Clayfolk is coming!

Well it’s that time of the year again- The 38th Annual Clayfolk Show and Sale is on the horizon. I’ve been spending days and nights non-stop creating new work for this year’s show so I hope to see a lot of folks there.

The platters I wrote about in my last post came out beautifully and I’m excited to get them out in the public view.

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The last batch of small bowls also came out great. I hope folks like these as much as I do!

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I’m getting some professional photos taken this week and looking forward to seeing what she does to make these look more appealing. I’ve never been the greatest photographer which seems ironic, but I guess we all have our weak spots!

In addition to prepping for Clayfolk, I was busy making and wearing my best Halloween costume to date- and it was all free! Gotta love that ūüôā I went as Sacajawea- Lewis and Clark’s guide to the west. She had a newborn infant strapped in her papoose the whole journey! What an amazing strong woman she had to have been to deal with all those white guys and a little baby to boot. Anyway, here’s the costume:

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Yep- that’s Raggedy Ann standing in for the infant! And my friend Sara hanging onto my boat for dear life! It was a fun party- and dancing in a boat is way fun. Really rockin’.

I also made some new “furniture” for my booth yesterday- plate holders from scratch. I got bamboo off-cuts from a friend and purchased dowel rods that I cut and sanded, and borrowed a drill press from another friend to make all the evenly deep holes for them. Only took an hour or so- and they turned out perfectly. I love when stuff works the way you want it to! I’m also creating a pedestal out of cardboard and putting a wooden top on it for sculptural pieces. I never seem to have enough surfaces for all the work I want to show!SAMSUNG

 

In addition, I created 8 “busts” to display scarves for our next show over at Talent City Hall, “Celebrating Textiles and Fashion”. We have 14 artists displaying their works for the next 2 months. Our first invitational show, and a really nice spectrum of types of work too. Hope some of you get to see it! It will be opening Nov. 13th and run through Jan. 10th 2014.¬†

Well- back to it. Just wanted to let you know I’m still out here working away! Hope to see you soon- or just keep checking in to see what’s next on my agenda.

I’ll be creating another crazy cake for the “It’s a Wonderful Life” party in December, as well as creating a new custom mirror project and possibly a new mosaic for the Upper 5 Vineyards here in Talent- a wonderful biodynamic vintner. Stay tuned.

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This week with MissMosaicGirl

I started off the week getting all of my bowls sprayed with a clear glaze. This is what they look like after spraying with a clear top coat- all snowy white and matte looking.P1000471

But then comes the glaze firing!

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¬†Temperatures of over 2100 degrees are reached to achieve a “high fired” product safe and durable enough to survive the dreaded microwave, the dishwasher,¬†and even the oven if you’re careful.

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The colors really POP once the glazes have developed in the intense heat. It takes about 8 hours for the temps to get up to cone 5, and another 12 plus hours for the kiln to cool enough to open up and take out the treasures. So cheery! Loving these!

Only had one fatality, but it was one I really liked ūüė¶P1000476¬†But it’s to be expected, as it is ceramics after all…

1385698_664801226872564_1643781070_n Things continued to go really well as Friday night found me at Illahe Gallery for the Mosaic Invitational and I had a chance to catch up with other mosaic friends and meet new ones as well.

My friend Julia Janeway showed up with her lovely family and her daughter Josephine was convinced she could hear sounds coming from Mosaic Town! 1377318_664801276872559_489237443_n

We decided “Totoro” was playing in the cinema building… but I’ll let you decide.

I spent a few hours on Saturday helping to install the mosaic medallion I created almost a year ago for my friends Pete and Carol here in Talent, Oregon. Pete had already installed the handmade tiles on the risers as well as putting in lovely slate on the steps and porch.SAMSUNG

The install went smoothly and we’re just waiting for the thinset to cure before removing the clear adhesive film I used to create it. I think it looks great with the multi colored slate, and the small border Pete added really adds the finishing touch.

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I’ll post final photos once everything has been grouted, but Pete and Carol seem pleased and I think it looks fantastic at their place! You can read about making the tiles here¬†and here.

In addition to the install, I also was working on a new platter for the Clayfolk show coming up next month. I’m experimenting with new patterns that relate to, but are different than, my bowls. What do you think? Keep in mind- the colors will change. Gray will become white, blue will be a deep turquoise, and the black will get blacker once fired.SAMSUNG

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Whew! I’m tired just looking at everything that went on. Time for a long nap.

Mosaic sturgeon will be brightening up Astoria- Part 2

Back up in Hillboro this past week for more work on the Astoria project with Lynn Adamo and her faithful minions.

When I arrived the fish were all completed except for a little eye surgery (later) and the watery background was begun.P1000376

Lynn’s order of blue smalti from Mexico had been delayed by U.S. Customs and had just arrived in the middle of last week when artists’¬†Richard Davis and Jennifer Kuhns were just leaving. ¬†So Lynn was anxious to get going with the background and cover some ground (literally).

However, we had a limited amount of certain blue colors we were using as accents. The only way we could figure out to evenly distribute them throughout the piece was to scatter them loosely across the template, then bag them up and label them according to the sections they would end up in. The system may look weird, but it was fairly quick and effective.

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Layout of fish with accent colors evenly distributed.

Notice the eyes of the fish in the photo above…somewhat ghostlike…

As I lay more of the blue field, Lynn began her “eye surgery”.

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“Eye-ectomy” being perfomed on the first fish.

We decided the eyes needed more of a true pupil to make them a bit more animated and alive, so we trimmed out the existing center,

P1000384¬† Added a few darker tiles,…

P1000401 …and¬†voile! A much more lively fish.

In addition to these minute tasks, we also decided to make a new template that was fully laminated and protected from the weather, as our previous one was getting a bit soggy in the rain, and shrinking as a result (!) making it difficult to get an accurate measure and fit for our MANY sections of mosaic on mesh.

That took up some of my evening and half of the next day to do- working on the kitchen floor and in the front room in sections until I got it all done. We then moved it out onto the back porch and transferred all the completed mosaic sections to it and taped them down so they wouldn’t shift – ensuring a better fit later when it’s installed.

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Taping the sections together to avoid shift during fitting.

Lynn was very meticulous with keeping things organized and clean during the whole process- and you have to! One little sliver of misplaced smalti can throw off the whole thing.

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Cleaning up the shards of glass, bits of dirt (no shoes here!), and other detritus blown in from the yard.

By the time I left Friday morning we had fitted all the mesh for the next sections, gotten a little further on the blue field, and had the planning behind us so Lynn could move forward more quickly and easily to completion. (Or so I like to think!)

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Slowly but surely…and looking beautiful!

I’ll be going back up at the end of next week for the final push…and will keep updating as we progress…

But be sure to keep up with the progress of this project for the Garden of Surging Waves in Astoria, Oregon on Lynn’s blog at www.lynnadamo.com/blog/¬†too!

Mosaic sturgeon will be brightening up Astoria- Part 1

Hello good peoples of the internet! I would like to introduce you all to a wonderful mosaic artist, a fabulous pie baker, and an all around awesome human being- and they all exist in the person that is Lynn Adamo of Hillsboro, Oregon.

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Lynn enjoying her pie and ice cream

It’s hard to believe, but Lynn is all that and more.

She recently won a commission from the City of Astoria to do a 10 foot diameter mosaic to be placed in a new park in the heart of Astoria.
The premise of the park is to honor the immigrants who helped build our great Northwest as well as honor a bit of the natural history of Astoria to boot.
The sturgeons depicted in Lynn’s mosaic are representing the fish canning industry that helped make Astoria prosperous.

Mexican smalti “tortillas” (thick, richly colored slabs of glass) were created specifically for this project and are being laid by many hands under the direction of Lynn.
She has created a veritable hive (or swarm?!) of worker bees from which to draw on when the projects get large, and/or the time window for completion is short.

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Janie prepping smalti “B” cuts for installation

I am lucky enough to be one of the happy drones working on this gorgeous endevour.

I first went up to Hillsboro (home of Intel) around the 3rd or 4th week into the project. When I arrived things were well underway with one fish completed and another begun.

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I  worked with Sandy Arbogast, Jan, and Scott over three full days-and we made some respectable progress, finishing the second sturgeon

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The meals were fantastic during my first visit too. P1000353Bob grilled us a fabulous flank steak one night and some delicious pork the next. Served with his home-brewed beer- what could be better!

And as if that weren’t enough- Lynn topped it off with one of her amazing berry pies with berries fresh from their own yard.

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I was absolutely spoiled. And I loved every minute of it.

Mosaics are time intensive- and even with the 5 of us working we weren’t able to finish the last fish before I made my way back down the trail to Talent.

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Luckily she had some more great workers with her the next week-Richard Davis and Jennifer Kuhns. Both experienced mosaic artists in their own rights, they whipped through the last of the fish and moved onto the water before their three days were up.

In addition, Richard whipped up some fabulous gourmet meals using his culinary background as a chef. The photos I saw on Lynn’s blog looked good enough to eat!

Now I am geared up for my next mosaic session with Lynn. It’s round two and I’m determined to just “knock it out of the park”-as Lynn might say. You who know her know she is a HUGE baseball fan. It warms my heart just thinking about her checking the scores throughout the days-keeping tabs on her Giants on the laptop as she toils away ūüôā

Paul’s mosaic panels are completed

After I created this exterior mosaic mirror to coordinate with my client’s new interior furnishings, he was so pleased he commissioned two more pieces for the entry walkway to his home.

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Paul’s mosaic mirror created in January 2013.

He lives in a beautiful complex on the shore of the bay in Tampa, Florida and has a walkway bridge that leads to his screened in porch and front door. The mirror hangs on his  porch.

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I created two panels that played off of his mosaic mirror design, as well as bringing in some new textures.

These panels were a combination of the original mirror, and the address plaque I made for my friend Penelope earlier this year, in my post “Penelope’s Plaque”.

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Address plaque created for Penelope in early 2013.

The client liked Penelope’s panel and wanted something similar, but in the same palette as his mirror and the colors from his home.

Here’s what we decided to do- one panel with 2 circles (12″ x 24″), and one panel with 3 circles (12″ x 36″). He left the rest up to me and here are the results:

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Paul’s 2 circle panel.

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Paul’s 3 circle panel.

These pieces include stained glass, handmade and commercial ceramic tile, mirror, commercial vitreous mosaic tiles, iridescent tiles, glass beads, millifiori, and Italian smalti left over from the Hannon Library mosaic installed in Ashland, Oregon in 2005.

I tied these panels to the mirror by making the background the same, as well as carrying over the color schemes. I feel they were pretty successful and also fun to make.

I find abstracts much more relaxing to create than realistic work. My mind is focused on the basics and not on “does it look like ___?” or not.¬†I can allow myself to let go and play more. I have a feeling I’ll be going more in this direction in the future.

Anyhow, I’m shipping these panels out tomorrow and I look forward to seeing the photos once they’re installed on the pillars. Let me know what you think, feel, etc. about this work or anything else on my blog.

Mosaic Town is growing

Mosaic town has been growing steadily over the past week, and is almost complete. I have added three new buildings and created several montage photos so you can see the process as well as the various views of the new buildings.

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This is the 2 Story House made of handmade ceramic tile with a glass mosaic tile roof.

I created the texture on the red tile by rolling the wet clay onto a sheet of deeply textured fabric, then lifting and repositioning the fabric and rolling it again. The glaze catches in the different depths of the texture, causing some areas to have deeper colors than others.

The little yellow swirls are left over sun-centers from my History Underfoot mosaic. They make me happy, and I wanted a happy home- so there they are!

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The next building to be created was the Mod Building. Not sure where this came from in my head, though the Price Tower by Frank Lloyd Wright, in my hometown in Oklahoma, has always been a big influence. It might be a residence, it might be an office, it’s up to your imagination.

This one is covered in three colors of handmade tile, sea foam and clear with a touch of green for the walls, and forest green for the roof areas. The windows are made of a painted glass that adds great depth, as well as suggesting an interior light source.

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The final building I see as a Theatre of some sort. Cinema probably, though could be a regular theatre too.

It is covered in a huge array of colors and textures I have had sitting in my studio for a couple of years now. The front and sides are in a bright cheerful yellow, with the back being made of a combination of red and textured red handmade tiles.

The decorative tiles around the doors and windows are bits from tiles that warped or cracked in the kiln, but I didn’t want to throw away. The roof is made of orange tile and orange/brown tile from a failed attempt at a platter. I used the platter edges to edge the front of the roof. Oh, and the gingko leaf on the back is cut from the same failed platter. Happy it found a home here.

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So the town is now complete. I grouted them today, and as soon as I can find the appropriate garden setting I’ll photograph them to post here, and they’ll be up for grabs by some lucky new owner. Of course they need to live indoors in the winter to prolong their lifespan, but what a fun way to decorate your home!

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Progress on Mosaic Town

Just a brief update on my little town project.

Today I completed another building I think of as the Office Building-with a striated copper tiled roof of glass and seafoam green handmade ceramic tile for the walls.

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Again-this is ungrouted to date.

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I am starting on the 2 Story House tomorrow, but have already deviated from my original drawn ideas.

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I loved these little yellow spirals I had left from a previous project, so decided to use them here.
The doors/windows will be of glass tile, while the main house siding will be a textured red ceramic tile I made a year or more ago.
I’ll keep you all updated on the progress.