Plate one has been carved. I opted to go with more southernisms right now but am brainstorming about creating patterns. Plate lips are a pain! I’m crossing my fingers nothing warps or cracks. Tired. Need to pack. Beginning to talk like Frankenstein. Over.
I have been “knee high to a pig’s eye” in work this year with the college’s transition from “college” to “university,” SACS accreditation, departmental changes, and my desire to be in the studio with the kids. I could have taken it easy leaving the students to work on their own but....I’m just like my mom. This new group of students asked for demos I never get to give. I opened projects up since there were so many great questions I wanted to answer and demo. Before I knew it, I was staying in the lab until 3am to create new works. I’ve finally reintroduced color into new exploratory works I’d like to continue. My brain is on hyperdrive as to so many series I’d like to begin. I’ve got alternative methods I’d like to explore on trimming and hanging my disks. Ug! So many ideas and so little time. Now that’s a first world problem 😀. But I digress. I just got a call from the Asheville Art Museum gift shop asking to consign works related to Appalachia Now (a story I need to write). Although I have other southern travel disks that might apply, I’ve gone into a frenzy to create a set of image plates. I’m in the “to foot or not to foot” and “leave it raw, or refine” debate. I wish I had more than one full week to explore before I have to send images and inventory list before taking off to the British Isles. So in writing my first blog in a while, I’m wasting quality creation time! Stay tuned and thanks for being patient. Instagram is the best way to see updates!
Don't think I haven't been busy since school has started. Mum's the word on a pending exhibition so stay posted until the official museum notification goes out. It's killing me to hold in this big secret! Now that I know a certain body of work is reserved until late 2019, it's time to send applications into new shows.
In the meantime, I planned and took my students to the Biltmore to see the Chihuly glass, hung some exhibits at Limestone, and am busy serving on several new committees that I'm very passionate about. The Global Experiences Committee will allow me to plan and take student abroad with tuition money! This year's trip to the British Isles will be the last trip I have to recruit and raise funds for! Whew. During Fall Break, I've worked tirelessly on webpage updates, curriculum maps, next year's one-year plan for scheduling, and making the Major Donor Dinner gifts.
I'm thrilled to post that my tryptic on Tennessee music placed third place in the Anything Goes! exhibit at the Gaffney Visitor's Center that was part of the Peach Festival celebrations. The exhibit was judged by Jane Nodine. Thanks to all at CAVA and the Gaffney Ledger for the publicity of the show. It's nice to be surrounded by talented friends and neighbors here in Gaffney.
I know I took a photo class to learn how to photograph and edit my works but who has time when summer is counting down? Fortunately for me, I know so many great people especially some of my previous gifted students. Justin Kelly is now an art teacher, artist, photographer, and jack of all trades. I'm very proud of him. Justin and his friend Tom came by "Disco Laundry", my studio, to help photograph new works for the update of my webpage. Sometimes students and those that buy art have no idea the expenses that go along with being an artist such as paying for professional photos, supplies, webpage yearly fees, applications for exhibitions, memberships in artist guilds, postcards, mailers, storage, gas, etc! Even if art is a side gig, exhibiting can be expensive and the cost of said items has to be added into the total price of the work if sold. I am appreciative to have art friends like Justin I can depend upon when it's crunch time!
Post Spain and Portugal, I’ve been obsessing over Moorish/Islamic tiles and patterns viewed in the Alhambra and mosques in Córdoba. Here are a few carvings I’ve finished. Eventually I’ll get back to travel images but for now, I’m lost in pattern.
Professor Emily Tuttle and I are ready to bounce! Our group of ten depart today to Spain and Portugal for two weeks of inspiration. I can’t wait to start carving. I’ll admit I’ve been binging on creepy Spanish ghoul, Cryptid, UFO, and ghost story research. For some fun listening, check out #bigfootcollectorsclub podcast. Maybe they’ll do a story about El Coco, the Spanish version of the boogeyman! Follow my Instagram for frequent pics! Adios.
Spring semester post exhibitions has been non-stop. The disk carving and exhibitions were halted for teaching, administrative work, and production of mugs and bowls (not to mention student exhibitions, bachelorette parties, student's wedding, and a couple concerts). The first part of production is for the motivation of my students. Each time I teach Beginning Wheel Throwing, I offer the "Great Mug Challenge" allowing each student a chance to surpass the minimum requirements, improve skills, and earn one of my mugs if they choose the extra work load. Secondly, the sale of functional pottery helps pay for my expenses to take my students abroad. This year Emily Tuttle and I are taking a group of ten to Spain and Portugal. Recruiting and organizing students can be an exciting task but also as frustrating as herding cats (no offense to cat lovers). We are already recruiting for next summer's trip to the British Isles. If anyone is interested in joining us or purchasing pottery to help me raise funds, please "holler' (Spice Girl fans may break out in song..."Holler Holler Holler Holler Come On). I'm hopeful that the year after British Isles, Limestone College (soon to be Limestone University) will officially host it's first school-funded Global Experiences trips meaning I should be funded by the school when taking students abroad.
Photos Above: 1) Great Mug Challenge winners Kelsey Stanley and Brittany "Britanica" Durrah (not pictured Camrey Clark). Photo 2) Tyler Hill get's his EF backpack for our trip to Spain & Portugal. Photo 3) @Sydceramics gets married! Photo 4) Graduation with Brit. Photo 5) Production handle-pulling.
I'd like to say a HUGE shout out to those that purchased pots, LC Alumni and Development, and Carolyn Borders. When you give back to LC after graduation, you can request that funds go towards the Art Department or for a specific cause. Karma people, pay it forward. Support the Arts!
One month from tomorrow I’ll be zipping around Spain. I’ll know I’ve earned the trip after two years of recruiting students, as well as making and selling mugs. The last batch will go on sale tomorrow. “Holler” if interested.
Storyteller is up! This solo show is located in the Eoff Hall Gallery at Motlow State in Tullahoma, TN. The school is named after the Motlow family’s donation of the land on which the school is built. The Motlow family’s claim to fame is Jack Daniels whiskey. I created several new tiles for this region. Close to Tullahoma and Lynchburg is Shelbyville, home of the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration. Flat to gently rolling hills of the farms quickly change as you move east to Chattanooga. The diversity of scenery and land make Tennessee a great place to explore.
On the drive over, I stopped in Knoxville, TN to reconnect with a previous Governor’s School for the Arts student, John Phillips, and an old High School friend, Stanton Webster. They are a few of the superstar celebrities of the revitalization efforts in town as well as for their crafts. John Phillips owns and operates Phillips Forged ( @phillips.forged ) https://phillipsforged.com/ creating one-of-a-kind knives. Check out his site or sign up for one of his classes at Arrowmont School for the Arts and Crafts. Stanton Webster co-owns and operates Post Modern Spirits ( @postmodernspirits ) https://postmodernspirits.com/ . “Gin is in!” These two guys are passionate about making a coonection between their art forms and the community. I’m hoping to visit again, photodocument their process and make a Knoxville tile this summer. Their skills go along with some previous tiles I created now on display in NY at the Southern Sampler exhibit.
Today I head home to Smith County, TN. While there, I’ll speak to the high school art classes then head back to Tullahoma for my reception and Artist talk Valentine’s Day.
I’d like to give a big thanks to Hayley Douglas de Gonzalez http://www.hayleyjeanette.com/ceramics.html for delivering five pieces of mine to the SC>Higher Ed show while I’m away. It just reinforces the love and support of the artist community. I always tell my students that it’s a small world. Make good connections. I’d also like to give a huge thank you to Brian Robinson, gallery curator and Art Department Chair of Motlow State for the opportunity to exhibit at your school. Brian has been a champion of the arts proving to administration the importance of exhibitions for the community. Motlow has done a great job with publicity on campus.