Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fire can damage or create.


Like many things in this world fire (one of the oldest technologies) can be both a destructive force or a creative one. Every Potter has a love hate relationship with this. None more so then Raku Artists. All pottery must go through the firing processes. This is a traumatic time for every pieces with most making the transition from green-ware to bisque and eventually finished with no problem. Though some have issues or shatter along the way.

With Raku the bisque stage is just the start. Once this happens the artist will decorate the surface and place the piece back into a kiln. However rather then slow heat and cooling the pot is heated rather quickly (often 10-20 min rather then hours) and then snatched out of the still orange/tinted kiln with tongs. It is then either placed in a bin of combustibles and suffocated, or has these combustibles drizzled or poured on it. Many pieces can not withstand this drastic technique, with cracking, chipping, and colors going wrong.

But when the process goes right the effect is magnificent.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Artist can Sell A Place!

When one works and lives art you sometimes start to blend in so much you forget to look at the big picture. While at the same time if you are not part of the art community you may not know how this group of people in every area has a key role to play for the community and often the economy.

Art is Culture, weather the art is your area is Fine Art exclusively or Craft and Outsider Art exclusive or a wonderful blend of all, the culture of a town and the people in it is often expressed in the art. Does your area have a Community Theater? Do they hold Art festivals, Art or Studio Crawls? How many galleries or museums are in a quick drive from you?

These are all things that contribute a great deal to how a community, or neighborhood is seen.

An example of this is the area in Charlotte NC I spent a great deal of time in while in School at UNCC and after when working. This area was known a NODA or North Davidson. This area had once been Mill Worker homes, that later were left to fall into disrepair and gained a very bad reputation as a Slums.  While a YMCA was in the neighborhood the mills had closed and the area became to poor to stay in repair. However this low rent district became a great place for poor artists, students and gallery owners to rent or buy to renovate.

As a group the artists began hosting monthly studio and gallery crawls with artists working out of doors and rental studios being available and showcasing upcoming artists. Close to downtown this area was great for University students and higher class alike however the draw to the area was the art. This became so great a draw new apartments were going up, and the mill houses started to increase in value, so fast artists were no longer able to afford to live or work in this district. Oddly they had worked themselves out of real estate.

Now these displaced artists and galleries have moved to other lower rent and “underserved” areas only to see the same effect happening again.

So while not everyone may be interested in the Trendy shops and galleries please remember these places and Artists have a key role if done right in building back rundown communities.

Just remember Trendy Sells, and Art is Trend.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holidays for an Artist

From November- the end of Dec we often think of gift giving and family time. These are wonderful things to remember and be happy to share with others. However if you are an artist this time of year may have extra aspects to it. We still look forward so giving to our friends and family, though we may have mixed feelings about giving our own works. For some it is we love to give and are exited to share what we make. For some it is wondering if we should give our work to this person again this year or try for something different. For others we wonder if our work will be taken at it's true value if the recipient is not an art lover and sees it more as a Homemade gift rather then a piece of art (my worst fear).

However we still share, we give and we make sure that our hearts are in every gift we give. Artists are business owners, we work hard and make things that mean something to us. We hope we can share those feelings with others. So the Holidays is a time to express ourselves through work. However for many it is also our busiest time of the year.

While our own gifts may have a decisions on we are happy to help others with their holiday shopping. Though artists most likely have started months before hand to make sure they have the items they will need to do this. So it is not only a busy time for sales it is the deadline for many to have their works being made. Also rush orders for that special someone's custom piece may or may not be an option and depends on the artist.

We rush to make peoples holidays filled with art and good service. This is how many artists work in the holidays. However there is one thing that should be remembered. It does not matter if it is a painting, photograph, ceramics, or any other, all art is unique to the artist. It is part of them. So the holidays is not just for giving gifts, but is an opportunity to share someones love.

Before you go to a box store for that office gift, look for local artists works instead.