Sunday, October 18, 2009

Leaf Panel Mosaic

Happy 8oth Birthday, Dad

Returned from Serbia just in time to finish this mosaic for my father's 80th birthday party that got postponed til June. Panel is 4 feet long and made to hang above his bed. Comprised of handmade 2-D ceramic leaves, ceramic tile and sici tile. Framed by Mission Gallery in San Juan Bautista.

Attempted another leaf panel for my brother''s bathroom for his birthday in July. This one less than successful so it sits in the studio as part of my artistic exercise collection. Problem: not enough variety in color and pieces too far apart. Bland and blah. And darn if I still don't owe my brother a birthday present.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jan's Mermaid Mural

Latest Mural Project in Studio
Jan's Mermaid

Next to the door, going into the old house, is a portion of wall we had left covered in hardibacker for a furture mural. Keeping with the ocean theme of the existing mural in the studio, Jan projected this mermaid on the wall and colored her in with chalk. Then began the delicious collection of baubles and beads. Collecting a veritable "Pirates of the Carribean" treasure chest of goodies to mosaic with is Jan's forte. Problem arose when we discussed how to mosiac our mermaid's body parts. Wouldn't it be nice to make them in 2-D clay? Yes of course, but while Jan and I like to sculpt neither one of us has any experience sculpting the human body.

What to do?Enter our 26 year old friend, Nora Schwaller, who is finishing her BFA in Ceramics at San Jose State. Nora, aka "Bird Girl" (self explanatory when you view her body of artwork) can sculpt the human body, no problemo! See below. Nora's not bad when it comes to birds either:)
This is Nora hard at work in the SJSU studio with her Bird Woman still in progress. Legs still need to be sculpted.
Sooooooooooooo.....We bribed Nora with a play day in our studio and a few munchies. She graciously showed up prepared to give us lessons in coil building. Funny, we never got to the lessons. No, we twisted Nora's arm to help us with our new mural and watched with rapture as she sculpted the arms and hands for Jan's Mermaid.
Arms will go here.
And look like this...Impressive work in one afternoon, yes, yes, yes! It pays to have talented friends in the sculpting department.

Jan worked on the face and neck.

And one of these days we are going to get the pieces glazed and up on the wall and be off and running. Thanks for your help Miss Nora!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blue Floor

One of the benefits of my parents annual visit from Colorado is that Jan and I feel compelled to take time off to do a bit of spring cleaning., in a panic, is more like it. Took us a week of full time work in order to pick up, dust off and get the place ready for mom's white glove inspection. The studio stays like this until my parents leave, and then immediately begins to fall back into comfortable creative chaos. Comfortable for me, Jan would like my parents to visit more often ;)
This year we needed to deal with a section of the studio that had been part of our last year's remodeling endeavor, and never quite finished. The rust colored cement floor in this area was in need of some serious sprucing up after being battered with drywall and plaster.

So....we took a little trip to Home Depot (that toy store for adults of "do it yourself" persuasion) and bought a gallon of cement paint which we had tinted blue to match the counter tile. A few hours lof elbow grease later and wa la! New floor!

Flower Pot for Andrea's Web Site Award

Flower pot made by glazing the rim of a Home Depot terracotta garden pot and then embellishing it with handmade ceramic tile flowers and bits and pieces. Pot is ungrouted in these photos. (Eventually grouted with light grey grout.) Made and donated to http://www.wethepaper/ as one of the artist to artist awards for this web site's January Greeting Card design contest.