First bowls, beginning wheel throwing, Sept 2014
One day in late August or early September, I was bored, overheated, and felt like taking some risks. The three things I did that day were:
- Cut my own hair, (turned out ok; let’s just say I’ve paid for worse),
- Went swimming alone, (stupid and unsafe, but it was well over 100 and I’d been outdoors a couple hours)
- Signed up for beginning wheel throwing class
Back in the 80s, I did try wheel throwing in a college ceramics class, but it wasn’t the focus of the class, and I never mastered the fundamental of centering clay on the wheel! I moved on to handbuilding. The idea of spending the fall on ONLY throwing is kind of scary because I was not sure if I was just incapable of centering clay, and I didn’t want to waste money, time, or material. Now, I’m in class again, and focusing on the wheel, with the goal of incorporating some wheel thrown parts with handbuilt, to create creatures. This fall will be spent getting competent enough that I can go in during open studio and make what I need to. Next year I’ll continue taking classes to have access to the workshop, wheels, kiln, etc. Ceramics is something I can’t do at home. It has been over 20 years since I did any! Somehow, air dry clays are just not a 100% satisfying substitute. I enjoy seeing pieces transformed by firing and glazing, and I like that they can be functional objects as well. These little imperfect bowls, if they survive all the firings, will be useful food vessels or perhaps we’ll burn incense in them by the pool. If they break, I have a couple of mosaic artist friends who’d probably love the pieces.
So…progress. We made several bowls each, some were total failures and ended up on the clay recycling table, to be scraped up and remoistened later. The first class, we just threw bowls. The second class, we trimmed the bowls to put a nice little foot on them, which if the bowl is reasonably uniform and you get it centered (again), goes pretty well and is fun. Reminds me of wood turning, another thing I’ve never done. Of course not all the bowls were easy to trim. Some got cut through because we didn’t make the bottom thick enough.
I’ll try to remember to take more pics when I go back, to show the progress. It was surprising to me that my husband decided at the last minute to take the class, too, so we are in it together.
WORK IN PROGRESS AND FUTURE PLANS
I have a show penciled in for spring of 2015, but it is too early to announce anything about it, even the date. I plan to keep a lot of the work for it off the internet until closer to the show, so that is a whole swath of work that’s happening starting now, but that you won’t see pics of for several months! That’s hard for me not to post pics of new work. Last year I kind of did that due to an infringement problem but it was nice when I did show them, that they were unseen by most people, so that’s also a nice feeling.
Studio, Cindy Schnackel, fall 2014
Some bird paintings are of course going on at the same time! I have several small works on wood that are done now, except for the edge treatment. They are laying on the table, still in progress at this stage, in this pic of my studio. It was taken right after I’d put in some new shelves and rearranged everything, which took awhile. With material brought in for making work for a show, I had to haul everything out of there, figure out shelf placement and then totally reorganize the room. it’s much better now!
Birds hand painted on prepared bottle caps, Cindy Schnackel, 2014
The bottle cap bird paintings are growing in number. They are $20 each. The hanger is a recycled pop top ring or other type recycled hardware, depending on what is available. There are two on the bottom row in this pic that have the ring attached.
A lot of the really tiny things I’ve been working on were put away in drawers so they would not get lost or damaged. Now that the studio is back together, I’ll be taking those things out, dealing with any last finishing touches, and soon uploading some to my inventory list and probably also my redbubble page.
FOUND A CHICKEN
As if I needed more to do, I started a new blog, Found A Chicken, where I post photos of chickeny things I see, or or showcase other artists. I hope you’ll go take a look! http://foundachicken.wordpress.com/