End of the semester:overview

December 15, 2011

This semester I have partcipated in 4 shows; Create and Bloom, Ethereal, A  Delicate Conversation, and Clean Fossils. I would first like to acknowledge some of the people that helped me with preparing for these shows with help loading and unloading my large sculptures and other perpetration. It defintly would not have been possible for me to do it on my own. So a huge thank you to Dan Marshall, Brian Harper, and Eric Thompson.

Looking back on the semester I feel rather overwhelmed with the workload I’ve created the past few months. I think I need some time to step back for a little while and work slower.It seemed I was constantly working, but then fighting my clay body and losing a lot of work I had started. My first goal before starting a new body of work is going to be a change in my materials. I need a clay body that won’t set me back. I feel slightly discouraged by the amount of work I lost this semester due to clay body issues, and firing issues. I’m not as satisfied with a lot of the end results the way I would like to be. I tried really hard to get the aesthetics I wanted in the color of the clay body, but firing damages and the weird color changes to the clay body in the oxidation kiln made it very difficult to do so. I probably learned more in this semester than in many other semesters I’ve had, and challenged my self the hardest. This being my last semester of BFA ceramics I think I’m going to work slower next semester. This semester was making large animals every week and losing so many of them. I felt rushed to always catchup with loses I had taken. I am looking forward to next semester where I will be able to take my time working, I think after this semester, a slower semester will really enhance the quality of the work. Photos from this semester can  be found in the finished photos section of my blog. I posted several new ones from my solo show.

 

Getting exposure

December 6, 2011

I have recently had my work shown in a article of the LEO, and had a article covering my show A Delicate Conversation.

Links

http://leoweekly.com/ae/staffpicks-109

http://www.louisville.com/content/talk-animals-visual-art

 

 

A Delicate Conversation

November 29, 2011

A Delicate Conversation is a discussion between animal and human on a personal level on the struggles both sides serve by the others presence. The agenda of this body of work is to create a conversation in our minds about the relationships we have with animals and find a compromise for coexistence

Putting it all together:

November 26th was the opening for A Delicate Conversation. I wanted to create an experience for the viewer that would engage them in a personal moment with the pieces. After returning from my trip to Yellowstone, I was thinking a lot about where wild animals and people can coexist together. I am interested most in the conversation alone, since so many people just want them to go away without caring what happens or where they go. We are faced with the reality that we are here and we are expanding and require space, but at the same time they are here as well. I am interested in the conversation of what are the options, but I am not interested in providing those options. While in Wyoming, I heard a lot of the controversies about bison, and wolves, and elk. all dealing with those animals being there. Where I am from, on my side of the country, those animals aren’t here. They have already been pushed out, or other large wild animals have already been pushed out. For most we have already answered the conversation of what do we do about coexistence. We have answered this with, we kill them and take over everything. My work is inspired by the controversies and issues and resolutions. And so I have made a series on a delicate subject,inspiring thought or how wild animals will fit into our suburban homes and human obstructions.

The greater truths I have realized in this body of work is the human need to make animals follow the same rules people live their lives by. I see these forced adaptations thrust upon animals contributing to the loss of wildlife in suburbia.  I am interested in the collision of wildlife and human environment. Where the natural world has become cluttered by human obstruction and wildlife survival depends on the ability to coexist with man’s artificial surrounding.

I find that humans treat their relationship with animals as a power struggle for dominance.  It would appear, by human action such as invasion of territory and annihilation that animals are perceived as a nuisance or threat.  Animals that intimidate people are chased out or eradicated, thus destroying our experience with our natural environment. With the disappearance of the natural world, we are losing something beautiful and delicate because it poses a slight threat. We replace the natural world with what makes us feel safe and comfortable. By treating wild animals as indifferent and “the other”, and only allowing ourselves to interact with the obedient and classifying “good animals” as the most anthropomorphic.

 

A Delicate Conversation is a discussion between animal and human on a personal level on the struggles both sides serve by the others presence. The agenda of this body of work is to create a conversation in our minds about the relationships we have with animals and find a compromise for coexistence.

Technical Problems

November 24, 2011

technical:

With this body of work I have overcome and had to deal with a lot of issues. The ultimate goal for surface treatment was to have the aesthetic of the center buck. I was attempting to use a bare porcelain clay body with ceramic decals. This worked in a few cases. But the clay body itself wasn’t really designed for such large sculptures and had a lot of issues with cracking due to slumping.  A lot of repairs were easy to cover up by adding additional hairs. Then I faced a new problem with luster firings. Pieces that had been fired in reduction then put in an electric kiln for a luster firing suffered a dramatic color change, and revealed scorching that was not visible prior to the luster firing. I am not sure if this was because the clay body was oxidized but that is what I speculate.

The problems with the scorching was not reversible, I tried sandblasting off the markings, but it did nothing to the already vitrified clay, In the end I had to paint a few of the pieces. That had a few surprises that were all that bad. Like the raised surface that was created after spraying a decal with paint. You can see a ghost embossing of the decal on 3 of sculptures. I think the ghostly effect was aesthetically pleasing. The pieces that seemed to work the best were the smaller ones. There was no slumping or cracking, and i was able to work relatively fast.

 

November 14, 2011

This past week was the opening for Ethereal. Here are some images taken from the show. I was working with Jay Whitman to make all collaborative pieces. In retrospect it was an awesome experience to get to work with another artist on creating unified pieces, but also a unified set and installation. originally we had planned on having less of the cloth material in the space, but once it was up there we decided to put a little more. We were afraid that to much would have made the pieces lost. One part of the gallery was more empty to leave space for people to stand. One thing that really bothers me about the spacelab shows is people want to stand outside of the gallery instead of inside. So we tried to leave a space for them inside of the gallery. We used blue lighting to create a soothing atmosphere.  There is a narrative going on with the pieces. The large cage on the table has a woken sheep inside. He has a longing upwards look toward the other sheep, that are fading away into space with their eyes closed. The caged sheep is grounded by the lack of suspension and the form entirely covering him, as where the other sheep are freely suspended in the air not really trapped by there cutout counterparts. We were also trying to create a enviroment tht your mildly interacted with, by crawling into the space. I think that added to the surreal dream like quality of the pieces.

The opening for me and Jay Whitman’s show is this week on Thursday at 6pm. We are making an installation combining both are practices and techniques. Jay has made a closed cage for one of my sculptures to go in. The sculpture inside will be the sheep with his eyes open. Outside of the cage we are suspending more pieces of jays cut out sculptures and sleeping sheep floating away. We will be using blue lights to create a comfortable and relaxing environment. The ground will be covered in cotton, and see through sheets will be suspended as well.

My large animal with the turned head lost his upper body in an accident, but I repaired it and this is the new head and upper body. I also was able to fire my bear this week, he went in and out of the kiln in one piece. I think the hair added a lot of support that helped him from breaking as easily. For the final firings I have decided to do a cone 1 or 2 reduction in the gas kiln. I think this will be gentle enough not to crack my pieces, but high enough to change the color from bisque looking. I will be loading up half of my sculptures on tuesday.

Show

October 31, 2011

This past week I have been working on pieces for the upcoming show Ethereal ( November 7th) featuring collaboration pieces with Jay Whitman. I also had a show at Lavender Hill to spread the word about my upcoming show at the Arts Council. It’s interesting to stand back and let people talk about your work without knowing who the artist is and not knowing that the artist is right behind you. At school, a lot of my work is seen by people who know  who I am and have seen my work before. I was unsure of what people would say about my work, but I mostly heard a lot of good things from the art lovers around Jeffersonville. I heard people talking about how it looked like old Chinese porcelain dishes, which is what I was trying to do.

For the show on November 7h, me and jay have decided to go with this theme of the surreal wit a essence of dream like qualities. We will be using blue lights and cutout shapes over top of the spotlights to create a pleasing enviornment. Our colloboration pieces will consist of a caged woken sheep in the center of the gallery surrounded by suspended sleeping animals and cutout pieces that he makes.

Busy week

October 24, 2011

Within is about a week I have put together 3 large sculptures for my show after some technical difficulties resulting in the loss of another sculpture during the high fire process. I am still debating on whether or not I will reduction fire this body of work. I feel the reduction firing looks the best with this clay body, especially since I am leaving a raw surface. But I am also afraid that the gas kiln may result in more losses, and I don’t know how many more losses I can take at this time. Currently, if all goes well, I will have 6 separate large pieces for my show. I may add in the addition of a few smaller pieces if more problems rise with bad firings. I think this clay body can not handle the large forms I am making with it. It seems to be having structural issues with the weight. In the next firings I am going to try a lot of propping and supporting my pieces while they fire. I hope this corrects the issues I have been having.

I have also started a second beaver that will sit on top of the other one, and the pieces for the Ethereal show on November 7th.

With these 3 new sculptures I have made them with a few changes based off of previous problems. For a start, I put sand underneath the newspaper so they would be able to move as they shrink in the firing and while drying. I am also compressing them more, and have used hollow tubes of the same clay body as internal supports. So far I have had no cracking.

With these 3 new pieces I took into account thy would be sitting on chairs and have made it so that limbs dangle off of the chair. I think this will make them seem more unified with the chair than in previous sculptures. the large sculpture with his head turned has horns that will be attached after the firing. I am doing this because the horns are so large and i am afraid that even if he fit in a kiln, they would slump, as they did in previous sculptures.

Artist statement revised

October 18, 2011

This week after some technical difficulties I had to start 3 new sculptures. Going to be doing some tests on my clay body to decide what I should do about firing my large sculptures.  I will be finishing them up in the nest week. This week I also received my glass straws for my animal cups.

Artist statement revised:

The greater truths I have come to find in my body of work is the human need to make animals follow the same rules people live their lives by, I see these actions result in the loss of wildlife in suburbia.  I am interested in the collision of wildlife and human environment. Where the natural world has become cluttered by human obstruction and wildlife survival depends on the ability to coexist with man’s artificial surrounding.

I find that humans treat their relationship with animals as a power struggle for dominance.  It would appear by human action that animals are perceived as a nuisance or threat.  Animals that intimidate people are chased out or eradicated. I believe that this creates a loss in the human experience with our natural environment. With the disappearance of the natural world, we are losing something beautiful and delicate because it poses a slight threat. We replace the natural world with what makes us feel safe and comfortable. Treating wild animals as indifferent and “the other”, and only allowing ourselves to interact with the obedient and classifying “good animals” as the most anthropomorphic.