At the Farm Pond

3 Aug

I love these summer days.  Getting outside and enjoying some swimming, fishing, and floating on the water is especially nice when the humidity and temps are on the rise.  The best thing we did on our acreage was to add a farm pond.  We have had a lot of good times and building priceless memories when family and friends come to visit.  This is the inspiration for my handmade earthenware and glass sculpture, “At the Farm Pond”, 9 1/2″wide x 14″long x 4 1/2″high.

At the Farm Pond

Top view

Top view

close up view

close up view                                                                      

side view

side view 

Here is the pond I drew my inspiration from.  A little quieter at the pond today.

The farm pond

The farm pond

The Red Barn

The Red Barn

fishing fun

fishing fun

Lovebirds

12 Apr

Here is the finished artwork related to an earlier post on mold making for ceramic tiles.  This grouping of framed tiles is called “Lovebirds”.  I created two bird molds in reverse of each other and made another mold from a hand carved slab of clay for the center tile.  After the tiles were sufficiently dried, I fired them in an electric kiln to 1873 Degrees F.  Since I have molds to make duplicates, I will be creating similar tiles in different types of clay and glazing processes.  I am working on them now and will post those when I am finished.

Earthenware tiles mounted in wooden frame, ready to hang. 23 1/2" w x 12 1/2" h

Earthenware tiles mounted in wooden frame, ready to hang. 23 1/2″ w x 12 1/2″ h

The inspiring Aspens at Sylvan Lake, Colorado

15 Feb

A few years ago, we took a road trip to Colorado.  As we drove west out of Denver into the Rocky Mountains, with no real destination in mind, we ended the day at the little town of Eagle to spend the night.  As we toured the area the next morning, we discovered a state park named Sylvan Lake south of town.  It was amazing with a crystal clear mountain lake and  Aspens lining the nearby foot hills.

Aspens in the distance

Aspens in the distance

Close up of Aspens

Close up of Aspens

It was so inspiring, I created this painting of my visit to Sylvan Lake, Colorado.

Aspens at Sylvan Lake, Colorado, Acrylic 30" x 40"

Aspens at Sylvan Lake, Colorado, Acrylic 30″ x 40″

The making of “Peace and Love Tree in the Four Seasons” Rosies overalls

14 Jan

I have been a fan of Rosies workwear for women for some time. I appreciate a company that embraces the image of the powerful, hard working, can do spirit of women.  I also am glad they understand the need of durable clothing that is made to fit a women’s body.

Viewing Rosies blog last summer, there was a posting for a call for artists to create wearable art on a pair of their white overalls.  The overalls would be auctioned off and 100% of the proceeds would be donated to Art in Action. Art in Action is a nationwide, non-profit organization that provides educational development and creativity for children through visual arts programs, www.artinaction.org.  I jumped at the chance to be involved in this great cause.

Rosies overalls - the blank canvas

Rosies overalls – the blank canvas

When the overalls arrive, it was great that they just happened to be my size!  It allowed me to try them on and I fell in love with how comfy they were.

preliminary sketch

preliminary sketch

First I sketched my ideas out on paper.  I chose the tree as the subject, due to my love affair I have with trees.  To me they symbolize strength and endurance.  That is the type of women that drove those rivets in WWII and all the women that came before them and those after.  The role of a women’s never ending, nurturing spirit is represented with the love and peace symbols throughout all the changing seasons.

overalls back top portion

overalls back top portion

overalls back bottom

overalls back bottom

The process continued using the sketch as somewhat of a pattern to help determine where the placement of images would go onto the overalls. I then proceeded with painting and drawing.

The next four pictures show the work upon completion drying on my work table.  The front of the overall with the tree forming a heart is spring and summer.  The back with the tree forming a peace sign is fall and winter.

Overall drying n work table, front top

Overall drying on work table, front top

drying on work table, front bottom

drying on work table, front bottom

drying on work table, back top

drying on work table, back top

drying on work table, back bottom

drying on work table, back bottom

The finished overalls have been sent back to Rosies Workwear.  It was such an enjoyable project.  There were 14 others artists that also created overalls for the auction. The auction site is now up.  All the overalls will be on view at the site by January 31, http://www.32auctions.com/rosies.  Bids will be able to be placed  February 1 -14 2014.

Here are pictures of the finished work, “Love and Peace Tree in the Four Seasons”.

finished front of overalls

finished front of overalls

finished back of overalls

finished back of overalls

Lincoln Highway

6 Jul

The Lincoln Highway is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It was the first transcontinental highway for vehicles across the USA. With this road, prosperity grew to the many communities it dissected. The highway went right through the town where I grew up, Columbus, NE; and is still a heavily traveled byway.

I now live in another area of the state, but the highway is not far off. There is a small section of the highway that has not been covered by asphalt and cement in Elkhorn, NE. The town is now part of Omaha and alot of new businesses and housing are slowly closing in on this stretch of the Lincoln Highway. I am hopeful this red brick road continues to be preserved celebrating our heritage.

connection

This oil pastel drawing called, Lincoln Highway, was inspired by the small stretch of the highway where the red brick pavers connect with the poured concrete. It represents to me the valuable connection we all have with the past and the present.

Lincoln Highway

Mold making for tile work

26 Apr

When I make a tile, I also make a mold of the original so I can make multiples.  I thought I would share with you a little bit about how I produce a plaster mold. First, I construct the original tile.

bird tile

After the original tile is constructed, I placed it inside a wooden plaster mold form.

plaster mold form

This form was built so it could be adjusted to make various sizes of molds depending on the size of your original. (One note, you can see the bird’s profile is the opposite direction in each photo.  I made two original tiles and molds of the bird in left and right profile, but forgot to take a picture of each profile.  Sorry if I have confused you.)  After the joints are sealed with clay so there is no leakage, plaster is poured into the form over tile and left to set until hardened.

Below is the finished mold after the clay form and clay was removed from the plaster mold.  The original tile will most likely not be able to be used, but I have the plaster mold to make more.  It is now ready to press clay into the negative spaces.

mold making 2

Timeless

8 Apr

 

Occasionally, when I notice an estate sale sign in a yard, I will stop to see what is available.  While looking at the items for sale, I will invasion what the person was like based on their possessions now available to others.  At one such stop, I came upon this interesting box of clock parts.

box of clock parts©

I was not sure at the time what I would do with all the gears, face plates, and metal straps; but I couldn’t pass them up.  They reminded me of a time from the past; and, in this case, one person’s past.  When paying for the watch parts, the woman selling them asked that whatever I did create with the pieces of metal to bring it back to show her.  I felt these items were quite sentimental to her.

That has been well over a year now and I finally used a small portion of them in this ceramic sculpture.   With earthenware and black glaze and using a sqrafitto technique, I applied my take on patterns and design from the machine age of gears, belts and metals.   I wanted to create a piece that paid tribute to a time gone by and a tribute to one person’s machine age past, as well.

Earthenware and found objects

Timeless, earthenware and found objects, front view©

Timeless, top view

Timeless, top view©