Sunday, December 13, 2015

Happy holidays

Wood-fired stoneware animal jars

Here's one last post for the year. This fall I was able to produce a sizable amount of work to provide for the holiday shopping season at both the Toledo Museum of Art store and Hudson Gallery in Sylvania. I hope you have time to check out these places. There's so much by so many talented artists there.

Sgraffito porcelain bowls

Monday, August 31, 2015

Gallery opening this Friday

Something for everybody and everyone is invited.

Too bad the hot weather has returned. Kiln openings, kiln firings and drop offs of new work, all on tap for this week. Keep cool.

Monday, January 5, 2015

That's a Takata, December was good.

Work from the Manabigama wood kiln

I recently realized what is important to me is that it is not what I aspire to be but rather what I want my art to achieve. I often shy away from personal recognition or flattery however accolades that might be said for my work is gratifying. It is the reason why I create. If my work can please someone else, then I have done something worthwhile. So… "Hey, that's a Takata" is a whole lot better to hear than "Isn't she Takata?" Exhibiting in a show or a gallery setting focuses the attention on the work rather than myself. When people ask me why I don't do direct sales or art fairs, I guess I prefer that my public doesn't see me. Faintly aloof or maybe shy, in any case, I hope you can enjoy my art.

Long Dog #1
A departure from making my "art bowls" is my new animal series. A little quirky, somewhat graphic and humorous, these animals are my prints in 3D. They have been fun to create.

When I started this post last month, I had just finished up probably the most labor-intensive period since I began working with clay. In addition to these critters shown, I still did make lots of bowls. My bowls seem to have the broadest appeal and I have always enjoyed their shape more than any other functional piece of pottery. This past November/December sales at the galleries seem to be my best period yet so it was worth the effort. I feel grateful and fortunate. With the holidays behind us and the decorations stored away, it's time to get back to work and build up some inventory. It would be nice to have actual inventory and be able to have time to reflect on the pieces I make. The holiday hiatus is over and it's time to get back to work. Winter is good for hibernation and working at my home studio.

I have been quite sporadic in my posts, I plan to be better. I do this blog as much for me (a cathartic journal/record), as to share them with those interested in my process. My next post I plan to dwell on the subject of being creative (or trying to be). Also, tiles! Happy 2015!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My ultimate studio

Latest sgraffito pieces available at the Toledo Museum Store

After pondering for some time on whether to splurge or not, I finally went ahead and got the last two things I was wanting for my studio—
a clay extruder and air conditioning. Christopher did another fantastic job with the installation on both. I feel very fortunate.

Clay extruder
I ended up choosing the Bailey clay extruder with the new stainless steel body because it was recommended if using porcelain and white stoneware. With the addition of this piece of equipment, it is my intention to try some different techniques that I haven't done since I was in 577's ceramics studio.

The temperature-controlled air conditioner is really quiet with a remote control. The unit is wall hung so it doesn't impinge on my limited space and windows. This summer I will have no more excuses of being too hot. I'll now have to find some new reason for not getting work done.

Air-conditioned comfort

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Playing catch-up/Recent work

Maneki Neko (Beckoning Cat) is a common Japanese figurine which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. Since the Edo period (1603-1868) a cat is depicted with a paw upraised in the Japanese gesture of beckoning, drawing good fortune to individuals and businesses. 

It's been over five months since my last post but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. Despite a family crisis, I have managed to keep working although I wish I could have been more productive. Any potter might agree that until your pieces have been through the multiple firings, you can't measure your success. I did some experimenting with new glazes and clay bodies and saw both failure and success.

I have been recalling and researching some of my Japanese heritage and letting it reflect the direction and themes of some of my recent work. Ceramic animals as sculpture and as functional pieces will continue to intrigue me. This past summer I have worked mostly in stoneware, rather than porcelain, for both wood-fired and electric-fired pieces. During this time, I was able to participate in two wood firings at the Manabigama Pottery Center in Bowling Green, Ohio. Pleased with the outcomes and responses through sales of the wood-fired work, this encourages me to continue this avenue of working.

There are many things Japanese that are symbolic and thought to bring good luck. These are focus of some of the things I am creating. It is also my hope that my Japanese-inspired work that I sell at the Museum Store will complement the upcoming Japanese art prints exhibit coming this fall at the the Toledo Museum.

Latest work was unloaded from the Manabigama kiln last week.

I commissioned John Thies to make this two magnificent
pots on which I added the surface details.
The pots were salt-fired in a wood kin.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Latest wood-fired results

Mozzie the dog as a bowl. Photo by Tim Barret.

Photo by Tim Barret.
Since there wasn't an opportunity to do a wood firing at the 577 Foundation for quite some time, it was fortuitous that John at the Manabigama Pottery Center offers drop-off wood firing. It couldn't been easier, you drop off your bisqued work and less than a week later, voila, it's done! Since I had not done any wood-fired work since August of 2011, it was a nice change of pace not to be concerned with slips or glazes. John was very accommodating in getting my work positioned in the kiln as I wished and I am quite pleased with the results. 

Tim and I picked my clay order at the Guild today. I'm now ready to do lots of pots. I must admit that I am quite fortunate that I have a photographer as a spouse and one who also hauls clay!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Good fortune

My stoneware fortune cookies that are selling for $10 each at the Museum Store.

It  has been a while since my last post but I am happy to report that I have been back at work in the studio since the holidays ended.

The year started with making stoneware fortune cookies. I had given one as a gift to Heather, the retail manager of the Museum Store, right before Christmas. I had made it a long time ago at the 577 Foundation and she loved it so much that she asked me to make some to sell. I packaged them so the prospective buyer would know what fortune was in the cookie. The fortunes were mainly love sentiments, so they would be timely for Valentine's Day. I first brought in 24 cookies which nearly sold out and they asked for more. I made and brought in an additional 24 more earliler this month. They were featured in the Museum's email newsletter, ArTMAil. The cookies turn out to be a lucrative project. I was pretty "fortunate."