color chart history

I don't know about you; I love pantone books and the subject color theory and history:

The first color wheel has been attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, who in 1706 arranged red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet into a natural progression on a rotating disk. As the disk spins, the colors blur together so rapidly that the human eye sees white. From there the organization of color has taken many forms, from tables and charts, to triangles and and wheels the history. excellent concise article on the history of the color wheel via ColorLOVERs

what's bigger than a pint glass

new 'big gulps' for the truly fearless caffeine drinker! 

...or the doubly fearless 'drinker drinker'!

makin' cu ups

having fun making some new mugs...

happy friday my web friends - have a super fab weekend!

I wish we could talk about this

What goes into good booth design?

As I'm starting to get into production mode and thinking of the shows I'm doing in November; I'm thinking more about presentation and booth design.  I suspect the more one does shows the less and less they think about it - it's old hat, right?  But, is that true? 

How much should go into learning what makes a good booth, how it impacts your work and subsequently, your sales?  Do most artists create something that works and then they stick with it or change it up?  Year to year, show to show?  I'm curious what other people have to say about how much time spend on booth design and set up - even if you've been doing this a long time and have ample experience how much time went into it?  If you're a seasoned vet - do you think about it every time you do a show or do it rote?

Last year I did two back to back shows; I was more stressed on getting enough work done than focusing any real attention on the booth thing.  To be honest, it was an afterthought.  I kind of just had the attitude of "winging" it.  In another life; I worked in restaurants; I just figured, hey, I'll figure it out...a white table cloth and some risers - arrange my stuff nicely and that's it, right? 

But, I'm not so sure. We all shop - we know what appeals to us.  I'm just thinkin' it may be worth a little more of my attention.  For my upcoming events, I wanted to put a little more thought into  how my booth design/setup relates to my work.  I want it to look like I spent some time on it - but not too much?!

am I over thinking this? 

While I was at ACGA recently, I helped out some friends set up their booths and was quite tuned in and observant of what they all were doing...and trackin' in this direction.
I decided to do a bit of research.  I looked for some examples of booths I might like; and I didn't find that much - I hate to say it; but they all start looking the same. 
I found a list of some posts from a blog - called "Good booth gone bad" - I've not read them alll; the ones I did were informative and offered some good insights.
I did a little reading up on "Why we buy - the science of shopping" .  I did some perusing of sales and marketing statistics - an endless morass of info.  That's all well and good; and even helpful, but at the end of the day - even armed with TONS of information - how is that actually applied on the ground, or in my case, in my garage?

timely, Kyle Carpenter has a post about Booth set up...

Booth know how via the ETSY Storque - I applaud the "lose the table" tip!
Show me your booth Flickr Page - via ETSY

pics below in order of appearance:

Sharon Virtue - ACGA
Sharon laughed that it was Booth set up 101 at ACGA!  The one thing I keep going back to is the idea that if you put up a table a tablecloth and plop your stuff on it - it's like a bake sale.  Sharon has these risers for the table legs that actually lifted the table about 10" off the ground making it a little better for eye level.  It's the little things...

Shelley Simon - ACGA
Shelley has done trade shows and whole sale shows for over 30yrs.  She does know what works with her work.  And she is right.  She had people buzzing like bees around honey all weekend.

Alameda Flea Market
The Alameda Flea Market - to be fair is not an Art Show.  There is a certain amount of total acceptance of the general disarray and chaos that flea markets offer - it is fun and maddening at the same time!

Hue Yang's open studio
This is a set up in a Studio Space - again the public accepts a certain amount of free form 'design' in artists personal open studio shows.  But she did a nice job with breaking up the work arrangement by hanging some, shelving some. 

I realize there is only so much you can do; or want to do.  It's partially a socio-philosophical art vs. business discussion.

Up in the Air Somewhere
So, yeah - the clean less-is-more look -  I love the layered curtain.  Modern and attractive!

So, if anyone has any comments, suggestions, experiences - I really would love to hear from you !


Glaze Mixer

I recently set up an account with Glaze Mixer and placed my first order.  Though I have remedial knowledge of glaze chemistry - I have done some glaze mixing at Skyline.  It's a learn-as-I-go approach at this point.

For my own studio space; I do not want to have a cache of chemicals around or go down that road.  I do, however, want to have the benefit of using some non-commercial glazes.  I have nothing against commercial glazes - however - I use them a lot.  I think this is a genius alternative to relying on a studio and having limited access to mixed glazes. 

They have a flushed out list of available ingredients - there was one they didn't carry on the list; I emailed the customer service email and in no time had a response and a subsequent email that the ingredient was ordered and put on the available list!

I'm goin' for it. I entered some glaze recipes and ordered some small amounts to I go.  And note: you can keep your glaze recipes top secret if you like or elect if you want to share your recipe.   Also, you can have only 1 recipe in the system or a 1000!  They have a bunch of loaded community glazes available to order as well. 

Ryan at Glaze Mixer was super helpful and answered all my questions. 

I encourage you to check these guys out.

Scott Jennings Handbuilding Workshop

I attended a workshop this weekend at Ruby's Clay Studio in SF with Scott Jennings
Scott's work is almost exclusively hand built.  His pieces are light, clean, tight, and precise, yet organic and soft.  His colors match his style of work perfectly!  It's quite obvious he makes very thoughtful decisions and works hard at his craft.

Of course; a super nice guy willing and open with his working process, tools, tricks and glaze recipes.  The workshop was one of the most valuable three hours I've spent.  The information already influencing me in how I work and even what I plan to make.  I hand build; I was riveted to his talk and watched very closely how he handles his slabs and how he assembles... you know, all the in between steps that are the most valuable and the least talked about.

btw - he uses good ole' fashioned cone5 B-Mix.  His work looks like porcelain, but it aint!

One curious thing is his use of pillowcases for rolling out slabs.  For me; one of the key takeaways is the importance of not over-handling your slabs - I know that comes with experience, but it's never a bad thing to hear it drilled in your head again and again. 

Another item of note; he uses virtually no water in his assemblage process except with the use of his slip (which he uses sparingly).  The slabs he uses for plates, platters or any large flat form he never actually pics up; once it's rolled out, it lives in a horizontal position until it is stiff enough to rest on the applied feet.  He uses boards to flip the slab over and over as he rolls them out and never actually moves the slab until it's assembled and dry - even when attaching feet and handles the top plate part of the slab never leaves the board.

The process of rolling out slabs is a bit laborious but critical to the end result.  For his vertical slabs - he's more "hands-on" with them, though still gentle and circumspect in his handling - he more freely will lift and turn them over.

Another significant tip is he assembles and does all his surface decoration at the wet stage, though not adding water.  Remember: Water is not your friend! 

Some basics that Scott uses are; a "French" rolling pin; a standard heavy rolling pin, a little plastic wallpaper seam roller, thin wood dowels to control his slab thickness.  Again, he uses very little slip on his seams because he assembles very wet and compresses the seam with a wallpaper seam roller.  All the tools here are easy to find at your local hardware store.

He creates paper templates for all his work; he draws a picture on the template of what it makes and puts the date.  The date gives him a marker of how long the template has been employed and may need an update.  I thought that was great - we can all get comfortable in what we do and forget to evolve pieces that work for us. 

The other genius thing he does that seems so simple (but it has never crossed my mind) is a sharpie.  He uses it for marking his points of contact wherever any design lines need to meet.  He lightly marks the clay - which you can see in one of the photos of the cup he made.  Good tip for template use and lining things up - it's all in the details...

He uses a banding wheel which he places on top of a very everyday flower pot for height - he uses it to move around the pieces as he pushes, shapes and expands them and creates the individual shapes and forms.  It's always so fun to see how artists figure out little ways of working very specific to them.   Tools are manipulated, curious materials (pillow cases) are incorporated.  Quirks - we love the quirks - that's where the magic lives.

After the forms are made; he adds shape and form with his fingers and on larger pieces he uses the fabulous Sherrill ribs which are soft and pliable and don't impact the surface too much - remember the slabs are not touched very much at all and no water - it's Scott's theme song!

Part of Scott's aesthetic is that he makes no effort to hide his seams - they are a design element and therefore they need to be clean and sharp and not over worked.  The little rolly seam roller is his go-to tool of choice.  He talked about not having that many tools - he has a small arsenal and they are simple and specific to his building process. 

the ye old "less is more" program.

So, I got a lot out of this; my head was chuck full o-stuff I was motivated to check out and try.  Of course, I wasn't patient enough to make templates, but that's my project for tonight.

here is my attempt at a cup...

I've made tumblers on the wheel - but often sans handles.  I've not handbuilt cups much, but liked the way Scott's cups looked - so I gave it a try - and MAN - it's actually FUN!  This thing is giant btw - an over zealous excited non-templatey cup to be sure.

thanks to Scott - an awesome talent and a great guy - an excellent workshop and thanks to Ruby's Clay Studio!

Scott Jennings
Red Brick Studio
Ruby's Clay Studio

Mark Goudy

Mark Goudy was at the ACGA Show, though I have no pictures from the show; I've managed to get just a couple from his website. 

His work is eye catching and with a closer look they are trance inducing - there is the 'infinite' in his pieces.  An example of the sublime in the simplicity of his form and surface that look as one - like some fantastic rock or natural occurrence. 
The burnished feel like velvet or wood. 

worth a very close look.

Seaweed Salad Days

The phrase "Salad Days" coined by Shakespeare's Cleopatra in 1606.
"...My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood..."

one of my favorite Shakespearean idioms...

(did you know our guy Will is responsible for some 700 words being added to the english language...think about that for a sec...)

I call the sunny summer days on the coast when the ocean is 1000 shades of blue and green, whales, dolphins in sight and not a soul on the beach "Seaweed Days"... 

yesterday was just such a glorious day!

I love seaweed - the shape, surface and form - sculptural, ethereal, living mostly unseen until it is ripped off its bearing and shows itself on the beach...

it's official

I'm will be selling my wares at the Cocoanut Grove in lovely Santa Cruz, Ca
at the 2010 Santa Cruz Sea Glass & Ocean Art Festival
Saturday & Sunday
November 6th & 7th

The Cocoanut Grove was built in 1907 as the "Neptune Casino." It was named a California Historic Landmark in May 1989. This 100-year-old facility boasts a rich and colorful history and a spectacular view of the Monterey Bay.

The Cocoanut Grove spells its name "Cocoanut" instead of "Coconut" since the facility's name was changed in the 1930s. This is an the OG way of spelling coconut, as in the Marx Brothers' movie, "The Cocoanuts."

Yee har!

I'm trying to come back from vacation

but I'm thinking about this...

or maybe being here......

paddling in for this....

or looking up at this.......

or perhaps down over this....

how about taking a picture like this........

or riding around on one of these....

and walking along on this..............sigh

but, sadly, I'm not. 

I'm back at work.....

...for two weeks and then I have TWO WEEKS OFF.....HOOO RAY!!

P.S. I won't be in any of these places - but one can dream; I will be in my studio - which isn't at all a bad place to be :)

some new pieces

I have been working with porcelain recently. I confess, I'm hooked on the stuff.  

I've been using Matt & Dave's Clay and I'm getting attached to it; I've tried four different porcelain clay bodies and keep going back to the Matt&Dave thing - it can take a beating and I've had ZERO cracking problems or issues with how I handbuild.  

Having taken a workshop with Molly Hatch - on the mishima process and who rocks this process like no one's business - a couple of Molly's tips have really helped me get over my "when in doubt -do nothing" approach to the wide open spaces of young clay!  And it's been great.  I just do not like drawing free hand on a newly built piece very much, tho I do some, and having the freedom of the template works better for me.  I have found it invaluable. 
I have to say that drawing with an exacto is super satisfying, if a little challenging.  Too much caffeine does NOT help and patience and concentration are key!

next is incorporating my new mad screenprinting skills! 

Whoa, that was super cool!

Michelle Gregor rocks the ACGA!  her work is AH MAY ZIIING!

Barb Vanderbeck - Barb's has a following - there are people always mobbing her at this show - it was a challenge just to get a picture here and there.  How can you not love her bird totems!  This little number up top with his cute headdress.  

Sharon Virtue.  Sharon just returned from her second trip to Haiti.  She has been travelling there with an organization providing art therapy for children.  She's a trail blazer this one, and as I have said many times, a creative force to be reckoned with!   

Shelley Simon and her very famous "Dirty Dishes" fountains.  Shelley does not have a website - we are working on that.

Forrest Lesch Middleton is the nicest guy!  I talked with him about his work and process for some time.  He never tired of my questions and was so awesome about sharing his process.  His work is detailed and tight and just gorgeous - the better still because it turns out he's such a cool guy.  And, I had to have a cup; I always buy cups. 

Tammy Burwell - To say her work is spectacular is to understate her talent as a thrower, her incredible knowledge and experience as a potter, teacher and in Raku and pit fire.  She is a delight to hang with and learn from!

The ACGA Show this last weekend was a great time; I'm so lucky to know so many wonderful amazing artists in the clay community and have many of them for friends.

I went on Friday to help some of my pals set up their booths.  It's great to have a behind the scene's view; to see the different booth set up and watch them deal with the circus of doing shows.  There is a lot to be learned from "Booth Set up 101" as Sharon was calling it! 
Have lots of tape, safety pins and table cloths on hand for one.  Never discount any measure of organization and always have a good attitude and plenty of caffeine!!

These guys are the pros. 

It was a fun day to see friends, meet some new ones, and talk 'shop' - Whitney, Rae and Josie were there - they always have people piling in and spilling out of their booths!  Always fun to see those guys~!