures but I was trying to hold the book and take the pictures at the same time but I think you can see the different kinds of layouts possible…

So if you’ve got a hankerin’ to see professional shots of the all the pieces in the book and more go to Carole’s website… they are arranged by year and there is a great deal of fantastic work there. I think it may go without saying but if you’re interested in ceramics at all and are a blog reader, Carole’s blog is an absolute necessity and definitely one of the best ceramics blogs out there with an amazing breadth of information from calls for entries to employment opportunities to beautiful pictures of her and other peoples’ work. Thanks for the book Carole.

Where’d ‘e go?…

October 26, 2010

Well damn, how many days has it been? Two Thursdays ago my brother called to say he and his family (minus PJ) would be coming to visit and we all went out to dinner except Sofia and Mom because they went to a pre-Halloween Halloween thingie at the Louisville Zoo. Sofia got to dress up as Dorothy and do a dry run for, you know… the big day. Interestingly enough, Mom volunteered to help out at the upcoming Halloween party at the kindergarten but was informed that it’s not a Halloween party because there’s a jeh0vah’s w1tness in the class or one of the classes and they find it offensive so the entire school is going to accommodate them. Of course for all I know the whole school system is going to accommodate them. I’m slowly compiling a list of things that I find offensive… are we taking bets on whether everyone statewide will accommodate me. Yeah, it’s a bad bet. Anyway, Sofia and Mom were supposed to meet my relatives at dinner but never made it. My brother and I went to Serg1o’s for a couple of the 1000+ beers and had a nice long talk at the bar. Our visit was highlighted by the presence of the best waiter in the western world which I elaborated on previously in this post. This time he didn’t wait on us because we had moved to the bar in the front of the place and sat on stools at that bar. I was at the very end of this bar and due to maybe a slight ergonomically challenged layout of the room, blocked said waiter’s access to the area he normally set dirty stemware that in turn could be washed by the bartender. Instead of going around to the back of the bar (and I’m not saying that he wasn’t told not to) he stepped between my brother’s and my conversation and set the dirty glasses in front of me and asked me to slide them closer to the area next to the sink. I happily accommodated his request and didn’t react. During our stay, I would say that he had me slide some 30 glasses, a couple at a time. It was all fine but I was amused and got increasingly more amused as I drank more. After brother and family left, I headed up to Des Moines for the week and in addition to being remiss about taking pictures while my brother was here, I forgot my damn camera. I actually packed the battery charger with the extra set of batteries but left the camera at home. Fortunately, they have cameras in Des Moines and Ig owns one. On the night I arrived he and Sara were preparing homemade pizzas and here’s one of us (Ig with cleaver)…

On wednesday, I was delighted to have lunch with my friend Mark, macro photographer, master horticulturalist and web garden guru at mygardenshow.com. It was luxurious to have a long lunch with Mark as I usually am not in town that long and we have to rely on bits of conversations during a dinner or a chance meeting at a coffee shop or something. This visit, I luckily ran into him at a coffee shop, the next day we got some lunch and the last day I was there he and his wife, Loulou, came over to Ig’s for dinner. Ig’s friend Ellen, who teaches law at Drake came also and we all had a great time, great conversation and great food. Ig got this pic of us before dinner was served…

From left to right that’s Loulou, me, Ellen and Mark. I stopped at AKAR on the way home (without the damn camera) mostly to see Bede Clarke’s pots but also to see everything else. Julia Galloway’s pots are in the current show too and they were really nice too. She’s doing a bit of hydro-abrasion on some of them…

I wasn’t in a hurry and perused for quite a while. I saw mr. Michael Kline’s work, Jeff Campana, Kristen Kieffer, my new buddy Steven Cheek and many many more. I was happy to see Bruce and Samantha’s work in person for the first time. I especially liked this beetle one by Samantha Henneke…

Upon arriving home, I decided to join my good friends Kathy and Terry (Terry who I play scrabble with regularly) and their kids camping at the Red River Gorge. So I got home Friday night, got some supplies Saturday morning and Sofia and I drove down to RRG. Sofia and I went for a short hike when we arrived and she was finding many really beautiful leaves amongst the trillions there. At one point she decided she didn’t like carrying the 2 or so that she couldn’t live without and set them down on the side of the trail (on the leaves) and said, let’s get these on the way back. I thought that was hilarious and convinced her to draw a symbol in the dirt on the path, stick a twig standing vertically and rest and acorn in the middle of the symbol. We didn’t go all that much farther before we turned around and in retrospect I think it was because she wanted to find our little treasure map. Ironically, she found all the leaves that she had left in the leaves before we had made the “treasure map device”… orienteering might be in her blood (although I think it must skip a generation). Anyway, I was very excited about the prospect of letting her stay up late and seeing the stars and the full moon because we can barely see stars in the city. It was cloudy and the moon was just a fuzzy glow. Of course, nature called in the middle of the night and when I got out of the tent the clouds were gone and moon was gloriously bright, in fact, for a groggy few seconds I thought that it must be getting near dawn. It wasn’t. The next morning I did manage to get a couple camp breakfast shots…

Here’s the bug with one of her favorite people (Uncle Terry)…

Here’s one of Kathy, there’s kids in the background and Sofia was very happy to have 6 teens to torment for the duration…

On the next day, we broke down the camp and on the way out of the park decided to do a small 3/4 mile hike to the natural bridge which is the main attraction at the park. I hadn’t been to it in many years and thought I could probably do it with my plantar fasciitis since it was not so far and I’d be careful. About 3 miles into our hike we spotted the natural bridge on the horizon miles and miles away from where we stood and we turned around. I actually thought it was more than 3 miles in but still, the 6 miles did my feet in. It was funny nonetheless, because Sofia assumed the role of tour guide and talked incessantly for miles narrating the particulars of the journey. Each fallen tree was either a monster or a monster’s baby. I was about 4 people back from her and for more than an hour heard only her voice.

Milestones…

October 13, 2010

Just a quick post to acknowledge a couple milestones. The most important, obviously, is the bug lost her first tooth. Here she is “minding the gap” as they say across the sea…

I put this next pic in because I thought is was funny. Mom and her were getting ready to go to the wedding (yuck) and I heard Sofia ask Mom if she could put on her little frilly flower girl dress and Mom said, no, we’re taking it with us and you can put it on there. Sofia said, what can I wear then? Mom said, whatever you want. So the bug showed up with this ensemble…

I wasn’t there but I think everyone would’ve looked much better if they had outfits matched to that one. Next milestone is I finally broke 1000 miles on my new speedometer/odometer…

If I add the 350 on the old odometer before it broke this year and the uncalculated miles I rode before I got a battery for the old odometer plus the miles I rode on Vern’s mountain bike before I got my road bike out of “storage”, I figure I’m around 1500 miles for the year so far. Here’s a bug drawing…

And finally, still trying to get enough pieces decorated to fill the next bisque load…

My New Favorite Saying…

October 9, 2010

A friend of mine and I were at lunch yesterday and it was a buffet. As I walked up to the buffet with plate in hand I passed a older man (he actually was probably a bit younger than me) walking with a woman that I thought was a waitress that worked there. As I passed them I heard him say something. He said it with no emotion whatsoever and it was difficult to tell from his inflection whether he was completely sincere or completely sarcastic. He also said the whole thing with no pauses like he was reading a shopping list. Here’s what he said… “I was wrong/I’m sorry/it was all my fault/you’re right/it’ll never happen again/your hair looks nice today”. He wasn’t looking at her when she said it and I wanted to do a U-turn to get more but thought I’d better spend my effort committing it to memory. I think that this is my new favorite saying and it has so many potential uses, of course, I’ll have to work on delivery and I doubt I could ever say it as well as this anonymous man. It’s not often that you hear a really good saying that is also useful enough that you would use it often enough not to forget. I used to say, like a hair in a biscuit, and still do but if your working in a studio with other people it comes into play more often. There is another one I use a lot which I will use right now in reference to today’s activities. Sofia and Mom are flower girl (yuck!) and bridesmaid (double yuck!!) respectively in a wedding today and to the idea of attending a wedding or stepping foot in a church I say… I’d rather crawl naked over crushed glass. On another front, the bug and I were playing UNO on the porch yesterday and as she sat with her cards in her hand, she abruptly and in a matter of fact manner said, “Dad, do you have a peni5?” (numbers to outsmart the search engines) I said yep. In rapid fire succession she followed with, “do you have a butt?” I said yep. Next, “do you have butt cheeks?” I said yep. “Do you have a butt crack?” I said yep. Then she went back to playing UNO. So kindergarten’s paying off in spades already. I apologize for admitting here publicly that I do have, amongst other things, a butt and you may think that we all do but I’m here to tell you that that’s simply not true. About 15 or so years ago I went to a health club with a friend to play racquetball. Whenever I have the chance, I love to go to the sauna. At this particular health club, all they had was a steam room so I went there instead… beggars can’t be choosers. There was a two-tiered bench lining the walls and I sat on the top tier. Below me, on the bottom tier and off to one side was an old man that looked to be about 100 years old (but now 15 years or so later, he may have only been a couple years older than me). Not really, he was old… past 75 for sure. In any case, I didn’t give the man a second thought and simply soaked in the heat. After a bit, the man got up to leave and he was nak3d of course. As he walked away from the bench, I was astonished that the man had no ass whatsoever. It’s not like I was staring at his butt or anything but it was so remarkable it was as if he had a third eye in the middle of his forehead. Anyway, all that was there was thin floppy skin that barely covered his pelvic bones. There was so little gluteus there that I think anatomists might not even call it a gluteus minimus. So I was a bit taken back because I kept thinking he must not be able to even sit down without putting his whole weight on his pelvic bones and worse than that, what if some day I don’t have an ass anymore? It could limit what you could do. Bicycle riding would certainly be out of the question. Speaking of cycling, I’m going out to ride today with my friend Vern. We will be cycling in the county adjacent to this county named Oldham. I was talking to another cycling friend yesterday and told him I might ride out there today and he said, “I guess you heard about the guy in the red pickup?” I said no and he said there was a guy riding around in Oldham county in a red pickup bumping cyclists off the road and into the ditch. When I asked Vern about this, he said, “didn’t you see me on the news?”. I said no again but apparently fox news went out for some earth-shaking journalism and ran into Vern riding around in Oldham county. Vern hates fox but said that the trick they use is to have the sweetest, most beautiful young reporter that you simply cannot say no. I know, I know, oh wait… I was wrong/I’m sorry/it was all my fault/you’re right/it’ll never happen again/your hair looks nice today. Anyway the article is here and I cannot find the video of it. Vern’s the 3rd pic down on the right. That’s all I got today, here’s some greenware…

Not Ozymandius, Oz-y-mania…

October 5, 2010

A while back I did a post about reading “The Wizard Of Oz” to Sofia and how much more to it there was than the movie. There were several comments from Baum-o-philes enlightening me to the fact that there are 14 books in the series and that they are well worth the time to read. I took the advice (thank you Rob and Paul). A couple weeks back we finished this one…

A story for the ages, that one. I won’t give away the ending but the Tin Woodman meets his doppelganger on his journey and together they happen to visit the tinsmith who made them both. Well, I guess I have to point out that they were both “meat” people before their enchanted weapons started hacking off their limbs until there was no “meat” left. In Oz nothing ever dies so when they visit the tinsmith at one point the Tin Woodman opens a cupboard in the tinsmith’s shop and has a conversation with his severed head that’s mounted on a little stand. When the two tin people start looking for all their severed parts in the “severed parts barrel” in the corner of the shop, it is revealed that the tinsmith had gotten some magic meat glue from the witch’s house after Dorothy’s house crushed her and made essentially a Frankenstein creature from various meat parts from the two people the tin men were originally. Here’s the two we’re working on now…

We just finished “The Marvelous Land Of Oz” two nights ago and we started “The Scarecrow of Oz” last night. Sofia’s favorite character in the MLOO was H. M. Wogglebug T. E. This of course stands for highly magnified wogglebug thoroughly educated. It features an animated pumpkinhead, an animated saw horse and an animated vehicle made from two sofas and some palm fronds for wings called the Gump. So anyway, all hallows eve is approaching and we made the mistake of stopping into one of those seasonal halloween stores… I won’t even go into what’s wrong there but Mom and Sofia came home with Sofia’s costume and you guessed it…

And of course, here’s the ruby red slippers…

I included this next shot because apparently Dot took to the bottle after Toto chewed up her sofa and the carpet and her reading glasses and…

I had a lot of “help” in the studio today from the fruit bat and the demon dog. Here’s the big nose demon herself…

I have to say that, honestly and although I’ve come to love the dog, she is the strangest dog I’ve had my whole life. So the other night I was taking her out back for her nightly constitution (I feel so degraded) and I thought, I’m not gonna put my shoes on, I’ll just go barefoot. At the bottom of the steps, she darts toward the darkness (a grizzly bear no doubt) and pulls me lurching forward and I step squarely on one of these…

It was just a rude awakening, nothing like my 6 block plantar fasciitis walk in my bike shoes the other day… I think that set me back months. So the bug was keeping me company too and we took some dad and bug shots…

Here’s one where she’s whistling…

Moving right along, we got a couple drawings from the weekend. The first one is a collaboration and the other the bug did herself (in the second one, I’m the one in all brown clothes and red shoes)…

Amongst all this, I did actually get some work done. I love the new shellac. Another advantage I’ve noticed is that it seems to be infinitely re-constitut-able. The shellac out of the can would eventually get to the point after diluting it over and over, where the result would be something that didn’t hold up but every time this new shellac gets a little thick, I just add a little Everclear and Bob’s your uncle. Here’s a couple wee brushstroke pieces…

Get That Pinko Cyclist…

October 2, 2010

So the weather’s been dreamy this week which is a big change on the bicycle. In the sun it’s downright perfect and in the shade… well, let’s just say that I can already see I won’t make it far into late autumn or winter before I hang up the bike shoes. Anyway, I’m on my way home yesterday and although I didn’t know it at the time, right as my new speedometer hits 900 miles on the nose, my tire blows out. So I’m under I-64 on a bench next to the river with my blown out tire, my plantar fasciitis, my incredibly awkward-walking clip-in bike shoes and I don’t have a cel phone. What I do have in a wee pouch under my seat is a spare tube, little plastic tire changing tools and under the crossbar of the frame is a hand pump. Of course I’m not too thrilled about this option because the spare is at least 10 years old and I’ve never used the pump… but this is why I have them. So I sit on a handy bench by the river and take my back wheel off and start working on my tire change when I realize that in the 10 years since I put that spare in there, my eyesight has gotten so bad that I can barely see what I’m doing and that I should stick a pair of reading glasses in the pouch too. So the whole thing was a bit of an ordeal but I got it changed and although the pump could hardly get enough air to support my weight, I was mobile again. Now backup just a bit, right as I’m almost finished a drunk guy on a bike is riding by and sees me and slows down and says, “got a flat?”. Not wanting to illustrate my inability to make smalltalk, I say… “yeah”. He stops and comes over to the bench and he reeked of shellac… oh wait, it wasn’t shellac, it was booze. He says, “you need to take it to the bike shop up on 2nd and Market”. I didn’t know there was a bike shop there and it’s about 6 blocks from where I’m at but I figure even if I can get enough air in, I’ll ride up there and have them fill my tire to the proper PSI. Then the dude gets chatty. He keeps asking me to look at how great his bike is and that it’s a 1980 model. He keeps saying, “nice, eh?” and “this thing will flat-out roll, I mean, it’ll flat-out roll”. I struggled to come up with an admiring comment about the fortified welds where the frame connects and that only seemed to encourage him. So after a couple more “go to 2nd and Market and they’ll fix you right up”s and “this beauty will flat-out roll”s, I bid him adieu (I said “later” in reality) and start towards 2nd Street. After about 1/10 of a mile… another blowout. After I mild bout of cussing, I resign myself to the walk of pain. When I get to 2nd and Market, there’s no bike shop and I’m thinking I’m pretty much a dumbass for taking advice from the drunk guy. So I walk towards 1st St. to ask if someone knows of a bike shop around there and halfway down the block I see the shop… it’s at 1st and Market. He was actually pretty close. I go in and the bike shop dude says, “what’s your problem?” I say I got a flat. He says, “no problem” and I say I also don’t have any money on me. He says, “well, that is a problem”. I borrow the phone and call Mom to come get me and tell the guy to go ahead and fix the tire and when my ride comes I’ll pay him. So he comes back from the exclusive bicycle-repair-shop-no-customers-allowed-beyond-this-point area and tells me that he’s out of moderately priced tires and only has two to choose from. The cheaper of the two is either pink or blue and that pink wheels will make the bike go faster. I say… give me the pink. While I’m waiting a younger dude comes in with knee brace thingies on both knees. He starts chatting with the bike repair dude and I overhear (read: eavesdrop) him say, “I finally got the pickax attached to the back of my bike so I can dig…” and I didn’t get the rest. I figure he’s making a joke about his bike being on it’s last leg and he’s telling the guy that he’s prepared to bury it when it finally drops dead. A little time passes and I go out the front door to see if I can see Mom and Sofia coming down Market St. In the bike rack in front of the shop is the younger dude’s yellow bike and there is a full-sized pickax bungee corded to the top of the back fender. Hmmm. Mom’s not coming yet so I go back in and finally I can’t restrain myself and ask the guy what the pickax is for. He says, very unsatisfactorily, “to dig holes with”, then, “I like to garden around town and need to dig holes” and almost as an afterthought… “sometimes through concrete”. I can’t figure out which question of the 17 I have floating around in my head to ask next or how to ask without it sounding like I’m calling him a lunatic so I just pass and leave it at that. Of course someone was really happy that I got a pink tire on my bike and it just so happened to match her shirt…

She also insisted since I was taking her picture that I manage to get her new shoes in the shot…