Monday, November 26, 2012

How artists get ready for the Holidays

From my perspective here is how a non-artist gets ready for the holidays:
1. Around Thanksgiving-make a list of stuff you need to do, like buying gifts for certain people, get a tree, making cookies, planning meals, etc. Look at ads, find good deals and plan accordingly.
2. Spend weekends leading up to the holidays either shopping for gifts, food, trees or baking, decorating, or wrapping. Mail out holiday cards.
 3. Non artist is ready for Christmas before Dec. 25. 

Here is how I get ready for the holidays:
1. Around Thanksgiving-work on making stuff out of clay until the last possible moment before the kiln needs to be fired and fire the kiln on a tight schedule so that no moment is wasted.
2. Spend weekends taking all the finished pieces to whatever holiday art fair is going on
3. Dec 17-Remember that Christmas is less than ten days away and panic that I have no ideas for gift giving
4. Go pick out a Christmas tree in the dark (forgetting to bring flashlights), chop it down, and stubble to car.  Usually we are so late getting the tree the lot is sort of closed. We manage to find someone to pay though!
5. Decorate tree and watch cat undecorate lowest branches.
6. Eureka! Gift ideas come to me.
7. Begin making handmade gifts on Dec 22. Plenty of time!
8. Take annual trip to the mall to find non-handmade things. UG. Find nothing. Go to Pamida and Rite Aide and shop for any possible non-handmade gifts.(These are the closest stores are open in my last minute shopping fiasco-Rite Aide has a lot of candy and click pencils-this is usually what Chester gets in his stocking-poor Chester!)
9. Artist is ready for Christmas on Dec. 25
10. Mail holiday cards?  Oops, I forgot to make them!  

 Now back to work.... 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

West Michigan Potter's Guild show!

Are you ready for the Holidays?
Me neither. But I am getting ready for the West Michigan Potter's Guild Show that is coming up on Nov. 9-10.  This show has been going on in various Grand Rapids, MI, locations for almost 40 years (at least that is what Chester told me.)  It is all pottery, all the time!  Maybe we will see you there...

I have fun new stuff. As always! Directions and hours of the Fall Potter's Guild show.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Conversation-Community Art Project

Freshly unveiled this past weekend at The Artsplace in Fremont, MI, is a new community art project entitled "Conversation".  I created this permanently installed artwork with the help of over 200 community members.  The three panels are comprised of reclaimed wood (Thanks, Peter!) and porcelain pinch pots and porcelain texture elements.  If you get into Fremont, you can see this wall sculpture by walking through the back entrance to The Artplace and looking to your right!  If you want to see more photos go to my flickr page.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Report from the Field

First Art Fair of the Season-An Adventure in Insanity

The first sign that this fair was not going to be great was the dead bird flattened and spread out in front of my booth space. Not to mention the 100% chance of rain and 47 degree temperatures the first weekend in June. Needless to say, sales were poor. 

The second day started with some shit. Literally. Dog probably. After that was cleaned up, we anticipated a day better than the one before since I only had on three shirts, a wool sweater, hat, and gloves but did not need my coat to keep normal body temperature. 

The best decision of the weekend was to get a decent hotel room by the airport. I had looked into a cheaper room option, but decided to go with a place my sister had stayed in before, since she said it had comfortable beds and was pretty quiet. I say the best decision because apparently the cheaper place had only a few hookers hanging out front where ours had none. Plus ours had an endless supply of hot water for the 45 minute long shower/bath I took after the first day the thaw out. Although I am sure it would have been entertaining to watch the Ladies of the Night, we instead watched "Storage Wars" on cable TV. 

Day two was much better in may ways, including the slow stripping off of clothes because we experienced normal June temperatures, plus there were actual customers who liked my stuff.  My favorite reaction was a woman who let out a really loud snort when she saw my "MINION" name tags. Although the wind picked up, so I had a true test of booth craftswomenship.  Mainly, how much wind would it take to destroy my set up?  This question was not yet answered.

I am glad to be able to end this post on an upbeat note, mainly, as Chester said, "No one died, and you made a profit."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dusting off Old Projects: Part III

Here is a piece for in front of the Fremont Post Office. It is called "Writer's Stone" and is made of fabricated steel and a natural rock.

Below are the front and back shots of a sculpture made for the White Cloud Middle School. Students helped with making the 18 sections that make up the three pillars. It is fabricated from cast aluminum panels and stainless steel. I actually cast the panels at Muskegon Community College! What fun!

Dusting off Old Projects: Part II

Lori Hough and I made this bear and fish for a park in Mt. Pleasant in 2003. It is life-size, bronze and very heavy!

This is a 6' tall cross I designed and made for the First Congregational Church in Fremont. We had lights installed on the back so it glows. It is also bronze and very heavy.

This a bronze piece title "New worlds through Words" and is located at the Grant Middle School. It is a life size bronze and was completed in 2005. The books are also bronze.

And below is the public art piece that started it all. Ray Jansma designed it and asked me to help. I mostly sculpted the little boy. It is a life size bronze located in front of the Fremont Community Library. And it was completed in 2001.

Dusting off Old Projects: Part I

Thought I would include a few images of projects from my past. So here is a large tile mural that is in the Fremont Middle School titled "Garden of the Imagination". It is about 35 feet long by 7 feet tall and made from earthenware clay. I had lots of help making it, I think there were around 800 people involved! (I would have to double check my record to get the exact #) Many, many many handmade tile were made and installed! Here we are cleaning grout from little textures... It was completed in 2004.

Here is another project from the past: "Solace Under the Starry Sky" an 18'x8' mosaic made for the Grant Middle School in 2002. 200 kids helped cut, shape and glue tiles for this project!