Boris wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving.
This week was quite a week. I drove up to Boston to pick up a friend and her dog Benji to bring them to Philadelphia for a visit. Benji is a Yorkshire Terrier who has a thing for stealing glasses and chasing cats.
Benji the terror and cat chaser
Benji the glasses thief.
Boris spent the week in the basement with his toys and food. An attempted meeting betwen Benji and Boris was a disaster. Only then did we learn that Benji is a cat chaser.
I got lost in the Big Dig tunnel in Boston after I dropped Benji and his human companion back at their apartment. So I got a tour of downtown Boston which has changed immensely since Benji’s human companion and I were students at Emerson College.
We were able to get together with a third friend from Emerson before I drove back. We were so young when we first met. Now we are grandmothers.
Boris has reclaimed his house now that Benji the cat chaser is gone.
I’ll start with the bad news. Boris broke the Picasso Vase! He was flinging himself to the top of his cat tree to claim a treat and everything between him and the treat was, shall we say, fodder for collateral damage. He got the treat and the vase hit the floor. I repaired the vase today with some 23k gold leaf and epoxy (Kintsugi) and might still put it in the Fleisher Art Memorial’s 2018 Student Show. We shall see.
In the meantime, I have been working on soliciting auction and goody bag donations for Clayathon 2018. There are going to be some wonderful items this year and one-third of the auction proceeds go to The Center for Pediatric Therapies and Ron Lehockey’s heart pin project.
I donated some pottery last year and it was pretty popular so I decided to contribute two lidded vessels to this years’ auction.
The vessel on top is screen printed with underglazes and the lower one is painted with underglazes. The vessels are hand built using the tarpaper technique.
Here’s a picture of the vessels before they were painted and a picture of the finished vessel I showed you in the tarpaper technique post. I call it the Sassy Box and plan to make some mug handles with the same design as the handle on the Sassy Box lid.
I made a menorah for my stepson and his family to welcome them into their new home. The shape of the menorah was inspired by a vase I was working on (still unfinished) and I used the tar paper technique of hand building ceramic shapes that I described earlier in the year.
Here are some construction pictures. The menorah is hollow.
And here is a picture of the final product after bisque firing and glazing.
Ever wonder what happens if you give a cat a dreidel? If he’s Boris he’ll play for treats and clean you out.
Sometimes Boris comes down to the workshop to “help” me but usually he ends up jumping into his Sleepy Box and napping. I have two rock tumblers going at present and they don’t seem to bother him. Nor does the soldering, sawing, hammering, banging and other assorted sounds I make.
I pulled out boxes of metal and polymer scraps and am trying my hand at making metal boxes with lids. I am also tumbling a summer’s worth of porcelain beads and pendants that I made at The Clay Studio. I am rooting through my tools and hardware for items to use in the mixed media sculpture class I am taking at Fleisher. I found some 6 gauge copper wire at a house sale and I am making huge jump rings with it. I am finishing some old projects little by little and trying a few new things. I am not the one sleeping in the workshop!
Here’s hoping you find whatever it is you’re looking for this Spring!
Boris was not the inspiration for this figurine although I have been taking a figure drawing class and drawing Boris for practice. No, he does not pose for me. What cat would? But he is good for ten nanosecond poses and gesture drawing. Sculpting a cat figurine sounded like a a fun idea. I have sculpted two cats before, but both were in polymer. Now that I have access to a pottery studio, I decided to try my hand at making a terra cotta cat which is a horse of a totally different hue.
Here are the preliminary stages of the figurine. You have to be careful not to leave any air bubbles in the clay. Small ones will probably dry closed but big ones can explode in the kiln. And unless all the clay is thoroughly dry inside and out, there is a danger of explosion in the kiln.
Here is where I started adding character. You will note that the cat looks well fed. In fact, I had to make his tummy hollow to insure that the clay would dry and that the figurine would not weigh a ton. I made an air hole underneath the figurine, wrapped it in plastic, and when the clay was hard enough, I put the puss on two sticks so air would reach the hole and dry inside. I put the figurine aside and forgot about it for a few weeks as it dried out slowly-the best way to prevent cracking. I did some painting with underglaze before putting the cat in the kiln. When he came out in one piece, the hard part was over,
I glazed the cat with matte clear glaze for the final firing. the white, orange, blue and other colors you see are the underglaze.
And here is the finished cat! His I.D tag, which is hard to see, says “Tiny.”
The resident art critic seems to approve.
I have to admit that I was very sad when I wrote last week’s post. But Boris is is coming out of his shell and worming his way into my heart. There is nothing like a kitten to beat the blues.
Plumpton used to hang out in my workshop and Boris seems interested in doing the same. It will be nice to have company s long as Boris behaves himself. But what are the chances of that?
He was fascinated with the pieces of baked polymer that I am playing around with for a wall piece I am making for a fund raiser for the Fleisher Art Memorial. Just the thing for a kitten to bat around.
Playing with the colors, shapes and textures inspired me to try a new earring design.
So it looks like Boris might be inspiring me! That’s good. I could use some inspiration right about now.