This weekend was one of my favorite weekends of the year, Fun Fun Fun Fest. As expected, it was awesome. Austin is known for the ACL Festival and that is all well and good. FFF is on much smaller with a much broader mix of music that ranges from Hip Hop to Indie Rock to Hardcore Punk. I'm not nearly as punk as I used to be, and that was debatable at the time. I did have a skateboard, a wallet chain and pink hair but that only counts for so much.
What FFF offers is a great mix of bands that I never thought of seeing, never thought I'd see and was too scared to go see when I was a wee little one pretending to be punk. I kept trying to stay at the Orange Stage and check out the newest and coolest Indie buzz bands but the shreiks and noise from the Hardcore Black stage kept sucking me in. I did miss a few bands that I was dying to see and even missed the Air Sex World Championships...think Air Guitar but with..nevermind, you've got it. (I was going to provide a link but I'll let all interested parties search for it on their own....this is afterall, supposed to be a blog about pottery)
I didn't see Mariachi El Bronx, the side project of The Bronx but I wish I had. I did catch some of The Bronx set, albeit way in the back away from the pit.
So, here's some Mariachi and some Hardcore to end your Tuesday with. The Bronx hardcore set isn't my style but to point out the contrast, I thought I'd include it.
The E.A.S.T. Catalog is finally out! I'm on page 60 (older celadon ware image) and my studio is location #59. You can pick up the catalog around town and check it out online here.
Don't forget that the Cobra Studios is going to be full of awesomeness this weekend. I'll only be showing the first weekend but the rest of my studio complex will be open both weekends. More info on the Cobra Show & Party here.
I had a great time in Gruene, TX this past weekend for the Texas Clay Festival. I really can't say enough about how wonderful the TX Clay community is and how welcoming they've been. It was a great opportunity to meet many of the other potters that I had sort of known through blogging and facebook as well as put some faces and names together.
Now it's time to get ready for the East Austin Studio Tour. E.A.S.T. will be another good time and my studio complex is having a big party on Saturday night, 11/13. More details on that as I hear about it.
I'm working on a few new forms and will also be doing another series of Austin decalware. I just need to find the time to comb through some images and find the good ones.
I almost forgot what is supposed to be my easiest post of the week.
I'm glad that Bayou City went well because we missed the ACL Festival and a beautiful weekend here in Austin. If things hadn't gone as well in Houston I would be a little upset for having to sell my tickets. If all goes well, next year I'll get to do both since ACL is getting pushed up to late September like it used to be.(I say that as if I've been an Austinite for years.
Thanks to all who came out to Bayou City Downtown during the beautiful weekend. The show was packed but even better was that people were leaving with some new pots. It was definitely one of the more successful shows that I've had in a while and am glad that so many pots found new homes in Houston.
I'd write more but I feel like I'm already behind schedule for the Texas Clay Festival in Gruene(pronounced "Green"). I've got some pots to catch up on so I can have a full booth for the festival. More on the Clay Fest later...it's a pretty cool event and I'm glad to be part of it this year. One of the cool things about Bayou City was that they had these barcodes for each of us. With an App on your smartphone you could scan it and get right to my website. I'm glad my site is somewhat up-to-date....somewhat is the key word. That's on my list of things to do when I have a moment.
I caught some of the Buraka Som Sistema act at the FunFunFun Fest last November and it was fantastic. I had never heard of them which made it even better to discover something new and awesome at a live show.
I'm looking forward to the FFF Fest this year because it's a great sized festival (not too big) and it always has an amazing line-up of punk, hip-hop, indie-rock and more. It's also a great mix of bands you know, bands you knew and bands you're glad you found out about. Devo, Deerhunter, The Hold Steady, Slick Rick and Bad Religion are just a few bands I'll be catching at this year's festival.
As soon as my ridiculously busy October is done I'll be taking a weekend full of Fun Fun Fun.
It's been a long week but I wanted to get a quick post in. I didn't even get my ridiculously easy Musical Tuesday post together. Picture above are some of the new cups. They have a clear glaze but the line-deco has been waxed so it's just the raw porcelain. I wanted to see if the deco would be cleaner and brighter without the glaze on top. I like the results but I think I just re-complicated my glazing.
It was a week of making, bisqueing, glazing, firing, decalcomania-ing and today I'll load the decal firing. I'll put another post together soon once I find the brain-power.
Quick musical thoughts:
The Ratatat Show on Monday was one of the best shows I can remember. Music, video and lighting effects combined seamlessly.
Guided by Voices last night was slightly disappointing. best review I saw was on twitter, "It took 10 songs and a bottle of tequila but Guided by Voices finally kicked the shitty cover band off the stage." I know it's early in the reunion tour but it looked like the previous nights show was the first time the original group played together...I'm guess it was. Still, they had some good points and maybe they'll have it put together for the Matador Anniversary show in Vegas that they're getting ready for.
2 shows in one week made me feel old and tired but somehow I've also been able to get my work done...now back to that decal stuff.
Well Evangelina and I made it to Number 9...Number 9....Number 9 and celebrated our anniversary last night. I had bought tickets to the Pixies as soon as I saw they were playing in Austin. Evangelina and I have slightly different taste in music. I'm an aging indie rocker who was skateboarded and playing punk rock in college...She likes Jimmy Buffett.
I was getting the feeling that she really didn't want to go to a show for our anniversary so I surprised her with a dinner at Hudson's on the Bend. They specialize in wild game and I'm not that adventurous of an eater but a good bottle of wine was enough magic snake oil (pun intended) to try their famous Rattlesnake Cake. Think Crab Cake but a little more cowboy. So, we had a fantastic meal with rattlesnake, smoked quail, seared duck, trout and a variety of other deliciousness.
I definitely got some good husband points for the surprise change of plans. And, at least one of our good friends was able to enjoy the show as I seem to be running a part-time ticket agency.
So now that we've had our wild game for the week we're off to Dallas tomorrow for a quick weekend without the kids. The Texas State Fair starts tomorrow so if we leave the poolside margaritas we may have to try some of this coronary inducing goodness.
I thought I'd put up two images, a cup with a sample decal image and another cup (cappuccino cup from the other day) with a similar incised line deco. I like the play between the two styles of decoration.
Some fresh fall pots and I'm in that in strange place somewhere between expectations and results. Give me a couple of hours and I'll figure out what I think and where I'm going next. Still liking the cityscape design and I like the sharper lines.
I used some underglazes to get some color (gray and blue) on the insides of some pots. Not too many this time, just testing it out but I think I'll play around with it some more. (Does gray even count as a color?) That's definitely blue.
I'm playing around with some designs that sourced from bridges. I showed Javi a picture of some of them and he immediately said that they remind him of bridges...does that mean it's a successful endeavor?
I'm excited to try them out with some decals as well but this first round of work is all getting lines on them. Next week I'll be starting to make some decalware work for the next firing.
Bisque #1 of the fall was fired on Friday and I'll start glazing up today and hopefully be firing tomorrow.
It will be nice to have some new pots before I head to the Art of the Pot Workshop out in San Marcos. It's not too late to sign up...there are a few spots left. Check out the Eye of the Dog Website to signup. It's only $100 and it will be full of information by all 5 AOTP Hosts.
I've started to hit a nice little groove in the studio after struggling to find my skills my first week back. Last week was productive and I got about 50 small pots made. It had been a very long studio layoff while we played, and played, and played on Cape during the summer.
I'm getting ready for a few shows this fall and right now I'm focusing on the waxed/incised/slipped deco. I am planning on getting some decalware made for the shows but I'm really going to focus on 2 forms for that work. Most likely just mugs(or cups) and tumblers. The trouble I ran into in the spring with the decals was that each form required a new template in Photoshop or Illustrator for the decals. With two forms, I'll only need two templates and I'll be able to experiment more with each image while not worrying about how they'll fit on each piece. I think the long term solution is still slipcasting cups for the decalware...I actually can't wait to start that. But for now, it's time to keep throwing in the studio to take care of what I do know how to do.
I like this design and I think I'll keep playing around with it...perhaps there's some color in all of that open space?
I threw a dozen tall soup bowls this morning.
I thought I would try some larger porcelain bowls(9 pounds).
Some even larger ones may appear on the table tomorrow.
Hurricane Earl whimpered through the Cape last week but today we're feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Hermine and it's been absolutely pouring here today and is supposed to continue on through Thursday. Good thing....we need the rain down here.
Here's one from Ratatat's new album. They're playing Austin here in a few weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing them again...and there's some Skidmore pride since they both graduated with a degree in art from my Alma Mater.
I'm excited to be part of the First Annual Great Texas Clay Symposium hosted by the great folks at the Eye of The Dog Art Center in San Marcos, TX.
They have a brand new building and I'll be there along with my fellow Art of the Pot hosts, Ryan McKerley, Claudia Reese, Chris Campbell and Lisa Orr. We'll each be demonstrating our varied techniques and having a lively discussion throughout the day.
It's a full day workshop, 10am-4pm, on September 18th. Check out the EotD Website for more info and to sign up. It's limited to 40 participants and there's still a few spaces left. Sign up before it's too late.
Kristen Kieffer's tweet about color and the link to her old post about color came at the exact time that I was sitting looking at my test glazes that I had mixed almost 18 months ago.
I'm not looking for anything fancy but I do think I should add some color back to my work after going without it for the past year.
I do like the simplicity of having one glaze...and it's even simpler when the one glaze I have mixed up is a clear glaze. All of my decorations have been done while the work is either leather-hard or green which means I don't need to deal with the static bisqueware using any creative energy at all.
I also think that maybe the reason I've stayed away from color this past year is the fear of new. It's been a lot of changes in the studio but the main thing has been the switch to porcelain and electric firing. I like how Emily has embraced the new materials and kiln going with lots of color right away.
I guess it's time to add something to the mix. First of all, I'll need to make some fresh work...and maybe staring at these test-tiles has been just one more form of procrastination as I put off finding out if I can still throw.
I got home from the Cape on Friday and the kids started school today.
Summer blew by and we had a ridiculously fantastic time at the Cape. Coming back up to the Cape after having been a business owner for 12 years was like being on the other side of a wall. It turns out that the Cape is an amazing place to vacation. I had always heard that from our guests but I was always in the gallery during all of those beautiful beach days in the past.
Last year was a fun summer but the stress of the move to Austin got in the way of the pure enjoyment we had this year. I don't think we left our 10 minute radius more than 3 times the entire 8 weeks we were there.
But, now we're home and Ale had her first day of Kindergarten while Javi started 2nd grade!
It was craziness today but great to walk into the school knowing where to go and seeing familiar faces...a far cry from a year ago. Javi couldn't wait to get back to school and see his friends and Ale was trying hard to deal with how nervous she was. Once she sat at her table we went to the door and I waved goodbye. She just looked at me and shook her head no...but, she held back the tears and her first day of school began. I can say that her mother didn't hold back the tears so well.
And, today I made it over to the studio to assess the situation and get ready to make work again. I'm used to being burnt out by now from the busy summer season but I've taken most of the summer off and now I'm going to have to turn it into crunch mode for a very busy fall.
First up is the Bayou City Arts Festival in Downtown Houston on the 9th and 10th of October...then it's off to Gruene, TX for the Texas Clay Festival on October 23rd and 24th. This is one of those moments when I'll be thankful for the switch to electric firing so I'll be able to cycle work out quickly for these shows. I'll post about all of my fall events shortly but now it's time to head home and see how everybody's first day went.
The trip home has started. It was an easy day today...golf with my father in the morning and a 4 hour drive to my sister's house in Nyack, NY.
Tomorrow gets a little tougher as I try to get to Knoxville which is about 730 miles from here. On the way to the Cape I did 910 miles (Nashville to NY) in one day and I'm not very interested in trying to break that record anytime soon.
More from the road if I find anything interesting....
Clearly I should try to get back to writing again. I have big plans for the fall in the studio and I'd really like to make blogging an integral part of it. More on all of that later...no need to bore you all(someone still checks this place, right?).
The Art of the Pot studio tour is this weekend! I'm now officially going to be hosting this year and can't wait for the tour to begin. We're all busy getting ready for it and our friend and patron Judy Gordon went on the local CBS affiliate's afternoon show with our wares to let everyone know about the tour. Pretty cool to make the news. You can see the clip here.
I'll be at Domy Books on East Cesar Chavez along with fellow AOTP Host Chris Campbell. We'll have guest artists Charity Davis-Woodard and Amy Halko along with us. For more AOTP info check out the website.
Tomorrow I'm picking up my friend Mark Shapiro. Mark is here for the tour as a guest artist at Claudia Reese's studio. He'll also be one of the speakers at the Pottery Confidential Lecture at City Hall Thursday night. More info here.
I'll try to get some pics up throughout the weekend. It will be more likely done on Facebook or Twitter but I'll see if I can at least get a few up here too.
I'm just about ready for the big show this weekend. Art City Austin is Saturday 4/24 & Sunday 4/25. I just need to clean up a few things and pack up some pots. I'll be setting up tomorrow night and ready for a beautiful weekend in Downtown Austin.
Here are a few sneak preview pics of the new decal wares. My email newsletter went out today. If you didn't get it, sign up on the right hand side of the blog or on my website. That way you won't miss out on any future announcements.
I'm in Booth 304 this weekend near the corner of Guadalupe and Cesar Chavez.