Friday, April 13, 2018


I do not currently have any neighbors who disguise themselves as humans but underneath are good-natured I had to make one!  I'm not entirely certain why I titled this one Neighbor, but I'm sticking with it.  Seems delightfully open to interpretation.
Before first firing.  I dotted the surface with brown slip for some nice
mole action and liver spots on the skin tags.

Before glaze firing.  I knew the colors wouldn't be this vibrant after it was all
said and done, but oh I wish...

Finito!  Recycled clay fired to cone 10 with mason stains
and oxides.

I used the Clay Guild's "G White" glaze on the lips to bring out some of
the iron in the clay.
This is the biggest face I've made so far, about 9 inches wide.  I'm looking forward to going larger but I need to complete the ones I have still ready to be glazed before I move on.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Squinty Old Man and Dopey Kid

I made a couple of pieces that ended up looking like they were related...or even different versions of the same guy.  Process shots!
Dopey Kid:
Before first firing.

Glazed but not fired yet.

9 x 5 x 3 inches
And the older version, Squinty Old Man:
Still wet clay.

Glazed but not fired.

5 x 8 x 3 inches
Made of recycled cone 10 clay with oxides and a touch of glaze on the old man's eye.

They hang on the wall and hopefully will find a home soon, either through a gallery show or sale.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Heads and Faces

Our winter had stretches of dreary, cold days (not that unusual) and I just couldn't bring myself to do much else besides make weird things out of clay.  I've been making tumblers, vases, and mugs, but I've had a hankering to get back to my sculptural roots lately.  So this year I'm focusing more on funny little characters...
He looks kind of big here, right?
(He's still new and wet.)

He is not.
 I started to play around with oxides and stains to add color and highlight the gnarly textures these quick studies had.  Most of these are experiments and maybe I'm not done with them yet...but here are some more from that first little batch: 
More before pics.

Dunked in yellow salt glaze.

Manganese wash.

Rutile wash.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Gifts of Art

Hey, there.  Been awhile.  I've been hibernating.

But I'd like to share a cool thing!

The University of Michigan Med Center has a program called Gifts of Art where they install art, rotating four times in nine galleries, throughout the hospital. There are also musical performances and lunchtime concerts.  It's free to apply (YOU SHOULD IF YOU'RE AN ARTIST!) and I thought, why not?  Let's try it.  

So I was selected to have my work up from mid-December to mid-March.  I made a ton of work (see most recent blog posts) to fill a corridor that is 100 feet long.
It was a very long and narrow hallway, but said to be the largest gallery space.

photos by Adrian Wylie

And, of course, these works were all for sale, and I SOLD A FEW!  Hot Brazen Heavens, Spring's Promise, Crooning Cottonwoods, and Crickets' Din are all going to live at another hospital--Henry Ford West Bloomfield, in the maternity ward!  Isn't that cool?  A portion of the sale goes back to the GoA program to help sustain and find more great artists looking for opportunities to show their work.  
Bring Treasure, Crooning Cottonwoods, Sweet Sons/Sturdy Daughters

Crickets' Din, Hot Brazen Heavens, Miles and Miles and Miles

Spring's Promise, Gardenlands, Make No Peace With Trouble

I was also asked if I would donate an image to help promote the program, and I was happy to do so. (This image is from work that was at the Kemper show, which spring-boarded this whole endeavor in the first place.)
Seriously, apply!
The only down part was that Ann arbor is an 11-hour drive from KC, and if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen a few posts about this...there's a lot of dirt between here and there and a few ice cream places, but I didn't love the trip.  I just wanted to get home and wasn't able to enjoy myself or see much culture.  I'm not a born-road tripper, so this part of the job is always hard for me.  Oh, well!  It's a better job for me than most other things!

I'm so glad I did this and hope to keep pushing myself in this way--making bigger work and trying to show in new places.  Happy Spring!