Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flipped Kitchen

Not an art project but still a project... we flipped out kitchen for Passover last night and today finished buying things we need for the week. Even though it's just a week it feels like we're bunkering down for the apocalypse. I realized it's because we usually eat out during the week or just eat pb&j sandwiches or pasta for lunch, but now we actually have to cook everything.

All the counters are covered in clear plastic table cloth (doubled up). I'm nervous they will rip but then we will just put more on I suppose.

Added some plates and bowls to the mix this year. We used to have two dairy and two meat plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, etc, but that is not enough, we were constantly doing dishes and making the cakes was difficult without mixing bowls. Now we have four of each and some extra mixing bowls.

We are using one shelf of our pantry for our Passover pantry, stuffed with all kinds of important things like chocolate, macaroons, and various baking supplies.

I have six cakes to make today plus I wanted to try my hand at some chocolatey cookies.

The hard part of Passover for me is that I'm constantly hungry. I mostly eat things that are designated "chametz," like bread, pasta, other bready grainy things, and I never worry about being full. But suddenly I have none of that and I'm hungry all the time, and I can't even eat beans or tofu to fill up because they are kitniyot and JewishGuy refuses to eat them. Forget the delicious Israeli chocolate spread because it contains soy, forget peanut butter on anything because of the peanuts, boo boo boo.

So I bought lots of mushrooms, avocados and eggs to fill up on as my protein when I'm not eating meat. Excellent.

Time to make some cakes.

Friday, March 26, 2010

More glazed pieces emerge

Dun dun dun DUN! The teapot emerges. PHEW!

It looks better than I thought it would look. The top isn't pictured here because I took the picture at school and I'd already brought the top home. JewishGuy says it looks like an old oil lamp.

I try really hard to make clean lines with the glaze and get annoyed when it's all sloppy, but I like how it turns out when it's not clean, so from now on I'm not stressing.

Two more bowls:

I am surprised at how much everything shrank. I know they say 12% but that doesn't sound like so much. It is, though. So today in the studio I made 7 mugs and they are enormous so hopefully after the whole process is over they will be usable-sized.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This is a container that I made as response art. I made it for someone else, though. It has a package of tissues inside.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New finished pottery!

I glazed these before Spring Break and when I got there this week they had been fired!

Sadly, the tea pot is missing. I don't know where it is. I found the lid but the teapot itself is gone. It could have broken or someone could have taken it by accident, I probably won't ever know. (Unless it turns up in the next fire somehow)

Look! BLUE! Look how pretty it is! Okay, that's what I'm going to do from now on.

The dark blue is "engobe," which is basically just clay with pigment mixed in. You put the engobe on the clay when it's still wet so it will bake into the clay itself and go under glazes.

I REALLY way over glazed that piece so I have no idea how it came out looking so nice. I thought I put too much on so I dabbed some of it off, which is why the light blue is splotchy. I kind of like it.

This is a flower pot. I didn't accidentally trim through the bottom, I chose to turn it into a flower pot because the shape was too weird for food serving. It's a really nice pot, though, except that the coolest coloring is inside and nobody will see it because a plant will be in there.

I like this little odd-shaped cup. It's supposed to have avocado engobe on the bottom but you can't really tell. I wonder if it would have down up better under a transparent glaze (like the blue engobe looks on the top piece)

I honestly don't remember how I got this blue color but it's beautiful. I will have to go back and see which one makes this blue. It's actually kind of purple-y.

This is the same glaze that in reduction firing looks deep brown. How exciting that it kind of looks green! It's over top of a transparent glaze that I used on all of the pieces to make them smooth and shiny.

Overall I am happy with these pieces. This was a cone 6 oxidation firing and I think that I might keep doing the cone 6 oxidation because the colors are so nice. Although the blue glaze that I used would be bright red in reduction firing, so I am going to see how that looks.

It's also kind of sad how much things shrink. I know they're going to shrink but it's still sad when something you remember being so big, something that was a triumph of large wheel throwing, comes out so much smaller than you remember!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


That's it, I have a draft of every section of my thesis! It might be really rough, it might be kind of badly worded and maybe not so full of content, but every section has a draft. Now I'm just doing revisions for the next month and then it's DONE.


I mean "just" doing revisions... that is a major process. But the point is, revisions only, not writing from scratch. That's easier, I think.

Scribble 4

This is the latest one, from last Tuesday's group.

Scribble 3

At one point I had four people in the room with me... and then there appeared four pink balls floating in my piece!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thesis art

Out of context, but still interesting.

This piece was made entirely out of garbage and 12 cents. A cut up piece of a plastic jug that used to hold method cleaning solution (so it's non-toxic), tissues, a green wax protective cover for shipping a wine bottle, and some pieces of white tissue paper. The outside is painted with acrylic paint diluted with lots of matte medium so the light shines through. The piece is balanced using 12 cents :)

Who knew I would love making sculptures as much as I do...

Thesis art

More thesis response art out of context.

This was made with model magic, then painted, then tied together with white yarn.

Thesis art

Here is one of my response pieces...

I might post more response pieces but I like this one so I'm posting it out of context haha.

It's a latex glove filled with water (don't worry I double-layered it) and then I colored it with markers. It's jiggly and delicate.

Job Search - BUMMER

Let this picture of this beautiful kitty posing for the camera soften the blow of this giant job search bummer...

She's so gorgeous and she knows it.

Monday night as a way to avoid working on my thesis I applied for jobs. This is the best way for me to avoid working on my thesis because I feel like I can still label it as being "productive," because, hey, I need a job next year. I'm only applying to what I call "Tier 1" jobs - jobs that are looking for art therapists, master's degree required, and for people who are eligible for temporary license (which I am while I work towards my full license). These job descriptions exactly fit, in a general sort of way, who I am and what I'm looking for, not including the site and population.

One of the two jobs I applied to that night was this one:

Creative Art Therapist
Intermediate Child / Adolescent Unit
  • Full-time
  • 40
  • Day shift
  • Certification Required
  • Licensure Required
  • 1-2 years experience is required
  • Customer service skills are required
Plans and conducts creative arts occupation and/or recreational activities as part of the treatment program. Provides individual, group, and family therapy in accordance with professional standards and requirements/accrediting bodies. Documents all direct care interventions and outcomes in a clear and timely manner in accordance with regulations and policies.

I said to myself, that sounds nice, I love working with adolescents and I have some experience working in a hospital. I sent them my resume by email because their online system wasn't working (turns out it was my browser... people. please stop designing things for IE!)

The next morning they called me. They said, we want to get your application through because we want you for an interview. We played phone tag a few times, it was exciting, they really want me! They said they were really excited when they got my resume and please can I come in for an interview.

While we were playing phone tag I happened to look up exactly where this place was. I know, I should have done that to begin with. But it was so exciting and none of my other job applications had elicited a response so I was just throwing things out there. It turns out it's REALLY far from NYC, where I'll be next year.

Finally we got in touch with each other. They said are you in the area? Can you come in? I said, unfortunately, I'm not in the area now and when I move I still won't be in the area... They said, we're sorry to hear that but we'll keep your resume in case you change your mind.

How not in the area? 3 hours away each way by car, not including traffic.


I'd better start looking more closely at location before I apply, even if I think there's no chance they'll call me. NY and NJ are pretty big places.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scribble 2

Don't get me wrong, the scribble is just the beginning. This took 2 hours to make. It's actually pretty large.

Scribble 1

Every week I work on one scribble drawing for 2 hours in my Artist in Residence art therapy group. This is the scribble from the first week... the purple thing in the middle emerged when I was afraid nobody was going to show up to the group, so it appeared early on. The detail on the purple part was also the last thing I did before the group was over.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Foggy Chicago

The other night I was walking home from the studio and this was what the world looked like... Everyone who was out that night was describing it as walking into a lame b-movie horror flick or whatever. I couldn't help thinking how pretty everything looked.

I took a lot more pictures than these two but I think these are my favorite.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Updates on my life

A few updates:

- I broke my toe in two places and it hurts to move around so I didn't go to ceramics this week and therefore don't have anything new to show right now in that arena :(
- My computer completely died and I have ordered a new one, but this means you won't see pictures of other work (thesis-related work what-WHAAAT) until that shows up and I have time to work on a new blog post.

I have a need to tell everyone about these things because I can't believe both happened at the same time. So there we have it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Karate AND Friendship

My brother gave me the Master of Karate and Friendship Award so now I have to perform certain tasks:
" FUCK the rules and just write whatever the fuck ya want. Pass it on to how many ever ya want. Once it's passed on, your in control of making the fucking rules up.

So here are my rules: list 12 things you master, but only the even numbers. Post a picture of your favorite martial arts movie, and pass it on to twice as many people as capitalized words in the title. "

I like his rules, so I'll use them.

2) I am also a master at procrastination. This is evidenced by working on this post even though I absolutely positively decided to go to bed at 11pm (since tomorrow is my 9 hour day at work).

4) Starting new projects. OHHHH the projects I start! Oh such projects. They get started and they seem so fun. How fun are they? They're so fun. Like my new thesis I started two weeks ago and that is due in a month. HOW MUCH FUN IS THAT!

6) Trying to be funny and sarcastic but coming off as not joking so I have to say "I'm just kidding" or say it in a really really exaggerating sarcastic manner in order for people to know I am joking.

8) Futzing on the internet for so long that I lose track of time and don't work on my thesis or blink enough.

10) Talking about being Jewish ... basically all the time. ALL THE TIME.

12) Hurting myself in new and interesting ways, as demonstrated by tonight: jumped up to put something on a high-up shelf (it sucks being short) and my pants pocket got caught on the bottom cabinet's handle and I got jerked back to the floor, breaking/spraining my co-captain toe (the one next to the big captain toe). So that turned my evening into a mess.

Favorite martial arts movie is The Shaolin Drunken Monk made in 1982, that's right, a claaaaassic. I think this is the one I remember... I only saw it once, but it was amazing, and there was this little monk who lived in the hills who could rationalize ANYTHING. That means, according to the rules I agreed to, I have to tag 8 people. I don't know if I have 8 people who blog regularly and who also read this blog so I'll freely hand out this award to anyone who likes martial arts movies enough to have a favorite one :) Please let me know if you tag yourself for this post, I'd like to see your mastery.

PS: My brother said he was master of his domain. I don't know if he remembers that Seinfeld episode very well...

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm an ugly teapot, short and stout...

On Friday I created this little number here:

Well, it's hard to make something that's supposed to look like something. It looks like a teapot but will it eventually be one? Time will tell. It still has to be bisque fired and glazed and then fired again. The blue on the top is an engobe which I think is just a different colored clay that's been watered down and you can paint it on kind of like a glaze except you do it when the clay is still wet-ish.

There are four other pieces I worked on tonight but they're still wet and I have other things to show you, so moving on...

Thirteen pieces ready to be glazed and then sent to the kiln! I think I will glaze this Friday morning.

Well you can only see twelve in the picture above because one of them is hiding inside a bigger bowl.

Now I will break down these piles into smaller piles. The only one I'm not picturing is the wide bowl at the bottom of the middle pile... it just didn't make it into the pictures I took tonight.

Here are three smaller pieces:

One is kind of a mug with a teeeeeny tiny handle, which you can't even stick your finger through. It's more for decoration than practical use, but it is decent looking. The little cup in the front has an avocado engobe on the bottom. It looks really pale but I don't know what it will look like once it's been through the kiln.

Two larger pieces:

I felt that these two were too awkward to be bowls, the shape just was too weird. So I cut holes in the bottom and now these are flower pots, perfect for planting little plants :)

Medium-sized pieces:

Three of these bowls will be decent cereal bowls, maybe. The other two are weird. Most of these bowls are really heavy, too, because I was timid with trimming the bottom and they are heavy down there.

Two large pieces:

A bowl and a vase, yay! I like the shape of that vase. I made another one with a similar shape and gave it a similar engobe treatment, too, except instead of avocado (pictured here), I made it blue.

So there you have it... thirteen pieces to glaze, that should take about 2-3 hours, depending on whether I make my own glazes or use the pre-mixed ones in the studio.

Yes! Glaze recipes are my new OCD hobby. I get to calculate things over and over again for no reason. I am terrible at math but it doesn't matter if my calculations are wrong so it's okay! Maybe I will post some glaze recipes here along with pictures of pieces with those glazes. Look for that in an upcoming post...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Artist-in-Residence Group

Right now at my internship I am running a group that is kind of in the "Artist-in-Residence" style of art therapy groups. I sit in the room and make art for two hours and invite people to come in from the drop-in space to join me.

Today in class we made art about a type of group that we run and then talked about it. I kind of like the art piece that came out of this process. So here is my representation of artist-in-residence art groups:

I'm the blue figure at the bottom of the blue circle creating/existing in the blue space. Potential group members are the other figures who pop in and out of the space. I made it as an interactive piece so the figures can actually pop in and out by pulling little tabs stuck to their feet.

Close-up of the figure of me and one representing a potential group member:

The cool thing about the artist-in-residence style of group is that it kind of opens up the art room to the participants, so maybe they will feel like they can come into the art room at other times to work even if you're not there. It rests firmly in the "art as therapy" end of the spectrum of art therapy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Glazed and Fired

Ten pieces came back from the kiln this week!

Last Monday I went to the studio and spent three hours there, finishing some larger (wet) pieces and then glazing these ten things for this week's fire. I had no idea how they would come out. The dark brown is Temoku, the light brown is Gold Shino and the lighter white-ish color was supposed to be some type of blue.

Up close with Temoku and dripped over the blue... this is my favorite glaze design of the ten.

Close-up of some of the bowls. You can see on the left that I really soaked the bowl in the Shino, which is why it's all bubbly like that.

Close-up of the handle of the tea cup I made... it was my first handle. Other forays into handle-making haven't been much more successful.

A stack of all of the bowls with a pen for size comparison. JewishGuy says I should use an iPhone or an iPod, since that is the official size comparison object nowadays, but I needed to use this picture also for my grandma who has no idea what size an iPhone is.

Anyway, as you can tell these are pretty small bowls. One of these bowls is large enough to be a cereal bowl. My next batch should be much larger.
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