Thinking of travel.

Monday, January 31, 2011

An Artist Statement.

Some readers have asked to know how I approach my work.  Here is my answer:

My Approach to Clay Art.
     Most of my work is experimental.  I don't have a defined direction when I approach clay and thus do not stay with anyone direction long enough to be able to say that my work is my signature and is easily identified with me. I will start a series today not knowing when I will deviate from it and go another direction.

 The work of my peers inspires me to try other avenues of technique when working with clay.  So today I may do sculpture and tomorrow I will find my self-sitting at my wheel throwing mugs.  The following day may find me trying to fabricate a mould that will allow me to create the perfect bowl form, more than one time.  Another day will find me working with my brushes trying to let my inner self-push the boundaries of the three-dimension form that is on my workbench in front of me.

  I do want to gain recognition for my efforts, not necessarily for monetary gain, but for the satisfaction that I created something that the public enjoys and wishes to own.  I make art for the joy of filling the world with objects that I create and that I feel are beautiful.

   I consider myself a visual artist who; slips in and out of the functional world, researching in the experimental glaze arena, dabbling in the painting process and playing in the modeling and sculpting disciplines.  I will allow my feelings to decide where I will go with clay-art today

Be sure to visit my etsy shop

You are invited to go hunting for duck

I have been writing this blog for a while now and I think it is now a good time for a give away. 
What is a giveaway?
It is a gift from me to the etsy member who can locate the listing in my shop where I have hidden a key-word.
Here is the URL to my etsy shop . 

The Key-Word is:
All you have to do is to go to my etsy shop and look through the listings until you find the location of the
key- word, copy the listing URL, then come back here and past the URL in the comments section of this blog and then answer this skill testing question: What is the middle name of the artist's who runs the shop?.

The first person who succeeds in this hunt will win the giveaway gift.  The time/date is PM.  It will show in the comments section and thus substantiate the winning person.

Here is the giveaway gift.
This is a small porcelain fluted pot that measures 11cm wide by 8cm high. 
It was thrown and trimmed by the artist on a pottery wheel and then glazed with a light blue/green copper glaze.  

The winner will be notified when the giveaway gift has been mailed along with an announcement in the forums.

I regret that this  giveaway is only offered to the Lower mainland USA and Canada
In addition members of the Etsy administration cannot play this game.

Good Hunting.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The duck that quacks "Only in Canada you say, Eh?"


Who said that jewelry has to be made from precious metals or expensive gems?  Whoever it was did not happen to pass by this little ducks shop. 

This is a shop for young people. They can find the most interesting jewelry and stationary along with all other fancy paper products that not only draw the attention of very young, the adolescent and the for sure the little boys in men’s’ clothing when worn in their company.
Lego Heart with Crystal on Silver-Tone Curb Chain, Swarovski Crystal Elements
The shop has a great selection of up cycled  jewelry made from lego pieces.  I know, I know.  Lego makes plastic building blocks that the little people (children) play with all day long. The pieces made from lego that struck my fancy first were the little hearts made by marrying two modified piece of lego together and fastening them so they resemble a little heart.  The jolly pieces are then placed on a silver tone chain that is strong enough for any child’s play and yet shiny enough to go out to the party and glitter with the best of high priced designer jewelry.  Some even have a Swarovski Crystal Elements as part of the model.
 Crazy Daisy Lego Stud Earrings in Red and Black, Silver Tone Posts
The shop also shows stud earrings made from lego pieces that fit snugly against the lobe of the ear and as well as the white blank head dangly earrings.  The colours are primary and that is what puts them out there with the best.
 Lego White Blank Head Dangly Earrings with Sparkling Swarovski Crystals - Limited Edition
The shop owner is Lisa and she believes in recycling stuff.  She has a lot as her family is four children strong.  Now I know where the lego parts come from.  I hope her children have out grown this toy.  If not they will surely miss some of the pieces. 
Imperial Moustache and Oh So Kissable Lips Photo Prop Set of 6

One thing for sure…..  Lisa is a true designer.  She has taken stuff and up cycled into into great ideas.   If you need some party favours you do not have to look any further. Some fun things like her mustaches and kissable lips will make lots of fun when used as props for photos of the gang or how about some Jalepeno Peppers.. on a stick! to signify the spicy steak or chop.

  Jalepeno Pepper.... On A Stick
Some other great stuff are the up cycled note books. Lisa takes DVD sleeves from old movies.  Restores them and makes wonderful 5.25” by 7.5” note books.  These books are filled with 100Percent recycled products.  What an excellent gift for a student or an aspiring poet or artist.   My favorite item from Lisa’s shop it the Giant notebook30cm by 28cm, filled with 50 blank pages.  The cover is created out of a Delisseo pizza box that celebrates Team Canada hockey players.  What else could a Canadian ask for. You know what they say “Only in Canada, Eh?”
 Team Canada Pizza Recycled / Upcycled Notebook
This was a very happy visit. I think I regained a bit of my youth this evening.

LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of Companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this product."

Monday, January 17, 2011

This Little Duck Shows us the Light.

WallCakes Equals
Awesome.  I think that is the term that I whispered to myself when I opened “WallCakes” shop.   At first glance I was sure I saw a product that was made from porcelain and beautifully decorated.  Upon further investigation I was pleasantly surprised to find that the products are what we call in the art world “mixed media”.   WallCake uses a mixture of plastic, cork, polymer, metal, Polyurethane and a great deal of artistic talent to create beautiful household objects.
decorative switch plate - Gothic Pink textured switchplate
I was particularly attracted to the wall switches that WallCakes lists in her shop.  These are truly little pieces of visual art.  The colours and patterns stand out brightly. I imaged how they would garnish any room in the home.   Although they appear to be two dimensional art pieces they in fact are bas relief sculptures.  They are well textured and the pattern highlights with contrasting colors that emit light in their own means.
decorative switch plate - Mosaic switchplate
WallCakes also lists coasters that look very professionally put together.  I am sure they would hold the attention of any guest who has the opportunity to be invited over for a glass of cheer.  The only problem I would have with the chocolate chip cookie coasters is that my grandchildren might think they are real.  They would be disappointed that they are not eatable.
Coasters OR Magnets - mix 'n match set of 4Sweet Treat - Chocolate Chip Cookie Cork Backed Drink Coaster - Set of 4
All in All WallCakes specializes in these two main products.  A point to make however is that the wall light switch covers can be custom ordered to fit many different light switch cover configurations.  
So if you are thinking of repainting your rooms at home, consider browsing WallCakes shop.  I think you will find the visit enjoyable.
P.S WallCakes is dabbling in making some pendants.  I hope she makes more of these. They rich in texture and colour.
Pretty Pink - Distressed Monogram Pendant

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I just had to grab this duck's tail feathers.

This was an experience that I did not expect.  I poked this duck to find someone who really enjoys supporting the sport of football.  Yep it is the little duck that always brings a smile to my day when I see “Who Dat.”  To my surprise I found a shop called:  betweenpietyandesire.  I looked over the goods being offered and found that I was in a saintly corner of the world.  I was where one best cheer for the New Orleans Saints Foot Ball team. 
Who Dat Destiny Oil
If one needed help in conjuring up a winning game betweenpietyand desire’s had the potion, prayers and voodoo dolls to help.
New Orleans Saints Candle with Official Prayer
However, if you weren’t into the sweaty tough sporty mood the shop also offered aromatherapy bath salts that would guarantee you a way to give you a quiet serenity or a dreamsicle of love and romance.  The color of the bath salts help you choose where you want to go in your bath.  This is great for old guys like me who cannot see well enough to read the package.  I think I will grab the pink colored salts and ask my wife to join me in my bath. After which I will slip in some light red colored salts.
Aromatherapy Bath Salts Sampler
All kidding aside this whimsical shop was worth the visit and it was time I grabbed the tail feathers of this special little duck. I just hope that I don’t receive a hexing gris gris.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Are you the Artist?

I was in Shanghai last October and while I was there I had the opportunity to visit the art district that is called "50 Moganshang Road Art Center."  This is an area that Shanghai has set aside to enable contemporary artists to set up studios and art galleries.  While there I photographed some of the walls that appeared throughout the area.  China is famous for their walls.  I have reworked a few of these photos into digital art presentations.  I hope to do a series of large paintings from these graphics.

These photos remind me of a poem that I wrote the first time I visited China

Are you the Artist

Are you the artist?
She asked of me.
An artist who paints pictures for all to see?

An artist who can show the dark of night and the light of day,
who can draw the birds in flight and the human way.
Who can paint the strength of stone, the softness of silk,
The crystal clear of water, and the white of milk?

Are you the artist?
She asked of me.
An artist who paints pictures for all to see.

An artist who can paint the shades of grey, the insipid clay,
who can draw the mountains high and children at play,
Who can show ribbons of roads and old villages so
Who can portray wise old men and fields of rice,
Babes in the arms of women, their smiles filled with life.

Are you the artist?
She asked of me.
An artist who paints pictures for all to see

An artist who can see the life in my eyes,
who can see all the blues in the sky?
Who can draw the line so straight and fine,
who can show the heat of red and the cool of blue,
Who can paint the love, I feel for you?

Are you my artist she asked of me?

Friday, January 7, 2011

I poked another duck

  equals SanDesign
I poked another duck this evening and to my surprise I came to a shop that sells images for use in art and craft.   This shop has a great collection of digital collage sheets.  
Red Roses Digital Collage Sheet No. 47

Now you may ask what good is this art form for a ceramicist.   How would you apply these images to your ceramic pieces?  If you stick them on and then fire the piece to mature the clay, the paper colleges would burn off.   Yes you are right.   But……. If I send them away and have ceramic decals made from them, I could use the images on my porcelain.   And…….  I am thinking that I might just do that.
As for other uses, I am sure there are many.  The important point to note is that the research and work of collecting these sets of images has already been done for by SanDesign, as shop that is based in Florida.  The nice thing about these supplies is that they are not expensive and they save hours of work if one was to research the world to find the same quality of images.   This shop has had over eight hundred feedbacks and one hundred percent positive.  What else can one ask?  You must go and have a look.  
 Butterflies 4 Digital Collage Sheet. No. 431

This shop has me thinking. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Qualities of a good Ceramic Coffee Mug

I am a ceramist and one of my products is Coffee Mugs.   I consider the coffee mug a bread and butter item in my inventory.    The question I am asked by my students and my buyers is "How do we evaluate a coffee mug to determine if it has the qualities that will give the user a pleasant experience when they use it?" 

Here are a few points that I consider when I pick up a handmade coffee mug.

 A quality mug requires a dependable glaze and a pleasing design. Some people prefer a coating that is fat, and matt, others search for a glazes that are glass and glossy. The design should be complete in its simplicity. The glaze should be provocative but soothing to counter-balance the caffeine effect. Some coffee drinkers prefer a finish that does not craze. Others enjoy the roadway patterns made by crazed glazes stained brown by years of coffee drinking.

A hand crafted ceramic mug should be visually attractive to look at. It should have a clear and charming figure with some throwing rings visible. Texture should be such as to incite the desire to caress the mug. The shape should not be too bulbous or collared so that it allows the delicious liquid to flow smoothly. It should have a comfortable area to cradle, or better yet so as to nuzzle the mug with the free hand. The form should not require the user to tilt the head way back to finish off the last drop of dark nectar.
The thermal qualities of the clay used and the thickness of the walls of the mug should be such to ensure that the mellow liquid held within stays hot as long as possible. The mug must have a balanced weight, not too heavy to tire carrying it nor too light so as to spill coffee when waving it around during a conversation.

The base should be smooth so that it will not scratch or mar the furniture or make a grating sound when served on a saucer.

The mug should be stackable. Once we begin to collect them, we will find that storage space becomes critical.

The colour of the mug should please the owner. Some prefer light, white interiors for hygienic reasons while others prefer dark colours on the inside as this gives the appearance of a richer browner coffee. .

Lastly, a mug should be an old friend, much like an old pair of slippers, or an old dog. It must also be joyous like a piece of candy. It must stimulate the owner whenever he reaches to select it. It must be a mug forever. Also, remember that respectable coffee demands that it be served in a delightful coffee mug.
Some of these mugs can be seen on:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I took a poke at a duck

I poked one of my collected ducks just to see where it would take me.   It was magical.  I ended up in South Jersey looking at a collection of objects made from grapevine, silk and dried floral arrangements.  It was the etsy shop of Toni.  The banner read "Stylish Stems."  Most appropriate title for such a good looking product.


Cream Berry Valentine Heart Wreath
Toni stated in her shop that 2011 was going to be a wonderful year.
  I believe her.
She is presently showing her Valentine heart wreaths.  What a nice way to announce that the home has a lot of love in it.

Red Berry Valentine Heart Wreath
 Toni has also jump started the spring with her Spring Love Wreath.  I am sure this will make everyone happy to see that the sun is climbing in the sky and that we will soon be welcoming the blooms of spring.

Spring Love Wreath

These wreaths will tell the world that the home they adorn is filled with love and life.

I also discovered that she has a great blog about design!

What a lucky poke. 

I will try again soon.