Where I’ve been lately

Here I am February 2015 and it’s been two years since I posted anything. Well, I have been busy. Here’s a quick recap. In March 2013, I went to NCECA in Houston, got sick, stayed sick, didn’t finish up my thesis in time to graduate.

In the spring/summer of 2013, I spent a month in Japan/Hong Kong/China, two fall months at Penland NC working on my throwing skills, and then graduated in December. Pictures to follow.

In January of 2014, I went back to undergraduate school and took my first sculpture class.  Working with wood and metal was certainly a change from clay. My goal was to get competent with wood tools and welding. At least I can say I didn’t cut off any body parts or get any second or third degree burns.

Summer of 2014, I took off for London for a week, and then on to Athens and Istanbul.  After a week of wallowing in kilims and Iznek (and older) ceramics, it was back to Athens for Cycladic ceramics, and a week in Porto Heli with wonderful friends, scenery, and food. There were final days in London, and a highlight of highlights–working on the poppies at the Tower of London.

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Wooden low relief sculpture at Kew Gardens

A ribbon of clay
A ribbon of clay at the Victoria and Albert

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Turkish tile

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Cycladic tulips

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Glorious Spetses

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Planting poppies at the Tower

Fall 2014 found me in sculpture 2, a semester of mold-making, multiples, and casting.  I discovered that I’m into using molds for foods.

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Chocolate-covered ice cream dying Buddha

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Iced-green tea dying Buddhas

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Ice pig

And body parts

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Traveling foot

My tour de force of the semester was a 23 foot long snake skeleton made of conduit pipe and flex steel. It has an aluminum head. I discovered the limits of my left elbow on this project, and have been in therapy for tennis elbow since Christmas. I may get off without a shot or surgery.

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The snake skeleton–all 23 feet of it.

My social commentary project was titled Don’t Frack With My Water.  It featured smelly oiled water coming out of a faucet, with a view of a fracking operation from the window.

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It was accepted into the Alumni Biennial show entitled Continuation.

Now I’m in the third semester of sculpture, and using mostly clay.  Pictures to follow.


Whoa! I thought the 50 pound bag of bird seed would make it through February–until the American Goldfinches showed up this week. They take up all spaces on two feeders, and eat and fuss at each other all day long. I am reminded of Gulliver’s journey to Lilliput–they are so small and beautiful and so petty and fractious. The males aren’t quite as bright as they will be, but they’re working on their courting colors. I’ve never seen babies–they go somewhere else to nest.

The bright side of my new and improved double-paned windows is lower electric bills and less street noise. The downside is not hearing the birds or frogs unless I’m in the yard.

Ready or not

The tree frogs are out at night.  I hear them calling from behind my neighbor’s house.  My resident Mockingbird, anxious to hold onto his entire hoard of pyracantha and holly berries, hunkers down and flies out at flocks of Robins who are passing through.  Last week he successfully held off a group of Cedar Waxwings.  Meanwhile, he’s not eating them either.

There’s lots of action at the feeders–and in the yard.  It won’t be long before the babies are chasing the parents around begging for food.

Real life

When I let the dog out earlier, the titmice and chickadees had come in to feed.  They’re easy to identify because they streak in, grab a sunflower seed, fly to a limb, crack and eat, and repeat.  They seem to make the cardinals a little nervous (they are a little like lane-switching drivers on I-285).  What looks like American Goldfinches don’t need any help being nervous (I need a telephoto lens).  It’ll be interesting to see which birds get blown in by the bad weather West of us.