Tiki Time!

January 22, 2012 at 8:18 pm (inspiration) (, , )

So I have a commission for a Tiki. ^_^ I’ll need to keep preparing for the Ceramics SHowcase, but Tiki carving is such fun. Its so silly and campy. You don’t have to take anything about it seriously.

In the mean time I made it down to the Bullseye Glass Gallery. Every time I try to go there they are closed. This is usually because I foget about it until I’m in the neighborhood and I’m never in the neighborhood when they are open. Except I finally was. There was a nice exhibition on painterly glass. I really liked the works of Abi Spring and Ted Sawyer

I also saw this ginormous tile work at restaurant that is making me think about glazes and color. The tiles were flat boring tiles, but the glaze was used in a very painterly way. Makes me want to try that some. Maybe combined with portraiture? I must contemplate this further.


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Tentacle love

November 24, 2011 at 7:17 am (inspiration, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Philip K. Dick was an amazing Author. A while back I read an interview with him just before he died where he laid out the frame work for a story. A main plot point was an alien race that beheld colors in a way that humans can’t, but couldn’t hear.

My mind went immideatly to cephalopods. Cuttle fish to be particular, mostly because of the giant cuttlefish near Austrailia which can put on such a great show. Also because they are known to communicate through using color.

Now we’re finding out out more and more about the intelligence of Octopi. Other animals as well, but Octopi and other cephalopods are just so fascinatingly different.

I can’t imagine eating something so intelligent, it honestly grosses me out to see cooked octopus. I wonder if someday in the future humans will be able to honestly communicate with the alien creatures that haunt our waters, and how humans will effect the evolution of octipi… and vice versa. (I mean, if we’re going to start adopting genese from other creatures, I totally want color changing skin.)

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THe most depressing future.

November 18, 2011 at 3:08 pm (inspiration) (, , , , , , , )

My husband, Justin, is an anaylist. Its just something that he is, not the job he has, unfortunatly. That’s actually the problem, but we’ll get there later. He is very, painfully, rediculously good at reading trends and figuring out what groups of people are going to do, how politicians are going to act. It bores him to death, but he’s also really good at manipulating resources.

The problem is that he doesn’t want to work for Republicans. As everyone is finding out now (thanks to the Occupy Movement) and what I’ve been hearing about for years (thanks to my Husband) the Republicans have been gaming the system for the rich and coating it with the Classic American Myth to get everyone else to protect them. The idea that you get what you earn, that if you’re poor its your own fault, if you just wanted it you’d work harder and get more.

This ideal is fine, except that its a lie. No one works harder than farmers, and they only get around $28,000 a year, unless they own a mega farm.

He’s seen his opportunities dry up from the day he graduated college. People act as though this recession started in ’08, but really, my generation has been struggling since ’01. My friends from college all have low paying jobs, high debt, and cannot advance. Our wages are stagnate, and have been for a while.

All this because the system has been gamed to protect the rich. The minimum wage hadn’t been increased in ages, and then when it was, it was a desperate joke. (Seriously, no one can live off of $7.25 an hour.) Taxes on the rich have been lowered, regulations have been loosened, and regulating bodies have had their budgets slashed so that they don’t have the personnel nor man hours to do their jobs. The income gap at the top is ridiculous, a new aristocracy has emerged, all under Republican lead initiatives and ideas.

So my brilliant (and he is) analyst husband can’t stomach the thought of working for them, while he and his friends and his family are shaken down and hung out to dry by these Robbers in Politicians robes. He gave up on the idea of working directly for the government.

By the time that happened, and by the time he decided to go for his masters, he’s been out of school for so long that he can’t get in to the programs that would actually get him a job. THey have literally told him not to apply. They don’t have the money (budgets being slashed because there aren’t the tax dollars) and you have to be in the educational system to get further in the educational system.

So now he’s looking at just trying to get a job and excelling in that, but there are no jobs, and every time he goes looking for a new one he keeps getting pushed back down the ladder.

This makes me angry. As an artist, I by the very nature of the deal, have to slip in and out of systems. I feel fluidity in my movement, and though I’m struggling with my own self-promotional issues I do not feel as though I have lost every opportunity. (Far from it.) To see someone so cut off and crushed by a rich-serving system, and to have that be someone I love? I am angry.

The one reason I do not march with Occupy Portland is because they refuse to solidify behind any real goals or ideas. They just scream about this inequality and expect someone else to do it. Not me. Here is what I’d like to see:

Tax rates on CEO’s tied to the lowest paid worker in their company.
Taxes raised on people making over $250,000; and even more on those making over $500,000.
Funding for Regulation– I’m sick of poisoned food and products making it over from China.
Funding for Transportation, including High Speed Rail and Light Rail in American Cities.
Funding for Schools from the bottom to the top– Throwing money at the problems doesn’t’ work, but not having enough money to pay for educations doesn’t work either.

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Book reading

September 24, 2011 at 5:13 am (inspiration, Studio and Environment) (, , , , , , , , )

Last night my favorite Author, Neal Stephenson was in town. I went to go see him, it was your usual sort of book event. Go to the Bagdad Theater (manage to get front row seats), Participate in the t-shirt “egg hunt” (found three, gave away two) listen to the Author read from his new book (Reamde) and listen to the Author answer questions from the audience (deeply nerdy, largely socially awkward, mostly intelligent) .

My political science husband got up and flustered Mr. Stephenson by asking him about libertarianism (my understanding of what he said was that he likes libertarians but the practice of libertarianism doesn’t seem to bring people more freedom, besides if he wrote his books to express his politics they would suck.) There were of course the aspiring writers looking for some amazing bit of wisdom that would make their writing career launch and the writing easier. I loved his response. “Writing is like cabinet making, its not an art, it’s a craft.” He went on to talk about how you have to write 10,000 pages before you become good at it, and that if you want to become a great writer you have to literally keep writing and writing. Sounded familiar to me as a potter.

I’ve done my 10,000 hours of pottery, I’ve estimated. I crossed that threshold somewhere in the past year. Over the past year I’ve recognized that my work has improved dramatically from where it was even three years ago, when I moved to Portland, much less to where I was when I got out of college. Writing is also something that I enjoy doing, so to be told that I’m going to have to put my hours in working on writing makes a deep sort of sense to me. I find it much more comforting than the strange idea I got as a kid that people are just good at something’s, and they get that way only because God or genetics. Basically, you had to be special at it.

I think I missed out a lot because I didn’t think I was any good at it. It has been very liberating to me as an adult to realize that I can become good at something if I really want to. That id its something I care about and or enjoy, I’m not stuck at the same level for the rest of my life.

To hear that idea repeated by one of the people I most respect in the world was really nice, and gives me hope for my writing skills. I haven’t spent nearly as much time writing as I have throwing in the last few years, but then having a best friend whom I had to write to in order to converse has given me a good start. Being back at a full time job sitting in front of a computer is probably going to give me a push, during my sacred 15 min breaks.

On the other hand, I do miss my time in the studio. 😦 But then things have been too insane for me to fall into a healthy after work schedule yet.

P.S. Reamde is pronounced by the author as “reem-dee.”

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More sea slug awesomeness.

September 13, 2011 at 5:49 am (inspiration) (, , , , )

So I’ve been digging into the sea slugs. Found some awesome ones, and a interesting divers blog who takes a lot of undersea photographs. 🙂 Of course, I’m more often looking at the background rather than the fish, but hey, lots of photographs!

There are some strange things under the ocean, but thats why I love it so much. 🙂
<a href="” target=”_blank”>Sea slug, brittle star, and oceanic dildo creatures

OMG spots!

This one creeps me out a little.

In studio news, the Dragon Matt green shifted again, and I got some OMG AWESOME results. I’ll have photographs next week sometime, when my life has (hopefully) calmed down a little.

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A bit of inspiration

August 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm (inspiration) (, , , , , , , , )

I ended up on the beach yesterday. It was unexpected, so now I have a bright red stripe on my back where my shirt didn’t quite cover my back and my neck is flaming up (my arms are sunburnt too, but they didn’t get it as bad and aren’t showing as much.) The upside is that my husband, with native american heritage and burn resistant skin) has promised to stop heckling me about my religious use of sun block.

On the other hand, it was a bad day for crabs yesterday, given the empty shells and detached legs splattered up and down the beach. Good day for me though. I got a nice set of legs and a shell for texture and color references. ^_^ Yeay!

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High Production Time

July 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm (inspiration) (, , , )

For the next week and a half I’ll be in high production. I have been for the last week and a half, and it’s really effected my writing. Blergh.

Anyhow, while I’m producing I’ve figured out some theories on how to produce mermaids purses out of ceramics. It should be fun, especially if I chain them all together. ^_^

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Magic word for the day: Nudibranch!

July 21, 2011 at 6:02 am (inspiration) (, , , , , )

No seriuosly, what could be more magical than sea slugs? I mean, you think slug and you get this image of a slimy, long, blob-shaped thing, right? But then add the word “Sea” to “Slug” and something amazingly magical happens to that homely slug and *poof* you’ve got Nudibranches! Beautiful, colorful, deleicate! The exact opposite of the terrestrial slug.

Alas, I have no pictures of my own to share so here’s a listing of some awesome galleries.

OMG, so beautiful!

National Geographic always does a stunning job.


Though, as beautiful as they are… I still don’t want to touch slugs. Ew.

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On Naga

July 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm (inspiration)

So you might notice that I draw snake-human creatures. I call them naga after the hindu/buddhist myths because (a) I like the name and (b) I like the myth. However, when it comes down to it as a white girl growing up in GA, I do not feel the need to tie my drawings to any one myth. After all, human-snake connections are a myth that has found its way all over the world. Still, of all the names, I like naga the best, and of all the myths, I enjoy the serenity of the hindu naga.

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Dream balance

July 10, 2011 at 6:39 am (inspiration) (, , , , , )

Warning: Below is a non-ceramic post. At least not directly, this is the sort of thing that informs my art, but, well, you know I’m not going to be talking about clay. Well, other than a dream last night where another potter whom I dislike got the dream job I wanted. Sad. 😦 But other than that, this one is about dreams and drawing a direct line from them to my work is impossible.

I find that if I go to bed after waking up momentarily in the morning, I get really vivid dreams that I remember more than when I sleep through the night and I remember all of them. I’m a lucid dreamer but after a couple of years of controlling my dreams completely it got boring, so now I’ve learned to lay back and enjoy the ride. Its pretty darn intense and my mind attempts to glue them all together, even when they hit the nonsensical non-REM periods. It gets really strange trying to hold together a thread of continuity when things get that random.

Anyhow, once in this state it can become really difficult for me to wake up. Sometimes I’ll spend a morning trying to wake up. Alarms and sudden noises can get me up, but if its a morning I don’t have to get up for anything for, I can spend hours trying to wake up. I’ve done this often enough that after the first set of trying to wake up I usually just give in. Trying to wake up dreams really suck because of how they mess with your head.

The strangest result I’ve had from waking up is dreaming the room I’m in around me, and I’m trying to speak or move myself and I can’t do it at all. My own sleep talking wakes me up, so actually speaking would be good. However, when I want to do it I get no results. Either I’m speaking dream wise at normal volume in the dream but can’t feel me using my voice at all or I can’t really get any sound out. I try to move and either I can’t or I both feel like I’m moving but also not moving at the same time.

As I said, waking up dreams can make your head hurt. I’m not even going into the attempts to trick me into thinking I’ve woken up where everything is just the wrong shape, or in the wrong place. I sigh and try again, and… it basically becomes a loop that leaves me feeling like I’m dreaming even when I’m awake after it.

I’m left wondering if there are other people with the same experience. I was recently watching a Nova episode on dreams and a lot of the data fit in with my experience. Not being able to move my real body, or talk while I was asleep because of the paralyzing effects of REM. I need to do more reading on lucid dreams. *sighs*

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