Monday, July 20, 2009

On the Road and In the Studio

Well, I’m back. For the time being. No foreseeable absences of significance in the future.

It’s been almost three weeks since the last update, and I’ve covered a lot of ground since then. After posting on July 2, Krystal and I hit the road for our first real vacation ever. It was grand, and a grand adventure. The west coast was our final destination, with camping and exploration along the way at Mesa Verde and Grand Canyon National Parks. In addition to breathtaking views, inspirational scenery, and hours of desert driving, both parks also had significant collections of Native American pottery from the Hopi, Pueblo, and other traditions.

While I’ve always considered the southwestern native pottery an inspiration in my forms, sometimes I forget just how beautiful those shapes are. Here’s a few of the pots that were exhibited in the museums at Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon.

The bottom connection in the double-mug is open, so the liquid level in both mugs remains equal. Apparently it's a pretty rarely found form. Pretty nifty.

I really like the big jar in the middle on the bottom shelf.

This one is a 20th century piece included in a case explaining the social importance of pottery.

The decorative motif on the inside of that little red bowl reminds me of one of my own.

After a couple days camping in the deserts of Colorado and Arizona, we continued to San Diego where there was much laying on the beach and zooing (real word?). We made it home safely by way of Las Vegas (no need to go back… ever) and a stop at Arches National Park (more beautiful scenery, no pots). However, if you are interested in seeing more traditional Native American pottery, the Denver Art Museum has a superb collection of American Indian art, including an absolutely breathtaking collection of work by Maria Martinez.

So, back in town for just over a week now, I’ve been in the studio twice. Last week I put in a very solid evening of glazing, and I put in several hours of throwing on Sunday afternoon. I was a little rusty, losing the first couple pieces I threw, but it’s been a month since I tried to do any real throwing, so I’m not too surprised. After those few catastrophes, I hit my stride and produced a good eight pieces (at least). A plate, a couple small bowls, some moderately sized jars/pots, and whopper of an “arizona.” Unfortunately, I forgot to bust out the camera until most of these had been packed up, so here’s what I do have pictures of:

Sgraffito on this vase - pretty sure I threw it a month ago, slipped it three weeks ago, and covered it really well. It was just soft enough to carve. And by soft, I mean it was pretty hard and it hurt my fingers to carve into it.

Trying out a new green slip. On a little pot, first. Definitely more on the lime-green side of things right now. I'm anxious to see how it will fire. I may have to add some more blue to the slip, or it may be a perfect shade of green. Or maybe I should just plan on making some funky lime-colored pottery?

My big "arizona" - I'm estimating it's 13" at its widest.

That’s it for now – I’ll be back in the studio tonight, so hopefully an update will come tomorrow.

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