On Feberuary 1st, the Hawaii Craftsmen held their second annual FORMable Feast at the Pacific Club in downtown Honolulu. Members of the Hawaii Craftsmen were encouraged to submit work for sale at the event, up to 3 pieces. Members of the Pacific Club were encouraged to attend. Tickets were sold for the meal, raffle tickets were sold for a wooden sculptural piece that had been donated by one of the artists, and pieces were available for sale in an area next to the dining room. The night was a great success and raised around $19,000 for the Hawaii Craftsmen. I had 3 pots in the sale and sold 2. 50% of my profits went to the Hawaii Craftsmen. I was able to make great contacts with fellow artists and members of the club who are collectors of fine crafts. For me the most important part of any sale is making contact with people who might be interested in my work. I'm developing a data base of contacts, and I let them know when new sales are coming up. When they come to sales I recommend, I'll show them around and introduce them to other artists. Often they'll end up buying someone else's piece and not mine. That's okay with me. Below you'll find a few pictures I took before the sale started while the artists were talking with each other and taking a look around.
Tajan in Paris had a wonderful auction of ceramics on March 4. It's too late to buy anything, but you should check out the catalog at their website (www.tajan.com) or at invaluable.com. Look for Ceramics: The Jean Derval Collection. It's one of the best selections of ceramics I've ever seen. There are 329 lots, most of them French. If you're not familiar with French studio ceramics, this is one of the best introductions to their tradition. And while you're at tajan.com, check out their upcoming auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts-Design (March 19th and 20th). This is a massive selection of great design and worth studying closely. To find both of these catalogs, go to tajan.com and click on "Catalogues" which will take you to the list of 2014 catalogues.
On February 15th and 16th I had the privilege of attending a workshop with Carol Gouthro. The workshop was on image transfers, not something that I've had an interest in (yet), but I'm always willing to try out new things to see if they might lead me in new directions. Part of the workshop involved Carol showing us how to use decals to decorate previously fired pottery, something that's pretty standard now. But most of the workshop was introducing us to a technique that produces toner transfer images that can be put on clay that is still soft but not wet. The first thing that Carol suggested that we do is to find an appropriate laser printer, and Carol gave us a list of ones that are appropriate. The key is the type of toner that the printer uses. Certain laser printers use toner that has a high percentage of iron. The toner has very small particles of iron, pigments, and plastic. The laser printer creates a static field on certain parts of the paper, the toner sticks to the static field because the iron is attracted to it, and the image is set by passing through a heat element that melts the plastic particles. With this technique, however, the copy machine is stopped after the toner has been placed on the paper but before it passes through the heat element. With decals you can fill up an entire 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. With this techinique, however, you can only get an image about half that size. After stopping the printer, you open it up and gently remove the copy. The image is not set so it can easily be smudged, but that also means it can be transfered to the still soft clay. You cut around the image, lay the image face down on the clay without moving it around, and then peel the paper off. We tried several different things using this technique such as putting on slips beforehand, carving around images, and so forth. After the pieces are bone dry, they are bisqued. It's important not to touch the image until after they're bisqued because they can easily be smudged even after being placed on the clay. After bisquing they are low fired. If they were high fired, the iron image would disappear. From what I've seen, the image this technique produces is very crisp, as good as a decal, but it's a dark rust brown in color rather than being black. If you're looking for a black image, you probably don't want to use this technique. Carol also introduced us to a series of books published by Dover called the Dover Pictorial Archive. These are massive (and inexpensive) books filled with copyright-free images in black and white. If you're not familiar with them, check them out at Amazon. These are great for making decals or transfer images. I'm not sure how I'll use this technique, but I'm glad I learned it and will try to incorporate it in a way that appeals to me.
I began potting in January of 2012. Because I'm so new to potting, I think I understand the challenges of beginning potters and hope this blog will be encouraging to them and a source of helpful information and comment. I hope you'll join the conversation!