Friday, December 12, 2014

Are you coming to my Open Studio Event?

 Saturday (tomorrow) Dec. 13th I'm having my first annual Open Studio Event. 10 - 5 drop in at my studio. Food, beverages, some clay to play with and plenty of pottery. Three of my art friends will also be joining me: Steve Boykin, painter, Noel Gilliam, painter & mixed media-ite, and Helena Marette, jeweler.

Luckily the weather is supposed to be beautiful! It will be sunny and reach 60 degrees. The studio has heat and the tent we're putting up will also be heated so it'll be toasty in the morning, too.

I have a kiln load I'm waiting to open...I did sneak a peek yesterday and all that I could see looked good. I can't wait to see all my friends and maybe make a few new friends. 

The photos are a kinda-sorta "before" of the inside of my studio. I cleaned it up recently for our annual Southern Hands Artist Studio Tour (SHAST), messed it up a bit (but not much) to make and finish a few pieces, then cleaned it up again for you. It went into shock the first time, now it's in total denial. I'm going to have to have a therapist stop by and talk with the studio. 

If you'd like to see a view of the outside of my cute little studio you can either find me on Facebook (Janet McGregor Dunn Hummingbird - friend OR Janet McGregor Dunn LLC - fan). or you can come by tomorrow.

I've run out of things to write to fill up the space. I could ramble some more but it would be meaningless drivel and I know you are already pumped about coming to see me tomorrow so there's no point in dragging this on any longer.

Let me know you read this tomorrow (only) and I'll give you 10% off your purchase of my art.

Janet McGregor Dunn Studio
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
614 Lester Road
Fayetteville, GA 30215
(Open by appointment only on other days)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Flipping back and forth...

Still Standing. Mid-Fire. Note the lip at the bottom. I added that to give a lip that
didn't have to be glazed, and would catch any drips. I was working with all new
glazes so wasn't 100% sure they wouldn't run. I would have made the lip even if I
planned to use low-fire clay as it "worked" with the overall piece. However, I
would have glazed the bottom of the pot if low-firing.
In recent months I've been experimenting with a variety of clays, flipping back and forth between low-fire (cone 05) and mid-fire (cone 6). Both have a whole lotta pluses and a few minuses.

I like the way low-fire majolica clay handles and works with my highly textured pieces. It isn't brittle when fired and doesn't form as many sharp edges as some other clays. I love the way the red clay marries up with various glazes, too.

However, there's a lot to be said for the wonderful glaze effects when working with mid to high fired pieces. I've found a couple of beautiful brown clays that I am enjoying working with.

I do find that my mind doesn't flip quite as easily between the clays. I'll start working on a mid-fire piece only to realize part way through that I really, really need to be able to glaze the bottom. There are options for glazing the bottom with mid-fired pottery, but if you don't plan ahead it just ain't gonna be possible sometimes. I sometimes squash the piece, rework the clay and move on to something else... or go grab some low-fire clay. Sometimes I'll adapt it.

Ramblin' Blues. Low-fire. Note how the glaze goes all the way under
the large, textured bowl. This piece sold.
Low fire has the advantage of easily being able to stilt works when they're fired. Being able to stilt a piece means it can be glazed on the bottom and it won't stick to kiln shelving. I've talked with some artists who have had success with stilting cone 5 and 6 glaze firings but I've not been brave enough to try. There's always the possibility that the piece will just slump over the stilts and be ruined. Not to mention it'll ruin my kiln shelf if that happens. Those things aren't cheap! I think I'd be more upset over losing the pottery than the shelves, though. I never do anything twice, just not in my makeup to be able to repeat myself.

One of the things I love about clay, one of the many things, is that it's a never-ending experiment. I can't get bored. In fact, my biggest challenge is not going in a thousand directions.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Thank you to a whole bunch of people!

We just finished up our 4th Annual Art with Heart Fine Arts & Crafts Show. It is entirely run by volunteers from top to bottom, members and friends of our art group, Fine Arts and Crafts Entrepreneurs (FAACE).

We had members who didn't have a space volunteer at the front desk both days of the show. We had members who did have art doing all kinds of extra things... laying out the booths, clearing the room of tables & chairs (then putting them back out after the event), handling refreshments, getting sign permits, playing beautiful music, taking care of all the details of the fund raiser for The Children's Village, bringing food for the reception, dealing with the money we raised... the list is LONG.

All of the artists donated a piece of their art to help raise money for The Children's Village, too. We raised $1,000! Everyone pitched in to help clean up.

Very special thanks also to St. Andrews in the Pines Episcopal Church. They graciously allow us to use the space each year for the event. We know it disrupts their normal activities and that it is a huge gift they are giving to support not just FAACE, but The Children's Village (which benefits abused and abandoned children). The members are extremely supportive.

Artists and their spouses, significant others, friends, are such wonderful, giving people. At least all the ones I know fit into that category... I'm grateful to be part of such a super community of people.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported the show from the volunteers to church to the visitors who came to buy and donate.