Fruitful Fall

Fall projects  concepts coming to their natural conclusions with all the good feelings of accomplishment that come after working long and hard to have a productive season. The open house at the farm this fall was enriched by seeing many customers who were unaware that Howard and I were still living in the area; this in thanks to a wonderful article in the Times Recorder. It was a a feature article about family sharing the tradition of art from the farm studio's, and even Willow got into the pic. Special thanks to Laurie Law. To read the article and see additional pictures use this link:Times Recorder

The Genisis Mosaic has also been completed, and that was on display for the Open House. It is being picked up this week for installation at the hospital. The times recorder ran an article on that project too! I am trusting that my friend Emmet has proofread all the leaves and that there are no mispellings! Thanks also to my husband who helped with many of the logistical details. Times Recorder

And not to be outdone by all this attention, Howard was featured in an article in the Jeffersonian, the local paper for Guernsey County. Here he is in one of the MANY fabulous pictures taken by the photographer, with Willow, who is always vying for a bit of the attention!

I finished my first firing of the Soda Kiln at the Ohio State University. Full discolsure; it was a grind. I turned it up Monday night, the pilots and one of the main burners were candled through the night. At 7 am the next morning, I started turning the gas and air up. That darn hard brick sure does take a long time to heat up! At 2 am the next morning, the Cone 10 up top finally started to get soft, Paul Simon, (the dedicated studio and kiln tech) and I started shoveling and spraying in the soda. I went to bed at three.

The next morning I felt like I had had a baby, and was too exhausted to hold it.

The kiln is a crossdraft downdraft, and this is its first fire after an arch and baffle wall repair.

My knitting, old stack of New Yorkers took me through the day, along with this old camp chair from Vermont!

This is the soda shovel, all set and ready to go into the port.

When it was unloaded two days later, we were able to assess the stack, the baffle wall, the amount of soda for next time, and how to adjust the burners and the air more effectively. I can't wait to do it again! The best piece was one small oak leaf mug, with just the right of reduction and soda.

Made some more today!



Fog of Resistance, Lifted

Late last sping, my dear friend Nancy posted one of her charming doodles on Facebook.

I am nearing the 7th decade of my one life, and I have to remind myself I am not a tree? Sheeeit. I immediately started shopping around for a high fire class to take, first in Athens at OU, and then in Columbus at Ohio State. Rebecca Harvey opens the door wide to me, in her Special Projects class.  I have wanted to fire the big boys again for many years.

This is me, peddleing to class. I park my car at my son Henry's place, and ride down Lane Avenue to Hopkins Hall. Wood Ash glazes, cone 6, old timey Ohio pottery shapes, cone 10 porcelain, and Soda kilns. I think I can I think I can I think I can. I will. I do. It is all new work, and I am excited.

My first Cone 6 reduction was an all day affair and I learned several important things about what NOT TO DO.... but I know this is the most important function about learning from one's mistakes. I am pleased that I have several successful pieces from the kiln, and am especially smitten with the Wood Ash glazes that I prepared here at the farm.

BEFORE!AFTER!I can not wait to FIRE THIS BABY UP AGAIN! And I do, two weeks later. And while the cone pats might not be the best pieces to come out of the kiln, they are, none the less, the ones I am most proud of.

I scored, a perfect 10. Kelly's Green and Haystack Satin pieces came in as close seconds. Now to figure out where to build a kiln shed here at the farm....


Tile Commission

Earlier this spring I was contacted by the Genesis Foundation, in Zanesville to discuss an employee appreciation commission for the new wing at the hospital. It was a wonderful design process, and I got to work with a team of collaborators from both Samaratin and Bethesda campus's. I needed to be discreet about the design as there was an unveiling at the end of June, where all the employees got to see the rendition of it. Sister Maureen did get to peek "under the wrap" when she was here for the garden tour at the end of the month, and I may have excitedly told my students about it as the process was unfolding at the end of the school year.

The piece needed to incorporate stained glass from the Samaritan Chapel

Red Brick from the Samaratin Hospital

And concrete from the Bethesda Hospital.

The Tree of Life was chosen as an appropriate symbol to represent the care qualities and mission of the hospital,


We also incorporated the new Genesis logo into the background, so the finished pesentation rendering looked very colorful.

Then in June, I got my hands dirty! With an enlarged print to size, I sculpted the tree out of the white clay.

Then I sculpted the leaves.

Then I let the pieces dry for a good portion of the month, all under wraps.

The composition has three different clay bodies...the tree is cone 6, the leaves are a cone 04 talc body, and the border and lettering is a cone 04 terra cotta. Many kiln firings later, the piece is beginning to take shape in mid July.

The leaves have been the fussiest, requiring multiple firings to get the polychromes not to bleed.

And next....I have to get comfortable with cutting GLASS, for the background. OUCH!!