The days are flying by out here in Appomattox. In the past few weeks I had some great family and Fredericksburg time including my mom’s birthday party, my birthday (whence I taught my family members to throw on the potters wheel and shot a pistol). I also had the pleasure of a First Friday chat with my middle school art teacher, Nita Adams, who was the first teacher to encourage me to pursue art…still so bright and whip smart. (I have some great pictures that I’ll have to add later on account of my terrible internet connection).

Between festivities were long stretches of studio time and, for the present week, no more socializing for me. Wood needs splitting, glazes need mixing and applying and I am preparing to fire the entire FCCA show in one gas kiln load later this week (fingernails are eaten off, knees are knocking together). I wish I could do the whole show in the wood kiln but the timing is not just right and that massive kiln will actually be firing around the time of the FCCA show opening instead. (more cool pictures go here)

It’s dangerous to do this-have such high expectations. With installation work, I’ve developed a habit of not knowing what the work looks like until it is in the gallery and this is similar. I’m somewhat used to this nervous condition. It’s like every show is a karaoke song that I’ve never sung before. There is a good chance it will all go horribly wrong but it’s fun to try. That native clay project that I was so excited about has gone through some revisions. After adding several chemicals to increase the pliability of the clays, most were still unusable to build sculpture. Additionally, the clay bodies shrink at different rates, making it very difficult to build any interlocking designs. A decision had to be made so I added toilet paper (on the suggestion of a fellow resident) to strengthen the blends and proceeded to cut and form a portion of each clay body into bricks. I have a plan for the bricks that may still work out, but it’s not what I imagined…it never is. After the show in Fredericksburg, I can revisit the remaining clay and see if the issues can be resolved but, for now I have one wild clay sculpture in process and it is the very embodiment of the problem with having high expectations. (imagine a picture of hundreds of tiny hand-formed bricks here).

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