Monday, April 21, 2014

building kilns

remember a few years ago when i kept posting about the wood kiln I built with a bunch of friends and family in Unionville, Montana?

That was such a fun project. It was so great to do that.  To put in the effort and see an idea come into being.  I really miss that kiln and I really miss my friends out there.  the entire project was one big excuse to hang out and get to know each other even better.  to talk to each other.  experience each other.  to bring in new people.  to connect with a local community.  lets get to know the neighbors!

in my experience so far, building kilns has always been like that.  like a barn raising, the communal act of lending help for a brief period of time is happening again.  At AMOCA, where I manage the ceramics studio we're raising money to build a salt kiln and a soda kiln.  It's a different approach that I'm not used to- the fund raising.  Before it was wam bam get some donated material, scrounge whatever, build it yourself, ask your neighbor... and take a year to do it..but this time it's a bit different. we're reaching out to the world through social media and  to have two kilns built in two weeks.

Even with the different approach to it, I still see the same things happening.  People are becoming organized.  People are getting excited.  I'm seeing people from my past step up to help and new people from the sidelines stepping in.  It's so fun!

The word about AMOCA is spreading.  People are recognizing us more and more as a serious Museum dedicated to clay.

With these kilns we are giving our studio the equipment it needs to attract national and international artists to our future residency program.  We have an incredible amount of space to offer.  Now that we're increasing our infrastructure..the long term goals are beginning to come closer and closer to fruition.

Soon we will be hosting artists from around the world.  But first we need the right tools to accommodate their creativity.

We have set up a kickstarter fund to raise $20,000 to pay for the materials, which is a hefty cost, and to bring in Ted Neal and his assistant to build for two weeks.

Click the following image and link to take you to the kickstarter site and see what kind of rewards you can get for pledging your help.  Thank you!

We need your support!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

AMOCA. And...some thoughts

The first time I mentioned AMOCA (American Museum of Ceramic Art) I was visiting my friend from college, Heidi and dropping off (or I think I said dumping off- thanks Tony!) work to be sold there.  I was taking some time off and visiting my girlfriend.

Now I live here.  Now I work at AMOCA.  I've nestled into my new life.  I've dealt with the changes and adjustments.  It's been almost a year since I moved and things are good.  I love my home, my girlfriend, my dog and my job.

It's so busy.  It's much different then how I was living a few years ago.  For starters I'm not sleeping on Perry's couch anymore.  Not that it was bad.  It was awesome.  Things just feel more comfortable now.  Or for instance.. when I get up to go to work...walk to the train..ride the train... then catch a bus.... commute for about an hour....then open up one of the nicest studios I've seen... sometimes I think about Helena, Missoula, Sonoma and Redlodge... thinking about those experiences living as a full time artist.  All my friends and family.. I guess it's just remembering those times as really great times.  And now I'm living another great time.

I'm busy.  I'm busy in a new way.  Before I'd be busting my ass to have work ready for a show.  Or busting my ass to have enough work for a firing or some kind of deadline. Now I'm busting my ass for a community of really wonderful people.  I've committed myself to making this place the best I can make it... and lordy am I learning so much.  I'm learning how to work with people, with co-workers, bosses... bosses bosses, board members..all that.  It's a whole new ball game but the subject and core of the game has never changed for me since I was in highschool: clay.  That love, that commitment from such an early age... it's incredibly empowering.  The studio, the pots... all pots.. all clay... It's just what I do.