Tag: art

“The Lost Art of Celadon” – Creating the Sculpture

“The Lost Art of Celadon” – Creating the Sculpture

For those that follow my Hobby Potter video journal or through Facebook & Instagram, you’ll remember my excitement about creating a sculpture piece for the “Pacific Currents” exhibition at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock, CA. This juried show will be presented in conjunction with the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection of Japanese Ceramics from October 18,2017 -January 21, 2018.  The final date for submission is tomorrow, and at the time of this blog the submissions have not been juried (so I don’t know if it’s even been accepted). My piece, “The Lost Art of Celadon – From Goryeo to Joseon”

Developing My Concept:

It would have been easy enough to just throw a tea bowl on the wheel and call it a day, but I really wanted to use this experience to “grow me” as an artist. This could only be done by creating a sculpture (and grow me it did!). Because I really wanted to explore the “perfectly imperfect”, I first went to what was “perfect” in historical Korean Celadon Pottery. No denying their development of celadon during the Goryeo Dynasty (913-1392) was the most notable ceramic related achievement. So this was something I wanted to incorporate into the sculpture. After doing some study on the history of celadon, I found that the art of creating the fine celadon pieces became a dying art at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

 

Park Bo Gum playing a prince of Joseon

The Form – A “Gat”
I also wanted the sculpture to be unique, which means moving away from standards such as vases and other functional forms. Confession time,  I’m a closet K-drama watcher (South Korean dramas), the historical variety being some of my favorites! Their dramas host a beautiful variety of ceramics, but the form that caught my eye was actually the “Gat”, which is a hat worn during the Joseon Dynasty.  This was usually worn by middle class or married men to show their status (alternatively in K-drama’s the “disguised king”usually leaves his palace in one of these “gats” to roam freely among his people 😉

 

The Imagery – Irworobongdo

The inspiration for the designs came from the artwork found in the “Irworobongdo” . This is a six panel screen that sets behind the kings throne, showing 5 peaks and the representations of the King (sun) and Queen (moon). If I could bring this element into my piece, it would be perfect for pulling together the whole concept of the lost art of celadon and the changing of the two dynasties.

The Symbolic Plan:  To cover the (Joseon) “gat” with a smooth coat of (Goryeo) celadon, using the imagery of the Irworobongdo (to represent the changing of the two dynasties). Antique it with India ink and draw attention to the small cracks that usually develop in the celadon.

 

Here is the “Making of” Video

 

Journal Notes on Making the Sculpture & The Take Away

This was a personal growth journey for me, in technique and also in dealing with the elements.

The most enjoyable? 
Creating the Irworobongdo imagery! I did it all in one sitting …and could have sat there for hours creating that landscape, it was so relaxing.

Biggest concern I didn’t need to worry about?
Cracking. It was challenging keeping everything drying slowly in 107-110 degree weather to avoid issues (we wanted no cracking, warping or detachment)!  No matter how much I reassured myself I did all the steps properly, I kept worrying it would crack while drying, or bisque firing, or glaze firing. End result …100% passed without a single crack!

Biggest mishap? The celadon.  I should have known better, the True Celadon is the most unstable, finicky glaze I own (Amaco realized this and has since created a more user friendly version of celadon). The final kiln result (at first) was very disheartening. The glaze came out blotchy and dripping…not what I was hoping for. Since I was planning to use the India ink on the cracks, I decided to apply it more liberally on the lighter portions of the piece to antique those areas and make it look aged.

The biggest mishap was the biggest blessing! Since the main concept of the piece was to show the lost art of celadon, with the relationship of this loss and the two dynasties, it seemed more appropriate for the celadon NOT to be perfect! It’s imperfections became it’s biggest voice, and the defining, most obvious part of the piece. The art of celadon was LOST…and on this piece it really shows!

When all is said and done, I ADORE this sculpture! It started out as a fun project and became so much more. I didn’t write all the perspectives I pondered while creating this piece, but I hope that people can look at it from their own perspective. Whether this sculpture gets accepted or not has really become irrelevant. It’s now a landmark in my journey in clay, with many lessons learned…and with that…until next time!

Thanks for being here & God Bless!

Tammy Jo 

 

 

A Paradigm Shift! – A New Direction!

Paradigm Shift“A fundamental change in approach or underlying assumption”

I’ve spent the last 2 days trying to create a blog post to share the BIG changes I’ll be venturing into with my ceramic art journey! Pages upon pages were filled with excited chatter describing how it all came to together, why I’m making the changes and also how special this move is going to be for me. Definitely more information than you’d want to read (ha, ha)! So here is my final attempt at stripping it all down (still pretty lengthy) to give you the gist of this artistic renovation.

“You are under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago!”
~ Unknown

Over the past year I’ve taken on clay projects that were substantially more personal and meaningful to me (such as my daughter’s wedding, and a mini-luminary series called “Brokenly Beautiful”). Not necessarily grand in scale for “publicity exposure”, but most definitely pivotal to me in terms of expressive pieces that touched my heart, and the hearts of others.

These experiences helped me discover that in order for my continued clay journey to remain personally fulfilling, I needed to be creating both art and functional pieces which resonated deeper emotional purpose. Something a little more closely in line with my value system. It had to feel important!

A while back my daughter asked me to take the Myers & Briggs personality styles test online. We both laughed  when we discovered how accurate it pegged me! I am what they call an ENFP personality,  Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving. Why is this significant and why bring it up now? Because it brought home how closely my “purpose” was triggering me to make changes I’d been contemplating to keep my creative spirit alive!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”        –Maya Angelou

I started asking myself, “What if I could create something that would touch another person’s heart? Could I help them heal a hurt, find confidence, feel encouraged or just give someone a laugh to start their day?” These thoughts kept flooding my mind and would give me a jolt of adrenaline, then at the same time an incredible feeling of peace. These questions also produced so many creative ideas my journal is exploding! Whether through my own words or through a piece of pottery, sharing these concepts in my art feels like my paradigm shift .  So here it is!

Coming March 1, 2017 
“Every Day Pottery with an Extraordinary Message”

EXPRESSives TM is an inspirational line of handmade ceramics combined with uplifting messages of strength, truth and healing! Through the use of everyday pottery, these themes of hope give you daily “brain food”…in a 3D way!

“Your life is an expression of what you think and what you believe”!

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ex.pressive
  1.  to express emotion through words or actions


EXPRESSives
 , will be my new handmade product line of functional-ware that will be “wrapped in words” expressing positive, uplifting emotional messages. Inspired by the gratitude cup (#365) from the “365 Days of Clay Cups” project, each piece will be unique and different, in form and color, but cohesive in the style of “Perfectly Imperfect”. I’ll be sharing the inspiration behind each themed work and hopefully be able to share a bit of my heart in each piece!

Be expecting to see progress and changes near the end of February and the listing of the initial releases in my store on March 1st! I’ll keep y’all updated throughout the month of February with progress updates on social media with an updated video!

A little nervous with excitement …but always in a good way!

Warm Blessings to All!

~ Tammy Jo

 

2016 Hobby Potter Weekly – Ep. 1 – Hump Molds – Soul Bowls & Gallery “Attempts”

2016 Hobby Potter Weekly – Ep. 1 – Hump Molds – Soul Bowls & Gallery “Attempts”

Hobby Potter Weekly is back! For the remainder of this year (until December 3rd) I’ll be sharing my weekly thoughts, activities and learning experiences in the studio! Blog posts will include a little more insight to my studio meanderings and also serve as a nice printed retrospect.

This weeks video:

….an over view and extra thoughts…

Making a bisque hump mold from a Ceramic Arts Daily video by Kari Radasch

An exciting side view of making a hump mold from a slab of clay!

 I have been avoiding making these hump molds from plaster for a couple years now. Once I saw the video on Youtube I HAD to give it a try and make my own.

Just when I was beginning to doubt purchasing these large plastic tubes at a yard sale, it really came in handy for this project. Kari uses buckets to make her molds (which I will probably do in the future for larger molds). This hollow tube allowed me to open up the bottom of the tube to allow air from both the top and the bottom. This helped with even drying. Super excited this worked out so well!

Creating “Soul Bowls” – A Texture from Israel! 

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 Words can build, encourage, uplift, inspire or remind us…I wanted to make pretty bowls with inspiring reminders with words that are good for the “soul”!

My beautiful friend Anya and her husband made the trip of a lifetime to Israel! As they traveled to significant landmarks,  she would pick up a piece or wood or rock or seed pod if they had amazing textures. When she returned, she unfolded wonderful stories as she presented me with each special treasure. The texture I chose for these “Soul Bowls” was a conifer seed pod, found in the Garden Tomb area of Jerusalem. These are still in the trial stages as far as finished forms, but are simple and pleasing. I want to fine tune these a little more to see if I can make them a part of my new Amazon Handmade shopping area… (excited to have just received the approval notification a couple days)!

Soul Bowls

Carnegie Art Center – Donation & Art Gallery Submission
(Somethings just do go as planned!)

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Trying something new is one of my favorite things to do in the studio. So when I request that the Carnegie Art Center was have a Children’s Literature event to celebrate their 100 Year Anniversary, I was thrilled to donate a piece! They were also having a call to artists for submission for the gallery itself so I thought I’d give it a go! So I picked a couple of books I liked when I was little … “A Fish Out of Water” was a favorite I can still hear my father reading to me and Dr. Seuss and I are like kindred spirits!!  “Rainbow Fish”, which is a more recent favorite, is an inspiring story or sharing and beautiful imagery.

So I set out to create wall pieces representative of these books in such a way that others would “know the book by the look”. Long story short I found I’m not a duplicator! It was more tedious than enjoyable to try and duplicate an already established image. Lesson learned …spontaneous inspirations from ideas is more my speed. So these little fishy’s are not on going to be submitted to the gallery, but I will be donating my piece, “In Dr. Seuss’s Kitchen” which was something I made last month (before I knew about this event). They will auction it off at the event and hopefully raise some money for the gallery 😀

Dr. Seuss Ceramic Art
“In Dr. Seuss’s Kitchen”

Well that is it for this weeks Hobby Potter Weekly! Come back to see me next week!

Enjoy the Clay!

Tammy Jo




Artists – Music – Wine – Food – Lucca Winery Summer Concert Series Event

Artists – Music – Wine – Food – Lucca Winery Summer Concert Series Event

I recently had the privilege of being apart of a 6 artist team pulled together by Nicole Slater, (a fine artist friend). We were asked to show our work at a winery concert held in Ripon, CA. Lucca Winery hosts a Summer Concert Series featuring music, food and wine tasting once a month and we were to bring our art!

Throughout the month of May, I really enjoyed working in a strictly “artistic” sense, where my mind wasn’t bouncing back and forth (as it usually does) from “functional to artistic”.  I took video snippets along the way and was surprised by how much footage I accumulated. Here is the edited down version of my adventure preparing for this event!

Needless to say that from start to finish it was an enjoyable experience, even with the two pieces cracking! I learned valuable lessons from it so here is what I got!

The Cracked “Wine Glass Wall Hanging” : 
20160611_023229.pngThis was my first real attempt working with a flat slab of this size and hoping it would remain FLAT! It’s a little more tricky than it seemed. It started warping during the initial drying phase, so I’m researching the different ways to adjust drying so I can achieve this in the future. It somewhat fixed itself during the bisque and the clay sagged, but I made a huge error during the final cone 6 firing stage! My goal was to prop it from underneath in three places where it might try to sag (top, middle and bottom.) This should have compensated for the other parts that NEEDED to sag so it would again look flat. The challenge? I got busy and accidentally left out a prop! So in the firing is sagged so much in that unsupported spot it cracked.

The Big Red Bowl!
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This bowl was made by using a form and then pounded pounding random thicknesses of coils to create the shape and interior texture. The outside texture was made from a rock my husband brought back from one of his business trips to Jordan (so I call this big boy the “Red Jordan”!)  The crack, I feel, may have happened due to uneven drying. The weather here in Modesto, CA went from cool to 100 degrees in the matter of two days, I left it uncovered on the day and think it just dried too quickly.

Chalkboard Wine Charms

Ceramic Wine Glass Charms

You know when you have a great idea it just triggers another and then another? Here’s how it went as I talked to myself:
“I sure love my chalkboard walls, it would be great to make something in ceramic with that kind of surface.”
“I know…black underglaze and a liquid chalk pen”
“Hmm, complimentary wine glasses, lots of wine, losing glasses…let’s put their name on them!”

These “Chalkboard Wine Glass Charms” were really a big hit at the event! After drinking enough wine, I figured some people may not remember where they down their glasses! A color, a shape or their name…any one of these could be remembered and connect someone up with their wayward wine glass (lol)!

A special thank you to Lucca Winery & John Griswold, Jesse Christian Hendricks (Spanish Guitar Musician) and East Bay Soul – (Greg Adam’s – Tower of Power).

Loved the interaction with “wine tasting music enthusiasts…who also appreciated art!” …I could do another venue like this…it was really fun! ~ Tammy Jo

 

Art Pieces for Stanislaus Family Justice Center

Art Pieces for Stanislaus Family Justice Center

175071_424301417632175_1095707403_oFor the last 4 years I’ve participated in a wonderful fundraising event with the Stanislaus Family Justice Center. This organization helps children and families living in crisis situations by providing counseling and resources. To help the children heal, they have a program called “Art Restores Kids”, where they help them use art to express themselves.

Each year they gather local artists to select from the artwork through this program for inspiration and to create a donated piece to their annual
“Art of Justice Celebration & Fundraiser” event.
This years event will be held on March 23, 2016, 5:30-8:30

Here is a link to the event specifics

My daughter Becca (also an artist), and I went to the January Artist Choosing Night where we selected our inspiration pieces!

This year I chose 2 pieces! Before I share the before and afters I wanted to preface it with some “behind the scenes” insight in my studio that affected the outcome!

Time, Weather & Challenges! These factors made creating new pieces difficult and I must say, and still feel, that everything turned out as it should have. At the end of this blog I’ll share “what should have been”!

THE ARTWORK!

Workshop: Shadow/Dark Bright/Good
The purpose of this workshop is to help children understand that even dark moments can turn into something more beautiful.

Inspiration Artist: Francisco Age 10
“White is for Calm and Black is For Sadness”  
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“Color In The Shadows”
Approx size: 21″ x 4″

Contrasts! Dark and bright, shadows and light…without one there is no other! Sometimes the most challenging, shadowy, moments in our lives are springboards to fully appreciating, the bright and brilliant moments that’s come our way.

I selected Francisco’s artwork without hesitation! My mind kept flashing back to a piece I had already created a few months prior, but thought I needed to design a new one specific for this event. As I began making the new piece I experienced one disaster after another, then to finally discover it cracked in the kiln. Being that it was too late to start again, I joyfully brought the original piece I had in mind from the beginning!  

The young artists happy white and dark snowman along with the brilliant colors added in his hat and scarf, are exactly the contrasting elements that were used in my piece!  The black valleys and white raised areas signifying those times in life we move in and out of the “shadowy places”. Without these texturing moments to life (and in this piece),the colorful leaves and chrome surfaces would not shine as bright. It’s a happy piece combining dark, light and beautiful brightness!

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Workshop: Feelings Faces
This workshop allows children to learn about feelings identify them and express them as art.

Inspiration Artist: Khalia – Age 10
“I named My Feeling Face “Jiggles”. Get your Jiggles On.”

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“Get Your Jiggles On!”
 Approximate size: 5″ x 6″

“Our face” is not necessarily the expression on our physical face, but the outward projection of our inner self through certain actions. Khalia’s “Jiggles” monster is in motion, it’s moving. To me I felt it describes what you feel like when you are blissfully happy as you can see her little creature is experiencing.

This bowl is a whimsical word expression of inner feelings and actions. By engaging in these character traits, moments or experiences, we can develop our own personal “jiggly face”. Once you have it, you can’t help by take action and share it with others. So “Get Your Jiggles On!” 

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THE ONES THAT DIDN’T MAKE IT! 

Maybe it’s because I’ve been away from the studio too long and didn’t have my head straight, but the creation of pieces for this project didn’t go as planned. In fact, the pieces that were actual made specific to this project didn’t even make it to the show. Here’s what happened.

Time: A full schedule (along with indecisiveness on the direction I wanted to take with each piece) had me starting 3 weeks before the deadline. It should have been enough time, but there was a little thing called….

Weather: Once I finally got started it was cold, rainy and in a studio with no insulation, it created some….

Challenges: I’m giggling as I think of it now, but the bisque fire had me right in a place where I would finish the morning of the deadline! BUT… the earthenware piece received a hairline crack …so that made it dead in the water. Luckily I had a piece already in mind for a replacement! Since I wanted to see the end result I fired it to completion. The hairline crack grew and cracked all the way through. It turned out great (to me) but unusable!

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The second challenge happened when I realized I made the pieces of two different clay types . Earthenware (cone 04) and Stoneware (cone 6) could not be not be glaze fired at the same temperatures. With only one day to go and time NOT on my side, I glazed the stoneware bowl with all the “jiggles” and “wiggles”…but was unable to fire it in time.

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With alternations made on two other pieces already completed, I was able to submit something for the show, but not without a little disappointment that the original concepts would not be represented.

Lesson Learned: BE PREPARED & START EARLY…you just never know what can happen!

What are you doing, writing a book?

What are you doing, writing a book?

As a matter of fact…YES! The last time I worked inside my studio was November 9th 2015, but my mind has been on clay and more specifically “cups” ever since!

One of my 50th birthday goals was to put the 365 Day Cup project into a printed book…for posterity sake.  If I’m honest,  I’ve been putting it off for a long time. Since it’s now been 5 years it just seemed like an appropriate time to revisit the journey.

I went back and took all my original journal notes with 700+ photos, supporting people and resources, and yes, I even scanned through every single video! 300 pages and 4 months later, I finally finished the book! It was a long, but lovely, process reliving the roller coaster ride of events with so many life lessons I’ve retained from that experience!

February 16, 2016 it was released to Amazon.com…
My first pottery book!!

“365 Days of Clay Cups, A Cup – A Day – A Year”
A Hobby Potters “Excellent Adventure”
Learning the Art of Pottery”

365 cups book cover JPG
365cover 2-2-2016

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Do real authors ever feel like this?

I’ll tell it to you straight!  You’ll probably laugh at me for this, but just go with me for a second! I’m excited it’s finally complete, but the other part of me isn’t.

The book has only been available online for 2 days, which means no one but me has read it yet (except the couple people looking it over). The simple fact that someone will actually be reading it has me all wound up! It’s like someone finding my diary and reading it to the class! What if I’m the only one that loves it? What if people think it’s ridiculous and a waste of money?  What if there are still typos for goodness sake? I honestly feel like George McFly from the movie Back to the Future…“I don’t think I can take that kind of rejection” LOL!  I know I can’t change my mind and just delete it (like a video) if I decide later to keep these memories to myself. Once it’s printed, it’s permanent, there’s no going back…it’s a done deal! Breathe Tammy Jo, b r e a t h e … you just need to get out there and get back to your clay work!  AND AWAY I GO!

What’s Next?

Photo_2015-03-13_11-21-46_AMThe Stanislaus Family Justice Centers annual “Art of Justice” event to benefit children that have been through crisis. I’ve selected 2 children’s art pieces this year. This is one of my favorite events as I love seeing what local artists create using the recovering children’s art and words as inspiration.

 

365 Cups…in 1 month! For the 5 year anniversary of the project I thought 365 was an appropriate number! I’ve never done consecutive throwing (for fear of boredom setting in). To do this wheel throwing thing like a proper potter, I should do this repetitive throwing thing at least once in my life! There is also another reason….my beautiful daughter Bethany is getting married in October and I need to create 160 “like” cups for her wedding! I’ve never done more than 3 that match, so this should be a true adventure!

10007541_10203324950661889_5699788003374643145_n – Stanislaus Artist Open Studio Tour – April 23-24th! – Last 2 years I’ve so much enjoyed this event! People actually come to my studio where I give them a little tour and we talk about clay. Last year I had every visitor make a ceramic name plate and created a wall piece from them. Turned out great!

 

 March / April issue of Stanislaus Magazine – The fun photo’s I took back in November are going to be in a magazine! Sitting in the doctors office the other day I noticed this month’s issue sitting next to me. So next months visit is going to be so weird LOL!

– Looking for some exciting events to enter pieces in…something new and exciting, something to strive for I think.

Keep life fun I say!

Bless you all until next time! ~ Tammy Jo

signature (no hobbypotter) square 72pi