Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lynne in Studio-Making a Press Mold-New Design

In addition to loving making vases & pottery with clay, I also love to sculpt in clay. I've made alot of relief sculptures over the years.....they take time....I usually work on them for a period of 2-3 days before I'm satisfied with the end product.
Once happy with it, I pour plaster over it, allow it to set up and, when the mold is mature, I then have an image I can press wet clay into and utilize on whatever clay form seems to call for it.
This particular design is completed within an oval shape and I intend to use it on a large lamp base which will be raku fired.
It'll take a bit of time to see if the whole concept will be successful or not as it is a rather large addition for attaching, but I'm excited about it!
Will blog about its progress as time moves along. Finished lamp base w/new design should be complete in a couple of weeks.
You can see images of the mold making process by clicking on the following link. If you like the content of my Facebook Fan page, I invite you to become a "Fan" by clicking on the Fan button there!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Featured on Front Page of ETSY!

Excited to have been featured on the Front Page of Etsy! Here's what the whole listing looked like.

Monday, November 30, 2009

'tis the Season!

Here are examples of NEW functional pieces I've been working on! Click here to go to my ETSY shop! http://shekinahclaypottery.etsy.com/

Buy Handmade

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nicolysan Art Museum Show & Sale-Casper, WY

Raku Ceramic Art-Shekinah Clay-Booth Shot

I've just returned from showing at the Nicolysan Art Museum Show & Sale in Casper, WY. Was a beautiful show......wonderful art and a great location at the Museum. Was happy to be a part of it!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

One of My New Designs

I'm excited!

I've specialized in the raku firing process for many years now, and lately I'm finding myself wanting to return to some fun functional ceramic pieces.

So......I'm working with a mid-fire red speckled clay and this piece I'm showing here is a work in progress. It's still damp and has just had its handle added and the FROG. I originally hand sculpted the frog then made a plaster mold of him so I could duplicate him on multiple pieces.

Anyhow, when the mug is dry, I'll bisque fire it, then glaze it and run it through its final glaze firing.

I'll post another pic when it has its pretty final coat!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Indian Summer in Western Colorado

Golden yellow trees simply ablaze with their autumn coats grace our front yard view. The bank of trees will soon drop their leaves and will reveal a peek-a-boo view of mountains just beyond.
Indian Summer......cool/cold nights and toasty warm days.....one of my favorite times of the year. It's the harbinger of longer nights, snowy days, holiday joy, chicken soup and homemade bread. As the years pass by, the more I seem to appreciate life's small but immensely huge treasures......golden leaves, a nip in the early morning air & brilliant sunshine ushering out the last days of summer........Indian Summer in all its glory.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Post Move to Paonia, CO

Summer was a blurr of activity as our home in Montrose did indeed sell and we made Paonia, CO our permanent home the first part of July. Four days following our move, we began traveling to a series of Art Shows including Frisco, CO, Vail, CO, Jackson, WY, Ketchum, ID & Palisade, CO so life has been extra busy and we're still unpacking boxes!

Paonia is a little slice of heaven for us (there's a pic earlier in my blog of the re-model we've worked on since last January). It's a small town (no stop lights!) with such wonderful charm! There are older Victorian houses in the main part of town where the trees arch up over the road & create the most lovely, inviting picture. Truly, it appears like old town America in every respect. There are a number of artists in this area so it feels like such a great fit for me.

My new studio is up and functioning so I'm back in production again. It was wonderful to build a new space where I could correct some of the things that did not work so well in my last studio. Of particular value to me is an indoor glazing booth AND the convenience of having my firing facility directly attached to my studio. What this means for me is that inclement weather will NOT affect my studio work any longer!! A huge PLUS......

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wonder-Full items in Clay!

ETSY is a terrific online sales site and they offer a feature called "Treasuries" that any member can contribute. A Treasury highlights the work of 12 different artists and I find that composing one is a delightful endeavor of its own!

I created one composed of items by different artists......all of whom work in clay. I always marvel at the unique approach each takes with their work! It's fun to view and I welcome you to take a peek! It will only be "up" for three days.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Words of the Wise

"Consider every path carefully testing it in whichever way you feel necessary, then ask yourself, but only yourself, one question: 'Does this path have a heart?' The path that has heart will uplift you, ease your burden and bring you joy. The path with no heart will make you stumble, it will break your spirit, and finally cause you to look upon your life with anger and bitterness."

~Carlos Castaneda

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Signature Piece

Of all I do in clay, this particular form is the one I consider my "signature piece". It is completely hand built using slab construction & if you watch my slide show for a moment, you'll see a pic of me working on one in my home studio. In addition to it's inherent beauty, I do hold a visual artist's copyright on this form because of it's unique nature.

There are many steps involved in the creation of this form I call a "sculpture vessel" (though my pet name for it is a "swoopie"!). First, a fairly large amount of clay is made into a consistent width slab using my slab roller equipment then it is placed in a form I made to "slump" the clay into a generalized domed form. From there, when it is just the right amount of hardness, I cut it apart, then reassemble it using a scoring and slip technique. Much time is spent refining edges. Each one of these forms I make are one of a kind, tho they are similar in overall shape.

I enjoy making them because I love the rhythmic beauty that results in each one's defining edges. In some cases, the sculpture vessel is completed with only a colorful palette of glazes, allowing the sculpture itself to take dominance. With others, I use the sculpture as a "blank canvas" to hold an image I find beautiful and compelling. The vessel pictured here is embellished by the stylized galloping horse which I originally drew. In addition, it holds a copper wire spiral, a turquoise colored metal feather and a variety of fibers which I felt complimented the form. I love working with mixed media.....putting things together in ways that are uniquely my own is a great deal of fun for this artist!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Whoa Horse Art Team

Sometimes in life, the unexpected presents itself and adds such a richness to my quality of life! Such is the case when I was invited to join the "Whoa Horse Art Team"! I hadn't known of their existence and was just delighted to have been invited to join up (which I immediately DID).

This is a group of people who love horses and produce equine art utilizing various art media. People who love horses seem to have a huge commonality coursing through their veins and, for me, it's a feeling of "coming home" to meet and converse with others who share this.

I was BORN loving horses. I didn't learn it from my parents or siblings, for they didn't have "it" (a love of/for horses). I only know that from the earliest time I can remember, the mere sight of either a REAL horse or even the IMAGE of a horse was enough to raise the hairs on my arms & make me tingle all over! I've been fortunate to have owned and trained a few of my own over the pathway of my life and, while I don't currently have a horse, I certainly pay hommage to their regal beauty via my ceramic artwork, as do other members of "Whoa Team" in their chosen art media.

So, thank you "Whoa Horse Art Team"....I'm so glad to be aboard with you all and will take great pleasure getting to know each one of you. If you'd like more information about the Team, follow this link!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Location of New Home & Studio

Here's what we're working on... very near (just outside city limits of) the small community of Paonia, CO. We're re-modeling the modular and the new construction is the shell of what will become my new studio & firing facility. It's very exciting and it's also keeping us very busy!
Just the other side of the tall trees across the street is a river, so there's nothing but nature to see from the front yard! The new studio will be terrific because it is directly attached to where I will do final firings. There is a gravel driveway just to the left of the studio where we can loan/unload work to be taken to Art Shows. This is officially the "BEFORE" picture and sometime later I'll post a pic of the completed renovations.....maybe this summer!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Big Changes Soon....

Our present home goes on the market soon for sale! We've lived here for about 10 years, so this will be a big change for us. Our new location in Paonia, CO will be preparation for retirement so, we are down-sizing and also looking forward to a down-sized lifestyle!

Normally, this time of year sees us participating in out of state Art Shows, but our time is spent now readying our current home for the market PLUS readying our new location. I am having a new ceramics studio built there and it is due for completion in about three weeks.

This is the beginning of a website I've built to aid in advertising our home for sale....take a look at the preview!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Poised on the threshold.....

.....of a triumphant moment in the history of our country. Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I remember.....

....I remember being a teenager growing up in Dallas, TX & riding the bus to the downtown library when blacks sat in the rear of the bus. I remember that blacks could not use the same restrooms or water fountains as myself. I remember the Civil Rights movement....I remember wondering WHY some other whites viewed blacks as less of a person than themselves....I remember Oletha and Dessa; two black women who taught me alot about love at a formative stage of my life.....black or white made no difference to them & this young white girl was embraced by both of them as one who needed a little wind beneath her wings. And my love for them knew no bounds of black or white.....

And how I remember Martin Luther King......who put into words the feelings of so many by his moving speech "I Have a Dream". His dream.......and his vision became my own though the pain of his death and the loss of his leadership doubled by the loss of JFK in my own city sent me reeling into unknown depths of despair for the future of our country.

But now.....we're just one day away from the swearing in of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States. This (much older) white woman is moved to tears as I realize the triumph which is occuring.....that, as King stated so many years ago.....a man has been judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin ....his strength, his character & intelligence, competence and unwavering committment to the American people has earned him the highest honor in our land....a day of triumph for us ALL and one where HOPE reigns supreme.....

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Proud and Thankful Day...

...in the wake of yesterday's Airbus crash into the Hudson River. How proud AND thankful I am that ALL the lives were spared! I can't imagine the feeling those passengers must have had when told by the pilot to "brace for impact". Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, children, young adults.....all with their own very special stories of family and loved ones.....the loss of each one would have been so tragic.
What mastery the Pilots and crew exhibited! Further, all the available first responders.....I heard some of them interviewed and they said they performed as if they had rehearsed for this event!
A proud and thankful day, indeed. KUDOS to all involved...I will always remember this with a heart filled with gratitude!

Monday, January 12, 2009

From My Home to Yours....

Here's where I start my day......get the coffee going and enjoy the warmth of our home.
Thought it might be nice to share a little something more of myself than just a name and words!
Consider yourself invited for a cup of virtual coffee! **clink of mugs**

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I ♥ Living in Colorado!

I'll never forget the first time I saw the Colorado landscape.

I was born & raised in Dallas, TX & following graduation from High School there, I got a job as a camp counselor in the mountains just west of Boulder, CO. Since that particular summer camp got most of its campers from the state of Texas, I was given the responsibility of riding the train from Dallas to Houston to pick up campers, do a quick turn around and then head north to Colorado. Geeze, I was just 17 at the time and I had a whole bunch of kids to watch over on that train! What a riot of fun was had all day and into the night.....finally, about 2 AM, most of the kids were asleep.

I had a window seat on the train and I dozed fitfully, being aware of the responsibility of looking out for my charges. Sometime in the pre-dawn hours, I looked out the window and there, to the west, were the glorious mountains in the dim light of the moon. I was so moved....awe struck....filled with emotion and had a deep, deep sense of having arrived "home". How could that be.....seeing how I was raised in the flatlands of Texas? I still don't have an explanation to this day. I only know I had such a profound & instant connection with the landscape that I did eventually make it my place of residence.

And still quite often, as last night when I saw the full moon on a frosty January night, I am filled with the same kind of awe as when I first glimpsed the mountains......just simply overwhelmed by the beauty of it all.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

First Raku Firings of '09!

We had a beautiful day here in SW Colorado yesterday and hubby & I fired up the raku kiln and processed some pottery that had been "waiting in the wings" for their final coat of glorious color. If you are wondering what raku is, you can learn more about it on my website: http://www.shekinahclay.com/ &, once there, click on "about raku". There you will find pictures of an actual raku firing along with explanations of the steps and a link to wikipedia for more info.

It's a captivating process......and when I first began doing it (about 14-15 years ago), I was rather intimidated by the FIRE. As time went along though, I actually began enjoying working with the FIRE as much as I enjoy creating the pottery! Seeing the interior of a kiln at 1800-1900 degrees is a fascinating thing....it appears "alive" and has a beauty of its own.

One of the many great things about raku is that it always yields "one of a kind" results in coloration because the pieces are handled individually and each one has its own relationship with the many variables which cause the coloration. I can glaze two pieces identically and get two VERY distinctly different results!

Felt very good to be back in the raku firing saddle again!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

From dreams to schemes to reality.....

....one of my husband's favorite sayings!

Moving to a smaller community and into semi-retirement has been the "dream", then the scheme began when we bought property in Paonia, CO and NOW, ......well, now reality is happening! Re-modeling is underway indoors and, wildly exciting for me, the stemwall of my NEW POTTERY STUDIO was poured yesterday giving me a precise & accurate visual of things to come! (for info. on importance/function of stemwalls see http://www.bobvila.com/HowTo_Library/Storm_Ready_Home_Stem_Wall_Foundations-Foundation-A2020.html) As soon as our outdoor temp reaches 40 degrees, the whole slab will be poured for the new facility!

New year.....new digs to come.....dreams become reality!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Less becomes MORE"

Simplicity....minimalism....in things as well as thoughts take on a greater significance as the years roll along (at least for me). Find myself thinking about the simplicity (albeit very powerful) wisdom found in a little book "The Four Agreements" (link in former blog).....guess because I'm in the process of weeding out a mountain of material "stuff" I've hauled around for years, I find myself being drawn back to the merits of scaling down. Favorite quotes from the past form a solid foundation in setting a path towards my future:

  • "If you want to travel far, travel light."
  • "If THINGS begin owning YOU instead of YOU owning THEM, it's a call for change."
  • "The home exists to serve YOU: you do not exist to serve the HOME."
  • "Know thyself."

Just a few for the sake of brevity....could well consume a blog of great length....but all of that to lead up to the beauty of THE FOUR AGREEMENTS:

  • #1 Be impeccable with your word
  • #2 Don't take anything personally
  • #3 Don't make assumptions
  • #4 Always do your best

There you have it......simplicity of thought & action that holds some of the most powerful wisdom in life. Of course, the book gives terrific examples of each of the "agreements" & it needs to be read to understand the cultural framework for its statements.

Only four things.....each of which, if applied consistently, can revolutionize one's life!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Buck Stops Here....time to get tasky

It's time to get our home listed for sale (can see outside of home here http://flickr.com/photos/raku4u-shekinahclay/3116262650/in/set-72157611290482569/).....and it IS a beautiful home which has served us well for a little over 10 years. Lots of memories here.....my mother lived here with us for awhile....I remodeled the oversized garage into my first really functional studio AND I successfully launched my clay business from this location.

And now,.....time to move on. We're creating a new lifestyle and SEMI-retiring. There's so much to do.....de-cluttering....selling some things, donating others....out & out throwing away more! So, we've decided to treat our "to do" lists the same as if we were getting ready to attend an Art Show. There's always a deadline we have to meet and somehow everything gets done. Today we set the deadline to list, then life will get craazy busy to meet it.

Off to MY to do's!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Of Things to Come...

This is "Little Bit".....one of my brother's dogs we're currently dog-sitting while he visits family out of state. Now Hubby and I have two cats &, quite suddenly, their territory has been INVADED. Little Bit is smaller than one of our cats and about the same size as the other, but the cats are both extremely non-plussed about this whole business!
Hubby and I are taking this short opportunity to try for some amiable co-existence between the animals.......it's really a riot watching them work out the pecking order. Hard to imagine that Little Bit intimidates anyone or anything!! Haahahaha!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day 2009

How well I remember watching "2001-A Space Odyssey" and feeling like 2001 was soooo far away! And now it's 2009......goodness.

I find the New Year a good time for re-assessment.....not that I buy into all of the "resolution" mania. It's just a natural thing for me to look back over past accomplishments and assess directions for new goals.....most likely that's how the whole New Year's resolution thing got started anyhow.

Things I feel good about? Taking the plunge when I was in my fifties to carve out a new business life for myself. I was in a secure job as a public school teacher, but had always had the desire to really push myself as an artist. While raising my family (now all grown), I was happy for the opportunity to work as an Art Teacher in pub. schools....schedule was same as kids, good benefits, etc., but allowed little time for me to really expand my horizons as an artist.

It was RISKY to withdraw myself from "the system" and strike off on my own as a professional artist AND it was a thing I'll never regret!

New Goals? Presently moving toward SEMI-retirement. I'll NEVER retire from being an artist....it's my life's blood. Semi-retirement will, however provide me with opportunities that will be purely enriching. Husband and I will downsize our home, build a new studio facility & travel more, camp more, fish more (for him!!) and me?.......I'll spend alot more time soaking up all the beautiful moments in life that feed and inspire my artist's heart & soul. Completely expecting that, this time next year, we will be nestled into our new community of Paonia & enjoying every minute of a new lifestyle!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE......may 2009 be the best ever!