Adding a Decal to a flask

I just loved making these funny little flasks/vases.  I decided to try out some underglaze decals that I purchased from China Clay Art recently.  What fun it was using them.  I used the bits and pieces from one to decorate some heart jewellery.

Releasing a fish from a mold

Here is a piece of my garden sculpture at the moment of being released (not from the wild) but from the mold.  It needs to be cleaned, but that doesn’t take long.

Back in the Saddle

Sometimes a break is good for the soul.  I needed time to create something different and I worked on some linocuts in August and took a break from clay.

I’m back working with a vengeance now, as I have two shows coming up in November and December.  Here are a couple of images of work from the first bisque firing.

The two shows are the weekend of November 18th and 19th.  The first one is Christmas at the Marshland Centre is at the Marshland Centre, at 65 Hague Blvd., Lakefield.  Lots of different work at this show, not just pottery.

Then at the Kawartha Potters’ Guild Christmas show and sale.  December 1, 2 & 3 at 993 Talwood Drive, Peterborough.

Linocuts

Rabbit (linocut)

While I have been taking the month of August off from pottery/ceramics to give myself a break and refresh, I’ve been playing around with Linocutting.  I took a day course a few months ago to introduce myself to this and I’ve had a great time!  I will likely incorporate it into future clay projects in the future, but for the moment I am loving the immediacy of it.  No waiting for it to dry, bisque fired, glazed and then fired again,  hoping madly that nothing cracks, warps or has unsightly blemishes.  To see the various prints I’ve made, please visit my gallery page.

Fusion – Unearthed Invitation

I have the honour of being in a show with 13 other talented ceramic artists this month.  Here is the invitation.

I applied and was accepted last year for a mentorship.  It started in September and is wrapping up now with this show.  Exhibition is from August 19 – September 10, 2017.  Artist Talk is on Sunday August 27th, 1pm, Reception September 8th, 7 – 9pm.  Take a look at my gallery page to see some of the work of mine that is on display.

Creative Directions

Last year I was one of fifteen people chosen to participate in Fusion’s Creative Directions.  As they say on their website:

Creative Directions is FUSION’s new and exciting program for potters and sculptors designed to expand their technical skills, develop critical thinking and build confidence.

Basically, it has been a mentorship and has been hard and rewarding, frustrating and fun at the same time.  I’ve learned a lot from our mentor Michelle Mendlowitz, but also from all of the other participants.  We are going to be in a group show at the Robert Mclaughlin’s Gallery A from August 17-September 10.  The opening reception will be September 8th 7-9pm,  Scary?  You bet!

Gregory Thielker: Under The Unminding Sky – WeTransfer This Works

 

“In my paintings, I’m interested in highlighting the way we see the world,” says American painter Gregory Thielker. Initially this seems like a simple statement, but when you think about it, it is more complex than it first sounds. He is an artist interested in our perception of the physical things around us, rather than those things themselves.

So reads the article about Gregory on the site wetransfer.com, a popular site for transferring large files.  They transport you to a rainy summer day when the rain is coming down in buckets.  I think they are exciting and wouldn’t mind having one hanging on my wall on a hot and sticky day to look at.

Source: Gregory Thielker: Under The Unminding Sky – WeTransfer This Works

Five questions to ask yourself as you ring in the new year

Forget New Year’s resolutions, New Year’s questions are a healthier alternative
Source: Five questions to ask yourself as you ring in the new year

If less than 10 per cent of us keep New Year’s resolutions, why make them in the first place?

with most things in life, the motivation underlying making resolutions is key. All too often we spout off a long list of all the things we wish we were “better” at. These often include changing our exercise and/or eating habits, losing/gaining weight, and quitting/reducing a habit that we believe is unhealthy, such as nicotine, caffeine or alcohol consumption. We are extremely motivated by how others will see us, view us and ultimately judge us. At least, in the short-term.

Here’s the thing: trying to live up to someone, or everyone, else’s expectation of who you should be is rarely, if ever, enough to motivate you to make long-term meaningful changes in your life. What if there’s an alternative to mindlessly reeling off the same list of to-dos that we’ve recited every year for the past decade? We can take a chance to pause and ask ourselves some questions, which might inspire us to live closer in line with who we truly want to be, rather than who we think we should be.

  1. What was one sweet moment for you in 2015? As best you can, connect to what this moment was like through your five senses. What did you see, hear, smell, taste and feel in that sweet moment? This moment doesn’t need to be extraordinary. This moment may be something as simple as receiving a text message from someone you love or seeing a friend for coffee. In my experience, these sweet moments rarely cost a lot in terms of financial resources yet often give us so much. This sweet moment will most likely indicate what is worth investing more time in 2016.
  2. What is that one thing on your “bucket list” would you love to do in 2016? We often treat life like it is an infinite resource that will always be available to us. How many times have you put important life goals on the long finger? Often, we don’t actually end up doing these activities that we know would give us a sense of joy and fulfilment.  What difference would it make to you if you engaged in this one activity on your bucket list? If, after mindful consideration, this still feels like something you want to do, see what small changes you can make to fulfil this dream.
  3. What have been the biggest drains on you in 2015? We all have drains on our energy. These can be people, relationships or activities that take more away from our life than they give back. Turn off the autopilot to ask yourself if these drains are worth your investment of time, energy and other resources. Most of us will find that some drains on our energy are not worth pursuing. Particularly, if we notice that our own tank is running on empty. It may be time to make some changes.
  4. What would you love to see yourself doing more of in a video of your life one year from now? When we make resolutions or goals we frequently focus on things like I want to be happier, calmer, slimmer or healthier. Yet, these goals are pretty abstract. It is hugely beneficial to make your goals more tangible by focusing on what you would see yourself doing differently in your life a year from now. This gives us something clear and concrete to aim for and engage in.
  5. What blocks and barriers are likely to come up for you? Most, if not all, of the people reading this now will know what it’s like to try and fail. It’s important to acknowledge the thoughts that we get hooked by such as “what’s the point?” and “that’s well and good for others but I won’t be able for it”.

It can be incredibly useful to put the phrase “I’m having the thought” before your self-limiting thought. For example, saying out loud or in your head “I’m having the ‘what’s the point?’ thought” and then reconnecting to what the point is for you. Feeling unwanted emotions when we go outside of our comfort zone is inevitable.

Aisling Curtin is a counselling psychologist.

Auto Mechanics Hilariously Recreate Renaissance Paintings

A very clever idea for a calendar, instead of the tired nudes that people have been copying ever since the Calendar Girls movie from the UK came out.  It was good when they did it!  These are brilliant.

 

US-based photographer Freddy Fabris had always wanted to pay homage to the Renaissance masters with his photos in some way, but he wasn’t sure how until he stumbled upon an auto-mechanic shop in the Midwest. This led to a brilliant series of portraits with auto mechanics reenacting famous Renaissance paintings.
Source: Auto Mechanics Hilariously Recreate Renaissance Paintings