Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Critique Down!

This past week or so has been especially crazy. We are quickly approaching mid-terms so I have practically moved into my studio. Caffeine has quickly become a very good friend of mine. I have this theory that there is some kind of time warp in the studio. I swear I get to working and it only feels like a few minutes have gone by, but when I look up it has been like four hours! How can that happen? It makes me wish I could get more done sometimes. But it has been noticed by my professor how much time I spend working, so that is a good thing for sure.
I had my first critique in Grad ceramics today. While I didn't have anything completely done, I had a lot of work to show the class. I have been trying out a lot of different techniques on a variety of different pots. The best way to go is just to make as much as possible. It seems like quantity eventually leads to quality =). Just this past week, I have really been figuring out what I want to be doing. I am sure there will be more confusion to come, but I do not see any more break downs in my near future. Yes folks, only a month into the semester, and I already had a mini nervous breakdown lol. I recovered quickly. Luckily, I had a good friend to hold my hand, so to speak, through it. Friends have been a real blessing for me that is for sure.
Next week is the mid-term critiques for the grad program. They are small group critiques. I will have professors coming in and out of my studio throughout the day in groups of 2 or 3 to critique what work I have done. I am firing my work this weekend. It is a kiln I have never fired before so I am definitely hoping for the best. One thing is for sure that it will be a learning experience no matter what happens.
The semester continues to breeze by. I cannot believe how quickly it all happens. I have had plenty to do to keep me focused and busy. So my thoughts are positive, and I hope to be able to report a good critique at the end of next week.

Off to the studio! Who needs sleep?

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Month into the Semester!

I cannot believe it is already a month into the semester. I knew time would fly by but these weeks went by in the blink of an eye. They keep us very busy here. I gave my first presentation in Graduate Seminar last week. I was so nervous but my partner and I did very well. We have some really difficult readings in Seminar, but they are helping me to think more critically about art. It is also helping me to be more comfortable when I have to discuss these things with my peers. That is something I have always struggled with. I get a little better each class. I know that this is one of the most valuable lessons I can learn.

Deadlines are something that are always on my mind. Everything has a deadline and some of them are very difficult to meet. Time management is one of the most important things, and I really depend on my planner to make sure I don't forget anything.

This coming week, we have visiting artist Christa Assad. It will be great to see her work. She will be in the studio for two days and on the second day she will meet with the graduate students to critique their work. It will be a wonderful opportunity to have another artist look at my pieces. It will really be a useful tool.

So as you can see there is a lot going on here in Arkansas.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Experiments in photo transfers

My first semester in grad school is well under way. Classes are going very well, but there is an amazing amount of work to do for each class. The other grads weren't kidding when they said they never get to sleep. I wouldn't trade it for anything though. I am being challenged on a daily basis not only in my own work but on how I view and analyze all kinds of artwork. My favorite thing has been the amount of experimentation I have been able to do. I have been able to try all kinds of new techniques. One of my professors actually said she would prefer us to fail in our experiments because we would learn more from it.
At the moment, I am doing experiments with photo transfers and decals. I have some really great photographs from when my mom was a little kid. I added a picture of one of the pieces I am working on. This was the first transfer I was actually successful with. It was very tricky figuring out how much liquid to use in order for the image to transfer properly. It took many tries but I am pretty happy with the results. Now the test will be to see if the image stays during the glaze firing. I am also doing pieces that have drawers in them. I love having little drawers or compartments to hide things in.
I am very excited about all the new experiences I am having here. There are so many different types of people. They all bring something unique to any discussion. This has been such a great time for me, I can't wait to see what is ahead.