You might wonder by looking at the pictures, how I get anything done in the studio. Some days I wonder the same thing. There are a lot of distractions and "eye candy" just on the short walk from the house to the studio.
I do find a great deal of ideas in that eye candy...sometimes it's a pattern that Ma Nature has revealed and sometimes its a color. So in a way, I justify my distractions by calling them inspiration.
It helps that I am curious by nature. Just watching the way that the sunlight can change a color over the course of just a few minutes is fascinating to me. While I like to think it's in my DNA, I also know that some of that curiosity was encouraged and developed by my Mom and many of my teachers. Nothing much happened in college in the encourage and develop department, but elementary through high school I was blessed with teachers who were pretty special.
Most of my teachers have passed away now. It's sad to say that by the time I figured out how much they had done for me, it was too late to thank them.
I wish I knew then what I was going to be doing now and how much those teacher's influences were going to mold my thinking. I should have thanked them in advance.
We all could probably thank our teachers in advance...if we only knew.
Lately it's been a whirlwind of activity around here. Almost too much happening...okay...too much is happening for one person to handle well.
Brenda keeps me focused when she's here and when she is traveling you never know what little end of the rope is going to try to unravel...sometimes both ends at the same time. Friday was one of those days. Glad it morphed into Saturday. Thankfully. Mercifully.
But everything is back to it's normal chaotic meyhem.
Picked up a new kiln this past week...well new to me anyway. It's going to be used for some pretty cool experiments when the season ends (as in Christmas)...nothing too exotic is allowed between now and about the first of December. The nose is on the grindstone until then.
The Fall colors have been outstanding this year. Last year the rain hit early and just pounded the trees...causing them all to lose their leaves in about a week...this year it's warm...more-or-less windless and crisp at night...perfect for color.
Speaking of color...the new Argyle Lambs are coming together nicely. The rumor is that some will be rams even...hopefully they will be fired over the weekend.
All bet you always wondered how all the colors in argyle socks came to be...well now you know.
The eclipse experience was pretty nifty at our cabin in Montana. But a couple of days prior to that event, Brenda was up early and took this picture...the two reflections of the sun rising is pretty cool but that little dot in the left...that's the moon...very cool. This is our "everyday" view across Lake Hebgen. The view is of Horse Butte. I of course do not get up this early.
After the fun and games of a vacation, we drove the 16 hours (or so) to home...I worked in the studio the next day and got my materials box ready to head off to Reno for three days of glaze workshop with John Britt. Great three days...and the results... well some of them anyway... were very good. Others, well...let's just call them "interesting" and then perhaps I'll shut up...
...of course I wont. This was my lab partner's work. Gary didn't do anything wrong. The kiln didn't do him any favors...but it's a bubbly glaze that the class was going to use as an example of some ingredient. The tests unfortunately bubbled so violently that they fused a number (as in lots of) of folks tests together in these sharp and jaggedy objects. We were reminded that crying was not allowed by our instructor. While interesting from a "what not to do" standpoint, and perhaps as a "how cool is that"...I don't think these will be retested here at LickinFlames anytime soon...as in maybe ever (or never).
Every so often I get out of the studio and head to a cabin in Montana. This year I spent time with the Grandsons, Odin and Amon.
While I'm with them I get to think in a completely different way...I'd better or they get in front of me and it all falls apart...fast? energetic? fun? ...all of that and more.
We went on a picnic, rode in a boat for the first time, swam in the lake, helped Grampie on special projects, read books, colored, painted, ate a bunch...and we saw Bison...lots and lots of Bison.
And then they left...and then it was quiet.
In just a few days I'll be back in the studio and working towards a couple of studio shows and a local group show (all on the We're on the Road page of the web site). If you want to get email about those shows, let me know through our Contact Page.
...and how do you like those matching shirts. He's doesn't quite understand the "bling" part of the shirt, he just likes that's it's like mine. I'll take what I can get.
When I looked at the "blog" and noticed the last posting date I was flabbergasted (you got to just love saying that word)...almost two months between posts. It's not like nothing is happening around here.
The new work space is not quite completed. The water of all things is still not hooked up. The drain side of the piping is finished but the in bound water is capped at the side of the building. A couple of trim pieces still need to be painted. The next big step will be putting the roof over the kiln yard. That will allow me to fire when it's snowing or raining of course...but...something one might not think of, that roof will put me in the shade on those sunny mornings, thus sparing my eyeballs from the stress. An added benefit will be shade on the days in the 90 degree range...June, July, August, September days around here. They are leveling the yard this week or next.
We have a lot of new colors and combination of colors that we have been apply on our work. That has been a lot of fun for me. While I do enjoy a nice silhouette for a pot, I am definitely a color guy. If you notice, most of my work is not all that graphic...stripes and such are not really my thing (except spirals...I love a spiral) and color really plays well with my organic, free flowing decorating.
Making new bits is the easy part. It's getting it to come together as a presentable product...that can sit on a shelf and look good...all that is important.
This piece is a reversible Shawl Spiral...the carding took a bit of thinking and testing. We are diggin' the way it came out.
The poppies in the background are fun this time of year. These are native and I'm encouraging them. I planted 10,000 seeds this last fall. All that so that I could take this picture...well, not exactly...but I was glad they were blooming.
It's been exciting here at the shop lately. Lots of new colors popping out. Fun to watch it all happening.
Not sure about the standing next to the kiln in the recent heat wave we experienced...but "it's all good"...right? Drink lots of water.
Some potters "poo poo" the small things that I make, but I would dare them to try to work this small. The dynamics of the glazes and kiln and drying (and on and on) all change with the size of the work. It's in some ways much more challenging to work small like this.
I have been having some work done on my eyes and my optometrist stared at me a bit when I told him I need my glasses focused at 15 inches. He was rather amazed that I actually measured the distance from my eyes to the work I do.
...and about the eyes...no I'm not going blind any time soon. Check up in 6 months...but if I see a laser beam pointing in my direction I'm ducking.
I've been working in this direction for a while now...adding color elements that will reflect my stream-like patterning...and these were bisqued and are ready for firing in raku no less.
I should have them ready for TNNA in a little over a month from now. My big hangup is with the building that is 1 1/2 months behind schedule...mostly weather related delays. The rain this year is approaching 100 inches...read that again ONE HUNDRED INCHES...it's like living in a rain forest without the fores...hey wait a minute...we live in a forest!
The building itself is not the challenge at the moment. The roof over the kiln yard is the last of the structure to be built. The leveling of the surface is timed to back-fill the trenches around the new building...we wait for the opportunity to bring one last piece of equipment up the hill. When that happens, I'll be without the ability to fire pots until that part of the project is complete...maybe a couple of weeks...timing is getting weird.