Monday, March 31, 2008

I Made It! (List #6)

Phew, that was hard.  I had to backdate a couple of posts just because life got crazy, but this has been one insane month!  I am glad I was able to keep up with all the posting!

And now, for one last list:

Reasons why NaBloPoMo was really hard this month:

  1. I went to New York and Maryland and had limited access to the internet for a couple of days.
  2. Posting every day is hard to do!  I kept having writer's block and ended up having posts that were simply photos with little or no text.
  3. Interesting lists are hard to come up with.  I could list all kinds of things, like what are my next 10 songs on my playlist, or what shows I watch on Tuesdays.  But I wanted something to be interesting and related to the blog, which brings me to #4
  4. Not only is posting every day hard to do, but making a post related to art every day is hard to do.  It's good because it kept me thinking about arty things every day, not just on days when I went to class or to the studio.
OK So thus ends NaBloPoMo March: Lists.  Maybe I will do it again another month, but probably not April!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wedding Colors

(First of all, I did make a blog about the wedding:, so this is an overlap in content but not a repeated post)

Since the wedding is going to be a year from today (March 29), it should be right in the height of cherry blossom season in DC, which is where we're hoping to have the wedding.  I think incorporating cherry blossom-related colors into the wedding would be a perfect homage to the season and local colors.  Plus, they are super, super pretty!

(I took this photo at the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2005)

So what I'm thinking right now, is yellow, green and chocolate brown with pink highlights (pink light the blossoms).  I'm also considering - in the back of my head - light blue, green and chocolate brown with pink highlights, because that is more in light with the colors of the cherry blossom festival, but I don't know how I feel about light blue at a spring wedding since it can be kind of a wintry color.  If the main colors were green and brown with light blue and pink I think it could be very springy.

Some people were very surprised at how excited I got about planning, but I think the reason is that I am seeing this as a great big art project that I get to live in!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Where to go?

So back when I was applying to schools I was hoping I would have this kind of decision to make but I didn't realize how difficult a decision it would be. I was hoping that I would get into two grad schools so I would have to decide, but I guess I assumed it would be pleasant to have a choice.

Now I have to decide: Chicago or New York.

I think we are leaning towards Chicago for a few reasons. First of all, the school is incredibly prestigious and I think I would get a lot from them that I may not be able to get from the school in New York. (On the other hand, I think the school in NYC has more opportunities for experience in the field built in, in Chicago you kind of have to make your own opportunities outside of the required internship if you want it) I kind of also feel like, if I go to the school in New York, I will always kind of wonder what it would have been like to go to the school in Chicago. I don't know that I would feel that way in the opposite situation. Also, JewishGuy feels like Chicago is a better city for us and our personalities, which may be true.

On the other hand, Chicago is EXTREMELY, extremely cold, and very far away from family. In New York, we'd be about a 4 hour drive from Boston and a 5 hour drive from DC (depending on how fast you drive). Chicago is significantly far away from all three of those cities (at least 12 hours drive). Also, we would be living in a teeny little closet of an apartment in New York for the same price as a moderately sized place in Chicago. And, living in Chicago there is a better chance of people actually visiting us - I think in the 6 years JewishGuy has been where we are now, his family has come down once, and he's had 3 friends visit. My family came down twice and I've had no friends visit. I can't really say I blame them... why would someone come to visit this city? So I guess even if we are in this disconnected city, people might come to visit, especially during the summer months for things like Lalapalooza.

On the third hand, as our friend pointed out, it's only two years. If we live there during my program and decide we don't really like it and want to move to New York or wherever after two years, whatever, it's totally open.

I guess it's not such a hard decision, but I still feel like I haven't given New York much of a chance. But it may be more about the schools than about the cities, which I think it should be (as long as JewishGuy is happy in both cities) I think if this had been a choice between the school in New York and the school in Boston, even though I'd really like to live in Boston, it would be hands down no problem New York just based on the schools. But that's not my choice. So...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Grad School News!!!


(the one where I just interviewed last week!)

Now I have to decide... New York or Chicago?

Sabre Tooth Tiger

Los Angeles, California. Summer 2004

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Glazing away!

Today I went to the studio all morning and just glazed, glazed, glazed away. I wanted to glaze everything before we started working on the wheel (which is Thursday, ee!). I was much more organized this time so everything really took just a little over 2 hours and I think I glazed about 15 pieces.

One piece in particular I think may turn out to be very, very nice. It's a red balcones clay vase that I glazed with TC White, and put Rutile Green along the top rim. Hopefully the green will melt down and drip over the white and look really pretty. I also painted some loose brush strokes with iron oxide on the white. It's hard to describe and I forgot to get a picture, so you will just have to wait until it's fired to see how it turns out.

In any case, I am glad that part is done with. I still have to make my self portrait nose and finish the hanging jars, then I am done with all of my assignments. This class is kind of exhausting!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

U.S. Politics: Visual Communication

I read this short piece in GOOD magazine, a magazine not only about good design but good-for-the-world design. It's actually a pretty awesome magazine - at least the one issue I've read.

In issue # 006, Sept/Oct 2007, page 116, Ryan Bowman looks at the different presidential candidates' logos and analyzes them. Here is what he said about the three current contenders (I'm leaving out the others for now):

Barack Obama

Beautiful but empty. Tries hard to avoid the traditional vocabulary of political design btu ends up using the same familiar tropes - patriotic colors, red and white stripes, heavy handed Steinbeckian symbolism, and even a font named Perpetua.

Hillary Clinton

A ruthlessly efficient (and no doubt relentless focus-grouped) combination of the campaign logos of the past two presidents: The waving, stylized flag from that other Clinton and the one name simplicity from Bush, George W.

John McCain

So blatantly militaristic, the tagline might as well be "An Army of One."

I think it's really interesting how the logos describe the candidates, or at least the perception of the candidates. I really wonder sometimes how much people rely on visual cues like these in choosing not only who to vote for but what toothpaste to buy. I know that I prefer a specific acne medication because of its packaging - I am aware of the fact that before they changed the colors from dark blue and red and terribly chunky lettering to white with icy blue and light black lettering, I pretty much thought all of their products gave me acne. I, like many others (I assume), want to use medication for their pimples that comes out of a clean, crisp container, not brightly colored and obvious (um... like a pimple). At least I am aware of it, I guess.

Monday, March 24, 2008

JewishGuy & JewishGal are Engaged!

(I know this isn't an art post but I feel like it's important enough to mention, also the ring is really pretty - it's his bubbie's ring that we resized - and I like to show it off)

Sunday, March 23, 2008


These are the hamentaschen JewishGuy and I made this year :)

JewishGuy was the master of the baking. He created the delicious dough that has orange and lemon zest. It's very moist, soft and delicious.

I was in charge of the construction. I put the jam in, sealed up the corners and tried to make the seams disappear. I have to say they look (and taste!) bakery-quality. Fantastic!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Donate for Purim!

Last night/today is Purim, a holiday that follows the traditional Jewish holiday formula "they tried to kill us, we won, let's eat!" On Purim we dress up in costumes, hear the story of Esther and Mordechai, eat hamentaschen (these little triangle, fruit-filled cookies), drink a lot, and more. We are supposed to give gifts of food - at least two different kinds of food - and charitable gifts/donations to the poor. Last night we gave gifts of beer and hamentaschen to our friends, heard the story and wore funny hats. This morning we pretty much did it again.

(The picture to the right is my cat wearing her costume, Frankenstein. I admit I cheated... this photo is from Halloween, however I have misplaced my camera and so Purim photo updates will come later when I get my camera back)

This year's donation for Purim is art supplies to the children's hospital. Every week I go and volunteer in the art program at the local children's hospital. Sometimes we do elaborate projects like watercolor/wax resists, and other weeks we simply color with markers on construction paper. However, the hospital has no funding for this program's art supplies; they rely completely on donations. Often, my coordinator tells me to make sure the kids use up the whole page of watercolor paper, or only squirt out a little paint and wait until it's gone before putting out more, etc.

Today, JewishGuy and I went to Target and the art supply store and went nuts. We bought:

  • Boxes of: crayons (different kinds, sizes, palettes), markers (including 2 sets of "stamper" markers), colored pencils
  • Little Kid and Big Kid appropriate scissors
  • Tons of glue sticks
  • Regular glue in bottles
  • Many packets of construction paper
  • Packets of "foam sheets"
  • Foam stickers, both flowery ones and letters
  • Paints, both acrylic and watercolor
  • Watercolor paper
It was really fun picking things out. I was especially excited about the watercolor paper, because I found some really fat pads of quality watercolor paper for not a lot of money.

HillelLady is also joining in on it :)

I'm excited to donate objects rather than money, it feels a lot more personal. Also, I am excited because I know exactly who it will go to and I will probably get to see the kids use the stuff we bring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My NYC St. Patrick's Day

I'm not Irish or Christian, but I can still enjoy parades and drinking like any other American on St. Patrick's Day.

So, first I went into the city (with my luggage) and got in at Grand Central Station. It was pretty busy, there was actually this really cool scene where when you looked down from the exit you saw a sea of green people. Too bad I was kind of in a rush, plus I really hate being in large, tightly-packed crowds (read: afraid of stampede, I've definitely been in a stampede before and it's really scary), otherwise I would have stopped to take a picture.

However, I did get some shots of people who were going to be in the parade, before the parade started. I also took some pictures as I walked, not looking where the camera was pointed.

Then I had to find my spot to watch the parade. This is difficult because: a) I am extremely short, a fact that is all-too-obvious when I am in a crowd of non-Jews; and b) I was dragging this stupid bag behind me. My spot was less-than-optimal, so quite a few of my pictures have pieces of people's heads at the bottom or on the sides. I'll try not to show those unless it's particularly interesting.

That was all that I saw of the parade. It was my first time really seeing a military procession of any kind that I can remember at the moment, so that was impressive.

Then I dragged my bag all the way down to Penn Station, dropped it off in a luggage check, and met Gecko Man for lunch. After lunch, the interview. After the interview, the bar.

I think on any other day I may not have gone to the bar directly after an interview that ended at 2:30 in the afternoon. However, being that I knew we wouldn't be alone in the bar, and that I was still jittery from the intensity of the interview, it seemed like a good idea. We had a few beers, got somewhat tipsy, and then headed off to the Village.

We didn't have too much time to walk around until dinner, but we ended up in this really awesome music store. If you are in the Village, I recommend this music store, I think it's at 4th & 6th, and I think it might be called Music Inn. This is a picture I took to give you a feel of what it was like to be in the store:

The instruments were piled on the floor, hanging from the walls and from the ceiling. It was hard to walk around but it was really, really fun. The owner and the employees were really nice and we had pleasant conversation, which I enjoy. I really like going to a store and not only do I not feel pressured to buy anything, but the people are cool and want to talk like normal people - I am actually more likely to buy something in that situation. Also, there was a little haggling going on, I looked at the price tags of things and then asked the owner if I could get anything for less than $X. He ended up giving me something for $10 off the given price - I bought a thumb piano made out of half a coconut for my brother, YoungerJew.

Then GeckoMan and I met up with his girlfriend, GemGirl, for dinner. We walked aimlessly for a while until settling on this really nice Indian restaurant. It wasn't very expensive and the food was pretty tasty, plus they served it on these fun warming trays.

I then went back to Penn Station, picked up my bag, loaded myself on the train and went back to Maryland.

It was a good and satisfying day, although maybe instead of Indian food I should have suggested going for fish & chips (I don't know if that's just English or general UK food) in honor of the very Irish day. Also, fun always abounds when hanging out with GeckoMan and GemGirl (they are the funnest crime fighting duo).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Interview #3/List #6: New York, revisted

Yesterday I had an interview at one of my very most top schools. It is a little nerve-wracking to have your admission to a university be based on 20 minutes. The Chicago interview was a whole day, so by the time I got to my individual interview after the first 6(ish) hours of being there, I was pretty relaxed and it went well.

I'm not saying the interview in New York didn't go well, I just think I was a little more nervous because it was really just a short period, and very very intense.

I went with my friend GeckoMan. We had lunch beforehand, where I drank lots of tea to be awake as I haven't slept much in a week for various reasons. GeckoMan waited in the lobby while I was interrogated. Basically, three people sat and asked me questions in rapid succession for twenty minutes. I think I was pretty good at answering them and handled myself well. Then, they set me up in a room to complete a short writing assignment - I had fifteen minutes to explain how I would react to a certain circumstance that could come up on the job. I answered it in probably five or six sentences, and then spent the next ten minutes rereading it trying to figure out if I missed anything. Nope. I was pretty much direct and to the point, so I let it be and handed it in.

I should find out by mid-April, which is good because I need to let the Chicago school know by the beginning of May. So far, still no word from the third New York school I applied to, and the Boston school keeps saying I don't have my prerequisites even though I am working on them right now. We'll see what happens with that.

A few differences between this interview and the other NY interview:

1. They remembered me from December! Even the administrative person remembered me, and I barely talked to her! They didn't remember that I had been there in December, but they recognized me and knew that I had already come in. That's why I went in for the information session, so I am glad that trip was worth it. Remember at the other interview, she had no idea who I was, even though I had talked to her for a while in December.

2. They took me in on time, and while I was waiting gave me updates as to whether or not they would be on time. At the other interview, I was taken in over thirty minutes late, with no status updates. At one point I was afraid she had forgotten, and the receptionist basically did not pay any attention to me - just let me sit out there like an idiot, wondering what was going on!

3. They didn't seem to have an attitude of, you are person #198237012 that we have seen, and we are bored of interviews and probably don't like you much anyway. They seemed interested in me, seemed to have read most of my application (even though they focused mostly on my volunteering in the hospital and not as much on the years of experience with people). At the other school, she basically treated me like she was doing me a favor by interviewing me, like giving me oooone last chance to change her mind. Also, she made me tell her about my slides on the spot - I had no idea that I would have to talk about my work, which really caught me off guard.

4. Even though they had a very interrogative style, they asked a wide variety of questions and didn't focus mostly on why I feel I should go to their school - ie, didn't make me sit there and tell them how great they are. They also didn't keep asking me why I chose to do things, they just asked me about my experience. At the other interview, I had questions like, "So, why art therapy?" "Why our school?" "Why art therapy at our school?" (I'm not even joking)

5. I didn't leave with a sense of utter rejection and loser-y-ness. I left feeling kind of jittery, and although I was unsure of the impression I left on the committee I was pretty positive. After the other interview, I wanted to cry. I also had to go straight to the airport. I basically left the building and immediately called JewishGuy to rant at him and feel hopeless about ever getting into school.

More on my adventures with GeckoMan in my next entry, where I talk about St. Patrick's day in NYC!

Grad School Here I Come!

I got into the school in Chicago!!!!!

That is my only entry for today, as I am exhausted. More about my New York interview, St. Patrick's day, and more... later!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

List #5: Arty Produce

Like I said, I'm in NY, so here's another list/short post. I happen to be helping my aunt and uncle make salads and various other foods for the rest of the week, so that what made me think of today's topic...

Produce I think is Arty or That I Like to Use in Art Projects
(in no particular order, and I won't even say this is remotely a comprehensive list!)

1. Red onions. These are really fun if you cut them the right way, red and white stripey-ness abounds.

2. Avocados. Basically I love avocados in any situation. I also like to draw them.

3. Bananas. These are kind of fun because they are a range of yellows and browns. I especially like the peels because they can make all kinds of interesting shapes.

4. Berries. I like to draw lots of little circles anyway, so this would be nice in a still life or as some kind of abstract accent to another drawing.

5. Bell peppers. Maybe you can see a trend where the foods I like to eat are also the foods I like to use in my art. I like bell peppers because they have a really fun shape and when you cut them open they look kind of interesting (and pretty challenging). I usually use them in monochromatic drawings or prints because they kind of lend themselves to that.

6. Peanuts. I haven't actually used these in any art projects but I bet it would be really fun! They're all pitted and fun-ly shaped, plus if you break up the shells you could have something interesting to work with for more abstract pieces. I don't know if nuts count as produce, but I'm going to pretend that they do.

OK it's actually time for dinner so I had better get running. Yummy vegetarian chili!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

List #4: Top Remarks Re: Art

I'm in New York right now so I don't have much time to post, so here's a quick list of the Top remarks I get regarding art from "Non-Art People" and my reactions to them in no particular order (whether I express these feelings to the people who say these things is another story).

1) "I don't get it." This is usually when we're at a show or an exhibit or in a museum looking at something relatively modern. I usually feel like this statement is a kind of invitation for me, with all my wisdom and learning, to explain the deep meaning behind whatever it is we're looking at. My response is, Like I do? Modern art has this great thing about it where you have to know more than just what it looks like to understand it. This means I don't "get" most modern art. I only "get" the things I've read about, or if what I'm looking at seems to relate to things I've learned. And, to be honest, there is a good chance that a lot of stuff doesn't have any real meaning behind it, which is why you'll only find it hanging in coffee shops or McDonald's. So don't ask me, I don't know! :)

2) "An art major, huh? What are you going to do with that?" I got this when I was in college, but now that I tell people I am applying for grad school, I am more likely to get the helpful "warnings" about lack of funding for art programs. My response, usually in my head, is, Not everyone can be a doctor. I mean, what's the difference between an Art degree and a History degree? Or any other degree that doesn't obviously lead to some kind of job (like Education, Journalism, Pre-med/law, etc). Why does education have to be a means to an end? And, PS, art students sometimes have an advantage that history students don't, in the sense that many of us are also trained to write and argue a point (through art history/art theory classes), but on top of that we are trained in design, so there are diverse options other than teaching if you want to stay "true" to your major. Nothing against history students, but I know a few and they're all struggling to find jobs that are related to their degree that aren't necessarily in schools.

3) "I'm just no good at art." Sometimes I will respond to this by laughing it off, but other times (especially when working with kids), I will respond, You may just surprise yourself. I taught a class where I took a bunch of random students who had to make a book from scratch in 6 weeks. They found texts, did artwork, bound the book themselves - you name it, they did it. They had no formal training and the books were amazing. A lot of people either haven't been trained how to draw or have no natural talent, but there are so many things you can do and still call it "art," without having to represent something as you see it.

4) "What's the big deal? I can make something just like this!" This is also usually in response to some modern art. My response is usually twofold, although not usually out loud, Maybe you could, but you didn't, and, One of the great things about modern art is that it isn't all about what's on the surface. It's great and it's frustrating. If you go to a show where you are given no explanation, I think it's a natural gut reaction to look at something kind of ugly or really simple and wonder how that person ended up with a show and you still haven't gotten anywhere. So the next time you stand next to a giant canvas that just happens to be all painted one shade of blue, wonder why it was made, not how. ;)

5) "That looks really cool." Assuming this is (hopefully) a response to something I've made, I say, Thank you!

So there you have it... a short post from me today, from New York. Coming soon, St. Patrick's Day in NYC experience, plus interview #3 which just happens to be at my NUMBER ONE TOP SCHOOL!

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Nice Plates!"

I have this dream of having made all of my dishes. I'm not the only one who wants to have done that - I was talking to this other student in my ceramics class and she mentioned how it was something she was working on right now. She says she's made enough bowls and a couple of plates.

For the past few years I have been slowly working on buying hand-made serving bowls and plates, which is very expensive so, like I said, very slowly. I love when people compliment the bowl and I can say, "thanks, I got it in [insert country/state name] at [a craft fair/art show]." And since I keep kosher, I have to have two sets of everything, so you know this will be a very expensive endeavor. That's why I'd like to make my own dishes rather than buy hand made dishes if I can.

I'm just waiting for the day when someone comes over and says, "wow, nice plates!" and I say, "thanks, I made them!"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

We Want a Pitcher

Here are two pitchers I made that were recently bisque fired (that's the firing they do before you glaze and before the final kiln firing).

They are about 5" tall each. I am planning on glazing them differently but counting them as a set, although I have no idea what you'd put in them.

I started experimenting with texture on these two things. I used a stamp I bought at the junk store to stamp "SPECIAL DELIVERY" on the top vase in random places, and then stretched and folded the lettering. I also used some other things and pressed them into the clay to get the flowery things. It's rough because it was super dry when I started working with it. The bottom pitcher has the texture from the cloth I was working on, as well as those fans on the bottom, which is really just some kind of scraping tool I bought at the junk store and I pressed it into the clay. I think it looks neat.

I am basically resting the hope of my projects, ALL of them, on the transformation that happens upon glazing. Because basically I think almost everything looks really unfinished right now, especially when compared to a lot of the things everyone else is doing. My stuff looks messy, cracked, disorganized. On the other hand, that's basically how everything I make looks, so I guess it just fits in with my "style."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

JewishGal is Going to Israel!


I was just accepted to staff a trip to Israel at the beginning of the summer! Hooray! That means I can spend a couple of weeks there traveling and maybe arting it up and definitely eating copious amount of kosher KFC before I do my summer jobby things.

In honor of this stupendous news, let's take a virtual trip right now. Here are some of the many, many photos I took during my three previous trips.

January 2003

August 2003

July/August 2006

I hope you liked the trip (haha!). I mostly wanted to show pictures of things that I think most people don't think about when they think of Israel, especially people who just hear the news. I have two pictures of Christian imagery - one, a couple of nuns on vacation, the other, hand prints on the wall in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. I have a picture of some Roman ruins - I always forget the Romans were there and am surprised by ruins. A picture of tropical underwater scenery, who thinks of snorkeling when they think of Israel? And of course, the military photo, the Jewish photo, the food-related photo, the kids playing before Shabbat photo, and the sunsets and the scenery.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

List #3: Favorite Media

Okay it's lack of interesting things to update day, so here's LIST NUMBER THREE: MY FAVORITE MEDIA. I'm going to specify "Visual Arts" for this list.

1. Pen and paper. Yes, even more so than printmaking and photography, I love doodling with a pen and paper. I like making intricate drawings where you can't make mistakes, and if a line doesn't go where you want you have to, as Tim Gunn would say, "make it work." I've been making crazy drawings with just pen and paper since I was in high school, and before that I would do similar drawings with just pencil and paper (I stopped using pencils because I kept smudging them with my hand). When I was in elementary school I would spend hours creating very intricate mazes. Now I make intricate doodles. Good times.

2. Digital photography. I love photography in general. I got my first camera when I was 7, a 144mm hot pink camera, with which I took extremely artsy photos of my brother. Over and over. He was my only subject for a very long time - he was very compliant as well ... always posing and doing whatever I told him to do like a good little brother :) I got my first digital camera for my 18th birthday and went nuts. I love taking pictures and it's even better when you don't have to worry about wasting film and you can fix it up later.

3. Misc printmaking media. Specifically, I love linoleum cuts. They are so fun to make, very calming to sit and carve and carve. I also love that you make more than one so I can give them away and still keep one for myself. I like experimenting with different kinds of printmaking media, but often I am daunted by the toxic qualities that so many posses (although there are non-toxic ways of doing everything, I don't know them that well).

4. Acrylic paints. I love painting. I love how you can't mess up, you can just keep working on it and it will look good. And if it doesn't look good, you can just paint over it! I love acrylics because they dry quickly and mix with other things well. They're very versatile paints, I think, and can do some pretty cool things. I also like that they're relatively non-toxic, so you don't have to worry about ventilation or mineral spirits or anything like that.

5. Oil pastels. These are basically just oversized crayons. They are really fun to play with. Not only do they mix and smear like really nice quality crayons, but you can do fun things with them like in combination with water colors, or you can paint with them using paint thinner. Good times. They are also SUPER cheap - I bought a nice, large set of oil pastels for $9!

6. Markers. Markers are super fun, probably as fun as oil pastels but not as easy to smear or mix. I usually like them in conjunction with pen drawings, although not always. I really like brightly colors markers, especially pink, yellow and orange, contrasting with a bright blue. For a while I was doing a lot of marker drawings in my sketchbook as sketches for multi-color prints.

7. Magazine pictures and other collage-making materials. I love collaging. One thing I've discovered recently is collaging as a color Xerox. I cut out a bunch of interesting pictures and then color copy them in interesting positions. This way you can have the cohesiveness of a single image copied throughout a series. I did a bunch of these and framed them and now they are hanging up in our living room. When I was an undergrad I actually started a collage right on the wall of my apartment, taping pictures up there. That was fun for a few minutes.

8. Polaroid cameras. For a while I was really into Polaroids. I still like them but I am not as into it as I was last year. I learned how to do Polaroid transfers, which are neat but hard to do and somewhat toxic. (A Polaroid transfer is when you take the image from a polaroid picture and stick it onto another surface. It's pretty cool - the image really just slides off of the paper.) I've heard that Polaroid is going to stop making film after 2009, so that's sad.

9. Paper (and scissors). I first tried paper-cutting when I was at camp when I was in middle school. It's actually really hard and looks really nice. I haven't done much paper cutting since then, although I planned this really elaborate one with a pomegranate and a quote from the Song of Solomon (cheesy Judaica, ahhh), but I never just sit down and do it. However, I did do some small paper cuts when I was in college to satisfy some of my 2D Elementals projects, and I think I can safely say that it's one of my favorite media even though I don't use it much. :)

10. Chalk pastels. I do like chalk pastels a lot but when I'm going to do a project with them I really have to allot quite a bit of time to set up and clean up, as they are super, duper messy (more messy than paint, I'd say). Plus you have to fix everything you do so it won't rub off after. Even though there are a lot of negative points to using chalk pastels, they do create beautiful images and are really fun to mix together. I made a series of giant flower chalk pastel drawings which are pretty cool. If only I could find them and frame them!

OK that's my list! I finished just in time to still get the time stamp for today... I kind of worked on this post on and off for a few hours, so ... phew!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pinch Pot Results

Finally I got to see my pinch pots. I took pictures of them (not good ones, though) and spent about an hour organizing and taking notes. Here are my notes on three of the pots:

This is Pot #3.

The type of clay was Dillo White. The inside glaze is Rutile Green, the outside is TC White.

Notes: Rutile Green is splotchy. TC White is spotty, probably because of grog (looks kinda cool though).

This is Pot #4

Also Dillo White. Inside is Rutile Blue, outside is Celadon.

Notes: Rutile Blue as really thick and looks awful. Celadon is muddy with grog spots.

This is Pot #12

The clay is Balcones. The glaze is Shino.

Notes: Shino looks shiny and oily. Purposeful variations of thickness creates interesting rusty effect. Emphasizes cracks.

Most of the pots look all right. I was pretty surprised by some of the colors since the labels were kind of misleading. For example, the glaze labeled "TX Blue Green" is actually only blue green on porcelain. The rest of the time, it's dark brown with weird blue streaks. At first I really didn't like it, but I guess if you use it knowing it will look dark brown with blue streaks, it can be okay. Another blue, "Winiker Blue," looks like spotted poop on everything except porcelain, in which case it is a pretty slate blue.

Glazing might be my favorite part of this whole thing, except that I really don't get to it until weeks after I create my object. It's kind of hard to be that farsighted when you're used to the instant gratification of painting.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Productivity, hooray!

It's better when you have a plan in mind.

Today in the studio I made:

6 ramekins
2 tart things (like ramekins, but bigger, like for dinner tarts)
4 small jars for hanging
1 vase

The vase:

I like it. It's pretty small, about 5" high.

I was there for about three hours, so I feel pretty productive. I'm going back tomorrow to work on the giant nose if I have the motivation for it.

I can't wait until we start the wheel. Hopefully I will pick it up without too much ridiculous frustration and then I can make some mugs and bowls and stuff that aren't totally lopsided and strange.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Project Resolutions

JewishGuy, my boyfriend, is much more practical than me and would therefore probably be a lot better at ceramics than me if he tried it. He is focused on making useful things and how to make them, and that is good (to make useful things). I wanted that to be my focus for this class, but because I got these "assignments" I was totally caught up in making artsy things and was frustrated beyond belief. I even went to the studio yesterday and got so pissed off, I couldn't think of anything and my clay started drying... I made a vase and two little pitchers because I just needed to make something before the clay dried and was wasted.

Today JewishGuy and I sat down to figure out what I was going to make for the rest of my assignments because this is ridiculous. I need to just think of something and make it. The Shabbat lamp is on its way to being finished and looks good - I had a clear vision and I made it and it will be useful (hopefully).

Here are two of my new ideas that I sketched on the computer:

These are hanging herb jars for my "Off the Wall" project. Hanging jars sounded so boring so I didn't really want to make them, however if I make small hanging jars for herbs, that could be cool and useful.

The idea is that they would be small jars with a string tied around them that could easily be hung on any kind of hook. You could either put a hook in the wall or use an over-the-door hook to hang it on a door (like our kitchen pantry). Then each jar would have enough space for water at the bottom and some fresh herbs that would stick out of the top. In the picture I drew dill, rosemary and basil. This would save us counter space, as when we have fresh herbs we stick them in a cup on the counter that can easily be spilled.

I haven't decided if the jars should literally be tied on a string or if I should put a metal hook around the jars that would then be attached to the string somehow. (I would like an excuse to go back to the junk store, I will have to relate how fun that was when I went last week).

Another project was the "Self Portrait" project. JewishGuy suggested making pancakes first, since I LOVE pancakes (chocolate chip pancakes to be exact). But I was kind of against it, not to mention it would kind of be an ugly object. Then he suggested making a giant nose with my nose ring. I really like this idea.

One of my first projects in printmaking (my favorite) was to do a self portrait, so obviously I did this giant picture of myself, emphasizing my nose ring. My nose ring is really important to me, having the hoop is especially important - I had to take the hoop out for a while when I worked in the Jewish community, and I have to say I felt really saddened by it. As soon as I put the ring back in, I felt much better. This was also, coincidentally, the day after I quit my last - and worst - job, so who knows.

Anyway, making a giant nose also has other implications. Besides the whole deal with my nose ring, which I got almost 7 years ago and still love, it also brings up issues of being Jewish and how I never really feel like I fit in with the community. I don't "look" Jewish. Nobody ever thinks I'm Jewish by looking at me. Even if I dress like a frummie, I think only if I were in Israel would people think I was Jewish. In high school, if someone tried to guess my religion, invariably they would guess Catholic. I guess this comes from my mom's side of the family, with my grandma who has bright red hair (still, even at 94, it's pretty red and she doesn't dye it). Because of her hair and her very, very Irish-sounding name, she was often mistaken as Irish when she was young - the joke was on them when she opened her mouth and Yiddish came out!

I also don't really feel like I fit in with The Community. I'm not exactly sure what I mean by that, though. This feeling has pretty much persisted throughout my experience, wherever I've lived or gone to school - that I fit in with the others who feel they don't "fit in," and make my own community of odd Jews.

Anyway, so definitely doing a giant nose, and then as I drew it JewishGuy suggested I make it into a vase so at least it can be useful. Good idea. Very practical. ;-)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Class Time Well Spent

This was what my lecture about "Human Adjustment" looked like on February 19:

Preeeettttyy interesting. I used to do these kinds of doodles all the time - whole page documents with snippets of things I overhear, cartoons, designs, etc. It's a way to help me pay attention when I start falling asleep.

List #2: Cutest Boys

I'm watching Southpark right now and tonight's episode is directly related to NaBloPoMo. The girls make lists, and the list in question is the Cutest Boys list. It's arranged in cutest to ugliest.

1. Clyde
2. Token
3. Stan
4. Bradley
5. Jason
6. Leroy
7. Kenny
8. Tweek
9. Kevin
10. Jimmy
11. Butters
12. Craig
13. Timmy
14. Francis
15. Cartman
16. Kyle

Kyle is really upset because he is the ugliest, so he starts hanging out with the "ugly" kids. The funniest ugly kid is this kid Jamal (pronounced "yamal"), who makes me laugh every time they show him on TV:

I don't know why he's so funny, but something about him is so hilarious. Maybe I knew someone like him when I was in elementary school.

Anyway, Kyle gets his ex-girlfriend Wendy to help him figure out how he ended up on the bottom of the list, and it turns out it was a conspiracy to make Clyde the top of the list because his dad owns a shoe store in the mall. The girls thought if he was rated the cutest, they could justify dating him and he would woo them all by buying them free shoes.

Sorry this list was unrelated to art or anything I post about in my blog, but it's funny and related to the month's assignment.
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