For several years I've been complaining that ceramic artists like Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada have had more than their fair share of exhibitions and monographs but that Peter Voulkos, an artist of greater importance than the two of them put together, has been almost completely neglected. It's been at least 20 years since a major retrospective of his work has been mounted in the United States and the number of monographs on him are shockingly thin. That has begun to change with the recent exhibition of Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. The exhibition focuses on the most influential years of Voulkos's work, 1953 to 1968, years in which Voulkos's experiments with clay convulsed the ceramic world. Leach and Hamada will always be important for their contribution to the birth of the studio pottery movement, but Voulkos took clay in a totally different direction and made it an accepted medium for artistic expression. If you're in New York, you can still see the exhibition until March 15. After that it will move to the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC from April 7 through August 20. A major monograph has also been produced, Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years. For more information go to the following website: http://madmuseum.org/exhibition/voulkos.
Ceramics of Hawaii was the first state-wide exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art School that focused solely on ceramics. It was on display from December 17th 2016 to January 8th 2017. Artists from every island sent pieces to the gallery at Linekona for jurying. David Kurioka, a native of Kauai and a Professor of Art, Emeritus at the University of San Francisco, was the guest juror. David is an internationally recognized ceramic artist and has studios in both California and Hawaii. Over 400 pieces were submitted and David chose 90 for the exhibit. A section was reserved for "Pioneers," four potters who had an enormous impact on ceramic arts in Hawaii: Toshiko Takaezu, Harue McVay, Isami Enomoto, and Claude Horan. There were also displays around the gallery for each island that gave a brief history of how ceramic arts have developed there. The Hawaii Potters Guild organized this exhibit in part because many potters felt a show dedicated to ceramics was overdue and because HPG will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. The show received some media attention and attendance was good. Below are pictures of each piece in the exhibit along with a brief description.
In my last blog from November 28th, I wrote about making lots of cups in preparation for my first solo sale on December 10th. In this blog I'm concentrating on making bowls for the same sale. In my last blog I mentioned my struggles trying to center small pieces of clay when making cups and the same applies to making small bowls. I had to learn a new technique for centering and pulling walls in order to make small bowls that were acceptable to me. If you'd like to learn more about what I did to center smaller pieces of clay, check out my Nov. 28th blog.
I started throwing lots of smaller bowls beginning in September. My goal was to make at least 100 bowls and I reached that goal by December, but it was harder to get to than I realized it would be. My first small bowls were all thrown the same way I throw large bowls with thin walls that stretched out wide. These tended to warp quite a bit and I threw a bunch away. I also put too much glaze on lots of them (especially too much Turquoise Blue Matt), and I must have thrown away at least 10 to 15 of them that ran onto the shelf. I also tried several glazes and combinations of glazes that I didn't care for and many of these I donated or threw away. For instance, I glazed five bowls with Aka's Blue and hated every one of them. I donated them to Empty Bowl and said good riddance. Some firings were especially bad such as the one where I donated or threw away all four of the large bowls that were in the firing along with 15 cups and bowls that didn't turn out well. Always a long drive home after a firing like that, even if the drive only takes 7 minutes. And I was the one who did the firing!
At first I was making small bowls using the same technique I used for large bowls. With large bowls, I use two ribs to stretch the clay out as far as I can. With small bowls, this technique made the walls of the bowls too thin, too unstable, and they warped too much. Now I use my hands more on smaller bowls and use ribs only at the very end to give the bowl its final shape. I don't try to stretch the walls out too thinly and the form is more compact and the walls more vertical. I've had fewer problems with warping and the bowls don't tip over as easily. In my large bowls, the feet aren't usually well defined but simply curve down to the floor. Now on most of my small bowls I'm trimming a distinct foot and I think it usually looks better. The feet are also proportionately larger on my small bowls and I've made the feet as level as possible on the bottom to make them more stable.
I've tried different decorative schemes with these bowls and some have become favorites. One is a wax resist pattern on white clay that's either a simple vertical slash with the brush or an abstract tree and branches. The Turquoise Blue Matt that I pour on it has copper that fumes these waxed spaces and gives the raw clay a thin orange glaze. I also like brushing a wax resist pattern on dark clay and then pouring Longbeach Blue over it. Because the bowl is upside down when I'm pouring, the glaze pools at the bottom of each glazed spot and looks like it's thicker at the top when turned right side up. I also decided it was a good idea to wax the bottom of bowls if I was going to pour the glaze but it wasn't a good idea to wax the bottom if I'm going to spray. When I sprayed, the glaze would shed off the wax and leave thick globs of glaze on the edge of the wax. It was impossible to thin these out and make them blend in. It might take a little longer to clean off the foot if it's not waxed before spraying, but the glaze will be the same thickness all the way to the foot.
I also found it much easier to wax the outside of a bowl or cup if I'd just glazed the inside. If the bisqued clay is completely dry, it's tacky and absorbs water quickly. This can make it hard to brush wax on fluently. After glazing the inside of a bowl or cup, however, the wax brushes on more easily since the clay is saturated with water and is not as tacky.
Below are photos of most of the different types of bowls I've made since September. I'm showing them upside down as well since it's hard to see what the colors look like when they're right side up.
I've been making pottery for almost five years now, and I've made well over a thousand pieces. Most of those pieces have been large bowls and vases. With my first solo sale coming up on December 10th (see the blog below), I decided to focus more on small ware, especially cups and bowls. My family had been urging me for some time to begin making more small ware but I resisted because I didn't want to become a "production potter" making the same things over and over again. I loved making unique things. Another reason why I didn't make more small stuff was because I found it difficult to center small pieces of clay, especially when they were less than two pounds. But then I reread an interview with one of my favorite potters, Pierre Bayle, and he mentioned that he started out as a production potter making large garden pots. He hated making the same thing every day, so eventually he left, but that experience elevated his skills and made him a fluent thrower. For him, "technique must be controlled to the point where it can be forgotten," but he would still return each year to one of the factories for 10 days to throw large garden pots as beautifully as he could make them just to keep his skills up. I thought about that for awhile and decided that I wanted to see what it might be like to throw similar pots over and over again. Maybe that would make be a more fluent thrower as well. So around the beginning of September I began making lots of bowls and cups. I had a backlog of clay from the summer because we had moved from Kailua to Manoa at the end of May and I didn't make anything for more than two months because it took so long to get everything at the house in order. I also had lots of recycled clay that was sitting around that I hadn't touched since the spring. Most of it was pretty hard and I had to rehydrate it, not exactly my favorite thing to do especially since I'd already recycled it once. I decided to use most of my recycled clay, both dark and light, to make small bowls and cups. This blog will highlight some of what I've learned about making cups. The next blog will highlight what I've learned about making small bowls.
My first goal beginning in September was to come up with a more efficient way of centering small pieces of clay. I tried all sorts of different techniques but nothing seemed to work. My usual way of centering a larger piece of clay is to use my left hand as the steady hand and the right hand to push against it. That works fine with larger pieces of clay, but I had a hard time positioning my hands around smaller pieces of clay using that technique. I don't remember why, but I decided to center on the other side using my right hand as the steady hand and my left as the one pushing against it, and that was the key for me. Suddenly centering smaller pieces of clay became easy. Just one or two moves and the whole thing was centered. Another important change in my centering technique was using my little fingers on both hands to firmly come underneath the clay at the bottom to make sure that all of the clay was centered all the way to the bat.
My first cups were enormous, way too bulbous to get my hand around. I checked and these first cups held about 16 ounces of liquid! Most of those I ended up giving away. My cups have become smaller and more slender, but I needed to change my technique in several ways in order to accomplish this. First, I gradually learned how to throw smaller and smaller pieces of clay. At first my cups were a little too large because I was using a pound or more of clay. Eventually I learned how to throw three quarters of a pound and half a pound of clay. Second, my new throwing technique was making two small pulls using a sponge (which saved my fingers from being too abraded by the plastic bats) and then one long pull using only my fingers. By not making the walls come up too high at the beginning, it allowed me to reach down to the bottom for the last pull with fewer fingers so I didn't push out the sides too far. That had been the problem with the first cups I'd made. When I made my final pull my walls would already be so high I'd have to stick my entire hand into the cup to get my fingers to the bottom and it would push the walls out too far. The walls by that time were so thin that I couldn't get them to come in again.
I tried several designs and am still in the process of evaluating them. I've had family and friends over several times and have used these cups as part of our table settings. I've asked them to try different cups and tell me their preferences both in design and decoration. Most seem to like a glossier glaze since it feels smoother and less tacky on the lips. They also like rims that are thinner and curve out a bit rather than curving in. The rim is always a challenge for me since most people like thinner rims but they also chip more easily. The feet of my cups are also getting smaller, something people always comment on negatively or positively. If the bottoms are made as level as possible, these cups are very steady. However, I'll probably lose sales since some people feel nervous using them.
I've also tried several ways of decorating the cups, as you can see below. It's always interesting to see how glazes respond to dark or white clay bodies. I'm also very interested in the look of my recycled clay and trying to expose it as much as possible. Quite a few people have commented on how much they like the look and feel of the bare clay that's been sanded smooth. What lots of people like, and what you won't see on any other clay body that I know of, is a speckled look from different colors of grog. My white recycled clay always has some dark clay in it and vice versa. What that means is that some dark grog ends up as black speckles in my white recycled and some white grog ends up as white speckles in my dark recycled. It looks great but is hard to show in a photograph, at least with my camera. Most of these cups are glazed on the inside with Miller White, a food-safe glaze. I've been having trouble with it developing bubbles, however, and have refired several pieces or even thrown them away. I'm beginning to use Glossy White and Nelson's Transparent, both food-safe, as alternative liners and have found both work well. I also used a different technique when glazing the cups. I poured the glaze through a sieve into a plastic pitcher. I poured it about two thirds of the way up since the glaze will flow over the top of the rim if it starts out too high. Something called "displacement" if I remember correctly. So I would wet the bottom inch of the cup that wasn't going to be glazed anyway so I could grasp it more securely. The bisqued clay is tacky when wet which helps you hang on to the cup when dipping it in the glaze. With some glazes, especially with dark clay, I would dip it twice, but most of the time I was just holding it submerged in the glaze for several seconds before lifting it out.
Below are examples of most of the different designs and glazing effects that I've tried on my cups since September. I hope they'll give you some ideas about how to make your own cups.
A few months ago I began thinking about having my first solo pottery sale. I wanted to have it at my house but it's on Oahu Ave. which doesn't have any street parking. One of my friends heard I was looking for a venue for my sale and offered to have it at his house. So, I'll be having a sale of my pottery on Saturday, December 10th, from 9am to 2pm. My friend's house is located at 2123 Hunnewell St. in Manoa. If you're in Australia this may be a bit of a drive, but if you're on Oahu I hope to see you at the sale. I've been busy making lots of pots. Many of them are the larger pieces that I usually make, but over the last few months I've been making small bowls and cups and other functional pieces. I'm trying out different designs and glazes, so you can let me know what especially appeals to you. The cups are between $20 and $25 and the bowls are between $25 and $30. Hopefully you can find something to use at home or give as gifts to family and friends. I'm trying to make the sort of bowl or cup that you always look for when you open the cupboard. Below is a link to photos of some pieces I'll have at the sale. I'm also thinking about offering prints of some of my photos so we may have a table for that as well. When you purchase something you can pay either with cash or with a credit card. If you have any questions, please let me know. Hope to see you on December 10th! https://1drv.ms/a/s!AitkLRyx794Wk0N3MPzonpAS9wql
On Tuesday, October 25, Hawai'i Craftsmen opened its 49th Statewide Juried Exhibition. There were almost 300 submissions from five islands in a variety of media such as wood, jewelry, metalwork, fiber, and glass, but ceramics was the most popular medium, an indication of the large and growing clay community in Hawai'i. The juror this year was Cindi Strauss, Sara and Bill Morgan Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design and Assistant Director, Programing, at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In her Juror Statement she mentioned that jurying a show this broad is "simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating" and that exhibitions such as this one "demonstrate that the craft field is alive and well in all parts of America." Jurying this show is especially challenging since the juror must travel from island to island to see the work of the artists living there and pick out pieces for the exhibition. She also gave a public lecture at each stop and you can imagine how tired she might have been when her lecture began at 5 in the afternoon but it felt like 10 back in Houston. We appreciate her perseverance and having such a great attitude during the whole process. To show you how much pressure she was under, during the final jurying in Honolulu she evaluated about 200 pieces in 3 hours. Mahalo nui loa to Cindi for hanging in there and putting together such a great exhibition!
The exhibition was well designed and we owe kudos to Dr. Barbara Thompson (Vice President of Hawai'i Craftsmen and an experienced curator), Jackie Mild Lau and Chris Edwards. As in the past, the selection of ceramics was especially strong. Daven Hee, one of my teachers and one of the best ceramicists in the state, was an invited artist this year. His exhibition of four clay toys included a truck, a car, a spaceship, and a toy box. As of this writing, two of the pieces have sold, one to the Honolulu Museum of Art. I have three pieces in the show, including one that won the Merit Award in Ceramics Arts so I feel pretty lucky. I suppose I should feel proud about the award but opening night I felt more sheepish than anything since I couldn't help comparing my piece to others and wondering how I won.
Amber Aguirre won the highest award in the show, the Award of Excellence in Honor of Charles E. Higa, for her ceramic sculpture entitled Disabled. I saw her at the reception and noticed she had a medical boot on her left leg and was walking with a cane. Both of her pieces in the show dealt with themes about illness and she told me she'd been in and out of the hospital because of complications with surgery on her leg and was still doing physical therapy twice a day. Her struggles with illness and pain were reflected in her art. My conversation with her made me think about how many artists use their art to work out personal issues. I took a course with Joey Chiarello this past spring and he told me he used his clay work to literally work out his demons or at least start some type of rapprochement. Every demon he makes is a self portrait, something I hadn't noticed until he pointed it out to me. Maybe I like my designs to be more controlled because so many parts of my life feel like they're out of my control!
Below you'll find photos of all the ceramics in the exhibition. If you're in the Honolulu area, I hope you'll stop by the gallery at the Honolulu Museum of Art School at Linekona. It will be up until November 13. It's closed on Mondays but is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 to 4:30 and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00.
I just completed my first pit firing at home. Before this I'd always pit fired with my friends at Steve Martin's place in Kaneohe. I want to continue firing with them, but the firings are so infrequent that I needed to set things up to fire at home. I just moved from Kailua to Manoa so I'm officially a "townie" now. I miss the Windward Side of Oahu because I lived there for 24 years, but I like where we're at now. There's about an eight foot wall on one side of the house with a twelve foot wide alley covered in gravel, perfect for setting up a fire pit. At least that's what I thought until I lit the fire and smoke started billowing into the sky. Every time I heard a truck pass by I thought it was a fire truck with a police cruiser just behind it. I kept thinking about what I'd say while the police officer was writing out the citation. As it turned out, no one called the fire department, not this time anyway.
To prepare for pit firing at home, I'd ordered a Behrens 17 gallon round steel tub from Amazon which seemed about the right size for my needs. Maybe I'll get a larger one later or pick up a 55 gallon drum that's been cut in half, but I can fire at least two large pots in it or three medium size ones. I could get more in if I decided to stack pots, something I plan on doing sometime soon. I found a reliable source for Kiawe wood at Hardware Hawaii in Kailua and spent about $12 on this firing. The pieces of wood were too large so I used my machete to split them into smaller pieces. That's something I've learned after several pit firings: the wood needs to be cut pretty small for the fire to really get hot. I had to use large pieces of wood for almost every pit firing up to now and it took forever to get the fire going, it never got hot enough to give all of the pots really good color, and I breathed in too many noxious fumes leaning over the pit with my blow torch. I also thought it would be good to use small pieces of wood after watching a video about wood firing in Onda Japan. They use very thin pieces of wood when they want the temperature of the fire to go up quickly. I'm not afraid of making the fire go up quickly in the pit since I'm using clay bodies (B-Mix with Grog or Nash White) which have proven their ability to withstand thermal shock doing raku.
The wood shavings I use at the bottom of the pit are intended for horse bedding so fairly coarse. I've seen people use fine wood shavings that were almost like sawdust but the results have never been very good. The shavings are so dense that it's hard for air to get into them so they don't burn all the way to the bottom. By the way, try using the metal basket of an old washing machine for pit firing. Steve Martin uses one and it always gets great results for small to medium size pieces. The basket has perforations all the way around that are small enough to keep the wood shavings in but large enough to allow air to circulate through on every side from top to bottom.
I laid my two pots on the wood shavings and then laid around them the usual things I use to make marks on the pots: salt, copper carbonate, red iron oxide, banana peels, coffee grounds, and seaweed. I pulled apart both fine and coarse steel wool and laid that lightly on top of both pots. Next I put on layers of newspaper, then a layer of drift wood, and finally kiawe wood. I used a blow torch to start the fire rather than using lighter fluid. I think next time I'll use lighter fluid since this time I got the torch too close to one of the pots for too long which may have caused the terra sig to peel in that area. The fire got going much more quickly than it usually does because everything was dry and smaller in size. I also fanned the flames fairly often during the first hour to really get the temperature up. I hadn't been satisfied with the results I'd been getting the last several times and grew more convinced it had to do with temperature. I'm not sure how hot the fire became, but it was much hotter than usual. Because the fire burned hotter, it consumed all of the fuel more quickly which meant it cooled down more quickly. Rather than the usual six or seven hours, this firing took only four hours from set up to pulling the pots out with oven mitts. There are several things I noticed about the results from this pit firing. Probably the most important is that higher temperatures seem to have a profound effect on the surface decoration of the pots. More color gets on the pots and the colors are deeper, more saturated. Color also seems to be driven farther into the pot so you get a layered look, almost three dimensional. If you look at the closeups below I think you can see what I mean. Instead of the color sitting on the surface, both the colors and the spots seem to be at different levels. All of these marks and color also seem softer at the edges and often will bleed into each other. You see more interesting shapes, and shapes within shapes as your eye moves across the pot. And I like having large areas that are lighter in color. I think it provides a more dramatic contrast than if everything is covered in peaches and burgundies. In short, everything seems more complex and I think that's a good thing.
Update on 9/28/16 I just completed my second firing at home. This time I used smaller pieces of kiawe that I bought at Safeway, a local grocery store, in order to get the fire started more quickly. Everything else was the same. It still took longer to get the fire started than I thought it should so I'm going to see if I can find small pieces of pine rather than hardwoods like kiawe that will burn more quickly.
I tried to make this firing as hot as I could, not at the very beginning of course, but as the fire became progressively hotter and the pots had time to heat up. I used a large box that was flattened that seemed to work well for fanning the flames. At one point I probably went a little too far and I heard a distinct pop and noticed a long crack running along the base of one of the pots. I guess it's really not watertight now! After about 3 or 4 hours, when the pots were almost done, it started raining and I decided to get the pots out of the fire pit. I use two long sturdy dowels to get the pots out by inserting one inside and using the other to steady it. I've had much greater success with this than with using raku tongs. I've seen too many people break the rims of their pots when inserting the tongs inside, and I haven't been able to get some pots out at all if they were too big around and had mouths that were too small. When I removed them from the pit, I rubbed ash on the smallest pot which made marks on it from the carbon that did not wash off (see photos). One of the pots was in the rain for a moment before I moved it inside and the raindrops made permanent marks on it (see photos).
I learned a great deal from this firing. Two of the three pieces were refired because I had been dissatisfied with how they had turned out when I fired them at Steve Martin's place about a month or so ago. The first firing didn't get hot enough and the pots turned out very dark, mostly a smoke firing. In this second firing, most of the carbon from the first firing seems to have burned off but not all of it. If I'm looking at this correctly, most of the color from the first firing seems to have remained on the pots, especially the reds. The second firing just added more color and more depth. I checked this with another pot that had been pit fired at Steve's that I put into a bisque firing (cone 06- 1828 F) in preparation for a regular glaze firing. All of the carbon burned off, but the reds from copper remained. It should be noted that this pot had not been coated with terra sig, so I'm still not sure if any color would remain on a pot with terra sig.
One of the pots that was refired had a texture created with a blue Mason stain slip with sodium silicate in it. I didn't put terra sig on it just to see what would happen. My impression after this second firing is that it absorbed an enormous amount of copper so it had more red on the pot than I usually get. I'm guessing that the more porous surface of the pot was able to absorb more from the fire. At the same time, the color is dry and doesn't appeal to me at all. The color doesn't have any depth and it's completely missing all of the little black spots that I love so much.
I spoke with a few potters since then about how they pit fire, and I received some advice that I'll try. One potter brought up an interesting issue. He said that he always uses a hole in the ground at his house when pit firing and encouraged me to do the same. He said that you need the ground to provide insulation so more heat would be retained and so the pots would cool more slowly when you were done. That made me think alot about what's happening in pit firing and how that might contrast with a cone 10 glaze firing. One of the most important concepts in glaze firing is the whole idea of "heat work." Heat work is the necessary combination of time and temperature when firing ceramics. If you throw a turkey into a 350 degree oven, you don't expect it to be 350 degrees in 5 minutes. Turkey is a poor conductor of heat so you might leave it in the oven for 3 or 4 hours until its internal temperature gets to around half that amount. Heat work is important for both clay bodies and glazes. It takes time for bodies and glazes to absorb heat and to vitrify or melt no matter how hot the kiln might be. But does this apply in the same way to pit firing? Since we're not using glazes, it certainly doesn't in some senses. But I've noticed that higher temperatures seem to volatilize colorants better and drive the color deeper into the pot, so heat is certainly important. Clay bodies also must be tolerant of thermal shock because temperatures are rising quite rapidly and they can fall precipitously is you pull pots from the pit fire when they're still really hot. I've done this many times and the only times I've had problems with this were with bowls. I have to keep bowls in the pit until they're completely cool or they will crack. My bowls, at least, can't withstand the stresses of being pulled out of the fire and placed on a piece of wood or concrete or metal. I'm intrigued by one thing, however, and that's the notion that pit fires can get much hotter if they have greater insulation. One potter claimed that his pit fires would get up to cone 06 (1828 F). I didn't ask how he verified that, but I should. I've never seen anyone using a pyrometer to measure how hot a particular pit firing gets, but I'm sure it's been done and could be done by me. Still, it's intriguing to think of what might happen at temperatures that high. Most books I read state that pit fires get up to around 1500 F at the most. Terra sig is also supposed to lose its sheen at temperatures that high. I'm also wondering how quickly color is added to a pot and how long a firing has to be sustained at a high temperature in order to get good color on a pot using this technique. In other words, does heat work play only a minor role in pit firing or does it potentially have more to contribute? Related to this, I'm interested in trying some saggar firing in our kiln to see what higher temperatures over longer periods of time might do using the same colorants. Maybe I'll try putting fire bricks around my pit or some type of ceramic fiber insulation. I can't dig a hole at the house where I'm renting, but maybe I could try it at Steve's place the next time we fire. And bring a pyrometer, of course!
Last night we celebrated the opening of two ceramics shows in Honolulu. The first is at the Louis Pohl Gallery and the second is at the Arts at Marks Garage, both located about a block away from each other in Chinatown. The sale at Louis Pohl Gallery has the theme "Whimsical Gardens" and has work related to flowers, plants, etc. I'm a part of this exhibition with four other potters. Thanks to Karen Kim for inviting me to be a part of the show. I don't really have very many pieces that relate directly to gardens but I have plenty of pieces that have organic forms and might be flower-like in their glazing. The show at Marks Garage has "Dinner Party" as its theme so the whole interior is made up like a cafe. There's even a menu that lists all of the pots and their prices. Daven Hee headed up the exhibition and did a great job of making it creative and fun. Both opened last night as a part of First Friday and were packed with people. The exhibit at Louis Pohl Gallery will be up through September 30th and the exhibit at Marks Garage goes through October 1st. Oh, and Tom Gibson has a great display of his tripod sculptures in the window at Marks Garage. Every time I see them I think of The White Mountains trilogy that I read as a kid.
This past Saturday, HPG hosted a Throw-A-Thon for Empty Bowl. The fund raiser will be in the spring of 2017, but we're already starting to make bowls for it. HPG does this every other year and this time Mark Kuhn will be heading it up. Some things will be different this year which will make it more interesting. Both schools and individuals that make at least 50 bowls (including trimming and glazing them) will be given a table where they can offer their bowls for sale. Think I might do that. I threw bowls for a little less than four hours. I'm not sure exactly how many bowls were made overall, but it was somewhere north of 300 from what I was told. Below are photos of most of the participants from Saturday and a video of Daven Hee throwing a bowl with a rice paddle.
The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce has sponsored an art exhibition for almost four decades now and it has the reputation for being the best art exhibit in the state and the hardest to get into. Since the Hawaii Craftsmen exhibit is just around the corner, I decided to submit photographs to this show and ceramics to the Craftsmen show. I was going to submit four photos for consideration but I ended up submitting only three. I had gone to Pictures Plus to get frames for my photos so I could save a little money by doing the framing myself. It still ended up costing me $200 for four frames and mats, but that was about half as much as it would have cost to have them professionally framed. While I was framing one of the photos, my oldest daughter said to me, "Dad, do you think someone's really going to buy some photo of a homeless guy and hang it in their living room?" I had to admit it wasn't likely. I also noticed that one of the photos had two big smudges on it. I would have taken the photo back to Hawaii Pacific Photo to get cleaned up, but it was 2:30pm and I only had until 4pm to submit my stuff for the show. That's right, I didn't get around to framing my prints until the last minute, literally. I tried using water which was a big mistake since it made a noticeable spot on the photo. Now I know I should have used alcohol. Anyway, I couldn't use that photo so I submitted three pieces. I was pretty excited to get a call the next day informing me that two of my pieces had gotten into the show. The following photos are from the opening reception for the artists and their families. I took photos of all the ceramics in the show and some of the other pieces. As usual, the artists were more interesting than the art. The show will run through Thursday, August 18th, and is open from 1pm to 4pm Sunday, closed on Monday, and open from 10am to 4pm Tuesday through Thursday.
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!