Author Archives: Carol McDonough

About Carol McDonough

Carol McDonough owner of CMcDonough Designs, has been making pottery, clay and glass sculptures for over 35 years.

Destroy/Create/Repeat

My work titled “Destroy/Create/Repeat” was was juried into the Best of 2020 show put on by the Ohio Designer Craftsmen in Columbus OH. The dates are a little squishy right now but I will update when we all know more.  You can view all the pieces in the show on their website, http://ohiocraft.org

The title refers to the circular nature of not just life but everything. Every single thing that we humans make required the destruction and recreation of something if not many things.  When you consider that every molecule in our bodies came from our food be it flora or fauna and that we will return all that we are to this closed system someday.  Every single thing that a plant needs to sustain itself requires the destruction of molecules in the soil and the destruction of our sun in the form of photons that excite the photosynthesis process in every green leaf and stem.

I created this piece with recycled/upcycled bottles that I smash and reassemble in clay molds that I create and fire in my kiln. I then arrange the fired glass and add embellishments as needed.  As with most of my work I discover the meaning? point? reason d’etre? after the fact.  I follow my muse with questions on a gut level and she informs my understanding of myself and my place in the universe.  This understanding percolates slowly into my consciousness sometimes many weeks, months after the fact.  I sometimes feel that a piece isn’t done until I get the message.  Your message will probably be different and that’s the power of art to communicate.

The piece looks a little like a geyser that hit a glass ceiling ;-D  It is coming and going on the top side and the interior.  I love the way glass melts and catching it in the act gives a most satisfying feeling of movement, something I’ve long been trying to imbue into my work.

Ohio Cooperative Living

The November 2019 issue of Ohio Cooperative Living Magazine featured C McDonough Designs in their annual Holiday Gift Guide. A photo with a bird feeder, woodsprite and leaf baby represents the leafy line of pottery offered. Please click on store above left to see all of the pottery for sale from C McDonough Designs

bird feeder
Woodsprites
this one sold, more on the way

Open Studio Event

C McDonough Designs Studio will be holding an Open Studio event as part of National Clay Week. Saturday October 12 from 11 am to 5 pm. The studio will be open for people to walk through, all pottery is for sale and a Raku firing demonstration will be going on outside. We’ll be firing pieces made by several local students plus some of Carol’s Raku ware.

Raku fired vase

Take a ride in the country during peak leaf peeping time and checkout some of the amazing art being made in your area. Shop local and get a jump on your holiday gift list. Click on store in the upper left corner to see what’s available.

Raku kiln firing at night

The open studio was a great success!

we had beautiful weather for the firing
my students were happy with their creations, so was I!

I got a prize!!

As a member of the Parkersburg Art Center I entered their annual member show “BowWowMeow”.   I took in one of my cat food dishes and surprise surprise! I got a prize!!

The Stakeout, who will get the drop?

it’s porcelain and perfectly fine for people too

This dish is a little larger than my usual 4-5″ diameter.  It was made as part of a special order from a cat owner who’s cat Stewie’s whiskers were bothered by the rim of a regular dish.  I made three larger, shallower dishes for Stewie (I always make extras) and he got two.  A portrait dish and a “Hittin the Sushi Bar”.

Stewie’s special order

I have a line of cat dishes with 14 hilarious drawings of cats.  I have been hosting cats for most of my life and find them very aMUSEing .  Click on store at the top of this page to see more…

Best of 2019

I was accepted into Ohio Designer Craftsmen’s annual juried show this year. My sculpture “Blue Wave” will be on display at the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus, Ohio from May 5, through July 28, 2019. The show then travels to Springfield, Ohio from September 20 through December 15, 2019. Pictures below. This piece is made of slumped glass and clay with some resin embellishments. I have made some ceramic molds to create the glass shapes.

the glass starts from a lightning bolt
it flows down to the ground

Women of Appalachia Project 2018-19

It’s time again for the Women of Appalachia Project, a special show that is run by and for women in the Appalachian region.  It brings together visual artists and poets in a traveling art show and poetry readings.  Here are pictures of my entries.

Flower/Vase
slumped glass

Untitled
glass and clay

BROKEN WATER
clay,glass,stone,shell

Go to womenofappalachia.com for a full listing of events.

 

Riverside Artists Gallery “Poetry in Art 2018”

The Riverside Artists Gallery is putting on a show!  The opening is August 25 from 6-9pm.  Poets will read their poems and then a visual artist will talk about the artwork created to bring that poem alive.

The poem that inspired me is “Myself” by Debby Mullins

“I hear a noise in the distant night of a hound that seems to cry.  ‘What’s wrong ole dog?’  I asked myself, but myself didn’t say why.

Myself is far in the future and always has somewhere to go.  But as for me, I know nothing, my mind is just ‘to and fro’.

So like the ole dog I hear howling in the dark and distant night.  My mind is not at ease and myself just isn’t right.”

Here are pictures of the sculpture I made, the scary trees represent the dark and distant night or the past.  The white piece in front with tiny barefoot footprints the future and new hope/ideas. As myself and ole dog make their way down the path.

Can you find what’s just not right?

 

The River Exhibition

Here are some pictures of two sculptures that were juried into “The River” exhibition at the Parkersburg Art Center PAC. The opening will be on Sunday July 22, 2018 from 1:30-3:30pm.

BROKEN WATER view 1 note the falling water

BROKEN WATER view 2

BROKEN WATER detail

IN THE CURRENT

IN THE CURRENT

IN THE CURRENT detail

 

These are mixed media, slumped glass  and ceramic with added shells and stones.  And glue.

more Raku with a little bird watching

After a wicked hot May, we’ve had a few perfect days this June.  I took the opportunity to fire up the Raku kiln and finish off some pottery that’s been waiting far too long!

the Raku kiln is sitting on top of some soft brick to protect the grass

Assisted by my faithful puppy Kato we settled in for an afternoon in the shade.

Since it’s early June there is lots of birdie action to watch.  I got pics of a Redbelly woodpecker and a Downy Woodpecker hitting the suet cake.  Judging by the wad of suet they were carrying away I’d say they were feeding babies.

Downy Woodpecker

 

 

 

Redbelly Woodpecker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a pair of Bluebirds checking out one of my ceramic houses.

Bluebirds

And this little ceramic owl seems a bit nervous about jumping into the fire!

some finished Raku ware

Raku Class

I taught a Raku class recently and as usual I learned a lot.  But first I had to refurbish my Raku kiln.  I’ve had this kiln since the mid 80’s? and the last time I used it I burned too much gas.  So I ordered a new kiln blanket, and relined the original kiln right on top of the old liner.  The blanket is made of spun kaolin fibers and create a fabulous heat barrier in a tiny space.  

 

the blanket can be cut to size with scissors

 

 

 

 

After piecing together some scraps on the bottom of the kiln and using high temperature wire to secure the seam it was time to apply heat!

 

 

 

 

It was a beautiful morning when I set up the kiln.  I used some soft brick stacked two high to hold the kiln shelf.  In Raku firing the pieces are usually fired one at a time so the shelf is pretty small.  A round shaped kiln is also a plus as it directs the flame around the piece keeping the temperature more even.  A small gas tank is attached and we are ready to fire!

 

 

 

 

As students arrive and glaze their pieces we get a rhythm going, preheating the next pot on top of the kiln helps to move things along as the piece is already hot when I restart the kiln.  Each firing takes 15- 30 min.

 

 

 

 

Some of the finished ware.

 

Some of my finished ware available in my store.