I thought I'd start out, as coherently as I can, early as it is.
I was introduced to clay in grade school and kept coming back to it up through high school and college years. I didn't think I was an artist, however, so I always felt good work was just serendipity or "luck." In my early thirties, I found myself at CSUF, back in clay, and began to realize it was not luck. Besides ceramic classes, I took something like a senior seminar--glaze composition, made my own wedging table, molds, etc.
In the intervening years, I didn't have a kiln at home, so I kept going with polymer clays, until I could get the wiring done and acquire some equipment. (My poly brooches used to be available at two venues in the Tower, during the early nineties.) I've now got two electric kilns and a small electric porcelain kiln (my test kiln).
I like working with self-slip for color--slip made from the same body as the clay I'm working and colored with oxides or mason stains, as well as mixes of clays used as slip. I spent some time in theater tech during my first two years of college, so I really enjoy creating faux surfaces. Archeology and historical objects, from a variety of cultures, also influence.
Initially, I was making pendants and handbuilt beads but friends kept saying, "You should make tiles!" I finally started making tiles and now they say, "You should make beads!" It makes me laugh.
I'm making tile sets and jewelry now, firing to 03, or 5, depending on the purpose of the finished item and materials. I most often use porcelain and a dark basaltic (Cassius Clay, if you're familiar...).
I'm "green" by nature, if I can be. I'm single firing---glazing directly on wet, leather hard or bone dry clay and firing to maturity. It's working great. Saves time and electric, too.
I've sent you a longer note of explanation...I'm very sorry. Your introduction wasn't in this thread. No one has posted an introduction here since I opened the discussion...all of the Introduction replies were made to the Comment Wall, instead.
Thankfully my original post was able to be retrieved, here it is:
I started working in clay about three years ago, wanting to make a few vases for my lavender (I have a lavender farm). I enjoyed clay so much I dove in full speed ahead. I find I can't learn enough or experiment enough with clay and find the medium limitless. I entered a couple of ceramic pieces in two local shows and much to my surprise, I won a blue ribbon in both. Now I am doubly encouraged and am having so much fun designing, making and glazing my ceramics. I am experimenting with several types of clay such as porcelain, stoneware, cassius, russian river, black mountain and more and many forms such as vases, bowls, platters, sculpture and jewelry, etc. I am also taking as many workshops as I can to learn from various other clay artists. I am winding my way on a wonderful journey with clay.
If you want to learn more about my clay journey you can check my blog Blue Starr Gallery.
Hey Ceramic Peeps:
I would like to know you all. It helps when opportunities and info arise.
What brought you here?
Are you looking for career help?
Are you looking to take your art into a bigger arena?
Are you looking to enjoy and take your time with your inspiriations?
I involve myself with many of the business orgs and lectures as possible. I try to maintain a business sence with my art endevours. For me, this is inclusive. The direction of my interest is to create an international dinnerware line, one step at a time. I stay involved with the CVBI (Central Valley Business Incubator) as business requires a look at demographics of your product, business plans, goals, etc. So if I know more about you, I will post activities you may be interested in.
My name is Ann Stewart. I started my art career at a very young age. My first recollection, a concrete wall that needed some omph. I foraged for an appropriate medium. In the garage I found black oil based paint. Great contrast, and I began to paint the entire wall with ???????
The wall surrounded 1/4 acre.
I studied ceramics in jr. hi and hi school. But my primary love was life drawing. After graduating hi school, I left for San Francisco. I worked for Johnson & Higgins (ins. brokers) and attended San Francisco City College for life drawing. I moved back to LA with J&H. I needed to support myself, so I worked full tiime in the business world. Always taking classes, art history, drawing, etc. I studied at the California Art Institute in Calabasas, again drawing people. I went full time at a trade school studying Graphic Design.
I started a business doing business identies. Logos, stationary, promotional post cards. My husband was transferred to Fresno, so here I was. Now what? I worked with a Duncan Ceramics ambassador to qualify to be a certified duncan instructor. That basically was how to use all of their products. I met very talented people during that time. I opened a ceramic studio in old town Clovis. However, my accountant reviewed all the numbers and there was greater profit for my original work. I went back to school. Fresno City, studied ceramics with Jim Shepard and Amy Morgan. What talent!
Here I am. I pursue functional dinnerware and anything that can be used for serving tasty bites. I especially love teapots. Can't wait to learn more about you all. Ann Stewart
Hi, my name is Shelley. I started out in Ceramics about 7 years ago with Richard Flores at COS, I feel so lucky to have been able to do that, he is so knowledgeable, and has experienced so many adventures.
I love the way clay feels in my hands both wet and fired.... My favorite is high fired stoneware, to me it feels so gritty and yummy, I am not a huge fan of porcelain, there is just something about it too smooth, too cold. I have been working on a series for a while now, figures without faces, portraying my messages through body language... its a work in progress. There is some on my pictures page.
I like glazes and do some glaze experimentation, but I am not really a fan of precise measurments... so that makes that problem, I have some friends who make fabulous glazes. For me I prefer no glaze on my sculptures. I recently started wheel throwing.... mmm what fun that is, going to have to build a wheel though, and someday maybe a kiln!
Welcome! And sorry for the late reply...last two months have been busy, along with flu bouts! I'm just catching up (well, I like to *think* I am ;P ). If you make it up to Fresno during a weekday, you may want to stop by Fresno City College. Students there are using a cast-off electric kiln to build a gas kiln...on the cheap side, all things considered. There will also be a Geil/Coleman workshop this April. I'll have details soon. Feel free to post pics here...it's fun to see what everyone's working on!