welp. all i can say is wet. everything is wet. its been raining like crazy. luckily we have a dry room at the studio... with a dehumidifier and some heat fans bc i can leave my work uncovered and its still super wet a day later... with the short time im here id like things to dry out quickly. since ive been trimming bone dry (which ive become pretty good at) i can skip the leather hard stage and not worry about things drying out... and things can stack up and be hanging out bone dry till whenever i get to them. its actually pretty nice... only down fall is sharpening tools... id like to hire a tool sharpener... 5 rmb a tool... any takers?? ha.
so i would say i packed on the heavy side... and just now needed to do laundry. which came at a bad time... i could pay someone to do my laundry... but i get it back wet. there are no dryers. so i did my laundry myself... all of my clothes have been hanging for two days now.. still wet. talked to li chao.. theres a laundry matt somewhere with dryers.. i must go.
so we have friends in the studio... giant spiders.. most of you know.. normally im not one to get scared of spiders, these i can look at when they are still.. but as soon as they start moving, i freak. they are so fricken fast.. ahh. id say they are about 3-4 in long.. and i guess those are small. also mosquitoes are really bad out here.. im bit up. and some bites look bad.. swollen and red bigger than a quarter, nick keeps telling me they are spider bites, but im pretty certain hes giving me a hard time bc i freak out every time i see one of those giant freaks.
GLAZING!! so i mentioned before we are once firing everything instead of bisque firing bone dry stuff (bisque firing is a very low firing.. usually cone 08-010 which makes the pots no longer clay, but porous enough to absorb the moisture of the glaze before the glaze firing, in other words.. it makes it a whole lot easier) so with the bone dry wares.. we apply the glaze... carefully bc the bone dry clay absorbs moisture and since its still clay... it can just crumble if it gets too wet. even more careful if the work is thin (bc theres less room for moisture to be absorbed).. which mine is! so glazing takes a couple days. I started with almost 70 lil cups and bowls.. i lost 4 just applying the liner glaze (liner glaze is the glaze on interior of the pot) the glaze studio is not attached to our work studio so we walk them over on boards... no big when its not pouring outside... then after the liner glaze is applied.. put it out in the sun to dry.. not when its pouring.. so back to our studio space into the dry room... lol. i am continuing my glazing technique of resists, and multiple glazes.. so again... LONG PROCESS. and i bought some underglaze decals which is more work... but hey. i do what i do bc i love it. and every time i try something new, and i get better and quicker. so at the end of today... i have 61 pots glazed and ready for the gas kiln which will be loaded thursday. i am uber excited. ive tried some very new things. load thursday fire friday unload late saturday. ahh so excited.
so our lil artist talk and image share went very well.. we did it right after dinner... so everyone was there.. afterwards quiet a few people came up to talk to me about my work.. with great compliments and great suggestions and references to research. also li chao came to my space and told me he wanted me to start working on my figurative sets while im here... so i started. :) after the talks... andres hannah #2 nick and myself went to an artist talk at the pottery workshop.. which is studio in town... it was an american potter.. so it was in english then translated.. which was nice bc the night before i sat through a lecture in chinese... and the slides werent even that interesting lol. the american artist was mat rude.. worked under don reitz for awhile.. and now teaches at iowa(i think) i actually think ive seen his work before i do know i have read an article of his about the drinking vessel when i first learned how to make a handled drinking vessel in my into to throwing class. it was also really interesting to watch and observe the translation.... on our walk back we couldnt catch a cab.. bc they were all taken.. bc it was pouring.. go figure. but this young chinese guy came up and shared his umbrella... i was surprised when he asked what i had though of the lecture,... his english was pretty good... but im sure i was talking to fast for him to understand.. then parted ways.. and it was back to the rain for me.
its funny how ive seem to make friends with the locals.. and not even able to speak a word to each other.. there are two ladies at the store i go to... who just love me.. they talk to me even tho i dont know what they are saying... i went there last night and they had me take pictures with them. they are so cute. also our cooks... i love them... myself and a couple others helped with dinner friday,... and that was sooo much fun. me being the goof i am... was dancing and making funny noises.. so demamma makes me do this lil dance almost every time i see her... which is at least 3 times a day. bob from harrison bought cake for us a couple nights ago... i think the women thought it was my bday.. they brought out candles and started singing happy bday... then put frosting all over my face. lol. demamma and her husband (our door/beer guy).. come in and sit in my work station sometimes... and we just try to talk.. lol which ends up being demamma trying to talk... and then just laughing alot... or the door man (i need to know his name) making fun of my piercing... or just repeating everything i say... he brought me some mystery fruit today while i was glazing... it was good... but when i asked what it was.. nick said a crapple... bc every time he eats them.... well yeah you get it. lol. again all lies. i really do love this place. and im already sad im leaving jingdezhen in 12 days... i feel at home... away from home. and im making alot of work which is great. bob and li chao both told me to come back for fall semester... i said i cant bc it would put me back a semester... bob is convinced that it can be worked out. im almost tempted. seriously. li chao also told me i could come here for my masters. bob said no... not to jci, bc the cirriculum isnt right. i do know i will be back tho. i just hope its sooner than later.
oh and everyone on this trip is sick.. and all on z-pacs... it started with becky.... jake.. boomer.. andres.. carman.. nick... donna... and i thought i was invincible or something... but i woke up today with a sore throat, an ear ache and stuffy nose... bob is going to get me a z-pac tomorrow.
i think this is the first time i complained a bit... about the rain and being sick... but still... nothing could get me down from this high. i truly love china. and clay. =)
OH! last night we went to k-tv... which is karaoke... BUT.. you get a private room and all this jazzed up ish. even our own bathroom.. WESTERN BATHROOM! but apparently they were about to close so they just gave us a free hour... with no booze... which makes karaoke kinda hard. and the rumors are true li chao is an amazing singer.. and performer. he is def my fave by far. i did lady gaga.. bad romance...(really bc no one was singing and it was kind of awkward...it took alot out of me to do it). first time ever to sing karaoke completly sober. and i am BAD... not good at all. lol. so since we didnt get the full experince last night we are going again saturday before the harrisburg ppl leave.
tomorrow we are going to see REAL ancient ming dynasty villages(tam bao and yaoli--- sp?). chris explained that most of the villages of ming dynasty were burned down... but this village was really smart... and they wrote mao-ist propaganda on their walls so when the red army came through... they couldnt destroy it. i guess you can still see some of the red paint... so ill be charging up my camera battery tonight!! and im sure my next blog post will correct any misunderstood info/ history. thursday we are going to the decal factory.. which im excited about... im looking into getting some made... =)
thats it for now. ill leave you with some studio pics. and pics with my new friends.
peace and love from jingdezhen...
ps... forecast: 93 and sunny tomorrow.... then thunderstorms and high 80s for the next 10 days. ha. laundry mat needed.
6/7/2011 10:14:20 pm
Looks like you are having a good time except for the spiders, the rain and mosquitoes. I also am not afraid of spiders except the one on your wall looks quite scarey! Hoping they eat the mosquitoes. Hope you find a laundry mat ASAP.
6/8/2011 07:04:32 am
Spiders and I do not mix!!!!! That spider in the photo is crazy big!!!! If you put your clothing in the freezer they will dry!!!! Take them out once they are frozen and hang!!!! I did not have a dryer when I had Virginia and Edwin for nearly a year!!!!
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steph galli-- china summer 2011 and fall 2011