Tuesday, December 31, 2013


It's been a while since I updated this blog. There's a lot that's been going on over the last few months and for a slow typist like myself, constantly updating this blog can be a chore. Anyway, I have big plans for 2014 and I would like to break down some of the thoughts I have. So, here it goes (note: this is not listed in any particular order, although some goals will be emphasized on more than others).

Mixed Media: While my mixed media work has been somewhat active from time to time, these projects have unfortunately been delayed due to my emphasis on photography and ceramics. Starting this coming year, the mixed media work will be my first and main priority, although that doesn't mean ceramics and photography will go away.

Photography: As far as I know, I have no plans on the horizon to get back into film. Maybe someday, but for right now, I got plenty of digital images from the studio lighting course I took and other pictures I took throughout the year that I would like to do some work with. I also have plenty of film prints that I felt were unacceptable as film prints but might be better as digital pieces. Since working on digital photos is something that can be done anywhere at anytime as long as I have my laptop, I'll probably be working on digital photography work throughout the entire year.

Ceramics/Sculpture: For the first time since 2007, I plan on taking another sculpture course. I actually hope to use this class to work on my mixed media pieces since that work would go well with sculpture. I plan to work on some original sculpture pieces as well. As for ceramics, I may do more ceramic work, but it won't be as much as what I did this past year. It'll most likely deal with the half finished work from earlier this year that'll end up being more mixed media-based.

Shows: Wether it'll be at the college or someplace else, I would like to continue to have shows. The shows are still my main sure of exposure and it's a good event to sell stuff. I would like to have at least two major shows in 2014 if not more.

Buttons and Ceramic Pieces for Sale: I will be the first to admit that the marketing for the stuff that I sell has been terrible and almost nonexistent. It's not that I don't know how to market this stuff. It's more like I don't have the time. Well, as of right now I see an open window of a few weeks coming up. Over the next few weeks, I would like to work on marketing. Although, even if I had everyone of my buttons and sellable ceramic pieces posted on Ebay and Etsy, this stuff usually sells at my shows and that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

Blogs and Other Media Outlets: In 2014 I would like to be more responsive with this blog than I was throughout 2013. I would also like to continue to keep my Deviant Art page updated as well. Beyond that, I think it is time for me to start getting into vlogs. While this blog serves as a nice way for people to keep up with what I'm doing, assuming that I keep this place updated, I feel that a change is needed. I've come to understand that people nowadays don't like reading. They do however respond to visual and audio media. I want to format my blog in such a way where this blog will be reserved for pictures that don't need a lot of explaining. The vlog, which will most likely be posted to my Youtube account will serve as a means of explaining myself in a way that doesn't require long lines of text. I hope to start this new format soon.

Oh, I almost forgot. I think this blog needs a visual update. I would like to work on that soon.

Website: I've wanted to do a website for years. The problem is my knowledge with HTML is minimal at best and because I'm busy all the time and I don't plan on having web design as my main field of work, I never took the time that was needed to learn enough HTML to make a functional site. I know what kind of site I want. I can even do the design work on my own. I just need to find somebody who can help me with the HTML coding. I would like to finally start on this sometime in 2014. I've been doing this whole art thing for 10 years now with no website and I think it's about time that I get one.

Additional Projects: Over the past 10 years, I have learned a lot. I feel that if the first 10 years have been a learning period, then the next 10 years should be a time where I put all this knowledge to use. This year, I hope to finally start projects that'll someday result in a real source of income and allow me to be invested in my artwork 100%. Since this particular topic warrants it's own blog (or vlog), I would rather not go into to much detail right now.

So, this is 2014 in a nutshell. Hopefully, it turns out to be a productive and successful year.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Ceramic Experience In 2012: Part 4

This is the final chapter for the Ceramic Experience in 2012. By this time, the wet work was done and whatever pieces weren't fired by this point were waiting to be fired. With the pieces that were fired, additional work had to be done. The work on these pieces would continue beyond the end of the school semester and up until the end of the year. By the end of the year, I would have 10 complete ceramic pieces. I don't recall doing too much "crunch time", although I was still persistant in getting everything done before the end of the year because I knew I would be taking another ceramics class in the spring and I wanted to have everything done so I could get a fresh start.

December 2012

12/4/12: These are the three raku pieces I had made prior to their firing. The one on the left used black glaze. The one in the middle used blue crackle while the one on the right used a combination of both glazes.
12/5/12: Around this time, I started working on the backs of my first three pieces. They would eventually have a label on the back indicating the name of each piece, molding paste work, and hanging wire.
12/11/12: This is the work I did for the semester. There are pinched pieces, coil pieces, hard and soft slab pieces, a
combination of techniques, small and large pieces. I also did electric firings, gas firings and raku firings. The only thing I didn't have time to do was working with the throwing wheel. I still have work to do with these, just none that involve firing.
As I mentioned earlier, there was additional work done after the semester had ended, but I decided to save those pictures for when I start talking about each piece individually. I put a lot of long hours into all this work and I think most of it came out pretty well. I learned a lot too, mostly from accidents, but I think that is the best way to learn. Hopefully, I will get around to talking about the Spring 2013 semester and the work that came from it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Ceramic Experience in 2012: Part 3

First of all, I want to admit that I lied. Initially, this was going to be the last post regarding last year's ceramic work but after realizing that I had a lot of pictures to show, I decided it would be best to present the November and December pictures in two different posts. I know that I'm way behind with these, but I'll try to get the December post out as soon as possible.

Anyway, in this third installment of the 2012 ceramic experience, I'm going to talk about what happened in November of 2012. By this time, the coil projects had started. They took much longer to do than the slab construction pieces. One of them wouldn't make it. In November, I took my greenware home to work on because of how little time I had left to get my wet work done. Because of the difficulties of transporting greenware as well as not having the proper workplace at home, I never want to do that again. In the future, I'm going to try and do all my ceramic work as close to a kiln shed as possible.

November 2012

As I mentioned earlier, this was the last month for wet work. Everything had to be ready for the bisque firings by the end of the month. Building the coil pieces wasn't too difficult, although it was time consuming. This was partly because I was doing things that normally aren't meant to be done with coils. Also, I started work on what would be my raku pieces. Those three pieces were a combination of of pinching, slab construction and coils. Despite their simplicity, they were not easy to build at all.

11/1/12: An unusual day. I'm not usually in the studio on Thursdays. I progressed more on the first coil piece that I started in late October and started work on the second and third pieces.

11/6/12: At this point I was nearing the end of the first piece (the one on the left) while the other two were coming along rather quickly. I wanted to have these pieces ready to be bisque fired by the following week. As far as glazes were concerned, I wouldn't have to worry about for some time, but I had already decided what I would be using. I ended up using the same glaze combinations I used for the first three pieces I made in the semester (see part 2). This time however,  they were gas fired instead of electric.

11/13/12: The soft slab piece I had put in the gas kiln finished firing. It used the same glazes the hard slab piece used (see part 2). However, whereas that one ended up with shades of blue (it was fired in the electric kiln), this one has shades of purple. At this point, the two remaining coil pieces are coming along nicely and quickly. Sadly, they would not turn out as well as I had hoped.
11/16/12: These are the bottoms of what would become my raku pieces. The centers are meant to be used for name labels.

11/16/12: These are the raku pieces flipped right side up. Each of them has a different shape with the one on the left being made first while the one on the right was made last. These pieces are meant to serve as a base for another form.
11/18/12: My three coil projects. Unfortunately, by the time everything got done, only one piece was left entirely intact (the left one), while one was damaged and usable (the right one), and then there's one that never made it back to the college in it's final form and eventually became nothing more than a test piece (the center one).
11/18/12: These future raku pieces were starting to come along quite well by this point. It was challenging to create these forms since I was using very thin slabs of clay. I had to build everything by sections and then leave it to dry in front of a fan, usually by holding the upper pieces as they were drying. The piece on the right is smaller than the other pieces because it's original design fell apart and had to be modified. Ironically, despite being my least favorite of the three in terms of it's form, it ended up having the best glaze work and texturing.
11/19/12: By this point these pieces were almost ready to be fired. The problem was getting them back to the college in one piece. Luckily they made it.

11/19/12: All that needed to be done was the texture work. Sadly, I waited too long and that's one of the reasons this piece never made it. Because greenware is so easily breakable, this one ended up breaking before I could get it to the college to be fired. I was quite upset by this. I would eventually get used to failures though.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Ceramic Experience in 2012: Part 2

In part 1 I described my experiences in my second ceramics class which happened roughly a year ago. Part 2 will focus on September and October of last year when I took my third ceramics class. In this class, I was allowed to hand build again and I wanted to refine everything I had learned from the previous classes. The projects I would work on would focus mostly on mastering techniques such as pinching, coil building, soft slabs, hard slabs, and a combination of both. Aside from focusing on techniques, I wanted to give my project a natural, organic look. I wanted my ceramic work to look less like they were constructed and more like they had grown from nature. I also wanted to continue to work with the throwing wheel even though I preferred hand building. Sadly, I didn't have enough time to focus on that.

September 2012

The first projects I started were three dish-like pieces that were meant to hang on a wall. I used glaze three glaze combinations for each of them. This one picture is the only picture from September. When I get around to talking about November and December, there will be more pictures.

9/11/12: The first three projects are early in development at this point. The texture on the bottom piece changed after this picture was taken.

October 2012

The projects I started working on at this point were getting larger. My next projects were going to be based on slab construction, one soft and one hard.
10/2/12: The slab projects in progress.  The hard slab piece is on the left and the soft slab piece is on the right.

10/9/12: The overall forms have been completed up to this point and some of the rough parts of the  two pieces have been smoothed over. The texture of course has not yet been added.
10/9/12: On the same day the form was completed, the texture work was also completed. 
10/23/12: Some of the work is done firing, although the hard slab piece had to be re-fired due to damages that occurred during the first glaze firing. The coil piece was starting to come along rather quickly.
The projects up to this point had made progress so quickly that I couldn't take too many pictures that I would consider significant towards capturing the progress of my work. Throughout November and December, the projects would become more difficult, take longer, and as a result would have more pictures. That'll be revealed in the next entry.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Upcoming Projects and Posts

January is almost over and February is upon us. That means within the next few days, I'll be back in the ceramic studio working on new projects. I'll also have a studio available to take good quality pictures of my ceramic work from last year. Those pictures are coming next month. Within the next few days and weeks, more posts about last year's ceramic work will be made. It's a new year and I'm looking forward to working on a lot of projects and maybe doing some shows. I can't say what will come of this year, but hopefully, it'll be great.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Ceramic Experience In 2012: Part 1

For me, 2012 had it's ups and downs, but I'll always remember it as a year for my ceramic work. If I had to estimate, I would say I spent at least 8 or 9 months out of the year doing something with clay, wether it was wet work or fired work that had to be glazed. Now, before I continue, I should say that prior to 2012, I hadn't take a ceramics course since early 2009. Since then I had done some ceramic work, but had not spent too much time with it. This is one of the main reasons why 2012 was so interesting. I had to try an remember what I had learned while learning new things.

The first half of the year was Ceramics II. In this class, I had to use the throwing wheel, which I had never used before. There isn't too much to say about this class. It took me a while to get used to it and as a result, I fell behind on my projects. While what I ended up producing wasn't terrible, it wasn't up to my standards for what I would consider portfolio work and the work from that class is in process of being smashed up and possibly being used for one or several mixed media projects in the future. I did learn two things from this class. First, while I really wanted to improve my skills with the throwing wheel, it wasn't for me artistically. I prefer art that has more of a organic hand built quality to it as opposed to something that looks more mechanical. Second, I got some glaze combinations I really liked and while those exact combinations would not be used again, they would make a comeback in some form or another in the following ceramics class. It should also be mentioned that a lot of what I had learned in the first ceramics class back in 2009 would not be too relevant until the third class.

So that's part 1 of my ceramic experience in 2012. Since There were very few pictures from this class and most of them were for personal references and not meant to be shown to anyone, there weren't any pictures in this post. I promise part 2 will contain nice pictures so you won't have to read a wall of text.