Gallery Crawl, January 2017: The NY Ceramics and Glass Fair

ceramicsfair

Last Thursday I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Bohemian National Hall for my first experience ever of The NY Ceramics and Glass Fair.  It seemed like a no-brainer that this should be on my list of things to do.  I also had the pleasure of riding the newly opened 2nd Avenue Subway for the very first time.  The 72nd Street stop was just around the corner from the venue and I enjoyed viewing the colorful mosaics at the station.   It was exciting to ride the gaily decorated train through the clean tunnel to the bright and cheerful stop.    I had never been to the Bohemian National Hall, located on 73rd Street. It’s a beautiful building and very much worth the visit.

A mosaic in the 72nd street station stop of the 2nd Avenue Subway

A mosaic in the 72nd street station of the 2nd Avenue Subway

My first stop was  to attend a lecture, The Feminine Clay given by Shannon Stratton.  It was a thought provoking presentation of contemporary interpretations of the figurine  featuring the works of artists Coille Hooven and Chris Antemann, both of whom have works currently on display at The Museum of Art and Design (MAD.)  I enjoyed the lecture immensely as I had seen the MAD exhibits and adored their works.  I particularly enjoyed the thesis of the subversion of the classic figurine for feminist interpretation.  What made it an even bigger treat was that Coille Hooven was in the audience and took questions after the lecture.

Onward and upward to the 4th and 5th floors to view the works on offer in the booths.  In addition to the impressive selection of antique glass and ceramics, several contemporary artists displayed their works, 3 of which particularly impressed me.

I could have spent the entire day visiting with beadwork artist Leslie B Grigsby and her beadwork sculptures.  She uses taxidermy forms to create lifelike animals out of hundreds of colored glass beads.  I will never complain again when I am in the midst of adding texture to my sculptures with the point of a pastry bag.  Leslie has me beat hands down in the intricateness department.  I had so much fun visiting with her, she treated me like a long lost friend and let me hold and handle a couple of her sculptures.  She told me that it takes so long for her to create each one, that when she’s done they are like her pets and she has trouble seeing them go out of her studio and into the world.  Her sculptures are so gestural and lifelike that I can see why, each has its own personality.

Leslie B Grigsby with one of her beadwork creatures

Leslie B Grigsby with one of her beadwork creatures

Leslie's artist statement

Leslie’s artist statement

A fawn beadwork sculpture by Leslie B Grigsby

A fawn beadwork sculpture by Leslie B Grigsby

After leaving her booth I made my way to the booth of Hideaki Miyamura.  His booth contained vessels with stunning satin lusters.  I was drawn to them as iron to a magnet.  At first I thought they were blown dichroic glass and I spent quite some time looking at them up close to determine that they were indeed ceramic.  I asked Hideaki if the glazes were the result of fuming and he told me no, they are porcelain fired to cone 13.  Huh.  I have never seen glazes act that way at that high a temperature.  Another penny into the bank known as all the things Lisa never knew that never cease to amaze her.

Stunning creations by Hideaki Miyamura

Stunning creations by Hideaki Miyamura

As I left Hideaki’s booth, my lusterware antennae began to quiver.  I was picking up a vibe that glaze nirvana was close by.  I followed the signal and hit pay dirt (stoneware to be exact) when I came upon the booth of Michael Wainwright.  His platters and vessels share my form sensibility and his use of platinum and gold are what I hope and dream I can someday achieve if I ever stopped being a cheapskate and forked over what these materials cost.  I fell in love with one of his crystalline free form platters.  To me it looked like a giant slice of a precious mineral.  I am so thrilled with my tray.  We had a very pleasant chat before I snatched my tray and scurried home like one of Leslie B Grigsby’s squirrels with a prized nut.

Clay artist Michael Wainwright

Clay artist Michael Wainwright

Michael's booth

Michael’s booth

My beautiful crystalline tray made by Michael Wainwright

My beautiful crystalline tray made by Michael Wainwright

Overall it was a wonderful time.  My only regret is that I didn’t revisit the Fair to attend the panel lecture Buy, Sell or Give? What Happens When the Kids Don’t Want It? that included friend Ulysses Grant Dietz, chief curator of The Newark Museum.  I have attended many of his lectures and they always delight and inform.  Sorry I missed you Ulysses, next time!

 

OUTRAGE: Artists Respond to Trump

go_away__0017

GO AWAY

 

In 2012 I began making ex-voto tokens.  Little hearts with messages on both sides.  The front had the title of the category of the message, the back, the individual message.  Each message is a prayer for something I wanted or something I got and was grateful for.  Mainly, the prayers covered issues that weighed heavily on my heart that were too big for me to solve.  In creating them and their containers, I hoped to take their burden off me and kiss them up to God.

go_away_0007

One very unexpected category that came up almost on its own was GO AWAY.  The tokens practically made themselves.  I figured, what or who is on Earth right now, that if they only went away, the world would be a much better place?  I banged out the messages then set out to envision the urn to put them in.  Unfortunately that urn took an awful lot of time to execute.  I had to figure out the design, the engineering, the science and the lighting.  It took 2 years.  I made the urn in 2014.  I thought that by then those issues going into that urn would be stale and irrelevant and even better resolved by that time.

Little did I know!  Inside the GO AWAY URN, from 2012 are:

Newt Gingrich, Election campaign super pacs, Church in politics politics in church, Obama Birthers, Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Julian Asange, Dominique Strauss Kahn, Anonymous Hackers, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Suicide Bombers, Christian Conservatives, Ultra Liberals, Violent Video Games, Facebook as a replacement for social interaction, Peta, Israeli Palestinian conflict, E.L.F., Tea Partiers, N.R.A., Political obstructionists, Radical Muslim Extremists, Health insurance companies, Snooki and Religious Extremists

Aside from Snooki, not much has gone away, and not only are not much in the jar are resolved, those in bold are not only still around but about to run our country.  Sigh.

That same year (2014,) I decided to comment on how social media was influencing people, especially politicians, especially the governor of my fair state, Chris Christie.  I made ECHO CHAMBER.

lgwestheimer_8_echochamber011

This piece is an illustration of how certain politicians can surround themselves only with people who agree with them.  They hold “town hall meetings” where the audience is hand picked in advance, and if anyone else attends and expresses an alternate point of view they are rudely heckled and shouted down, if allowed to stay and speak at all.  It also is a reflection of how social media has put us into gorgeous little boxes of our own points of view; where algorithms hand pick what we see and digest as “news.”  All of our values are constantly reverberated back at us.  That was disturbing to me back then and now that hacking and fake news has been revealed as influencing this last election it is more relevant than ever.

I have had the extreme privilege of having these 2 pieces included in an on-line show, OUTRAGE: Artists Respond to Trump, curated by artist/activist Patricia Dahlman.  When I reviewed the works in the show I wondered how mine wound up among such amazing and provocative artwork by such incredible artists.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks my style is a little out of place, bordering on the side of elegance.  But like writer Flannery O’Conner, I try to bring weighty and distateful subjects to my viewer gently through beauty or humor.  Once they approach my work I then clobber them with the message.

Please take a look a the works in the show.  They truly are amazing.  They express my every anger and every fear.  I am astounded and beyond impressed that these artists were able to turn out this phenomenal work in such a short time.  Me?  I’m still processing my feelings, unable to express most of them.  I’m abashed, grateful and very dismayed that my 2 pieces, made years ago are relevant to this tragic turn of events in our collective history.

 

An Artist’s Role in Troubled Times

MeinmystudioThere is the idea that art is not a ‘legitimate’ type of work; that it is a frivolity best saved for spare time, etc; or a luxury for the wealthy. But for artists who have a vision that they are compelled to share, art isn’t a frivolity or luxury- it’s a necessity. And for society, art is also a necessity, although this may not be realized by many. We are the spirit keepers, the mirrors, the candles. And we need to become our own best friends- to believe in ourselves and what we do. And stick together, rather than compete with one another.  – Agnes Martin

For those of you who do not make art full time, Agnes is right, it isn’t a frivolity or luxury, making art for an artist is a necessity, a bodily function if you will, like breathing.  When tragedy occurs , especially on a global scale,  artists respond.  It’s what we do.  We make art to express collective sentiment, or to mark the event, or to raise money for those impacted.  Artists are active participants in change.

For some of us American citizens, the results of the recent presidential election is a tragedy of serious magnitude.  People are afraid- of deportation; of destruction to the environment; of violence caused by racial, gender and sexual prejudice; of certain rights in place being repealed; and of having all that our country has done to progress dismantled.

It is a time for us artists to hunker down and figure out a way to respond.  Usually when faced with a catastrophe, my creativity goes out the window for a good long while.  It’s as if all my creative energy goes elsewhere.  Within me is an ominous radio silence, like the quiet before a tornado when all the birds stop singing and the air is completely still.

The day after the election had me metaphorically face down on my shield.  I was devastated.  I felt all the fight drain from me.  Meanwhile on social media I watch all my artist friends spring into action.   There are calls to action, conferences, symposiums, calls for entry for themed shows, calendars for organized protests, all within a week after the election.  I seem paralyzed.  I feel as if I’ve been through so much that it’s taking me longer and longer to bounce back.  What can I do to help support those willing to be on the front lines?

I thus retreat into contemplative mode.  By quiet contemplation and prayer I seek out the small still voice that will lead me where I need to go and tell me what to do once I get there.  And that small voice is telling me right now that alot of healing and peace making is needed right now.  Comfort and healing is a major thread in my work, has been for  years.  This I can do.  As I pray for healing and comfort to those suffering, and for wisdom and peaceful hearts for those now in charge, I leave you with who I am as an artist and how I respond to times like this through my work:  come inside my work and rest.

 

Live and Learn the Hard Way: Social Media and Me

1436374102095-1792837435

Pinocchio, my biggest cheerleader, alas, not so good at social media.

I have been a busy bee for the entire year. I have made a big push to raise my profile as ceramic and glass artist in both the fine art and retail world. In doing so I realize it’s finally time to drag myself into the world of social media. All of the advice I have been given says to take it slow. Learn one platform at a time, master it then create another one.  So for me that meant opening my Etsy shop (a very big learning curve for me) creating my smoke fire and luster videos and selling them on createspace.com, and my not one, but 2 blogs. (I have alot to say.)

Amidst all that, I have created new work both fine art and functional, had some commissions, taught students and took workshops. This has all brought me to one place and one place only: a lonely life in front of the computer with a studio full of inventory.

attachment-5

attachment-4

attachment-7

Anyone want to buy any pottery? Glass? Jewelry???? Please?!

attachment-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did this occur? It is clear to me in hindsight that my choices of social media platforms are backwards. I should have started with Facebook and Twitter, maybe Pintarest then once launched into successful orbit in cyberspace created the shop and blogs, but another bit of information I swallowed from the social media lectures was to be true to myself and do what makes me happy first, the rest will follow.

I LOVE to write. I LOVE to plan and strategize. I LOVE to create. I’m not much of a herd animal. I tend to get overly competitive. I also have an addictive personality and know that I would spend every waking moment watching my nieces feed their babies and commenting on funny cat videos if I had a Facebook account. I also have a thing about internet privacy, infringement and piracy, so while people around me were getting hacked, having their identities stolen and getting targeted filtered information from algorithms exclusive of other opinions, I sat back and watched. In fact, I have a little running competition with myself to see how long I can go without being on Facebook.

As a little aside, here are 2 works I created as my response to how algorithms have stifled open minded thinking, compromise, and project skewed images of topics:

Extreme Right/Extreme Left

Extreme Right/Extreme Left When algorithms feed you only information you agree with your brain gets encased in its own wonderful ideas and can’t think beyond its own barriers For more info, go to: http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/memento-mori/view/34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Echo Chamber This is what happens when you only surround yourself with people who agree with you; trapped inside a beautiful echo chamber of your own creation. For more info on this piece go to: http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/memento-mori/view/346

Echo Chamber
This is what happens when you only surround yourself with people who agree with you; trapped inside a beautiful echo chamber of your own creation.
For more info on this piece go to:
http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/memento-mori/view/346

I am the sort of person who learns from mistakes and will only learn something that requires sitting in front of a computer if I see a need for it in my daily operations. (Making those videos finally taught me how to use my DVD player and remote control, big progress!!!) Well I think that moment has arrived for me and social media. I’m feeling alittle left behind. But I also am feeling anxious about balancing all the time and energy it requires to manage all of this or the cost of hiring someone to manage it for me if I don’t yet have a steady income stream.

attachment-1

Now which one turns the damn thing on?

I can make myself crazy over all this, so it’s a good thing I have my studio to run and hide in.

One painful event that makes it clear where social media could have helped was the fact that my clay class at the museum got cancelled yesterday for lack of interest. Only 2 people signed up. If I had used Twitter, Pintarest or Facebook to promote it rather than just sending e mails to my class address book do you think it would have filled? Yes, probably. My e mail replies were regrets with thank you’s and glowing praise for my class and my teaching abilities, but alas these people were too busy this time around. Had I cast a much wider net I would have been successful, I’m sure. Oh well, live and learn, swallow the pride and move on.

On the bright side of this I now have more time to devote to creating, and increasing my profile. Where a door closes a window opens, right? It’s hard not to show my age at a time like this. I’m not so good at crawling through windows anymore but that’s where assistants come in. They are very agile and sometimes hold the ladder steady and push my butt through to the other side.

Lin Pernille, trusty assistant, charged with the un-eviable task of dragging me into the world of social medial

Lin Pernille, trusty assistant, charged with the unenviable task of dragging me into the world of social medial

Good-bye Summer, Hello Fall!

_MG_2564
I just returned from a truly fabulous and restorative vacation in Truro, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  I got to jog, bike, ride horses, sleep, eat alot of fish, drink some fancy drinks and best of all, think.  Something about being in nature, especially in the woods and by the sea causes my mind to relax and wander and wonder.  It sets me up for the long stretches of work, both physical and creative, in the months to come.

There’s nothing like a climb up a long hill to help set goals.  I’m not a climber.  My body is stocky, meant for rocketing downward, taking advantage of gravity.  It takes me way longer than I’d like and uses much more energy than I think an average mortal needs to expend to jog or ride a bike uphill.  When my lungs feel taxed and my muscles start to complain my mind gets desperate for distraction.  These times are great ways to problem solve, strategize and plan.

What percolated from these sessions was this idea:  I hope to have a regular posting series entitled “studio tours” to let you know what’s happening (or not) in my studio on a regular basis.  I’ll let you behind the scenes to see that not everything that goes on in that place results in a finished product, but that the journey is what’s most important.

Now that I’m home there are different hills to climb:  teaching, sculpting, writing, promoting my Etsy shop, learning new social media platforms, selling work and trying to juggle them all and balance them with life in general.   I look at this last sentence and I feel  like I am at the bottom of a very steep hill with just me, my trusty bike and my thunder thighs.     Wish me luck, here goes nothing!  Happy Fall everyone!

Enjoy this little video as metaphor for the state I’m in.

Deadlines and Last Minute Scrambles

Ok, glass fused jewelry making workshop- done. Firing for same- done. Delivery- made. Email notifications- sent. Phew.

Weekly glass class final session- done. Yowza those girls were glass factories! Grinding and firing (several) for same – done. Delivery- made. E mail notifications- sent. Ahhh.

The 2 commissioned dog funerary urns- done. OMG thank you Lord they came out great. Delivered yesterday- crossed off the list. Bing.

It’s been a wild couple of weeks and a big crunch (not a good word in a ceramics/glass studio) to finish everything and prepare to go away for a week. Plus I had to create, merge and update (by hand because I didn’t trust the computer and laptop to cooperate with each other) my e mail address books so that on the plane to Denver, either on the way or on the way back, I can write the text for the launch of my videos, and the official launch of this blog. (yey!)

Tonight I just have to view Horsehair BBQ on my DVR to make sure it works. Once that happens we can upload it, get approval, announce the launch and I’m in business. People can either buy a hard copy (in a very attractive case) to receive by mail or download for streaming (is that correct? I’m a dummy, I’m not sure, but to download to view on a phone or device.)

I’m tired, but happy, and feeling a little behind the eight ball because I still have to edit, add text and print out the photos from the Priest Project 2015 (more on that when I get farther on it don’t rush me) and get the videos done.

Plus there’s other minor details like getting the house ready for pet and house sitters, doing laundry, packing, you know that minor stuff you need to do before boarding planes. All I know is I will be happy once the plane takes off.

Hope to post some stuff on vacation, Bye

I’m a bit of a control freak in case you haven’t noticed.  This is what I send to my students regarding pick up of their work.  I show them exactly where it is (this time in the studio lobby.)  It helps the studio manager and other teachers.  The students know exactly where to go and don’t have to interrupt a class or find the manager, and the manager knows what’s happening.

20150505_120233 copy20150505_120210 copy20150505_120223 copy

Another day another firing

Today was a marathon.  Taught in the morning, raku’d in the afternoon.  It was the last day of teaching my glass class.  Usually, we have a party and do no work, but this time it was only a 4-week course so I put out all the glass and let them rip.  They were like glass factories, I could hardly carry everything they assembled to my studio to fire.  I have a feeling I’m looking at about 4 or 5 loads.  By next Tuesday?  OMG, I hope so.  The good news is that the spoils from Sunday’s glass workshop have been fired, ground and delivered.  One item to tick off the list.

Meanwhile, I raku’d a Lola urn.  Lola was a very beautiful dog owned by Ann, who really really loved her.  She hired me to make an urn to contain her ashes, using some of them as bone ash to a glaze recipe, which just so happens to be Steve’s Blue Raku Patina, and that means, raku.  Ann gave me carte blanche to create an urn.  She sent me a picture of Lola and she told me to have fun because that was what Lola was all about.  I made an urn that was pretty representative of her head, but Ann wanted to go with one of my more classic wheel thrown urn shapes, so I did, so in this case she’s getting two.

I dragged trusty Beato outside and set her up and turned her on before I left for school, then come 4:45 it was ready to pull.  Beato is great because I can do just one urn and a lid and be done and cleaned up by dinner time.  Everything went really well except the lid touched the urn body in the reduction can and they stuck together.  THANK GOD I was able to separate them without any breakage.  PHEW.  Oh and did I mention it was forecast to storm the same time I was supposed to pull?  But all went very well!

I dragged Beato back in the minute she was cool enough  and now she’s got the “head” urn inside for a fast cone 06 commercial glaze fire. What a wonderful little work horse. May the force be with us!  Tomorrow is a glass day in Elmo, the Skutt  1027  and probably the next, and the next and the next…)  such is life as a kiln wrangler in the kiln rodeo!  I’m really really tired, a tad sore and a bit smelly, but whenever it got hard I remembered that when I was tearing my hair out at my desk job in NYC or on the table having surgery or getting radiation treatments when I had cancer, what kept me going was that someday I’d have days like this.  FABULOUS!

LolaFiring5_2015003

The human kiln sitter

LolaFiring5_2015dancingdevil008

Doing the devil dance

LolaFiring5_2015015

Target temperature, ready to pull

LolaFiring5_2015018

Into the reduction can

LolaFiring5_2015020

Don’t drop the lid!

LolaFiring5_2015023

Adding paper

LolaFiring5_2015027

First “burp”

LolaFiring5_2015038

Second “burp”

LolaFiring5_2015048

Lid and urn fused together in the reduction can

LolaFiring5_2015049

Carefully separating them while still hot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LolaFiring5_2015056

Spraying with water to bring out the colors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LolaFiring5_2015064

Ready to be dunked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LolaFiring5_2015090

Cooling in the water bucket

 

Kiln Rodeo!

It’s a kiln rodeo over here in the studio.  Since Friday, I’ve been running the kilns non-stop- unloading one and firing up the other in a continuous cycle to keep up with my crazy schedule.  In the immortal words of one of my students, “it’s all good!”  Since I last wrote I taught a glass jewelry making workshop (Spring Bling!) for 7 students at the museum.  It went well, all my students were wonderful and brought their own personal talents and enthusiasm and joy with them.

I’m always so amazed at how each student works so differently from the next.  I have some who spend the entire 3 hours making 2 or 3 pieces, each wonderful in their planning, calculation and execution.  Then I have my “glass factories” who sit down and crank out piece after piece with free and wild abandon, all delightful.  I wish I were so free in my art making!  This class had a wonderful combination of both.

I’m just about getting over my stage fright around teaching (took long enough.)  Until these past couple of classes the energy exchange was always in one direction- out.  I would feel so drained after each class.  My mother, a teacher for 54 years who was teacher of the year once (it skips a generation) said she always felt energized and nourished by her students, and I made that my goal.  All the teachers I ever had, Mikhail Zakin in particular always seemed so happy and jazzed by their students, always learning from them.  I’m trying to be that free and open but it doesn’t come naturally.  This time was better than the last, I fed off the happiness floating around the room.  Many of my students get the class as a gift from loved ones, something they’d never give themselves, for others it’s the only time they have just to themselves to do something that doesn’t have to do with a family obligation. And some, to put delicately,  I get the impression that they’ve been sent by family members to get them out from underfoot.  I love them all and try my best to give them a great time.

Anyway, these workshops are always a trip.  Students make dozens and dozens of little tiny pieces that I need to fire at least once in my kiln, sometimes twice.  Usually too much for my little kiln and too little for my big one.  This is the way my life works.  But it’s way cheaper to run my little kiln twice than once in the big one so the decision was easy, at least in this case.  The tricky part is trying to keep straight who made what, especially after the firing when everything changes shape and sometimes even color.  Ayiyi.

I give my students each a tupperware with a lid and make them write their name on both.  They put their work in and when I get to my studio I put it all on their lids with names visible and take a picture.  Then I try to arrange them on shelves in patterns so I know where each grouping begins and ends and write it down.  Then the fun begins because by that time I usually have a glass of wine in my hand and get great ideas about switching things around.  OMG.  After the firing using the pictures (cell phone works best cause I can enlarge the images) I try to sort everything and get them to the correct party.

Anyway, this class produced enough ware for 2 loads, 3 shelves each in the little kiln, the first firing went well and it took me an entire hour to figure out which was who’s and get them straight and set up for the next load. Hopefully the 2nd load will come out as wonderful as the first, which does not require a fire polish firing.  PHEW!

Here are some pictures of the madness before loading the kiln.

SpringBling2015b SpringBling2015 SpringBling2015.d SpringBling2015.c

Log Jam in the Studio!

Every now and then I have so many projects, commitments and ideas that I run around my studio touching everything and not a damn thing gets done.  It’s shaping up to be one of those days.  So many things to do, so little time!!!!  I’m 3 weeks into teaching and firing work for a 4 week glass class, preparing for a fused glass jewelry making workshop this Sunday, I have a commission to make 2 urns and want to throw a bunch of my own stuff to fill up the kiln around them AND let’s not forget all that needs to be done to launch the videos.

I keep telling myself to stop panicking, and just do one thing, finish it, then go onto the next.  All the while there are ringing phones, e mail notifications and those videos.  All this makes me run around waving my hands in the air.  When I get like this I want to dive under the bed and it’s hard to even set foot across the studio threshold.  I have learned 2 handy tricks to get myself in there and stay there for a productive quantity of time, I’ll call “Plan A” and “Plan B.”

Plan A are audio books.  I love them.  Right now I’m on a Lisa Scottoline binge.  Doesn’t matter if I’ve read one of her books already, I’ll listen.  She’s the kind of girl who “gets” me.  We have the same first name.  We’re about the same age.  She’s got a pony named Buddy and my horse is named Buddy and we both have very colorful characters as family members.  Right now, Lady Killer is getting me through this latest studio log jam, thank you Lisa!

Plan B is more drastic.  It is a last resort measure.  I try not to deploy this trick very often.  It can have hazardous results. Plan B is a box of salted chocolate covered caramels placed in the farthest corner of the studio, preferably only reachable by standing on a chair.  Must be milk chocolate, dark will not work.  My favorite are from Bromilow’s, which thankfully has not one but 2 locations, both of which are not really nearby, just far enough away to make an effort to go get them.  Li-lac in Greenwich Village are divine too, but they are too small and go down way too easy.  The one’s from Bromilow’s are of jaw breaker size and require alot of chewing so one usually does the trick, unless I’m working on a very complicated series and even 3 don’t seem to be enough.

Plan B is a tricky strategy because if I eat too many I get sluggish and they slow me down.  Plan A sometimes can backfire when it gets to a really juicy part and I need to leave the room momentarily to get something or use the drill press or do something outside and want to hear how ends.  But either one or the other work.  I never allow myself to do both, way too decadent.

Right now I’m at a crossroad.  I’m almost done listening to Lady Killer but it’s at a really tense point and I’m tense enough as it is, especially since I’ve been guzzling green tea all day.  I don’t have any Bromilow’s and I’m on a diet which is making me really jones for them and it’s a mixed blessing not to have any.  The glass kiln is loaded, I punched out little glass circles with the drill press (which made the wet sponge explode all over me and my nice clean shirt) so it’s either work on the dreaded videos or go get some clay ready to throw around.

But I really want the caramels, oh woe is me!

Anyway, like the glass plates that came out of the kiln the other day?  They’re on Etsy, attractively priced.  I just uploaded them, my aren’t I productive! 😉GreenSwirlTray_04BlueSwirlTray_04

(View on Etsy here: green swirl tray and purple & blue swirl tray)

My very first Blog Post!

Hi!  Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Lisa.  I’m an artist.  I mainly work in ceramics and glass.  I’m a mad scientist.  I love to experiment, test, push envelops and take equipment and materials to extremes, “just to see what happens.”  I also am a de-mystifyer (if that is a word, spell check says no.)  Once I figure out how to do something I try to simplify and de-mystify it so that it is approachable and possible for almost anyone, particularly people who feel that their whole lives thus far have been taken up taking care of other people and doing things other people’s way.  You know who you are.  I’m talking to you.

I  raku fire in between loads of laundry, luster fire before breakfast, and fire pottery in a BBQ grill, leaving no trace of my pyrotechnics (except for beautiful creations) the next day.

I also love to write.  So far I’ve lived a pretty amazing and quirky life, snippets of which I hope to share with you.  So far my art making has been quite the adventure, and I hope you will join me on this journey

.MAM_SmokeFire_11_11_2014_098