Skyline College show at Davis

Next weekend is the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts in Davis. Tiffany Schmierer will be putting together a show of her students' wonderful artwork from Skyline College.  I'm one of them...

The opening will be Friday night! 

For more information go to the John Natsoulas gallery website

Please join us if you can!


photos: tiffany schmierer.  thank you tiffany!

What's in a name?

Here's  No. 3 (after I put on the glaze - so we're looking through the purple haze).

Of course, this one has no name.  I never know what to call anything; it's one of my stuck places, not unlike pricing work - I feel like the mouse trying to find the cheese bit in a maze when someone asks, how much?
I tend to like "untitled", it has become my default.  This one asking me for a title not to be nameless.

It's friday; deadlines approach.  time for drinks.


The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said:

“Man.  Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.

source: understandtheuniverse

one for CCACA

this is one of two of my pieces going in the Skyline Ceramics Department Show at CCACA.  The other one is in the kiln, as I write.  Nothing like waiting to the last minute, in clay time.

The California Conference for the advancement of Ceramic Art is a fun, if intense, collective of ceramic  shows that virtually takes over the town of Davis, CA (April 28th thru May 1st).  As we are nearing d-day in trying to organize and get ready; it's all about racing around getting pieces done, photographing them, building and painting new pedestals, packing and organizing  or the show.  The circus is going on the road!  It really is a lights, camera, action situation.  It's fun,,,and exhausting!  but mostly fun.  It's not often you can hang out with a "town" full of ceramic people, see old friends and make some new ones.   We are planning a blogger happy hour on Saturday - so any bloggers out there attending, please leave a comment so we can get you in.

A lot of work goes into setting up the show.  Tiffany Schmierer is the leader of the pack.  And a good leader at that.  Tiffany runs of the Ceramics Department at Skyline and spearhead's the massive efforts that go into making this possible - I've written about her many times.  She is a pleasure to work with and I feel lucky to be a part of the team of people involved in putting on the show for Skyline.  We will be sharing space this year with Foothill College and Merritt College!  more on this soon...

Wish us luck!


Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya yesterday as well as photo-journalist Chris Hondros, who died of his injuries after the incident.  If you have not watched RESTREPO - I highly recommend it.  Hetherington made the documentary film along side Sebastian Junger.  A remarkable and moving film that shows the nuance and complexities of war.  He lived an extraordinary life and told extraordinary stories.

I'm moved by his loss and my thoughts are on all of those 'out there' - lives on the line each moment of each day doing the tough work.  We've lost a powerful visual voice.

just found this: Tim Hetherington's last documentary short

Amanda Michelle Smith Lynch

amanda michelle smith lynch - it's mindboggling and I can't take my eyes off of her work.

beautiful and inspiring!  

Art in a Box via the Compound Gallery

Check out the Art in a Box movement via The Compound Gallery.    Clever, clever stuff!
Right now they are doing a Subscription Giveaway!  go HERE

Ben Carter

I've seen and admired Ben Carter's work on many of my blog-spherical trips mining the ceramic world.  This dogwood painted platter has always stuck out in my mind.  His particular aesthetic really hits the mark for me.  It's beautiful, sensual and also solidly functional.   I would really like to get a piece of his one day.

I just spent all morning discovering Ben's blog "Tales of a Red Clay Rambler" (thank you Martina Lantin) - it's energetic, insightful and informative - I found it very inspriational!

 support your "local" clay blogger!!


more vases I'm making for a couple upcoming events; I've been using a carved plaster design to get the initial relief which I then painstakingly carve in around to enhance the outline of the relief....I say painstakingly, but I actually find that I really enjoy it.  It's very meditative to sit for hours and concentrate on drawing.  my neck hurts, but hey, no pain no gain!

I am trying some raised on raised appliqued areas as well - over the carving with their own relief patterns.

anyway, having some fun even though I'm staring down some deadlines!

CCACA is coming up and the Vase show at Fourth & Clay!

vases...and flowers

some new vases recently made and the flowers hiding in plain sight in the alley at Ruby's Clay Studio this weekend!  I don't know what kind of lily's they are - actually, I'm guessing lily's.  beautiful!

Eye Candy

ideal world;art and gum.  Look, I've said before I have a gum "problem"

Check out some genius new work from Jason Bige Burnett in collaboration with printmaker Eleanor Annand
at Crimson Laurel Gallery!
all this Via Clay Club & Crimson Laurel Gallery
Jason Bige Burnett


I bought these keys for a friend at the alameda flea market...I keep wondering what the doors/locks look like?

I like the idea of stories about keys...mysteries and secrets.

Susannah Israel Workshop/Solo Exhibition at Black Bean

There is three parts to this post:

Black Bean Studio is an amazing studio space.  It's cavernous.  The scale, impressive.  The set up, envious!  Ruben and Will are instant friends - 5 mins (I'm not joking) after walking in the door and you feel like you've come home.  The air is filled with excitement and energy,,,,and did I mention space!  glorious space!  Big high ceilings, enough of everything, large garage doors, plenty of light, massive work tables....and a beautifully appointed, well designed gallery space!!

Susannah's work:  If you can see it; I am strongly suggesting you get to Black Bean!  If possible; I assure you it's worth the trip.  The work is so photogenic as you can easily see (I say nothing of photographic skills; I have none).  The work speaks for itself.  Susannah has work in private and public collections all over the world.  The work deserves to be seen up close, studied - though photogenic, pictures do them little justice.  There is a vast landscape over these pieces that to be fair to them required close attention.  Each piece an invitation to a long conversation with the viewer.  I've seen a piece here and there of Susannah's, but never this much work in one place.  I wanted to hang out with them, pull up a chair, get to know them, hear stories about their families and friends - much like I feel when I read a real good book.  The thing that comes closes to the surface for me is a deep compassion and empathetic nod to living in and experiencing this world.  They are rooted in real life.  compelling, really.  

The workshop:

Susannah built this "person on a chair in a boat" in the course the the 8 hour workshop - a feat of clay, engineering & stamina!  I am only posting a smattering of the pictures I took.  Because I'm a very visual learner, a concentrated amount of time watching someone work is a real gift.  There are so many nuances you can pick up on, so much information that happens between the lines, things unsaid that cannot be discussed or described but are experienced by everyone in the room. Susannah is very forthcoming about everything she does.  The real gift was her time - being allowed a window into her practice, her giving us so much time to watch and observe.  

One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was Susannah walking through the gallery and talking about each of the pieces; she answered all questions about surface, form, design, meaning, anything anyone wanted to know.

 it was great to spend some time with Susannah, watch & learn, and get to know her a little better.    
It was a real pleasure discovering Black Bean and meeting Ruben and Will!  Visit them if you can.  

ai weiwei's disappearance

WTF?  So France and Germany think it's important enough to ring up China - What about our administration?

BBC article
Jonathan Jones
Guardian UK 

Josh Keyes inspiration

I'm a HUGE Josh Keyes fan; definitely check out his website; his sketchbook page is a wonder!

His work is,,,,well, George Melrod put it pretty succinctly:

“Few contemporary artists portray animals with the empathy of Josh Keyes. At once meticulous and fantastic, poignant and absurd, Keyes’ carefully crafted drawings and paintings depict animals isolated dramatically in fragments of their natural environment, overrun with shards of man-made artifice and debris. Seemingly lost and stranded in their dreamlike stage sets, they look like characters in some existential drama written by a modern-day environmentalist Samuel Beckett.”
[George Melrod, Art Ltd West Coast Art and Design]

hello Embryo

a young girl named Holly sits next to me at studio, a little tiny thing, she has a fondness for animae creatures and obviously hello kitty.  She fashioned this umbilical hello kitty and though we all hemmed and hawed about how creepy gross it is - secretly we all love the thing.

and this is my no. 3; I've completed the building part.  I had a lot of trouble with this one - in the early stages her head kept falling back and breaking the neck; I finally cut off her head and re-attached with some serious gusto -now she's sporting a powerlifters' neck!