Artists take inspiration from varied sources, it is part of who we become as our work matures. Intially in our early stages of working, that inspiration may result in "copying".Read More
Kay Franz Pottery Blog
It's been 2 years since I moved into a smaller house....smaller house, smaller studio. On the plus side I love the basement space I've allocated for my work. The east window opens to the sky. The north window opens to the north at ground level and I'm able to watch birds as they hop in and around the bush planted by that window. During daylight hours it's never ending bird tv. While smaller than my old studio, it is plenty big and the space is warmer, cozier and better lit than my old garage space. It's a happy place to be and a corner retreat. I'm still not making as much work as I thought I would be in my semi-retirement. Semi-retirement sometimes still feels a lot like full-time...
After another spell of distractions, I'm back in the studio. Haven't made these small plates in a while so they are a good way to ease back into the process.
After what seems like forever, I'm finally pretty settled in my new place. I've moved many times before but this move was really the perfect storm of a move. The worst is behind me and I'm finally venturing back into my studio. It's always so hard to jump back into work after a long time away from the table. The image shown is the first work in progress post move!
My original intent was for each of these to remain separate - mini works that I planned as prototypes for larger tiles. However during the entire process they just seemed to want to stay together. What was once separate units have merged into one piece.
If you missed it, there are earlier posts that show these at various stages.
While building these latest pieces I am reminded of how much repetition goes into a creative process. I once heard an artist remark that they had essentially tried to perfect the same piece over and over throughout their entire career. I feel I am at that point too. Certain shapes, textures and images from the past keep reappearing as if trying to achieve a type of perfection. It's not so much an endless loop as it is an upward spiral, renewed in time with layers of new experiences.
Here's the finished sculpture married to its wooden outgrowth. Detail shot is from last week's firing showing the piece straight out of the firing. I never like adding titles to my work but these wood/clay pieces seem to want titles. This series is inspired by all the wonderful fungi you can find growing in woodlands.
Here are these pieces straight from Thursday's firing. I haven't given them a good clean up yet so some of the carbon will scrub off when they are thoroughly washed.
I use acrylic stains to add color to my work. Years ago in an effort to have more time building pieces, I abandoned some traditional ceramic techniques. I still occasionally use glazes but since my work is non-functional I am not limited in how I finish pieces. Painting surfaces is quick and immediate and frees up more time for construction.
J Ferguson Gallery in Farmville, VA carries my work. A patron that purchased some of my "Egg" pieces sent this photo. Here's a quote from her email about what happened:
"At our house in Georgia there's an outdoor fireplace on a sheltered porch, and I put my Franz ceramics on the mantel there. They looked really nice. Gradually other things joined them--an old saw my son found in the woods, an old typewriter. . . . And then, possibly inspired by my large "eggs," a bluebird family added eggs of their own to the display. My son reports that the little birds have hatched and are doing well."
Juggling family, work life and personal pursuits is always a challenge. Over the years I've struggled how to fit it all in. The result is that something always gets short-changed. For me most of the time that was my studio time. I don't have the personality that really driven artists have to sacrifice all for art. It's a personal decision I made a long time ago and have no regrets about it. I found myself at times jealous of colleagues who have the luxury of being full-time artists. With a little time and added wisdom I realize that very few of them had it easy and making comparisons between my life and anyone else's served no purpose. I am extremely grateful with the where my path lead me.