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I messed up…

I’ve had this website for over 14 years, and technology has changed a LOT in that time. After one too many ‘upgrades’ without proper maintenance, my site has become so slow, it’s almost unusable.

To get back up and running, i’m starting with a ‘clean slate’. The new site will be snappy, modern and quick to load, making it easier for you to keep in touch with the latest projects in my studio. I know you are busy, and I hate to have to ask you to do anything, so most of the changes will happen behind the scenes, just keep visiting the site like normal, and moving forward it should keep working better and better. Missing posts and art will return, and some new features too!

Comments are where I have a problem and need your help: I have lost all my previous comments, which is really tough for me, because the conversations I have with my friends is what makes sharing art on the internet so much fun. If you’d like to keep the conversation going, follow this link: www.kenswinson.com, to make sure you are on the new, improved server, then keep the comments comming.

While you at the new site, if you like getting new posts deliverd by email, be sure to sign up again. you can do it in the top right corner. This will make sure that you don’t miss any of my new artwork and posts.

Thanks for your patience during this crazy time. Hopefully once I get everything up and running, I won’t have to do another overhaul like this for at least 14 more years!

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Check in video – 21 July 2020

I haven’t been on Facebook or Instagram for the month of July, as part of the #stopHateForProfit boycott. I thought I’d check in and let everyone know that I’m doing ok. i miss my ‘friends’ but life is actually nicer in some ways without facebook. I’m getting a lot more done: staying productive, learning to work with porcelain..and today, i carved a mug with a horse!

Feel free to comment and let me know how you are doing…i do miss hearing from you all!

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Weeds are flowers too…

…once you get to know them.

These weeds were the inspiration for todays pottery design. I think the plant is called chickory. It is blooming EVERYWHERE along the highways (and in my garden) here in Kentucky. I don’t know if it’s a native plant, but it has a big presence this time of the year. I like the idea of handmade pots reflecting the time in which they were made…

This still needs to be fired, once it is, it’ll be porcelain, and the blue will be a deep cobalt color.

Stay tuned to see how it works out!

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Pottery intensive June – recap

At the beginning of June, I decided to make June a ‘pottery intensive’ month in the studio. Looking back at the month, it was a lot of fun, and I made some really nice pots. I fired the kiln twice. After each firing, i put the pots on the porch, where they sold out in a matter of days.

Pottery Intensive June was a success! You can see a gallery of each kiln load by clicking the thumbnails below:

June 9, 2020
june 20,2020

July is going to be a little bit different. I am going to keep making pottery. But i’ll also take brakes to do some more printmaking and painting too. The big thing for July is that I am participating in the facebook boycot #stopHateForProfit by not logging into facebook or instagram for the month of July.

I am a frequent facebook user, so this is going to be a challenging month for me. One of the bright sides of this boycott is that I plan to give my personal website and email newsletter some TLC, so stay tuned for more art and updates!

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30 June 2020 – printing ink and playing in mud.

I spent the last day of June split between the clay studio and the printshop.

The finished block. Ready for ink!

I have been working on a special print for one of my US Route 62 neighbors who lives all the way over in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

The finished print. Hanging to dry

Today I got to put first ink on the block and then print an edition at the log cabin print shop.

Pots in progress

After printing, I had some time to put some handles on mugs, put some glaze on bowls, and then throw a few cream pitchers and bowls

Bowls and creamers just thrown from the wheel.
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The Potter – by Tania Horne

You never know where it will take you when you put your creativity out there:
Late friday night, i made a live stream while throwing pots…no words, or instruction, just an hour of making pots.
I don’t know who all watched, but poet, Tania Anderson Horne , saw it, and it inspired a poem! I liked the poem so much, we made this short video together. Thank you Tania! I’m honored!!!

Tania is participating in Lexington Poetry Month. A project, where every June, poets are challenged to write a poem every day. You can learn more at https://lexpomo.com
#lexpomo

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Wedding Invitations – a woodcut project

I recently completed an exciting printmaking project; wedding invitations!!!!! The original idea was to have the bride and groom help print them at the cabin, but we’ve had to change our plans to stay safe….still, what a cool invitation, a hand printed, limited editon woodcut?! I’m so honored to have been asked to do this! Thank you and Congratulations! Jessica and Jonathan!

Carving the Woodblock
Finished Carving and ready to print!
the first proof
All invitations were signed and numbered as a limited edition
The invitations were delivered in a box, decorated with proofs from the invitation, and can be used as a keepsake.
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June 10 new pottery

I’m excited to share some of my latest pottery after last weeks firing. I’m as proud of the photography as the pottery. There has been a learning curve to photographing pottery, and I think I am finally getting a good representation of what the pots look like.

NOTE: I have already sold all the pots from this firing, but plan to have more soon.

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Transferring woodcuts onto pottery – via screenprint

I work in a lot of different media, and am always looking for ways to cross the different mediums. One dream I have is printing woodcuts onto ceramic. After some research, I learned that the woodcut process does not work well with ceramic materials, but screenprinting does.

Using a technique that i learned while studying in Oaxaca, Mexico, I copied a few of my favorite woodcut designs onto a screen

then printed the designs onto rice paper using ceramic underglaze as the ‘ink’

then, i transferred the underglaze onto unfired clay…in a technique similar to old fashioned temporary tattoos

a plate, decorated with my woodcut designs!
a mug, decorated and ready to fire!
…and a pig on a mug…keep watching to see how they look ofter the firing!
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Thinking about current events

I AM watching the news, and I don’t want you all to think that I have my head buried in the sand, and am just happily in my own little world, making art. I see what’s happening to us, and it hurts me deeply. I don’t know what I can do to make it better, so I share things that help me and others feel good, and encourage them to work on their own creative projects. Art is a great way to deal with feelings. For me, art is a therapy, and there are a lot of studies that show it really does cause positive things to happen in the brain. There are also studies that show that social media is causing psychological and social problems…

i don’t use social media for politics. In my perspective, it’s a terrible way to try and have dialogue about divisive issues. I’ve watched friendships end and families grow further apart because of the way social media brings out, and magnifies the worst in some people. (i guess it’s profitable, or the tech companies just like to destroy people’s lives) I have friends from a wide range of perspectives, who I know in real life, and I can tell you, we have more in common than social media would have us believe.

I believe that religion is personal, and I don’t talk about it on social media (for the same reasons). Since it’s Sunday, and I think it is important, I will share with you that I believe that we are ALL children of God, we are ALL brothers and sisters. EVERYONE deserves to be treated with respect, fairness and dignity. I believe (and I’m trying to be better at) following Christ’s teaching to love thy neighbor as thyself. I know this is a crazy time, and everyone is scared and angry a suffering loss and going through a million other feelings right now. I hope that all of these challenges we are going through has some kind of meaning, and, in the end, we use this experience to lift each other up, and become better neighbors.

I’m scared, and feel helpless and angry, but I also feel more connected, and a feeling of togetherness with you all (even if we have to stay 6 feet apart). You have gotten me through, what is possibly the biggest trial of my lifetime. Since social media isn’t going away, let’s use it to keep the good vibes going, and try to have a little more understanding and empathy toward each other…this is HARD, but we will get through this together.