Category Archives: New Work

Women of Appalachia art exhibit 2015

This years Women of Appalachia Show has again gathered some very fine artwork made by women who live and work in the many counties of Appalachia.  I’m proud to be apart of this traveling exhibit and I hope you can get to see the show and go to one of the poetry and short story performances.

These are the sculptures that I have in the show.  There is a link to the website with more information at the end of this post.

OFF COURSE glass, clay, stone,shell

OFF COURSE
glass, clay, stone,shell

Below are three of my Fish from the Silica Based Life Form series

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McDonough 2a DSC_3421

http://www.womenofappalachia.com/

You can see this amazing show now at the Parkersburg Art Center, in the Multicultural Gallery in Baker Center, Athens Ohio from Jan 12 through April 30 2016 and at the Pump House Center for the Arts in Chillicothe from May 5 to ?

There is also a written word aspect to this show and three more readings will be held in December, March and May.  These are real women telling their own stories and sharing their poetry.

Glazing Pottery

Glazing is one of the most nerve wracking and at the same time the most satisfying aspect of making pottery.  The transformation from a dull dusty finish to the shiny colors of finished pieces is nothing short of amazing.   Before we glaze the pottery must be bisque fired.  This turns the clay to stone and allows easier handling and better absorption of the glaze into the pores of the ware.  It’s important to glaze soon after the bisque fire to avoid a build up of dust and grease that can inhibit the glaze from staying put during the next firing.Photo 33In the bisque fire the green ware can be stacked and stuffed in pretty tightly.  I put enough items in this bisque fire to do two glaze firings.fired bisquewareAfter the firing everything is unstacked and laid out on the table.  I use a white and a dark brown stoneware for handbuilding.  The white cylinders hold up the shelves and must be a little taller than everything else on the shelf.DSC_7426So, we have lots of glazing ahead but first we must wax our bottoms!  Glaze melts and if it is left on the bottom of a pot and placed on a shelf and fired it will turn from art to artifact before you can say “another kiln shelf ruined!!”.DSC_7434Speaking of things getting ruined, any place that wax is, glaze will not stick.  We must be careful not to put waxy fingerprints or drips on places that want glaze.  The only remedy for sloppy waxing is a refire in the next bisque to burn it off.  So with one hand for the pot and one for the wax we press on.DSC_7450I usually start with the accent glazes in multi colored items.  These accents can be covered by a dip in another glaze, or I might cover it with wax to make it stand out more.  I do many many test tiles with different glaze combinations to see what works and then I WRITE IT ALL DOWN!!  It is so important to keep records of firings, glazes, how applied, how thick etc.  It really cuts down on the clinkers!DSC_7459

Things start to get more organized as we glaze.   I am currently having fun with a line of glazes, Stroke&Coat by Mayco.  They come in a rainbow of colors, won’t run or react to each other, can be mixed or laid one color over another.  I also use them to sponge onto some of my big bucket glazes.DSC_7452These Victorian house bird feeders had accent glazes painted on to shutters, doors etc then wax on the color, then dipped in my half filled 5 gallon bucket of “white enamel”.  I use a sponge to dab off any white glaze that sticks to the wax while it is still wet.DSC_7542These turtles have been dipped in “lemon yellow” glaze, the one on the left has a layer of stroke & Coat orange underneath.  After wiping the bottom of their feet they are loaded in the kiln.  Everything gets on last once over with a wet sponge to remove any specks of glaze on the bottom.DSC_7549We then load the glaze kiln, where nothing can touch, and must be about a 1/4 inch away because as the firing progresses everything will get larger, and then shrink to a smaller size than when we started. DSC_7460Hello Alice, we are in wonderland now.Photo 9After 8-10 hours in a hot kiln and another 12 hours cooling off…..DSC_7470DSC_7471Magic has happened!DSC_7767All that was dull and dusty is now shiny, bright and new again!DSC_7539I like to play around with possible combinations, the roof and porch are not attached so they are interchangeable.  The leaves in front are awaiting a copper wire to transform them into Woodsprites.DSC_7554Having a cat wandering through makes life so much more excitingDSC_7731A formal picture and a posting online completes the cycle, time to clean off the table and begin again!

 

migrating fish

My Silica Based Life Form Fish have really been getting around.  This one just came home from the Zanesville Museum of Art’s 70th Ohio Exhibition.

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The Fish below just landed at the Dairy Barn in Athens Ohio and will travel to Athens West Virginia and Athens Georgia over the next year as part of the Athens Voices Show  Upcoming Exhibitions | Dairy Barn

Silica Based Life Form Fish

Silica Based Life Form
Fish

Five more of my slumped glass sculptures will be moving from Parkersburg West Virginia to Athens Ohio as part of the Women of Appalachia Show

Women of Appalachia | Their Stories & Their Art Exhibition

In the Eye of the Storm

In the Eye of the Storm

Silica Based Life Form Flower

Silica Based Life Form
Flower

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There’s an opening at the Dairy Barn January 16, 2015 from 5-7 pm and a reception for the Women of Appalachia Exhibit at the Multicultural Center in Athens Ohio March 13, 2015.

All of these sculptures are for sale if you live close enough we can negotiate the shipping charges.

 

 

Who Who Who? Owls that’s who!!

The owls have arrived in a variety of sizes and colors.

who's on first?

who’s on first?

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Still working on a poem, these things take their own time.

who are you?

who are you?

 

 

 

They are a HOOT to make so more will hatch…………

Here’s the poem!!

 

 

poems are included with each owl printed on bright card stock and tucked inside.

  Owl

Who sits silently in the trees

Who takes flight on the midnight breeze

Scourge of rodents near and far

Sage of the woods Who sees all

Who’ll keep watch all through the night

Counting stars while you sleep tight

Bacchus /Dionysus Greenman

A new Greenman has made it through the fires.  It’s been awhile since I’ve made one and I started this guy in September when I picked a variety of grape leaves.  They must be used fresh unlike oak leaves that last for years.

Detail of Bacchus

Detail of Bacchus

Bacchus is the Roman god of wine and Dionysus is the Greek god of wine.  I like wine too.  So I combined the Greenman  with a couple of gods and voila!!

The addition of grapes & curlicues completes the references to the fruit of the vine.  I finished this piece with a spray of various green stains that are fired on at stoneware temperatures.  Ready to hang indoors or outside.

To read more about the process of building a green man see the Women of Appalachia post.

Raku Firing Demonstration

 

looking into a hot Raku Kiln

My first blog entry, ever.  No pressure, what should I cover first.

How about Raku pottery and my Demo firing at the July Final Friday in Nelsonville Ohio.  If you were there thanks for checking out my web site and I hope you won the raffle!!! I’m writing this the day before as I fire some of the pieces I made, today.  There won’t be time Friday evening to do all the pots I made from the 50 lb box of Raku clay that I got from the Nelsonville Emporium last month.  So far I have only broken one piece probably because it was too tall for the smoking chamber and I hit it with the lid when it was molten hot and in a fragile state. Well time has flown, the Raku firing was a great success!  The weather was perfect, I had a great spot right next to the fountain.  I didn’t blow up any pots and people were properly amazed to see a glowing orange pot being lifted out of the kiln & placed in sawdust where flames ensued. The Raku Raffle was won by Mike.  He chose a blank pot, applied glaze by dipping into a 5 gallon bucket then shaking off the excess.  He also loaded the pot into the kiln, then lifted out the hot pot and placed it in the smoke chamber.  The results were fabulous with beautiful lustre colors.

Raku Kiln set up by the fountain

pulling out a red hot piece of pottery

washing off the ashes

things get really dramatic when the sun goes down

Here are some of the ware that was fired that evening.