Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Photo-full Post to Catch Up with the New Year

It's been quite a while since I last posted, so I thought I'd include some of the art/making/things that I've been up to lately.  

Let's start with some student artwork! 

These were some underwater/coral reef sculptures that my clay class worked on, using slab, coil, and pinch pot techniques.  

They also got to finish adding detail to their Gnome Homes and Fairy Houses with underglaze. A few even decided to paint in features like wall art and big screen TVs inside.

One of my students wanted to make Christmas tree ornaments for her family....

...while another made a little snowman sculpture with hollow pinch pots scored together.  I get so excited to see what comes out of the kiln, especially when the kids are as enthralled with the process as I am.  I can't wait to see what they'll make and discover this year!

In other news, I have been busy in my own studio over the past few weeks as well, working on making the space more functional for the many projects I put it through.  It started with a workbench update using some lumber and metal pipe that my dad and I put together over a weekend and installed from wall-to-wall.  The bench is about two feet deep, so that as I build in more specific wall storage, I will be able to easily grab whatever tools or supplies I need.  

The bench is supported underneath by strips of wood along the walls that I caulked and painted to blend in with the wall, as well as in the front by two pipes and four fittings from Home Depot.  At the store I learned that yes, they do charge per cut on pipe-ugh!  

I am lucky to have people in my family who weld, as my dad was actually the one who put the shelf up top together for me from half-inch square steel rod.  The whole time he reminded me that I could be welding the shelf together myself..."it's easy," but explained that for the sake of time and getting the project done, he didn't mind doing it.  (I didn't mind either, as I haven't ever welded more than one ugly blob on the back of a sculpture, and that was over ten years ago.)  He's right though--I should get on that, so I can start doing some of this bigger metal stuff myself.  Next time...

This area looks sooo much cleaner in this picture, from when I first set up the bench and hadn't yet unpacked all my tools and projects.  It was great for finishing up Christmas presents for my sisters, and I like being able to leave a project in process on this side of the bench while I move back and forth with work on the other side, where my computer's currently set up.  

Some rotary bits, solder, books and goggles, ready to go.  

I've been getting used to another new tool on my bench for the past couple of days--a Silhouette Cameo electronic cutter--and have been using it to test out some ideas and possibilities.  This is an image I cut out for one of my sisters whose into insects.  I am thinking about some light fixture ideas, it's just pinned up here cuz I thought it looked kind of neat.  Some other things I am thinking might happen with this machine....etching resist w/ vinyl on copper (lamps? jewelry?) stencils for monoprints and screenprints...template and parts cutting for student projects (save my hands from scissor cramps and x-acto disasters-heck, yes!)

I also made a basic cuttable file for a tunnel book that includes scored sides for accordion folding.  I am thinking it could be good in the future if I have an older class, but I could probably modify it for younger students, too...there are possibilities.  I put together a quick demo of the idea below.  

I think this could be a good way to reinforce background, middle ground, and foreground, as well perspective, possibly value, using collage and drawing.  I have seen examples around the internet that focus on haiku and storytelling, so that would be a great use for this project.  

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