Monday, January 31, 2011

Kennedy Creek Pottery- Part 1

How do we judge if our time spent is worthwhile? By money in the bank or the size of the house we live in or how we spend our free time and with whom. By my measure it couldn’t get much better than this last weekend. Good food, good friends, good art and I might add a very good dog.
After Suzanne, Debi and I met Maggie just outside of Olympia Washington for a few groceries we went to a second hand store to find treasures. I found a box of what I thought was old tops but now I don’t think so, I don’t know what they are.
I also picked up some old brushes with nice color on them for a wall piece I'm working on...
 and some stencils and other odds and ends... a great start to the weekend.
That night we made some fun clay monsters to warm up to the clay then the next day we started on so many fun projects it will take several posts to tell you about them.
One project we did was “Sgraffito”. 
Sgraffito is a technique produced by starting with an unfired clay tile (white in this case) then painting on at least two layers of contrasting slip, black for us. You then scratch or carve into the top layer to reveal the white underneath. 
“Sgraffito Pottery was once considered to be the vessels of kings. From the Byzantine emperors to the Russian czars, Sgraffito has been the earthenware for the "blue-bloods" of Europe's finest houses. Sgraffito Pottery is defined by the intricate designs that have been actually scratched into the surface of the clay before firing. This sort of pottery is often made with bold colors and coated with a lighter liquid clay for contrast. It is at this point that the designs are scratched into the pottery showing the base color underneath. Article Source:
 This is Maggie our host rolling out a slab of clay.
 White tiles with black slip.
 Suzanne is working on a wonderful sgraffito Madonna and child, Debi is building a tent city (a later story).
This is our work before it is fired with a clear glaze on top.
 From top left to right, Tory-crow, Suzanne-Madonna, Debi-tree
Middle row, Maggie- turtle, Suzanne- flower, Maggie- Celtic chicken
Bottom row, Tory- crow, Debi-flower, Tory- bird on bamboo.
I'm so pleased with the success we all had, Maggie is an excellent teacher organized and articulate she makes learning a new project a real joy.
This is Spud he sleeps in the studio visits the house, cleans up spilt stew and makes everyone welcome, a very good dog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Playing with clay

I’m going to a friend’s studio this week who is a full time potter. Maggie and her husband Dave own Kennedy Creek Pottery inc. They live in the most beautiful wooded glade sorrowed by trees and are visited by all sorts of birds and wildlife, my kind of place.
Maggie ask me and two other gals to spend the weekend so we could learn a few techniques and have some fun, I couldn’t wait and had to mock up a little house from Sculpey that I might try to recreate.

I had a good time painting them then rubbing it off painting it again and sanding it off. Adding a few highlights and rubbing it again. One is never enough and had to make one more. Now I want to make a village.
If you are wondering about the lovely green couple on the right they are from a red rose tea box, Noah and his wife Ms. Noah. Poor woman she didn't get any credit or her name recorded for her part in the boat building and taking care of all those animals. I bet she would have a few things to say on a blog.
Look what is popping up, only 4" tall and so full of what spring promises.When I went out to take this photo a bird was singing the most beautiful song. But are they premature it is only January 25? Are your flowers coming up?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sisters having some fun

As a person interested in art design and technical aspects of building with different materials Disney is unbelievable. The first thing that hit me was the size of the place. 47 square miles it is twice the size of Manhattan or about the same size as San Francisco, California.

We headed into Asia to go on the Yeti roller coaster and this view shows how they can transport you with a large as life view.
This is the view from the top of the coaster just before we plunge to the bottom. The large tree in the middle of the photo is all man made with a theater inside.
The next day we are off to Epcot and space.

I heard behind me a kid saying why would anyone want a picture of that? I turned and told her I was an artist and could use this in a collage or on a card but I’m not sure she could get her mind around it, oh well.
Who knows?

It was nice to see the sun. But the way it came through the leaves was beautiful.

The lilys made a nice pattern.
We had a long trip home with a delay of 3 hours in Kansas City due to a broken plane and our luggage was delayed. To be delivered the next day and coming home our bags went to Vegas. It was funny they got lost both ways and it gives us a good story. It probably wouldn’t be funny if we didn’t have so much fun the rest of the time.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The Florida sun shines today. Yesterday I was on my own, my friends had to go home and my sis is still in meetings (no worries I like being on my own). I was dropped off in front of Gator Land about 11:00 am and could see wild birds perched on top of the buildings, paintings through the window. Hurry take my money let me in!

This painting is by M.S Barry a water color on canvas.Barry's work fills the gift shop walls and are very tempting with all the rich color and humor. But out in the real world.....
the birds move as if on a moving side walk only this one might have you for lunch.
Cute little Gray Catbird just a little smaller than a Robin.

"You lookin at me" Boat-tailed Grackle
Yellow-rumped Warbler gave me a great view for identification.
It was so fun to get up close on some of the birds for great shots. National Geographic here I come.

 I loved this painting.
 This is a beautiful boardwalk in the swamp. Almost no one was out there and I felt very alone and at peace. The trees made a different sound than at home a deeper hollow sound. The birds still moved around the same and did a great job of hiding from me.
They say that this is the headwaters of the Everglades 170 miles to the south.
I was thinking if I jumped I would fall into the ski.
The water is not deep but the soil under the water is black just perfect for reflection. I learned all about swamps today very interesting, I would love to spend more time in them poking around in a small boat well maybe a medium one to avoid snakes and alligators.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A great day in Florida

We flew all day, over 12 hours in and about planes. Landed in Florida about 7:00pm to find that our luggage went to D.C. It turned out O.K. they delivered them to the hotel the next morning . I meet up with my old and dear friends Ray and Kath who live about 3 hours south. They drove up for a visit and to give me the best bird tour ever.

It rained and poured, I found out latter that it broke a 1948 record of over 2" in the area. We would open the car window to shoot the photo and before we could close it we were soaking wet. I had to take great care last night to dry my camara. Regarless of the rain it was a blast.

This heron stands with his back to the worst of it.
Beautiful Egrets do the same. I'm starting to think this day will be a bust, little did I know...
Just around the corner .....more birds of every sort were waiting ....I nearly died....
These are Roseate Spoonbills. I have never seen such wonderful birds.

 A small cattle Egret watches the Spoonbills
 Then we come upon this Wood Stork OMG.. a birders dream!!! First time birds everywhere.
 He is fishing and being successful. It was fun to watch him if he turns he puts out one wing a spins around it.
This is the short list of birds, I have some wonderful photos to share but that will have to wait... I'm off today to find an alligator.

Out side the hotel last night, beautiful. Did I say I'm having fun!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

A fun and colorful day!

 At the give away table we all wanted to get to Suzanne's beads.
 The Portland Art Collective (PAC) meets once a month to share art, ideas, and a huge amount of friendship. We also have a give away table of art items we don't need any more. Then we got the great idea to pay a bit for what you picked off the table with all the money going to hire a few boys to move our doors at our annual art show. Well we are all healthy women and like a deal when we see it, so it should not have been a surprise that we made enough money and then some to hire the boys. It is so nice to have the young men do most of the hard work for us.
 After the PAC meeting a few of us went to Boarders for a small book group discussion and coffee.
It was fun to see the new publications and talk about the art we liked and what trends we may see in the future.
Dayna and Steph had their eyes closed so I had to photo shop some green shades for them and cut and paste myself in. We got silly and turned a few heads but hey it's not a library it's a coffee shop with a very large amount of books..

THE CURE FOR GRAY RAINY DAYS - and our next stop was....
 I went along with the others and was in no need of art supplies (say what) I just enjoyed all the color.
 I did start to get a hankering to bring home a rainbow.
 And a girl could always use a new pen....
 but I stayed strong and saved my penny's.
This piece was on the wall and I couldn't find the name of the artist but it was a beautiful sight on a gray wet day. Stay tuned I leave for Florida Sunday and I will be sending pictures and stories from there next week (I hope I can find some free wi-fi) see you then...stay dry.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Giveaway at the PAC blog

January's Portland Art Collective giveaway is a fabric journal made by Cynthia Mooney. The cover ties together and is held by a red button.

This is a wonderful journal, just use this link to jump over to the Portland Art Collective blog and leave a comment, that's it, you could win! 

 It looks like it will be ready for a trip.
Good luck...go win.