Friday, January 20, 2012

Here we snow again.......

When it snows the potter returns to the studio.......... clearly I need to work on my camera skills!
This winter has us very confused; two days ago it was over 66 degrees F.  Tonight we are dipping down to 0 degrees F.  I do wish Mother Nature would have another hot flash........

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One of those days......

January 18th and YIKES! There are a few pots thrown, sitting on the shelves and my list is longer then Santa's naughty list!

My partner in crime, muse and dog who is excellent at holding down the floor has been a bit under the weather. Yesterday, jumped out of bed ready to seize the day and my feet landed in a cold puddle. That's never happened and it's quite shocking as your brain kicks in what your standing in....... Yuck! Follow the barf trail to the landing and found my guy who hasn't looked this bad since he ate the neighbor kids diaper!

Zeus will be 13 this year and best dog ever! He is just under 100 pounds and still has that puppy gleam in his eyes.

Stumbled down, found the vets number and called. Changed him back to his old meds and hoped for the best. Dragged him across the floor on a bath towel to the top step in the back room. At least he would have a great view while I traveled 2 hours round trip to pick up his Rimadyl.

Back in a flash and found him on the floor in the same place, but he had tossed his cookies and couldn't get up. Get the pill into him and light a candle. He ate a couple slices of homemade bread to settle his stomach and seemed happy to eat.

The rest of the day I scrubbed floors, washed his bedding and cleaned the poor guy up. By the time I sat down to have my morning coffee it was 3 p.m.
Haven't had a day like this since the kids were toddlers.

Drank my coffee and looked at the pile of fur at my feet, the tail wagged. Hey, buddy how ya feeling? The tail wagged harder and he looked up. There was that gleam in his eye again and he was back.
Not sure what Rimadyl is but must be like crack for dogs and itworks!

Last night we walked to end of the driveway and back to house, he had rallied and I was thinking maybe I should start taking it.

Today, attempting studio time....... Again.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

does not play well with others........

Guess it's been a while since I had good rant here on the blog.......... but then it's been the holidays.  
Just in from attending an Artist Roundtable and Artist talk in downtown this afternoon.  

Running a tad bit late and finding the gallery tucked away on the 2nd floor of the Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland I was running to get there.  Slipped in during the intro and was surprised to see the place pretty full.  GREAT! 

Found a seat and nestled in.  Each panel member was given time to introduce themselves and explain why they were there and how they got there.  I didn't know one of the panelists and also realized after the last panelist stated she was currently working as a muralist, fine craft or any craft probably would not be talked about.  (but that is OK because we all deal with a lot of the same stuff) I listened intently to each one.  

Each panelist expressed their dismay and wonderment about why Cleveland isn't getting national recognition, because we just so damn cool.  My first thought:  Then why do I live in the;  rust belt, the corn belt, the bible belt and the snow belt?  Nope nothing screams ART like those four labels!   Then I thought; why not do a show on exactly that.  

Note:  this morning on the local tv station there was a great interview from the curator at the Cleveland Public Library.  Also seated at the table, Henry Adams author of a book on the Kokoon Club   Currently CPL is hosting a show on the Kokoon Club.   

The Kokoon Club was a bunch of wild artists during the turn of the century and we are talking 1800 - 1900, not 1999 -2000.  The Bal Rique was notorious for being shut down by the Mayor and police department.  Many were immigrants from other countries brought here to paint the murals, make posters for the new movie empire and cater to the upper crust of folks like the Rockefeller's and Carnegie's.

Turns out there was a pretty fierce rivalry between the stuffy Cleveland Society of Arts and the Kokoon Club.  The Kokoon club was formed by bored and frustrated lithographers.  For those who enjoy history here is a great article Kokoon Club Cleveland history

Rockefeller's old place, now gone..... 

SNAP to January 2012!  Here I am sitting in a church, A CHURCH, listening to grumbling artists about what's wrong with Cleveland and why doesn't that stuffy Cleveland Museum of Art support us?  100 years and not much has changed, we are still talking about the same frustrations!  Somebody pinch me! 
One panel member suggested we all show up with signs and parade into the Cleveland Museum of Art and demand our due respect.  Ok, I almost laughed out loud because Wow is that creative!  If that is the best we can do we are not artists!  
And down the panel we went.......... Social networking came up, one artist declaring; "Technology is so WONDERFUL I just made a website in 3 hours!"  
That made me laugh as my computer was sitting at home with it's guts hanging out. 
Technology is great until is crashes your website Judy.  
Call me, we'll chat and not iChat at the moment. 

At 4:08 the panel discussion was over and the floor was open for questions.......I had so many thoughts my head was going to blow off but I restrained and collected my thoughts.  The microphone was handed to guy behind me and the first question;  "How do you price your work?  I mean I paint too and how do you determine a portrait is $35,000."   The artist then complained she hasn't had a price increase since the 2006 crash and there just isn't anything else she can do so now a head and shoulders sketch is $2500 and gosh times are tough. 
If I had been drinking coffee the guy in front of me would have needed a shower cap!  Wasn't I just agonizing over increasing my mugs $5.00.  I know it's all relative.  
Still I have this deep seated belief my best work is yet to come and then the other deep seated belief; if my well isn't empty it's probably not going to fill up, keep stuff moving or it gets stagnant.  If I had a $35,000 pot in my studio I'm pretty sure my ashes would be in it.   

Are you flipping kidding me?  after all this discussion about the "WE", the Cleveland Community of Artists and you ask;  "How do you price your work?"  The moderator made an attempt to bring the discussion back to the "WE"  and then the second question:  "No really what will the market bear and how do we price our work?"   

My mind tells me somewhere there really is this utopic arts community in my town.  We sit in dark, smokey coffee houses, drinking our espressos, sitting at little tables talking about the bull shit opening we just attended and we are just so deep.  Boris slides a glaze formula across the table and I tuck it in my black sports bra.  And can art really change the world or we just self indulgent whiney little bitches? 

 After 30 years I have found myself liking, no, loving my studio and the solitude of that studio.  Going to the studio everyday the extraneous stuff of supportive communities dissolves away.  Must be getting old or maybe just tired because clearly I just don't have the passion anymore.  It's like playing catch me, catch me with an 80 year old spouse........ I'll catch you tomorrow, I'm eating a cookie.

I say stand up and rock the city, AR-TESTS.  Ever heard of Bushido, the way of the warrior?  I say we show up on some corner in Cleveland and have an art mob.  Show up and make art; bring your wheels, bring you easels, bring your pastels and make art!  An art Rave!  Take some responsibility and just get out there!   Maybe the museum?  OH and leave you sign at home.

I quietly packed up my belongs and went out to find the Kokoon Club.

Clearly I have run out of tolerance and no longer do I play well with others  
 I have been know to run with scissors!  

I got stuff to do.......... I drove home and found my partner in crime, who also has a problem playing with others.           

Friday, January 6, 2012

Phew, back to work!

Yesterday after dragging the last batch of tools out of the upstairs and loading the truck for the recycling center thought I better check my email.  Seldom does my email make ill.  

First email, in the heat of home reno I managed to miss the Spring Craft Boston Deadline.  Call the office and beg forgiveness while giving them my credit card number.  Emergency averted!  

Second email, the ad above!!!!  My jaw was on the desk and happy dance all over the back room!
But wait my inventory is pretty wiped out from Holiday Craft Boston, YIKES! 

The final day of painting madness had me day dreaming about pots and I was so ready to head back to the studio.  This was sure the kick in the pants needed.  7 weeks and I will be in Palm Beach, pedal to the medal set to warp speed.    

This morning, the sun is out, I am on my way to the studio and happily back to making pots :) 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The plaster queen is born.......

 Moved on to Abby's horizontal strip room........ yup, raspberry and blue horizontal stripes. 
So I was the mother who thought it would be fantastic to let my kids decorate their rooms; releasing their inner creative child, besides Abby was the one always writing on the walls in Sharpie markers.  Thought I could just channel the beast.  
Young innocent Mothers out there, listen up!  You cannot!  Paint your walls in chalkboard paint and buy chalk.  It is easier to replace drywall than sand and fix old plaster walls.  (they did not have washable markers back then)

The front bedroom went pretty fast so why not tackle the other bedroom. 

and so it begins.......... 


 There are so many corners and closets in this bedroom I am over it.  Spent two days just plastering holes, old wall damage and dents from Amazon fighting matches.  Does anyone ever talk about the parents being scarred and needing therapy?  I should have rubberized both rooms and locked them in, but then I did catch one them climbing out the second floor window one afternoon; she had taught herself to drop and roll pretty well.   Then when she was banned from the house for afternoon she and a friend wrestled a mattress to the backyard and thought it was such fun to slide down the garage roof, bouncing off the dry docked canoe and onto the mattress.  I heard the laughing in the house and thought they were having such a good time......  

The Amazon's

Day One.

Plastered, and scrubbed the walls with Trisodium Phosphate.  Sanded down the paint ridges left behind from horizontal lines.  Move furniture and "stuff" into new front bedroom.  


Day two......

While I plastered and sanded and plastered again Abby used half a gallon of primer in two closets.  
I also watched in amazement as she tried to paint and drink coffee simultaneously.  Notice the plastic drop clothes removed.  When asked why?  She responded; It makes to much noise when I walk on it.  Here's a bucket of water to clean up the coffee.  Amid all the mess and wondering if I would ever see my studio again the one thing she asked about....... Mom can we get silver door knobs?  Door knobs?  But Abby how do you feel about this hole in the wall?  or shoe marks on the ceiling?  or your name in pink frosty nail polish in the closet?   Hey and what a bout that burned carpet in the shape of my iron when you used to iron your hair?  Door knobs?  Really?

During the day the UPS guy left a huge package on the front steps.  Badly needing a break from plastering and silver door knobs I joyfully dragged in my new cabinet I had ordered online a week ago.  I had no idea it would come in a box with a billion screws and directions in Chinese.  
Still, it was a break.......


Where are my missing screws Hoover????

Ta Daaaa!!!!  

Day 3 and 4 back to the bedroom....
The plastering projects and the primering went on and on.
Woodwork had taken three coats and walls too.  I was beginning to feel like I was in the movie; Groundhog Day.  Wake up and go right back to working in the same corner.

Day 5, Commence painting!

Day 6;  hang the curtain and finish up.

This picture sums up the entire project.  I pulled out the last curtain to hang and I had bought a 95" long panel........ back to the Depot!  

Day 7

Six days later I sat in the chair and looked around room.  Again high renovation satisfaction!  I have a few pictures to hang but it be will hard to pound a nail into these walls.  

By 11 a.m. the princess had backed out of the driveway headed back to Kent State and I started filling the dumpster and packing up the paint brushes.  What a vacation! 

 Oh and now the new wall paint makes the carpet look dingy but it's just not in the budget.  
and it's time to get to the studio.  The entire time my hand was in the a plaster or paint can I thought about new pots I was anxious to make.  It's time...... vacation over, it was amazing :) 

while hammering.........

Rachael decided to make coleslaw........ 
Who knew it took every bowl in the kitchen to make a salad?
Proving again....... we really do not need much to live.  
If I only had one bowl it would have been fine 
but as I am a potter I have many bowls, maybe too many bowls.  
Next time I will hide all but one bowl.

Hoover, the land shark.  He eats cabbage, carrots and anything that hits floor.  This is how he looks just before he launches into a feeding frenzy.

it's how we roll........

from the bedroom to the bathroom, don't look up, keep your head down and go.............

For the last 6 or 7 years I kept saying; "I really need to put shelves in that weird space and stop throwing the towels on the floor."   Off the to the Depot where they know my first name.  Dragged home the boards, moulding, primer and paint.  Dragged out the saws, and every other tool I squirreled away after the kitchen project and commenced to make a lot of sawdust and plaster dust.  After three days of knee grinding on tile floors I have shelves and new paint and it's looks good and I have high home owner renovation satisfaction!