What to do when the snow flies? Fire a kiln! I’ve been playing with glass again and I found a new rabbit hole to explore. I’ve entered a few of these pieces into juried shows. I’ll let you know if I get in anywhere. Some of them are so new I’m not sure if they’re done so they still reside on my work table.
Keeping warm and carrying on.
You can find my work year round at the Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, Ohio and Nelsonville Emporium, Nelsonville, Ohio. I’m always online just click on store in the upper left corner to go to my etsy shop. There’s no need to register with etsy to shop, they have introduced guest checkout.
This year I’ll be doing two craft fairs, kicking things off on black Friday in Covington Kentucky at the Ohio Designer Craftsman Winterfair!
I’ll be doing the Dairy Barn Holiday Bazaar the following weekend. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
I am so very lucky to live in a most bountiful place, surrounded by trees, flowers, streams, and stars. All of this natural beauty impresses itself into my artwork much like I impress leaves into clay. My husband and I have planted hundreds of trees on our farm since we moved here so many years ago.
I have collected leaves, bugs and other natural ephemera for as long as I can remember, I’m still partial to the red leaves of fall. When I started making “leafy” pottery I tried to turn clay leaves into bowls and such but the age old question asked by many through the years is “but can you eat spaghetti out of it?” No.
I did find ways to use leaves to print onto thrown ware and tiles, from super simple to extra detailed.
My latest leaf product has come full circle, individual ceramic leaves that can hang on the wall or sit on a table, or both. Click on store in the upper left corner to see all of my products. I’m currently running a coupon code in my online shop for $10 off any order over $50, good until January 30,2018. Just put HOLIDAY17 in the coupon space at checkout.
The Majestic Gallery in Nelsonville, Ohio will be exhibiting two of my sculptures as part of their Majestic National juried show. The show opens on October 27 as part of the Final Friday events. Final Fridays in Nelsonville are a wonderful example of community fun, the square is pedestrian friendly, it’s laid back and has a wonderful range of art experiences.
The featured photo shows a slumped glass and ceramic sculpture “Carried Away”. Also in the show is “Medusa” a stoneware wall sculpture shown below.
You can always see most of the things I make in my store by clicking the tab on the upper left corner of this page.
I also make sculptures that I exhibit in juried shows. This fall as part of the Women in Appalachia Project three of my sculptures will be on view at four galleries in Ohio and West Virginia.
The three most important things about selling on line are 1- the photograph 2- the photograph and 3- the copy. Let’s face it when someone is scrolling through thousands of available products you have about a 60th of a second to catch their eye and then you have a moment to get their attention.
When I first opened my online shop one of the first things I did was search for something that I also make. For example, a teapot. Then after scrolling through the first five pages I jumped to page 12,879. I found photos that were dark, out of focus, and swamped by the fussy background. In order to eliminate the problem of too dark and fuzzy is to use a tripod. You can shoot at very slow shutter speeds to allow enough light in without moving during the shot. Auto focus has been a real help since my eyes aren’t getting any sharper but if you have the option to shoot in different modes you may need to set the focus area. It’s important to try to focus in a mid point of a 3-D item so the whole item is in focus not just the front on the rim. Using a small aperture (the bigger the f-stop number the smaller the opening) also creates a bigger “depth of field”. This means that more of the item, front to back will be in focus as opposed to just a thin front to back slice being in focus. Of course the smaller the opening, the longer the exposure time to get enough light making a tripod essential.
Disclaimer here, I don’t know anything about cell phone photography, smart or otherwise. I use a digital SLR camera and I learned with film cameras. I’m sure someone out there has come up with a tiny tripod for phone cameras. No matter what camera you use, photos are still all about light so let’s start there. I like to use natural light and I often shoot pictures of my Greenmen outside on the east side of the house in the afternoon shade. I tack a piece of backdrop onto the wall with a hole at the screws for hanging the piece.
One of the drawbacks of using natural light is conditions are not always optimal. An overcast day on the shady side of the building is best. However you can create some overcast by tacking a large piece of semi sheer fabric at the top of the backdrop for the piece and drape it over you and camera to diffuse the sharp reflections that occur on a bright sunny day. I have also used a canopy with poster board covering the gap to create more shade for my green man photos. If you look closely you can see the reflections of the trees in the background.
Most of my items are smaller than the Greenmen and I shoot these on my table with a translucent white backdrop that is hanging from the ceiling and can be rolled up when not in use. I also hang some sheer white fabric in front of the table to give a uniform look to the highlights, eliminate reflections and bounce more light on the subject.
The light comes from a west window so I shoot before the sun gets too low. I can also open a door if the light is dim , for example on a rainy day. I also use a piece of white poster board on the dark side to bounce more light back onto the shadows. A few highlights and a gentle shadow are fine and help show the dimensions of the piece. If you don’t have a window handy a lamp will do. You may have to try different white balance options to find the one that gives the truest color balance.
If the item has a shiny dark surface using a piece of black fabric or paper in front of the item will eliminate reflections of every item in the room. Cut a hole or a long vertical slit for the camera lens to peek through.
I’m able to make any adjustments needed using the photo app that came with my computer, color balance and exposure are the most used along with cropping, fill up that screen. Think of your photograph as another work of art and really look at it. Keep notes and keep trying, you’ll get better.
Four of my slumped glass and clay sculptures will be on display this winter. “Off Course” seen above and below will be in the Athens Voices show that starts in Athens Ohio on Jan 13.
click the link below to see where it will sail off to next…
Three more sculptures will be in the Ohio University Multicultural Center Gallery in Baker Center as part of the Women of Appalachia Project. I’ll be helping to hang the show with several other artists, this is one of the perks, getting to know other artists in a relaxed space where we all work together to put on a show. And quite a show it is, funny, thoughtful, personal, evocative, and poetic! The opening reception is on Feb 3 from 5-8pm. click on the link below for more info
I will be selling my work in five places this holiday season. As always, in my etsy shop, just click on store at the top of this page to go there and see my wares.
Starting November 18,2016 and running through December 24 the Dayton Visual Art Center will be showcasing my work in their annual Holiday Gift Gallery. Here’s a link
On Black Friday I will be starting a three day craft fair in downtown Cincinnati (Covington KY) sponsored by Ohio Designer Craftsmen. Nov 25-27. Stop by booth #328 for a 10% discount!
On December 2 and 3 I’ll be doing one last craft fair at the Dairy Barn in Athens, OHhttp://dairybarn.org/event-view/2016-holiday-bazaar/
As always my work is available year round at the Nelsonville Emporium in Nelsonville, OH and the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, OH