In February each year, Spring Bull Gallery in Newport has their annual Fakes and Forgeries Gallery Show, my favorite….artists submit their interpretation of a well know work of art… my interpretation uses clay as my palette. The first year I entered I interpreted Van Gogh’s Starry Night, the next year was Hokasi’s The Great Wave, and this year was Gustav Klimt’s , The Kiss…. I enjoy entering because creating my entries is a sampling of every clay surface technique I’ve learned…and I am all about the surface!
At times like this, I am glad I have a smaller kiln, as one doesn’t make one entry as you never know what a piece will look like until it comes out of the final glaze kiln. I made 5 pieces, using every surface technique I enjoy—carving, slip trailing, sgrafitto, wax resist, mishima, and then applying underglazes, washes, and glaze.
In January my cellar studio by the sea is too cold and too damp to work in. Therefore, I covered the floor of my living room, set up a table near the window (ah, natural light) thus setting up a small temporary studio, with all clay, tools, and supplies needed in a warm, cozy room. I spent the week creating, relaxing, and enjoying the cold January weather on my terms. I did something that is hard to learn and hard to practice (but always pays off)…I took my time! Patience is critical, you never know how something is going to turn out until it’s out of the final glaze kiln; I could only say to people “I am working on my entry….” Met with a friend when all 5 were out of the kiln to make a group decision on which piece should be entered. When the entry was finally delivered to Spring Bull Gallery, I posted my photos on social media and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief…..and then started think of next years work of art to interpret….any ideas? As a follow up, on the show opening night, my entry had a now familiar red dot, which mean I no longer owned the piece. But I do have four other interpretations if any one is interested.
In a few days, our family is off to Valencia, Spain to immerse ourselves in Las Fallas, a festival which culminates in a week of fiestas, fireworks, culture, and mayhem! I’m copying a great explanation by the Don Quixote Spanish Language Learning School on a “Spain Travels” heading on my website, because it’s the most concise description I have found…. it’s hard to explain. Enjoy reading the description when you have a chance. Once in Spain, I hope to learn more about Spanish pottery and specifically the Cuerda Seca surface technique and also have a description under Spain Travels. I am wondering how 3 weeks in Spain will have an influence on my clay work; we will all find out as the year progresses!