NEW CUP MOTIF

Here are a number of cups that started out as a commission, specifically to match cups to an animal teapot. The first ones were too large but I eventually got the right size. These are around four inches high and are deeply grooved/sculpted enabling a good grip. They just have underglaze on the exterior and glazed interiors. Handbuilt, one of a kind, handle-less. The third picture shows the difference between the largest and the smaller sets. I expect that I may be making more of them.

Open Studio and Holiday Sale

We cleaned up the studio and had the time to take a few hasty photographs of the work. Here are a few images of the set up:

A Couple of New Pieces

It may seem as if the only thing I am working on lately is Prints. I have been making some new small items for the upcoming sale in clay: tiles, cups etc. but haven’t bothered to take pictures of them yet. But working and making ceramics and prints are happening at the same time. While I am busy completing work for the sale, I am also beginning to do mundane tasks like sweeping, and will soon bring in bases to set things up. I do not think that the studio will be as elaborately set up as we do for the Asparagus Valley show. Every year is different.

The following are two versions of a linocut, the first uses two blocks and the second just one. The third image is a collage. The pink paper is a sheet that was made for a print that was never completed. The surface has subtle markings, texture and color changes. The subject matter in these is imaginary vases and vessels. Each sheet has 24 images. The print is 21” x 28”. The collage is 30” x 22”.

Additional Images from the Photo Shoot

The following images come from the same photo shoot. It is good to see the variety and development of this these. Thanks to Francine, the photographer.

Results of a Photo Shoot

Here is a random assortment of the Blockheads linocuts. Some of these images have appeared on the Blog before but it is good to see them next to each other.

more etc

I am at a technical dead end here. I wanted to insert a portfolio of images but can only insert one image at a time. Difficult to do and choose. But I’ll eventually figure it out.

If photo sessions do anything, it surely is satisfying to see an entire body of work spread out in an organized way. Development, change, direction all become more obvious.

One reason for the effort is putting together a group of files for the Zea Mays flat file due in early December. I feel ahead of the game in this for once and the images look pretty good (thank you Francine). Some pieces are more difficult than others though such as the ones whose surfaces are reflective or shiny.

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PHOTO SESSION

A number of the Blockheads series of prints were photographed yesterday. Most of them turned out to be of good quality. It was good to see the growth in technique and concept. Seen as a whole, I could see that the initial idea has developed and I am starting to get a comfortable familiarity with the theme and its possibilities.

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Last New Blockhead Image

This is a variation on the Blockhead theme but constructed horizontally. Rather than using a sgrafitto technique on the walls of the piece, I used old Lino Blocks to make impressions on the wet clay before using the slabs to make the pieces. I didn’t have a specific use in mind but the pieces could definitely be used for flower arrangements (with a wire support) or for fruit etc. centerpiece.

These pieces are a lot more spontaneous to make. I don’t have to carefully make and choose particularly shaped images to fit the edges anad planes of the piece but instead make a slab that has a particular texture/set of images that can be used almost like a decorated/patterned fabric.

@17” wide

@17” wide

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This is a cut and paste created by John Polak so that we would have a horizontal image to use for the Pottery Trail.

This is a cut and paste created by John Polak so that we would have a horizontal image to use for the Pottery Trail.

New Birds & Laundry plate

This plate came out of the last firing, photographed by John Polak. This plate combines sgraffito technique for the rim, glaze and underglaze painting for the imagery. I’ve used a bigger variety in color and shape.

Birds and Laundry plate, porcelain, sgraffito, glaze, 14.5” x 1.5”

Birds and Laundry plate, porcelain, sgraffito, glaze, 14.5” x 1.5”

More etc.

Here is another example of both of our works together that wil be used for upcoming publicity for the Pottery Trail

Fran’s piece is @ 13” high

Fran’s piece is @ 13” high

another possible choice for publicity

another possible choice for publicity

Even More New Photographed Work

Here are more pieces from the “Blockhead” series. A particular type of development is happening, mentioned in the last posting: taller pieces, all black and white, more eccentric shapes, and more variety in body types, more variety in line quality.

tallest of the blockhead vase, 12”

tallest of the blockhead vase, 12”

More New Photographed Work

As promised, here are some images from our most recent photograph session with John Polak:

This may have been the first “Blockheads” piece. I had already begun making the prints and I wanted to try out the same imagery on some clay pieces. The approach is different regarding prints vs clay - the clay is always loser and more spontaneous.

This may have been the first “Blockheads” piece. I had already begun making the prints and I wanted to try out the same imagery on some clay pieces. The approach is different regarding prints vs clay - the clay is always loser and more spontaneous.

This may be the second “Blockheads” vase. The changes that begin to happen are that the vases become more complicated in form and there continues to be experimentation regarding the best color to black and white ratio. The images are still very loose.

This may be the second “Blockheads” vase. The changes that begin to happen are that the vases become more complicated in form and there continues to be experimentation regarding the best color to black and white ratio. The images are still very loose.

This piece becomes a complete black and white piece and there is a lot more variety in the shape of the piece and the types anad sizes of images used on the surface.

This piece becomes a complete black and white piece and there is a lot more variety in the shape of the piece and the types anad sizes of images used on the surface.

New Photo Session with John Polak

Fran and I had some new work photographed by John Polak yesterday. As always it was a great experience - chatting about news, the summer etc. but also being able to see our work through the eyes of a professional. I will be adding photos little by little on this site, spreading out the images.

I chose to have the Blockhead ceramics photographed. Fran had a new plate photographed. Some of the photos were intended for the upcoming publicity associated with the Pottery Trail. We usually have two of our pieces positioned next to each other either in real space or a cut and paste in a horizontal and vertical format.

One of the images was our traditional “two cups” shot in which two of our cups are juxtaposed as an example of what happens in the studio. I was surprised at how well this worked. We usually use this image for our own sales and publicity.

Two cups. Fran’s in on the left if there was any doubt

Two cups. Fran’s in on the left if there was any doubt

The other combination. It is interesting to see similarities of forms in our work. The shape of the yellow lips and the marks of the landscape are almost identical.

The other combination. It is interesting to see similarities of forms in our work. The shape of the yellow lips and the marks of the landscape are almost identical.

Last (final?) Version of latest Blockheads

Latest version of the next Blockheads. I am getting the registration I want in this print but I notice that some of the earlier prints in the series were more easily read and understood with less activity. I am beginning a new print in oil ink and will see if I can can color/accuracy of registration/ less activity to come together. Some similar information: edition of @ twelve and 12" x 16".

Latest version of the next Blockheads. I am getting the registration I want in this print but I notice that some of the earlier prints in the series were more easily read and understood with less activity. I am beginning a new print in oil ink and will see if I can can color/accuracy of registration/ less activity to come together. Some similar information: edition of @ twelve and 12" x 16".

Odd view of Drying Prints

Taken this morning in the Office room - an under-view of a laundry line of drying prints. I used Caligo inks on these prints and have at least five layers/passes on each, consequently these are taking forever to dry completely. They will remain in this situation until they aren't tacky to the touch anymore. Don't know when that will be but currently they are out of the way and I can ignore them.  The prints don't stain or smear when touched but they "stick" together when stacked on top of each other, making a very scary noise when separated. This happens even with a separator sheet in between each print.

Taken this morning in the Office room - an under-view of a laundry line of drying prints. I used Caligo inks on these prints and have at least five layers/passes on each, consequently these are taking forever to dry completely. They will remain in this situation until they aren't tacky to the touch anymore. Don't know when that will be but currently they are out of the way and I can ignore them.

The prints don't stain or smear when touched but they "stick" together when stacked on top of each other, making a very scary noise when separated. This happens even with a separator sheet in between each print.

Finished Ceramic Pediment

This is an image of the finished ceramic pediment on our bathroom edition. The change from the last image posted here is the dramatic wooden framing.  It has been fun to live with this piece. It was a good experience for many reasons. This isn't the first time we made a piece that required a lot of attention to math and calculating shrinkage but it was very satisfying, when the piece was completed to know that it "fit" the required size. We also hemmed and hawed about whether we should glaze the piece or not. One piece cannot do everything so we are both glad that we opted for "subtle" rather than a dramatic color, surface or contrast of color. One thing that is worth thinking about is scale. While the images seem big up close, they are very small and detailed when seen from a distance. making greater allowances for the Size vs. Distance relationship may be considered differently the next time around.  The most "telling" part of all of this will be Winter. We will watch the piece carefully to see how it weathers. We do live in New England. The generous overhang should alleviate almost any problem - it prevents any rain from coming in - but one can never tell.

This is an image of the finished ceramic pediment on our bathroom edition. The change from the last image posted here is the dramatic wooden framing.

It has been fun to live with this piece. It was a good experience for many reasons. This isn't the first time we made a piece that required a lot of attention to math and calculating shrinkage but it was very satisfying, when the piece was completed to know that it "fit" the required size. We also hemmed and hawed about whether we should glaze the piece or not. One piece cannot do everything so we are both glad that we opted for "subtle" rather than a dramatic color, surface or contrast of color. One thing that is worth thinking about is scale. While the images seem big up close, they are very small and detailed when seen from a distance. making greater allowances for the Size vs. Distance relationship may be considered differently the next time around.

The most "telling" part of all of this will be Winter. We will watch the piece carefully to see how it weathers. We do live in New England. The generous overhang should alleviate almost any problem - it prevents any rain from coming in - but one can never tell.

The Next Layer

This is the next layer of the linocut.  I think that I will add one more color to this, either yellow, red or orange....we'll see.  I think that color will be the last layer.

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