Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A momentous occasion.

So, I got this comment on yesterday's blog post. I thought I would save it here. You know, for posterity.

It's my very first comment from a troll! I had a split second of disbelief and incredulous anger, followed by a sudden sense of the hilarity of that comment. I mean, really, it's kind of awesome, isn't it? That someone on the internet who has never met you, has probably never read your blog before, and knows absolutely nothing about your life, suddenly has the gall to pop up out of nowhere and tell you what a lazy, entitled, general waste of human breath you are. Honestly, it's pretty sweet.

It makes me wonder: do internet trolls have Google alerts set up for this kind of stuff? Maybe they get a nice little email everytime the word girl, feminism, or Kickstarter pops up on the internet? I mean, that's got to be a lot of work, policing the entirety of the internet, and putting us lazy, entitled assholes in our place. Whew! Makes me tired just thinking about it.

Really, I feel like patting myself on the back. If my asking for funding for a silly little art project (which, in fact, is not silly at all, it's FUCKING AWESOME, and I'm proud of it) pisses off random people enough to come comment on my blog, I must be doing something right!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pre-Kickstarter Kickstarter update

One of my Mom's favorite things to say is always "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray." This is a truism that is particularly true for me today.

My Kickstarter was supposed to be ready to launch yesterday, but sadly, things are not going as smoothly as I'd planned. I need a video, and I've been wracking my brains trying to come up with something cute or clever, but until today, I had nothing. Today, I decided to film Maddy running around the backyard in a cape, but it was brutally hot and she got really overheated, and then my camera battery died.

So now I'm stumped. I can write, and I can make art. But getting in front of a camera? Soooooo not my thing! I have no idea what to do for this, and everyone says the video is so important.

My camera is charging up downstairs. I don't know if I should just sit down in front of it and ramble a lot, or keep trying to think of something better. I just don't know. I want this project to be awesome! I want it to show people how excited I am about this, and tell a good story.

Just to tell you all a little about what I have planned, I want to launch this Kickstarter to fund a new line of work I call Girl Stories. As I've said in my previous two posts, I really love stories. I love movies, video games, comics, and books of all kinds. I love to lose myself in a really good story, something that is true, that is fantastic, that makes me think, that entertains, and that has a profound effect on the way I view the world. However, it's become clear to me that the majority of the stories I really love have male protagonists, and the majority of the stories I like with female protagonists are just not characters I would want to emulate. Being kind and pretty and nice to animals is great and all, but I want more out of my girls! I'm tired of every girl in a video game being either a weak throw away character, or a sex kitten who kicks ass. I want girls who have adventures, who are strong. I don't just mean physically strong, I mean capable, independent, self assured. Totally able to have their own adventures.

My Kickstarter is to fund 12 new doll jar sculptures, along with some mini related works, that will tell stories. I plan to write stories to go with each doll, illustrate them, and store each story inside its corresponding doll. I feel like it's time to stop bitching about the lack of stories that I want to hear. If I want them, I have to make them myself!

My hope is that not only will I get the opportunity to tell kick ass stories about girls, and make some awesome art, but that I will inspire other girls and women to do the same. We need more of us out there, in all media, making our voices heard, telling our stories.

So, that's the plan. I'm nervous and excited! This is a subject I feel really passionate about, and I'm just now getting the guts to do something with it. But I don't want to launch something half-assed, so I'm going to keep working on Kickstarter until it's worthy of public view. Then, I hope you all will support me in this. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Comic mugs, and a KICKSTARTER!!! ARGH!!!

I had such an awesome kids class yesterday, I don't know where to begin. I decided I wanted to do something illustrative with the kids, so I decided to have them draw a comic on a slab of clay, and then turn that slab into a cylinder or mug. I thought it was a pretty cool idea. The kids thought it was an AWESOME idea, and they flipped out.

The idea was to think of setting for the comic to take place, which would be your background. We talked a little about brainstorming, and how you can throw out a lot of ideas for something until you hit on something you really like. They drew their backgrounds onto a slab of clay with pencils. Next, they came up with a character to interact with the setting. We talked about how the characters in their comic could be anything, not just super heroes. (We also talked about how Calvin and Hobbes is an amazing comic. Warms my heart that the next generation knows about how good that comic is, sniff sniff.)

Finally, they had to give their character something to say or think, and we talked about the difference between word balloons and speech balloons, and how to draw them.

Every one of them did such awesome work. I'm so proud! I can't wait to see these finished.
A desert island, and a whale in need of sunscreen.

A robot with explosions on his mind.

What do pandas think about? Bamboo, of course!

A diamondback rattlesnake (she was very specific) in the desert. He says "Gimme your mug, or I'll bite!"

Josie's in spaaaaaaace! This one's mine, of course.

The idea of telling stories on clay has been on my mind a lot lately, and it's something I've been trying to figure out how best to do in my work. More specifically, I've been trying to figure out what kind of stories I want to tell. What is it that I have to say, and does anyone want to hear it?

You may remember that a month ago today, I said I want to launch a Kickstarter. Well, I've been working on that all month long, and I'm just about ready to launch. I'm really excited, and more than a little scared, but I'm ready to do this.

I can't launch today as planned, but I will be hitting publish on this bad girl tomorrow evening at the latest. I am so SO excited to share this project idea with you guys, and I hope you'll back it and me! I'm gonna tell some awesome stories in clay, and I just can't wait for you guys to see what I have planned.

Stay tuned! <3

Monday, July 16, 2012

Story time

Inspired by my friend Danette and our talks on the way to and from Cincinnati these last couple of weeks, I've decided to apply for a grant. This feels like an absolutely grown up and intimidating thing to do, but I'm doing it. I have to write a bit about my work, and I've pounded out a page so far, but it's a bit dry sounding. So far removed from what my work is like! I tend to write in a very dry, academic style when I write about my work, and I hate it. I've given up for the day, but I think I can sit down tomorrow with fresh eyes and make it better.

Thinking about how to describe my work, the simplest and most cohesive theme is that I like to make work that tells stories. I'm a reader, and I love comics and video games and movies. I love storytelling in any media, and I think that is what goes into my work more than anything. Or at least, that's the direction I'm aiming for.

I've finally got the first batch of finished items back from firing. It was a near perfect batch! Only one chipped pendant; no cracks, glaze faults, or washed out colors on anything else. I also finished the drawing on my first podling jar, and have plans for the next one germinating. It feels like little seedlings growing in my brain - little stories, little images, little ideas. They're playing freeze tag in there, and hide and go seek. It makes me want to lie back in a hammock in the summer breeze, close my eyes, and watch them play.

Speaking of storytelling, here is a ceramic artist I found on the Imaginative Bloom blog that is a creator after my own heart. "Ceramic art that tells the smallest stories". So inspiring!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


This is my cat, Josie. We have a lot of cats, but she is by far my favorite to draw. (Shhh! Don't tell the others.)

I put her on pretty much everything. She's on t-shirts, mugs, plates, and she's even a plushie fleece pillow.

I'm going to Cincinatti for day two of the Sarah Horn tile workshop. I already made a Winken, Blinken, and Nod tile, but I decided I needed a Josie tile as well. Josie is getting pretty up in age, so I want to be sure her regal, adorable, and perpetually angry visage is preserved for posterity, and is shared with the entire world. Soon, I'll be able to make hundreds of Josie tiles from the plaster mold I make today. Then, we can take over the world! MWAH-HAHAHAHHAHA!


It took me a bit of sketching to finally get something I liked. I had to go out and observe the Josiecat in the wild, in her natural habitat (on the floor, behind the couch). I took a bunch of photos, and was delighted with her smoosh-face laying on the floor pose. When she's laying around outside in the grass, I like to call her Jungle Cat, and Fierce Jungle Hunter. So it wasn't much of a stretch to come up with my final design. (Making the caption about her being a Jungle Cat was my dear husband's suggestion. We have been giggling over this drawing ever since.)

I hope this turns out well. I'm excited to be able to make a lot of Josie tiles. I really like the old comic book spin on this one, so I definitely want to make more in this vein. Maybe she will have a whole series of tiles!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


New doll jars in progress. My little podlings.

I've been pretty busy the last three days, but unfortunately I've neglected to take pictures of everything I've been doing. I did go out back and snap quick photos of the doll jars I'm working on. I'm not 100% happy with the forms, but I'm working on pushing them further. I'm having some trouble throwing exactly what I have in mind, but I bought a new box of clay on Tuesday, so I'm going to give them another go once I get these closer to being finished.

I can already feel that this blog post is going to lackluster. I wanted to sit down and update you all on what I've been up to, but part of what's been going on is that I'm coming down with some nasty sinus crap, and it's making be feel loopy and sick. I took yesterday to rest, only going out to the studio briefly to check on things. Today I feel better, but I did way too much today, and with the heat and all the clay dust, my head feels like it weighs 100 lbs.

I went to a tile workshop on Tuesday in Cincinnati at Core Clay, but i forgot to take pictures of the tile I was making. Sarah Horn is teaching the workshop, and her work is just wonderful. It's a 4 week workshop, so I'll be back there next week to cast my master tile in plaster. I made one tile while I was there, but I think I'd like to make a second here at home and bring it there to get a couple master casts made. It was a fun class, and it made me wish I lived in Cincinnati just so I can hang out with that crew. Laura, Sarah, and Daniel of Core Clay are hilarious and a lot of fun to talk to. It's going to be a good month.

I got my first batch of mugs stained, and they're in the bisque kiln along with my pendants right now. I hope they all come out good!

I'll have some pics on Saturday of my bisqued stuff, as well as pictures of the last day of my kid's class. And tomorrow, I should have some progress to show on those doll jars. I'm excited to get working on those, and I've got some sketches I'm very pleased with.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My continuing mission.

I got my Picard mug made today. There are some fixes I'd like to make, and I think I might do a second attempt at this, but I'm pleased so far.

I used a monoprint transfer technique - I painted my design onto paper with black underglaze, painted white slip over the image and onto the clay I wanted to print, and then put the image face down on the slab of clay and rubbed the back. Voila! A nice, clean(ish) print. Some of the black peeled a bit, so it will need a touch up later on, but I really like this method of transferring drawings. I'd like to try making some screens in the future, so I can make multiple decals instead of painting each individual image by hand. On my next mug, I'll take some pictures of the process so you can see how it's done.

I printed both images onto a slab of clay, cut out the image on the slab, and attached it to my mug so the image is raised. The slab is a bit thicker than I would have liked though. Next time I'd like it to be nearly paper thin if possible, so the mug isn't so clunky. I know I could print directly onto the mug, but curved surfaces are tricky, and I like the idea of a raised image.

Once the mug dries a bit more, I plan to carve "Tea, Earl Grey, hot" into the Federation logo. I meant to include it in the print, but I would have had to flip the lettering so that it didn't print backwards, and I didn't want to be bothered today.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I've got 16 new mugs drying under plastic right now. They need a few touch ups here and there, which I'll do once they're bone dry. I'm thinking of staining then or painting on them, but I haven't decided exactly how, or with what. I think it's time to put my hours of time spent on Pinterest to good use and cull some inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, I was amusing myself on Facebook and Twitter yesterday with pseudo Star Trek references, which led me to draw this picture of that sexy, sexy man Patrick Stewart as a bit of fun and drawing practice.

I decided that what I really need is mug with Captain Picard's commanding visage on it, and the beverage he always requests.
I am contemplating making several Star Trek fan art mugs, because goddamn, I love that show. That show inspires my LIFE, no bullshit. If people were as honorable and loyal and diplomatic and just downright awesome as the crew of the starship Enterprise NCC 1701-D, the world would be a better place. I am SO SERIOUS RIGHT NOW. I just feel like, if I could wake up everyday drinking out of Picard's face, my day would just be better, you know?

(P.S., you know you're a pottery geek when you're watching a show, and you catch yourself paying attention to the table ware they use. In the last several I've watched, they drink hot beverages out of glass mugs with what looks like a plastic ring around the base that the handle is attached to. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what mugs will look like in THE FUTURE.)

Nich and I started filming a few clips for my Kickstarter video today (doesn't that sound professional and impressive? I should have said "We started production on our upcoming Kickstarter film", isn't that what they say?). I've got an outline written for both the project itself, and what I want my Kickstarter video and page to say. I got three weeks to bang this out, guys. I'm excited!

In case you're wondering, "What are you doing a Kickstarter for, exactly?" I will reveal all sometime this week. I've got a new series of work I'd like to make, and I need your help to get it done, but I'd like to get started on it so I have something concrete to show you guys. Stay tuned!