Thursday, 28 February 2013

Getting Started.....

I'm just starting to blog and expect to include information on my Art processes - Raku Pottery and Fused Glass.  I have been studying pottery for 20 years, focusing on Raku firing.  I have been working with kiln glass for 10 years, focusing mostly on dichroic jewelry but also experimenting with larger pieces.

I studied pottery with Audrey Schmitz at Northern Oklahoma College. I began taking ceramics classes as a stress relief and quickly became addicted.  We learned many clay processes including pinch pots, slab building, coil pots, throwing on a wheel, as well as combining multiple processes to make one piece.  We also experimented with many types of firing.  The first was Raku since it gives such rapid results.  I loved it from the start.  We also used our electric kilns for oxidation firing and we had a large gas kiln for reduction firing.  I have not yet had the opportunity to experiment with salt firing or wood firing.  I enjoy the different glaze results of each type of firing.  But, I have always come back to Raku.

I learned glass on my own using existing kiln knowledge and working together with a good friend Betty Biederman who had taken a class in San Antonio.  She learned the basics and I had the experimental attitude to just jump in and start trying.  We had a lot of fun and mostly only successful results.

My limitation with both Raku and Glass has been equipment, or lack of.  I have an electric kiln for bisque firing my pottery, a Raku kiln powered by propane and a weed-burning torch, and two glass kilns, the largest being 16" square.  It is amazing what can be done when you can't buy all the biggest, newest, and best.

I enjoy the problem solving that comes with art.  Many outside the art world would not even realize this but those that are involved understand what I mean.  Glaze mixing is like chemistry class all over again.  Compatibility of materials can cause many frustrations. Figuring out how to combine pieces or processes involves a lot of trial and error.

I am now in Taos NM where I started visiting in 1996 when my mother moved here.  I finally moved in 2010 and love it.  The art community combined with the absolutely beautiful environment is hard to beat.

In future entries I hope to include information about my work and processes I have tried.

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