I have been working in the clay studio, and havent shared many work in progress photos. In part, because 3d objects, like pottery, dont photograph well. A 2d photo does not accurately give the impression of holding and looking around a 3d object.
I have been working with a technique, called sgraffito, where the design on a pot is created by carving. It has a lot of similarities to printmaking, which makes it very interesting to me.
The design goes all around the pot, so instead of sharing a photo, heres a short video of the carved bowl. All the carving is done, but it still needs to be fired, so it is a work in progress.
I surprise myself all the time. I never thought I’d ever make functional pottery again, but I think it’s safe to say I’m obsessed! For the last couple of weeks, it’s all I’ve been thinking about.
Today is printmaking day at the Log Cabin Print Shop. I have my design more or less carved and ready to print. What do you think?
We didn’t print as much as some saturdays, but we had wonderful company, and a chance to introduce two really good friends to each other. And of course, when I’m having fun, I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of us all having fun! See you all next Saturday!
I love jumping between and mixing mediums. I’ve recently been working in clay–after a long break.
I’ve been decorating with a technique, called sgraffito, where I scratch the design into the pottery before firing.
Here’s what sgraffito pots look like after the first fire. I love the contrast between the red and white clays.
As a printmaker, I have been curious about printing on pots. With the encouragement of a fellow artist/potter, I tried to print decals to apply to clay. After MUCH experimenting, I learned that relief printing does not give a thick enough layer of glaze, so I am taking my woodcuts and linocuts, and using them to make screens for screen printing
My only experience with photo transfer screen printing was a few years ago, when I took a workshop in Oaxaca, MX with artist, Marcos Lucero. In the workshop, we used the sun to expose the screen. It’s still taking some trial and error, but I am learning how to get a good exposure. Kentucky sun is different from Mexico sun–we have clouds!!
Once I master the screen print part of the process (i love learning new things) It’ll be time for a NEW thing to learn: how to print using glaze, and then transfer the designs to clay.
Of course , it’s also possible to PAINT on clay–as long as it isn’t being used for food. These critters are almost finished. I LOVE painting on clay. It reminds me of canvas painting, but the textures and shapes of clay give it a 3rd dimension
remember those sgraffito pots at the beginning of this post? Last night, i glazed them, and they are in the kiln cooling. We are going to open the kiln this evening, so stay tuned it’ll be exciting to see my first batch of pots…of course, the first batch is usually when I learn a lot of lessons, so hopefully the kiln gods are not too cruel.
Today at the print shop we had a surprise visit from, Hillsboro, Ohio printmaker, Arnold Pennington! We enjoyed looking through his portfolio, and showing him the studio. He’s busy without a lot of free time, but hopefully will be able to come back and print soon!
Today, we printed this linocut notecard of tomatoes in a mason jar
A few weeks ago, a friend gave me a book about transferring images into clay. As a printmaker, and ex potter, i was interested. Shortly after, they sent me ANOTHER book about printing on clay. Aat that point, i decided it was time to dust off my pottery equipment and make some things to try printing on.
I thought it would be fun to hand build some of the characters from my prints and paintings.
I have not thrown any pots, other than for the occasional empty bowls fundraiser, since 2007. And was curious if i remembered how to throw a pot on the wheel.
I did remember!!! Its like riding a bike!!!
Stay tuned! I hope to print and transfer some of my woodcuts onto these pots. Should be interesting!
Greetings from US Route 62! I’m trying to explore and get to know the entire highway. Yesterday, I was inspired to try to make it to the highways furthest east/north point: Niagara Falls.
I DID make it past Columbus (my previous furthest distance) and stopped at ye old mill in Utica, Ohio. It is the home of Velvet Ice Cream. Their headquarters is located in a historic old mill. I was tempted to make a painting, but wanted to cover more distance, so I settled on a few sketches
After driving through picture perfect Amish Country (I am going to stop on my way home) I arrived at lanterman’s mill in Youngstown, Ohio.
Lanterman’s Mill is a beautifully restored mill, located by a waterfall in a beautiful gorge. (it’s gorgeous!)
I had a feeling my theme for the trip was going to be mills.
The next day, I arrived at Niagara Falls. I was prepared for a big and beautiful waterfall, but STILL was unprepared for the majesty of the falls…especially the iconic horseshoe falls.
I was too intimidated to try to capture the horseshoe falls. I don’t think a photo even get’s close to giving you an idea of what it is like.
It was also very busy, and i didn’t want to try to push through a crowd of people to try to setup my easel and paint.
Instead, I chose to paint the bridge between the USA and Canada. It is actually the very beginning of US 62, which I thought was appropriate. I also love the symbolism of bridges, because they bring people together!
The overlook where I stood has so much mist from the Niagara Falls, that the painting was covered with water from the falls. Good thing I was painting in oils!
Now that I have surveyed the entire East of Old Washington section of US Route 62, I am taking my time, stopping to study, or get to know places that got my interest on the way up. I won’t lie to you…it’s not always easy for me to travel. I’ve seen so much on this trip, i’m visually and creatively overwhelmed. I’m stopping to make sketches on my drive home, but I’m also feeling a little tired, and I miss my studio. I’d like to dive deeper and start some big studio paintings. Stay tuned, I’ll have more to share soon!
I like switching between different media from time to time. Each media has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, and the change in perspective keeps it interesting for me.
It’s been awhile since I’ve worked in clay, so I thought I would try to create some painting/tile type characters in clay. My idea is to paint them once they are fired, so the finished piece will be a hybrid painting/sculpture.
One thing I love about clay is the textures…of my tools, my fingers, of the clay itself. It should be a really intersting surface to paint!
It’s also fun to ‘build’ something, vs, draw/paint. I find myself using both hands when I work in clay.
If you are in a creative rut, maybe it’s time to try something different?!? Works for me every time!
I love it when new printmakers visit Old Washington and discover the Log Cabin Print Shop! Yesterday, Andrew Cohen (and family) came from Lexington, KY to print with us!
They came at a perfect time, because I was doing some repairs/maintenance on the press, and needed someone to test it out.
After some adjustments, we got the press working, and printed an edition of Andrew’s linocut
Thanks again, Andrew, for printing at the Log Cabin Print Shop, and sharing your artwork! I hope you and your crew will be able to visit again soon.
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Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, animation and ipad art. He considers himself to be a 'lifetime learner' and he uses art as the vehicle to explore and learn more about the world around him. Much of his work reflect his optimistic views on rural folk culture, river life and simple pleasures.
You can visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. He can also be found picnicking near his home in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.
July 13, 20 and 27 Printmaking at the Log Cabin Print Shop - OLD WASHINGTON, KY