The Wheel in the Studio Goes Round and Round

Work coming full circle in the studio this winter

If you’ve been keeping up with my previous posts since November 2016, you’ll know that I’ve been in a bit of a creative funk.  The results of the election knocked the stuffing out of me and it took awhile to find my creative footing.  When I’m stuck like this I find what I need to do is just shut up and make and let the reasons why take care of themselves.  The act of making with my hands seems to plug my brain into some sort of electrical outlet that ignites the spark that jumpstarts the creative juices into flowing.

For those of you who know my work, I’m not much of a thrower.  There are several reasons both ergonomic and creative.  Ergonomically I seem to have freakishly small hands.  Add to that my lower back is always an issue.  I keep toying with teaching a clay class called Throwing with Tiny Hands and a Bad Back.  Creatively, round forms make me very nervous.  They’re just so- circular!  Circles have so many connotations:  they have no beginning or end; they have a sense of completion; and there’s always that pressure of repetition.  I’m not a production potter by any stretch of the imagination.

But this winter I hunkered down in my studio every day and threw.  There was something very soothing about getting up in the morning, making a pot of tea, putting on an audio book, shutting the door and sitting down at the wheel.  Life at the time seemed so out of kilter, and  I needed the structure of repetitive routine.  I craved the calming influence and hypnotic effect of watching the wheel go round while clay squeezed between my hands.  I began to look forward to my days at the wheel like I never have.  I decided to challenge myself and throw plates, platters, bowls and cups to fill the kitchen cabinets in our new vacation home in the mountains of Colorado.  I may be out of creative gas but I could at least trick out my ride so that when the tank refilled I had more power under the hood and bells and whistles on my dashboard  to go more places than ever before.

I decided to stop being a wimp and to finally learn how to throw plates on hump molds and plaster bats and to make cup handles with an extruder.  I also challenged myself to throw series of bowls and forms the same size, and to nest.

Things started happening.  I found myself adding textures and elements making these round static forms more interesting, more mine.

From there I started thinking about colors, glazes, firing ranges and applications.  In the spirit of adventure I decided to revisit some old glaze recipes requiring spray-on application as well as some I’ve never done before, even using commercial glazes in combination with others.  Spraying involved figuring out the correct thickness, even which air compressor to use.

While all this was happening, the creative current began to trickle in.  I had a bag of glass nuggets incompatible for fusing and a glass lidded jar from a defunct terrarium.  All of a sudden the jar was on its side with the bag of nuggets next to it, and every time I walked by I glued one on.  What began as form of wheel avoidance and procrastination became an Ex-Voto urn for the sculpture Good Friends.

It was such a relief to make a glass sculpture by simple cold working.  But then it made me miss fusing.  I found myself getting emboldened.  While I was doing all these new things, and to a certain amount of success and satisfaction, why not finally get around to finishing some sculptures that have been percolating way too long in my noggin?  Time to fuse some glass and make bases for sculptures and lamps, and while I was at it, how bout some coasters and trays for spring!

Before I knew it, I had completed my goals.  That wheel work paid off in spades.  Not only do I have the dishes, bowls, and mugs made, but I seem to have launched myself into a better place creatively.

Exhibition announcement: Sacred Spaces Holy Places, opening reception rescheduled for January 30, 2016

Due to the impending snow storm the opening reception has been rescheduled. See you on the 30th!
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I am pleased to report that I have 3 sculptures in the upcoming show, Sacred Spaces Holy Places at the Nails in the Wall Gallery in Metuchen, New Jersey. These sculptures are dear to me and I’m honored to have them included in such a fine venue in the company of phenomenal works by very talented artists. I would love to see you at the opening reception and would love to hear your comments about my work.

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Hotei Hideout, 2008 For more images and statement go to: http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/buddha-and-hotei/statement and http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/buddha-and-hotei/view/340 and

Detail, Hotei Hideout, 2008
For more images and statement go to:
http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/buddha-and-hotei/statement
and
http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/buddha-and-hotei/view/340
and

I’m Having a Jewelry Sale!!!

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Was $42.00 now $31.50 until January 30, 2016 To purchase go to: https://www.etsy.com/listing/199676110

Treat yourself to one of my fused glass jewelry items during my 2016 Winter Jewelry Sale!!!!  Enjoy 25% off selected items in my shop.   Browse my jewelry categories and select a nice bauble to drive away the winter blues.  Earrings, pendants, bracelets/earring sets, belt buckles and more!  Shop today while supplies last!

LisaGWCeramicsnGlass

 

 

Etsy Sale!!!!

Throughout the month of October, my entire Etsy shop is 15% off!

Head over to my Etsy shop and use coupon code FALL2015 at checkout to receive 15% off your entire order.

Discount expires 10/31/15. Discount doesn’t apply to tax or shipping.

Come browse, come shop!!

Choose from a wide variety of ceramics and glass ware, home decor objects and fused glass jewelry.  May I recommend…..

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Red and white shino glazed 6″ scalloped plates with matching matcha chawan cups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Raku fired red stoneware sake bottles with gold glaze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcycled maple syrup glass bottle tray with mica powder inclusion.

Upcycled maple syrup glass bottle tray with mica powder inclusion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1" diameter "Red flower" mille fiori fused glass necklace on black chord

1″ diameter “Red flower bouquet” mille fiori fused glass necklace on black chord

I’ve Been a Busy Bee!

Oh it’s so good to be back in the studio and away from the computer at least for a couple days, and even though the tasks were more rote than creative.  My studio time is as necessary as breathing and being out of it is like holding my breath, I get panicky if I go too long without it.

All the little projects in last week’s studio tour have been done and a glass order has been placed to make holiday trays and items for craft fair and holiday sales season.

Upcycled/recycled fused glass art trays painted on back with glass paint and baked to fuse. Now they can be displayed easily without visible hanging hardware or stands. Tiny little detail that makes a huge difference!

Upcycled/recycled fused glass art trays painted on back with glass paint and baked to fuse. Now they can be displayed easily without visible hanging hardware or stands. Tiny little detail that makes a huge difference!

Repaired as best I could the broken ceramic statue and gave a lick of paint to the plastic ones. Repaired Msgr Bradley's rosary beads (he prays very hard) and finally finished editing, captioning and printing out images from our MAY 2015 Priest Project Event at the Archidiocese of Newark. (I feel so guilty it took this long!) These pages will go into a book kept in our church Heritage Room that chronicles the our Restoration Workshop/Priest Project work. For more info go to: http://lisagw.com/projects/oll-restoration-workshop/1

Repaired as best I could the broken ceramic statue and gave a lick of paint to the plastic ones. Repaired Msgr Bradley’s rosary beads (he prays very hard) and finally finished editing, captioning and printing out images from our MAY 2015 Priest Project Event at the Archidiocese of Newark. (I feel so guilty it took this long!) These pages will go into a book kept in our church Heritage Room that chronicles the our Restoration Workshop/Priest Project work. For more info go to:
http://lisagw.com/projects/oll-restoration-workshop/1

The sculpture in the back right of the image got its drop of glue and is ready for delivery.

More bottle trays made, bottoms of tiny bowls ground, more glass items painted on the back and baked, a broken Murano glass tumbler melted to make into a dish or jewelry.

More bottle trays made, bottoms of tiny bowls ground, more glass items painted on the back and baked, a broken Murano glass tumbler melted to make into a dish or jewelry.

Studio time is over for now, drat.   Time to photograph, process, box up, ship out, upload to Etsy.  In between is a trip to Denver, to enjoy a wedding and see some art!

Live and Learn the Hard Way: Social Media and Me

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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.

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

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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.

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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