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

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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!

 

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