Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sculptural Art?

This past week I had to do a sculptural installation for my senior seminar at school. Being an "artist" who has no background in sculpture whatsoever I decided to make things that could be used and display them in a sculptural way. I don't like to make things that won't or can't be used for anything. It always feels like I'm wasting my time and energy on something that is going to go to waste and end up in a landfill someday.

As you can see in the picture I have a bed in the middle of the gallery here at school and on top of it and around it are various objects that I have made all out of recycled materials. The quilt on the bed you may have seen before in a few of my first posts. Then there are two other blankets. The green one is an old army blanket that my Granny left behind when she died that I added a little color to and the other blanket an afghan that I made out of recycled sweater yarn and some yarn that I had on hand. Then there are two rugs. One a braided rug that I used up a bunch of my mother's fabric on that had been sitting in a box for years and the other one made out of yoyos from bits of fabric that would have gone to waste otherwise. All of these items have been made over the course of the past year and a half.
My love for working with fabric is a gift from my Grandmother. She taught me how to sew when I was 12 and I haven't been able to stop since. I've made quilts, clothes, costumes, banners, and recently flags. There's so many things that I haven't tried yet though and I continue to enjoy the process.
I love to make things for people that I love. I always have and I always will. I know that not everyone appreciates the handmade gift (a certain sister of mine), but that's okay one of these days you'll really want me to make something for you:). And when you do I'll be ready.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Raku Firing!

Just in case you were wondering what I've been up too................

I've been working in the ceramics studio an awful lot lately working on various projects. Mostly just playing around with clay. This semester I took on an internship working with my ceramics Professor and learning the different aspects of a ceramic studio. One of the things that I've been working on is firing pieces in our small kilns here (pictured above). This is the initial firing for all of the pottery made here. It's called a bisque firing. After this firing we glaze the pieces and fire them a second time in a much larger kiln where they're fired at a higher temperature. After that firing the pieces are complete.

One of the new firing techniques I've been taught is Raku firing. This technique is where you have a bisqued piece of pottery with a special glaze on it specifically for Raku and we then fire it in a different kiln outside for about 45 minutes at very high temperatures as you can see below.

Now I don't know all of the technicalities of it all but the basics are that we take the pottery out of the kiln while it's still orange and put in inside a garbage can filled with sawdust.

After placing the pottery in the garbage can we throw a few fistfuls of sawdust on top of the red hot pieces and cover them up so they can burn some more (you can see me in the picture below getting ready to throw the sawdust on top of the pieces once placed in the garbage can).

After letting the smoke and fire die down for about 10-15 minutes in the garbage can we take them out and dunk them in water.

This type of firing is very unpredictable but so much fun and has some amazing effects when finished. There's lots of different glazes and the two cups below are Copper Penny. Very glossy and iridescent in some places.

The cylinder below was glazed with Gun Metal Black. Very cool! I think I'm going to try this on a few of my pieces. It's not very practical or functional but it's so much fun to do and the outcomes are quite stunning (most of the time).

For now though I have quite a bit of glazing to do for the regular glaze kiln. A lot of these pieces are going to be Christmas gifts and contributions to a Craft Sale that I'm helping to coordinate at school.

Back to glazing!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rain and sunshine!

The other day I was able to spend some time with some of my favorite people in the world. Most of which are 12yrs old and under! We did our lesson on Thanksgiving and went around the room sharing what everyone was thankful for. I have to admit that being thankful is something that hasn't been on my mind a lot lately. Life has thrown a lot of stuff my way in the past few weeks and I've been keeping myself too busy to be thankful. Well, that has to change or I'm going to begin to fester and rot. Here's a list of things that I am thankful for:

- the rain, so that the plants can live
- getting drenched walking in the rain
- that feeling of coming in after a good walk in the rain, changing into dry clothes, and cuddling up under a warm blanket (next to a warm fire if possible)!
- can you tell it's been raining here lately?
- the peole who love me so much in my life even though I feel completely unworthy at times
- classes that feel more like I'm playing than working (most of the time)
- thrift shops
- sleeping in (on occasion)
- sisters who never leave life dull for me (and don't either of you try to deny it)
- parents who are so full of grace and patience
- sledding (not quite time for that yet, but soon)
- friends who are completely wonderful (most of the time:)
- Most importantly though a God who created everything perfectly to fit His plan.

One of the challenges given to the kids that I work with was to write down at least one thing every night that you're thankful for before you go to bed. I think that this is something that everyone should consider doing at some point to kind of put into perspective all that God has given us. We take so much for granted and don't even consider giving thanks to God when it's due.

Well I hope that you had a Wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for!

The mysteries of life

Monday, November 13, 2006

50 years!

My Grandparents celebrated 50 years of marriage this past weekend and all of the family got together to celebrate. I love both of them so much. They are two of my greatest role models with their love of Christ, of their family, and of each other. I've been truly blessed to be raised in the family that I have with so many talented musicians. My Grandparents played a duet of a very 1950's song that was lively and fun. They claimed that their old fingers couldn't play like they used to but it was still beautiful none the less.

Here's our giant family portrait of their children and grandchildren. We make a big group of people when we're all together, which isn't as often as we'd like. Hopefully we'l have everyone back here for Christmas though.

It's the in-laws pretending to be out-laws.

It was so good to see some of my family that I haven't seen in a while. We're kind of spread apart here with some family in Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland and then I'm in Pennsylvania.
At one point I was in a caravan behind everyone to meet at the church we were headed to and everyone in our caravan had a license plate to a different plate. It was pretty bizarre.

My beautiful parents.

"Lizard" taking a sewing lesson while we eat. She's a quick learner!

I give them the camera for a minute and this is what I get back.

Here's to another 50 years!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

William Waite

This is going to be a short post today as homework is keeping me extremely busy.

At my school we have a Gallery where the Art Department features a new artist every month or so. This month the artist happens to be an artist by the name of William Waite. His content is religiously based, but it's not always obviously so. His choice of medium is highly varied and he's constantly experimenting with new materials. It has been interesting to see his work and borrow some of his techniques (which I absolutely plan on doing as soon as I have time!).

Here are just a few examples of his work:

I'm particularly fond of his canvas within a canvas paintings. They are simply stunning!

Monday, October 30, 2006

For my dear sister

This blog is for my lovely sister. maybe some one will finally post something instead of her, though I love her very much. I can't believe it is almost November. I have missed my favorite season. The colors are beautiful. Christmas is right around the corner. Family is about to come to town. It's been a very hectic season to say the least. And to top it all off our house that the whole family is fixing up, needs to be done in less than two weeks! It is very stressful.

However, above all these problems and complaints, I have a request of whom ever reads this. I have a dear friend who is not very fond of blogs and wishes not to be named but I wanted to share this. He got injured and was sent to the ER on Saturday night. It's nothing extremely major but it did scare me. I am asking that you remember him in your prayers. It would be very appreciated.

And right now I have to eat my dinner and head out the door for class. I leave with this "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:21

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wishful thinking....

How I wish that I could be back here enjoying the quietness of it all. So many decisions are here for me to choose my path and I keep going back and forth about it all. I wish I had the clarity of thought, mind, and soul that I had at that moment.

Lord help the decisions I make to be guided by you and not my own selfish desires.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Shooting Stars......

Well we made it back from Kentucky alright this morning at around 4am if I remember correctly. While yes, it was a short trip it was so much fun and I don't regret it a bit. I'm grateful for the time to see friends I hadn't seen in a while as well as enjoy the car ride with two friends I see pretty often. However, my favorite part of the whole trip was the moments I was on my own, one on one with God. I've spent more time talking to Him this past weekend then I probably have in the past 2 weeks all together.

On the second night of camping out Keri and I were walking back from the "facilities" when we looked up and saw the most beautiful sky full of stars that I had ever seen in person. We even saw a shooting star and when we told everyone back at the campsite what we had seen one of them they asked me what I wished for. I couldn't help but think that I am constantly wishing and hoping for things all the time and that if I were God I'd be kind of sick of all of it. Then we got into the debate about who it was that you made your wish to and if it was to something other than God than maybe you shouldn't be making wishes after all. In the end I didn't make a wish but I did say a small prayer:

Lord you know the desires of my heart.
Please help me to understand yours,
and do your will in all I do.

Last week at Bible study we were going through Romans 5. And in Romans 5 there is a verse about how "hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." I've been learning more and more this past year about how to put my hopes more in Christ than in my own personal abilities, wants and desires. Don't get me wrong I still want things really bad some times but I know that if that is what God wants for me it will happen in His time and His way.

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from Kentucky

Kind of a creepy horror film picture of Keri standing at the edge of a cliff.

This was our tent the first night held up by some yarn attached to the car and cooler.

An amazing picture inside Mammoth Caverns of Andrews head (taken by Dustin).

Dustin was really bored in the back seat.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Kentucky here I come!

Today I leave for the beautiful state of Kentucky with two friends of mine to meet up with two other friends that we helped move to Missouri this past summer. I'm really looking forward to the chance to see them both again as I miss their company very much. I miss having the friendship of the girl whom I helped move because good girl friends are so rare for me. I usually find myself befriended to boys instead of girls. Although I've tried to understand why this is I still haven't come to any clear conclusions but I do know and appreciate how dear it is when you can find a friend your own gender that you can talk to meaningful things about and not just small talk. I can count on my hand the number of true girl friends that I've had in my life.

So anyways that all just to say that I'm really looking forward to this weekend's trip. We're going to be camping out in Kentucky, and driving around to several waterfalls, hiking, and visiting the nation's largest caverns. I've wanted to go to Mammoth Caverns national park since I was in elementary school. My science teachers sparked a great interest in rocks and geology at an early age so my mother would take us to local caverns whenever she could. I even took a Geology course in college just for fun, and the teacher was a friend's mom and I really enjoyed her a lot. Ask me what I learned and you'd be disappointed (well I am anyways at how little I remember).

I do love the colors and lines that nature creates in rocks and have always picked up pretty stones and brought them home with me whenever I go out. I have a beautiful stack of flat river stones that I picked up while kayaking. I would take a stone home with me every time I went kayaking but after a dozen or so I began to wonder what on earth I was going to do with all of the rocks that I was accumulating. So for now they sit on my mantle in a tower of beauty.

So as to appeal to the viewers visual interest as well I leave you with this picture of my roommate flying away with her superhero cape. It's the same blanket that I had in my first post. It's such a fun picture and I hope she doesn't mind me posting it here but this is me flying away to Kentucky!

Trusting in God

Monday, October 16, 2006

So little time....

I'm a college student going to school for Art. I really want to teach. It's something that I've wanted to do since I was in kindergarten. However I'm into my fifth year of college with still another year and a half of school to go in order to get my Art Teaching Certification. There's so many things in my life that I want to be able to do but school takes a lot of time and energy. An art degree in particular takes an inordinate amount of out of class time to work on projects.

I've been considering getting just the Art degree and forgoing the Teacher Certification part simply to save time so I can be done. I can still teach at a private school with just a bachelor's degree and really that's what I want to do but would I be limiting myself too much by doing that and is another year really that much longer to have to wait (YES! and no).

Time has been something that I've always struggled with because I am something of a procrastinator (probably only the worlds biggest). It's a part of me that I've never really liked and always wanted to change but haven't yet. When I procrastinate I'm stealing time from other things that I could be doing that would be more productive and enjoyable if only I let myself do them. Instead I feel guilty because I don't have the highest priority things done yet so I put everything off until they are done and spend a lifetime trying to accomplish them.

I just feel sometimes (more like all the time) that there are so many other things that I'd rather be doing. I want to be more involved in ministry and with my church. I want to share a house with 4-5 of my friends and see what that kind of a community can be like. I also want to be working with children in some sort of school setting. Whether it be at a private school or working with homeschoolers in my own home. Whatever, I want to share my life with those kids and my love for Christ, as well as teach them about art and creative living. I want to study the Bible intensively and have God's words written on my heart. I want to travel all over the place seeing places I've never seen before and experiencing God's creation in all of them. I want to spend more time in nature and less time in front of a computer. I also want to build stronger relationships with the people that I know and love and be someone to support them in their endeavors.

I've tried to do many of these things but I'm always stealing away time from one or the other and never really fully devoting myself. Trying to find some sort of happy medium or achieve some "harmony" is just out of my reach, or so it seems.

Lord help me to do your will in everything I do.

To cheer this post up a bit I want to share this picture with you that I took on a recent bike ride to a friends house. The colors in this picture are a favorite combination of mine and I really want to work in this palette on a quilt sometime (if I ever make the time to do it). That won't probably be for a while though. I've never been one to choose a favorite color but I do have favorite color combinations and this would be one of them. My roommate probably gets sick of me telling her how giddy I get over certain color combos. I had a professor once ask everyone in the class to share one thing that makes them insanely happy and the only thing I could think of at the time was COLOR.

Well I'm going to stop procrastinating now and go finish some homework!

Friday, October 13, 2006

I don't know what I'm doing

I'm still trying to figure all of this fun stuff out. I'm not sure if the picture from my last post is visible to the reader of this blog or not whoever you are but I'll figure this out along the way.

have patience

hippie wannabe

The main reason that I am posting this picture is because I want to post it on my profile and this was the only way I could figure how to do it, so here's a picture of me kayaking and looking very much like an American Indian wannabe at the same time. Not because of the blue kayak or anything but because of the simple braid in the back.

My older sister would say that this picture represented the hippie inside of me. Although I am not a hippie I'm also not insulted but such a remark. As a lover of nature and the environment as well as all things created I don't think that being called a hippie is all that bad of a thing. After all the definition of a hippie is:

unconventional young person of the 1960s: a young person, especially in the 1960s, who rejected accepted social and political values and proclaimed a belief in universal peace and love. Hippies often dressed unconventionally, lived communally, and used psychedelic drugs. ( informal )

Granted I wasn't a young person of the 1960's nor am I into psychedelic drugs. However the ideas of rejecting "accepted social and political values and proclaiming a belief in universal peace and love." Are things that I could be categorized as. Part of being a Christian has to do with being "set apart" from the world around you and following a Christ who wants peace and love to abound in His world. Not only that but He wants His followers to share in community with each other, and those around them. Humans were not meant to be alone and to isolate ourselves from others is only going to hurt us.

Anyways I really love this picture. It was taken by a good friend with a great eye for composition in a picture, and a thoughtfulness that astounds me. He often surprises me with the way that he can see something that I didn't notice before. I'm the type of person that takes tons and tons of pictures hoping that a few will turn out to be great, where as he will take in everything in his surroundings and sort of frame the picture out in his mind before taking the picture. It's a good lesson to learn in photography and one that I am still working on but taking time in anything you do to consider the outcome can be rewarding.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Hello to all. This is my first attempt at a blog and I have no idea how it's going to turn out but I've been looking at blogs for so long now and wanting to do it that I figured it was time to try. Besides if my sister can do it so can I. I don't have much to say right now because what I should really be doing is homework instead of figuring out how to create my own blog, but I leave you with this picture of my cousin David frolicking with a quilt that I made for a homework assignment. He helped me out with a photoshoot I was doing along with his sister, my sister, and my roomate. You all are so amazing and great! Whether or not you'll ever see this blog is doubtful but that's okay.

You'll hear more about what this post is all about as I figure it out too and have more time to do so.

life is a gift