so as i begin this post, i have to admit-- i've been living in GA for FOUR months now, and this blog has been on my to-do list almost the entire time! that being said, i have been extremely busy and i promise to myself and my readers; i will try to keep up with life and blogs as i did with my china blog.
so after my virgina-ohio road trip ended it was time to spend quality time with my awesome family and friends before i moved out of the state. to be honest it was in these last couple weeks as a michigan resident that i realized, i may not ever have a place in michigan (besides a room in my parents house) to call my own. my time there became much more precious...
my wonderful mother and father hosted a graduation/going away/pottery sale-- it was a total success i mean people i hadn't seen in YEARS came, played corn-hole, relaxed, ate great food, bought pots. it was the best gathering i've been to in awhile. it meant so much! THANKS MOM AND DAD!!! it was really nice to be able to explain and show friends and family what i am doing. getting people involved and aware of my work was fun. the most exciting part of the party was seeing all of my pots go home with so many of my loved ones :) thank you to all who came out and supported this little artist's BIG move. all of the profits went to getting me on my feet down here, and i honestly don't know how i would have done it otherwise! oh and i am sure my parents thank you for getting all of those pots out of their garage! ha!
welcome to atlanta where the playa's play. --ludacris. if i were witty i could come up with some fun clay version on those lyrics. anywhoo--
so yes, after graduation i moved to hot-lanta and started working at MudFire Clayworks studio and gallery. MudFire is a wonderful community of ceramic artists. it is a membership based open-studio, open to clay people of all levels. members range from "never touched clay" to "been potting for years". we don't run on a class schedule, it is come as you please and get one-on-one lessons :) my position as a resident artist at MudFire is a wonderfully fitting first step in the ceramic world. it was important to me that after graduation i continued to make work, and get some experience outside of academia -- long term goals being grad school, and teaching at the university level. but man did i need a break from school. to be honest a break that will last a few years.
when entering MudFire for the first time, the first thing that i noticed was, DAMN THIS STUDIO IS CLEAN! it is a beautiful studio with a lot of natural light, open area for wheels and handbuilding tables, very large selection of glazes, stacked kiln room, and MANY smiling faces. oh and how could i forget a snack area.
the residency at MudFire has me working one day a week as a "ranger". ranger? you ask-- well, rangers are there to help you, make sure you're having fun, and keep the studio running smooth and safe--safe, mainly meaning keeping levels of dust at an ultimate LOW. for those clay folk reading this, you know that dust is our enemy, especially when we plan on having a career in clay for the rest of our lives. so a normal shift includes teaching beginner lessons, giving demos. loading and unloading kilns, mixing glazes and studio upkeep. also helping run the gallery, which is very exciting for me. i get really excited when UPS or FedEx deliveries come in, it's always like christmas morning. having access to a wonderful clay gallery that always has fantastic work being featured is really inspirational. i go into the gallery often :)
all of this lovey gooshing-- and i havent even gotten to the best part-- THE PEOPLE!!!! its really great being in a place where everyone is in their "happy place" no one is there because that have to be, there is no stress-out for critique or getting a grade. we hang out, talk clay, talk life, have a few beers, eat food, and play with clay. i also work with wonderful people, the other rangers are great-love em all! - and Erik and Luba are just fantastic people to work for. they have really done a great job with this studio, and i am happy to help keep it that way! Luba has a wonderfully contagious laugh, which i am sure it has progressively grown from being married to Erik, a true funny-guy. --if your reading this-- YOU GUYS ROCK!
i have been getting a lot of positive feedback on my teaching and my demos, which is reassuring. i also really like teaching, again-reassuring. i have always said this, but even more so here at MudFire, it is exciting for me to see people develop as we work together on learning the methods of clay. MudFire is also my "happy place".
oh!! and MudFire hosts amazing hands-on workshops 4-5 times a year. i am so lucky to be able to audit and observe these workshops. this summer Paul Andrew Wandless gave a work shop on image transfers on clay-- go figure-- right up my alley :) :) working with screen printing on clay. he also taught mono-printing with plaster slabs and casting slip. Paul is a great guy, he works and teaches in Chicago, IL. and just this passed weekend was the Deborah Schwartzkopf workshop. she has always been one of my favorite ceramic artists, and a big inspiration of mine. so that was nice to be able to watch her work. interacting with both artists has been great! MudFire also just released the 2013 workshop schedule, and let me tell you--- I AM PUMPED. first off-- ERIN FURIMSKY(bold surfaces)!!! Charlie Cummings(digital clay), Martha Grover(undulating), and Michael Kline(working fluidly).
here's a link for more info on those workshops!!
as for my personal clay-work while i have been at MudFire-- i came down here knowing that i wanted to focus on developing a functional line. after working so hard on my show, racking my brain for explanations of why i was making what i was, and putting it all down in words. i knew that it would feel really great to go back to what i initially fell in love with, and that is functional pottery.oh to give my academic brain a rest for a bit. it feels like playing, and i like that. i am very conscientious of the relationship between my new line of pottery and the sculptural design of my thesis show. i like where it is headed, but as i always say-- everything is an experiment and it will continue to evolve.
ALSO, who could have guessed it?-- i'm sure all of you. OF COURSE, i got the itch, and am now working on some altered vessels while i simultaneously work utilitarian. the altered vessels are moving slow since i am working on two separate bodies of work. but it is nice to alternate between the two. :) hopefully the blog posts will keep coming and i can keep you all up-to-date with the development of both my functional and decorative lines.
so here's some BIG galli-MudFire news----- my solo show opens tomorrow in gallery and online at noon. It is a collection of some of my functional work that i have made since being here. :)
here is the direct link to the show::
also with this comes my permanent page in the online gallery, which i will be continuously add work to during my residency. i will try to post blogs and facebook updates as my work is uploaded online. :)
here is the direct link to my MudFire page::
although i think it could go without saying,-- all things are good down here in the south!
as always, peace and love.