Deidre's Amazing Blog

Posts Tagged ‘ceramics

This past weekend was Mother’s Day which means it was also the annual Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair. Paul and I volunteered this year and got to see the fair for free. However, the weather was not in our favor. When we arrived for our volunteer shift it was pouring down rain, we got soaked on the short walk from our car to volunteer check-in. The whole fair is outside and in a field so you can imagine that the ground was pretty soggy. Once we checked in we got to be under a tent for a few hours and the rain let up a bit but did continue to drizzle throughout the day. Attendance was low because of the weather so when we did get to walk around there wasn’t much crowding in the booths. There was a ton of great art there from artists I did not remember from years past (although it has been a while since I went to this fair). One thing I noticed is a lo of people did not have cards, which is what i use a lot to remember the booths and write posts like these. This post would have been twice as long for sure. I even bought myself a little something this year. Here is a sampling of some of our favorites.

Sculpture

Frederick Prescott – These sculptures were so large they would have fit right in with the rest of the sculpture park. They took up residence in a little corner booth spot but could not be contained by a booth! And the brightly colored paint jobs drew you in from many booths away. The piggy was my favorite, but the cacti ones on his website look awesome too.

Joel Pinkerton – Not very much on his website or facebook page, but there is a large picture of his whimsical robotic sculptures. Made of upcycled materials each little guy or gal has it’s own personality, no two are a like! When you are surrounded by them it’s like you are in a foreign land straight out of a children’s book.

Richard Kolb – This was the booth I bought a little piece from, my piece was a little yard stake with a flying pig on top. Again made from upcycled materials mostly car parts and some ceramic knobs and other stuff, and mostly animals. I have seen this work before represented as Yardbirds, but the business card now says Engine-New-Ity, it appears to be the same company though, although these sculptures are a bit more industrial than the Yardbirds ones.

Painting

Melvin McGee – Brightly colored cartoonish paintings filled this booth. Some original designs and some based on favorite characters like The Wizard of Oz or Frankenstien. What really made the booth popular was sound effect to go with some of the paintings. Its hard not to be drawn in to all this fun.

Vladimir Ovtcharov – I can’t not love a good pop surrealist painter, which is exactly what this booth was. Apparently the Ovtcharov’s show as a duo but this show appeared to just be Vladimir. Both of their collections can be viewed online and they are both great. I think I dig Vladimir a bit more for the pop punches though. You can really see the old school painting techniques mixed with modern ideas.

Brian J. Sullivan – American Image is the name of an upcoming exhibit from this artist, and it is the perfect way to describe them. Filled with bright colors and pop imagery some are comforting but some, just because of the proportions are almost scary, look at the one with Howdy Doody and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Karri Jamison – I love nature, and I also love bright bold colors, these paintings combine both. Some of the nature is otherworldy while some is very familiar. They are beautifully done with funky backgrounds that make them really stand out in a crowd.

Other

Luis Gonzalez – I don’t know what it was about these, the size and color drew me in! Large fruits an vegetables make up the work made out of wood that are glossy and colorful enough to eat.

Kathy Oda – Super nice lady to talk to, and her work is a lot of fun. I have always had a soft spot for glass and want to try the kiln formed variety in the future. My favorite part of her collection are the little Splats. To some folks these might look like toss away pieces but they are so much fun, I can imagine a house with little Splats lazing about in various colors and sizes!

April Riley Tate – Just plain cute, no other way to describe it. These stuffed toys are simple and adorable. Also helps that they encourage cuddling of the stuffies! With your standard animal variety as well as bearded ladies and strongmen what is not to love.

Ceramics

Cindy Martin (Aldrich Valley Pottery) – I would have really liked to get one of these pieces as well, they were so great and priced kind of low. From what I could see they were all raku fired and each had it’s own individual flare. Some included horse hair and most included figurative elements of animals carefully sculpted and attached to the pieces. Very beautiful one of a kind work.

Hironobu Nishitateno (Nanten Pottery) – Tons of tiny little pots and vessels, very traditional but with some great glazes and unique features. The bud vases were adorable and there were so many different options and styles.

Reiko Cunningham – Last but not least, personally I love making sgraffito pottery, and you can tell Reiko does as well. Bunny rabbits seem to be a common theme which attracted lots of kids (and kids at heart) to this booth. Some of the carving were full scenes while in other areas a nice pattern. Great stuff all around.

For more info on Laumeier Sculpture park and next years Art Fair go here!

It has been 6 months since my last post! Way tooooooo long. Living arrangements have changed somewhat and I have limited access to the big computer which is easier to post from, it’s been a little easier to post on smaller blogs like Tumblr in the mean time.

I have been focusing a little more on 2-d work lately. It’s a little more feasible financially to do and it is a little quicker to do so i can fit it in better when I can. In addition i have been playing around with some line work and patterns done with some pens. I have been using a type of pen called a Hybrid Technica made by Pentel that I really enjoy for fine lines. It gives the look of a technical pen without the price of buying a technical pen. The painting has been consisting of some watercolor but lately a lot more acrylic, i can get such brighter bolder colors with acrylic. Most importantly is that there is NEON acrylic paint. Frankly Neon needs to exists more, I wish my whole wardrobe was neon. But I digress. I have included some pictures of some of the stuff i have been playing with. Included are some pictures of some stuff from a series i have been dabbling with I am calling 90’s wisdom, which features quotes from 90’s songs against a bright patterned background.

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I have still been throwing on the wheel every so often and in fact threw a couple of bowls to donate to an Empty Bowls event held at my Alma Matter of SLU this year. Here is a photo of how those looked.

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I have a brand new batch of ceramic stuff that went through a kiln fire recently. It looked like a lot more stuff when it was taking up space on my tables in my studio area. However, it barely filled half a large kiln. Some of the recycled clay body turned out a little strange with some pin pricks or cracking showing up. Also some of the glazing had some pin hole results and I won’t be able to list them in my shop, but they are still fun experiments to have around the house. Below are pictures of the items pre-fired and then them finished. Keep an eye out in my Etsy shop for some of the things that turned out well.

So technically this art fair is referred to as the Saint Louis Art Fair, but I always refer to it as the Clayton art fair and know many others that do since that is where it is located. I have quite a bit of history with this fair, I have shadowed a working artist there, shown my own work as part of a student program, and worked as a volunteer there more than once. This was maybe the first time I ever went to it purely as a visitor. There were some artists I recognized from previous Clayton art fairs and other local fairs but some were new and there was some really great stuff. I wish I had more time to explore but we saw a good portion of the fair, maybe only missed one little avenue. Stay with me, but this is going to be a long post 🙂

One thing that seemed a little different was the Emerging Artist booth, this was the booth a few years ago I had a chance to show my work in, and for years it was mostly SLU and Wash U. students. This year the booth was much larger and centrally located, the signage was better, and overall it looked like the organizers put a lot into this booth this year. However, it did not appear to be necessarily students, if they were students no signage or anything said what school they were from and I can’t find any info on this in the program guide or online. My favorite showing from this booth was Lisa Hilton, but I cannot find any links to her work online. It was mostly ceramic sculpture of figures that were deteriorated. The figures themselves were beautiful and the textures created to make it look as if it was rotting away was really amazing.

Okay onto other favorites this year. I kind of separated them by type of art, but some are in a category all their own. Some of these are also Paul favorites but I like them too.

Grant Silverstein – Realistic etchings are Grant’s specialty and they are done very well. He even had on display some actual etching plates he used to make the prints, which are a work of art in themselves. His style is really great with lots of lines and squiggles making up great pieces.

Kreg Yingst – Combining a love for music and visual art in one. These were a series of woodcuts and linocuts each featuring different rock and blues artists or lyrics to songs. Brightly colored with fun frames to match this was a pleasant surprise of a booth.

Amy Gillespie – This was the first booth that really stood out to me. I have been getting more and more fascinated by fiber arts lately. Amy’s wall sculptures out of felt and wood really fed into that fascination. They looked flawless, but obviously required a lot of time and effort.

Jeffrey Zachmann – I may have mentioned this guy from previous art fairs, but his stuff is just too much fun not to mention again. They are kinetic sculptures. They look great just in picture form, but on the site you can see them in action in videos. The most amazing part is when they do little long distance jumps from one ramp to another and it is spot on every time!

Aaron Hequembourg – They are described as engraved paintings, but they encompass a lot more than that. These works are made from salvaged materials from old farming houses and represent farming and family life. They are large works that leave a large impact on the viewer.

Tanya Doskova – Featured her figurative art paintings in this show which are really whimsical and fun. I like the chubby figures with big proportions thatd had a large presence and even larger personalities in the paintings and also some of them included pigs. 🙂

Joel Hunnicutt – I have seen a lot of wood artists over the years but this one is by far my favorite, why? That amazing use of color. In case you haven’t noticed, color is kind of a big deal for me. These stunning works are high gloss and the best colors I have seen on wood pieces, and you can still see the grain of the wood throughout keeping the integrity of the original material. Love it!

Richard Ryan – Another first for me, again I have seen a lot of glass art and I do enjoy it, but this one takes the cake. These glass sculptures have been cut into and manipulated from the normal blown or fused glass I have seen before. They become these organic life forms that held my gaze for quite sometime. I held in my desire to run my hands over every nook and cranny, though it wasn’t easy.

Andy Rogers – Another artist I ma have mentioned before, I have seen his work more than once, but it is just that great I can’t help but mention it again. A lot os texture and a lot of color in each piece which are the main reasons I love all of it.

Susan & Eric Anderson – Just plain gorgeous work. This ceramic work was very nature oriented and had some similar silhouettes to ones I have worked with on a smaller scale before. Really fluid and colored nicely, I enjoyed everything in the whole booth.

Michael Hamlin-Smith – Last but certainly not least comes Michael’s work. This was the one that caused me to ask permission to touch. The texture was astounding and when I did massage the different forms it did not even feel like clay, it felt like volcanic rock which is pretty awesome. And again the color is what initially drew me into the booth.

 

 

Had a chance to go to 2 different art fairs happening in Saint Louis this weekend. I will have a post about the Clayton Art Fair in a couple days. This however was the first time I was able to go to the Art Outside fair sponsored by Schlafly. This fair was started as an alternate to the Clayton one and exclusively features local Saint Louis artists. I did not get to spend as much time at either fair as I would have liked but I did get to peruse every booth at least. Art Outside was a fun event and while it might be a bit smaller of a fair it still packed quite a punch. Here are some of my personal favorites.

Bill Perry – Bill (or Mr. Perry) was a teacher of mine in high school. I took his basic art class at Central Visual and Performing Arts for 3 out of 4 years. I run into him now and again at the art store I work at and other art events and live seeing his fun work. This time he was showing clay sculptures of fun little critters and creatures which were really great. His booth was actually the first thing that caught my and my friends eyes as we were crossing a parking lot towards the fair.

Mark Sheppard – Fun characters make up more of his work in paintings and drawings. Also uses a lot of good cross hatching in his work which I like. He’s created a fun little universe of characters that I’d like to visit.

Firecracker Press – By now Firecracker is surely a Saint Louis staple, you can recognize it instantly. I love their stuff and have gotten the chance to have some of it in postcard and advertising material forms. Bright and colorful and just designed and made well, it’s all good from Firecracker. Check out all their stuff on their site, and ps they offer classes.

Mark Grayson – Cool, cool, cool, beyond cool. Mark Grayson’s work consists of guitars made out of old cigar boxes, wood, and other antique elements. They look amazing, and the best part is they work. He was playing one hooked up to a little amp in the booth.

Dganit Moreno – Clay artist, with an amazing glaze. I asked about it and of course it is one she made herself. It was a beautiful celadon color, which I have been wanting to get into lately. Unfortunately I do not see anything like what was shown in person on the website linked. Aha Here we go, found a facebook page, gorgeous!!

Den Smith – Another case of the site showing different stuff than what I saw in person. The closest I can get is the art boxes. His sculptures were really fun each one included common objects and were painted fun colors and had their own little personality and face.

 

 

I’ve been working on a few different things in the past week or so. One being some throwing. I was going back to watch some ceramic videos that I had seen before to try some different ways of doing things. One video was about creating curved designs in bowls from artist Martha Grover, which can be seen HERE from Ceramics Arts Daily. I do like making waves and curves in my pottery and thought I would try this method. She actually goes through the bottom of the vessel and then attaches another piece to create the ruffle along the bottom. I went through the bottom and created some curves on top, waiting for it to dry out a bit before I get to adding more pieces.

Another thing I have been playing with are my encaustics. I have been trying to get some newer ways to build up a base layer and some texture then adding the wax on top. I stopped playing with the one pictured below after I burned myself a bit on my arm.  I use a towel to pic up the cups of hot wax and pour them, but the towel end dripped into another cup and then slapped onto my arm. It’s a tiny burn but enough to make me pause on that for the time being.  Also as a friend said (and I agree with) it kind of looks like rainbow cat poo in a litter box.

I also finished a second piece in a painting on ceramic stuff I have been working on in my spare time for a while. It’s kind of a snake like piece that is going to end up going outside as part of our growing lawn art.

Wavy 9-4-13 (1) Wavy 9-4-13 (2) Enc 82713 Snake Painting 9-4-13 (1) Snake Painting 9-4-13 (2)

I am busy trying to reconstitute some clay but while waiting that out I tried to use some of my premade clay I had that was still a bit soft. However it took some muscling around and it still wasn’t ideal for throwing with. I did get some decent height out of it but it wasn’t consistent in the thickness, since some of the clay was hard to move. I was able to get it to do some draping and flowing more like fabric which was fun, but its not a good looking piece by any means, maybe it will be in the next scrap bin next time I reconstitute more clay.

8-20-13 (2) 8-20-13 (3)


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