Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some things, and some other things, and me being pissed.

This past weekend, Nich and I went to Oklahoma City with his family for the ANNUAL MANUEL EASTER EGG HUNT. You read that right. (Sorry, I get a little excited that they have a name for their yearly easter egg hunt and family reunion.) There were eggs (of course), and cats, and gas station dinosaurs, and a lot of reading of awesome library books on the way there and back. We rented at least 25 books for the trip. I'm currently reading Pretty in Punk and Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud simultaneously. Anyway, we had a fun trip, and Nich's family was as cool as ever. I'm pretty lucky to have married into a family I actually like in it's entirety. Aren't people supposed to dread family gatherings and meetings with in-laws? The Manuels are a pleasure to hang out with. I only wish I'd had more time to draw some of Aunt Cathy's incredible pig collection. I'm honestly a little obsessed with all her little flying pigs and pig themed housewares. Going to her house is like walking into an art installation. It's fantastic:D

When I got back from my awesome weekend, I returned to find that I had received a rejection letter from the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange. That's right, dear readers. My work is not cool/hip/polished/well designed/mustachey enough to get into my favorite craft fair. I was kind of devastated, despite trying to psych myself for what I told myself was a very likely rejection. The letter wasn't surprising, but it hurt a lot more than expected. Then upon further reflection, I realized I was angry and a little bitter over it. I know damned well if there are any ceramics at the fair (I've only seen some there once or twice) they will be simple glazed pottery, and nothing like what I make. But I don't draw walruses in top hats, or monkeys, or whatever else is considered hip these days - I draw brains and dead birds and drilling holes in my own head. I don't make pretty slip cast tableware with designer color glazes and clean lines - I make sloppy hand thrown cups with somewhat amateurish forms and mistakes. I guess it's just not that marketable.
I guess I just got pissed at the suggestion that I should come to the fair to do "market research" and get ideas for next time. As if I haven't been to nearly every event and am completely familiar with the kinds of work featured there. As if I'm going to change my work to fit what everyone else is making so that I can get in. SCREW THAT. I'm tired of agonizing over whether what I make will sell, and I'm tired of worrying that my work isn't like everyone else. I may reapply when I have new and different work to show, or more of it, but I'm not going to make work to fit their fair. If I'm not hip enough for them, I'll just stick to my Etsy and keep making what I want to make. Ugh.

Maybe when this wound is less fresh, I'll be less bitter and angry about this, but for the moment, I just needed to vent. In any case, ala Arthur Gonzalez, let this be the first of many many rejection letters, as I keep trying and applying for things - until someone finally says "You got in, congrats."
Finally, today I needed to draw something pretty and disturbing. I think it may work it's way into a series. I've got an idea in my head for a series of pretty girls mutilating themselves or bleeding or just physically self destructing to make clean graphic patterns and images - paisleys and damasks and other pleasant decorator patterns. I'm hoping to make it as graphic and grotesque as possible. Lots of blood and guts. Sounds like it would make a good dinner plate set.

Blame it on being pissed, and reading a book on girls and Punk.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cream and sugar sets

I drew something yesterday, but I left it at work. I plan to draw at work again today, so tomorrow you'll get 3 drawings in one post.

In the meantime, I was pouring myself a cup of coffee (using one of my own handmade mugs - the guilt of using manufactured ceramics was just too much!) and griping to myself about how I have to take down the bag of sugar from the cabinet everytime I need a spoon of sugar, because I don't have a neat little sugar bowl on the counter. Ding! Another project to add to my list of things to make - cream and sugar sets.

I went looking on Etsy and found some really good handmade ones. Check them out - for inspiration or for purchase.

From Blue Sky Pottery
From ajkartistry
From Courtney Murphy Ceramics
From MSR Pottery
From micolie3

Finally, I just remembered seeing this really cleverly designed cream and sugar pitcher on Slipcast, which for some reason I can't seem to get posted here. If you've never been to the Slipcast blog, though, you're in for a treat. Some of the best slipcast ceramic design I've ever seen.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just in case you were wondering...

...what all this Mortal Kombat nonsense is about, this is the pic that started the crappy drawing war. DO YOU SEE THAT LENSE FLAIR?!? I'm like some crazy brutal robot girl artist thing. 

Made by my bestest friend Narciso Palma, who is living in CRAZY MIRROR LAND, aka China, teaching English and Breakdancing and being awesome. Check out his artwork on Deviant Art.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 80: YOU WIN: Claytality

I'm not sure exactly how one crafts a deadly weapon out of porcelain, but I think the laser vision plays a part in it.

I sooooo wish I had time to ink and color this. It would go on my desktop as a permanent reminder to my husband that I am always and forever more badass than him, and I don't even HAVE a mohawk.

Made some handles today, and stamped all the cups from last night with a octopus linocut stamp I made ages ago. I'm quite pleased with the way it looks as a clay stamp. I think I'll have to bust out the old cutting tools and make some new linocuts just to use as stamps.

Alright people, so far I have 3 takers for my cup/mug swap idea. I used to do craft swaps on Swapbot all the time, and I miss it. It's so cool getting art from other people in the mail! I'd like to do this with ceramics. So here's the deal - I'm working on making 20 cups/mugs/tumblers/drinking vessels that I want to give away as a trade in exchange for one of your ceramic cups. I need 17 more people to trade with. I will continue to post the cups in progress up until they come out of the glaze kiln.

My husband pointed out that my blog is called 15 Painted Cups, so why did I decide to do 20 for the swap? An excellent point, my dear punk husband. Um... I wasn't really thinking about it at the time? And 15 just doesn't seem like enough to really get me going.I should have said 30, or even 50, but I'm not really willing to giveaway that many cups. I gotta buy more clay sometime! But 20 is just enough for me to play around with some shapes and techniques and figure out what I want to do next.

So anyway, if you're a ceramicist, and you want a nifty new cup to drink out of that isn't one of your own, and you like owning other people's work, AND you don't mind making and giving away one of your own, contact me here, at fanfare_and_foofaraw(at!)yahoo.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter to sign up for the swap. If I don't manage to find 20 people, any extra cups will go up for sale on my Etsy store.

Hurry hurry hurry! Sign up while there are still spots! These cups have OCTOPUSES ON THEM!!!

Day 79: Old-Timey Pottery

I'm really getting back into the swing of things with ceramics. I'm getting pretty pumped about all the things on my rapidly growing project list. I have missed throwing so much! I feel like this long, bitter winter was really hard on my depression, and spring is giving me new life and energy. Lame, I know, blaming my lack of artwork on seasonal depression. I guess it was also my work schedule and a lot of other things like money troubles keeping me from wanting to make anything. Now I can't wait to sit down at the wheel everyday.

I was looking at a lot of rustic and antique functional pottery today. One of Nich's new bosses saw these thumb-controlled watering jugs at a pottery shop in Pennsylvania, and wanted to know if I could make her one, so I looked them up, along with some other items I'm interested in trying to make. Some of these things are pretty brilliant, really. I wonder why people don't still have bird bottles on their houses, or use french butter bells (they keep your butter soft and fresh for a freaking month without refrigeration - that's amazing to me!) With all this green eco-friendly mania going around, you'd think these kinds of things would be back in vogue.

Two large dog bowls I'm making for the KPR volunteers, all trimmed and drying out. It's kind of ridiculous that these are the biggest bowls I've ever made (and they're not even 12 inches wide). Makes me want to try to make giant vessel sink bowl big enough to stick my head in, just to see if I can.

I haven't started the cups yet, because I spent the day having a picnic and a nice walk with my husband and our friend Laura. It was so nice to get out in the sun and enjoy Spring for the first time this season. I've had a nap, so I think I'll stay up late and get started on those cups now.

Finally, here is an MS paint drawing made by my husband of him destroying me in Mortal Kombat (which would never happen, btw - I have laser vision, and I'm way more hardcore than him) in response to my friend Narciso's Mortal Kombat-like fight screen. My hubs is the one with the mohawk, and I'm the one in the killer shades.

I feel as though a future IndieVISUAL entry will have to be a response to this effrontery. Can't you feel the romance?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 76: Death and clay

I spent most of today at the wheel, trimming yesterday's pieces, and making two large bowls for a couple of the pug rescue volunteers. We just got Netflix hooked up to our PS3 so we can stream instant movies on our television, so I put on Art 21 in the background while I worked. It was an episode about emotion in art. I was half listening to a female sculptor talk about learning to weld and making huge rusty sculpture while drinking beer, something she originally pictured as a male thing, and I was smiling to myself as I worked. Then she quite casually said "Recently, everyone I loved died," and began to talk about her new installation about loss and sadness. She built a huge mass of black and white nests of roots that overtook the gallery. It was really beautiful.

I immediately began to pay attention, because it struck me as such an absurd statement for someone to make. Even at the end of your life, most people have someone left around that they love. I realize that not everyone does, and I find the thought terrifying. It's one of my biggest fears, outliving everyone. It's why I'm so afraid of growing old. I'm afraid at some point I'll be all alone, with just memories and sadness. I don't want the end of my life to be that way. The thought of losing even one person dear to me fills me with so much sadness, I can hardly bear it. I know that people in their 80's and 90's have lost a lot of people they knew simply to old age and time, which is sad enough; but this woman couldn't have been any older than 50, and she's already lost everyone dear to her. Everyone she's ever loved.

I found it strange that this is something I've been thinking about so much recently - I think ever since Dad's accident, when I wasn't sure if he'd be ok, and then reading Time Traveler's Wife -  and I just happened to come across this episode about a woman who's lost everyone, and she continues on. She makes work about it. I don't know if I would be that strong. It seems unimaginable to me.

On a lighter note, here is some of the stuff I've been making. It's all very simple, but I'm happy to be throwing again. I'm out of time for today because I have work in 40 minutes, but I figured out what I'll be doing with my 20 cups. I'll post more about that on Friday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 75: Mug Swap?

Some days the thought of getting old terrifies me.
 Some days, I think it will be fucking awesome.

This elderly woman told me yesterday that her prescription medications cost an ungodly amount (imagine that), and that she was going to go talk to her doctor because she's sure the pharmacy tech messed up her deductible. She then said she was going to "raise hell" about it. I lol'd on the inside. I hope I'm that feisty when I get to be her age.
I put in my two weeks notice at Walgreens this past weekend (that elderly lady makes me think I'll almost miss it) so that I have more time for art. I got on the wheel again today - not doing too great, but better than MASSIVE FLOP DAY. I just need lots and lots of practice, and to get back into some kind of habit.

I was drinking out of a manufactured teacup today, and feeling a bit guilty about it. For some reason, I rarely drink out of my own cups, but I love using other people's - I just don't have many because I'm too broke to buy other people's art.

Then I had a brilliant thought - why not do a mug swap? I could use the practice making mugs and cups, and I really want some handmade mugs in the house that were made by other artists. So here's the deal - if any ceramicists out there want to trade with me, give me a holler, and we will swap. I think I'll make my goal 20 mugs - that's 20 trades. The first 20 people to hit me up will get a mug in exchange for one of their own. I will document the whole 20 mug making process here on my blog, from start to finish (so you know you're not getting some half-assed cup I made 4 years ago in beginning ceramics!)

In closing, here are some kick-ass mugs to give you a little inspiration.

Via Gizmodo
From Dovetail on Etsy
From Stepanka on Etsy
From metamorphosesofclay on Etsy

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The INDIEana Handicraft Exchange

It's 3 am. I just submitted my application to the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange 2 seconds ago.


For those not familiar with the Handicraft Exchange, it's basically Indianapolis' answer to the Renegade Handmade Craft Fair in Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco. Amanda Tafflinger went this kick ass, non-grandma craft fair in Chicago and thought "Hey! We need one of these!" and started organzing the Handicraft Exchange here. I've visited nearly every event they've held since it started, and have endlessly drooled over all the amazing crafters, artisans, and other handmade vendors that have been at each event. They blow me away every single time.

It has been my dream to be one of those vendors and sell my ceramics at the Exchange, but I've put off applying because it just seemed too intimidating every time I thought about it. This year, I finally bit the bullet, got my tax ID and business permit, and submitted the app.

This is what I sent in:

"Lori Leaumont is an Indianapolis-based ceramic artist originally from New Orleans, living with her husband Nicholas Manuel, their 2 obese goldfish, and their 5 cats. She specializes in wheel thrown and hand painted porcelain pottery, as well as upcycled ceramics. She publishes a ceramic and daily drawing blog at 15paintedcups.blogspot.com, and sells her ceramics and prints at her Etsy shop, fanfareandfooaraw.etsy.com. You can contact Lori at fanfare_and_foofaraw@yahoo.com."

Think I have a shot?

Drawings tomorrow, I promise:) Maybe even new ceramic stuff, since I just got my 6 lb sample of Matt and Dave's new mid-fire porcelain, The Coup, in the mail today. Can't wait to test it out!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 68: Practice, practice, practice

This is what happens when you don't get on a the wheel for a few months. I am determined to throw something without flopping if I have to go through 50 lbs of clay to do it.


(I have to remind myself to breathe. Getting pissed just means my pots get progressively worse. I can't even center properly right now. I feel like I'm in beginning wheel throwing.)

I get really angry at myself when I can't do what I have in mind to do. I'm not sure why, but I seem unable to tolerate my own mistakes.

 I got this thrown, but the rim is kinda wonky, and it's way too wet. I'm afraid it's gonna collapse too, but hopefully if I let it sit for a minute, I can say I made at least one thing today.

I have until 8pm, then it's off to work. Looks like I'm gonna have to devote myself to some daily throwing time if I want to get back to where I was.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 67: Neurotic artist, blah blah blah


Tomorrow I'm taking the plunge and applying for the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange. Honestly, I don't think I have a snowball's chance in hell of getting in, but I gotta try sometime, right?


I've got a tax ID, and Fanfare & Foofaraw is registered as my business name. Can I really pull off doing this as a job?
Wish me luck, guys.

Day 66: Work in progress

I started an official entry at work, but consuming pizza got in the way of finishing it. Instead of finishing it when I got home, I decided to work on the lineart for my Three Ninjas/Spiderman drawing from Day 56. Jason flipped out over it, so I offered to make a finished version, which he's going to use as an album cover.



Here's where I'm at so far:

Man, I am really slow with the pen tool. But I decided, after seeing the vector version of my Pugs Rock design, that I should really learn to do digital lineart to make my designs look a little cleaner. My hand is just not that steady, and my inking looks like crap! Not like I'm gonna be a professional inker for Marvel or anything (I'm still a ceramic artist, after all). I'd just like to be able to make cleaner looking art.
Wish me luck - I feel like by the time this is done, I will be a Photoshop inking/coloring MASTER. Or at least I'll be a little faster at this. If anyone has an expert tips, please let me know!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 65: March in the Pugs

Today my husband Nich and I ran our Fanfare and Foofaraw ceramic table at the Kentuckiana Pug Rescue "March in the Pugs" spring fundraiser, selling "Pug mugs" and bowls. We sold out of nearly everything, so we had a pretty good day. (We treated ourselves to a bottle of raspberry wine as a reward. After this blog post, I intend to polish it off.)

You would not think I'd be so tired from just sitting at a table and watching pugs flip out all day, but I am EXHAUSTED!
The pugs at the Pug Celebrity Kissing Booth, waiting to pucker up.
This is Romeo, one of the most genteel old gentleman pugs I've ever seen in my life. I was totally in love with his wrinkly salt and pepper face:D
At the end of the day, the pugs shared our sentiment - everyone was POOPED. (No pun intended).

So this is the top secret design I created for this year's KPR shirt. The screenprinter did an amazing job converting the original to vector art (and made my artwork look so much cleaner and more professional than my original!) I am really proud that people are walking around with my mohawk pug on their shirt:D

If any one is interested in a t-shirt (they come on white shirts, as well as grey long sleeved sweatshirts), let me know, and I'll give you the KPR contact info. All the proceeds go directly to the dogs, so if you love animals AND have always wanted some of my art, this is a ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY! DO NOT PASS IT UP! 

It's a good cause, so I hope you buy a shirt and save a pug. I'll be flattered, and a sick or needy pug will get the love and care they so desperately need. Check out the Kentuckiana Pug Rescue website for more info on these awesome people:)

Thursday, March 4, 2010



Maddy is the creator of the IndieVISUAL Journal challenge (in other words, she's to blame for this whole mess). She posted her first YouTube video today. After some grumbling, I got up, got a pen, and doodled my little heart out for exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Check out Maddy's video here, in which we learn that Maddy's accent is ADORABLE, and why you should join the IndieVISUAL challenge even if you're a bit late to the game.