Here are pictures of a few of the mugs I’ll be offering at this years’ Handmade Art Market at Fleisher Art Memorial. If you live in Philadelphia (or are visiting) catch me and the other Open Studio potters.
It’s Boris’s first Thanksgiving in a vegan household so there will be no human turkey leftovers for him this year. (Don’t worry. He eats a premium vet-recommended cat food. Cats are carnivores after all.) Still, this little cat has a lot to be thankful for, as do his humans. Happy Thanksgiving to you all
I first wrote about NextFab, which offers membership-based maker spaces, when I toured a branch in South Philadelphia. They opened another branch in Philadelphia North American Street in 2020. North American Street, in the Kensington section of the city, continues to grow as an artist and maker mecca with its old factories and cheaper real estate. It’s already home to the Crane Arts Building, The Resource Exchange, ML Woodworking, and is soon to be home to The Clay Studio.
NextFab has a fiber and sewing studio
A 3D and laser printing workshop
A jewelry workshop
A wood shop
They also offer space for metal working and welding, electronics, and offer access to design software. Plus they offer business incubation services and product development assistance services. They offer different levels of membership for people who are interested in exploring what they have to offer and classes for all levels as well as basic safety instruction. To get started, read their FAQs and schedule a tour yourself.
Lynn is a teacher and Scott is a pupil at the Studio Incamminati for Contemporary Realist Art, which was my final stop for the day.
Studio Incamminati, which is located on the top floor of the Bok Building, offers fine art instruction that includes degreed programs, high school programs, continuing adult education, and open studios.
I feel as if I am getting behind in my blog posts although I’ve been posting regularly. It’s just that there’s so much going on around me that even if I don’t feel particularly inspired lately, there’s no shortage of creative people around me. That and my penchant for taking pictures everywhere I go.
If you’re anything like me, you love to peek into other people’s creative spaces. Every year, The Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, or POST, gives me the chance to do that without feeling like too much of an interloper. This year, I went back to the Bok Building in South Philadelphia to see some new art studios. WC Pottery sure got my attention!
I live in a small house and I know a thing or two about working in small spaces. But WC Pottery’s space is a model of efficiency beyond what I would have thought possible. I was impressed.
I’ll be writing about more artists I met on this years’ POST tour. Stay tuned.
The Fire Mountain Gems website describes upcycling as taking something that is destined for the trash bin and transforming it into something of value and beauty. … This can be as simple as taking a piece of waste paper and transforming it into beads or other useful jewelry-making components.
This is a project from a while back that I made while I was waiting for hand surgery and couldn’t do any projects that involved a lot of banging or prolonged fine work.
First, I ironed some screen printed fabric onto fusible interfacing and sewed it into a tube,
I cut up an aluminum can to the proper size for a cuff bracelet, wrapped it with masking tape, and slipped the fabric tube over it. Then I trimmed the fabric and tucked in the ends.
I sewed the ends shut and attached another piece of screen printed fabric for contrast.
I wrapped the bracelet with some gorgeous vintage rayon embroidery floss and searched my stash of scrap metal and glass for additional embellishments.
And here’s the finished product. That’s a fabric necklace in the background, also made from upcycled materials.
I must confess that I am feeling particularly uninspired as of late. I’ve been making ceramic mugs in the pottery studio and decorating them with underglaze, but even this seems forced.
The Penn Archeology and Anthropology Museum has been a great source of inspiration for me in the past. Flea Markets are a great source of inspiration, too. If those don’t work for you, the Huffington Post offers a few suggestions to stoke your creativity. I find that the best thing for me is to take a long walk and to try to look at things differently.
So last week, I revisited a Philadelphia neighborhood I lived in years ago which happened to be hosting a vintage flea market on a beautiful fall day. Even if the walk didn’t open the inspiration floodgates, I figured that at least I would get some exercise since I walked to Powelton Village and back from my South Philadelphia neighborhood. And got to look at Center City Philadelphia architecture from the west rather than my usual eastern view. Architecture can be another source of inspiration.
I’m not feeling inspired yet, but when I do, you’ll be the first to know.
Some selected works from Fleisher’s 122nd annual Faculty Show. The works this year range from oils and photography to collage, prints, mosaic, mixed media, sewing and ceramics,
The show closes on September 24, so you still have time to check it out in person. Fleisher is located at 719 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA 19147. For more information, press here.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to smooth the bottom of bisque fired pottery. Simply take a square of 80 grit wet-dry sandpaper and affix it to your wheel head with a glue stick. Hold your pot bottom to the sandpaper and spin. This will kick up dust, so you might not want to do it in a shared space. You should also wear a mask. You can sponge a little water onto the sandpaper to unclog it and to cut down on dust. When you’re done, just wipe off the wheel with a towel and it’s clean again.
Here’s a video I just came across on YouTube with some great pointers for sanding safely. Try dipping the bottom of your pot in water before using the wheel. I think this would be more effective than wetting the sandpaper on the wheel.