Back from Design Festa, back to work

I’ve been back from Japan for a week or two now, working on sorting through the 1200 photos I took over there, and starting to get back to work in the studio.  Now that the the whole crazy japan trip has finally sunk in, and I’m no longer jet lagged, I figured I should try and compile my thoughts on Design Festa into a blog post.

Design Festa was great, but really, unlike anything I could ever imagine.  I think for the most part, nothing in my experiences could have given me an idea of what I’d gotten myself into.  (Think one part art fair, one part Japanese school festival, one part burning man.)  It really boiled down into 16 hours of interacting and talking with people, across a culture and language barrier, about art.  And when it comes down to it, that’s pretty cool.

Design Festa is made up of a maze of tiny little art cubicals.  There’s about 1500 booths, many with different artists each day, so it’s practically impossible to see everything.  It’s loosely divided by type, ranging from 2-D art to clothing to a darkened zone for lit sculptures and installations.  Artists get a chunk of floor – either one or two tatami mat’s worth  – and do anything that they might want with it.  I get the feeling the more people get their both to show off their work then to make a profit from the show.  Installation, performance art, and just hanging out were quite common. In fact, the booth walls (which you had to rent) were designed for you to attack with ink, acrylic, and almost anything you wanted.

There were also several stage areas where you could sign up for a time slot.  There was a constant stream of really cool and different performances going on at all time, from 20 pieces bands to very happy girls playing taiko.  There were a surprising number of different ninja gymnastics dance groups.  (They did backflips to music while holding swords, in ninja garb)

While I’d seen photos of all the individual parts of the show online, there was nothing out there that could give me a feeling of what it would be like to actually have a booth there. In the end, while there were a number of things I might have changed, I would go back again in a second. It was just so cool to be able to interact and talk with artists and art fans from all over the world.  (I speak a little Japanese, and folks generally spoke English).  I got to talk about using a traditional Japanese kiln in America, about ceramics, and about Seattle. I got to watch the crowds streaming by, in everything from pink frilly dresses to Godzilla suits, to a troop of knights in armor (Europeain, not samurai). In short, it was an amazing chance to spend a weekend dedicated to art, in all of it’s strange, strange forms.

I recommend spending some time exploring the design festa flickr pool – there was so much more stuff out there than I could photograph.

New work up now!

All of my newest work is now up on flickr. Enjoy!

More pieces for sale!

Since I’d pretty much sold out of work, I went to retrieve some pieces from a few of my galleries.  I now have more pieces avaliable for sale online!  Check them out here!

Crunch Time

The firing is just over a week away.  I’ve been pushing pretty hard in the studio, and am quite satisfied with what I have.  I think I should have enough pieces to supply both my galleries, and our holiday sale. I’ll just still have to keep pushing though, to finish every piece that I possibly can. Here’s another peek at my drying shelf.

Here I am, working away.

We’ll be unloading the kiln on Saturday, November 1st, and it will be my goal to have most of everything photographed by Monday the 3rd.  That means that it will be a super busy weekend, but I have to send out some slides on the 3rd, anyway.  If I’m going to be applying to something, I’d like to use my newest work, even if it does mean spending another weekend in the studio.

Oh, funny thing.  I can tell it’s starting to be winter now.  Between the colder weather and the extra time in the studio, my hand dry up and take the texture of sand paper.  It’s sort of a joke, that every potter is an expert on hand lotion.  Everyone will tell you what the best brand is (always different), and why. In my opinion, Eucerin Plus Intensive Hand Repair Cream (Not the Eucerin Plus Intensive Dry Skin Repair Cream) is truly the way to go.  Here’s my winter hands, pre-lotion.  If you want to be creeped out, check it out at full resolution.

That’s how long I prefer my fingernails.  It drives me nuts when they leave little fingernail marks in the clay. Also, if they aren’t that short, they get clay stuck under them.  I’m so used to them being like that that if they were longer I’d probably accidentally scratch my eye out or something.

More work for sale

In this last week, I decided to shuffle all of my work between my galleries.  I just took most of the stuff from gallery A and gave it to gallery B and so forth.   This just keep everything fresh for everyone.  Part of the fun of this (besides trekking all over Seattle with a suitcase full of critters), is that most of the work I have for sale in my studio has been refreshed too! The new list of pieces for sale is up on flicker.  Stop, browse, and have yourself some fun!