Saturday, June 30, 2012


I got a dozen cups finished, trimmed and handled (I lost one to handle breakage, though. Oh well.) I threw 8 more last night, one of which flopped, and one which had a hole in the bottom that I didn't notice until after I put it on the drying board. I'm hoping to get trimming and some handles put on those today. I sketched a bit on 6 of the first 12, though I was kind of just playing around. I don't really know what I'm doing yet. I'm itching to make things, but I have so many ideas, and then I get into the studio and my mind just goes blank. I have a vague idea of the direction I want to go with my mugs, but so far I'm not quite there. Maybe I need to make 100 mugs to get it right?

I met up with my friend Danette at the Garfield Park Arts Center in the park near where I live. Danette is a ceramic artist as well (go check out her wonderful work - don't worry, I'll wait); we both graduated from Herron together. We have both resolved to sketch more often, so we met up to do a sketch kit scavenger hunt that the arts center was hosting. I brought Maddy, and she ingested a lot of crayon and paper, but we had a good time watching her run around while we sat in the grass and sketched things in the park.

We were supposed to draw something that moves, something our favorite color, something up high, and something that grows. Can you guess which is which?

We both talked about getting into studio and getting creative block, not knowing what to do once we're there. Hopefully sketching more often will get us back into making new art. For me, I think taking the time to sketch throughout the day as much as possible (whenever Maddy is running around outside, maybe?) or just getting in the habit of carrying my sketchbook with me at all times would really help me have more direction when I go into the studio at night.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dreams and Goals

I made it out to the studio tonight for a couple hours after Maddy went to bed. I set a goal of throwing 12 mugs, and getting all my pendants smoothed around the edges and ready to fire. I'm happy to say I met my goal, getting everything done in just under 2 hours. I'd estimate I was finishing one mug every 8 mins. I think that once I get comfortable with a form I like, I'll be faster and more efficient. I'd like to be able to throw a dozen mugs in an hour. Maybe one day I can get fast enough to make a mug a minute! I guess I've resisted going for speed because I never expected to become a production potter. I don't know if that's what I'm aiming for exactly; I think I just want to throw a lot, and quickly, so that I improve, and have a lot of surfaces to work my designs on.

I was listening to my iphone playlist on shuffle while I worked, and I started daydreaming about how cool it would be to throw a huge art party. I thought, I'll ask Open Mike Eagle, Three Ninjas, Julia Massey and the Five Finger Discount, Kimya Dawson, and Side Pony to all perform, and people can eat hummus and drink PBR out of my pottery, and I'll invite all my favorite potters there for a throw-a-thon. There will be sushi on handmade serving trays, and live sketching in progress by my friend Narciso, who will also break dance. Scratch the hummus and PBR, it's my party dammit, I'm gonna serve nothing but Captain and Coke and jambalaya. Well, there will still be sushi. Maybe I will get really drunk, and someone will hand me a mic, and I'll sing reasonably on key and get asked to be a guest on someone's next record. And I'll make mugs for all the musicians, and they'll all be my BFFs for life. It will have to happen in Seattle, or maybe LA if I really want to flip out. While I'm dreaming, might as well invite Busdriver, too.

It could happen, right?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Love Letter

3 years ago today, I married the love of my life. Everyone says that, but it's not a statement I ever expected to come out of my mouth (or, er, blog). I thought I'd be single forever, or maybe date a string of mediocre guys I kept around just to keep me company. I never thought I'd find THE ONE, like a freakin' chick flick or something. Except my husband isn't some two dimensional magazine model with perfect teeth and nice car, or whatever the hell passes for a romantic interest in Hollywood these days.

I married a man who loves ugly grandpa sweaters in all sincerity, not in an ironic hipster way. Who wore a vintage green western suit and a mohawk to our wedding, and ROCKED IT OUT. Who helped me move 3 separate times expecting nothing in return, and we weren't even dating yet. Who would have proposed to me with a freaking tricycle rather than a ring if his mom hadn't talked him out of it (dude, I love my antique engagement ring that belonged to his grandmother, but I could have had a TRICYCLE. The man KNOWS.) My husband is a weirdo in so many awesome ways, and he complements who I am. More importantly, I know that he genuinely loves who I am, and not who he thinks I should be, or wishes I would be. He has been my support at some of the lowest points in my life, and my biggest fan during some of the highest. He is the most genuinely kind and loyal person I have ever met, and he is an AMAZING father. He's more than I could ever have wished for in a partner.

Nicholas Manuel, if I had to do my life over again, I would choose you over every living person on this planet. You are the Super Meat Boy to my Bandage Girl. I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, stomping into the sunset and leaving destruction, mayhem, and awesomeness in our wake.

If you want to read something awesome that Nich wrote for our wedding website, check this out.

Happy Anniversary my darling:)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Don't BITE your friends!

I've been really trying to make a habit of sketching more. I feel a lot more confident sitting down to make something if I've got some sketches for reference first. That seems like a really obvious thing, but I'm not always great about it. Sketching is like anything else - you get better with practice. I enjoy the hell out of it, so I'm not sure why I don't do it more often. I guess I don't sit still a whole lot, so I have to make it a point to sit down with pen and paper in hand and dedicate some time to it. I feel like if I still had math lectures and corded phones in my life, I'd get a lot more sketching done.

I started sketching a little while watching Yo Gabba Gabba with Maddy. I'm starting to get addicted to that show. It's not the deepest thing in the world, but the art style and the music are awesome. I would work as a designer for that show in a heartbeat. Also, sometimes it just has moments that I find absurdly funny, like the "Don't bite your friends!" song, or DJ Lance suddenly remembering - "Oh yeah, I CAN fly! WHEEE!" So yeah, I know everyone already loves this show, and it's pretty much targeted at my demographic. But I seem to have the heart of a grumpy elderly old man lurking inside me, so I tend to resist popular things with a scowl and crossed arms until one day I succumb against my will. Then I post about my new discovery on Facebook ("Like OMG, just heard that new Gotye song, isn't it great? Also, what's up with the chevron trend on Pinterest? Is that a thing now?") and my younger friends cheerfully tell me how late I am to the game (looking at you, Erin, lol).

As you can see, I've got MEGA plans and ideas. Soooooo many plans. I took some of my sketches and started carved them into some linoleum blocks to stamp into clay, and now I've got some tiny adorable pendants in progress.

I really love tiny adorable things, and I love drawing, so I'm not sure why I resisted making clay jewelry for so long. I'm looking forward to having a massive pile of tiny porcelain Godzilla tiles. I might even make some extra and just hide them around town. I've always wanted to do something like that, and I just saw this artist's ceramic tagging project, which is pretty much exactly what I'd always had in mind. Why don't I ever act on the ideas I have?!? Someone always does it first! But it's such a cool idea, I love those little hearts everywhere! Wouldn't it be cool to find something like that in your city? Definitely check out the rest of her work, btw. It's wonderful stuff.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Life, the universe, and everything

Hello, dear readers. It's been a minute since I've written. If you're still following this blog, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If there is just one person out there (and I hope there are more!), I am sending you my deepest love and appreciation.

My life has not progressed in the fashion I expected it to. Life seems fond of doing that. If you've been wondering what I've been doing during my little hiatus from art and the internet, I've been doing a whole lot of waiting, that's what. A whole lot of sitting and sighing and looking at stacks of boxes packed with all my belongings. Definitely a lot of moping and groaning.

I moped about my residency ending. I moped about being stuck in this house (which is not MY house) without my own car. I moped about our house (the one we were trying to buy), which we still have not closed on (and I'm resigned to the fact that we probably will not be getting it, because banks are dumb). I moped about not having a space to work in. Life. Don't talk to me about life.

I think I took some time to grieve, and to mourn some dreams that just weren't panning out the way I'd planned. I needed to do that for a little while, and to sort some things out in my head, before I could move on.

(One Sunday morning, the warm sun came up, and - pop! - out of the egg came a tiny, and very hungry caterpillar)

But finally, I said screw this! I realized that I'd put my entire life on hold because I was waiting on that house, and that studio space in the basement where I'd already planned out and lived the next 10 years of my life in my head. Enough! I decided to figure out what resources I had now, and what I could do today that would advance my life and get me making art again. Things do not happen for people who sit around and wait. I'd taken enough time, and now I was ready.

For the last two weeks, I've been cleaning, packing, organizing, and reorganizing the little guest house in the back yard of my in-laws, which we've been using as a storage space up until now. Every day, for about an hour and a half (while Maddy naps), and sometimes after she goes to bed, I went out back and cleaned and moved things and hauled away trash and things we no longer needed. I set up some tables, put up some old cabinets I scored from Freecycle (God bless that site!), and unpacked my old artwork to put on display.

After a lot of hard work, I made a little space for myself. I set up my wheel, which has not been used for over 2 years, held my breath, and turned it on...

Creepy alien bunny baby keeps me company while I work.

My lucky studio gator looks on. One day, I will paint him new clothes as I originally intended.

And it works! HOORAY!

I am really excited to begin making work again! I have big plans and dreams, and I hope you'll follow along with me as I make them happen. Clearing out that house made me feel strong, and capable, like I could do anything! (I think I understand why I have friends that love to clean and organize now!) I still have more to do, but my plan is to make it into a space that people could visit, where I could show off my new work, and you all could pop in and say hi and see what I'm up to. 

I went out there for the first time yesterday to work on some art. I tested out a new clay body from Laguna that I just picked up at Core Clay in Cincinnati, and I finished the mishima on these plates that I started months ago. I am committed to getting out there a little everyday, and I'm going to make and make and make as much art as I can, and it's going to be awesome.

30 days from today, I have resolved to launch a Kickstarter to help fund the production of a new line of work. I've got some ideas I'm flipping out about right now, and I want to dig right in. But before I launch, as a show of good faith, I want to get working now, use all the materials I have left, and get you all excited about what I have in store. Then, if you like what I'm doing, and you want to be a part of it, you can jump right in with me, and we can PARTY DOWN.

Stay tuned:D