Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Updated Events

My events calendar has been recently updated. Check it out for what's coming up next for there there pottery.

Monday, September 21, 2009

More images from Lark and Key show

Here are a couple more pictures from the show at Lark and Key. While most of the show was inspired by how much I enjoy my role as a mom (which is why in my mind it's called the "mommyitus" show), there was also a small thread of a conflicting feeling of desiring solitude and time in the studio. It's that same old story that so many women have (and men too!) who are both artists and parents: cherishing time with family, while also feeling a pull to create. In this vein, I had one piece that was called, "Tea for One."
Back to a piece directly inspired by my little guy, Guthrie, and images that invade my vision every day: below is a collection of wall pieces that together create an alphabet quilt. I enjoyed working on this piece for several reasons, but most of all because my husband, Brian, helped me design it. Once I described my idea for this piece to him, Bri became very excited about the possibility of creating a "font" for the project. So, one night we busted out some graphing paper (which, in the end, was a bit too tight) and designed each of the letters together. While he is so supportive of my life as an artist- and often expresses good judgments and opinions about my work- we hadn't really ever directly worked on a piece together. It was fun and added a lot to this piece for me personally.

A long view of the ABC quilt:
Another thing that excited me about this piece was that each individual wall piece, on it's own, doesn't necessarily read as a letter of the alphabet. It appears more as just an abstract collection of cut out shapes, but with them shown together, the intention becomes more clear. Detail of the piece:
Hanging out with my main man G at the opening. Gosh, he's getting so big!
Thanks to all who came out to see the show!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm back!

After a long (very long...) absence, I'm back to the blogging population. My studio has been working in overdrive the past few months: workshops, an artist residency in a local school, a public art project completed, a couple group shows, and one feature show to boot. I'm excited to share all of these happenings with you, my faithful readers (I thank those who check this site often, and apologize for the lack of entries recently).

Below are some images from a new show at Lark and Key Gallery, in Charlotte, featuring my work and beautiful paintings by Angie Renfro. They are a reflection of my life as a mom, as well as my changing body during my second pregnancy (yes, Guthrie is going to be a big brother soon!). Even though the opening has already passed, the show remains up through September. If you're in Charlotte, in the NODA area, be sure to stop by and take a look!
The "marquee" piece of the show (at least in my opinion) is this train that was inspired by a painting that hangs above his bed in Guthrie's room, created by one of my favorite artists, Duy Huynh. I haven't measured my train, but I think it's around 3.5 to 4 feet wide in 3 sections that can be shown separately or together. It was a labor of love- a great piece to indulge myself in painstaking detail. Yum!
Preggy vases- bulging bellies and hips. Hummm, an uncanny resemblance to my body right now!

Train detail- the wheels do turn, but not too well. Definitely not a toy!
I'm happy to be back and will post soon about some other recent projects! Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Making a living with clay: part 1

I've had a big change in my life with the recent-ish (becoming less and less so all too quickly) birth of my little guy Guthrie. This has had welcomed and obvious implications on my artistic career and daily choices of how to spend my time. While I tried to predict a slow down in the studio and plan accordingly, it was difficult to know exactly how much time for creating would present itself. Between trading one day of babysitting a week with a friend, some evenings, and catching an hour or two during Guthrie's nap, I've been able to carve out some time in the studio.

Through some careful decisions, recent time in the studio has been spent on some very different projects for me. Over the past few years, I have made the bulk of my clay income by selling pots at retail shows and to galleries, teaching adult classes at Clayworks and taking on the occasional commission (personal and corporate). Since my time has now become less consistent, I have made the choice to pursue some larger projects that have longer deadlines and a bit more flexibility, more teaching opportunities, and only participate in a few retail shows. These projects include a public art commission that started last May (I'll post more on this in the future), an artist residency at a local elementary school (another post), and have pursued and accepted some opportunities to travel to teach workshops (which excites me to no end!).

All this being said, I'm going to do a short series of posts about different ways to make a living with clay. During this process, I'm curious to hear how others are doing it too.

Well, one source of income that I hadn't imagined would happen for me is getting an article published in a periodical. I'm thrilled to say that one of my pots is the cover story of Pottery Making Illustrated! I was shocked (and pleased, of course) to find out that my image was chosen. You can check out the article here.

Many magazines take submissions and have their guidelines posted online. Often they will pay by the word and for images included. PMI likes "how-to" articles that are written from a teaching perspective, which seemed to be a good fit for me.

-wider exposure of your work and techniques
-articulated self-reflection of what you do while creating and why

-time spent writing is time out from creating in the studio
-you have to buy a copy of the magazine for each member of your family

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Potter's Conference: Focus on Function

Last week Guthrie, Brian and I travelled to our home town of Cincinnati for a visit with family, my little sister's bachelorette party and, most importantly, the Potter's Council regional conference where I was a presenter. While I've taught classes for over 9 years, this was my first big-time demonstration of my own work in front of a live (captive, sorry folks) audience. I was really excited and honored to present at this conference, as it has been a long-term goal of mine to teach workshops. There were 6 presenters total: 3 demonstrated at a time, one group in the morning, one in the afternoon. The attendees were great- they asked good, thoughtful questions, seemed very engaged, and laughed appropriately at my dorky jokes. My lovely assistant Leslie was extremely helpful and encouraging and took some pictures during the demo. I didn't realize I looked so funny while teaching- there were several shots of me pointing with my knife which was a bit disconcerting! Here's a sample:

Stamping is fun!
Bending the frame of a wallpiece:
Stretching a slab:
Look mom! I made a bowl:
The conference was held at Funke Fired Arts, an amazing clay studio in Cincinnati. The facilities seemed to be endless. This studio was a mecca for all kinds of ceramic artists: fully equipped with a materials shop, an exhibit and retail gallery, and seemingly boundless areas to work. The staff and volunteers there were super helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. The Clay Alliance also provided a lot of help which was very appreciated.
The work of Laura Ross, another presenter:
Steve Howell's work:
Kelly King discussing her sculptural/functional wall shelves during her demonstration:
Kelly King demonstrating:
Laura Ross's throwing demonstration:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ceramic Arts Daily

I'm excited to say that I have a project posted on the Ceramic Arts Daily site, which is run by the Potter's Council. It's an instructional article describing how to make a "quilted" wall piece (very similar to this posting). It was fun to think very specifically about how to construct these pieces, and then put it into words. There will be an article in Pottery Making Illustrated coming up in their next issue with an extended version of this project including glazing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy new year (a bit late!)

Apologies for the late greetings, I hope this finds everyone refreshed and energetic for a new year. 2008 was a particularly momentous one for the Sanders' clan and there there pottery. I will reflect on this soon in a future posting.

For now, I wanted to share about a recent trip that Guthrie and I took to the Mint Museum here in Charlotte. What better way to start the new year than visiting an amazing collection of ceramics at museum right in the back yard (or, 12 minutes away, but who's counting?)? One of their recent exhibits features women in ceramics from 1875-1945. There were some sweet pieces, but I wish they had shown more. Here are a couple of my favorites from the exhibit: a sculpture of acrobats, a sweet little carved lidded piece, and a delicately painted porcelain vase (and a nice wedgewood platter from their permanent collection). Sorry the images are a bit fuzzy, I had to fight little hands grabbing at the camera the entire time.
Another exhibit displayed haute couture fashions from 1947-2007. There were some incredible (and ridiculous!) pieces. The wall of shoes caught my eye. I think I may invest in a pair of those high top sneaker stilettos. Kristin Kieffer's work came to mind while observing this exhibit. I love the scallops on the black dress and can clearly see this influence in her work.
The big draw exhibit currently on display was Andy Warhol. Guthrie responded to these pieces the most; I'm guessing the bright colors caught his eye. The piece on the left interested me the most: one of a series of prints of "details of the renaissance."