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Come see my sculptures in this LIC landmark just of the 59th St. Bridge! This show is part of LIC Arts Open, which includes open studios, gallery shows, music & theater.
Reception May 16th 6-8PM
29-27 41st Avenue N,R,Q,7,E,M trains are right there.
Click here for the LIC Arts Open Brochure, which includes a map of all event locations.
The Clock Tower in LIC art gallery is brought to you by No Longer Empty.
Here are two new small sculptures. The idea was to make interesting negative spaces between them, so in the first view, look for the negative vase-shape in the middle. Also, sometimes it is good to get a break from textured pieces.
I started using toy tires as texture tools because my brother John has commissioned me to make some tankards for the Car Club of Virginia Tech. (CCVT) Since these guys are race car enthusiasts, not just any toy tire will do. So I ordered a set of Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 tires. Racecar tires have very shallow texture, so I also ordered a set of off-road tires, since they were more likely to make a good impression in the clay.
As you can see, the racing tire does make a decent print, with the help of some cornstarch, to keep the clay from sticking to it. As for the off-road tire – it is magnificent! Not only does it produce a deeper texture, it is surprisingly comfortable to wear as a bracelet.
So previously, I expressed some concern that my double-height tankards are so big (about a liter) that if they were filled to the brim, the handle might not be able to take all that weight. Well…
So I assure you that these are Thor- worthy tankards.
So maybe they’re not very practical as drinking vessels, but they’d make great flower vases. And if Thor stops by for dinner, just toss the flowers and fill ’em with mead!
Gradually, I felt the feeling of buyer’s remorse begin to fade as I unwrapped the light box I bought from B&H. Some of my studio mates seemed a little impressed with it, enough to put a stop to the internal monologue, in which I castigated myself for paying $50 for a glorified laundry hamper.
As a member of Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center, I have access to some photography equipment; backdrop paper, tripods, a couple 500-watt lights, and white umbrellas. I bought the light box because it is easy to set up and take down. I need to be able to take these shots as quickly as possible, so I don’t want to wait for perfect weather conditions.
Puttering around with the light box gives me a space age sensation, like I should be wearing a lab coat and gloves as I lower my tankard into position.
My subconscious mind (which is smarter than I am) likes to choose an appropriate soundtrack to go with the occasion. So the whole time I’m working with pristine white fabric and fumbling with the unfamiliar lighting equipment, I’ve got the music from the Nutcracker, the Dance of the Mirlitons (I had to look it up to find the name; click here and scroll down to Track 17) running through my head the whole time.
Here are the best shots I got. The shiny blue tankard was the easiest to shoot. The matte salmon was the hardest; a darker backdrop should help with that one. I think the shot of the little bronze sculptures was the only one that was taken with the 500-watt light on. So for the next shoot, I’ll get a small white light or two and try a gray backdrop.
I’d like to thank all my friends who have listened to me as I gradually psyched myself up to improve my photo skills, and for all the advice they have given me. Without all of you, I’d be alone with my reluctance, inexperience, and a subconscious mind that thinks it’s Stanley Kubrick. If that doesn’t tell you just how much I need your support, I don’t know how to put it.
Below you see a regular tankard, and my first and second attempts at a big one. The first one came out a bit too tall and narrow at the top. I thought it would be good as a tall vase, put a handle on it, then took it back off. It was a really long handle, and it looked cool. But suppose the Norse god Thor buys this tankard. He’d probably fill it to the brim with mead, and the handle would probably break from that weight. A Craftsperson has to consider every issue pertaining to functionality as well as aesthetics, and an angry Norse god is an issue I’d like to avoid.
So the vase is simple and sleek without the handle. The second attempt (on the right) is about an inch and a half shorter, and the handle’s much shorter now, so it will be less fragile. All the same, I think I’d better test it once it’s glazed to make sure it’s Thor-proof, because this is one big mug!
I will be a vendor at this Astoria Market sale on Feb 10, 2013, from Noon-6.
Location: Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
Jennifer Verbit is sharing her table with me. She and I were roommates while we attended Alfred University. Here is her Etsy Page.
Just got a light box to take better snapshots of my work. Not only will that mean much better photos for this blog, it will also allow me to start selling my work on Esty. Here is a shot from my first time using a light box, so the result is encouraging. The bad news is that you won’t be able to purchase this particular tankard, because it belongs to my Mom.