Sunday, October 25, 2009

Russian nesting dolls

I made these this weekend. Each are thrown and then hand-painted with slip. They sort of fall into the category of pots with lids because each one comes apart. Now that I think about it though...even though they're all narrow enough to fit into each other, I'm not 100% certain that they are all going to fit while wearing their lids...I'll have to check on that tomorrow! Our new project is a table service. We each have to make 3 plates, 3 bowls and 3 cups. They all have to have a theme that ties them together. I have no idea what I'm going to do with mine. I'm still sketching and trying to figure that out. I've made one bowl that came out somewhat decent. I'm hoping to make much better ones though before our next critique. I want to get another A! Oh, I want another A so badly!
Anyway, I went ahead and made these this weekend because I know that I'm going to get crazy busy with my table service and I wanted to make these before I had no more time to work on them. I got the idea during our last critique. They were fun to make. Very different from anything else I've made so far...I loved carving their features and then painting them. If you EVER have a chance to take ceramics...DO SO! It's absolutely amazing!Update: Just wanted to add that they all fit inside each other! I tested them tonight. Yay!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I made an A! I am so incredibly happy!

So I was really nervous about this second critique. I spend hours in the CAC this past week between glazing and throwing and back has been hurting from all the hunching I've been doing this week. And my hands are drying out and cracking a little bit from working with the clay and the glaze so much. But I don't mind. I made an A!

These first two pots I don't particularly care for. I like the other ones a little better.

This one has a lid now, but it wasn't dry enough to trim last night which was when I took these pictures. It looks better now.

This was inspired by Diana Fayt's work. She has a blog. Google her and see what you come up with. Her work is beautiful. This is a shoddy imitation of her work.

I decided not to put a knob on this one. I kind of liked how it looked without one. Plus, I was running really late for BCM (Baptist Campus Ministries) and decided not to mess with making a knob at 10 past 8 at night when Bible study started at 8:37 (yes, exactly at 8:37 pm) and I still needed to go home and change and I was also picking up a friend too.
I was seriously very nervous before the critique tonight. I was the 3rd to the last person to go and by the time I went I was feeling a bit sick. I was sure he was going to give me a B or lower. But he looked at them for a few minutes and then said, "wow, these are good. You can tell you've put a lot of work into them." And then after class I went to find out what my grade was and he said I got an A. If I knew how to do a backflip I would have. But I don't. So I didn't. But I was VERY happy! I was not expecting that good of a grade.
Actually, this whole week was a good week for my classes. I made As on all my tests and quizzes. :) But this one made me happiest by far!


My teacher threw a bunch of plates and let us paint them! Even though I can't draw or paint at all it was still a really fun class.
My second critique is tonight! And I'm nervous. Although that could have less to do with my critique and more to do with the fact that I have a new job orientation this afternoon and I'm trying to finish my last-minute portfolio so I can switch majors. But I'll talk more about that later. :)
For now, I have to run. My next class starts soon and I have so much to do! I'll be back with pictures of the things I had critiqued!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Night time

It's been raining ALL week! I'm normally not a fan of the rain, but I think I've been holding up well this week despite how cold, wet and dreary it is here. As I was leaving the CAC the other night after finishing glazing my mugs (I got them all done! Yay! Can't wait to see how they turn out once they're fired!) I was just struck by how beautiful it was outside. Sure it was cold. Sure it was dark (after being a very gray day). Sure it was raining. But still, there was something about the light and the water and the colors that just seemed so lovely to me. So here is my attempt at capturing it.

I've never been able to figure out how to take photos at night. Someday I should really take a photography class. It's going on my To-Do list!

My newest jar. :)

This is the largest thing I've made so far. Trying to center 5 lbs. of clay is tough when you don't know how to do it. My arms and hands took quite a beating while I was trying to figure out how to do this. I threw the lid upside down on a plaster bat and then I threw the knob separately and used slip to attach it. Since then it's been trimmed and is now waiting to be fired...hoping it will help bring up my grade since all my other jars look rather terrible. I have two more large-ish jars to trim this week. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow and be able to throw a couple more as well to have finished on Monday. Wish me luck as my next critique is this Wednesday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like autumn!

Everywhere I go!

I love love love this time of year! Even though it's very cold, it makes me so happy!

A trip home!

I went home this weekend because I needed to get my car inspected. And I needed to get my big girl license, as one of the guys from Bible study put it (I turn 21 in less than a month!). And I needed to figure out my life because I'm changing my major and I need to pick out classes for next semester and I had NO CLUE as to what to do. In the end I got my car inspected and have some idea of what to do next semester...but unfortunately I didn't have much luck at the DMV. Social Security is down till Tuesday so they can't do anything with licenses until then. Oh well, I'll have to do it some other time. Two out of three isn't bad!

In addition to doing those things I just needed to see my family. And I needed to have my retainer adjusted, which I got done on Friday afternoon when I got into town. Not that anyone wants to know that. :) After that my family went to a hotdog roast at my sister's in-laws' house. It was a lot of fun and I got to see friends I haven't seen in quite awhile! The next evening I went to my sister's house for dinner and got to see the Bible study guys and my dear friend Becca for awhile. The visit was not nearly long enough, but at least I got to see them. :) The rest of the time this weekend was spent with my family talking, going to the store, snuggling with my niece, watching The Jungle Book and carving pumpkins. Seriously, we didn't buy the Disney's The Jungle Book OR carve pumpkins until I was 19. I'm catching up on all those kiddie activities now that I'm 20. :) It's great fun!
Here are pictures of the weekend!

I carved the smiling one with the teeth...I think the reason mine got teeth is because I worked for dentists for 2 years. :) Adam carved the one with angry eyes. >:
This little puppy is Abby. She is our other Havanese (Jude's girlfriend) and she is a ball of energy. She's a riot!
And she LOVES pumpkins! She and Jude kept running over and eating the pumpkin guts (I just had to call them that, lol). They couldn't get enough!
I make the weirdest faces when I'm concentrating on things. When I was younger I did ballet and made the funniest faces while dancing. I find that I bite my lower lip while I'm doing ceramics too. Does anyone else do stuff like that while concentrating hard on something?
My *not-so-little* little brother. He came out and carved a pumpkin with me. :) Thank you, Adam!
Holly preferred to just document the whole process on film. She is actually taking a photography class and was doing homework for it. So she missed out on the pumpkin carving fun. :( Maybe next time.
I love going home. Being away makes you appreciate your family and friends and hometown more. I am so glad I live close enough to go home every so often and be with my family.

A little outdoor fun. :)

Last Sunday I had just about had enough of dorms, of towns, of I called up my dear friend and asked her if she wanted to go to the state park just a few miles away and she agreed. I was in the car 5 minutes later to pick her up.
It turned out to be just the thing to cure me of my city blues. The weather was just right for climbing hills and rocks and boulders and by the end of our little visit I felt completely refreshed! Ahh...the great outdoors!
Here are some pictures from our trip!
I love these tree roots.
I'm pretty sure I took this while precariously perched on a ledge in a sort of cave. The place we visited seemed to be like a rock forest. Seriously, I felt like I was in Lord of the Rings. There weren't any real paths like you would find in a regular park. Basically we just got to run around in a forest full of trees and enormous rocks. It was amazing!

This tree is growing right out of the rock. I thought it was so cool!
Me trying to spider crawl up the rock walls...I wasn't very successful.
The beautiful!
I loved the railing at the overlook. So cool!Looking down.
I love the colors in this picture. It's like a combination of my favorites: greens, browns...and the rocks are gray of course but they have some blueish and purplish tints to them.
It felt so old. And kind of mysterious. But that was probably just me trying to romanticize the place. It made it more fun. :)
My dear friend...since middle school actually! You can't tell from the picture, but she is pretty high up in the air.

It was such a lovely afternoon. I am such a blessed girl. I am not nearly grateful enough for the blessings in my life. I have a wonderful, supportive family. I have dear friends. I am able to go to college. I have access to a car and am able to get away from college when I've had enough and escape to the beautiful outdoors. :) I just can't begin to number all of my blessings. Most importantly, I have a Savior who loves me so much He died for me and continuously forgives me for my sins and gives me so many wonderful blessings. It's almost too good to be true, but I'm so thankful that it IS true!

Old project...

I made this skirt back in August. It is loosely based on the circle skirt from Chic and Simple Sewing (aka: most awesome sewing book ever!). The way it is different is that the one in the book has a gathered waist while this one does not. It has a zipper closure. This material is rather heavy and it would look terrible gathered. It is still pretty much a circle skirt though. It was pretty easy and quick to make, except for my zipper. I have so much trouble with zippers it's not even funny. Mine always end up looking really wonky! Speaking on wonky, that is exactly how I would describe these two photos. They're both pretty equally bad. The one on top is missing my feet...the one on the bottom is my reflection in the mirror. Our mirror has this funny thing on it...I don't want to call it a residue, but perhaps that's what it is. It won't come off though. Kind of strange, huh? Anyway, I only wore the skirt once...just to take this picture actually, because I was waiting for the weather to cool off before I wore it. Well it cooled off. So much so that now I think it's entirely too cold to wear a skirt. Even with tights (trust me, I've tried). We went straight from summer to late autumn here. I guess that's okay.
It seems sort of 'fallish' to me because of it's muted colors and the fact that it's plaid...lately I've got a thing for plaid. And I kind of like the 'lumberjack' shirts that I've seen around lately. Not that I think I would look good in a flannel lumberjack shirt, but I know people (including my little sister) who pull it off very well. :)
Anyway, I got my sewing machine back! Hopefully there will be some sewing action going on around here. I blame it on urge to craft seems to have finally found me. Last fall I hardly did any crafting...and I regretted it. One of the things I love about crafting is that it helps me to slow down and be in the now. By being both physically and mentally engaged in a task I can let go of the things that have been occupying my mind and just release some energy in a productive way. It's hard to do that while I'm at school. I guess it's why I am loving my ceramics class so much. It has the same affect. And it's quite a workout too! Boy my arms have taken a beating these past couple of months. I don't mind a bit though. :) I guess when you find something you enjoy you don't mind the little pains that come with it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More Mail Love!

I received this care package in the mail this week. It is from my cousin Caity, her husband Brian, and my Aunt Liz. It is so fun to get stuff in the mail!
There were all sorts of goodies in here! Thanks so much Caity, Brian, and Aunt Liz. Your kindness means so much to me!
I love you guys!

Jason Lee

I had to go to at least one talk given by a visiting/local artist as an assignment for my ceramics class. I went to one given by Jason Lee. He is a sculptor. One of the reasons I chose to go to this talk as opposed to one of the other talks was because I thought sculpture was fascinating. You real art. Like Michaelangelo's David.

This was NOT that type of sculpture. To be honest, I'm not sure what message Mr. Lee is trying to send through his art. I think that part of it is a protest. A protest against our carbon footprinting, tearing down the rainforests, ruining the earth society. And I think some of it too, especially his earlier stuff, was just to mess with people a little bit. Which is rather amusing.
These are the pieces that were displayed in the gallery.

You can't see it very well in these pictures, but the green stuff in the orange boxes are actually pictures of grass. The lights on the wall are pictures of clouds. It's supposed to be a different take on 'bringing the outdoors in.'
This was my favorite's supposed to be like a flowing river.
I have mixed feelings about this artwork. I like it well enough, but it's not my style. I feel like Mr. Lee is trying to make you a bit uncomfortable with his work. He is obviously a talented man, though. I enjoyed his lecture a lot. Particularly because it completely changed my ideas on what sculpture is. It's basically anything you want it to be. I was always under the impression that sculptures were made from marble, clay, or wood...but it's not necessarily the case.
Maybe if I paid more attention in my Art Appreciation class last year I would have known that. :) I am glad that I went. Sometimes it is fun to be exposed to new ideas and different interpretations of the world around us. Even if you don't always agree with those ideas and interpretations.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ceramics update

So I had my first critique in my ceramics class last weekend. It went alright. I made a B+. I was a little bit devastated. I really wanted an A! These are my mugs...most of them. It's not a very good shot of them. Some of them look better in person. I actually threw away quite a few of them. The ones that I didn't like that much went back in the slurry. I think I made more than anybody else did. I didn't reach my goal of 40, but I submitted 21 and had made close to 30. I've made a few more since then too. My classmate, James, made these guys. I liked his monster mug so much I asked if I could take a picture, to which he replied, "please do!" Oh, I might add that I'm the only person who brought my camera to class. :P Apparently no one else in my class knows the bliss that is blogging.

Such awesomeness. :) Now that they've been fired once (I think it's called bisque firing) I think all the mugs look even better! I think we're going to start working on glazing this week too which is exciting.
We're working on pots with lids now. It's quite a bit more complicated...we'll see how this goes! I'll probably be spending a lot of time over there tomorrow working on those. Wish me luck!

What Doesn't Kill You Only Makes You Stronger...Or: Who Needs a Stairclimber in this Place?

I think that statement applies very well to my new town. Seriously, this place is built into and on top of a mountain. I took a few pictures of some of the stairs around here to show you what I'm up against.
Okay, I know this doesn't look like much, but this is just the first flight of stairs. It turns the corner to the right and goes up several more flights.

This looks a little more challenging. But guess what? I took this picture when I was already halfway up the stairs. It's actually about twice this long.
Even though you can't tell, once you get to the bottom of these steps you walk a few feet and then there is another long set of stairs that gets you down to the street/PRT station, etc.

These are the steps to the PRT. I was about halfway up the steps when I turned around and took this picture too. It's not nearly as challenging as the other sets of stairs. I just took it to show you that no matter where you go, you will have to climb stairs.
Oh by the way, this is only about a third of the way up this particular set of stairs. This set has a total of 88 steps...I counted. It's really hard to actually photograph how large these staircases really are. But basically that guy who is walking up the stairs is blocking the view of part of the stair case. I climbed this set of stairs literally 2 hours after giving blood and I almost died while climbing them. It was awful. :*(This doesn't look like very much, but once you get to the top you realize that there is another set of stairs to climb that are past this set. My friend made me climb these the day after I had given blood. I almost died again.
Seriously, I had no idea that giving blood takes so much out of pun intended.
Well, maybe it was intended a little bit. :)
More stairs...
Yep, if they don't kill me then they should definitely make me stronger! In fact, I've heard it said that you can tell what year you are here by the size of your calves. So if you're a junior (like me even though I'm a transfer student so I don't quite apply in this situation) you would supposedly have really big strong calves. I definitely feel a lot stronger than I did when I first got here and I've dropped a few pounds too without even trying. And I'm sure I've increased my cardiovascular health too. :) Win, win, win!