Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Seeking Inspiration

I’ve been hit by Spring Fever of the worst kind. The past few weeks I’ve been staring blankly at shelves full of bisque ware begging to be glazed. It could be the buds blossoming on my favorite magnolia tree or the crocuses pushing up through the last remnants of melted snow. Or a bit too much left brain technology problem solving + a few warm sunny days = a serious case of 'glazers' block. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with glazes but my painterly technique and a heavy reliance on test tiles is very time consuming. I am envious of all the prolific ceramic artists/production potters whose blogs display shelves upon shelves brimming with pots of all sizes. Somehow they magically end up on Etsy perfectly finished.

So I asked myself, what is a blocked artist/procrastinator to do? Seek out inspiration! Looking for fresh ideas, I attended almost back to back exhibits at the New York’s Annual Armory Art Show (international contemporary art) the first week of March and the Architectural Digest Annual Show (Designer/Artisan home trade show) last weekend. Both were located in football field size loft like spaces at Piers 92 & 94 on 12th Ave in New York. Each show was unique and packed full of creativity, enough to get me motivated and...start glazing.

The top picture is a collage of selected pics from the Design Show I attended with Joe. He doesn’t like me taking pictures of him so I managed to grab a behind snapshot of him viewing the delicately carved wooden torsos. The bottom set is from the Armory show that I attended with my artistic daughter, Audrey (shown taking a picture of us in an artwork of mirrors). I was fortunate to run into my artist friend, Marilyn Dintenfass (Babcock Gallery) presenting her new collection of beautiful color saturated abstract prints. Passing one of my favorite actresses, Glenn Close, appreciating the art was quite thrilling as well. Wish I had the nerve to tell her much I love her role in 'Damages'.


  1. Well that looks like a great place to get inspiration. The pots you make are so beautiful and well worth the technique you do. I sometimes envy the potters that dip their glazes and feel like you sometimes when I see all the work other potters have on their shelves, sell at art shows and etsy. the last couple of days I've been thinking of all the green work I have piled up here and wondering how I will glaze it all, especially the red clay which I have never worked with. I have no idea how I will glaze it or how it will turn out. I might have to make a few test tiles. I guess that's where a test kiln would come in. I might need a tiny one of those so I can test before committing to putting glazes on my work. Oh well, thanks goodness Spring is on it's way.

  2. Hi Linda, Thank you for the generous compliment as sometimes I’m full of self doubt and find this blogging such a unique way of connecting with like minded artists. My observation is that when a piece has sculptural emphasis (like yours), less is better regarding glazes. One ceramic artist that might be of inspiration to you for glazing is Jerilyn Virden (see above pic) who makes large earthenware sculptures and functional pots. I saw her display at the Architecture & Design show and noticed she works with red clay and has a spare glaze palette so as not to distract from the beauty of her work. The contrast of her milky glazes and the red clay is quite stunning…and enviable. I definitely recommend a small test kiln which has helped me quite a bit.

  3. The only thing I do not lack is imagination… in all aspects of life, and sometimes (too many times) it over floods. May be that's why I have no enough patience to do test tiles, and I tend to test new glazes on dishes… sometimes I am lucky, but many other times I am not, but you usually do not see it since I do not take photos of disasters. I just smash them in the special box I have for this. This problem with too much imagination or inspiration, is not always a good character, I want to do so many things at once, and jump from one thing to another, and therefore always find myself in a race…


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