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.
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!
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!
it’s been 10 years since I’ve thrown a pot. I wondered if it is like riding a bike. will I remember how to do it? we are having an #emptybowls fundraiser for the food bank in our community next month, so i gave it a try. my first attempt passed for a bowl!
June 21st, 2018 was our 10th monthly artZINE in Barboursville, WV. Our theme was – THE LONGEST DAY. We met outdoor at Barboursville Park, so the weather was not ideal, still we had a good turnout, and a great time. Here are the pages. Click any of the images (or right here) to see/download/print all the pages from the zine (including 10 different hand painted covers).
My studio is in an interesting part of Cincinnati. It overlooks the business district and the historic neighborhood, Over-The-Rhine. If I ever need inspiration I just look out the window
There is so much in one view, i can’t fit it all into one sketch.
Here’s my sketch of downtown. I like the contrast between the old church in the foreground and the modern towers in the background.
Over-The-Rhine is unique because of the concentration of old buildings in an urban space. Recently, filmmakers have started coming to OTR to use as a set for New York City in the early 1900s.
The crown jewel of the neighborhood is the newly renovated, Music Hall: featured in the middle of this sketch.
I’ll probably use these sketches as a study for a woodcut(s). There is so much interesting geometry (and all the windows!!!) it would be awesome to print.
If you would like to visit my studio, it will be open to the public this Friday from 6-10pm. The 8 story warehouse is filled with over 200 art studios to explore. This opportunity only comes once a month. More info here: Pendleton Art Center-Cincinnati.
Organization is not easy for me. I’ll have a broad range of different thoughts at once. It can be a beautiful thing, but quickly tailspin into chaos and dysfunction. I don’t think this is a unique struggle. Since our adoption of so much technology into our daily lives, we have been immersed in an massive amount of information…Not to mention tech companies constantly competing for our attention. It’s becoming a norm for the people I meet to be overwhelmed, easily distracted and unorganized.
Two weeks ago, a friend gave me a quick glimpse at their Bullet Journal. It was filled with colorful drawings and doodles; enough to spark my interest and to want to learn more. You can do a quick web search to learn more about the Bullet Journal. I have been using one for the last two weeks, and here are some of my thoughts:
Paper Is A Refreshing Change
There have been studies that show a hand written note on paper is easier to remember than a note typed into a computer or cell phone.
Working in a paper notebook has less distractions. The apps on my phone have been designed to constantly try to get my attention. A notebook has no apps and getting away from the phone helps me to focus.
Its nice to be able to flip through my notebook. I’ll get a glimpse of an ongoing project, and it reminds me to think about it. Often, my digital notes disappear into a void; never to be seen again.
I Feel Like I Am Staying On Track
I keep my Bullet Journal open on my desk. The constant visual reminder helps me to stay focused on the day’s goals. Even when I don’t get something done, the unfinished goals follow me to the next day. Now that I have a place to store my random thoughts, I can see the different pieces come togething into something useful.
Less Frills == Better For Me
The colorful drawings and charts that are possible are what got me interested in Bullet Journaling. I have since learned that a minimal style notebook is a better fit for my personality (for now). I get to draw and use colors all day in my studio, I don’t need a journal for a creative outlet: I need to quickly store and retrieve information. The plain black pen works for me.
Two weeks might not be enough time to determine whether or not this will be a useful tool or not, but my first impressions are good. Certainly good enough to continue using this system. If you are looking for a system to keep yourself organized, you might consider the Bullet Journal.
*Fun Fact: I wrote this blog post on paper before typing it on the computer.
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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.