Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Minoan Pottery

Pottery is a craft that is practiced and is further explored in every culture. The knowledge of pottery is a sign of organization. This process encapsulates the intention of making improvements and involvement of culture. Making pottery involves experimental encounters with ways to engineer techniques into elaborate forms. There is a structure that is always constant in the organized method of transforming clay. Even when uses are different for regions that practice pottery, the objects are made out of clay; these objects capture an essence of culture and knowledge that is being practiced in the process of creating. Objects express an individuals’ perspective, demonstrate methods, teachings, and a perspective of life. Pottery can be described as a process with a variety of methods. An interesting quality about pottery is that it is a process that puts clay through a constant change in the presence of a man that is going through change as a well. The beginning of Functional pottery and modern day pottery mysteriously has survived the generations of change in the lives of man. Pottery has expanded in knowledge but has managed to remain in the same content of purpose for mankind. Pottery in different cultures, locations, and eras has affected current and future generations. For example, the Japanese had a philosophy of learning from other cultures and transforming what already existed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wake Up

Yesterday there was a giant snapping turtle behind work where I take my hourly smoke breaks. Being from Washington state I had never actually seen one of these amazing creatures. I pulled a stick from the mud and wiggled it in front of his giant head and he (or she) responded by snapping his beak tightly around the stick; releasing only after I was able to pull the weight of his body to the surface of the water.

I spent the rest of the day pondering the battles that would ensue between a giant turtle and various other creatures if they were both the size of buildings - like Godzilla, and decided to name the turtle Gamera. As I closed my eyes to sleep - while frantically pondering the nature of the universe and the weight of the obligations that come to term at the end of a semester - I remembered that things are not as heavy as they seem and fell into a dream.

It’s night in the city. The falling rain coats the darkness with a sheen as yellow lights of distant hotel room windows reveal the shady behavior of shadow puppets behind them. I move quickly down an alley and past a car dealership. There are two giant inflatable monsters standing atop the building, swaying left and right in the wind as though they are walking in slow motion toward me. King Kong is holding a sign that says “SALE!” upside down and backwards. Godzilla just stands, watching, wearing a pink brassier. She is a novelty, a rather large one but I imagine her gaze traveling through me with such energy that my bones begin to glow. I hear footsteps running up from behind me at an intensifying pace; it is too much for me to stand in her gaze so I run back to the alley. The footsteps that I’m running from disappear beneath the wake of my own. Just as my stride ceases, my pursuers do as well. I stand in the dark of a locked doorway, trying to catch my breath. It is silent, save my beating heart. I see a movement in the shadows directly across the alley. From behind a dumpster, a hand lifts a chunk of metal the size of my head until it is pointed at the only part of my body still capable of making sound. I am silent and motionless for what seems an eternity. The barrel blows a couple of kisses my way, I fall face first into a puddle, and blow two bubbles. My body fades away and in its place is an outline of chalk. The world around it seems to shrink but the outline remains constant until it swallows the world, the universe, infinity.

Monday, April 13, 2009


The Japanese have always been particular when it comes to detail. Even when wrapping a gift - something that may be menial even - every detail is brought into consideration. I am learning about many different styles of Japanese wrapping this semester, one specifically which is called furoshiki seems to be the most versatile. The base of every wrapping is a single, square piece of fabric. There are many different folds and knots that can get one varying results for each type of thing they are packaging. Bottles, books, watermelon, etc all have a unique way to be wrapped. 
The best part is that not only is the item within a gift, but the wrapper as well. It can be obviously reused for a plethora of things - headscarves, bags, or just a simple splash of colour in a room. Furoshiki is becoming a big hit lately for being a personal eco-friendly way to carry any item. Paper gift wrapping just gets crumpled and thrown away, and plastic bags are seen as a plague now. 
In Japanese culture the wrapping can be very very particular. When taking an item to be wrapped you would tell the person a few things about your relationship to the person recieving it: for example, if they are older, of a high stature, related to you or not, etc. Each of these things would be taken into thought, and the gift would be wrapped accordingly so as to not offend the recipient, but compliment adn respect them. When I mention this to someone, I usually get a response of "gee - that seems like they are going to far too much trouble to wrap a gift." The thing though is that like the tea ceremony, it is an art that most westerners cannot understand(except in the name of eco-friendliness). For the Japanese though, this is another form of art in adn of itself. To make everything in life beautiful and have deep meaning. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Musings on an Internship

New work

Studio space

A drawing for her personal lithophane work, cups thrown

Jewelry waiting to be sold

Cara Long is a local artist who graduated a few years ago from the ceramics department at KCAI. She makes her own personal work as well as ceramic jewelry. Her business, Sweet Mud Clay Works, brings her technical knowledge, personal aesthetic, and ambition together to create translucent porcelain earrings and necklaces. 
This semester I have had the pleasure of being Cara's intern and have benefited from receiving the knowledge she has gained from her work. I have so far helped to make new jewelry, research and seek new places to sell her jewelry, followed her to where her work is already being sold, and been introduced to the people with whom she works. She also has shown me her blog, documentation, catalogues, cover letters, post cards, business cards, etc., and shown me how she has created them. All in all, I feel that this internship has definitely been beneficial if I decide to pursue this path after graduating. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

mmmm slippery

Little inspiration for more texture! Holy Jesus I love it! These pieces were made by Erika Monique. The layers upon layers of coils are very pleasing to my eyes. I just wanna touch the work! And not only is it wonderfully textured!! It's also Paper clay!! mmmm I like. But what i do not like is her use of glazes. Not so pleasing in combination with the texture.