Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 reflections, 2013 pursuits

It has been awhile since I've wrote in this blog. I thought I would catch everyone up on the 2012 year and all thats happened. Its been a year now since I've moved away from my functional work and started the sculptural path. I wanted to emphasize that we had recieved two very nice grants and one of them being specifically from the TN Arts Commission to pursue the sculptural work. I really dont think I would have financially been able to stop functional work for a year if it wasnt for the grant. I guess lookin back on the year i wish I would've kept with a smaller production of functional while I was building the new work but I was so excited for a change that I didnt look back. I've had one hell of a year traveling all over and self promoting through shows, picking up new galleries and giving some incredible workshops. I've been blessed to be able to share my ideas and the pursuit of being fearless and lifechanging experiences in clay. I was able to give a weeklong workshop at Arrowmont this year which was awsome. I met some life long friends there and am thankful for the opportunity. I spent a week living in the truck and spending time with my good friend Josh Copus and firing his Temple Kiln. I am planning on in the near future building once again a wood kiln primarily to put sculpture in. The pieces I brought up to Josh and fired was a huge springboard for next time. Workin in series rather than commitiing to a body of work for years allows me to build 20 to 30 pieces at a time and explore new firings and surface design. Even though I am having a blast workin this way I find myself having to educate that Its very much a direction rather than "i'm just playin." I hope to work this way till I'm dead and gone. I hate getting bored and dont want you to get bored with me or my work. I'm not able to do that with function. I thinkits too scary for people. It makes more since with sculpture, at least to me anyway. On a sad note we lost my father this year to sickness. That experience really knocked my feet out from me. Without gettin down thinkin of all that, I'm thankful I wasnt at a show or outta town. Both my brother and I and my family were able to be there for my dad. I have since, more than ever looked at life as if it really is fleeting. It's made me step up even more for my family and to make work like I'm on some urgent mission. I think I really needed a break from makin cups and mugs and anything that might uncover or contain. Lookin back on this year I have gained a new perpective and excitment to pursue a small more refined line of functional items. I have a show at Mudfire in Decatur georgia introducing both new functional as well as sculpture in Feb 2013. I plan on going full steam ahead with some new ideas in sculpture but I realized that I love good functional work as well. I made cups for the source -material show at Crimson Laurel Gallery this year for the first time in a year and I really thought I was going to skip steps making them. I can say they are probably the best cups I've made in awhile and I really enjoyed makin them. I try not to say this as if I feel defeated because we've had some huge success with the new direction but I had to step back this year to realize that I'm every bit of a potter. I was introduced to clay through a potter and I'm very thankful I didnt meet someone like me makin the work I do now at first. I probably would've been ruined without ever having the experience of working as a potter. I think the reason I want to pursue both sculpture and function, now that I've had time to marinate on it awhile is because I really demand at times more from myself but from the clay as well. Functional work allows me to stay grounded with humble conversation and quiet progression while the sculptural work lets the explorer come out in me. I dont have to worry about if I'm too loud or in your face with my approach to clay because its completely non-objective work. I get to be ambigous and not have a clear explanation everytime with what I'm trying to say. Maybe I just have two sides to me and its more clear when I work in clay. Either way I've learned to love clay for its quiet approach and its loud approach and that its the persons ability to bring out either. We,ve made a new website and it will have an etsy site with primarily functional items as well as sculpture on it. I really appreciate all the support and comments thrown my way through this year. Whether good or bad, I try to consume all advice, wisdom and actions given to me. I'm ready for 2013 and it better be ready for me. Stay tuned for more happenins, you can visit my FB, twitter and blog from my website. Happy holidays.    

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shadow May 2012 "The Fearless Sculpture"

Its been awhile since my last postin so theres alot to catch up on. I've really let the clay evolve in the past year. So much so that I completely transitioned from potter to sculptor. I guess the easy way to put it is I'm not makin anything functional for awhile. I really cant tell you how I got to this point but I do know that it's been brewing in my gut and heart for awhile. The exciting part of this process is that I could never had made this jump without the many years of striving and workin as a functional to semi functional potter. I've finally allowed myself to look at clay as a material rather than a product for someone to use. Now that I've tasted the honey of  being fearless with my work I dont think nor do I have any desire to go back. I've had a busy start to the year with this new direction. We've traveled to florida and finally have had sucess down there to giving workshops at the Bascom and soon to be a weeklong workshop at Arrowmont. I've had a couple sell out shows which I never ever had and the problem, being a good problem to have is that I have aton of work to make to meet all the stuff I have going on. Its been very validating to have a great response to the new work. I just got back from giving my " Fearless Sculpture" workshop at the Bascom center for visual arts and it was an awsome experience. Frank Vickery, the director for the Bascom invited me up and I'm so grateful for the opportunity. A very beutiful art center in Highlands NC. Frank is an awsome dude. If you have never been to the Bascom you really need to make it a destination. I've finally hired an assitant to my mix. His name is Adam Kirby. He was one of my students when I was teachin at UTC. He's a great young man with alot of potential. I never thought I would get to the point of needin someone to help me but buildin some of these pieces takes two dudes. We are going to transition into an internship for him. He's really excited and a sponge when it comes to clay. I wish I had somenoe like me to work with when I was his age. I am thankful for my early apprenticships and i could've never approached clay the way that I do without them. I will be giving more workshops this year. I will be at TN Tech/appalachian center for craft in june and The potters village in August. This Oct I will be giving a weelong workshop at Arrowmont so you need to sign up! I'm really excited and thankful for the many blessins and opportunities that have come my way. I live under the belief that I'm not an island and that any sucess I have is because of the outreach of love and frienship that I'm given. Thank you to everyone for keepin me focused and on the right track. I wont let you down. I head to Artisphere this weekend. It's a juried art show that is held in downtown Greenville SC. I want to emphasize that stayin busy and keepin up with the new success has been wearing on my body. I know this sounds like I'm whining and I should just suck it up and be grateful...and I am. I really do feel like I lift weights everyday. The new direction is makin me stretch and work smarter. I think I'm embarkin on some of the best work of my career and to continue with it I need to keep my body limber and healthy. Not to say that I wont continue to have a little whisky durin work hours. My family is healthy and happy. Ana is almost done with her MBA in buisness administration. She has a great job that she enjoys and loves her family to no end. Rocket is our life. He has moved me in so many ways and shows me how to make work with passion and emotion. Just lookin at him and how he reacts to his surroundins humbles me. I've said this many time so it my be redundant but I believe that if you can find a way to integrate your every experience in life into your work methods and art you will make fresh, mind blowin work. So much so that it'll seem like its too good to be tru. Just live without fear when it comes to your art and challenge yourself to take risks and step out on that ledge. You might surprise yourself.