Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fame as an Artist!

Fame (album)
Fame (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I got a bit of an atta girl at the Fleisher Art Memorial.  The director of adult programs came down to my class and asked for permission to use  a picture of my cup and for my name to give it credit appropriately.  Someday I am going to tell her my story and what the Fleisher has done for me.

I am utterly amazed that anyone would ever give me any recognition whatsoever in the artistic realm!   Whoot!  I am the kid with the incredibly screwed up piece in art classes.  Can't get the work done on time.  Can't realize the piece.  Start with an overly complicated and overly ambitious idea and add some half-baked compensations to the mix that further screw things up and watch me fall off track.  That's me!  Gotta own it!

English: Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial on NR...
English: Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial on NRHP since November 14, 1982. At 711–721 Catharine Street in Bella Vista neighborhood of south Philadelphia, PA. Looks like a combination art school and museum. 3 very different buildings are joined together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I can only hope that the Fleisher got their picture before I applied my underglaze.  The cup was a really cool cup without the glaze.   I had made a basic cylinder for the cup and then started applying some cool texture to make mountains.  I pushed a pin in the cup itself to make a sun.  I had found a mold for mustaches and used those mustaches for curlicues to represent waves in the ocean.

I am not sure I painted my pot the way I really wanted it to come out.  I hurried a bit because I wanted at least one thing to get fired.  I know I can fix it up a bit afterwards but we shall see if I can make the cup to be what I wanted it to be.  I really wish I had taken a picture of the cup unglazed.  Oh well.  Don't panic.  Wait and see what happens when the cup is fired.

I have started to troll the internet and look at some of Turner's paintings of sunsets and seascapes.  Turner is wonderful with light and I wonder how much of that I can use on my cup.  My sun, sky and waves are really not where I want it to be. I know I can apply underglaze and colored glaze  after firing so we shall see.

I'd really like to try the wheel but I am spending all my time on hand thrown pieces.  I am going to try to come early and make a piece on the wheel before the class ends.  I'd really like to know if I can do this.  I still have to finish my plate with African motifs.  While I was waiting for my clay to get to the leather hard stage for the cup, I have been working on my plate.  I have a piece of an African sculpture that I am copying as a face/mask to put in my plate.  Will keep my Gentle Readers posted on my progress with my plate.

English: Took this photo of Samuel Phillips Ha...
English: Took this photo of Samuel Phillips Hall at Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, MA in August of 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 The sad thing about my past is that I did ceramics for a trimester in high school at Phillips Academy.  It was a good way to avoid taking gym classes, which I hated at the time.  However, I didn't get too far.  I couldn't plan a project at all.  My motor skills and visual skills were sooo crappy that I really couldn't manipulate clay.  Despite showing up three times a week for 10 weeks, I never created a centered pot on the wheel.  The crying shame of it all is that the instructor taught/or had exhibitions at Bennington, a really good school for ceramics.  I just really could not take advantage of her expertise.

Also, I am pondering ceramics in the light of my disabilities.  I think it plays into things nicely.  After the therapy, I have done, I can work in a non-directed ceramics class where you go at your own pace.  Ceramics is also done in a Zen-like environment.  It's quiet. People tend not to talk to much. Low Lighted.  The studio is relatively organized.  Complete opposite from glass class.  Cheerful, chatty people.  Bright Lights.  Lots of bright colors with the glass.  Unorganized studio with lots of little pieces to keep track of.  The instructor doesn't know how much this weighs on me.  I can't find the little cups to mix the glass paint in.  Don't always know where the sample glass chips are so that I can correlate the grit with what the glass will look like after firing.  Multi steps for casting the plaster mold.  Don't always know where the clay tools or paint brushes are, etc.  I enjoy the glass class but I am very stressed.

One interesting thing is that ceramics plays into the one sense that is hyper-acute, and that is touch.  Of the three primitive senses:  touch, smell and taste, Touch is very sensitive for me.  Smell is not so good and  taste is a bit better but still limited because of its relationship to touch.   I do like arranging things by touch and I do so love texture-- so maybe,  I will play with that.   I am also looking at some websites about teaching ceramics to the blind-- I am not blind; but I do have vision issues.  So I will look into the sorts of things that are easier for folks with not so much sight.  I am already pondering using unglazed pottery, or just dipping my work into slip.  I think the same problems with vision that I have in terms of wiping a counter top clean are going to be issues with painting a pot correctly.  Eye tracking and eye teaming are not letting my eyes sweep over the surface accurately, so I have a feeling I will tend to miss spots while painting a pot, just as I miss spots while wiping a counter.   Maybe I will be doing more blackwork like the Southwestern Indian pottery or redwork using patterns from the Japanese Kamakura bori lacquer work.  You know, play to your strengths and minimize your weakness, for once!

The hand-eye coordinations and planning issues are not so bad as they were in high school.  So that's a relief.

I do find it a bit amazing that I am doing well in a three dimensional art.  I don't have binocular vision and I can't see in three dimensions, so I am amazed that I am creating a cup at all!  And I am creating a cup with three dimensional elements to it!

I am just amazed that anyone would enjoy something I made!

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