Hope Everyone is having a happy and healthy this Thanksgiving holiday. The pandemic is going strong here in Kentucky, so things are a lot different from normal.
I have some new porcelain pottery that I can’t wait to show off (and sell) to you all. I believe that pottery should be experienced in person. You need to pick it up to TRULY know whether or not it is the right pot for you. I’m going to wait until things are a little safer before i invite you to visit my front porch, but you can follow THIS LINK for a sneak peek at the latest pottery:
I’ve lived in this area longer than anywhere else in my life, and I’m still surprised at how much I DON’T know about the world directly around me. I love maps and travel, and recently calculated the 25 mile (driving) radius from my house.
I know a lot of the people and places in this circle, but there is still a LOT I don’t know. I have decided to start fixing that!
I started at the bottom east corner, just a little east from wallingford at the top of park lake mountain. There I discovered a treasure you won’t see on google maps.
The Poston School House Museum! It’s a historic schoolhouse from the 1800s, lovingly restored into a little museum.
I am a lifetime learner, and am forever grateful to the public schools and teachers who shaped my mind.
Moving forward, I’m going to try to stay in my little 25 mile radius; to travel, explore and get to better know the place where I live–through ART!
Please share if you know any places (on or off the beaten path) that would make a good subject for an artist!
I take a lot of pride in hand carving and printing my woodcuts and linocuts, and worry that people who aren’t familar with printmaking don’t understand what they are looking at. I designed a new stamp to put on the back of all my notecards.
Now instead of just my website, there’s a visual cue to illustrate the unique process that goes into the work.
It’s a heavy duty piece of equipment; with a 2 1/2″ diameter. Giving it a much wider roll out. I can print almost 3 prints without having to re-ink the brayer. The roller surface is rubber, which is MUCH more durable than the craft brayers we have been using.
How do you like the print of the dog herding sheep? You can get a better look at the linocut, with information on how you can add it to your art collection here:
An old warehouse in Maysville, Ky was recently demolished, giving us a new view of downtown.
October 31st weather was sunny and cool, so I loaded my paints in my car, to try to capture the view.
It is a big, wide view, and I wanted to capture it all! I used 2 9×12 panels to create a diptych of the panoramic view.
The closer we get to the winter months, we don’t have nearly as much light in the sky, so I had to race against the setting sun to capture the view. I am inspired by the impressionist tradition of painting directly from life, without the aid of photography. It forces me to use loose brush strokes to capture the essence of the moment.
Another one of my favorite things about working from life, is being outdoors, and a visible part of my community. It can get lonely when I spend a lot of time alone in my studio. My friend, the photographer, Lorraine Marcella stopped by to chat while I worked, and I had her take this snapshot with my camera to document the painting.
This view is so new and interesting, I could paint at least 10 more paintings from this spot. Hopefully, they don’t start building soon.
The church steeple on the right was just a little too big, so when I got back to the studio, I fixed it!
I spent much of the summer throwing pots, and learning how to work in porcelain-a beautiful, translucent clay, that requires a little bit of extra care and a lot of patience.
I had to take a break for a few months, so that I could do some glaze testing…and here are the results!!!:
I FINALLY think I have a recipe for BLUE!!! The blues I was used to with stoneware were too fluid on porcelain…the colors had a tendency to slide around.
I also have a decent RED, ORANGE and PURPLE!
The YELLOW I was hoping for was a little less vibrant that what I wanted, but it’s a nice toned color that will pair nice with some others. I’m still working on a GREEN…I have learned that a glaze recipe that doesn’t include zinc helps it stay a little bit brighter.
I’ve put these tiles through a stress test: freezing them, then dropping them into boiling water ( a few times)
The glazes all fit, so I’M BACK IN THE CLAY STUDIO!!! Hope to have new pots soon!
An exciting thing about live video is that you never know what will happen, and there’s no way to edit out the warts and bloopers that are part of real life.
I haven’t been in my pottery studio for a while, and thought it would be fun to broadcast live while throwing pots and listening to cincinnati’s classical music station, WGUC. After listening to a beautiful piece by composer, Robert Schumann, DJ Elaine Diehl talked about how the composer struggled with mental health, and how music was an important part of his life. Reminding US that during this pandemic, we can think about Schuman and his struggles and music, when we have OUR mood swings and challenges.
After a few minutes, while still broadcasting, facebook sent me an alert, threatening to stop my broadcast because I was playing copyrighted music. Almost as if on cue, my mood went from happy to rage, and I almost said a few cuss words, while ranting about facebook’s lack of a social conscious.
I took the video down, because that vibe is not the kind of thing I want to spread among my friends (or to anyone), but I think the story is worth sharing, because, like everyone, I am dealing with maintaining mental health during the uncertainty of the pandemic….lately, art (and listening to WGUC public radio) have been a saving grace, just like music was for Robert Schuman. I hope you are finding and embracing the thing that keeps you healthy and happy right now.
Another moral to the story, you never know what you are going to get when you watch those live videos, lol! My apologies to anyone who saw me acting like that.
And here’s a sped up and muted version of what you missed…the pots actually came out pretty good!
Hi Everybody, it’s ken from the log cabin print shop, and today i’m going to start a new linocut.
Right now, I’m going to start carving my tree, and let’s see how it turns out! I’m working in a size that’s a little bit new to me. It’s 6×8″ which is a little bit bigger than a notecard, but it’s not so big that it would take me days to do all the carving. I like that it’s big enough, i can get some details that I can’t get in a notecard.
I’ve already worked all the composition out, so it’s a meditative process to just follow the lines and to cut the design into a block of linoleum. I’m working on a theme of a tree with birds and cats. I’d like to have 4 new linocut prints that all relate to each other.
Keep checking this post for updates. I’m printing the blocks right now, and will be able to share them real soon!
For occasional special updates and news about my art projects.
Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, and pottery. 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.
Before the pandemic, You could visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. Now, he's mostly sitting on his front porch ,keeping a social distance, in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.