Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring in the City

Three characters

I have been doing some exploration in my art therapy sessions (I am seeing an art therapist) about the three "characters" at play in my life: The Hermit, The Alchemist, and The Chariot. So this is all three of those characters and what they look like in a stuffed sculpture. The three purple/blue/gray sticks are The Alchemist, the red donut is The Chariot, and the yellow circle is The Hermit.

I haven't processed this piece yet, though.

This is turning into a major body of work, actually, all of my characters. Neat :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Job Application

Today I wrote my first letter for a job posting that was for "psychotherapist" when I think they really meant "art therapist" (but didn't know it). I told them all about how art therapy fits perfectly into their treatment model and why I'm so awesome they should hire me. It was so good and still kind of scary.

I've been updating my resume basically every week as I remember things that I never included. Volunteer experience, certifications, exhibitions, all these things that weren't on my resume before. My dept chair says a 2 page resume is okay for therapists, especially art therapists, since there aren't as many people applying (as in the business world for corporate jobs). The work experience, education, and licensure are on the first page, so that will get the most attention, and then the other stuff is on the second page, the icing on the cake I guess.

Applying for jobs fo realz is scary because I remember what it was like last time. There was a lot of stress and crying and whatamIgoingtodoifIneverfindajob. And then I took jobs that were less than ideal because I was afraid this was the best I could get. So far I've just been dropping generic cover letters and resumes at things that look interesting, but not really investing in any application. So this is the first real application I've invested in, one that I will follow up with in a few weeks with a phone call, marking the beginning of my earnest job search. I have my charts and files set up so I can keep track of who I've applied to, when I applied, when/if they've contacted me, is that job still open, etc. I'm ready to go. Eeeeee!

Thesis Scribble 3

I investigated the hole on the right (surrounded by orange) in this art piece and this plant art piece.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thesis Scribble 1

FINALLY my scribbles are scanned in and ready to be viewed by the general public (both on my blog and in my thesis).

This scribble inspired first this art response and then this response. You can see I focus a lot on that giant red bubble.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Positive Fantasy

Almost like a womb (again)
Growing (again)
It isn't growing alone, it is surrounded by health and vitality.
It's safe here to come out -
And if you aren't ready to come out we will reach in and help you realize
This is healing water
Water to help you grow.
It is not poisoned.
It comes from the fresh sky and the fresh rain and lands on fresh, fertile earth.
This time it is different
This time you can put down roots.
This is good soil
This is good earth
This is good water,
Clean and fresh.
It's okay because this time when it rains it will be just enough.
And when you're planted it won't be so deep you won't be able to get out.
And the sun will obey its natural cycles and come and go as the sun does.


Protecting My Eyes

My eyes are the chariot that protects
The lids droop to protect the eyes
From taking in
As if the light is too bright and will burn the retinas causing permanent, irreversible damage.
It's that serious...
The chariot patrols the borders through my eyelids
The shape of my eyelashes reflect its spines,
Its protective gear,
Keeping out contaminants
Keeping out the harsh rays that threaten to destroy my vision
It's okay to let them droop.
Plants grow in the dark.
Did you know that?
Too much sun can kill even a cactus.
They need the dark to grow and digest.
So keep your lids down,
So you can grow and heal.


Scribble 6 : Tree

When I was reading Bruce Moon's book The Dynamics of Art as Therapy with Adolescents, I noticed that all of his groups had some kind of theme. Even though the youth were free to make whatever they wanted they always had a theme. I figured this was in case someone felt stuck and didn't know what to make.

I thought I might increase my attendance to the open art drop-in group if I introduce an optional theme. Today's optional theme was "TREES." I wanted to be able to have conversations about the metaphor of a tree, something that is grounded and consistent but flexible and growing. So inevitably my scribble turned into a tree.

Someone said it was Picasso-like but I think they were going for Van Gogh.

Someone else said I should be selling these scribbles. So far I've made 6. The problem is I'm very attached to these things, I see my inner psyche playing out in them, I don't want someone else to have them!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Crawling Green Glaze

I've decided I will feature interesting things about the ceramics stuff I post since I am now churning out a lot and it isn't so interesting to see picture after picture of bowls.

Today's feature is this crawling green glaze on one of my cups that recently came out of the kiln.

From what I can tell, glazes crawl when you put a lot of them on and they have the characteristic of crawling. It means something is melting in the glaze and dripping down the side as the kiln heats up.

Because this glaze crawls and creates these cool bubbles, this cup can't be used for food or drink (it will be hard to clean it effectively). The picture above is what the inside of the cup looks like, you can see the glaze is pooling.

I kind of love this crawling and bubbling the glaze is doing. Right now I have a flower pot in the kiln that has this glaze near the top. Hopefully it will compliment the green under-glaze I've layered on below it. The trick is learning to predict its movements.

I haven't developed any of my own glazes this semester. I feel I don't have time to really make and test glazes, so I'm just using the ones they provide in the studio. Maybe if I start renting a studio and have more time I can make test pieces and send them through with some of my own glazes...

Friday, April 9, 2010


This morning I was grumpy because I didn't get a lot of sleep last night and I have a lot to do today (but I have an unexpected short break so I'm here haha). I was really frustrated and tired so I escaped into a fantasy land where I had nothing to do but make more pottery. I started looking up some pottery studios in New York where I could rent studio space. I didn't really want one where you can only take short classes and workshops. I don't mind if it's one where you can take classes and workshops as well as rent out space, but I want to be able to have access to the studio on Sundays.

Anyway, looking for studios cheered me up. I found three in my new neighborhood that look promising and two that may need some more investigation. I only need to find one good one, though.

Today I went to the studio and trimmed pots and glazed some old pieces that were sitting around. I didn't really feel like getting dirty. Then our class took a field trip to the student art fair, and after that I left early because I have to do something later tonight and I am so tired and need a break.

What may have helped would have been a nap but nahhhh.

Scribble 5

I did this one two weeks ago. It's pretty involved and worked-into. I think it's my favorite one.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thesis art

It's funny because I thought this was the ugliest piece I made, but it's the most interesting to photograph.

Thesis art

This one kind of looks like a little angry monster.

I wrote about how the mesh is embedded in the clay, like an embedded collar on the animal neglect TV shows. The more you try to pull it out the worse it gets.

Friday, April 2, 2010

More thesis art

Surprise, I'm sprouting a plant as part of my thesis!

More wet accomplishments

We're in the final push to make wet things before the end of the semester. Technically we have about 3 weeks left to produce new things, and after that will be rounds of trimming, glazing, and firing. So I have been trying to produce like crazy.

Last week I made seven mugs. I realized how much larger things have to be in order to be usable - 12% shrinkage is a lot of shrinkage. So I had to make some pretty oversized mugs.

The challenge for last week (for me) was to create handles. Handles are really hard. These handles look good from a distance, which is a blessing for this blog, but close-up they are a mess.

This week my challenge was to make bigger things. I struggled all morning and when I finally called my teacher over it turns out I was at a bad wheel. The bat was shaking on the wheel head so it was basically impossible to center large pieces of clay. I switched wheels and it was like another world.

So today I made two large bowls (about 10-12" diameter, which means they will be 9-10" diameter when they shrink, I think), one large serving plate, one small plate (perhaps to sit one of my flower pots on), three smaller bowls and two small cups (which are upside down because they started to dry unevenly).

I also glazed some things so we'll see how that goes.

The clay was really groggy today, which means it had a lot of rocks in it. The rocks were probably pieces of bisqueware - clay that had already been fired once. It's supposed to make the clay stronger but it makes it impossible to make anything thin, and it is hard on the hands. Luckily it was the bottom of the bag so they made some new clay that was much smoother and nicer. If you click on the picture you can see some of the rocks in the clay (although some of those rocks are actually sand that someone spilled on my piece, ahhh).

Unfortunately I can't go to the studio on Monday to trim these. I might not see them again until Thursday (more like next Friday) so I'm a little worried about them drying out. I've covered them in plastic, which usually works for a while. Here's hoping...
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