Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sneak Peeks

We couldn't wait... we put a couple of the bisqued pieces together.

My boots definitely need to be on the world wide web.
You need to see this in real life, and not in photos.
Three dimensions gives you a whole different experience of the whole thing.

Aside from the shrinkage issues, these suckers are bisque-ing up nicely.  No real cracks or warpage issues have occured, so I'm a happy mama.  Strike that; I'm a happy mama with some hot shoes.

Friday, April 20, 2012


So, a friend told me that I was whining too much.

This is when you know you have great friends.  They're not afraid to tell you what you're doing wrong. 

The mural will be fantastic, I just have super-anxiety about some things, like putting stuff on for permanent display...  I also am sick of school.  Who's with me?

photo courtesy Gabi Pearce

BUT, good news... GOOD NEWS!  We've got not one, but two kilns up and running (it only took about 4 months to get back on track).  This means that we've got the first load of tiles into the kiln RIGHT NOW, as I type!  Not only that, but we have the backing up, and some of the most fantastic boxes have gotten done.  I'm talking collaboratives with wheel throwers, a figurative sculpture leaning against the curve of the "S", ears laying in symmetry (just ears, nothing else).  My kids are fantastic.  I just don't give them enough credit.  I do love them so (most days).

I had the students do a writing to tell me from their perspective what it was like to be part of something so big, something so collaborative.  One of my students with pervasive, debilitating, life-altering disabilities wrote, "Art makes me special.  It makes me forget my autism and makes me feel normal."  GASP!  This is when I go, "Alrighty Robin, chill out."  The beauty of art is that it's therapy, creativity, expression, design, craft, environmental, mood-altering, and basically any other adjective or noun you can summon.  Art is so vast and expansive that it effects everyone from all walks of life, whether you're a viewer or a maker.  Good, or bad, ugly or beautiful, art makes you feel emotions, and that's the whole point.  We're here to give a bit of escapism to someone's day, even if it's for the few seconds that you walk by the mural to look at it.  Once I read those few sentences, I was brought back to my roots.  Art makes me special.  It makes me forget my cares and makes me feel normal.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Questionable

Sigh.  I've avoided writing because I have an obvious statement to say, and it's not the kindest thing.

Some are better than others.

But, hey, then again, isn't that the beauty of art?  Shouldn't the reason why we love this funky subject be because EVERYTHING is unique to the hand of the artist making it?  After all, that is why I despise places like Pier One who mass-produce art, without giving a care to recognize the person on the other side of the planet who made it.  Why, then, am I bemoaning some of my students for their artfulness?

Well... there's some stuff that just looks good.  It's got clean edges, repetitive designs, creative thought, intriguing shadows.   AND THEN, there's others.  There's the slopped shapes, marred lines, flat surfaces.  Some kids are just downright lazy, which accounts for about 1/74th of the mural (yes, I am thinking of a specific child.)  The others that are lacking in quality are done by people with profound disabilities.  If you or I struggled with those disadvantages, we would have artwork that looked exactly like the ones that I am concerned about.  I'm just hoping that my "with-it" students can pull up the quality of the mural from the trenches.  We do have some really fantastic ideas, too.  One child wants to have an interactive movable box, and another is hiding little men inside his.  Good ideas and great execution.

Let's just say that I've never had more students with profound learning issues.  Why did I pick to do this mural now, you ask?  Well... I wasn't pregnant.  Last year, my daughter Harper was born, and I was out for 8 weeks.  After doing my last mural in 2009, it seems like I just took too many years off of doing something big, that it was now or never.  Well... we'll just have to see how it turns out.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Worker Bees

Oh, dear.  I've gone and ignored you.

I do promise that there was a reason for it.  Instead of my yappin' along, just take a gander at what we've accomplished recently, and you'll see that I haven't had time for tapping the keys to my laptop.

I could look at pictures of clay all day.  It's almost as good as working with clay all day.  I'll leave you with one last image.