Tuesday, April 26, 2011

See my work this Saturday alongside an amazing group of ceramics artists.

Monday, April 25, 2011

See my work this Friday at the Forty Plus Faculty Show.

The Patron Party is Friday, April 29th from 6-9pm for $20 per person. The Saturday and Sunday hours are free and open to the public. Please check out this amazing exhibit.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Mental Exercise...

I am throwing three sets of dinnerware. Two sets will consist of four-piece place settings. The third will consist of three. Cherry Blossom, the new hand built series and my new combo of aqua/white/lime will be glazes.

I was quite proud to throw the cherry blossom set last night in one try and in an hour and a half no less! I usually focus on one shape like a mug and make 30 of them. Therefore making four shapes in sets of four is a different beast all together. I'm excited to see the results. I should make more each time I do the sets to allow for cracks, imperfections, etc. to not be such of a problem. But for the meantime I want to work out the design issues of the set and make sure the four pieces align properly before I go overboard.

Its been quite amazing spending so much time in the studio. I feel like the work is moving along quickly and with greater consistency.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Free shipping at my Etsy shop through the end of April. Use the coupon code aprilshowers when checking out. Visit my shop here.

Also please note for anyone shopping the May 7th studio sale that I do not have the work listed on Etsy at that sale. Please contact me if you wish to see something in person that day at artzy_grl@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring and Summer 2011 Classes

I'm offering a few classes this spring. Please sign up quickly. Class size is limited to 8 students but I must have a minimum of 3 to run a class. More summer classes may be added but that is dependent upon the temperatures this summer!

Hand Building (All Levels):

Students will learn a variety of techniques to make bowls, cups and plates with stoneware clay. Coiling and slab building, decorating and glazing will be covered in this four week class. The class fee includes all materials and firings. Work will be available to pick up one to two weeks after the session ends.

Each session is priced at $110. See payment information below.

Spring Session II: Wednesday evenings, May 11, 18, 25 & June 1. 7:00pm-9:00pm.
Summer Session I: Thursday evenings, June 2, 9, 16 & 23. 6:30pm-8:30pm.

All classes are held at 13000 Athens Ave, Lakewood, Ohio. Studio 328 (3rd Floor). Email Gina at artzy_grl@yahoo.com to register. Cash, check or credit is accepted at the time of registration.

Refund policy: I need to maintain a certain number of students to run a class. You must cancel no less then one week before the start date of the class or workshop. A $10 processing fee will be deducted if you cancel. Cancellations will less then one week's notice will not receive a refund with the exception of a medical emergency.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Work. Fragmented Nesting Bowls.

I have been working on nesting bowls. They were formed on wheel thrown molds and are meant to nest in sets of 3 or 5. Although some are proving to exist on their own. They are definitely the most sculptural pieces I have done. In addition I have expanded my glazing and surface treatments. I am really happy with the results and the turn in my work has been exponential thanks to helpful feedback from my fellow artist friends along the way. You can see these at River Gallery and the Orange Art Center at the end of the month.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I have spent the evening updating the images on my website's home page, galleries and rearranging the other galleries by date rather than category. Check out the progress at ginadesantisceramics.com.

And enjoy one of my new pieces in the cherry blossom motif!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New pieces with cherry blossoms.
You can see the finished product on April 30th at River Gallery!

A place to shop for my work this weekend...

I will be at the Orange Art Center this weekend selling my work. Friday's Preview Party has a $5 admission charge at the door. Saturday does not have the charge. The admission along with a portion of the artists' sales go to benefit the Orange Art Center. Located in Pepper Pike, this organization provides arts programming for children, teens and adults. Please stop by and check it out.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Sushi Sets!

Not sure if these will be dried and fired in time for my next show but I thought I would share. Enjoy!

Location. Location. Location.

After much debate I have decided to apply to residencies, focusing on Philly, Baltimore and Minneapolis. There is nothing I want more than to be an artist and create work. I think a change of scenery for a few weeks could be helpful and refreshing. The minute I returned from my NYC trip this year I was immediately shocked back into the reality that is my daily grind. I work more then anyone I know. I find that I place a lot of importance on my career but I worry about it defining who I am as a person. With these thoughts in mind I feel a bit of travel and the opportunity to focus solely on my work and myself is exactly what I need. Most of the residencies I am looking at are for a few weeks or up to three months...and ideal amount of time to work quickly on a new body of work. Especially with a short attention span like mine ;)

I am lucky to have a job and an affordable studio. I'm surrounded by family and friends. I need to take advantage of what I have and not focus on what is missing. That will all fall into place in time. I know I won't be here forever but at the end of the day its not really where you are, its who you are with.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Only When I Have a Deadline

I use a finicky but lovely clay (Standard 240). Its a stoneware but it is almost a half porcelain. Last year I noticed a lot of cracks on the bottoms of mugs and bowls. Simple remedy - dry them upside down in their humidity shelf. Problem solved. This February I was invited to be a show and asked to provide larger pieces. No problem, right? Big problems. For the last 2 months. I kept noticing cracks along the sides just directly above the foot. This was only happening in the pieces with wide bases. I assumed it was one of 2 issues: drying time/method or compression during wedging/throwing.

My hunch was compression so I looked up some tips for throwing large porcelain pieces on the internet. I discovered one remedy was to center the clay, cut it off the wheel, flip it over and re-center thus evening compression throughout the clay. 2 of the 3 pieces like this exploded, of course therefore I only had 1 survivor. It was fine when I took it out of the kiln. A day later I had come back to find it had cracked.

I decided to explore 3 new options all to be fired in the same bisque.
1st. experiment: Use the 182 clay. Slightly grogged and not as pure.
2nd. experiment: 240 with a small percentage of fine grog wedged in.
3rd. experiment: 240 with a large percentage of fine grog wedged in.

My initial concern with using grog was that I like the smooth surface and it suits my glaze palette and aesthetic. In test #3 I could definitely feel it when I threw so I wasn't sure how I would like it once fired. After the bisque firings I learned that it was indeed the clay and not how I was compressing it during the throwing process. The 182 had the highest success rate next to the heavily grogged 240 clay. Some of the light and heavy grogged pieces survived but the 182 did not have an issue with a single piece. After 2 months of struggling it is clear to keep both types of clay hand to use depending on the size and diameter of the piece.

On the bright side after throwing so many large platters and bowls I am now REALLY REALLY good at it!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Kills - No Wow (2005)

Coolest rock chick, if you ask me...

My doppelganger, I am told.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Art of Learning

I sometimes think I take more from the classroom as a teacher then my students. I have learned a lot about life through ceramics and with class interactions. My students consistently tell me that they love that I am laid back and one even told me I was soothing. Knowing that my friends would laugh and disagree I posted this statement on Facebook. My suspicions were correct. Then I began to wonder how is it that I am one person in the classroom and another person when I walk out the door. How does one begin to reconcile those two personalities?

I need to apply my patience in the classroom to my own life and artwork. I have high expectations for myself. Ceramics continues to kick my ass. I learn something new every week. In the current situation its dealing with my clay cracking issue (another post for another time). It keeps me on my toes and I never know what to expect next. I like that about clay. I generally have a short attention span for most activities and people however I have remained intrigued by clay for over a decade.

Another lesson I have learned is that nothing is permanent. Yes, clay objects have stood the test of time but many pieces never make it off the wheel. Or they do but they die in the bisque. Or they survive and I pull them out of the glaze kiln and accidentally knock a handle off ;)
The point is that nothing is set in stone, even stone. Don't get to attached and don't fear change. Its inevitable and that can be a good thing. Its all about perception.

But the most important lesson I have learned is to have some frickin' fun! With show deadlines its easy to forget to enjoy oneself. Live a little. Make some art, have some fun. Its not about forgetting responsibilities its realizing that there is more to life and that making art is not about the end result. Its about the process.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Goals for 2011

This year was off to a bumpy start but I'm taking it with stride and looking forward to the remainder of the year. I suppose this post should not be limited to this year. These goals are more long term than that.

1. Travel more.
Whether solo or with a partner in crime. Lots to see. I usually get homesick a few days after being on the road. This year's NYC trip was the first time I did not experience that feeling.

2. Become a better artist.
I'm not only dedicating my time to making more art but to continually get better at my craft. Not everything I make is great but its a constant process of streamlining and discovering my voice.

3. Apply for residencies.
This is a combo of goals 1 & 2. Traveling while making art. How could I go wrong?!

4. Gain gallery representation outside of Ohio.
I definitely lack in this area. I have not had the time to dedicate to this task. But with less summer shows its time to take charge!

5. Focus on the present.
I can be an anxious soul. Cart before horse. I need to focus on what I need to get done day to day. Not month to month. I tend to get ahead of myself and become overwhelmed.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

My fancy necklace from artist Jamie Spinello has arrived! Check out her shop here.