Monday, March 22, 2010

Back at it

Spring break is finally over and it's time to hit the studios again. Coming back from a break can be difficult sometimes. Mostly I find it hard to get rolling again because the momentum isn't there. This time I'm tricking myself. I'll explain.

When working... on any sort of job, there are so many hours of mundane work... There are times that you just sit back and wonder... What the hell? Did I even do anything today? I like to save parts of a job that are easy and when completed, it looks like a whole hell of a lot has been accomplished. I did that today.

Before I left and headed back home to Oregon last week, I spent time carving up some new woodblocks. I carved 6 new faces and left the blocks as a present for me to print today.

Man that felt good. I even had time to throw some new dinner plates and larger platters.

Here are the blocks and a bit of the process.

Tomorrow I'll go through the blocks and do more carving where needed, pull more proofs and eventually, hopefully by Thursday or Friday, have 10 finished prints for each block.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the Juried Show

The juried show. It's like relating to a double edged sword without a hilt...

I've been making for a good amount of time and applied for my first show while in Community College (DVC) in California... 2002. It's now 2010...after I don't know how many rejections (Ink and Clay 2010 actually sent me TWO rejection letters) and a good amount of money which I can only see as "donations" I finally get accepted.

I'm excited about it. It's new though.... and learning can be difficult. One thing I'd like to talk about...

The packing of the pots for shipment.

This pot is one of three pieces going to a show in NY. They're sort of bottle forms with long necks... and yesterday I asked my professor, Dan Murphy, "hey Dan...I have to send these away.. How do I pack them?" He gave me this goofy grin and said, "well bobby that's really a no-brainer". Yah I thought.. to you, who's CV is as long as my leg... But he then took the time to explain to me how he would do it and also stressed that I should be considerate of those people who'll be unpacking the work and setting up the show. Good advice all around.

From about 5 pm until 1 am last night was spent wrapping these damn things up. I don't have any pics of it... I'll get used to this blog thing soon, I promise... I had an old couch cushion I salvaged from the dumpster and cut parts of that to wrap around the necks, then bubbled the outside and finished it off with cardboard. and what a mess! I couldn't find a sharp utility knife anywhere and ended up using my girlfriends knife from when she was hanging sheet rock like 3 or 4 years ago.

How many goddam tools does a potter need????? that's a rhetorical question!

So the pots are still in a box, that needs another box so I can cushion the big box with 2 inches of foam or peanuts. I have to go find a box that's like 28 x 18 inches... the extra work is alright though.. I'm proud to be apart of these shows.

I'd like to publicly thank the organizations that have accepted my work this year.

Feats of Clay, Lincoln, CA.

College Clay, Rochester, NY

10th annual Cup show, Kent, OH

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Studio(s)

I think that most people that work with clay... call the area where they work, "the studio" Where's Bobby? Oh he's in the studio. Where are you? I'm at the studio. I'm going to the studio... I'll be at the studio studio studio- but...

Yoda put it best, "There is another"

Yes- I admit it. I'm a double dipper... I frequent two studios. The majority of my time is spent where it's dirty and dusty with heavy things to lift and too much work to do... but I save some time, twice a week or more, and spend it in the other studio where people carve wood, dip copper into acid and mix ink- the Print studio. I am an avid lover of the wood block print. I might dare say, it's my "hobby".

If you ever have the opportunity to dabble in more than one field of art making.. I highly recommend it. I'm hooked for life on printing. It's a different environment completely and a different mode of thought. It's like what I imagine the luxury of owning two cars would be like. You obviously enjoy one more then the other, but use the less liked one now and then because... for some reason, you just can't get rid of it- it just feels right. And maybe the two reinforce eachother. I think that's what's happening with me and printing. Clay and paper are so obviously connected. The ideas I have for my prints can be used with my pots...and sometimes the imagery I use on my pots filter into the prints. To me, my pots, are the whackiest round surfaces to decorate. Paper is beautiful. Clay is beautiful. There are as many different types of paper as there are clays.

Along with my pots, I'll show you my prints too, beacuse, like Tony said... "it is about you". My prints, like my pots, are about me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

To blog or not to blog...

People say you need to get out your work, sell yourself! Get a website. Get a blog going. Get some business cards!

If this is a question.. I'm still trying to figure it out before I can come up with the answer.

Since this is new, an introduction is in order.

Hey! My name is Bobby. I'm finishing up my undergrad degree at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. I'm not from here. I had never even been to Utah until two days before I started school, back in January of 2007. I grew up in Roseburg, Oregon. Roseburg is a small, two lumber-mill town near the southwest corner of the State. It's nestled in the Umpqua Valley and is a blip along the I-5 highway.

I learned to pot while in Highschool. From 10th grade on it was normal for me to have clay all over my pants and shirts, the other kids didn't make fun of me that long, and in fact, I wore that clay with pride, knowing I was pulling away from the norm (well, I had never been normal, but I never did wear it on my sleeve until then). Having clay all over your pants and sleeves doesn't go over too well at home, though. Mom literally had to stop me before I came inside the house to make me remove the clothes I was wearing. Oh bless-ed furniture! Keep it clean!

Before this gets too long, I'll skip about 10 years of the story and put myself back into the present.

Why blog now?

Getting closer to the end of my time in Logan, I'm about to put myself out there into the world as a studio artist. Perhaps it's time to get that following people say is so important.

My blog will focus on my adventures with clay, and not much else. I don't want this to be a personal account of my daily doings, instead I will show you what projects I'm working on and things I experience that are involved with or are influencing my work.

I hope you enjoy it.

Here are some of the latest pots I've been working on. They're all salt fired porcelain to a about cone 7.