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.
I’s super excited that thirteen of my newest works created specifically for this show will be in display in NY from January through March, 2018!
I'm super excited to announce two more exhibits are in the works!
I worked over Christmas break firing and mounting works for Southern Sampler. Thirteen disks are bubble-wrapped and delivered to the amazing curator, Tim Massey and should be in transit now to upstate New York. I wish him safe travels as he heads towards the lake effect land of snow and ice.
Waterworks exhibits will be taken down February 5, 2018. If you haven't gotten a chance to see the exhibit, hurry! You will not be disappointed as I'm sandwiched by two other galleries including works by the UBER talented Susan Lenz and a retrospective of photographer Ben Martin.
As far as my next ventures, five pieces will be sent to Florence, SC at Francis Marion University for a group show featuring 22 university and college professors entitled SC Clay>Higher Ed. I'll be betwixt some amazing notable artists and good friends. The works I selected for this show represent influential travel locations.
The next exhibit will be a solo show entitled Storyteller at Motlow Community College Eoff Hall Art Gallery. The dates are not set in stone yet but it should run from mid February through March, 2018. I'm going to try to complete five more works before that date.
Wish me luck! Thanks for all the support.
Thanksgiving Break is over. I’ve binged on chocolates and everyone else’s cooking. Although sick with a fever and cough, I was able to carve nine tiles in five days (and load two student bisques) for the upcoming Southern Sampler Exhibition making a grand total of eighteen southern-specific works. I needed to produce more than the thirteen promised pieces since I realized so many were Tennessee-centric. I’ve got locations, stereotypes, southernisms, and traditional crafts represented.
Before foot surgery I rolled 23 blanks out for flipping and compressing thinking that would take me through Fall and Spring semesters. Fortunately, I’ve been pretty darn focused (or don’t have a life while in art mode). I’m down to five tiles left and Fall 17 isn’t over. If only Thanksgiving break weren’t three days longer. I fantasize about what I could accomplish if I had sabaticle! The foot doctor is making me go back for another recheck to determine when and if foot two will be operated upon. I need to roll out another 200 lbs of blanks before that happens at this rate.
My hubby and I had a good talk. He is my harshest critic. We discussed the use of pattern and reduction of pattern. I’d love to hear what you all think about this as well as the narrative element. Do you prefer the more hidden narrative or obvious? Are you connecting with this series or more interested in the quick summary of exotic locations? What draws you in and holds your attention? Comments and thoughts are always appreciated. I want to grow.
If you would like the titles or translations of the southernisms, drop me a note. If you have suggestions for southernisms, “holler!”
Off I go to wash the dust off....
Author: Carolyn Ford
Artist, world traveler, yarn spinner, and lover of random things.