Sunday, August 7, 2016

Finding Time for Myself: Ceramics

Glazes: Buttermilk, Oxblood. Reduction firing.

Taking time for myself is something that usually falls by the wayside. It happens to us all, right? Life can be so busy. Well, after trying to find the the time, money and inclination to do something for myself, my wonderful husband pushed me to finally stretch my creative muscles in a way I haven't for such a long time! I have been taking ceramics classes on the wheel at the New York/New Jersey Academy of Ceramic Art in Jersey City. It has been a wonderful experience, and a great way to gain personal and professional development as an art educator.

One of my first pieces, set out to dry.

Working in this professional studio has given me a renewed appreciation for the qualities of clay, the importance of care and cleanliness in the work space, in taking time to work at improving my skills and abilities, and in making creative choices and seeing where they lead me.

Preparing to glaze finished pieces.

It has also been a refreshing change in my ceramics experiences, as working with children in the elementary art room has its own unique challenges, and outcomes. I love when children get to have clay experiences, as for many it may be the only time in life that they have the opportunity. And creating a coil pot, a bowl, or a statue can be a pretty magical experience! Here are my magical experiences shown below, with notes on glazes and firing. 

Glazes: Rutile Blue, Teadust Temmoku. Oxidation firing.

Glazes: Randy's Oribe, Charlie Black. Oxidation firing.

Glazes:Oatmeal, and wax resist. Oxidation firing.

Glazes: Pink Shino. Reduction firing.

Glazes: Mamo White, Blue Ying Ching. Oxidation firing.

Glazes: Davis Red Shino, Academy Mix. Reduction firing.

Glazes: Hamada Green, Randy's Oribe. Reduction firing.

Glazes: Thick White Shino, Oxblood. Reduction firing.

Glazes: Davis Red Shino. Oxidation firing.

Glazes: Iron Oxide, Rutile Blue, Lapis Blue. Oxidation firing.

None of these pieces are perfect, but I love them all. And since taking the time to pursue this art, I breathe a little easier, see pictures in the clouds again and feel like a working artist and student. Teachers should be life long learners after all. Special thanks to my teacher, Frank Bosco. I am so grateful for your knowledge and guidance, and all of my experiences in your wonderful studio!